Sherie Rene Scott is a self-described Broadway semi-star. Given her Tony-nominated work in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and her widely-admired performance in The Last Five Years, I’m not sure that Sherie’s giving herself enough credit. But that very push-and-pull of desiring and retreating from stardom is exactly what Sherie’s story is all about. Everyday Rapture is her exploration of growing up half-Mennonite (or as she puts it, “Amish-light”) with the belief that straying from the group is sinful, while not-so-secretly wanting to be the center of attention – in other words, a Broadway semi-star.
Whether you’ve seen Sherie in Aida or The Little Mermaid, or this will be your first encounter with her work, she will immediately draw you in. Everyday Rapture isn’t mere confessional – as an audience, we’re invited on this journey along with Sherie and very quickly find that she’s someone you really do want to get to know. She shares her early loves – Judy Garland, Jesus – and uses the music of everyone from Roberta Flack to Fred Rogers (yes, as in Mr. Rogers) to tell us how she went from loyal worshiper in a series of Topeka churches to the worship-worthy performer, with overzealous fans to prove it, she is today.
The two ideas that recur throughout the piece are opposing views on an individual’s place in the universe: “I am a speck of dust” and “The world was created for me.” What Sherie (along with her collaborators, fellow writer Dick Scanlan and director Michael Mayer) has done so beautifully is to ask whether we really have to choose between the two. Do you really have to give up being a speck if you want to be a star?
Sherie’s story is entertaining, irreverent, and truly thoughtful about the kinds of tough choices that we all have to make. I hope that you will find this piece to be as illuminating as I do, and I encourage you to share your thoughts with me, as you have done throughout the season, by posting your comments on the blog.
I look forward to seeing you at the theater!
2009-2010 Season, Everyday Rapture