I played at my highschool yesterday. What a GAS.
Of course it's always a shock to be there, to smell that same front hall smell, to see some of the teachers that were there when I was a student.
And to actually perform in the "gym"/cafeteria (there really wasn't much of a sports program, but printmaking, dance, chorus, drama? Absolutely!) This year they had a real mic stand which helped, last time we duct taped a broomstick with some kind of lamp structure!
Anyway, I'm really attached to this place. It's tiny, right on the corner of Comm ave. and Dartmouth St. in Boston's Back Bay. There is something quirky and nerdy and brilliant about the vibe here. Most importantly I remember feeling this great sense that no matter what I did or said, I would be taken seriously. My opinions mattered, my work counted. Our teachers respected us, and expected the world of us. They wanted us to think!! For ourselves!! This was a huge gift, that is still giving.
That said, it is always wild to be back there, because the second I step through those doors, I am fourteen. And yet I'm there speaking and singing as a grown up.
ten cent wings for Leo
It may have been one of my wackier gigs. I veered wildly between Woody Guthrie's sexier side, to a Broadway musical I'm working on about a nun a pimp and a troubled priest ("It's a love story, really") and the theme from DOLLHOUSE, "Oh my god it's soooo cool!"
I learned later that there were some prospective students in the audience that day; eighth graders trying to decide whether Commonwealth is for them. Well I either totally blew it, or Commonwealth will have some more funky off kilter kids at school next year!
Thanks to Stratton Coffman for the pix. Bill Wharton for not kicking me out of the assembly for my foul mouth, Janetta Stringfellow for her front hall dance, Mary Kate Bluestein for the introduction, Larry Geffen for his sweet, beautiful smile, Rick Semerjian for his technical genius, and Charles Merrill for creating this wonderful place. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the kids. They were just friggin' AWESOME.
The very best part? Four or five of them coming up to me afterwards and assuring me that I am, indeed, finally, COOL!!
Off to Tarrytown tonight. And the lovely Glen Phillips will be there too. It's been way too long. So come on down. We will rock in the rain.