Remember the bizarre scene with firing ping-pong balls in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” the film and the musical, that looked like a sex sideshow of Bangkok’s red light district Patpong?
I never thought that I would ever see it duplicated onstage at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, but that’s exactly what actress J. Elaine Marcos did at Tuesday night’s fifth-anniversary concert.
Elaine, who managed to pop the little white balls from various body orifices in the musical and repeated it at Reynolds Hall, also gave a hysterical motivational speech with a Filipino accent mispronouncing words such as “happiness” as “a penis” and “importance” as “impotence.”
Think again if you thought The Smith Center patrons were straitlaced because they were in hysterics. It was a fabulous turnout of entertainers that including Clint Holmes’ finale with Frank Wildhorn, who flew round trip from Seoul, South Korea, just for the night.
The celebration also included The Rio headliner magician Teller with a little magic and dialogue from his production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”; Philip Fortenberry with a Rogers & Hammerstein medley at the piano; Brent Barrett of “Phantom of the Opera”; and 8-year old Christopher Convery, the son of a former “Zumanity” at New York-New York performer.
She enrolled him in Camp Broadway at The Smith Center, and he has now moved on to The Great White Way stardom in “Kinky Boots,” which launched its national tour at The Smith Center. Young Christopher is currently filming “Blacklist Redemption” for NBC.
But the real emotion came when The Board of Directors via Chairman Don Snyder and founder Dr. Keith Boman surprised The Smith Center President Myron Martin with the news that Cabaret Jazz has been renamed The Martin Cabaret Jazz. “I didn’t see that coming. I’m still in shock,” Myron told me at the champagne party reception.
“Tonight is an extra-special night in bringing the community together. We might well be celebrating five years, but it took a journey of 18 years to raise the money, develop and design and construct the building,” Myron continued.
“For five years since opening to be in the Top 10 list of best theaters is a real achievement. Everybody told us when we started out that it was a great idea but it would never happen. It did and has been a stunning success.
“I’m not sure, though, about having my name atop Cabaret Jazz. There’s an apartment building of the same name in Las Vegas, and I don’t want audiences going there instead of here! So I may have to avoid the confusion and call it Myron’s Cabaret Jazz. It’s a unique, friendly name.”
Broadway stars Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor MC’d the triumphant night, and they will return May 8 and 9 as the first guests at The Martin, er, Myron’s Cabaret Jazz. Our thanks to Erik Kabik for his photo gallery from Tuesday night’s celebration.