Fourteen months have gone by since musical theater powerhouse Becca McCoy performed in front a real, live audience.
That was as brassy Mama Rose in Gypsy, down in Naples, and since the St. Pete native has been spinning her professional wheels, waiting for the day theaters are back open at full capacity.
McCoy, who’s lived in the Atlanta area since mid-pandemic, is back home Sunday, as the lead narrator in a live Florida Orchestra performance of composer Eleanor Alberga’s Snow White and the Seven Drawfs.
The Jamaica-born Alberga lives in Great Britain, and this Snow White for orchestra premiered there in 1994. The TFO concert matinee version – at the Mahaffey Theater – is the work’s U.S. premiere.
Ah, but this is not the squeaky-clean Walt Disney version. Alberga was commission to write the music by England’s Roald Dahl Foundation.
Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach) re-painted the old fairy tale in darker tones. “The adaptation,” says Becca McCoy, “is very, very cool.” Daniel Black conducts.
She’s excited to be on a stage again, even though the hall will be full of socially-distanced “pods” of mask-wearers.
That human connection has been sincerely missed. McCoy has an agent in Atlanta, although she has yet to meet him in person. And she’s performed in several “Zoom” films in conjunction with the Georgia Film Commission. Again, her directors and co-stars were just figures on a computer screen.
“I have stated afloat through a combination of charity and personal reserves that is nothing short of a miracle,” McCoy says. “The Atlanta house was owned by my boyfriend’s family. It was his grandmother’s home. But she passed a few years ago, and it was vacant.
“And the family offered it to us as a way to stay close to a major market, but also be driving distance to Florida. And mitigate our finances. It’s a place for two artists to land and try to survive this thing.”
She submits email auditions several times a week, but “I don’t see my own personal situation changing with any immediacy. I just keep down the path and know something will break at some point.”
Snow White, her third career narration gig with TFO, came up at the right time” “They asked if I was available, and I was already going to be in town for family-related reasons,” she says.
Afterwards, it’s back to Atlanta. McCoy doesn’t rule out a return to a local stage, for the right musical theater project.
“Everybody knows how to reach me,” she says. “If they reach out, absolutely. I’m always a St. Pete girl at heart, but I’m going to try to make traction in my new hometown – and see how that goes.”
This TFO Family Concert also includes a performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, set to video images of a new work by bay area artist Y La’Ford.
Details and tickets here.