“"You have to see this! It is an extraordinary story of an exceptional human being. What a story! What a life! What a fantastic show! " ”
— Sir Elton John
'Somewhere Between' explores personal journey through song
By Amy Stumpfl, For The Tennessean 6:49 p.m. CDT March 20, 2016 (Nashville, TN)
In the world of theater, few things are more daunting than the one-person show. A true test of energy, skill and
charisma, there’s simply no one else to lean on when you take the stage for a solo performance.
Autobiographical shows tend to be even more challenging, as the performer strives to present a neatly
packaged work of self-discovery and life lessons. Too often, the actor is so busy telling his story that he forgets
to be present in the story.
But I can assure you that this is not the case with Cidny Bullens’ powerful “Somewhere Between: A One
Wo/Man Show,” making its Nashville premiere at Bongo After Hours Theatre.
To call Bullens’ story remarkable would be a gross understatement. The two-time Grammy nominee started out as Cindy Bullens, touring with Elton John,
providing vocals for the soundtrack of the 1978 blockbuster film “Grease” and enjoying success as a singer and songwriter in Music City.
But “Somewhere Between” digs much deeper into Bullens’ unlikely journey as a wife and mother, bereaved parent (she lost her 11-year-old daughter
Jessie to cancer in March 1996) and, finally, her decision to transition from female to male, becoming Cidny in 2011.
It’s a lot to cover in roughly 90 minutes. But under the direction of Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, Bullens guides the audience through the many twists and
turns of his life, punctuating each chapter with highlights from his more than 40 years in the music business.
His knack for lyrics is clear in songs such as “Sensible Shoes” and “Gravity and Grace,” and he shows off his considerable guitar skills on “Boxing with
God.” But it’s the deeply personal tone of “Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth,” “The End of Wishful Thinking” and “Mockingbird Hill” that is most
touching. And though I’ve heard these songs before, experiencing them live and in the context of Bullens’ gut-wrenching story is even more compelling.
And while that story is clearly emotional — many people in the audience Saturday night could be seen dabbing their eyes — the tone remains
surprisingly buoyant and full of hope. Bullens’ delivery is honest and sincere, marked with an easy, self-deprecating brand of humor.
Bongo After Hours provides the perfect setting for such an intimate show, and the multimedia design — which Bullens put together with Joshua Langman
— anchors the piece with home movies and family photos.
Occasionally, Cid steals a glance at the slideshow unfolding over his shoulder, almost shaking his head at the wonder of it all. And in these tender
moments, we are reminded that this is not just a piece of theater — it’s his life.
Beautifully crafted and full of courage, “Somewhere Between” offers a heartfelt — and remarkably human — story that you won’t want to miss.
Michael Musto Interview for OUT.com 1.30.17
Once known to Nashville’s music community as Cindy Bullens — singer-songwriter, wife and mother — Bullens’ transformation into Cidny is a fascinating story that he told with grace and emotional power through a heartfelt original script and songs drawn from the well-respected Bullens catalog. This show was Music City’s one-of-a-kind gift to the local trans community, but also a startlingly original piece of theater. MARTIN BRADY October 6, 2016