Thursday, February 28, 2008

This is the second time I've received an email about the Millau Viaduct. And while I can appreciate the impressiveness, and even the beauty, of this modern wonder, you will NEVER, EVER see me on it.

I don't like bridges.

Thank You, Linda!

You really did brighten my day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A (Short) Afternoon at the Theatre

Mikey, Mallorie, and I ventured to Concord to see Michael Carter in Moon Over Buffalo at Old Courthouse Theatre. I was not familiar with the show, but Michael told me to be prepared to laugh a lot. Michael wasn't kidding. We laughed, but not in a good way. The show was so bad that we were verbalizing our utter disbelief at the overacting.

Andrea Rassler, who played Rosalind, was capable enough, although she looked very uncomfortable in her heeled shoes. Jonathan Ewart, who played Howard, was awkward. His fall onto the couch would have been much better had he simply gone over and fallen. Instead he made it look just what it was - the director gave him that specific blocking. Jim Esposito and Susan Capotosto, as George and Charlotte Hays, started out promising. Until she started "hitting" her costar with a rolled up newspaper. Oh, it was scripted, and unfortunately it came across looking so very contrived. As did her knee to his groin. When a script calls for such physical contact, the actors involved should get together to work the scene so it will appear real and believable to the audience and such that the actors can remain safe. It was very apparent that this did not occur.

Continued overacting, forced blocking and tentative handling of ripping prop pants lead to our decision to leave at the end of Act One.

There were some positives. Michael Henry Carter (Paul), Becky Porter (Ethel), and Mandy Smith (Eileen) were outstanding. And I mean just that. Their talents were such that they stood far above their castmates. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to enticed us back.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Night at the Theatre

We just finished seeing Kernersville Little Theatre's production of Just Kidding. As a VP and Board Member of KLT, I should write only the positive things about the production. However, I want to be true to myself and the purpose of this blog; to be as honest as best I can with my experiences. Having said that, I was absolutely disappointed.

The show suffered from major pacing problems. Some of these problems stemmed from a lackluster audience of 87 and some stemmed from particular actors. Kay Ward, who played Sandra Rogers, was one such actor. As soon as she stepped on-stage the air left the room. She desperately needed some cheese to go with her whine! Geez. Yes, I originated Sandra in Burlington, but I assure you, this is not a case of sour grapes. Two minutes into the show, Mallorie whispered, "Mom, you were soooo much better."

I'd like to blame Kay's performance for Stephen Swoap's portrayal of Calvin Rogers. Actors feed off each other and Stephen looked like he was starving. I could see a great deal of potential in his Calvin, but it was a lack of energy that killed his character. Even his "fight" scene with Scott Spencer (who played brother-in-law Wayne Maybrie) looked, well, staged.

Macon Shirley had the honor of playing the best, and funniest, role in Just Kidding. Unfortunately, he never quite rose to the occasion. I simply don't understand how a gay man who is playing a gay man can look so fake. Several times during the show I wanted to go up and yell at him to "Stop acting!! Just be yourself!!"

Scott Spenser and Karen Price-Crowder (who played stage mother Jessica Finch) were as good as they always are. Luke Van Hine was also good as nephew Todd Maybrie. Morgan Robbins was very good as fake daughter, Claire, and her 'sunrise, sunset' was appropriately bad. Jean Burr could have been better as Monique, if only Macon had given her more. The best performance was by Chuck Powers who played Officer Chris Gentry. Perhaps not too ironic is his striking resemblance to KLT regular, Dick Strohemier.

Disappointment aside, I am crossing my fingers that the pacing problems can (and will) be overcome. Just Kidding is a really cute show, perfect for community theatre and community theatre audiences.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Celebration of Life

Mikey and I went to David's memorial service tonight. Due to the new Greensboro by-pass, we ended up arriving 30 minutes late. We missed hearing David's father speak, and pictures of David when he was a child. We did get to see other slideshows of David as a teenager and adult, hear stories from his high school chorus teacher, listen to beautiful songs sung by Jean Marie Buckley, Danielle Blakeman, Jonathan Cobrda, Kim Harrison, Neil Sheppard, Craig Richardson, Mitchell Sommers and Jordan Legaux. Vanessa Martinez performed a dance to "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast.

With the assistance of other grieving people, I was finally able to let go of my anger. I smiled, and even laughed, at some of the memories, and I let my tears flow freely. Tonight I realized how truly blessed I was to have had the opportunity to have called David my friend.

In December, David would write a poem and send to all his friends. I was lucky to have received this email two years ago. Karen Wray recited it at the memorial service.

Oh December
Yet again upon the land you descend
With pinkish hues of morning sun
Catching last the leaves of amber and gold

Upon me you dawn again
And pause with reflection do I
On moments since last you saw me
And beheld I the season nigh

And though I dwell in new abode
Far from loved ones of blood and soul
Oh December, you still find me
As does their love find my heart

As I unbox the glistening orbs
To deck new halls this time of year
Occurs to me a thought profound
And my soul it warms indeed

That changed though the place may be
The inner reaches of who I am
In truth and in dream, remain steadfast
As do my memories of all

All that upon my path with me have trod
All that have loved, cried and fought with me
All that shaped me, in ways small and grand
Oh December, you dawn upon them as well

Hence dear friends again a glass I raise
And dear friends, a prayer I raise
That your December with joy be filled
Until meet again we do in days to come


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My head is full today; too full, I think. Thoughts are running amok and emotions are bouncing off my brain. At times I find it difficult; to remember even to breathe.

I never thought I'd be here again; didn't want to ever be here again. And yet, I am out on the dance floor. I am swaying to the music, hypnotized by the beat and blinded by the lights. I paid to enter this club; I never get in for free.

Slow and sensual, I am alive! There are times when the bass is too much. Reverberating my heart; so close to exploding I feel. It is infectious and dangerous. I am free and possessed.

The music changes, as it always does. I am terrified that I will not, cannot keep up. The crowd is too much; my air is dissipating. I can see the exit, clearly marked. So very close; the neon lights tantalize me. Wish me to remain, and dance uninhibited.

And I cannot forget that I paid to be here. I never get in for free.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

An Evening at the Theatre

Last night, Mikey and I attended Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance's opening night performance of Southern Baptist Sissies. If you haven't made plans to see the show, you really should.

I agree largely with the Journal's review. Bryan Daniel was outstanding, as was Gray Smith. Gray is an extremely talented actor and can very well pull off impersonations of Wynonna, Cher, and Tammy Wynette. However, in my opinion these added characters interrupted the overall flow of the show. Jay Smith and Mason Reich both played repressed gay characters, and I caught myself waiting for both of them to power up. Mason, especially held back on his performance. He would have been wonderful if he had just let go a bit more. Kevin Mundy and Kelly Wallace were refreshing and hysterical as Peanut and Odette. Danya Benson brought 4 different mothers to believable life.

For religious, straight, and/or gay members of the audience, the play spoke powerfully, as evidenced by quiet sniffling. And I'll admit, some of the sniffles were mine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love My Job

I just had to tell you. I love my job! I've finally learned enough that I don't have to pester April with questions every 5 minutes. I'm also excited that I can anticipate and don't always have to wait for her to give me an assignment. Nanette has mentioned that April is much less stressed than convention time last year. Even April is a bit surprised at how organized and calm things are. I can't take full credit, but I know my work in the office is beneficial. I love the sense of accomplishment I have at the end of the day.


I wanted to let you know how much my wife and I enjoyed the show this past Sun. It was wonderful!
We have been season ticket holders for quite a few years now. We thoroughly enjoyed THE FOREIGNER! We are still chuckling about the funny scenes. I believe that it is one of the most delightful productions that we have seen at The Little Theatre, although we have many favorites! Thanks for the consistently high quality theater that you all work so hard to bring to Winston Salem. Congratulations to all of you!
Dawn Martin
We made it to the show this afternoon. It was a blast! Our oldest daughter went with us. She chuckled the whole way through. Had to be a great cast to work with. Great job!!
Hi, I just wanted to congratulate you on your performance again. Also what I didn't get to tell you last night is that you are absolutely gorgeous! Stunning really. I just wanted to let you know that you are so talented and beautiful and I loved getting to see you in that role. Congratulations again!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love and Support

April, Betsy, Michael, Norm and Reba, Kelly and Meghan, Ally, Mimi, Dad and Kelly, Jamie and Gray, Emily, Mallorie, Myla and Paul, Paul, Bill and Kathy and Andy, Charis, Craig, Allan, Allan and Barbara, Gina and Don, Jake, Glenn and O, LeeAnn and family,

Thank you so much for coming to see The Foreigner. Each of you, and your support, means the world to me.

Greetings from jetBlue!

To: Dusty
From: Cheryl Ann
Date: Feb 9, 2008 1:53 PM
Subject: My First REAL Trip
So, how was your first REAL trip? Meet any crazy customers?

From: Dusty
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 12:51 am

Yes, two tonight that were fighting. Two dudes were hitting each other from the FLL flight to JFK. Both me and the F3 went over to see what was up. They were friends getting into some disagreement. They settled down for a few minutes, but started back and I wasn't having any of it, so I walked back up with my F3 and told the guy I was giving him his one and only warning and that was to behave or I'd move one of them to the back of the plane. haha. It was crazy but I handled it well.

Other than that- flying is FUN. I can't believe I'm doing this! LOL. You should do it too!!!!!!!!

What's new with you?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Email from Charis!

Subject: Drowsy Chaperone ecard
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 1:01 pm
Cheryl Ann,

I probably should have sent this last weekend but I just wanted to tell you that I hope you have a great show. Break a leg!

More Numbing News

A note from David's sister, Elizabeth...

Accidental? How? Why?

I simply cannot make sense of all this.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Greetings from jetBlue!

From: Dusty
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 3:46 pm
Subject: My First REAL Trip

I'm on reserve starting tomorrow and at 3pm the day before, we have to call Crew Scheduling to 'check in'. I just called and they told me they were backed up and to call back in 30 min. I logged onto my FLiCA account (scheduling) and saw that I have a 3 day trip scheduled for tomorrow!!!! I'm flying out tomorrow evening to BUF for a layover, then on Friday afternoon, I go down to MCO and back up to SWF for another layover. Then Saturday afternoon, I fly down to FLL and return back to JFK. Wow. Fun eh? hahaha.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Mr. David Edward Wright, 45, of 716 Shannon Road, Asheboro, NC, died Friday, February 1, 2008, at his Greensboro residence.

A memorial service will conducted at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at the Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene Street, Greensboro.

I met David during CTG's production of Grease in June 2004. He hosted a cast party and welcomed me to his home, even though I wasn't part of the cast. We talked and laughed, and eventually entered into a refrigerator magnetic poetry contest. He beat me, hands down, every time. He had a very kind soul and a beautiful way with words.

David and I became good friends. I attended many parties hosted at his house and was in the audience for most of his shows. We spend a lot of time talking at length about life and love.

I am absolutely stunned that David is...has, died. The circumstance surrounding his death is unfathomable. I'm having a difficult time coming to terms with this news. I am simply numb.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Review for The Foreigner

Sight Gags: Laughs are guaranteed in The Foreigner
By Mary Martin Niepold
It’s a crazy mix of zany characters. Some are Southern, some are British, and all of them have eccentricities that spread laughter through the audience like buckshot.

The Foreigner, which opened Friday night at the Little Theatre, is one of playwright Larry Shue’s best known works.

Laughs are guaranteed.

This is a farce, and as such, relies on sight gags, exaggerated gestures and an array of caricatures. The characters all show up at the same small rural hunting lodge in Georgia, flaunting their particular version of what life is all about.

Most of them are looking for their own identities. Two of them are trying to conceal who they really are.

What a cast of characters. Just look at their bios:

Betty is an older widow who owns the lodge and needs to feel young again. Froggie hails from England and is a bomb specialist who has come to the area once again to teach bomb tactics at a nearby military base. Charlie is his friend from England who is so bashful that he invents a language (and persona) to be able to deal with the other guests while Froggie is away. David, a guest, is a minister whose niceness is a front for theft. Catharine, a debutante, is pregnant, wealthy and set to marry David, but naturally they stay in separate rooms. Ellard is her slow-witted brother, and Owen is a local whose hood-wearing buddies back his shenanigans with David.

What results can’t adequately be translated to print.

When Betty says she sees “a tractor” in the story that Charlie has just made up and spouted off in gibberish, the audience falls apart.

When Charlie re-enacts Frankenstein to scare the bully, Owen, he can - because in real life Charlie’s a proofreader for a science-fiction magazine.

Both scenes bring on laughs because the play evolves around a tight plot.

Characters are so fully drawn by the actors that when any of them does deliver a line, it makes perfect sense.

The Foreigner is an enormously popular work by Shue.

Having premiered in the early ’80s, its reception recalled his earlier work, The Nerd.

But this play at the Little Theatre wouldn’t necessarily come off without the slapstick acuity of director Stan Bernstein.

Bernstein, a prolific local actor and director, seems to have found his own passion for theater. He knows how to deliver lines, he knows pacing, and fortunately, with his guidance, his actors do, too.

Good ensemble acting keeps the whole show going, but special bows go to Charlie, Froggie, Betty and Ellard.

Chad Edwards, who teaches theater arts at Mount Tabor High School, almost steals the show. His rendition of the hapless hero who eventually finds his own voice relies on a full array of body movements, facial expressions and timing. Edwards delivers on all counts.

Pat Shumate as Betty is as close to the real thing as the lovable Southern woman who wants to believe and has an active imagination to make just about anything plausible.

Mikey Wiseman as Froggie is a swaggering foil to Charlie’s ineptness, and Mark March as the slow-witted Ellard makes floundering look delightful.