WHAT IS MY LIFE?
In the before times, I got the opportunity, thanks in no small part to the wonderful Doug Shapiro (pictured above in the coffee cup attire), to be an off-stage singer for the opening number of what is now called The Red Bucket Follies, a fabulous fundraising event by the theatre community for those in the theatre community. I did three of those before I finally was able to join the other wonder Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS puts on, The Easter Bonnet Competition. In this event, Broadway (and off-broadway, touring, and affiliate organizations) compete in fundraising, but also with sketches and musical or dance numbers as well as bonnets: great big, beautiful Easter Bonnets.
The last time they did the Bonnet live was 2019, so it was such a thrill to be able to bring it back and be part of it once more. It was so great to join friends old and new as an offstage singer not only for the opening number, but also for the winning Phantom sketch (which included Phantom alum). And then, I got to return as a "bonnet walker". If a show doesn't have sketch, they'll have someone walk their bonnet for the Bonnet Parade mid show. I got to walk a bonnet in 2019, representing Revolucion Latina, but this year, not only did I walk it, I built it!
After years of helping build puppets and lanterns with Processional Arts Workshop, my husband offered to put those skills to use for The Easter Bonnet. We weren't sure we'd hear back at all, assuming all the shows' props or costume departments would be all over this, but then we got an email: could we build a bonnet for a show. And not just any show, but for Broadway sensation SIX. My son LOVES this show and was thrilled to be able to be part of the design process. Jeff, Ben, and I figured out a design, the show gave us fabric from the costumes to use as accents, and thus, using Coro-plast and hot glue, the "Crowning Glory" was born. It may not have won Best Bonnet, but I heard the cast jumped up and down when they saw it, so that is quite enough for me. :)
And it doesn't hurt to share the stage with Aaron Harrington of Little Shop of Horrors, Doug Shapiro, and J Harrison Ghee, and sing with James Jackson, and Howard McGillan among others. Hence the title of this post.
To see more about the event, including video with a soundtrack of the offstage singers(!) click HERE.
If you want to know more about, and donate to, Broadway Cares and all the good work they do, click HERE.
So, Binder wanted to mash up this one song with Butch Walker's "Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night", but realized that it was not going to work. THEN, Binder went to a brunch, brought up our plight to a couple of the folks there and one of them said, "Shallow," as in DUH. And then Charlie Puth came out with one heck of a breakup album which includes the song "Smells Like Me". After far too long, there was time to finally put it all together and thus, the "mashup of shame" was born. And you can check it out, HERE.
It's official. A few weeks back I got the offer and now I can start talking about it! I will be traveling up to Tamworth, NH at the end up June to play Mother Superior in Nunsense at the legendary Barnstormers Theatre. I am SO excited to head up there to do this show, and not just because I will have access to Rosie's Diner. The cast is exceptional and this is going to be a very good time. Come on UP June 30th-July9th and get up to some Nunsense with us!
Speaking of some fun and silliness, I got to be part of Emily Winter's fab fundraiser for Shelter Chic animal shelter, ONE LINER MADNESS. Well, I was the seeing eye human for Eric Vetter as he got to compete. 64 comics compete to win with one liners and it is amazing to watch comics work that special skill.
Before that, I had the pleasure to sing at The Rigano Songbook's 9th Annual Ides of March Extravaganza which featured new voices and new music and after several years got to bring back their song Five Months which will literally make you laugh and make you cry.
In the meantime, I've been at New York Medical College in service to budding doctors as a standardized patient, and I had a whirlwind trip to Boston with my son (Newbury Comics Forever!).
This weekend, it's all about Holy Week. We will have a gorgeous Good Friday service tonight starting at 5:30 featuring the Easter part of The Messiah and closing with a mashup put together by my partner in mashup crime, the inimitable Richard Binder. Doug Shapiro, Brian Long, Binder and I - aka Shlongdersuze- will sing this piece and...it should be seen. Catch it live at Madison Avenue Baptist Church or stream it on the Tube of You at MABCNYC's channel.
And hey, if you could use this merry, mixed, mezzo for your project, hit that 'contact' button and let's talk!
Peace ☮️ ✌🏽
Self-tapes, stories and a REVIEW!
So I was standing in line at Target when, after doing some scrolling and, I...okay, I admit it, I totally went to Broadway World to see if there was a review of my show, and...there it was. And...well, you can read it right HERE. I'm still a little speechless at both the review Stephen Mosher writer and the fab pics he took. It was 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, so you're not sure how things are gonna go, but we were gonna make a party of it anyway, and we did. I can't thank the LB fam enough for helping create and make this show what it is. I've got a seriously badass - as overused as that word may be, it's just true in this situation - band, MD and Director in Matt Scharfglass, David Silliman, Sierra Rein, Ellen White, Goldie Dver, Richard Binder, Tracy Stark and James Beaman. And you can see all of us Wednesday 2/15 at Don't Tell Mama at 7pm. Come on down! You know we'd love to have you.
Now, I also got to help No Name get back to live performance last week as part of the lineup for No Name's Super Story Party co-hosted by No Name impresario Eric Vetter and author and 'teller Michele Carlo. Such a great night with stories from Michele, author and storyteller Tommy Pryor, comic/director and actor Rhonda Handsome, and comic and head writer for Tha God's Honest Truth Charles McBee and...ME! So nice to be back up at Word Up Community Bookstore sharing our stories live to a full house.
No Name...And a Bag of Chips will be having it's 29th anniversary show, yes 29th anniversary, 2/25 at Word Up's sister shop Recirculation, at 5pm. I'll be back behind the kit with the Summer Replacements and providing music with BinderSuze. It's a beautiful location and will indeed be a good time so come on out!
Tonight, I'll be with The PGE for it's Virtual Volume starting at 7pm. Head over to their YouTube Channel and check us out. In the meantime, if you need this merry mixed mezzo for your next project, hit that CONTACT button!
Not Expired, but Blooming!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
How're you all doing? The first couple of weeks of this year have been a little whack for me, I mean, there has been proof that Mercury is indeed in retrograde from my Instagram being hacked to cracking a tooth on soggy pizza, but at the same time, lovely things are happening.
1. What would happen if you suddenly woke up with an expiration date on your arm? Shannon Condon's sci-fi podcast "Expired" explores this issue as one family looks to find an answer or cure before their daughter's "expiration date" is up. I was given the opportunity to play the mom, a Type A lawyer who usually can fix things, but is not sure if this is something she can actually just "fix". It's a great and complicated story which I hope you will enjoy. Give it a listen here.
2. Final Two Shows! We had a great night 12/30 at Don't Tell Mama sending out the year with Late Bloomer love, but if you missed it, come on out to DTM and see the last two shows of Late Bloomer 2/11 at 4pm and 2/15 at 7pm. It has been such a joy to perform this show and I really hope you'll join us for our final shows. Come on down! Make your reservation here.
And if YOU need a versatile mezzo and actor, head on over to that contact page! 🧡🤞🏽
DNA and CABARET!
Hey there, all!
Man, it has been a busy time, and it has been awesome 🧡.
I started the month with a week of background work for a television show I cannot name at this time, but I had a great outfit and met some fabulous people on set. They may have been long days, but when you share it with fun people, it makes it all the easier to pass that time.
Right after that, (DURING even) I went into rehearsals for one of my favorite projects, The Prospect Theatre Lab. Each year, music theatre writers are chosen to write short original musicals based on a theme. This year's theme was "Caption This". The writers got to choose from a collection of photos and go from there. The inimitable Amy Englehardt, who I have known since she became a regular guest of No Name Presents: The Uptown Cabaret, chose a photo of one boy and two middle aged men in Annie costumes. The resulting show: "Annie Dream Will Do", about a middle-aged woman named Andrea still dreaming of playing Annie, while her best friend, Sandy (yes, my character was named after the dog in Annie, and there were many other hilarious references) is trying to help her move on. I got to work with one of my best friends, the stupidly talented Doug Shapiro, (surely, you've heard of Doug Shapiro!), finally get to work with the fabulous Dana Aber, as well as meet and be in awe of Sammy Hahn. (And I also got to explain cassette tapes and cassingles to her.) I have to say that this was one of most fun projects I've worked on to date. Thank you, Dev Bondarin, Cara Reichel and everyone at Prospect Theater for this opportunity.
Next up: The DNA Play. Back in 2020, my friend and fellow Emerson alum, Nicole Jesson contacted me about working on a project with a couple of her grad school friends, Elizabeth June and Malini Singh McDonald. It could be over Zoom and maybe grow into something else.
Well, last year, we realized we had something else and we did a reading of this project, then called "Insert Name", sharing our stories of DNA tests and family histories. This year, we worked on it some more and brought it back before an audience 11/27 to record it and...it looks like we still have a thing! I will you all posted on how it evolves and progresses.
In between the background work and Caption This, I got to be a guest star along with cabaret icon Karen Mack at Sue Matsuki's fabulous and warm cabaret open mic at Pangea. Sue does such a great job making a safe space for both established and emerging cabaret artists, and is such a force for good in the biz herself, it was an honor to be able to sing there that afternoon.
So what's next?
*12/11 No Name...And A Bag O' Chips will be returning to a live show at last! I'll be singing and playing drums "behind the funny" once again. HUZZAH!
*12/15 Speaking of things returning to live performance, Madison Avenue Baptist Church's Christmas Extravaganza returns. We sadly couldn't do our concerts during the height of Covid, and then our wonderful MD, Paul Stephan retired to Maine with his husband this year. Our new MD Aza Sydykov, though, believed it was time to bring it back so we are ready for you to come on by and see some wonderful artists perform along with members of the choir singing holiday classics. Check the MABC website for more information.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE...
Come close out the year with LATE BLOOMER!
Yes, we will back at Don't Tell Mama 12/30 (and a couple of dates in February). I am so excited to bring this show back and close out the year with some love. Come on down to Don't Tell Mama, 7pm, $20 cover/$20 minimum, reservations HERE. We'd love to have ya.
That's the news for now, but, like always, if you need a tall, mixed mezzo for your theatre, music, film or TV project, head on over to that CONTACT page 🧡.
Cabaret! Readings! Special Guest!
Hey there, all! So last weekend, I closed the three performances of my cabaret "Late Bloomer". I can honestly say, we had three packs houses, and got reactions such as "brilliant!", "cathartic!", and "amazing!". Here are some notable quotes:
"THIS BEAUTIFUL, SILK-voiced, genuinely present lady...
congratulations on your VERY HAPPY-MAKING show!" composer/writer Amy Engelhardt
"I've got a Cabaret Crush on Alex De Suze.
She's Audra, Aretha & Annie Lennox, with a little Phil Collins all rolled up into one." --cabaret artist Leslee Warren
"It was all I could do not to break into tears or yell shouts of glee, sitting behind and listening to Alex De Suze as she debuted her show “Late Bloomer.” Her voice and her storytelling and her spirit are like a velvet catapult for the soul. " --MAC Award winning singer/actor Sierra Rein
I can't thank director James Beaman, MD Tracy Stark, bassists Matt Scharfglass and Tom Hubbard, drummer, Mary Rodriguez, backup singers Julie Reyburn, Sierra Rein, Goldie Dver, and Ellen White, Tanya Moberly and Sidney Meyer at Don't Tell Mama, sound guys Adam and Rocky, and server Randi and all the fab people who came to make this such a wonderful and powerful experience. We will be bringing it back, just got everybody's schedules together, but keep and eye out here for future dates.
IN THE MEANTIME...WEDNESDAY, yes, THIS WEDNESDAY 10/26, I'll be at QED in Astoria doing a reading of my solo show "Single What? Female: Tales of The Tall Big-Boned and Ethnically Ambiguous". Yes, I have been that person who's been working on the same show for...far too long, but I figured it was time to get off my duff and get back in gear with it and thanks to the fabulous Dev Bondarin and her direction, we're starting the journey towards a production, by having this reading. 8:30 at QED. It's all of $10, the show's just about an hour, and they have beer, wine and snacks! Come on out to Astoria and check us out!
BUT THAT's NOT ALL!
NOVEMBER 13th - I'll be a special guest along with Karen Mack at Sue Matsuki's Jazz Brunch at Pangea.
NOVEMBER 27th - Last year at this time, Nicole Jesson, Malini MacDonald, June Elizabeth did a first reading of our play "Insert Name: A DNA Journey", sharing our tales of DNA tests and family trees, Well, we're bringing it back with a new name: "The DNA Play", and with some reworking. We'll be back at New Perspectives Theatre the afternoon of 11/27. More details to come!
And if YOU or anyone you know could use this merry, mixed, mezzo/actor/drummer, head to that CONTACT page!
Peace ☮️ ✌🏽
Come to the cabaret...
Hey there, all!
Come to the cabaret, my friends! Yes, 9/28, 10/12, and 10/15 I'll be at Don't Tell Mama with a fab band and fab singers; there will even be a BinderSuze appearance! I am so excited for this show and can't wait to share it with you. 🧡
In the meantime, here's what I've been up to:
*9/12 I hosted Volume 173 for The Playground Experiment.
*9/10 I was part of the cast of the first reading play-in-progress The Golden Ass by Bug Johnson, playing Venus and Proserpine in - when staged - a De La Guarda style version of the Eros and Psyche love story. The PGE First Reads Festival guides playwrights/screenwriters through a process where, after some initial work, they have thirty days to write a first draft. They submit, and three pieces get chosen for for the festival. This is my second First Reads and it was a great time.
*I got new headshots! I loved the ones I got two years ago (is it really only two years ago?!), but, as I am wearing my glasses more often (thanks to a combo of middle-aged vision and Pair Eyewear feeding my need to accessorize), it was time for an update. I gotta give props to the folks at Dirty Sugar photography for giving me some shots that really popped.
All right, time to get back to the self-tapes and cabaret rehearsals.
And if you are in the city, come on down to Don't Tell Mama! make sure reservations HERE. (That link goes to 9/28, but if you can't go then, click the calendar for links to 10/12 or 10/15.)
New trailer, new play!
Hey there, all! So a series I worked on a while back is starting its journey through the festivals, and has a new trailer out, HERE. I had a great time working on this show and can't wait to see how it does.
As for catching me on a screen, check out The Playground Experiment's Virtual First Reads on 9/10. It is just that, the first reads of new plays in progress over Zoom. Support new work and check it out! Details can be found HERE.
And speaking of September, don't forget to make reservations for my cabaret show Late Bloomer at Don't Tell Mama on 9/28.
In the meantime, here's to closing out the summer well and getting ready for fall and all the pumpkin spice.
Come to the Cabaret!
There's a postcard now so that makes it official. Come on out to Don't Tell Mama for The Blossoming! I am really excited about this show. I have some great songs, have a fabulous band, and Dir. James Beaman and MD Tracy Stark have been a dream to collaborate with. It will indeed be a good time, so come on down!
BUT even before THAT, I'll be LIVE with The Playground Experiment this coming Monday 8/22 for Volume 172 at the Marjorie S. Dean Little Theatre on 10 West 46th Street Street. The show starts at 7pm and will feature six scenes of new and/or progressing work. I started working with this group in 2020 over Zoom and am thrilled to be able to work with them live in person. There's new work! There's fab talent! There's a raffle! What better way to spend a Monday night? (Seriously, Only Murders In The Building doesn't stream until Tuesday.)
In film news, the short film "What Do I Owe You?", in which I played restaurant owner Ina, has been listed as a nominee at the LA International Film Festival's Indie Short Awards, and is a semi-finalist at the Rhode Island Film Festival. You can check out the trailer, HERE.
Lastly, because...politics, there are new bits on Reince Priebus Tried...And Other Tales From The White House on Facebook.
Peace, friends ✌🏽
When not pandemibaking...
I have finally started a website! I just got these beautiful new headshots done by L Morgan Lee of BLUEphotography, and at last have a place to display them.
I've also been getting this self-tape thing DOWN. Madison Avenue Baptist Church, with whom I've been the alto for going on twelve years, like most churches, has gone virtual, so we are making videos of solos and hymns for the time being. (Someday, I'll release an outtake reel.)
There've been other opportunities, as well, for practicing this process: virtual choir and concert videos.
I've been lucky enough to work with Prospect Theatre Company and, thus, was asked to be part of their lovely video featuring Peter Mills' tune "Two Buoys". (I come in with the alto part and drums>)
Next, a dear friend - a jazz musician and choir director, presently living in Italy - started up Singers Without Borders and asked me to be part of this uplifting number: How Can I Keep From Singing?
Lastly, The Rigano Songbook asked 42(!) of their closest friends to help out with this wonderful song about an all too relevant and growing segment of our lives as we try to communicate with proper social distancing: Screen To Screen
The Rigano has a concert planned for 3/13...and then the world shut down. But far be it for them to not have a show. Yes, the Ides of March Extravaganza is now the Ides of APRIL and will be in virtual form. When those videos go up, I'll be sure to share here.
In the meantime, contact me here if you would like me to be part of YOUR virtual - and/or, eventually, LIVE - project.
Alexandra de Suze is a singer, actor, drummer who also writes a bit and occasionally makes silly videos