Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Believe (Do You?)

I Believe...
Just because two people argue, doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue, doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
We don't have to change friends if we understand friends change.

I Believe....
No matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
True friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
You can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...
It is taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...
You should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe...
You can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...
We are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
Either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...
Heroes are the people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of consequences.

I Believe...
Money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...
My best friend and I can do anything or nothing, and have the best time.

I Believe...
Sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
Sometimes when I 'm angry, I have the right to be angry.
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
Maturity has more to do with the types of experiences you've had and what you've learned and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...
It isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
No matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe...
Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
You shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
Your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
Even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
Credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
The people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe.....
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything.
They just make the most of anything.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Once again Santa was very, very good to us. No, Mallorie isn't in pain, that's excitement caught in the Kodak moment. She loved the Guitar Hero Santa left for her. And Cade was just as thrilled with his train set.

My dad came over to spend the late morning with us. We refreshed the coffee and brought out more of the Moravian sugar cake. Grandpa brought Cade a remote control helicopter, which drives the dogs crazy. Grandpa gave Mallorie her favorite thing in the world - cash.

Later on, Mikey came over to spend some time with his dogs. He and Cade played with the Nerf guns Santa left in his and Mallorie's stockings. Later on, Mallorie, Mikey and I played Would You Rather?. We had fun with trying to choose the lesser of two evils that we would "rather" do.

We hope that everyone had as merry a Christmas as we did this year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

'50s Echoes: Quartet puts on lively show

By Mary Martin Niepold
Published: December 14, 2008
It's Christmas, it's the 1950s, and four guys with hearts as big as the world appear for a last performance. They're called the Plaids, a singing quartet who thrive on harmony -- in heart and song -- and they're the stars of the holiday musical,Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, that opened at the Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance on Friday night.

Put it this way: If you loved to sing and Rosemary Clooney had called to ask you to sing -- or if you had a chance to sing backup for Perry Como on his hit television show from the same era -- well, if you're the Plaids, you'd jump at the chance while also offering your own version of a holiday show. And that is what we see on stage.

The Plaids make it up as they go, so theirs is a holiday show unlike any other.

Carols, a few hymns, doo-wop dancing and some hits of the times -- everything from "Sh-Boom" to "Mambo Italiano" get their own Plaid version from these lovable singers.

Hosannas get thrown into the lyrics of ballads, and the popular Harry Belafonte hit, "Day-O," somehow comes out with a Christmas message, complete with grass skirts and maracas.

Laughs, puns and pratfalls round out the fun.

Written by Stuart Ross, Forever Plaid may sound confusing, but it's not, because the storyline is this: A quartet of just average Joes wants everyone to be happy, and they'll sing and dance their hearts out to make sure it happens.

Their names are Frankie, Sparky, Jinx and Smudge, and their true mission is "to make people feel cozy."

The rigors of singing and dancing non-stop are daunting, but each of the four actors handles solos admirably, while never overshadowing his buddies.

Gray Smith appears as Frankie, Craig Faircloth as Sparky and Neil Shepherd as Jinx.

The standout is David Joy as Smudge, the Sartre-quoting intellectual in the bunch who deadpans his way into your heart.

Director Jamie Lawson goes for big laughs in his remake of television's popular The Ed Sullivan Show that trots out everything from stuffed dogs being thrown through hula hoops to Groucho Marx and the singing Chipmunks.

Music director Travis Horton demonstrates fine talent with the keyboard, and we get to see his musical trio on stage.

If you lived through the '50s, you'll wonder how you ever got through all this the first time, but you'll definitely have a good time revisiting when it's the Plaids taking you there.

Harmony, they'll tell you, is something we can all create.
Update 12/21: I was house manager for the show last night. WXII was there shooting a webspot. David and Jamie were both interviewed. Mary Barnhardt was shot handing the "patron" a ticket and I was shot handing the "patron" a program. It was kinda cool.

I was able to watch the show, and I must say that I think it's the best show I've seen WSTA do. I have to agree with Mary; David Joy was a stand out. He brought such nuance to his Smudge character and maintained the character details throughout. I've watched David grow as an actor, and I'm proud to have shared the stage with him on a couple of occasions.

If you haven't seen the show you only have one more chance. The last performance is 8p on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

An Evening at the Theatre

It wasn't just because we couldn't get tickets to see The Santaland Diaries. Dick Strohmeier was in Black Comedy, along with Chuck Powers. So Ken and I decided to attend opening night.

It's difficult to talk about the show without giving away the central concept, which I found unique and very entertaining. The play relies a great deal on physical comedy, of which I'm a huge fan. Physical comedy needs to look real instead of, well, staged. I think a more seasoned cast would have looked less choreographed.

I thought William Speakman, who played Brindsley Miller, did fairly well. It might have been opening night nerves, but I would have loved to have seen Alex Koceja really let loose as Harold. Amy Swaim as Miss Furnival was just plain funny. Chuck and Dick were charming in their respective roles. Lilly Nelson was a powerhouse as Clea.

Ken and I sat in the front row. Twice I had to adjust myself for fear of getting hit with a prop. For me, that's the beauty of live theatre. Things don't always go as scripted. It's a testament of a true actor to deal with unreliable props, or props that fall other than where expected. The cast did a great job in dealing with these issues, and had so much fun I wished I had been in the show.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical

Cast (in order of appearance)
California Gays and The People That Love Them:
Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole Parker
Proposition 8'ers and The People That Follow Them:
Prop 8 Leader - John C. Reilly
Prop 8 Leader's #1 Wife - Allison Janney
Prop 8 Leader's #2 Wife - Kathy Najimy
Riffing Prop 8'er - Jenifer Lewis
A Preacher - Craig Robinson
Scary Catholic School Girls From Hell - Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke
The Frightened Villagers - Katharine "Kooks" Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise "Esi!" Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, Tate Taylor
Jesus Christ - Jack Black
A Very Smart Fellow - Neil Patrick Harris
Piano Player - Marc "Marc" Shaiman