As a last minute replacement for the cancelled “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” the Roundabout Theatre Company has been lucky enough to have Sherie Rene Scott literally waiting in the wings and ready to cast her glow (or is it her aura?) over the American Airlines Theatre stage with her semi-autobiographical “variety show” starring herself – a self professed semi-star – in “Everyday Rapture” which was a recent off-Broadway hit for the Second Stage Theatre. And boy was she ready!
This semi-star should drop the semi right now. She is delightful. Beautiful. Has an impertinent comic sense that is a combination of Gracie Allen and Stan Laurel. She can sing like a purring cat and can belt like Merman. As she skips on stage with enough lip gloss to reflect to the balcony, her blonde locks as excited as she is to be there, Sherie Rene Scott is a full blown star obviously enjoying basking in her spotlight center stage.
Together with Dick Scanlan she has co-authored the clever yet contrived book that loosely holds together various songs that have been taken from Ms. Scott’s own private, meaningful songbook to illustrate the balance that she is seeking to find in her life. A balance between being just a speck and being a star. Being able to embrace the idea that the world was created solely for her to achieve her biggest dreams and desires.
Embrace it she has. There is no doubt, from the very beginning in Topeka Kansas that Sherie Rene Scott has always thought that, despite the fact that we follow her from her simple naïve Mennonite beginnings to her independent foray to Manhattan – magic acts included. And there is a strong support for gay acceptance underlying all the comedy which is truly heartfelt.
She is backed up by Mennonettes Lindsay Mendez and Betsy Wolfe who help transition the many scenes which at times appear to be a Streisand television special from the past. The young, rubber faced Eamon Foley has his own star turn as he lip-syncs “My Strongest Suit” from the Elton John/Tim Rice Aida where she stole the show as Amneris. It is quite funny but stays too long at the fair.
Ms. Scott has a thing for Judy (as in Garland) and Jesus (as in Christ) that is both touching and wildly irreverent as she croons “You Made Me Love You” to projections of the man himself. In another tribute to Garland segment we have her singing an ultra ironic “Get Happy” to a group of patients at The Menninger Psychiatric Center.
Mister Rogers – the man with the cardigan – is another hero and Ms. Scott does a smashing job of singing a couple of his esteem building songs with beautiful arrangements by Tom Kitt.
“Everyday Rapture” has its ups and downs just like the supposed life of Ms. Scott which has been directed by the director of the moment Michael Mayer who keeps the acts moving along at a fast clip for the ninety minutes allotted. Through July 11th.
www.roundabouttheatre.org Photo: Carol Rosegg