Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes

Hi everyone,

I'd never heard of Ron Carter before I saw him at Bohemian Caverns a few years ago, but I could tell by just watching him walk up to the stage that this guy meant business. This guy was classy. Distinguished and statuesque in a suit with his upright bass, his Golden Striker band members, guitarist Russell Malone and pianist Mulgrew Miller, followed in similarly formal attire with matching ties and pocket squares. As soon as they started playing, we all knew we were in for a treat from master musicians.

Ron Carter often plays the bass with his eyes closed. It's no surprise how well he knows the instrument, being the most recorded bassist of all time. That's what makes his new biography, Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes by Dan Ouellette, so engaging. I picked up my copy last May, when I last saw Ron Carter at Bohemian Caverns. During that set, he plugged the book, recommending we buy it so that he doesn't have to carry them around anymore. When I got home, I added my autographed copy to the pile of Books To Read on my bedroom floor. I picked it up again one night soon after and was surprised how quickly I was hooked.

Aside from learning about this impressive musician, I loved how author Dan Ouellette wrote and organized his story. A regular contributor to DownBeat magazine, it makes sense that Mr. Ouellette would write this book with magazine-like style. It's chronological, of course, but is also broken down by project or career turn. The chapters are divided into topical section and include surprising elements, like Ron Carter interview excerpts and event transcripts or first-hand accounts from fellow musicians about working with the bassist. For this life story, so many sources and perspectives are mixed in with the subject's own If you're unfamiliar with Ron Carter or jazz history, this book is a well researched, comprehensive resource on the man, his work, and the times in which he's played. This book will bring you up to speed.

You can't help but marvel at Ron Carter's dedication, work ethic, and expertise when it comes to his craft. At 78, it's estimated that he's worked on up to 4,000 recordings. (No one has a full discography, not even Ron Carter.) Including his own work as a band leader and solo artist, he's played with everyone from Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock to A Tribe Called Quest and Bette Midler. He's performed commercial jingles and film scores, all while raising a family, earning multiple music degrees, teaching countless students, and playing gigs around the world. While reading this book, I suddenly recognized more names on local jazz schedules because of their association with Ron Carter. He gets around. Right now, he's gearing up for a European tour.

More than anything, I admire Ron Carter's passion for his life's work, which is evident on every page of this book. Even though I know nothing about playing the bass, his authoritative insight on how to play and care for the instrument intrigued me because everything he does stems back to his love for the music. Although a teacher and mentor to so many other musicians, Ron Carter is still exploring, learning, and looking for the right notes.

Live jazz is best experienced in person, so catch Ron Carter the next time he's in your town. In the meantime, here's a taste of The Golden Striker Trio, playing a Russell Malone composition called "Cedar Tree."

(YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/A3Sh0nba3mQ)

Best,

P.S. If you are interested in reading more of my book reviews, visit The Library page. You can also find a link to this page in the menu bar below the Melissa's Kitties blog banner.   

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tense

This is Lily's reaction to knocks on the door and visitors and neighbors and rain and storms and unusual noises and the light fixture in the hallway and...

Tense (May 17, 2015
Tense (Illustration Friday: April 24, 2015)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Wiggle

Hi everyone,

I spent more time than I expected reviewing all the fun events I attended in 2014. Two months later, The Kitties are back. Look at what they've been doing this whole time!

Wiggle (May 3, 2015)
(Illustration Friday: May 1, 2015)

If you're interested in my event reviews, check them out the blog's new Out and About... page. (Links to this and other Melissa's Kitties pages are located just below the banner.)

Best,

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Broadway Extravaganza 2014

Hi everyone,

Last fall, I planned a solo Broadway Extravaganza Weekend. At first, I was only going to New York to see Cabaret on my birthday, but when I moved the trip to October, all the stars aligned and descended on Broadway. So, I couldn't help tacking on three more shows. This whirlwind of entertainment brought out my love for theatre in full force. (The 2015 Tony Award nominations were announced this week, so I'm very timely, just seven months after the fact.) Here's the rundown.


The River, Royal Court Theatre Production, Circle on the Square, October 31, 2014

I fell pretty hard for Hugh Jackman after seeing him in his Tony-winning performance as Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz in 2004. Who knew Wolverine could be charming, sing, and dance? I next saw him on Broadway in 2009 in A Steady Rain, a gritty drama costarring Daniel Craig. When I read that Hugh Jackman planned to return to Broadway in another drama last year, I bought my ticket without reading much about the plot.

The River, a new one-act play by Jez Butterworth, is about a guy who loves to fish and his two girlfriends. It takes place in the man's cabin, close to where the fishing is good. After the play was over, I heard a few people exclaim how amazing it was, but most of the people around me were bewildered. As we exited the theatre, a lady in front of me turned around and asked anyone who would listen, "Who was the woman with the scratched out face? What did it mean? Do you know?"

This play seemed purposefully confusing to spark this kind of conversation afterward. For example, Hugh Jackman's character (The Man) started one scene with Cush Jumbo (The Woman), who then walked into the bedroom off stage. Then, Laura Donnelly (The Other Woman) came out of the supposed bedroom, continuing the conversation but within a different context. They were actually talking about something else at a different time. Although nothing was ever quite clear, the play was cleverly written and entertaining. During the show, I kept making up scenarios that explained what it all meant. Maybe the first woman represents a new relationship and the other one represents a past one. Maybe he killed one of them, and her scenes are memories. I kept waiting for something sinister to happen that never did.

Cush Jumbo and Hugh Jackman 
The acting in this play made it worth it. Only Hugh Jackman could keep our full attention while talking about fish and fishing or sustaining a lengthy scene alone, preparing a fish dinner in silence – gutting the fish, cutting up veggies, putting everything in a pan and in an oven. (We didn't get to eat it.) I wondered if I'd be bored if an unknown actor was doing the same thing, but this play's other two cast members were unknown to me and yet equally fantastic.  

Someone responded to the frustrated lady's questions with what she thought everything meant, clearing it up for us with an explanation that never occurred to me: Hugh Jackman's character is a sleazy, shallow guy with commitment issues. Have I mentioned that Hugh Jackman is a really great actor?


Cabaret, Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54, November 1, 2014


I've seen Bob Fosse's 1972 movie version of Cabaret, starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, so many times that I've hesitated seeing it live on stage, directed and performed by other people. This production, however, excited me with director Sam Mendes, co-director and choreographer Rob Marshall, and stars Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams. (This revival was a close copy of the 1998 Broadway production, which also starred Alan Cumming as the Kit Kat Club's emcee.)

Cabaret is based on a book by Christopher Isherwood about the Nazis' rise to power in Berlin in 1931. The story involves Kit Kat Club cabaret singer Sally Bowles (Michelle Williams) and her relationship with a young writer (Bill Heck). In a side story, their landlady and her Jewish beau share a doomed romance. The actors who played these roles, Linda Emond and Danny Berstein, were the only cast members to earn Tony nominations last year, and they deserved them! The best thing about Cabaret, though, is the musical numbers and atmospheric staging that made this show a true cabaret-going experience. I sat in the balcony, where each two seats shared a connected table and lamp that had a red shade with fringe. Ushers, dressed as waiters, walked around offering food and drinks. If you were rich enough for floor seats, you could sit at tables, as if you were really in the Kit Kat Club. Twenty minutes before the show started, dancers roamed on to the stage, stretching, posing, and chatting with audience members. We were all in it!

Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming
Reprising his role, Alan Cumming seems born to play the role of emcee. Before I saw this show, I kept unintentionally hearing that Michelle Williams was just so-so as Sally Bowles. It's not true! First, if you're comparing her to Liza Minnelli, like I did at first, forget it because they're completely different people. If you're putting Michelle Williams's Sally Bowles next to Alan Cumming's over-the-top character that was already dubbed as the reason to see this thing before it even opened, that's not fair. Though I had to get used to Sally Bowles being British and the writer being American (instead of the other way around as it is in the movie version), I thought Michelle Williams had an interesting presence in this mix of characters as well as a great singing voice. (Soon after I saw Cabaret, Emma Stone and Sienna Miller took over the role of Sally Bowles respectively before it closed in March.)

Any story about Nazis is depressing, but the Kit Kat Club will cheer you up with its nightly performances and fantastic live band. You'll get your chance to come to the cabaret when this show tours in 2016. Find more information here.


The Last Ship, Neil Simon Theatre, November 1, 2014, and January 10, 2015


Of all the shows that I saw during this Broadway Extravaganza weekend, The Last Ship was the one I thought about the least. Sting spent at least five years working on developing this musical, a story written by Tony winners John Logan and Brian Yorkey (Red) and based in Sting's hometown and on its working-class citizens. I knew I had to see The Last Ship, and that I'd have a good time, but I didn't expect how much I'd absolutely love everything about it and how delirious and emotional I'd feel by its end.

The story, which takes place in the ship-building town of Wallsend, begins with Gideon (Michael Esper) skipping town to escape his abusive father (Jamie Jackson) and the fate of taking over his job in the shipyards. He leaves behind his girlfriend Meg (Rachel Tucker) but promises to return for her once he's settled. Fifteen years later, he returns when he hears of his father's death, discovers that the shipyards are on the verge of closing down, and finds his girlfriend in new life with another man (Aaron Lazar) and teenage son (Collin Kelly-Sordelet). Encouraged by the town's likable priest Father O'Brien (Fred Applegate), the shipbuilders decide to build one last ship for pride's sake. Although Gideon fought against that way of life, he finds purpose in helping them, gains a sense of community he's missed, and struggles to come to terms with his past.

Sting released an album inspired by The Last Ship, and all of the songs are from this story's characters' points of view. I loved how this show incorporated those songs so seamlessly. The cast members sang them in character, making them entirely their own. (Lucky for us, an original Broadway cast recording is available!) The lyrics swiftly move the story along, and it was exciting to hear them make sense in this context. The show included some new songs I'd never heard before as well as some of Sting's old songs, including "Island of Souls," "All This Time," "Ghost Story," and "When We Dance." (For this show, the lyrics were changed only slightly to fit into the story and they work!) It's true that I love nearly all of Sting's music, but I think these latest songs that he wrote for The Last Ship are his best yet.

Ship-buider solidarity in the rain...  Photo © unknown
The set and staging was impressive and seemed expensive. The stage was wooden but one side of it looked like a dock, and a large basin of water extended off and along the front of the stage to represent the sea. The backdrop included stone with stained glass windows for a church setting, rusted steel with ladders to represent the ship, and metal staircases and balconies on either side for different entrances and exits. Lighting added to the atmosphere, portrayed ocean waves or sunlight flooding the church. The shipbuilders had real equipment too, working on scaffolding and with welding machines. It rained onstage at one point and, at another, the workers literally pulled the ship together, making the stage floor rise up into shape.

Rachel Tucker and Aaron Lazar
I loved that this story involved working-class people. The scenes were mostly either in a bar or in a shipyard, and everybody yelled at each other in a get-over-yourself sort of way. The choreography was unique with tough-guy moves because shipbuilders aren't dancer. (Think of West Side Story!) The cast was fantastic, including my standout favorites Rachel Tucker as Gideon's girlfriend Meg and Fred Applegate as Father O'Brien.

I saw The Last Ship a second time in early January after it was announced that Sting would take over the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White from his friend Jimmy Nail through the end of the show's short run on January 24th. Aside from attracting more theatergoers and singing the songs with his unmistakeable voice, Sting's involvement didn't make much difference to me because he was acting in character. I was so invested in the story, which was solidly written with so many fully realized characters, that I lost him in the crowd sometimes. Being the fanatical Sting fan I am, I'm pretty sure that means that they had a good thing going here. I cried at the end of both performances!

Sting! (with Fred Applegate in the background)
I was sure that The Last Ship was going to win a bunch of Tonys this year, including Best Musical, but I think it closed too soon (due to lack of ticket sales) to get everyone's attention. It received two Tony nominations for Sting (best original score) and Rob Mathes (best orchestrations). I'm sad that The Last Ship has already closed on Broadway, but I'm sure this won't be the end of it. I eagerly await its return to the stage in whatever form it may take.


On The Town, Lyric Theatre, November 2, 2014

I was still so delirious about The Last Ship that I watched On the Town the following day in a blur. On the Town is one of my favorite Gene Kelly movie musicals, which I know by heart. Like the movie musical, this Broadway revival is G-rated and family friendly. On the Town originally hit Broadway in 1944, but the story is universal. It follows three sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City. They soon fall for three lovely ladies, take them on the town, and have an adventure in the big city. This funny, entertaining show, written by the great Betty Comden and Aldolph Green with wonderful music by Leonard Bernstein, is a classic that I'd never seen on stage.

What I love about this production is that the abstract sets reminded me of the backdrops of my favorite old Warner Brothers cartoons, as did some of the exaggerated performances. Jackie Hoffman as music instructor Madam Dilly and Jackie Hoffman as Lucy Schmeeler, for example, offered some broad, slapstick comedy, making us laugh just the way they walked or reacted to situations. The highlight of this show, of course, was Leonard Bernstein's score and Jerome Robbins inspired dancing (choreographed by Joshua Bergasse). The beautiful Pas de Deux performed by stars Tony Yazbeck as Gabey and Megan Fairchild as Ivy too everyone's breath away.

It was wonderful to see this show with so many others of all ages in the audience, all of us sharing a laugh and mesmerizing moments. I think this show is going to last. This production of On the Town is nominated for four Tony Awards in the musical category: leading actor (for Tony Yasbeck), best director, best choreography, and best revival. Visit the show's official website to learn more and plan a trip to see it.

You can catch the Tonys on Sunday, June 7, 2015, on CBS. Here's a full list of this year's nominees.

Best,


Production photo credits: The River – © Sarah Krulwich/New York Times; Cabaret – © Joan Marcus; The Last Ship – first two photo © unknown, photo with Sting © Photo Art; On the Town – © Joan Marcus

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Dynamic Duo: Danny Elfman and Tim Burton

Hi everyone,

Danny Elfman and Tim Burton
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images
If you follow my Johnny Kitties series, you already know how much I love Tim Burton through his collaboration with Johnny Depp, but I think I actually fell in love with Tim Burton first. I've seen all of his movies since the very first one, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, in 1985, and that's when his collaboration with composer Danny Elfman started. At the time, I only knew Danny Elfman as the lead singer of the rock band Oingo Boingo, who performed the title song for the great '80s classic comedy Weird Science. (The video for this song was on MTV often, and who could forget that face and flaming orange hair?)

Pee-wee's Big Adventure marked the start of a 30-year-and-counting creative partnership between these two artists. Tim Burton's films are unmistakably his artistic vision, and Danny Elfman complements them with equally inventive musical scores. They've worked together on 16 film projects so far and, last fall at the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra celebrated all of them – except for Big Eyes, which wasn't yet completed at the time – in a multimedia retrospective concert, Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton.

I knew I'd love this concert, but it far exceeded any of my expectations. Can you imagine how my excitement escalated when I opened the playbill and saw this?


For this concert, Danny Elfman created new, shorter arrangements of the scores listed in the program that capture their unique spirit and memorable moments. An introductory medley opened the show as a giant screen above the stage displayed a montage of film clips from Tim Burton's corresponding films. Then, the symphony launched into tributes to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (listen to that film's opening theme here) followed by Pee-wee's Big Adventure. (This music makes me so happy! Listen here. This project was not only the first movie Tim Burton ever directed but also the first film score Danny Elfman ever wrote.) In addition to film clips, the screen displayed several of Tim Burton's film-inspired artwork during each piece. We saw how his weird, wonderful paintings translated into each movie. Tim Burton supervised the development of this concert, choosing which film scenes and artwork to show during each suite. Through much of each piece, though, the screen displayed a gray and black squiggly-patterned drawing that Tim Burton created specifically for use during this concert. He wanted the audience to focus more on his friend's music than his films.

At the end of Danny Elfman's exuberant, joyous concoction for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, we were in stunned silence for at least 10 seconds before slowly remembering to clap. Our conductor John Mauceri turned around to face us and said, "Clearly, we've mesmerized you..."

It was true! The music, artwork, and artistry created such an intoxicating, immersive experience. We were dazed.

I was surprised by how emotional I became during this concert. I grew up watching all of these movies, making trips to the theaters to see them when they were first released. It hit me that these two have been in my life since I was 11. They saved the haunting theme for Edward Scissorhands, which may be Danny Elfman's most recognized and imitated work, for last because everyone loves it most. Hearing it live with a full choir, courtesy of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, nearly made me cry. But I got distracted by someone two rows ahead of me who was already wiping away her tears.

Sandy Cameron photo © Juan Ocampo/
Nokia Theatre L.A. Live/Bernstein Associates
Then, the Edward Scissorhands suite shifted into happier haircut mode. Violinist Sandy Cameron, with wild hair, dark eyes, and a black leather and lace outfit (no doubt inspired by Edward's look), suddenly got my attention on stage. She played speedily, writhing with the melody like a snake during her electrifying solo. Everyone cheered as she bowed dramatically when finished (and the piece wasn't even over yet). Watch out for her; she's going places... It was clear during this concert that all the musicians had fun performing this music. The emotion and whimsy is infectious!

As if we weren't delirious enough, the show offered an encore with Alice in Wonderland, featuring 12-year-old soloist Thomas Lynch. (Listen here for Danny Elfman's "Alice's Theme.") This light, exciting piece just whet our appetites for what's to come; Alice Through the Looking Glass, Danny Elfman's upcoming film score project that continues Alice's story, is due in theaters next year. Although Tim Burton is not directing this time around, you'll recognize other familiar faces. Are you pacing the floors like I am?

Well, you don't need to be familiar with Danny Elfman or Tim Burton to enjoy this exhilarating show. I took someone with me who didn't know who they were. "That makes me even more excited about you coming with me," I told her. "You don't need to have seen all the movies to enjoy the music. Danny Elfman is different; the music is interesting enough on its own. I think you'll like it!" As predicted, she came out of it a fan – yay! If you're still not quite convinced, this trailer will give you an idea of the awesomeness that awaits you....


Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton video trailer: http://youtu.be/p-3jFfvCSdE.

Check out this unforgettable multimedia concert if it stops by your town! In addition to various spots around the country, it will play July 2-12, 2015, during New York's Lincoln Center Festival. Enjoy!

Best,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Finding Neverland and The Real Thing


Hi everyone,

I made two special trips last year to catch some new shows. They were well worth it, so here's the rundown. 

Finding Neverland, American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 12, 2014

Finding Neverland, a new musical based on the 2004 film of the same name, follows author J.M. Barrie (played by Jeremy Jordan) as he becomes inspired by his friendship with Silvia Llewelyn Davies and her four sons to write his next play, Peter Pan. It took me about a half an hour to realize that I was comparing everything in this musical to the movie, one of my all-time favorites starring my favorite actor in the lead role. So, try not to do that when you see this production because it's a very different experience. 

For me, the best thing about Finding Neverland, the musical, is how it showcases the creative process at work. During the musical number called "Circus in my Mind," for example, Mr. Barrie fails to repress his own dark thoughts, out of which comes the character Captain Hook. Inventive choreography by Mia Michaels represents both reality and whimsical fantasy to show the duality and spirit of the writer's task. Directed by Diane Paulus, this show offered a talented cast and creative staging that captured the imagination. 

True, Johnny Depp is not here, but you should see this version of Finding Neverland anyway. The show moved to Broadway this year with stars Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, and it's still magical.

The Real Thing, Roundabout Theatre Company, American Airlines Theatre, New York, New York, October 17, 2014

I couldn't miss my chance to see one of my favorite actors in person last year when Ewan McGregor made his Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's 1982 play The Real Thing. He was amazing (and made me weak in the knees), but so were his costars Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (who is a scene stealer with her own brand of awesomeness). Tom Stoppard's clever dialogue was so quickly delivered sometimes that I left the theatre wanting to read through and think about this play a bit longer. That's a sign of a good piece of work, right? 

Aside from the stellar cast, I liked how music was incorporated into this story. Both acts began with the characters singing a song, and the first act ended with Ewan McGregor using a record player, the sound of which began normally but then amplified on speakers to close out the scene. I was also impressed by this show's innovative set. With an added bookshelf or two, some lighting changes, and new sounds, it successfully transported us among different homes and train rides out of town.

This story revolves around the relationships of two married couples, Charlotte and Henry (played by Cynthia Nixon and Ewan McGregor) and Annie and Max (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Josh Hamilton). At the start, it's revealed that Annie and Max are having an affair. They divorce their spouses, marry each other, and create a new life together. Two years later, however, Henry begins to wonder whether Annie is being faithful and if their happy ending is really all they expected. Love is complicated!  

This revival of The Real Thing had a limited 4-month engagement on Broadway. Here's information about it to give you a taste. 

Best,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Savion Glover

Hi everyone,

If you think you're not a fan of tap dancing, Savion Glover will change your mind. I first became aware of Savion Glover in the late '80s and '90s when he showed up dancing in Coke commercials. He became more well known after meeting mentor Gregory Hines and winning a Tony for his choreography for the Broadway show Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk. You can even find him in some films like Tap, costarring Gregory Hines, and Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee. If you want to hear more about his life and work, check out this video, in which he talks about his start and mission.

Savion Glover dances like no one else and to see him perform in person is always an unforgettable experience. By now, I've seen him a few times in the D.C. area. He once performed at Howard Theatre with jazz pianist McCoy Tyner accompanying him. After Trayvon Martin was killed, Savion Glover provided an intense, emotional performance at Warner Theatre that commented solely on that tragic event. Most recently, I saw him in two equally amazing, entirely different shows.

Savion Glover, Howard Theatre, Washington, D.C., August 23, 2014

Yeah, I was this close.
For this general admission show, I arrived about an hour ahead of time. Those of us who were early and waited in line in the lobby for the doors to open were treated to hearing Savion Glover practice his routines up to two minutes before the doors opened. 

Because I arrived so early, my seat was in the front row, center, flush with the stage. I'd never been so close, looking up at the dancer as he stares into space and sweats like an athlete. Savion Glover gets in the zone! When he first came out, he picked up a microphone to welcome us but instead started to dance. He continued for at least 20 minutes, holding on to that microphone. When he finally stopped, he greeted us with, "I guess I should say something now." 

During another piece, he and the drummer battled. The drummer played increasingly complicated beats and Savion Glover repeated them perfectly through tap. Another tapper, Marshall Davis, Jr., joined him once in a while during this show, but for the most part, Savion Glover danced solo.

I shared my table with some friendly fellow fans who somehow talked their way into meeting and getting photos with the man! Can you believe I was in with that cool crowd?





STePz, Strathmore, Bethesda, Maryland, February 6, 2015

Six months later, on February 6, 2015, Savion Glover performed at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. For this show, titled STePz, my seat was about six rows from the stage. While the other show seemed more improvised, this show felt slick and polished. Set to a variety of recorded music, each piece covered different dance styles, such as jazz, tango, and ballet, and nodded important moments in dance history, including tributes to Bill Robinson and Michael Jackson.

Photo © Lois Greenfield
Compared to the previous show, this one more prominently featured other tappers Marshall Davis, Jr., Lisa LaTouche, Robyn Watson, and Sarah Savelli and group performances, some of which didn't even include Savion Glover at all.

Toward the back of the stage, a center platform with three steps leading up to it was flanked by two pyramid-style steps on either side. In one piece, Savion Glover and Marshall Davis, Jr., took on the pyramid steps, having a conversation through their taps. In another piece, the ladies saluted Broadway and jazz in glittery costumes with a routine featuring the stairs. Savion Glover shined during his solo tribute to Bill Robinson, during which he mimicked the hoofer's signature dance moves and walk. During another piece, he and the other dancers stood in a line spanning the stage while dialogue played on the stereo, he tapped with one foot at warp speed without moving the rest of his body. (It wasn't until at least half way through that I realized who was doing the tapping.) The show culminated with the entire group dancing to Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" in a routine that ended with all of them in a super-hero pose – one arm stretched high, punching the air and striving for higher ground.  

I can pick more adjectives, like spectacular, exhilarating, magical, and awesome, but you have to see this guy for yourself. While video can barely capture the energy in the room when experiencing Savion Glover in person, here's a taste of STePz:

YouTube video, © Savion Glover Productions, Savion Glover's STePz: https://youtu.be/EDC8U0k1nNg

What are you waiting for? Go see Savion Glover when you can! He'll change your life for the better.

Best,
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