Friday, November 30, 2012

Larry the Elf

It wasn't that I didn't believe him. I just didn't think he'd have the bells to wear the outfit to work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Theatre Alliance presents 'Sordid Lives' - again

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012 11:14 pm
Lynn Felder/Special Correspondent

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the closet, Mama Peggy goes and ships you off to the loony bin to get you “dehomosexualized.” But that’s OK. She gets the ultimate comeuppance when she trips over her lover’s wooden legs, hits her head on the sink and dies.

Peggy’s Bible-thumping family is horrified, and chaos ensues. This is the stuff of Del Shores’ “Sordid Lives,” which opens Friday at the Theatre Alliance of Winston-Salem.

It’s the third time that Theatre Alliance has done “Sordid Lives,” the third time that Jamie Lawson has directed it, the third time that Gray Smith has played Brother Boy, and the third time that Cheryl Ann Roberts has played (sister) Latrelle.

As explained by Roberts, “Sordid Lives” is a play in four “chapters.” In the first, the sisters — Latrelle and LaVonda (Ally McCauley) get together with their Aunt Sissy (April Linscott) to discuss their mother’s death, argue over a fur stole, fight about whether or not to keep Brother Boy in the mental hospital and convince Latrelle that her son, Ty (John C. Wilson), is gay.

“Our mother has died under very interesting circumstances.” Roberts said. “Latrelle, LaVonda and Aunt Sissy have come to town for the funeral.

“Brother Boy is locked up in a mental institution because he wears women’s clothing, sings country songs and thinks he’s Tammy Wynette.

“Latrelle is self-righteous. She believes that Brother Boy should stay locked up.

“By the end of the show, though, she has kind of come to terms with her son, Ty, being gay. We see her realizing that it’s OK to accept the truth about things. She’s not necessarily a bad guy, but she has a journey that she takes, kind of an awakening.

“Latrelle allows me to be comedic but also to push making her as believable as possible and to push her to make that journey. She’s definitely a three-dimensional character.”

In the second “chapter,” LaVonda and her best friend hold up a bar and force the patrons to put on makeup and women’s clothes.

In the third chapter, we see Brother Boy in a session with his psychiatrist. In the fourth chapter, all the characters meet up at Mama Peggy’s funeral.

“Brother Boy, the role that I play, is in love with Tammy Wynette,” Smith said. “He dresses like her, he sings like her, and he wants to be her. But, out of all the characters, he’s the most true to himself. His mother has put him in a mental institution, and he’s been there for 23 years.

“What is funny, when you see the show, is all the other people are the crazy ones. They say he’s a nut, but he’s who he is. The others are hiding things.”

Writing for the L.A. Times, F. Kathleen Foley called playwright Shores the master of Texas comedy, saying, “His colorful eccentrics are dead on, teetering on a Bowie knife’s edge between the hilarious improbable and the achingly real.”

Smith agreed. “The audience members will go, ‘Oh, there’s my aunt.’ You see people that you know in these characters. Brother Boy may not be so relatable, but all the characters have their moments when they’re very funny.”

The actors cited two reasons for doing “Sordid Lives” a third time.

One, it is likely to make some money for the not-for-profit theater company.

“A lot of times we have patrons who say, ‘Please do this show again.’ ‘Sordid Lives’ is at the top of the list of things that people want to see again,” Smith said. “Plays are a lot less expensive to produce than musicals, so if we sell out a play, we actually get to put a little money in the bank.”

Two, it’s funny and fun.

“It is one of the funniest Southern comedies,” Smith said. “It’s just hysterical.”

Roberts agreed. “The people that I work with — my castmates — are absolutely fabulous,” she said. “We are cracking up watching each other on stage.”

© 2012 Winston-Salem Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Night At The Theatre, "Bent"

Last night, due to a gracious comp ticket from Chris, I was able to catch the final performance of Bent. I'd never read or seen the show so I had no idea what to expect.

Kristian A. Wedolowski played the role of Max. He was absolutely outstanding! Scott A. Miller played the role of Horst, one of the prisoners that Max befriends. He also gave a fantastic performance.

From what I understand the director changed the ending from that in the script. As such, the ending wasn't as powerful as it should have been. Still, there were many moments in the show that brought tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wisdom Through the Ages

By Denise Heidel

They say that wisdom comes with age and don’t I know how true that is! I really believe we have to experience certain truths for ourselves before we can ever truly understand how meaningful they are. As another birthday approaches, I decided to take stock on a few valuable life lessons I’ve finally come to understand.

  • Some people will never realize how loud they are when they talk.
  • Some people will never understand that socks with sandals are really tacky.
  • Women are not the moodier of the sexes.
  • Women are credited for nagging, but many, many men are quite skilled at it, too.
  • Sick and personal days aren’t supposed to be used when you work in Corporate America…they’re more like decoration for your paycheck.
  • I completely understand what my mother meant when she used to say, “Just wait until you have kids of your own.”
  • If I wear white, I will spill something.
  • Every time I hear Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I will sing along.
  • Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a life skill.
  • I’m never going to be too old for Harry Potter books.
  • Someday, my son will read this and finally get it.
  • You can’t change anyone.
  • You can change yourself.
  • I feel much younger than the number actually reflects.
  • My mother will always expect me to call her when I get home.
  • Me time is important.
  • Girlfriend time is priceless.
  • Pat Benatar was right: love is a battlefield.
  • There will always be someone who doesn’t like you, and you’ll never understand why.
  • You don’t have to like everyone, but you’d better learn to get along with everyone.
  • Some people will never understand the concept of personal space.
  • Walking away isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness.
  • Taking the high road is very often a hard climb, but the view is usually magnificent.
  • Some battles aren’t worth fighting.
  • There’s an art to standing up for yourself without coming across as argumentative.
  • Everyone thinks they have a great sense of humor.
  • There will always be those who will try to one-up you.
  • Not everyone can be the leader; sometimes you just have to try to be the best follower you can be.
  • Having the last word isn’t always the most important thing.
  • The old adage “don’t let the sun set on your anger” isn’t always the best solution to working out a problem.
  • Communication is not just a skill that benefits you as a professional, it’s a virtue to be mastered.

What pearls of wisdom would make your list? I’d love to read them and hopefully – learn from them!

Friday, November 09, 2012

5th Grade Report Card

I am so very proud of Cade.

Report cards came today and I am absolutely thrilled. Cade got 3 A's and 2 B's! I've never been one of those parents who pays out money. It's a good things since he would have cleaned me out!

Reading - A
Math - A (Now this is huge. It was such a struggle for him with multiplications. Somehow things have just clicked recently for him with Math. So, so proud of this accomplishment.)
Social Studies - A
Language Arts - B
Science - B