Watching Everyday Rapture—Sherie Rene Scott’s cheeky portrait of the triple threat as a young Mennonite—is a bit like reading a collection of David Sedaris essays: The vignettes make no real effort to hang together; they transform the author’s past (with an indeterminate amount of massaging) into bite-size epiphanies and mortifications; and they’re very, very funny.
Scott (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida), who either makes smart look really sexy or makes sexy look really smart (or both), and co-author Dick Scanlan have mined her religious Kansas childhood and arrival in Manhattan for an episodic glimpse into the performer’s eternal tug between well-mannered discipline and unquenchable narcissism. Along the way, there are a few magic tricks, several beautifully delivered songs from well outside the Broadway songbook (who knew the winsome melodies of Fred “Mr.” Rogers contained such hard-earned melancholy and banked passion?), and a rather grotesque anecdote about semi-stardom in the era of YouTube fanboys, all of it staged with breathless flair by Michael Mayer. “Any song you live your life inside is a kind of hymn,” Scott decides, as she struggles to reconcile her urge to praise with her need to be praised. Gifts like hers, especially when packaged and delivered this shrewdly, deserve a kind of worship.