Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tricker Treat!

No, that's not a misspelling. That's exactly what my 4-year old son has been saying all day. Cade doesn't understand that upon the opening of the door he just knocked on, he's supposed to be giving the occupant an option of Trick or Treat. I guess these days the treats are expected so no one really plans what kind of trick to play.

As I walked around with Cade and Mallorie tonight...yes, I said Mallorie, and yes, she is 14 years old. She wanted to go and I agreed, as long as she wore a costume. (I always took exception to the obvious teenagers that wouldn't even bother with a disguise, but had no qualms about holding out their bags for my candy.) She put on her pajama bottoms, wore her purple fuzzy bathrobe and fluffy slippers. I had to agree to no photos if she wore her hair in pigtails. After listening to her gripe about the pigtails I decided against drawing freckles on her....

As I walked around with Cade and Mallorie tonight, I was struck by how much each has grown. Mallorie was an excellent big sister. She watched out for Cade, let him ring the doorbells and made sure he said his thank yous before heading to the next house. Cade practically flew from one house to another, and I got tickled listening to him shout "Tricker Treat!" This Halloween Cade's bag pooped out long before his legs did.

Huge bowls of candy were left out on the stoops at about a third of the houses we visited tonight. I found this occurrence extremely interesting. Do people really feel that obligated to provide candy to the annual trick or treaters? Some inhabitants were clearly not at home, but apparently still felt it necessary to leave the porch light on and a bowl of candy on the steps. Or are some people so lazy that they can't get up and answer the door to feign fright and/or excitement at the sight of monsters, princesses/ballerinas, superheroes, pirates, and animals? Some inhabitants were clearly home...you could see socked feet propped up by the Lazy Boy and the TV blaring. Obligated and/or anti-social. I'll be interested to see if this "trend" spreads next year.

Still, no matter how Cade and Mallorie received their candy, this year they received quality candy. Following ancient family tradition when we returned home we dumped out the contents of both bags (in separate piles...the earth's rotation would surely halt if Cade's and Mallorie's candy got mixed) and we took out all the crap candy. Oh, come on. You know the crap candy....the caramel cubes, the black and orange chewy wrapped (peanut butter??)candy, the no-name chocolate disguised in foil as pumpkins, Frankensteins, and eyeballs. Oh, and the hard candy in the cellophane wrappers. Last year the crap candy ended up in a ziploc bag and brought in to work in January. This year there were less than 10 pieces of crap candy. Now that's progress!

Here are the Tricker Treaters with their bounty.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Performance, On Golden Pond

Craig Dixon, who plays Charlie, had a previous commitment for tonight's performance. So, Ken, who also directed, understudied the role. He was Charlie tonight.

I watched his first scene peeking behind the backstage curtain. I did a silent cheer as the scene went off without any hitch. Karen and Bill handled the new Charlie beautifully. And Ken brought a real honesty to Charlie. I was impressed and a bit nervous about our scene together.

Ken and I have done a few shows together, but this is the first time that we actually had a scene together. I had a bit of a time getting him out of his wet jacket. Craig and I are about the same height, so I had to adjust for Ken being taller. Once we settled on the couch and began to reminisce, the scene flowed comfortably.

I enjoyed playing opposite Ken, and very much hope we can again soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Enrico Fermi High School Prom

I just got back from the Prom, and let me tell you, I had a nuclear blast!

I simply cannot say enough about "Zombie Prom". The cast made up for lack of plot with plenty of energy and loads of enthusiasm. Gray Smith was a riot as Delilah Strict. (The wig he wore in Act One was the same wig I wore as Latrelle in "Sordid Lives".) Gray and John Bennett, as Eddie Flagrante, had the most entertaining number and danced me into near hysterics. Kudos to the students of Enrico Fermi High: Mary Barnhardt (Candy), Kathryn Kratzer (Coco), Amanda Martin (Ginger), Sarah Negovetich (Nutmeg), Jeff Aguiar (Joey), Michael Ferguson (Jake) and Mason Reich (whose Josh wore the same nerd glasses that I wore in DDD). They were all wonderful, and I was absolutely amazed at all the choreography they had to learn and execute. Jay Smith as Jonny (notice the missing H) had some memorable zombie numbers as well. The cameo appearance of David Joy as the janitor was a hoot, as were the appearances of many well-known monsters during the curtain call. Oh, yeah, the curtain call. One word: WOW!

But I must say that the highlight of the entire show was Emily Mark as Toffee. I am absolutely at a loss of appropriate adjectives to describe her triple threat talent and my sheer admiration. I'm trying not to sound like a love-sick lesbian (because I'm neither) but, simply and honestly, when she sang she knocked my bobby socks and saddle shoes right off.

If you can, go see the show. This is the last weekend. You won't have to think, just sit back and be purely entertained by a phenomenal cast.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is the Post Office Working?

Exactly two weeks ago I graced the Lewisville Post Office to mail part of my past back to Greensboro. You see, I had been wrestling with varied thoughts and emotions concerning a recent re-introduction, and the subsequent silence, of someone from the past. Faith and trust finally ran out, and I realized it was high time to put the period on the last sentence in the final chapter of our book. As such, I felt really good about my decision to return a box full of history.

Again, it's been two weeks, and I have no idea if the intended recipient even got the package. Granted, I could have requested a return signature, but being the ever so thoughtful person I am, I didn't want to unduly burden the other party. Normally I wouldn't be so concerned with whether the package was received, except that I asked for the return of a very significant item. An item that I purchased, against my gut instinct.

I have not received the item, nor any communication concerning pickup of requested item. I also have not received the package back. So, here I am left to wonder if the Lewisville Post Office failed me once again. (Remember the problem with my severance check?)

I should have known better. FedEx is the better way to go, and always request a signature confirmation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pics from Grace and Glorie

A 4-Year Old and His Beloved Nemo

Look at the pride on that little face!

Two weeks ago Cade went to the fair with Allan. They played the "Ping Pong Ball" game. (You know the one....you toss a ping pong ball and hope it lands on the jar and not between the jars.) Cade nailed the jar on his first try! Allan thought Cade had won a little stuffed animal. He was totally surprised when the carnie handed him a bag of water containing a goldfish. Cade was thrilled! Allan, however, was less than pleased as he had to carry the fish around the fair for 4 hours. (Cade's 4 year old exuberance was too much for the goldfish who wouldn't have made it out of the parking lot alive if Allan hadn't intervened.)

Cade greeted each morning with a cheery "Hello, Nemo. I love you" and ended each evening with "Good night, Nemo. I love you". Cade would carefully carry Nemo's bowl to into the living room whenever he played cars or watched TV. Cade loved Nemo.

Last night the inevitable happened. After Cade went to bed, but before I turned in, Nemo went to forever swim in that big pond in the sky. Now, this would be Cade's first real experience with death and I wasn't sure what to do. Having seen how gross dead fish get (the beta/plant crazy a few years ago), I decided to flush Nemo and explain to Cade in the morning.

This morning before Cade could make it to the kitchen, I took his hand and led him to the living room. I sat him on my lap and told him that Nemo had died during the night. Cade sniffled, and in a very quivery voice said, "But I loved him so much." He then buried his head on my shoulder and I waited for the sobbing. Cade straightened up and asked me if I threw Nemo away. "I flushed him down the toilet." Cade said "Ok", hugged me, and told me again how much he loved Nemo.

And that was it. Cade then got down from my lap and got dressed for school. There were no tears and no further sadness.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Things that Go Bump in the Night

I was up late last night, or early this morning, depending on how you look at it. I have frequent bouts with insomnia, and last night I was still awake at 5am, sitting on my living room couch. The TV was on (a rerun of CSI: Miami from earlier that night) and I was playing Bejeweled 2 on my laptop.

I felt the vibration in the same instant I heard the "boom". (Though it really wasn't a boom, that's the best word I can come up with.) I think my heart actually stopped for a second. I've heard people say that their "blood turned cold" and yes, that's a very accurate statement. At the time my blood froze every hair on my body stood straight up. I was terrified.

You see, I wasn't really sure what had happened. While it felt like a car had hit the house, there were no headlights or car engine noises. Then I thought someone was trying to steal the cars and had backed into the house. But my dog, Roxie, wasn't barking. Then I thought perhaps they drugged Roxie or killed her. Then I started thinking about serial killers and supernatural phenomena. I was too afraid to move from the couch. I simply sat there, in the glow of the TV and my laptop, and focused on breathing and curbing my escalating thoughts. Hey, Mallorie's bedroom was right above me. Maybe she fell out of bed?

After a few minutes of listening to nothing (I had muted the TV) I began to wonder if I had just imagined the episode. I was playing Bejeweled, and the gems do shake when you have no more moves...

Deciding I was beyond tired, I did go to bed. Mallorie left for school without saying anything and Cade never mentioned anything this morning. The cars were still in the driveway and the house was intact. All day I kept telling myself that I must have dozed off during Level 6 of Bejeweled. Even with that logical excuse I still felt uneasy. Am I losing my mind?

It was Mallorie that finally validated last night's occurrence. Apparently it was all they talked about in school today....

A 2.6 earthquake classified as "micro" rattled the Triad area this morning, though there were no immediate reports of structure damage or injuries, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

One resident said the 4:56 a.m. quake felt like a large boom that lasted just a second or two. The epicenter was estimated at 3 miles east-northeast of Winston-Salem.

"We haven't heard of there being any damage or anything, and typically you're not going to experience that" with a quake this small, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the USGS in Golden, Colo.

She said though unusual for North Carolina, a quake of this magnitude would not be noticed in earthquake-prone California.

Well, good. I'm not crazy. Still, I think I'll lay off the late night Bejeweled sessions.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Gainfully Employed

So, today starts my third week of gainful employment. Third week? Yes, I wanted to wait to see how things went before I announced to the world.

I am the Advertising and Sponsorship Sales Director for The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem. It's a very impressive title, isn't it?! Someone asked me how many people I get to "direct". Actually, there's only one. Me. I'm the Sales Department. I will be the one who will canvas Winston-Salem asking businesses to purchase ads or become show sponsors.

Now this is a very interesting position for me, in the sense that I've no previous sales experiences. (Well, except for that year I sold Girl Scout cookies.) I was told that I didn't really need sales experience, that my background as an actress and my passion for theatre will seal the deals. And the fact that apparently I'm a bit easy on the eyes doesn't hurt either....

So, if you know anyone that would like to advertise in the Show Playbills, please ask him/her to contact me. I'm listed on the Contact Us page at www.littletheatreonline.com.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Night At The Theatre

Last night, Ken and I drove to Greensboro to see a touring production of The Producers.

The show was a bit delayed in starting. Apparently the crew was running behind schedule due to an extended strike of Barney Live! We also did not get our Playbills. Word was that they had been shipped to the wrong address. There were also several instances when the backstage crew, and lighting crew screwed up. One crew member opened the door anticipating changing the scene only to learn the scene wasn't over. I'm used to seeing these errors in community theatre. I was very disappointed with these mistakes for a Broadway touring production.

The show itself....well, I hate to admit it but I was bored. I had already seen the movie musical and the touring production was exactly the same. I just was not impressed with the two leads who were acting more Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick instead of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rehearsals, On Golden Pond

Here are some photos I quickly snapped off during last night's rehearsal. Our director, Ken, is standing in as Billy.

And oh yeah, we open next Friday!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What You Missed, A Grace and Glorie Review

By Ken Ashford

In the local community theater scene, there are several companies from which you can expect a quality production: The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance, The Community Theatre of Greensboro, etc.

Then there are other smaller companies (from smaller communities and/or church groups) which lack the budget and personnel and so-on who mount reasonable shows, but it is sometimes a hit-or-miss proposition. Sometimes the show they've selected is overly ambitious, given the space or caliber of the cast.

But once in a while, the right mix of cast and production come together and one of the smaller community theaters presents an evening which can rival the best in the area.

Grace & Glorie, presented by the Kernersville Little Theatre, was such a production.

I caught the show in its closing weekend.

The Winston-Salem Journal described the play as follows:
Grace and Glorie is the story of Grace, a 90-year old woman who is dying of cancer and Gloria, her hospice worker who has moved to the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia from New York City.

Gloria volunteers at a hospital to help terminally ill people, and Grace is her third assignment.
Well, yes. That's the general plot. But there's more to it.

Grace is an illiterate religious hardy woman set in her ways. She has lived her quiet life, never traveling for more than 50 miles from her home, and never seriously contemplating her life's value or her legacy.

Glorie is a contemporary secular "power" woman who left the fast lane (with her husband) following the death of her son in an automobile accident (she was driving at the time).

In their own ways, both characters are coping with death -- Grace with her own impending demise, and Glorie with her son's tragic end. But other than that, they share almost nothing in common.

And while Glorie is looking for answers surrounding the meaning of life (and death), Grace never even thought about the questions.

The culture clash between the two women provides for most, if not all, of the humor between the two women. Glorie introduces Grace to hair mousse, lobster salad and video cameras; Grace introduces Glorie to pot-bellied stoves and Velveeta cheese sandwiches.

But somehow, the two stubborn characters manage to connect, find some common ground, and learn from each other. To the credit of playwright Tom Ziegler, this is achieved without weepy sentimentality (although the show is a tearjerker).

Still, a "talky" play runs the risk of becoming boring and preachy. This is where the cast of Grace & Glorie really shined. Pat Shumate (Grace) and Cheryl Ann Roberts (Glorie) worked exceedingly well together, and whether they were sparring with each other or comforting each other, you really believed every moment and every word. It's rare (and nice) to see such rich and developed characters, and even more difficult to portray them for over two hours. But both actresses rose to the occasion, each sending the audience into emotional roller coasters of hilarity and sadness.

The KLT production was in Koerner's Folly, a perfect venue for such an intimate show (the Folly seats only about 60 people).

I would tell you to go see it, but the production is closed. Your loss.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shave and a Haircut

Look at Cade! He is smiling so proudly because this morning he decided to cut his own hair. You can see the patch that he "buzz cut" with the scissors. Apparently he decided he no longer wanted bangs.

I couldn't help but laugh. I've heard stories and seen pictures of friends' and coworkers' future hairstylist and barber kids. It's a rite of passage and all that.

However, Cade's father didn't think it was one bit funny. Apparently he, nor his 4 siblings, EVER cut their own hair. Right.....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Final Performance, Grace and Glorie

I really don't like matinee performances, and I despise closing a show on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday matinee audiences are usually more sedate, which usually means the actors don't have the needed energy from which to draw. Making it worse is the Folly's restriction concerning black curtains over the windows. As a result our stage never gets dark enough, and we can't tell when the lights go up or down, are on or off. Still, Pat and I ended the run on a good note. Today's performance was solid, as evidenced by the sniffling and tears.

Tomorrow I will trade Glorie in for Chelsea as I head over to "Pond" rehearsals. Neither Grace nor Glorie will forgotten. Pat and I will resurrect both for the NCTC competition in November.

So, it's not goodbye, but see you soon!