I first saw Margot Rose in 1980 when the Gretchen Cryer/Nancy Ford musical I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road played a long run at Hollywood’s Huntington Hartford Theatre after its success in New York. (Of course we were both child prodigies at the time.) Rose stayed on in Los Angeles, appearing at the late, lamented Rose Café cabaret space on Melrose Avenue where I saw her perform her club act. She also famously appeared as the original Bitsy Mae in Del Shores’ Sordid Lives at Theatre/Theater in 1996. So when she took the stage at the Hudson Guild Theatre for the first preview performance of her new one-woman show, Springloaded, it was like being welcomed back by a long time friend, one that has been out of touch for a while but will catch you up on her life real soon.
Rose has a lot to share in this show she says has been 35 years in the making. She also said she did not finish the script until the day before her first preview, so it was a bit rough and she often referred to a handy script. Yet her innate charm and soul purging honesty kept the audience involved in the nearly two-hour show. Rose comes from a family that contained “crazypants DNA” on both sides, with family members committing suicide, being committed to mental institutions and becoming alcoholics. She also had close childhood friends take the plunge to their deaths off high buildings. She has battled her own demons-drugs and alcohol-but she survived and is still fighting the good fight. She is also still trying to discover where those disappeared years went, what happened to those discarded dreams. Aren’t we all, those of us of a certain age? Her voice is in splendid condition and her compositions are moving as well as infectious. She is backed by an amazing quintet of musicians–percussion, guitar, woodwinds, viola and on keyboards musical director Alicia Morgan. They do a pre-show jam session that you don’t want to miss. I’m sure as Rose gets the show more tightly in her grasp, audiences will be in for a memorable experience. Springloaded is already a great encounter with a talented performer.