I've heard that Corey Brunish does a lot of funding for Portland theater, so I don't want to be too hard on him, but, boy, does this guy need a strong director to reign him in. He seems personable enough, but he's so self-indulgent I was almost wanting to crawl under my seat. His voice is thin, he has no emotional connection to the material, and so everything is sung in the same flat (emotional, not pitch) manner. Some hearty soul who's not afraid of being cut off from the Brunish money tree needs to step up and give Corey some solid direction, I think that's all it would take to help here.
Corey Brunish here. I noticed that you posted just after opening night.In fact I lost my voice on opening night.I can tell you that standing in the wings knowing you have no understudy and that you have 21 songs to sing is not a good feeling.I can certainly understand why you felt I sounded "thin"As for the lack of emotional connection you cite, I don't doubt that with the weight of the evening ahead of me and no cooperation coming from my pipes, I may have been a little distracted.I am very grateful I did not hear of your "review" until after we closed -- it would have really depressed me.Happily the balance of the run was more satisfactory vocally.I can't really speak to your opinion that I come off as self-indulgent.Again, it might have had something to do with trying to mask my extreme discomfort at subjecting folks to my mostly absent voice.I don't really understand your comment that somehow someone who would offer to make me a better performer will subsequently be "cut-off" in some financial way.I think and hope I would be grateful to anyone who would make the effort.When a performer is having vocal issues, most observers are mindful of and decent about it.In the old days when there were only print critics, you could actually contact them and suggest they come later in the run --- now with sites like this one, anyone and everyone is a critic and there is no way to know when they might come or even who they are.Whoever you may be, I wish you the very best.And I do hope that you never go hoarse and then have to read that you pretty well suck.It does not feel good I can tell you.Had I been 100% then I could take your swipes about my "acting" the songs a little more to heart.Oh, and by the way, we didn't have a director, as I am sure you noticed from reading your program.We hired one and she was hired away.So we did our best.I don't want to sound too defensive here, but there was a large part of Sinatra's career where he was fairly self-indulgent on stage. Perhaps that is what you were picking up on.I am happy to report that the praise in the lobby was very warm indeed, and the experience in the long run was quite fulfilling.But again, thanks for your thoughts anon 8:40.Please be kinder to the next guy though.
Sadly, I didn't get to see this show, as commitments elsewhere kept me away.But having directed Mr. Brunish before, I have to say that he takes direction very well, is a generous performer who plays well with others and treats everyone with respect and generosity.I'll withhold my name so as to avoid any accusations of attempting to access any sort of money tree.But if you want to know and you post your email address, I'll send you a message and tell you who I am.
The problem with being highly opinionated but not having all the facts, but deciding to go ahead and make your criticisms public anyway, is that you risk harming reputations and box office -- not a very nice thing to do. Unnecessary and unfortunate.Not to mention it makes you look like a bit of a schmo.There is no risk for you of course, personally speaking, as it is all done under the cover of anonymity.In that way, it makes it so easy to press "send."It would never happen if your name went out too. Never in a million years.So what if you look like a schmuck. It's not really you, it's just that "person" who made the worst assumptions out of their perceptions. And now, even if you wanted to moderate your opinion, you can't get back any of the lost box office dollars. As I hear it, MHR is on the ropes as it is.Nice job.I happen to know why Corey got choked up during one number opening night, and it was not a choice I can assure you. It may have seemed self-indulgent, but it was just the way things went down that night. Why is really none of your business.As a member of the crew I can tell you that the man's a true professional and like most people he just wants to do a good job.As for his voice, if it is so lacking, why did people who came to the show buy so many of his CD's?
The comments are threatening to go astray on this one so I'm going to be following it closely. And no, Corey Brunish does not run this site.FS
While I have great affection for Corey Brunish, I don't think it was wise for him to refute the first post on this thread. It is so difficult not to appear thin-skinned no matter how hard we try. Also, when a friend or supporter comes to your defense in too strident a manner it can hurt more than it helps. Now, "Local Artist" response seemed to hit just the right tone.
The first post doesn't seem that opinionated to me, or even mean at all. It seems rather fair handed, the poster went out of his way to say they didn't want to be too hard on Corey. All of these responses kind of silly.
I think the whole premise of condemning someone's portrayal of a real person to be somewhat pointless.If one is recreating another person's performances, how can you find fault with their emotional tone and acting of the songs?Surely, the performer's research has revealed how they were done in real life.I just don't quite get why a poster would choose to impugn or denigrate someone without taking these things into consideration.Seems like a sort of insensitive and uninformed approach.Perhaps it was borne of some need to find fault with this particular person for any reason, no matter how tenuous.That's my take on it.
Kim Bogus and I wrote this show, so it is hard for us to consider that fielding feedback about it is "silly" as you say.We own the rights to use the songs, a process that took about 3 years and some lawyers.Indeed, for four years I looked at every piece of Sinatra concert footage available -- and some not so available bootleg footage.While I do not attempt to "impersonate" the man, I do a representation of his acts.(I also, naturally, listened to all 1,200 of his song recordings and viewed all of his 50+ films)He sang publicly in all of the last six decades of the last century.(And he had Gold Records in more decades than any other singer)His performance persona, if you will, changed many times during those years.As to his emotional connection to his work, sometimes it was on display and sometimes it was not. Sometimes he would smoke and cough during a song.As for his self-indulgence; this is a man who at a concert in Japan re-wrote the lyics to "Luck Be A Lady" and sang it as "Ruck Be A Rady." True story.I chose to sing each song as close as I could get it to his definitive rendering.As it states in the program, this was not meant to be an impersonation, but rather an homage.Kim plays a woman who writes fan letters to Sinatra over a 60 year period.We are next taking it to Ashland.Corey Brunish
I have to say as an outsider coming into this conversation late that Corey's two long IMO defensive posts only go to prove the original poster's comments. I agree with Anon 8/4 that the OP was pretty innocuous--simply saying firmer direction would have helped things. Then Corey jumps in with all this hoo-hah. Makes me think he would not take direction of any type very well. Just my 2 cents, I've never worked with him, just going by the comments here.
I have had the opportunity to work with Corey on several different occasions at Mt. Hood Rep (two musical reviews and last summer's Bus Stop). In addition, I stage managed his production of Company last winter and will also stage manage the remount. In all cases, I have found Corey to be nothing less than professional and I have been treated with an immense amount of kindness and respect and professionalism. And he does take direction.I also find it interesting that of all the posters on this blog, Corey is the only one who signed his name. Sincerely,Autumn Lawrence
Oh, I forgot:The show is performed on a dozen working vintage mics -- some as old as 80 years.These are the same make and model that Sinatra has been photographed using over the years. In fact, while admittedly a long shot, one of these mics could have in fact been used by Sinatra himself at some point in its history.His favorite color was orange. He felt it was a happy color and used it to battle his lifelong struggle with depression. He actually conducted an entire record of orchestral music and he was an avid painter in his later years. He signed the canvases ARTANIS, which is his name backwards.For a glimpse of the show go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0kOjRuqdLYCorey Brunish
I have just this entire thread and in my opinion Brunish does not say one thing that displays hubris or sarcasm.I read only humility and politeness.And a lot of enthusiasm.Some posters insist otherwise and like my mother used to say "they must be up in their sleep"Now, I wish that I had been able to see the show.
somehow kim bogus' charming performance has been overlooked here.plus the fabulous reece marshburn sextet90 mins of live music, classic songs and a touching subplot for $20?a truly wonderful evening at the theater!(and i daresay there is not a singer on the planet who would not try to set the record straight if someone called their voice less than ideal, in a public forum.particularly if they were under the weather on the night in question.to condemn a singer for doing that is unseemly).the night i saw it, there was a "partial" standing ovation. i do hope mt hood keeps going.
No one "condemned" Brunish, they simply said his voice was thin. I also saw the show and was frankly underwhelmed, so sue me. Re: the previous post, Bogus was much better than Brunish, IMHO, however neither of them were served very well by the Marshburn group. There are so many stellar jazz players in Portland (a lot of them out Gresham way), it seems a shame to utilize second (or even third) stringers. Again, just my opinion.
Alas 9:28, you've misssed the thread of the point.What was stated was that it was wrong to condemn someone for defending themselves when they were sick, not that the appraisal of "thin" was a condemnation.It was merely an opinion, just like yours.
The script is very clever and seemed well researched.How come they have not be up for an original script award?They have those around here, yes?
I moved here from Laguna Beach. For years I attended South Coast Rep, one of the most respected and successful regional theatres in the country.I found the show to be delightful, touching and simply excellent.The couple seated next to me, who hailed from Georgia, were likewise impressed.Perhaps local attendees don't fully appreciate what they have here.T.S.
Maybe the sound system got better or something. The night I saw it there was no "thin" in sight.(Then again, I am of the female persuasion)Unless maybe it was his "thin" build.Tee Hee.
Maybe it's a generational thing.The people around me in the audience seemed to really enjoy the show.They were in their 60's, 70's and 80's.I doubt this blog is populated with a lot of that demographic.
This horse is dead, stop beating.
This show had just 4 performances --- in Gresham.That it garnered even one review is stupefying.
considering 21 of the 22 posts here happened after it ended its 4 date run, i'd say it made quite an impression, both "yay" and "eh"
I thought it was entirely divine,from the time capsule slides to the performances.BK
Yes, I have stopped letting through the comments about an appropriate way to ... comment. Back to the production...
I am 53 and saw the show closing night. To be completely honest, I was taken as the guest of someone who evidently knows Corey and Kim, but I don't and I don't feel obligated to post something I don't believe simply because I got in free. The show had some agreeable elements--certainly the music itself chief among them. I also found the premise engaging. However, I have to come down pretty firmly on the side of those who were less than enchanted with the actual execution. I'm not sure if my reaction is exactly the same as the first poster's, but, yes, there is something oddly affected about Corey that is very off-putting (at least to me). He has a sort of faux-friendliness that seems to be "winking" at the audience and saying something like, "Ain't I grand?" It just kind of bugged me after a while. He certainly is not channeling Sinatra in any way, shape or form--vocally or otherwise. I found Kim to be quite a bit more appealing, and spent most of my time trying to concentrate on her and not the elements that were troubling. I did find the arrangements fairly bland, I know it was meant to evoke a certain specific songs in a given context, but I think a lot more care could have been taken to cleverly "re-do" some of the material while still being true to the premise.
I have never met a person who liked "Cats"At one point it was the longest running show in Broadway history.Erica didn't like this show.From the chatter I overheard in the lobby at intermission, most people did.It is a not-understood human phenomenon, that people who have negative things to share are more likely to write letters than those who have nice things to say.Elections are (usually) won by popular vote.It is my impression that a vote of the attendees of this show would vote in favor of what it had to offer.Just like "Cats" -- it may not appeal to all, but it appeals to many.
My wife and I loved it.We saw it twice.
Regarding the "Cats" comparisons, to quote another show listed on here: "Don't help me."
Anon 8/18 3:44, thank you, thank you, thank you, for the heartiest laugh o' the day. ;)
My favorite quote about critics:"They know the way, but can't drive the car"
Not sure the critical view of Reece's band is justified.I found this review on cdbaby:Great musicians!Four Stars **** Author: Dr. Mark A. GoralCorey Brunish, together with his great combo, have put together a fantastic selection of classic jazz titles. The creativity of Corey's accompanists is well-received. The last two instrumental tunes are superb. The intimacy of this small combo works wonders on this particular recording. I love the mention of Portland, Oregon on the song My Kind of Town---how ingenious since Corey is from Oregon. All of you guys, keep up the good work. You are all a valuable piece of the JAZZ PIE.
i must respectfully disagree with "erica".from her post it is quite doubtful she knows much, if anything about sinatra.or that she read her program. this was not an impersonation -- for that see the excellent "rat pack" that tours. this was a tribute to the music and the man who kept and keep these wonderful tunes in the public ear.nevertheless, i counted many, many of frank's traits and mannerisms in the performance.whether it was the distinctive mouth twitch that sinatra had, the sweeping arm gestures, the awkward bow, his trademark "s" and "r" sounds and of course the banter with the band.the cock of the head, the puffing of the chest, the spitting of the consonants, the mic cord choreography were all on the money.while he doesn't really sound like sinatra, (maybe on a couple of tunes) his voice is sweeter than sinatra's much of the time, and sometimes it lacked a little gusto. overall it is a nice balance of crooning and belting.far from cloying or smug, i found the performer charming and he captured nicely the varying and various performance styles used in the many decades on display.i highly recommend this show, should it ever pop up again.
If there ever was an "ain't I grand?" singer/actor/saloon performer, it was Frank Sinatra. It seemed to work for him.Perhaps making one's goal to recreate his aura is doomed to fail, only because as a show biz personality, Frank got away with a lot. He had the hit records, the Oscar, the women, the mob ties.Anyone who presumes to echo that sort of fame (an infamy) is only going to fall short and or look like a bit of a pretender.I did not see the show, but I can only imagine the poor guy trying his best to ape what he saw and heard. Sinatra was not even the greatest vocalist --- he was great interpreter of music.So all this chatter about the actor's supposed self-possessed posturing and some less than perfect vocals seems to me to be less than germane. It seems to be not the point of the endeavor.I did hear the band was great. and that the sound was mostly good; some of the old mics were not as good some others. Still, seems like cool idea to do a show on vintage mics.Clearly the folks writing in on here have a lot of strong feelings for Cory.Perhaps that's why they are trying to get his attention so desperately.
disclaimer upfront. i am a devoted fan of brunish and have been for 6 years now.i thought it was a terrific show. the audience, the night i went was very enthusiastic.there were some changes since the last time they did the show and they were all for the good. can't wait for the next version. i do hope he ignores all the nit picky stuff on this blog though.my only complaint is that I wish it was an hour longer.i found this is jazz scene magazine:Hello Young Lovers, Corey Brunish. He has a pleasing tone and on ballads, such as “Some Other Life" he shows a tenderness and softness. 2009, Brundog Records, 43:30.JazzScene Magazine
Another disclaimer up front, I'm Erica's husband from the post (and response) above. We had a good laugh over the responder's comment that Erica didn't know from Frank Sinatra. We're emigrees from L.A., and I was a publicist in my former life. One of my firm's longtime clients was a certain Ava Gardner, maybe you've heard of her--she was married to someone or other in the early 50's, a singer named....oh, it will come to me. :) You might be surprised to know that Frank and Ava maintained a very friendly relationship, despite what you may have read, and even were known to see each other. Maybe even with other people, like their publicists (and spouses), present.
If there ever was an "ain't I grand?" singer/actor/saloon performer, it was Frank Sinatra.
So the poster who claimed Erica didn't know anything about Sinatra obviously has egg on his face. At least that's how I'm reading it.
Not my reading.My reading is that "Erica's" criticism that the performer seemed to have the attitude of "Ain't I grand?" would be pointless since that is what the acutal Sinatra often projected on stage.Therefore, and in other words, the local performer did a good job.
2 posts from people calling themselves Erica and Sam will never cause any egg to be visible on anyone.An anonymous post has no weight at all, particularly when they claim, without proof, that they actually knew Sinatra.
"An anonymous post has no weight at all" says.....anonymous. ROTFLMAO
I knew Sinatra and have his hand here in this jar to prove it. I also have Marilyn's last seconal tablet in a ceramic dog.
and still "sam" offers nothing to help us attach credibilty to his post.i remain anonymous as i have laid no claim to having hung with mr S.i claim to be nothing more thananonymous.as for the comic with the body part and the expired drug tab, you do not deserve the time it would take to create a response that would appeal to your "sense of humor"
Seriously people.You have nothing better to do with your time?Really?
RE the poster with the morbid sense of "humor" about Sinatra's hand and MM's drugs: It is posts like that that give this site a bad name.Your parents must be so proud.
Do you have anything from John Dillenger in a jar?
As opposed to the serious discussion of Cory's ability to be Sinatra. people, stop defending him and attacking him. No one is Sinatra anymore. Most of this line of posting is completely ignorant of the basics of performance and production. The discussion here lasted longer than the run of the play. Go see another show and start hating that. Please.And my parents are proud of me. And defend to the death your right to think I'm juvenile.
Do you mean John Dillinger?
And no one is the Beatles either and yet the clone show Beatlemania has run forever.Just because one cannot "be" an icon, does not mean someone should not present an impression of one.And frankly the show could be about anyone --- it's the music that is the treasure.
forgive the late response, i have been out of town.i saw the show all 4 nights.i find the original post to be wholly untrue and unconscionable.what on god's green earth does a person's money have to do with anything?OMG.would you mention money in relation to any performer if they were known to be poor?(as in, "i know they don't have any money, but they could use some acting lessons. maybe someone will step up and help them") ridiculous.the original post is, you should excuse the term, a load.not to mention totally contradictory.can one be emotionally flat and self-indulgent at the same time?indulgently flat?it boggles.and please add to the list of effective and accurate sinatra-isms, the use of his trademark shoulder snap.(self-indulgent? you bet! sinatra was awash in it)the show was not anything less than what it promised to be.great music and a disarming storyline.the script is damn funny and very touching too.the fact that it is an original script should only inspire more respect.when the reviews become about the people instead of the show, that is when this blog clutches to its nadir.
Methinks the defenders doth protest too much. I have followed this thread now for some time and I still fail to see anything even slightly inflammatory about the first post. It was an honest discussion of what that viewer thought of the performance. That person only couched any discussion of Corey's "money" by saying he didn't want to be too hard on him since he funds so much local theater, and that hopefully that wouldn't keep directors from being honest with him. Sounds reasonable to me, unlike so many of these defensive posts.
Oh PLEASE.The post is dripping with self importance and glib verbage."I wanted to crawl under my seat"?You find that not even "Slightly inflammatory" ?Well then you won't mind my saying that you have a very odd sense of what is inflammatory.
Followspot is a place where people make up shit about shows they do not begin to understand.Then when caught, they lie their asses off.Lying is wrong.They think the lies don't count because their name is not attached.IT COUNTS.
I think maybe I have to laugh at someone thinking this show was "hard to understand." Mmmm....not exactly Beckett, if you get my drift. And two posts up, you somewhat non-judiciously edit out a couple of very important comments from the first poster: "HE SEEMS PERSONABLE ENOUGH, but he's so self-indulgent I was ALMOST wanting to crawl under my seat." Doesn't seem glib to me, just honest. What I find a little strange is how virulent all of the defenders are--you are certainly within your rights to have your own opinion, but take a step back and look at the (to my eyes) pretty calm, sometimes actually funny, posts by people who didn't particularly like this show and then look at your own responses. They're completely out of proportion to each other. Just sayin'.....
Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.Too much truth is uncouth.Talk sense to a fool and he thinks you a fool.Genius has limitations. Sadly, not so stupidity.Many people mistake their opinions for intelligence.To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.Revenge is the weak pleasure of the narrow minded.Ridicule is the first and last resort of the fool.
WELL SAID !!!
TO: ANON 8:36This is my 2nd draft.My first was zapped into oblivion by the master of things blogwise.1. I get the vibe that all the posts defending the OP are from that very same OP-er.2. Do you even know what "virulent" means? Grab yourself a dictionary sometime when you're not doubled over in laughter. Actually, I see no virulent posts on this thread on either side of the issue. Just to save you some time, "virulent" means poisonous, bitter, malignant and deadly. What I see here is a lot of emphatic people.3. NO ONE said this play was "Beckett" as you so (deleted) put it.What someone said was: That people on this site have a tendency to hold court over something on which they do not possess the knowledge base on the origins and references in the show -- and then nevertheless choose to pass judgment. This is akin to someone judging an antique to be ugly when in fact the beauty may come from its history and backstory -- hence its value. The trick is, you have to know something about antiques.You have to know something about what you are seeing in order to fully appreciate it.4. Your exacting quotations of the OP are pointless. You are attempting to claim that backhanded compliments and faint praise constitute balanced, polite criticism. 5. To my eyes, both sides of the debate here appear "calm" to me, and so no, I don't see any poster as being, in your words, "completely out of proportion." The proportion on this blog is very much under control thanks to the new screening policy. I know. As I say, this is my 2nd draft.The first one was twice as long.
Thanks for completely and irrefutably proving my point.Two final comments, numbered since you seem to like that: :)1. I am not the OP, just a curious onlooker.2. I am an English teacher, so am well aware of what "virulent" means. But thanks for the primer, LOL.
Okay, I'm not letting any more comments through unless they're about the show.
I was in the band. Nobody in the band was a "second" or "third" stringer and all have businesses of there own as top calls around town. Let me explain some of the difficulties around doing a show like this in that space. First, the stage was from another show, and not even related to it - since Mt.Hood is too poor to take it down. Second, the hall is boomy, and the sound system isn't even Mr. Brunishes, but the schools. If you think that doesn't matter, go to a rock concert, and turn off the lead guitar...see what happens. Third, the music was freshly arranged and condensed. Any "thin" sound is by the fact that ALL of that music was originally for a full 20+ piece big band and had to be brought down. Throw all of that together, and there are few of even the most talented performers that could do a better job. Mt. Hood is privileged to have such talent on that stage. A word to the wise, don't go to ANY performance, if what you're expecting is a CD. No performer wants to do the same thing every night. Who would? Get out more, and you'll see that there are MANY worse performances to see, and for a lot more money.
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