Time for a quick visit to Addison’s Cabinet of Obsessions!
Can we all just stop for a second and talk about how amazing Dylan Saunders is? I mean really. You may not know who he is (for shame!). If you’ve ever heard of Team Starkid – the people behind A Very Potter Musical among other things – you should recognise Dylan as Dumbledore, and Tootsie Noodles and Pincer (Starship), Green Lantern in Holy Musical B@man and now he has a lead role – FINALLY – in Twisted, the StarKid production which is Aladdin told from Jafar’s point of view. I mean, he also exists in the real world and he does a great job at being a person. But with extra Dylan-y goodness.
A lot people think he looks a bit like Sean Astin. But Dylan is more than just a good looking actor. Dylan has this voice… he didn’t sing a lot to start with (a travesty!) in AVPM but it was through having the best two songs in Starship that I got really hooked on his vocals. Kick it Up a Notch is the best villain song I’ve heard in a while and that is all down to Dylan. He sings the whole song while also operating the mouth parts of the giant scorpion puppet above his head. The guy must have biceps of steel!
Just… listen. The arpeggios he does go right down my spine. If I’m having a tough day or I’m really stressed out, I put this song on and I can just feel myself unwinding. I’ve had it on repeat today and I am now so chilled!
The other main song he has in Starship is a duet with Meredith Stepien who is playing a robot called Mega-girl and she sings it in her character voice which is amazing. Meredith is so good at keeping character, I couldn’t have done the whole show without laughing or slipping, but she does it, and the two of them really carry the song beyond just a normal love song. It’s called The Way I Do and if it wasn’t for the obviously contextual space and sci fi references it’d be a great first dance song for a wedding.
I actually can’t get over his singing. I am so gutted I passed on a chance to go down to the central belt and see him live when he was on tour with George Watsky. I hope he comes back.
Twisted is so good. It’s incredibly obscene (the opening song is a parody of the opening to Beauty and the Beast, except no one is pleased to see Jafar…) and it has some stand out performances. Dylan is my favourite, obviously, but I always have a soft spot for Jim Povolo (the guard captain) and Jeff Blim as Aladdin was so good at being a charismatic douchebag. It is becoming my favourite StarKid production, though I do love Holy Musical B@man for the total homoeroticism between Joe Walker (Batman) and Brian Holden (Superman) in the song To Be A Man. Brian Holden was hypnotic in that scene, and I’m more of a Joe Walker fan. Starship will always be my proper favourite, though, because it has the right combination of epic consistency, a great story and of course fabulous vocal work.
I always wish I could show the drama club at work what really really excellent theatre looks like at a vaguely grass roots level. But I can’t because of all the swearing. I think that’s a shame because they all inspire me to keep going with drama and singing and costuming, and I’m already their age. I want the kids at drama to see what they could become. AVPM would be alright, and …most… of Starship, but no way would HMB and Twisted make it. Apart from Dylan’s sections. He swears less than the others (even in Twisted).
Anyway… Dylan just has this range… he can be roaringly furious and desperately sweet, he can do villain and hero equally well, and he does this thing with his face… it’s like a half smile that is too adorable. But I wouldn’t ever call him adorable to his face should I ever ever ever in a million years see him in person. He has this solid manly aura. He’s too macho for adorable. But a real sweetheart. He’s basically lovely. Dare I say, he has usurped Nathan Fillion’s position in my list of idols? Yes. I’m going there. Dylan Saunders is right up there. In Starship he plays two characters – the evil Pincer and the simple Tootsie, and he is so good at both it’s almost like he’s two different people (well duh, but I hope you know what I mean).
He does non-musical, non-StarKid roles too, including The Lion in Winter back in 2010, which is one my all-time favourite plays/films. So add more gutted-ness that I couldn’t see him acting in that. America, eh? So far away…
He has an album out soon. It was funded on Kickstarter. It’s called Confluence and when he’s not too busy doing everything else hopefully it’ll be out soon. I’m really looking forward to it because obviously it is Dylan singing, but it’s a proper showcase for what he likes as opposed to having to follow the script. The voice is a window to the soul, or something. I could have gone to America. I could have put in what, thousands of dollars for the Kickstarter rewards that involve breathing the same air as – OK I know I’m getting creepy now. But he and the other StarKids (I actually don’t like calling them that) have just really woken me up properly to theatre again. But Dylan is my favourite obviously.
In the meantime I’m busy playlisting up Dylan’s beautiful voice (and face) so I can bliss out. Ah…..