On The Verge: Broadway-bound, by way of St. Nicholas Avenue
By Lapacazo Sandoval | 6/27/2013, 2:30 p.m. | Updated on 6/27/2013, 2:30 p.m.
Michelle DeAngelis can write a song. That’s a great skill, because she’s a songwriter. She has an ear for musical ballads that need big, bright Broadway razzamataz to support her ability to tell stories through music.
There’s good news for her: Broadway is experiencing a resurgent of show investors—angels, as they are affectionately called—many of whom (to my surprise) are regular folks making their money in medicine, insurance and real estate. The reason is simple: They see a quick return and sweet profit on their investment, whereas indie films, for example, rarely make any dent for an investor.
To learn more about the business of Broadway, I strongly suggest you visit the Broadway League website (www.broadwayleague.com). Broadway is a good business in New York City.
So New York, I’m giving you a heads-up on a genuine talent—and of course, it’s happening in Harlem!
AmNews: Why do you love music?
Michelle DeAngelis: Music is something everyone needs and craves. I’m the kind of musician/songwriter that wants to share. If I can move just one person, I will perform anywhere. I don’t care if it’s a dive, a park, a backyard—anywhere.
What does Harlem’s musical legacy mean to you?
Harlem musical geniuses have changed the way our American culture is and how we listen to and create music. I feel honored to be able to perform in a city where some of the greatest musical licks were born.
As a songwriter, who are your influences and why?
My mother was a trained professional singer, so I heard many opera singers as well as Broadway growing up.
At 8 years old, I discovered Carly Simon. There was something about the way she wrote that moved me, often to tears. My musical obsession started early and continues.
Then I discovered the power of Whitney Houston and used her as a show-and-tell for career day. I remember how much I loved the picture of her in the signature peach dress.
I am influenced mostly by a need to create something. It is an expression, and I love stories.
It’s nice that you are helping the Five-Buck Benefit. The rent party is to raise funds for a digital production company (myNewYorkeye), which will be producing animated children’s projects for the mobile generation, all of which use original music: “Nite, Nite Sleepy Town,” “Boogaloo” and “Lady, The Smiling Pitbull.” What excited you the most about having your work associated with animated characters with an urban beat?
Well, for one thing, I heard there was a pit bull starring in one story. My first dog was a pit and an amazing animal. It just shows that with animals and humans, every person is different and one should never judge by a breed or name. I grew up with people from many different backgrounds, and I want to continue to be involved with projects that can move people from all walks of life.
Finish this sentence: “I’m a singer/pianist/songwriter because...
I love music!
Do you have any new songs that you are performing at the Honeycomb Playhouse on June 28?
I do. It’s called “Today is the Day,” and it’s about being who are you and making everyday count! I think it works for LGBT Pride and the tiny, fiery, fairy Boogaloo and her sidekick, Songbird, would approve.
Do you have any Pride shout-outs?
Of course I have pride shout-outs! I love all people! Actually, my shout-out is to anyone who has felt a sense of not knowing where they belong. Remember that what makes you different is what makes the world an amazing place. If everyone were the same, how boring it would be!
To find out more about her June 28 Five-Buck Benefit performance, visit https://www.facebook.com/honeycomb.playhouse. For more information, visit www.mdeangelismusic.com. RSVP to the event at firstname.lastname@example.org.