For anyone who’s read my blog before, it’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Merle Dandridge. My first time seeing the Merle was as Nehebka in Aida on tour, which is an important role but one that doesn’t really standout. However, when I went to see the show again, Merle Dandridge was on as Aida. Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Did I mention wow?
When you have a role like that with such a strong performance already imprinted on your mind, it’s extremely difficult for even the most talented performer to overcome memories, but Merle Dandridge was a powerful Aida, sending chills down your spine in all the right spots. She was dynamic and commanded the stage every moment. When I waited at the stage door to meet her (back when I was still doing that), my friend accidentally snapped a picture before I was ready. My facial expression in that picture is literally in awe saying, “Oooo, Merle Dandridge.”
She was the big reason I was looking forward to Tarzan. My thoughts on that show have been detailed elsewhere, but Merle Dandridge was wonderful. I can’t get enough of hearing her on the OBCR.
It’s great that she was able to fill in on Rent, and I can’t wait to hear of another great role in the future for the great Merle Dandridge.
the Broadway Mouth
August 10, 2007