Rocks.  Totally rocks.  Oh… my… gosh.  So, I went to the Ben Vereen and Honolulu Symphony concert at the end of last month, and woah.  Seriously.  I almost can’t describe.  The symphony opened (they played the first half hour sans Ben Vereen), and they were pretty good.  It was excellent as symphony pops concerts go, actually.  They called that half hour the “first half,” though, and this strikes me as silly because Ben Vereen performed for two hours straight.  And get this: he only got better as the night flew by.  He performed excerpts from a musical about his career (he’d been working on it with the Honolulu Symphony’s conductor, you see), he performed tributes to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., he sang songs about Hawaii, shared anecdotes about times he spent hanging out with Don Ho (same for Bob Fosse), and did a ton of the the signature Ben Vereen stuff like “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” and “Jesus Christ Super Star,” and “Defying Gravity.”  He danced, he sang songs that featured various instrumentalists, and he generally charmed the daylights out of the audience.  Let’s just say, if you get a chance to see this man in performance, by all means, find a way to go.  I doubt anybody in his or her right mind (erm… who likes song and dance) would regret it.

And seriously, TWO HOURS!  ONE MAN GOING FOR TWO HOURS STRAIGHT!  That’s a real showman for you.  40 years from now, I hope I’m still going that strong.  Wow.  -EGD

(P.S. if you don’t know who Ben Vereen is, SHAME ON YOU!  Go get your hands on the first season of the Muppet Show or on the movie version of Pippin and get back to me later)

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Ok, so I’m barely coherent at the moment, but get this: we got out of Jingju class early today so we could go see Ben Vereen talk in the temporary dance building on the other side of campus.  A) As we all know, the man is one of the greatest greats Broadway ever saw (have I mentioned I have a BA in musical theatre?), B) MAN OH MAN can the man tell a story, C) I got a free ticket to his show this Saturday, D) HE SIGNED IT!!!!  E) He said I have beautiful eyes (SQUEEE!).  I also got a picture with him and a few of my friends from the theatre department.  I may post that later when I have my camera cable and stuff handy.  I’m totally going to frame this ticket with that picture if it turned out at all well.   Yeah, I’m really hyper-high at the moment, and now I need to go play an elegant female Jingju part in rehearsal in something like ten minutes.  We’ll see how that goes.  In the meantime, OMG BEN VEREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Dang.  Wow.  -EGD