Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3-Year-Old Wakes From Coma Singing 'Mamma Mia'

This story makes me smile, and it's a charming example of the importance of the arts!
Child Wakes From Coma Singing
(May 26) -- A three-year-old girl defies the odds when she woke up from a five-day coma singing "Mamma Mia."

Layla Towsey was on life support after being revived from a near-fatal heart attack, brought on by meningitis. Doctors had just finished removing her breathing tube when her mother, Katy Towsey, heard her humming tunes from the popular musical and film.

Now back at home and full of energy, Towsey sings "Mama Mia" tunes all around the home. "It was driving me insane before," said her mother. "Now it just reminds me of what happened. It makes me so happy."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

August: Osage County, My Review

Right on the side of the theatre, in big bold words, it says Best Play and Pulitzer Prize winning. Many people who have seen the show before me have loved it. So I went in with some pretty incredible expectations.

The set exceeded my expectations. Pictures just do not do it justice. You have to see the set live to really appreciate it. It's 3 levels and it is absolutely stunning. There is no doubt why it was last year's Tony winner.

Act One started out on an excellent foot. John Cullum, as patriarch Beverly Weston, delivered a very impressive drunken exposition monologue. Elizabeth Ashley, as Mattie Fae, looked and spoke like a garishly made up man in drag. At some point during the arrival of the Weston family, I caught myself falling asleep. I don't believe I was ever asleep long enough to snore, but it was my head falling forward that woke me up. Unfortunately, I was awake to see Estelle Parson's entrance, as the pill popping Violet Weston. The last thing I want to see, on Broadway no less, is an actor obviously acting to appear under the influence of drugs. She was terrible! Equally as bad was Sally Murphy as Ivey. Her weird voice inflections reminded me of nails on a chalkboard.

After the first intermission was over, I was a bit hesitant to return. I was worried about falling asleep and was not looking forward to Estelle Parson's or Sally Murphy's performances. I needn't have, other family members were spotlighted. I enjoyed watching Mariann Mayberry and Brian Kerwin, who played Karen Weston and Steve, her fiance. I was also impressed with Anne Berkowitz, who held her own as teenager Jean Fordham. But it was Johanna Day's portrayal of Barbara, the eldest daughter, that had me absolutely riveted. It wasn't until the house lights came up for the second intermission that I realized I was even in a theatre! And I was wide awake!

The remainder of the show was outstandingly owned by Johanna Day. I had completely forgotten a family secret from reading the script, so I was just as shocked as the rest of the audience. I was even able to forgive Sally Murphy's whiney reveal moment because Johanna Day was that damn good.

NYC, Day 1 - Sunday

The flight from Greensboro to LaGuardia was uneventful. I read the entire SkyMall catalog and was able to close my eyes and nap during the flight. I nearly froze standing on the tarmac waiting for my carry-on. It was chilly and very windy. While Ken retrieved his luggage, I went to the transportation kiosk to call our Blue Van. The attendant called for me, advised the driver would meet us inside, and directed me to chairs. Ken had a difficult time believing the van driver would meet us in the airport. After a 30 minute wait, sure enough, the driver walked in, announced our names, and we were on our way to Hotel Mela. Unfortunately, though not entirely unexpected, a room was not available. The hotel staff stored our luggage, and we were off explore and kill time before the matinee.

We decided to have lunch and ate at John's Pizzeria. Afterward we ducked into one of the souvenir shops. Due to the cold weather, I had to find something to keep me warm. I lucked out and found black sweatshirts on sale for $19.99. Instead of "if all the world's a stage, I want better lighting" I went with "almost famous". Ken rolled his eyes, but what did he expect for twenty bucks?

After checking again with the hotel, we headed over to the Music Box Theatre to see August: Osage County. We were seated in the 3rd row, and with a gorgeous 3 level set, it was almost too close to the stage. While reading the Playbill, I sent up a silent prayer that I wouldn't fall asleep during the production. I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before (too excited!) and only that brief cat-nap on the plane. I was worried about the 3 hour long show.

After the matinee we headed directly to Hotel Mela, and thankfully our room was ready. The room is certainly small, very European, but clean. And Joe Turner's Come And Gone is playing at the Belasco right across the street. We unpacked and decided to head to Serendipity for dinner. I got a burger and Ken ordered the Chicken Diva. Our food took forever to arrive. After finishing our dinner we were both in the mood for dessert. Instead of ordering one of their famous Frozen desserts (because it was too big for one person) I went with pecan pie. It was so good. I was grateful for the long walk back to the hotel.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


When I sweep the kitchen floor I move the dining table chairs into the living room. This makes it much easier to get all the crumbs from under the table.

Tonight I only replaced two of the chairs. Cade and I made a tent with the other two chairs. He thought it was the greatest thing! He put his sleeping bag and pillow under with the full intention of sleeping there!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Where's Stanislavski When You Need Him?

I've been involved with community theatre for over 20 years. I've worked with many theatres in a variety of capacities. I've worked backstage and in the house; stage manager to concessions. I've performed on stage with "actors" from all walks of life and with as many degrees of theatrical knowledge, education and experience. I've been with SETC for over a year where I've worked college and professional auditions, observing the vast spectrum of talent. I've had the honor of conversing with college professors and professional company reps. As such, I've seen, heard about, and personally experienced "it all". Or so I thought.

Symptomatic of theatre is the "all about me" attitude, and yes, I anticipated occurrences because I've worked before with the few afflicted. But last night I was absolutely flabbergasted by a despicable and embarrassing display of ego I am aggrieved to have witnessed. An utter disregard of humanity ran undercurrent.

While some might agree that ego has it's place, the stage is certainly not one of those. As attributed to Stanislavski, an actor should "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Today's Message

Life is short
Break the rules
Forgive quickly
Kiss slowly
Love truly
Laugh uncontrollably
Never regret anything that made you smile

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

There is no better celebration than this Tacos cake offered by Debbie Does Cakes. Everything is edible, including the bowl of pico de gallo.

Friday, May 01, 2009

First Grade Field Day

Allan and I volunteered again this year to help with Cade's field day. Since experience is the best teacher, we asked to be assigned to the same station as last year.

I was more than happy to take the pictures, thus remaining dry. Allan wasn't as lucky. Somehow I don't think he minded.