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North Brooklyn’s “Hero” – Audiences Sing Along to Faux Mariah Performance

People applauded and cheered as participants belted out Mariah Carey’s pop hits over prerecorded backing tracks at Cameo Gallery on North 6th Street Monday night.

“We were trying to think of something that people would get excited about and we get excited about pop music,” Jo Firestone, 27, a comedian and producer, as well as participant, said. “We thought about how it could be a whole engaging thing.”

On Monday, Firestone and her fellow collaborators Josh Sharp, 27, and Aaron Jackson, 29, an actor, writer and a comedian, got excited about their event, “The Mariah Carey Musical: A Hastily Written Masterpiece Starring the Audience.”

She wanted the audience to have the opportunity to be a part of a musical consisting of Mariah Carey songs.

“We just strung together our favorite songs with a written plot and then gave out roles to audience members to perform them,” she said.

Firestone and her collaborators wore pajama dresses on stage as they sang songs including “Hero,” “All I want for Christmas” and “Always Be My Baby.”

Audience members were cast in various singing and non-lexical vocables.

“I thought it was a blast,” said Gary Richardson, 25, one of the audience participants. “You can just see people getting up there and goof around.”

Richardson has attended similar events twice before. His first such event was a Prince Musical.

“I never thought about how many hits Mariah had and it was great that they picked so many hits,” he said. “Prince had a few deeper cuts, but this was pure hits.”

Although he wasn’t nervous, he thought it was interesting interacting with audience members.

The Cameo Gallery has conducted past such musical extravaganzas including a Beyoncé musical, “Pussy to the Sky” and a Whitney Houston musical, “Houston: We Have a Whitney.”

Next up: It’s Madonna time. The gallery will present The Madonna Musical in September.
Richardson is looking forward to the next musical. He recommends the event to anyone interested in having a raucous time with their family and friends.

“The show was great and I hope they do it for a million more years,” he said.


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