The Scene Behind Open Mic by Pam Glantzman

It has been a whirlwind, getting Open Mic up and running, something like now you don’t see it, and then yes, you do.  You could have gotten whiplash.  First there were not enough performers, now, our program is brimming with talent.

For a while, it was touch and go, thinking that we would not have enough acts to give it a go.  I guess that people have summer brain, and suddenly they woke up, and climbed on board.

The most exciting thing to me, was the dry run on this past Tuesday night.  In true Temple fashion, dry run was scheduled at the same time as a Jewish Cultural event.  Lucky for us, we could test out Linda Feller early, so she could make the event, and then she signed back in, when the Jewish Cultural event was over.

Most everyone performing live, came to the dry run, including Cassi Kail from CA, and Penrose Hoover, father of Rabbi Heidi Hoover, coming from PA.  Gail Levine drove home from a trip, 2 and ½ hours to make rehearsal.  Jan Lisa Huttner, also needed to leave early, and had her voice check right after Linda’s.

It was great to hear the support and the camaraderie of the performers.  Gene Guskin and Maria Deutscher had never met until the dry run and seemed to hit if off very well.  Gene can talk a blue streak.  Just wait until you hear him.  I am thinking that Maria will make a good “second banana” to Gene.  By the way, does that term have to be updated, and does anyone have suggestions?

Teddy Moskowitz is a gem of a guy, and very understated.  He has an awesome reading voice and loves that book.  Bill Schaffer is also reading from Dr Seuss and is very funny.  Naz is so lucky to have such talented parents.

The Schaffer Family is making a great contribution of their talent.  We look forward to the Schaffer Family Band, which will feature Naz.  He certainly loves being a part of this event, with his family.  Joanie has taught herself ukulele, and will also send us “Downtown” to the 60’s via Petula Clark, and Mama Cass with “Dream A Little Dream of Me.  I can hear that song ringing in my ear. 

Gail Levine is also playing guitar and singing a Yiddish song, and “Que Sera Sera”, made famous by Doris Day.  In addition to bringing us Yiddish, she is honoring her mother by singing the song made famous by Doris Day.  What a wonderful way to honor one’s parent.

Jane Gleiberman, who is a member of the choir is singing “Sunrise, Sunset”, as a tie in to one of Jan Lisa Huttner’s stories.  Rusty, her parrot made an appearance, too.  He is small, green and has a loud voice.  I guess that’s why Jane is so quiet.  During dry run, I said to Jane “Sing out, Louise” since she does sing so quietly, and I want you all to hear her.

Joel Moss, in his deadpan fashion, is bringing us comedy that is sorely needed, and looks good, in this setting.  We were all laughing at his sample of jokes.

We will be brought back to Ireland, twice, once by Barry Katz reading a Yeats poem, and by an Irish Choir, of which Debra Davies is a member.  Hurrah to them both.  Look at the talent that we have imported.

Kyle McGee is performing a Rashtaman Chant, which will also carry us, via drum, to another dimension, and as of this writing there is a performance by Emma Tattenbaum-Fine of a little known Leonard Bernstein song.  Looking forward to discovering something new by him.

So, I have to say, all sound checks were made and commented upon, and some lighting was worked out.

The reason that this worked so well is that, during the dry run, everyone pulled together by giving valuable and wanted advice for the sound and visual tech.  All advice was greatly appreciated.  It was wonderful to see everyone working together, striving towards one goal, to make everyone look and sound great.  No divas here.

I love this team and can’t wait to see them on Saturday.

Looking forward,

Pam Glantzman