Journal

Nights in White Satin, or Eric Fredericksen + You Will Speak and Sing this Wednesday! Nov 13, 2009

by Mike P

After performing and then working at On the Boards, I have to say that the amount of karaoke I have done has increased about 600%. Which is why I am so excited for Speak and Sing on Wednesday! Some fond OtB memories for me include jamming into Seattle's Best Karaoke (SBK) with Hand2Mouth Theatre, then with Linas Phillips and Co. (I think we broke a couch?), or the many nights at Ozzie's - most notably with Elevator Repair Service and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, also the site of a legendary chair dance to Darling Nikki, not to mention the rockin' karaoke parties at OtB the past two seasons. Eric Fredericksen, director at Western Bridge, is hosting Speak & Sing Contemporary Karaoke Practice in the Studio theater at OtB on Wednesday. I think I've gone to karaoke with Eric about 100 times! Highlights include a dark and rainy night in a Filipino restaurant in Vancouver BC, Karaoke at SBK where there were only three of us invited (we didn't want to share songs!), and our EPIC Snowpocalypse marathon last winter when we slogged through the snow toward the Crescent in holiday sweaters (and later, Mexican Wrestling Masks) that started at 4 in the afternoon. And most recently on Halloween when we all jammed into an RV with a limited songbook but with the blue glow from the TV to keep us all warm... Eric is a great host - he is really great at pacing the evening with everyone's song choices and making the evening about the singers AND the non-singers - opening up a fun and lively conversation about the songs and engaging everyone in the art of karaoke. Whether it be eliciting obscure facts about the songs/artists, wild musings on the time period and style of songwriting, or just getting up on the dance floor - karaoke with Mr. Fredericksen can be a transcendent experience! Don't miss out on the fun! Here's a brief interview with Eric:
1) What is your earliest Karaoke memory? Going to the China Gate, before the kitchen fire destroyed their red wallpaper with naked flappers in black flocking. It lost a lot of its charm when it went for the third-world-airport look, but I still managed to court my wife there. 2) What is your favorite karaoke era? The early '80s. The best songs to sing at karaoke are ones you heard a thousand times when you were in your early teens, when you really didn't have a choice whether to hear them or not, and when you hadn't developed an individual taste strong enough to stand up to them. Which is why I like singing "My Sharona," "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Mr. Roboto," and "Faithfully." 3) What karaoke song should be eliminated from songbooks forever? "New York State of Mind." And "Summer Nights" from Grease. 4) What karaoke song can you never find? "Are 'Friends' Electric?" The only Gary Numan I can ever find is "Cars." 5) Did you ever see the movie "Duets"? What did you think? I didn't see it, sorry! Was Huey Lewis in it? I'm still into Huey. 6) Who is your dream duet partner? What song would you two sing? Other than my lady? I'm thinking a young Flavor Flav. We'd sing everything, me singing, him eating a sandwich and occasionally yelling "Yeah, boy!" Speed Round Pick one: Elton John or Billy Joel? Either guy's ballads kill a room. Radio Gaga or Somebody to Love? Radio Gaga! See my earlier answer about the early '80s. Oklahoma! or South Pacific? Oklahoma! I wish you could find more uptempo show tunes at karaoke. Less "People Will Say We're in Love," more "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." The Crescent or Bush Gardens? Crescent! A kindly host goes so far. But I love Susie, the waitress at Bush Gardens, and I'll pour out a Mai-Tai for Kenny, even though he kicked my friends out all the time for crimes like "singing too loud" or "pretend karate fighting." Finish the Lyric: "Ladies leave your man at home..." The club is full of ballers and their pockets fulla gold "'Cause she looks like a flower..." But I'm a creep? I don't know that one. (MP: It's from She Bangs!) "Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite..." Gonna grab a little afternoon delight
Thanks, Eric! Blog readers - join us this Wednesday 8PM - advanced tickets encouraged - seats are limited so get your tickets now! -Mike P

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