Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Question To Ponder

Sitting around the table, having apple pie, a friend asked, "What are your five favorite shows you've ever seen?" 

Wow. That is a HARD question for show fanatics like those in my household. If you are a theatre geek at all, I will give you a moment to think of yours. It could be anything about the performance that puts it on your list - the story, the music, the costuming, the setting, etc.

The first two were easy, popping out before I had stopped to really think. The others took days of pondering. I am now ready to answer.

This is my all time favorite show. The music engages me. The storyline always takes me on an emotional ride. I was fortunate enough to see it twice on Broadway. Due to its long run I saw it nearly ten years apart; February of 1998 and June of 2008. Wilson Cruz was Angel the first time I saw it and the final cast included Renee Elise Goldsberry. A very easy choice for the top of my list.

Not too much further down the list comes "Les Mis". I am not sure how many times I have seen it live, but it is at least three. Again, this is such a major work of art with a stellar soundtrack, moving story lines, and every time I have seen it there has been fantabulous costuming and dramatic staging.

What came next too pondering. How "A Chorus Line" came to hold a spot on the list has to do with my childhood. I grew up listening to show tunes - cast recordings on LP and cassette tape. This show was one I had completely memorized before I was eight. I had (I thought) figured out exactly how the storyline went, based on my deep understanding of the lyrics - and then I saw the show twenty some years later. It holds a place for the relearning that took place as I, for the first time, understood that there were several characters telling their story during "At The Ballet". And how can you NOT love seeing "One" fully staged (on Broadway, nonetheless)?!

February of 1999 I was working in Manhattan. I made a deal with myself, I couldn't see a show every night. I saw on and off Broadway productions, some I had heard of and some that were of what happened to be available at Twofers. This is a show I stumbled upon. (Funny story, I got lax in 'dressing' for a show as the month went on. I could claim my northwest culture overtook me, but I remember being particularly 'comfortable' for this show.) I could have seen this show over and over, day after day. You might recognize lots of the music, but to see the Fosse choreography by amazing dancers. This show was not about ritzy sets, fancy costumes, or complex plots. It was all about the dancing and it was an evening of wonder.

"The Lion King", on the other hand, was all about the set and costumes. From the opening number the costuming held me in rapt awe. For me, seeing this show was all about the visuals of staging and costume design. No wonder they won the Tony for best set design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, and puppet design.

Yes, this is the sixth on my list as I am certain that one day this show will replace one of the above. When I finally get the chance to be 'in the room where it happens' I won't be able to contain my joy or tears. We shall see which spot it holds, once the day arrives.

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Monday - What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

In addition to the books listed, I also read the 44 episode "Blue Babies Pink: A Southern Coming Out Story"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Search for Equilibrium

In trying to find my equilibrium I have had some success. One that I didn't expect was by watching the Tony Awards acceptance speeches by the cast of Hamilton. I had forgotten about Lin-Manuel Miranda's sonet. 

My wife's the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one.
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they're finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers.
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall, and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love;
Cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa's symphony; Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.

Just as fitting today as it was in reference to Orlando.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

At A Loss

I am at a loss for words. I am genuinely frightened as I look at the future that is very possibly before us. How can people vote for hate? How can I look my daughter in the eyes and explain this to her. I pray dawn in the U.S. somehow brings more than just light. I pray for peace of hearts and hope to all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

No Longer Invisible

Thankful to be on the ground in my destination city after a day of travel and really ready to be at the hotel, grab some dinner, and get some sleep. As the traffic both zipped and crawled along the path of pavement my mind wandered. The vehicle came to a rest and my gaze shifted from the front to side window and I was taken aback to find a man staring at me.

At that moment several thoughts passed through my mind...

Wow! He is looking RIGHT at me, as if he can see me. I am no longer invisible.

Oh! I am not in my truck with the windows tinted as dark as possible - he CAN see me.

Note to self - this is how most of the world lives. Most of the world lives with the ability to look at one another. Most of the world can choose to acknowledge every person they pass by at least looking in their eyes.