Monday, April 8, 2013

To the Birdhouse in Your Soul

The Ghost Light afterparty that had been postponed because of snow had no excuse tonight.

It was "Back to Basics" so the plan was to do old-school Broadway songs for a change.

But you have to understand that for this crowd, "Hair" is old-school and that's exactly where we started with our golden-throated host Matt doing "Going Down," as in, with Lucifer.

In other words, there was nowhere to go but up.

And yet, the next thing we heard was about Audra's hair, which led to an announcement that, "Audra shaved her pussy today."

The crowd reaction showed some variety - snickers and gasps- but once she came onstage and told the story, it was a rated G version about some found kittens and one's matted hair.

Sitting onstage was a guy with a guitar who was soon introduced as Evan's brother and as he took the stage, an audience member called out, "I've seen his butt twice," no doubt a reference to Evan's current role in "The Pride" as a Nazi sex master.

Brother Chris wasn't impressed, responding, "Me, too!"

Translation: we weren't fifteen minutes into the Ghost Light afterparty and we'd already touched on going down, pussies and butts.

Is this a great way to spend a Sunday night or what?

Chris played a mashup of "My Girl" and "Ignition" and made it work hysterically ("What you gonna do with all that girl?").

Hostess Maggie did a beautiful, sad song, only forgetting lines twice and finishing by saying, "Well, that was depressing," and admitting that she'd been forgetting the words to the song since high school.

Three guys in jeans, members of Hanover Tavern's production of "Cotton Patch Gospel" came up with upright bass, guitar and threir voices.

Their first song went off flawlessly and the second required three starts before the guitarist ended it saying, "Let's get Jesus more vodka."

Yes, let's, shall we?

Kristin, an actress from D.C., is new to Richmond and she was making her GLAP debut tonight singing an exquisite  song she said was written for her by Joey Contreras.

With a guest star in the house came the return of the Mad Lib, practically a GLAP tradition, but for the benefit of newbies, there was an explanation of the process to gather words for it.

We were instructed to come up with funny or dirty nouns and verbs for the Mad Lib.

"Be creative, penis gets boring," Maggie, the Mad Libber explained.

"Excuse me, penis does not get boring," host Matt clarified. "Quit making those blanket statements."

So you see how back to basics we were at this point.

Chris did his best to get us back on track with Nat King Cole's standard, "L-O-V-E."

We took another tangent, this time with Paul, who did a sweet version of the Beatles' "Blackbird," tellingly from a music book entitled, "The Groovy Years."

And, really, aren't those the years we all want to have?

Two of the "Cotton Patch" gents returned to entertain us, with Lucas doing his best to get through a song before sharing, "Hi, I learned  banjo eleven weeks ago."

He got the gold star of the night for playing a new instrument and on a song that he doesn't even play in the production.

Guest star Kirstin returned for a poignant song called "The Portrait," which she introduced by saying, "It's another sad one but I figured I'd be funny in the Mad Lib."

True that, since it was set to "My Favorite Things" and she apologized to Julie Andrews after singing the insane and smutty lyrics.

Tonight's moment when time stood still came courtesy of Nick, whom I'd just seen in "The Pride," when he sang a moving version of "The Impossible Dream" in his magnificent voice.

Now, that felt old school.

We were treated to an impromptu medley of They Might Be Giants songs because uber-fans Matt and Maggie were sad they were missing the TMBG show at the National tonight.

Hannah did "Isn't This Better?" from "Funny Lady," a heartbreaking song and a personal favorite I'd never have expected to hear.

The reliably funny Maggie Boop got up and announced she was doing a dramatic reading and then proceeded to read Kreashawn's "Gucci, Gucci" with the unforgettable lyric, "Bitch, you ain't no Barbie, I see you work at Arby's."

No, really, and she did it with Matt alternating between playing bongo beats and snapping his fingers overhead, beatnik-style.

And without ever losing her poise.

The crowd, however, was rolling on the floor.

The only way to follow that was with Sarah singing "The Wizard and I" while Maggie held a lamp in mid-air to aid her lyrics-reading while doing justice to a shaker ball in the other hand.

After that, we broke for pizza and to give our faces a break from non-stop smiling.

After the break, Chris was called on yet gain, prompting him to say, "I'm the one who came in with no music and I keep getting called up on stage."

And with good reason, young man.

Evan's little brother had everyone in hysterics as he did "Life in the Slaw Lane," a tribute to the plant world.

I'm the kinda guy that works hard for his celery and I don't mind telling you I was feeling a bit wilted.
But I didn't carrot all. 'Cause, otherwise, things were vine.
I try never to disparagus and I don't sweat the truffles.
I'm outstanding in my field and I know something good will turnip eventually.
A bunch of things were going grape, and soon, I'd be top banana.
At least, that's my peeling

Brilliant, right?

For the classic "The Weight," Chris had Maggie singing back-up and audience members doing impromptu harmony...for all five verses.

By the time the song finished, everyone had the hang of it and it sounded pretty great.

The vocal co-mingling of the crowd with the performers inspired the final song of the night, a group singalong to "Tomorrow" from "Annie" and a song most people in the audience knew.

Chins were stuck out, grins were seen and the lovefest ended with one big, sloppy promise that tomorrow is only a day away.

Golly, gee whiz, you couldn't ask for much groovier years than these.

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