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Thursday, January 24, 2013

ArtsEmerson: Daniel Beaty & Maurice Hines

Photo via ArtsEmerson
This week has been brutally cold. I mean frostbite is a real concern. Usually when it's this cold, I do my best to hibernate. My apartment is very cozy. I know how to cook and bake. There are lots of books and movies here. I have a phone and people can visit me. The only real reason to leave is to go to work.

The project that I've been working on since October ended last Friday, so there was really no reason to leave my cozy space. Time to job search again. By the way, if you have any freelance work, let me know....   

Ahem. But I digress. So Tuesday night was so cold. And instead of a planned short walk from work, I had to drive in from Quincy. But I had planned to go see Daniel Beaty and Maurice Hines at a special free screening by ArtsEmerson at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. If I hadn't invited people and planned to meet them, I would have definitely stayed in and missed the show. That would have been the most HUGE mistake ever!

I love going to live performances and hadn't been to one in months. Well, this show was incredible and I'm so glad that I didn't wimp out and stay home. After the show, my friends and I talked about how it absolutely transported us to another time and place. We felt like it was a Saturday night and we were on the town for a fabulous night just living the life.

Daniel Beaty gave us a preview of his one man show Emergency. His performance was absolutely mind blowing and really makes you think. His characters ranged from a teenage girl to an 86 year old woman and so many more! The way he changed his voice, his posture, everything, just surprises you how he is so skilled in portraying so many people and making you believe. After he performed, he spoke about his life and what inspired his show. I hope to go when he returns for three shows in March. He is truly amazing and with the force of his voice makes you feel. Emergency is definitely a show worth seeing.

Watching Maurice Hines was an absolute joy and delight. He's charming like only men from a certain era can be charming and told us stories about all the people he met and worked with. Frank Sinatra's eyes really were that blue and he was a very nice guy too. Hines attributes he and his brother's making it big to Johnny Carson and says that there has never been an entertainer like Sammy Davis, Jr. And Lena Horne made him absolutely gaga.

Plus he tapped for us and introduced The Manzari Brothers. They can tap like crazy! It was nice to see Hines, like Carson used to do, reaching back and pulling up the next generation. We saw some film clips of him and his younger brother, Gregory Hines when they were young and I just sat back and enjoyed the stories. Old Hollywood and New York and Vegas. It's one thing to see movies and interviews on TV, but it's really incredible to hear someone speaking live about what they actually experienced.

Hines really seems to have a special place in his heart for Boston, which is always nice to hear. He'll be back in May for a week with John and Leo Manzari to do his show Tappin' Thru Life. Based on what I saw this week, I'm going to do my best to try and see this show too. It's sure to be quite an event!

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4 comments:

Suldog said...

MY WIFE and I were discussing, just this morning, how good a job Emerson is doing with the arts in Boston. They seem to own half the Theater District now. It's a good thing. They care, and they present some wonderful performances.

Lisa Johnson said...

suldog - Happy New Year to you! Yes! It's really amazing what Emerson is doing. I've always heard of them, but never really attended any of their events. Now, I'm definitely going to try and keep up with them.

Can-Can said...

I loved the show too and was planning to blog about it. Now I don't have to. What an enchanted evening. I hope to go back to catch both shows.

Lisa Johnson said...

can-can - You can still blog about it! Too bad I didn't see you there. I almost didn't even see my cousin there. Without my glasses, I can't see too far in front of me. : (

 
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