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Tickled Pink!

All photos by Trayce Gregoire

by Steve Desroches

At times it can feel as if everyone’s a critic. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the cheerleaders in life, those that are rooting for you, even if they don’t know you personally. And they are out there. Just don’t let their voices be drowned out by the haters and naysayers who always seem so loud. It’s a lesson that singer Sheree Marcelle reminds herself of frequently. As a child she loved music and would sing along to the radio. Raised by a single mother, private singing lessons were unaffordable. But when Marcelle got to Lynn Classical High School in her hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts, the world opened up for her when a music teacher noticed her talent and encouraged her to apply for a scholarship to study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston’s high school program. She received the scholarship and spent every Saturday studying music initially focused on musical theater, but pulled towards opera and classical performance by her teacher. This led to her continuing her studies after high school at the prestigious music program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. And all of this happened because in addition to her talents and work ethic someone took the time to say to her, “Yes! You can do it!”

Her experience at Carnegie Mellon didn’t necessarily go as planned, but also involved a singular voice of support. While studying opera, most every instructor told her she’d never be a success as a performer or singer of any kind, and that she should pursue a career in musicology or some other ancillary field. But there was one person who believed in her and would pull her aside to give her an occasional shot in the arm of encouragement.

“I just got back from Pittsburgh visiting a professor of mine,” says Marcelle. “He was the only one at Carnegie Mellon that believed in my voice. Without him I would have left singing. At the time I didn’t get into graduate school, I didn’t have any confidence. And I did give up music for a while. But his encouragement always stuck with me.”

Shaking off insecurity, Marcelle dove back into music and pursued the kind of music she wanted to sing in 2009 when she auditioned for a Latin R&B band, landing the gig, which led to another and then another and another. The opera training did come in handy as she knew how to really belt it for long periods of time without damaging her voice. Slowly but surely, Marcelle became a hit performing in Boston and beyond. And now, thanks to her friend Mike Flanagan, Marcelle is quickly becoming part of Provincetown’s storied entertainment scene as the duo perform The Music of P!nk at the Post Office Cabaret this summer. Marcelle and Flanagan have been working together for 12 years now after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Flanagan was performing at Club Café, the gay Back Bay hotspot, and needed a fill-in vocalist from time to time. Their shared friend, a straight man with no gaydar whatsoever, suggested she reach out to Flanagan for the job and tried to play matchmaker at the same time.

“He didn’t know Mike was gay,” says Marcelle. “He thought he was setting us up. I mean, I knew right away when I met him. We both had a big laugh. But I am so glad he made that introduction no matter what the intention was as I love working with Mike. There’s nothing better than working with someone on a shared love, and to work with a friend makes it even better.”

Prior to the pandemic Flanagan invited Marcelle to sing a few dates at Tin Pan Alley, the popular piano bar and restaurant across from Town Hall. She jumped at the chance as she’d first visited Provincetown at her former day-job’s company outing. It was a rough ferry ride, and most of the boat was seasick, but despite the rough passage, she instantly fell in love. Throughout her stay she continually thought this is the kind of town she’d love to perform in. But how? She didn’t know anyone here and didn’t have a clear lay of the land to start networking. Soon thereafter the phone rang and it was Flanagan. Just when she needed it another voice of support showed up right on time. The two then launched a season-long show in 2021 interpreting the work of Whitney Houston, and it was a huge hit, as was their show featuring the music of Adele in 2022. And over the winter Flanagan and Marcelle chose to present the music of P!nk, a performer who presents such versatility and refuses to be put in to a box. P!nk is an inspiration to both, with Flanagan citing her music as the soundtrack to him coming out as a gay man, and Marcelle, who found her to be that chorus of optimism and strength she needed when she decided to devote herself to singing.

“Look, I’ve always been a thick, curvy girl, I’ve always been round,” says Marcelle. “It’s why I pursued opera. I didn’t think there was a place for someone with a body like mine on Broadway or in pop music. I just thought, ‘Okay. Let’s put on the Viking horns. I can do that.’ But P!nk really inspired me to be myself and do whatever I want, no matter what others might say.”

The Music of P!nk with Sheree Marcelle and Mike Flanagan is at the Post Office Cabaret, 303 Commercial St., Saturday July 29, Friday, August 4, Friday, August 18 at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, September 15, Thursday, October 12, and Friday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($35/$40) are available at the box office and online at For more information call 508.487.0087

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Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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