GOD AND ROCHESTER (Part Two, the songs)
[The script for
Steve's Cabaret act in Rochester, Feb. 2002
with photos by Bev Sykes]
Part One (The Stories) | Part Two
These are new songs from a new album I'm making right now. Some of them are from a new piece I'm writing about God and some of them are stories about people I've met on the internet. But first, the back-up singers![At this point in the show I introduce Brian (whose last name I don't have at the moment), Debi Joffee and Danette E. Sheppard and bring them up on stage.][The following is the musical program itself.]
BEYOND THE LIGHT
WHERE IS GOD
[Me speaking again]
One more thing has gotten started in Rochester. A new song. I was saving it for last because it's the newest creation. You know those five years I spoke about? The ones Chris took waiting for the right cast? The cast member he was waiting for was this one. Danette E. Sheppard. Apparently, Danette had come into audition for Nunsense. Chris and Jay took one look at each other and said, "LAST SESSION."
One day Danette says to me, "Hey, I wrote this lyric a couple of years ago. Why don't you see if you can do something with it?"
So I did.
(The lyric to Why, written by Danette, is
an impassioned plea that people return to love.
"Why are the jails and malls more crowded
than the schools...?" she asks).
(Words by Danette E. Sheppard; Music by Steve Schalchlin)
Because I'm a Baptist or former Baptist, people ask me if I believe in God.
Well, the answer for me, the thing that has made my life interesting, beautiful, and life-giving is exemplified in a scene from the hug line right out there in the lobby. This woman in her 80s came hobbling up to me on her cane. She could barely walk. She looked at me with big eyes and said, "I'm not gay… but I understand what you're going through." And I knew she meant the AIDS. Health. Fighting for life. Deciding to fight for life.
I asked her if I could give her a hug and she said yes, so I hugged her carefully, not wanting to break the fragile bones I felt in my arms.
Soon after her came a tall man, also in his 80s. He looked at this woman who was now making her way to the door, and said, with just a tear in his eye -- which was also full of pride and he said, "That's my wife. And we really needed this tonight. Thank you."
Folks, I've come a long way to be here today. And sometimes I wake up and I don't have a clue if I believe in God. Sometimes I wake up and I see God in absolutely everything. And frankly, I'm scared of anyone who doesn't feel exactly the same way. But even on days when I don't feel God, I do have faith.
SING "A SIMPLE FAITH" with Brian
Brian & Steve sing "A Simple Faith"
[At this point in the program I spied Sarah Glaser, the hospice social worker from Columbus Ohio. I knew she loved the song "Beyond The Light" so I invited Amy Coleman up to sing it.
We have two more shows. Tonight and tomorrow. Amy is singing her cabaret tomorrow. I'll be playing the piano and torturing her the whole way through. Chris Burley on guitar. CDs are out in the lobby.
And oh yeah, everyone gets a free hug.