First Review of Absolutely San Francisco! April 14, 2011Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.
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ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO will get the Tourists. This new musical by Anne Doherty is homage to San Francisco’s quirky ways. There is “Sunshine” – a 60’s homeless woman. She lives under the Cupid Arrow on the Embarcadero. And … she hears voices … most notably coming from Sutro Tower. There is the typical Cable Car Conductor, a Chinese shopkeeper a gay wine merchant and an Indian engineer plus an eccentric hippie billionaire. Now that’s a typical mix of SF personalities … most you have seen around town. Just take a walk down Market Street.
The set is quite amazing with the use of Rear and front projection screens. We see the Cable Cars running up and down Powell Street and other City Landmarks. When I first arrived in the City … I was asked to be in a play that revolved around the Cable Cars … I was the Conductor. The costume made me look like a Chekhovian Freedom fighter. My job … was to shout out the stops and make some inane jokes. It was so bad … that we had to beg the audience to stay.
This show (ABSF) is much better … after all … we get the astonishing talents of Darlene Popovic, who carries the entire show. As Sunshine and other characters she sings … she’s a tour guide … she’s homeless … she cares about people and always listens to ‘Coit Tower’. Now if that isn’t eccentric enough for you, then nothing is. I think I’ve seen her around U.N. Plaza with her shopping cart filled with junk.
This is a fun crazy show … but one that tourists will just relish. Not only does the show give you tips on what to see … it will be something that tourists can take back to their hometown. The musical review with songs like “I’ve Always Loved You” … and the touching “Home” will be something that they can take home with them. To make it even more fun … I would like to see them use the instruments on the stage instead of the recorded tracks. It would add a lot!
There are some interesting perks for tickets purchases: If you buy two tickets … you may get a bag of goodies that include passes to other events around town. Also … in the bag there is a bottle of fine wine … chocolates and other memories of San Francisco. At the Alcove Theatre on Mason Street (between Geary and Post St.) You can get additional info at: http://www.notquiteopera.org/. Absolutely San Francisco is VERY SF.
By Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave‚ Mar. 25‚ 2011
Absolutely San Francisco! February 4, 2011Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.
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I’m in rehearsal for a play with music, “Absolutely San Francisco,” opening March 17th. It’s a one-person play, the main character is “Sunshine,” a homeless woman, who lives under Cupid’s Span on the Embarcadero. Her home is threatened by meter maids who want to tow her “vehicle,” which is her shopping cart holding all her belongings. So she goes on the hunt to find someone who can help her keep her home. She meets 5 people while on a Cable Car ride and yes, I play all 6 parts. It’s an original play with original music, should be interesting. Stay tuned!
How Lucky Can You Get – Goldstar review August 29, 2010Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.
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Darlene is an immensely talented and versatile performer and Thursday night’s preview performance was a solid hit with the audience. Her program was beautifully crafted and presented in all details, including song choices, excellent piano and vocal accompaniement, minimal, but effective stage design and costuming,and good stage direction in a limited space.Darlene is the real star because she puts over each song with her whole being and she loves what she does. Just a terrific show!
From a dear friend and wonderful performer, Tom Orr:
“Thank you Darlene, Joe and Allen for a truly wonderful show! I haven’t been able to see much this summer and I was looking forward to sitting back and enjoying great music in great hands. I hit the jackpot! Or, more precisely, YOU did! Dar, you are simply one of my favorite instruments ever, with hilarious and distinct character work, a sexy side I’d never seen before and that voice — that creamy dreamy lush luscious voice! — that made every song sound like I was hearing it for the first time. Your harmonies with Joe are delicious, your comic schtick and sidelong glances are priceless. The song list was perfectly chosen, such a good fit of performer and material, with lots of familiar stuff for the uninitiated and choice obscure morsels for us diehards. How Lucky Can You Get? Indeed. Thanks again and have a great run! ♥ Tom”
The Wind Blowin’ Up My…. June 27, 2010Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.
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So there I was, with frigid wind blowing up my…let me start at the beginning. I was hired to perform at a huge show called KABOOM at Candlestick Park. Well, not IN the park exactly, we were in the parking LOT. We would be surrounded by attractions galore i.e. Melissa Etheridge and John Butler Trio rocking on a gigantic rock stage, synchronized to a world class rock soundtrack, plus expanded children’s entertainment (that’s where I was), local music and wine tasting, fireworks display and much more that would boggle the minds of attendees. I mean, this was a biggie!
I was performing with the Wackadoodles. Yes! I am proud to say, I am a Wackadoodle! Wackadoodles in Wonderworld will, if the planets align properly with the funding Gods, someday become a children’s show on PBS similar to Sesame Street. Where Sesame Street teaches letters and the alphabet, we Wackadoodles will impress upon the young the importance of saving the environment. That’s the goal. Right now we’re working to introduce the Wackadoodles to the general public and getting that funding!
I was the Wackadoodle emcee introducing various acts like a wonderful dance troupe who performed everything that was dance – jazz, hip hop, ballet etc., a hula hoop guy who did amazing things with the hoops over his entire body, a wonderful puppeteer and face painting. There were crowd characters dressed in way-out, really far-out, very creative costumes to interact with the crowd, etc. We had it all for kids of all ages. Fun times! We Wackadoodles were located at the Southern end of the parking lot. At the Northern end was the huge rock stage with speakers that looked like the Transamerica building. In between were all the lesser-known rock bands, wine tasting, food tents, you name it, and it was there.
Candlestick Park is right on the San Francisco Bay. It’s a favorite place for kite boarders and for good reason. The wind blows through there at warp speed. We were to perform every half hour from 3 – 7. I was wearing a black cocktail dress and spike heels, why, I dunno, but that’s what I was told to wear. I was also supposed to wear this enormous headdress made of ostrich feathers, but we decided, with all the wind, there was a good chance I could become a kite flying over the parking lot, so we opted for a much smaller headdress strapped to a helmet to keep it from blowin’ in that wind.
I start the show, the wind is blowing so hard I have to sing heading into the wind as if I were driving a dogsled through an arctic winter. This is not easy because the headdress I’m wearing only wants to go WITH the wind. I can’t take it off because I would look like a normal person who was waaaay over-dressed. The headdress identifies me as a Wackadoodle – one frozen Wackadoodle. My dress is short, with long fringes from top to bottom and no sleeves. The wind just doesn’t blow in one direction, it blows at me, behind me, underneath me, around me and my fringes are blowing all over everywhere. I learned you cannot control fringe in a big wind. They got stuck in my headdress, my microphone, my face and I’m FERR-EEEZING!!! The temperature is about 50 frigging degrees!!! The wind chill must’ve been in the 30s! Surely!
As I’m singing, I notice the dancers are wearing tiny, skimpy, yellow costumes and they’re huddled into this tight, little group. I see a big wad of yellow with many feet. But like true professionals, after I introduced them, they bounced on stage and went into their routine as if it were a lovely day in May – what troupers! In between acts, I wore my below freezing down parka, nice, warm, cozy – oops dancers are over, must intro the hula hoop guy. I go into my second song and suddenly the massive speakers across the parking lot crank up and blast forth with one of the big rock bands. My mouth is moving, I think I can feel my voice working but I can’t hear a frigging THING! There are small children standing around the stage with their little gloved hands stuck in their ears. Some of the parents are movin’ & groovin’ and I’m doing my best to sing “Over the Rainbow.” I wondered if they thought I was singing with the rock band. Who could tell! I thought I finished my song, not sure, but I pointed to the hula hoop guy who bounded on stage and began hooping. Every half hour we would run the show. Good thing we didn’t do a live recording because you would’ve heard – I WANNA PUCK-A PUCK-A AND I WANNA…some where overrrr the rainbowwww…PUCK-A PUCK-A…BABY, BABY…I WANNA…land that I heard of once in a…I WANNA YOU BABY BABY!!! Etc., etc. You get the idea.
Part of my Wackadoodle responsibility was to interact with the children. When the rock music wasn’t blasting, I would bring some little kids up on stage chat with them and try to keep them from blowing away. They were very sweet, very frozen little children. I wondered what-were-their-parents THINKING! One little boy about 6 really liked me and showed his affection by running up to me saying “My name’s Gabe!” then he’d punch me in the stomach and run away. The first punch took me by surprise. I say the first one – there were many to follow. Gabe became, for me, what the crocodile was for Peter Pan’s Captain Hook. Instead of hearing tick, tock, tick, tock I would hear the pitter-patter of little feet running up behind me and PUNCH! “I’m Gabe!” – pitter-patter off into the crowd. There was no place to hide from little Gabe. I couldn’t hide in our dressing tent, it was 7′x 7′ for all of us – 12 dancers, various performers and all the crowd characters. There was no floor in the tent only a flotsam of black bags, shoes and costumes.
As the day wore on the wind became windier, the rock music seemed louder, the temperature was becoming arctic and Gabe was getting sneakier. I still had my fringe on, but everything else felt below zero. There were thousands of people – thousands – everywhere, in all sorts of winter-wear sitting on blankets picnicking. They were all waiting for the appearance of the big name – Melissa Etheridge.
Finally, our show ended and I was off duty. There was no room in the tent to change so I changed into my nice, warm sloppies outside. A couple of dancers acted as lookouts to prevent a Gabe attack. After 4 hours I was kind of used to the cold, or I was hypothermic I couldn’t tell which. Oh yeah, there’s n-n-n-n-noooo b-b-b-b-business like sh-sh-sh-show b-b-b-b-business…
The Glamour! The Glitz! The…ow! June 7, 2010Posted by darpop in Uncategorized.
Ah show business! The glamour! The glitz!…The pain! The bruises! The frigid weather blowing up my…well, perhaps I should explain.
I’ve been beating the bushes auditioning, working on two shows and doing one-nighters. No, not THAT kind of one-nighters, these are one-night gigs for corporations, clubs, benefits etc. Usually, the organizations celebrating making tons of assets while a large percentage of the rest of us “eat cake,” so to speak.
A couple of weeks ago, I was hired to perform in a corporate show in Carmel, California’s shi shi Spanish Bay golf club. Yes, the one at Pebble Beach where golfers drool over various holes in the middle of a patch of uber-pampered grass. Ok, I’m not much of a golfer. Chasing a little ball around a big lawn….hey, whatever floats yer putter.
So, I’m supposed to sing 3 songs, one very clever, funny song about San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge while wearing this extraordinary costume that LOOKS like the bridge! No kidding this thing includes cables, fog and a 3-foot high tower as a headdress. The 100-plus corporate executives were all decked out in black tie, expensive gowns with jewelry to match. They had been golfing all day as well as wined and dined, and during our show wined and dined some more as well as being entertained during the 4-hour dinner. Every course had a wine pairing, after all they were black tied and gowned, I mean really, pairings are a must. Right before every course we performers would do our stuff, let them eat and then perform before the next course. The room’s décor was a fantasyland complete with special effects throughout and a huge screen for more special effects. The tables were beautifully decorated and every place sitting had many wine glasses. No expense was spared for this one, the company must’ve really made a haul.
Ok, the show is moving right along towards dessert and my wearing of the glitzy Golden Gate Bridge costume. Much to my surprise the costume had been “re-designed”…huh? Wha? This I did not know. I also did not know what measurements they used. Turned out they used measurements that would’ve fit me when I was 10…when I weighed about 80 pounds. This is many years later – I’m not an 80 pounder. Well, that dang thing HAD to go on me! So, I was “helped” into it by the fella who owned the entertainment company. There was much grunting, pulling and pounding. I must admit our sound-effects would’ve been fun at some other time and in some other place but right then and there nothing was happening. The thing just DID NOT want to wear me! But the show MUST go on, right? So we just kept pulling and pounding!! The 3-foot tower was made with a backpack thing in which I had to be strapped – more pounding, pulling and snapping! Plus I wore a helmet that constricted my movement about 2 inches in each direction. After about 20 minutes of grunting, I was finally in the thing.
Now I’ve worn many a costume, but in this one I couldn’t sit down, I could barely move my head and let’s not even TALK about going to the bathroom! So I stood there for about 30 minutes waiting for my cue. After a while, I felt something begin to happen…it was weird… Oh holy mother of all the Gods…never had this sensation before…I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling that I wanted OUT! OUT of this thing!! Get this bridge OFF ME!!! Then I heard my cue…ok, I’m a professional, I can overcome this devil suit. So out I go to sing the song.
Song is going fine, crowd’s loving the song, loving the costume…the backpack starts digging into my shoulders, breathing is becoming more and more difficult, or is it psychosomatic…I dunno…but I’m a professional, I kept saying, I can overcome this. Finally – FINALLY end of song, and end of show. The cast members join me on stage to say goodnight. OH BUT WAIT!! Mr. Big! The corporate’s head honcho, the OWNER of the company and the boss of everyone in the room, including us, comes up on stage to “say a few words.” A FEW WORDS!! I’M DYING HERE! But the big boss is the boss, right?
Ok, I spent 30 years in the corporate world when the boss wants to say a “few words” – everyone lets him. Ah, but not just a few words will do, he wants to hand out awards! There’s an award for the guy who “got closest to the pin”…huh? An award to the guy who had the longest drive – what? Was he from out-of-state? No! He hit the ball the farthest – ok, whatever, I WANT THIS BRIDGE OFF ME I’m thinking to myself as I’m standing there smiling, applauding as best I can, for some reason I can’t get my hands to work very well…then I realized the backpack was cutting off my circulation and my arms were going to sleep. Oh swell!
Mr. Boss gives out awards to who sold the most, who did this better, who did that best, all the while we cast members were standing behind him on the stage. I’m sure it made for a lovely picture in the company’s annual report.
So, I’m thinking how does a bridge leave a stage gracefully? Do I just say what I wanted to say “Sorry folks, but I’m dying in this costume – keep hitting those balls and making money!” No, I just stood there thinking he’s going to stop any minute now….but NOOOOO! 20 minutes later – he calls his wife to the stage!!! OH MY GAWD!!! Now she’s speech-a-fying!!! Telling everyone how wonderful they are!!! I’m TRAPPED! I look at the audience and they’re all doing that “We absolutely adore you” thing that all corporate people do when the boss speaks. And when it’s wifey, you look even MORE adoringly! After all the wine they consumed, looking adoring and awake was not easy! Steady, I tell myself. I can overcome this. I don’t want to embarrass either myself, or our company, because it would jeopardize our getting hired next year…hey, maybe I can come dressed as the Tower of London! I’m beginning to hallucinate, thinking of things like having an earthquake, well, I’m a frigging California bridge, after all. Keep smiling….keep smiling…can’t…feel… my…arms…think of something else…..there’s noooooo businesssss like showwwww bussinesssss, like nooooo businesss I knowwwwwww…..
In my next blog I’ll tell you about the ” The frigid weather blowing up my….” Stay tuned!
One of the 50 In Five Years!! March 17, 2010Posted by darpop in 1.
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My absolutely wonderful musical director Trauma Flintstone has been producing a wonderful night of entertainment at Martuni’s called “Bijou.” It will soon celebrate its 5 year anniversary, nearly 60 shows. Trauma put together a list of the Top 50 Moments at Bijou over the 5 years, “moments that were sheer bliss.” I’m pleased to say that I made the list! “Darlene Popovic, “Vodka” (Allen Sawyer Tribute show).” I’m thrilled to be part of the “Best of” at Bijou.
Standing “O!” February 26, 2010Posted by darpop in 1.
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STANDING O!!!! That’s what Rita Abrams and I received today at our preview show at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club’s Annual Tea where I performed Rita’s original songs. About 200 people and they LOVED US!!! Unbelievably civilized with finger sandwiches (sans crust thank you very much) and, of course, tea poured by a lovely, elegant lady who offered “milk? Or cream?” Who knew clubs like this still existed. Lovely people. Lovely day – and it’s on video kids!!! All Rita’s numbers went over like an actor’s dream, audience got it – were with us – and laughed like a gift from show biz heaven! Rita introduced my Coach, Bev, who will direct our full-length show, mentioned all her January/2010 bookings i.e. being cast on an episode of “Trauma, worked on Clint Eastwood’s film “Hereafter,” starring Matt Damon, Merrill Lynch commercial and a print job. Not bad for an almost 85 yr old. Rita said she told her 28 yr old daughter, who’s in LA working on her acting career that she needs to hang in there for 57 more years. Many people at the Art Club asked when we were going to do the show at the Throckmorton. Give us a date and we’re there!!! All in all – a lovely day for all!
Welcome to my Blog/Web Site!!! February 19, 2010Posted by darpop in As of Feb 18, 2010.
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Yes! This is my Blog with brand new Web site!!! Please feel free to stroll through the Popovic garden of links!
Dar’s new news!!!! February 11, 2010Posted by darpop in Blog, What's New.
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Mill Valley California’s two-time Emmy-winning composer Rita Abrams and I will be teaming up to present a selection of highly entertaining stories and songs, music and lyrics by Rita. This show will be a sneak preview of our full-length show, tentatively called, “POPOVIC SINGS ABRAMS.” Also, stay tuned for my new Web site coming soon!!
Blog #2 – Hot Ziggity! August 11, 2009Posted by darpop in Blog.
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Hot ziggidy!! I had a GREAT audition yesterday! It was for a film…a book trailer. Ok, not a blockbuster but hey, it’s a film. I was told I did a GREAT job! They loved my monologue, which they asked me to do with an English accent – hey no problem! Shall I stand on my head too?? I will!! I’ll do it!!! They gave me my character lines, which I did and they LOVED! My appointment was at 1:00pm and they said I was the best one so far!! The only problem is, I hear that at EVERY audition. They always say “great! Perfect! Right on!” You leave thinking YESSS! And then you neeeeever hear from them again. So I guess if Meryl Streep doesn’t audition, I have the role!
Now about Meryl Streep. Is there ANYTHING that woman can’t do??? I just saw “Julie & Julia” and I disagree with some of the reviews I’ve been reading that say the film was lopsided. That the scenes with Amy Adams makes the viewer yearn for the scenes with Meryl Streep. WHA? HUH? Au contraire! If an entire cast could be given Academy Awards – the entire cast of “Julie & Julia” deserve them! It was beautifully acted and it WAS NOT lopsided. Meryl Streep was portraying a larger than life character and Amy Adams was portraying – one of us! The average person who found a purpose in life through a blog…(gee, that sounds familiar). In fact, as I left the theatre, I mentioned to my friend that I disagreed with the reviews – and a lady in front of me said “I think so too!” So there. SSPPLLTT! I once asked a friend, who was a reviewer for many years, what qualifications he had to have. He said the only difference between his opinion and mine was that his gets published and mine doesn’t. Oh yeah? Not now with the internet baby! I say again, SSSPPPPLLLTTT!