Free show brings laughs, music and message

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – After a long and winding journey, the duo known as “SpiriTed” — Jonathan Cring and Janet Clazzy — will bring their show to First United Methodist Church in LaPlace next week.

“We are like a two-person, message-driven show,” said Clazzy from the road in Florida.

Cring came up in the world of country and folk music and has graced the stage at such institutions as the Grand Ole Opry. He also writes a daily online column called “Jonathots.”

Clazzy, an oboe player, came from a classical background.

The pair got together when both found themselves teaching around Shreveport. While there, Clazzy said she went to see a musical called “Mountain,” which Cring wrote.

“I went to see it, and I was just totally blown away,” she said.

Although Clazzy introduced herself to her future musical partner the two would soon part ways as Cring and his family moved to California.

Then, in 1996 Clazzy moved to Nashville.

“I quite accidentally discovered that Jonathan and his family had moved there a few years before,” she said.

By that point Cring had written his first book, “I’M: The Legend of the Son of Man,” about the early years of Jesus’ life, and his publisher wanted him to go out and do book readings.

Cring agreed, but decided to do readings his way. He and Clazzy got together and created a musical show of the book.

“The show has evolved into what we call ‘SpiriTed,’” said Clazzy.

The show has gone through quite an evolution in the ensuing decade and a half.

“About 10 years ago, we were looking for a way to put more variety into what we do,” said Clazzy.

Because the oboe is somewhat limited in its musical range, Clazzy now plays a “wind machine” — an instrument that looks like clarinet but mimics a wide variety of instruments.

“We have one piece where I go through seven different instruments in a minute and a half,” said Clazzy.

In its current incarnation, the main theme and title of the show is “No One is Better Than Anyone Else,” Cring’s version of “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Clazzy said those who attend the show are in for a real treat.

She has nothing but high praise for Cring, whose singing voice she describes as “John Denver with a helping of Elton John.”

“Jonathan is funny,” she added. “He hates it when I tell people that.”

She said Tuesday’s event will be a “One-hour, high-energy show.”

“We’ll all get home to catch the last half hour of ‘Biggest Loser,’” she quipped.

First United Methodist Church is located at 301 Bamboo Road in LaPlace. The show begins at 7 p.m., and admission is free.