That is how she introduces herself in her twitter profile. I saw her once again last night as "back-up" with Carly Ozard in Carly's amazing show, Midler on The Roof. Check out my blog on Carly.
Uraina has her own show coming up celebrating another pop Icon, The Artist Formally Known as...Prince.
Uraina and I sat down on the eve of her show with Carly to talk about THAT particular show and to touch upon her upcoming show (details below).
Although Uraina was a part of the musical
|Carly Ozard in Midler on The Roof|
She didn't sing for about five years.
She felt that she had somehow had graduated from musical theatre.
When she discovered cabaret and noticed the intimacy, she also discovered that many of the artists were from musical theatre as well. When Uraina was studying musical theatre in school, she knew nothing about this art form or the myriad of venues to perform in in NYC.
She found that this direction gave her more of an opportunity to share herself, as opposed to being confined within a "character". That is what drew Uraina. She has found some great "teachers" and she feels that when something feels this good, why stop?
There are many that inspire Uraina as an artist. Barbra Streisand is one. Growing up, she listened to the original cast recording of Annie, so that is another inspiration.She is an "Eighties kid" so Madonna fits in
|Midler On The Roof debuted at The Duplex May 20114|
Getting back to Midler on The Roof, pretty much all of the elements were already in place when Uraina came on board. The arrangements, the set list, and everything else. Uraina came into the show two and a half weeks before the show opened at The Duplex in May 2014.
The lessons of this show are about sticking up for one's self and believing in one's self are the lessons of this show, lessons that Uraina feels she will carry forward throughout the rest of her life and career.
Those lessons come out loud and clear in Carly's show.
It is all about an inner strength to keep going.
When I interviewed Carly, I asked her about director Kristine Zbornick, a force of nature and about the "evolvement" since Uraina came on board. Although the show didn't change, Carly did. She took an amazing journey in growth from the time they began. Interestingly enough, Uraina met Kristine for the first time at Carly's show on Tuesday night!
|Honoring Bette Midler in Midler on The Roof|
Uraina would not change a thing about the entire process. Uraina strives to evolve as she moves forward as an artist.
I asked Uraina what impact she believes Bette Midler has had on worldwide audiences. "She is definitely an empathetic entertainer. She is 'one of us'.
She is not afraid to share. She has lived through the same emotions that all of us share.She holds a vulnerability that we all feel from an audience's standpoint. Her voice is universal. She speaks to everyone just by being her.
She doesn't have to do much."
As stated earlier, Uraina and I spoke prior to their show on Tuesday night. She was super psyched. She should be gratified. The show was perfection.
Carly is moving in new directions and that excitement is palpable.
Uraina's opinion of Bette Midler also evolved since she began work on this project. She admits that she still doesn't know her entire catalog.
Carly even sung songs that Uraina had never heard before. There were also certain things that Uraina didn't know about Bette Midler.
Uraina has always, however been impressed with her.
She was going to try originally to do a Boy George/Prince concert, but the music is so different, it wasn't working out dynamically.
The reason why Uraina desired to do a Prince show is that no one has ever done it, to her knowledge. His musicality is actually pretty phenomenal. To take his music and put it in a cabaret setting actually transitions quite well. Uraina is excited to show everyone that there is meaning behind his songs. She believes many people think of him as dirty". She wants to take everyone on a journey of rediscovering him.
Uraina's upcoming tribute to The Artist Formally Known as...Prince has an electrifying band that includes two back-up vocalists. It has also been a little bit of a journey for Uraina. She hasn't done a cabaret show since 2006. She has kept her chops up by taking classes and doing certain things here and there, but to once again be in charge of her own show is a great feeling. She feels as if she has graduated to this next level.
This is a very "private" show as is Uraina. There are a lot of "hidden treasures" within Prince. We all have that kind of special place. As Uraina stripped down the songs that she has chosen, she has found a lot of messages, religion and spirituality in his music. As Uraina was nine, ten, eleven, listening to this music, he impacted her so much. At the time, she really didn't know why. Now that she's older, looking back, she know knows that there are certain things that eluded her like sexuality, of course.
Now, since Uraina has evolved, and Prince has evolved, it's a different message. Uraina hopes the body of work compels people in some way, shape, or form.
Uraina will be appearing at Don't Tell Mama in NYC on October 17th (this Friday) at 7PM, the following Friday the 24th of October at 9:15, and the first Saturday of November 1st at 5:30, and her closing night is November 15th at 5:30PM.
Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,
Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!
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Rain (YouTube: Uraina Collazo) performing at the Metropolitan Theater on August 11, 2013 singing What's Up.
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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com