On Oct. 7, 2013 the Somerville Theatre hosted “A Tribute to Rebecca Rosenthal: A Night of Music, Art & Remembering.” Power couple Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer emceed the night's activities. They announced every performer including: Siena Oristaglio, Jessica Allyn, Marykate O'neil, Jason Webley, Emilyn Brodsky, Michael Pope and Kara Trott.
This benefit honored the memory of Becca Rosenthal. Most of the people on stage and many of the audience members were her friends and family. After listening to all the stories and watching a few filmstrips, even an outsider could have felt connected to her. The concert produced a good start to the Rebecca Samay Rosenthal Memorial Special Collections Fund at Smith College.
Music (and art in general) has a healing property. This is one way to overcome the mass grief of their loss. There was a wide variety of acts from poetry to short stories. Musicians played the guitar, the piano, the ukelele, the accordion or sang. Marykate O'neil was a native to Hudson, MA and mentioned this in one of her song lyrics, which the crowd ate up. Actually, the audience cheered wildly whenever Amanda Palmer came near the stage.
Rebecca Rosenthal was in a film directed by Neil Gaiman in 2009 called “Statuesque.” This short follows a group of living statues, which also include Amanda Palmer. For eight minutes, we saw Becca on the big screen using one of her quirky talents. We also had a special screening of Amanda Palmer's music video, “Oasis” due to Rebecca's cameo. Those two films play an interesting dichotomy. The first film is fun with a touch of avant-garde. The second one is controversial with themes including rape, teen pregnancy and abortion in a very cheeky way. If you watch these videos, you are in for a unique experience.
The evening came to a close with Brian Viglione and Amanda Palmer appearing as the Dresden Dolls, a special treat for the emotionally stimulated audience. Their cabaret style was true to their music and their fashion sense. Their faces were truly expressive, twisting with a spectrum of emotions. The fierce drumming and dark keyboard notes had a jarringly brutal, yet beautiful quality to match their sentiments. As their set ended, the last film strip showed various photographs of Rebecca's life. All performers came out to sing the last song and give their collective bow.
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