Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This is Cade's Christmas List. I think Santa, his Elves, and his Reindeer will need to work quite a bit of overtime!


Monday, November 24, 2014

I missed Jake Gyllenhaal in his Broadway debut. I will not miss this opportunity to see him on stage.

This is a 13-week engagement. Previews begin on December 16 and the show opens January 13.

I WILL NOT miss him again!

Friday, November 07, 2014

A Night At The Movies, "Of Mice And Men"

Last night Chad and I headed to The Grand Theatre to see the Broadway production of Of Mice and Men that was filmed during their final performance. I was really bummed I missed it on Broadway, so this was a very nice means of seeing the show.

The set was absolutely outstanding, as were the lights. Ususally if I notice the lighting it doesn't bode well for the performances. This was not the case with this show at all. The entire production, from start to finish, was amazing and wonderful.

Chris O'Dowd received a Tony nomination and many other accolades for his rendition of Lenny, and deservedly so. He played Lenny with strength, vulnerability and precious heart. While Chad felt there were a few times Chris' accent bled through, I thought he was spot on.

I was pleasantly surprised by James Franco's performance. I really hate that his characterization of George didn't get the buzz that Chris' performance did. There were many times that as good as Chris was, James was even better. His George started out a bit too angry during the opening scene, but the deeper we got into the story, the more rounded his George became. He brought such glorious layers to George!

After seeing the production, I really do wish I had seen it in person. Still, I can console myself with the fact that seeing the movie version allowed for detailed close-ups that I would have missed on Broadway.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

A Book Report, "Dark Prayer"

Sometimes I get sucked in by a book's cover. Sometimes it's the book's description. For Dark Prayer it was both.
Eloise Blake is on the run from a life she can no longer remember. And from a killer who will stop at nothing, to protect a secret as old as time. From the award-winning author of SEASON OF THE WITCH, comes a thriller about memory, identity and the murderous consequences of a quest gone wrong.
On the cover it looks like two different people, and really it is. Jenilee Gray discovers startling news which triggers a fugue state. Now she is Eloise Blake. Eloise is an entirely different person that who she was when she was Jenilee. For me that was the most fascinating part of the story - memory manipulation. We are who we are due, in part, to our memories. If those memories are manipulated, can we become someone entirely different?

For me this was more of a psychologically exciting book than it was a thriller. The murder mystery wasn't all that interesting since one could figure out "whodunit" fairly early. Still it's a rich story and I'd love for Mostert to write a prequel or even a sequel to this.

(I received an advanced reader's copy of this e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

2014 Goals - October Update

Nothing new to report. Jeez...


See a minimum of 5 Broadway shows  (completed June)
  1. If/Then (June 12)
  2. B ullets Over Broadway (June 13)
  3. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (June 14)
  4. Violet (June 14)
  5. Aladdin (June 15)
  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 15)
  7. Heathers: The Musical (June 16)
Read 60 books for my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge (completed August)

Read 3 books off the BBC Reading List
- Gah!

Attend 3 Festivals (completed July)
  1. North Carolina Wine Festival (May 24, Clemmons)
  2. North Carolina Blueberry Festival (June 21, Burgaw)
  3. North Carolina Blackberry Festival (July 12, Lenoir)
Travel somewhere I've never been
- I need to get hopping on this one.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Book Report

Back in February I attended Bookmarks Moveable Book Feast. I purchased Starter House after reading the back of the book. I was accidentally fortunate enough to meet the author. She was interesting and really got me excited to read her book. Because it's a ghost story, I decided to save it and read it this month. Nothing like a good ghost story for October, right?

It's Sonja's first book, so my expectations were a little low. But I must tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. Or rather pleasantly scared, which is what I was hoping for.

It's so hard to write ghost stories involving a house that's being haunted. I mean, why do people stay in the house, right? First sign of ghostly disturbance I'm out of there!So yes, the main character made some stupid choices. But that didn't overly bother me. I was very interested in finding out what happened and why. And honestly, the ending is very different.



Wednesday, October 01, 2014

2014 Goals - September Update

I'll be honest. There was no movement toward my two remaining goals this month. You'd think it'd be easy. I could have at least read a BBC book!

C'est la vie. I still have 3 months to read BBC books and travel to a new-to-me place, right?

See a minimum of 5 Broadway shows  (completed June)
  1. If/Then (June 12)
  2. B ullets Over Broadway (June 13)
  3. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (June 14)
  4. Violet (June 14)
  5. Aladdin (June 15)
  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 15)
  7. Heathers: The Musical (June 16)
Read 60 books for my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge (completed August)

Read 3 books off the BBC Reading List
- Gah! 

Attend 3 Festivals (completed July)
  1. North Carolina Wine Festival (May 24, Clemmons)
  2. North Carolina Blueberry Festival (June 21, Burgaw)
  3. North Carolina Blackberry Festival (July 12, Lenoir)
Travel somewhere I've never been
- I need to get hopping on this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Evening At The Theatre, "La Cage Aux Folles"

Chad and I saw the show last night and, I must say, this article is spot on. Ken Ashford gave a great performance as Deputy Dindon. As Cagelle Frita, Stephen Rayfield was also one to watch.

The Real Family Values of W-S Theater Alliance’s La Cage aux Folles

By Chad Nance
Photos by Matthew Lopina & Dancing Lemur
One of the absolute best aspects of life in Winston-Salem is the stunning quality of talent just free-ranging around to be discovered at unexpected moments. While solid productions and performances are the norm for the Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance, nothing I’ve seen there before prepared me for the joy, the craft, the exuberance, and the passion of their 2014 production of “La Cage aux Folles”.
cast & crew
cast & crew
The production includes two of the best performances in a long run of strong work. Gray Smith as Albin and Chuck King as Georges give empathetic, moving, funny, and technically brilliant performances that manage to not only hold the stage, but also serve to support some amazing back up work by Tyler Carlson as Jacob and Dave Wils as Georges and Albin’s son, Jean-Michel.
The book, based on the French play and film series of the same name, was written by legendary LGBT activist and artist, Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.  It is a well known story about a gay couple, their love-struck son, and his moralizing, right-wing extremist future in-laws. What director Jamie Lawson and his crew accomplishes with Theatre Alliance’s “La Cage aux Folles” is significant, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying.
Gray Smith inhabits the role of Albin from his hilarious dramatics and deft physical comedy to revealing a heart that has been wounded and broken many times over the years. Albin is the raw nerve of “La Cage aux Folles” as well as acting as the musical’s conscience. Smith has a particular charisma in the role that makes the audience feel both Albin’s pain and his joy. (often within seconds of one another.) He is also more than believable as a popular Cabaret entertainer. Simply, when Gray Smith is on stage in this role it is hard to notice the other performers. It would be more difficult, however, if Smith were not such a giving performer. Not only does his Albin act out and bring the camp, he also listens and loves deeply. It is a bravura performance that will long be remembered for its power and grace. Gray also has an amazing singing voice and the ability to truly express hurt and loss while at the same time projecting strength. His First Act closing performance of “I Am What I Am” is absolutely magnificent and will send you into intermission deeply moved and completely hooked into the lives of these wonderful characters.
The generosity in Gray’s performance gives Chuck King time and space to do his more quiet work as Georges. King is able to make the middle aged night-club impresario’s deep and abiding love for his husband complex and believable. The role of Georges can be played as condescending to Albin or as an exasperated “straight man”. King’s performance is nothing of the sort. While there are repeated references to Albin’s personal sacrifices and efforts to raise Jean-Michel in a loving home, King’s Georges also lives in the service of Albin in a relationship that manages to be romantic, loving, and symbiotic at the same time. King handles all of the heavy-lifting and like Smith turns the cabaret scenes into an entertaining and seductive tour-de-force.
Dave Wils plays Jean-Michel with a soft enough touch that he never comes off simply as an unappreciative prick of a son. A character who could simply come off as a selfish pill instead becomes a three-dimensional human being that parents will recognize. This is a young man trying to find his own place in the world and finding that the constraints that our parent’s realities put on a child are sometimes difficult. In the end, however, Wils plays a loving and proud child who does not “accept” his parents (Georges & Albin both know exactly who they are and don’t need anyone’s approval.) he simply loves them with all of his heart.
Tyler Carlson’s performance as Jacob, the “butler” keeps the laughs coming so consistently that just his presence on stage signaled that something truly funny was about to happen. There is a clumsy sweetness and wicked humor to his performance that reveals a serious talent. Ken Ashford appears late in the second act as the right-wing Deputy Dindon. His physical comedy and willing to go all in for a joke is heroic and one of the funniest moments in the show is his Limbaugh-looking politician running headlong into a troop of transvestites. Charlena Cole’s singing as Colette and Danya Bray’s performance as the put upon Mrs. Dindon further feather this very ample nest of talent.
John Shea deserves special mention. His comic timing, gleeful perversion, and expressive face make his appearances as stage-manager Francis and Tabarro the Fisherman small studies in comic brilliance.
albin and georges
albin and georges
The entire crew of transvestite performers (Les Cagelles) are absolutely magnificent. Their performances are funny, athletic, and supremely entertaining. Rather than simply becoming a faceless group of dancers in drag each of the performers take the time to create a character that is an individual with real personalities and peculiarities.
Music Director Charlie Kurtz and his musicians were tight and skillful. Scenic Designer Thad Templeton and Stage Manager Jamie Lawson have a new gadget in their toolbox that allows them to block and stage “La Cage aux Folles” in a more complex way than past Theatre Alliance productions. A new proscenium, donated by Dr. Maureen and Bob Ihrie, allows for scene changes to remain hidden and provides the performers and director to focus the audiences attention directly to specific moments and bits that have sometimes been lost in the bustle of changing the sets between scenes.
Wig Designer Caitllin Malloy and Costume Designer Emily Mays do yeoman’s work on “La Cage aux Folles”. Some of the costumes and wigs feel like sets unto themselves and without the detailed and meticulous work what comes across as real and authentic. Their efforts make this production the most visually entertaining and exciting that Theatre Alliance has put on for some time.
In the end “La Cage aux Folles” is about family. Not the kind of family that is thrust upon us by birth and blood, but the kind of family that we chose because it is where our heart is at. This is a more authentic sense of family that is truly the foundation of any working, egalitarian community. The decisions made by the characters in “La Cage aux Folles” are sometimes selfish and sometimes heartbreaking. What keeps the darkness at bay and makes this production such a wonderful experience is the bass-line that runs through every word, song, and step?  Love.

An Afternoon At The Theatre, "Dirty Dancing"

Yesterday Chad and I headed to Durham for the opening show of the new SunTrust Broadway season. I was looking forward to the afternoon for a couple of reasons. As you can see by the photo, our seats are pretty much in the center of the first row of the Grand Tier. No heads to obstruct my view and the legroom is invaluable.

I was also looking forward to seeing Dirty Dancing. I loved the movie and was interested in seeing it staged.

It wasn't the cast. It was the book. The opening number was just...odd. Baby is in her room packing for the summer and then dirty dancing couples appear. Baby is mesmorized by them, walks around them in a dream-like stupor and I'm like WTF? There were several scenes that were just out of place and in no way moved the story along. Some of the projections were okay, some were just laughable.

While I liked it more than Chad did (I'm a sucker for any kind of dancing), we both decided that life is too short to sit through bad theatre. We left at intermission and ate a late lunch at Tyler's Taproom.

This is strike two for Patrick Swayze movies turned into musicals. Should Red Dawn, Roadhouse or Point Break ever be made into musicals, rest assured I'm not going to waste my time.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Do Crew: Moonlight Madness 5K and Fun Run

So it's been a while since Chad and I worked the Do Crew: Moonlight Madness 5K and Fun Run event. We were course cheerleaders in 2012. As you can see, for this year we were promoted to the beer station.


The beer was donated by Foothills Brewing. There was only one flavor - Strawberry Blonde. Most of the runners didn't mind. Some runners turned up their noses. I mean, come on. Are you really going to argue with free beer?

The guy from Foothills started pouring about an hour prior to the anticipated first wave of runners. I was mildly concerned that the beer would be 60 minutes warm, but then again, free beer.


As you can see we lined up the cups and then waited for the runners.

A Night At The Theatre - "Into The Woods"

Last night Chad and I attended the Final Dress/Preview performance of Twin City Stage's production of Into The Woods.

I have seen this show a couple of other times, though I must say that Twin City Stage's production is, by far, the best one I've seen. Yes, the performance was riddled with numerous and disappointing technical problems, but the quality of the actors, the costumes and sets allowed me to forgive the lighting, spotlight and mic hiccups.

Overall, the entire cast was very strong. There were two actors who frustrated me with their overacting. I felt the talent of Troy Hurst, who played the Steward, while effeminately funny, was wasted. I much would have preferred to see him in the role of Rapunzel's prince.

There were 3 actors who, in my opinion, gave outstanding performances.

(photo by Daniel Alvarez)
I'll be the first to admit, when I saw the cast list I cringed a bit at seeing that Sally Holmes Meehan had been cast as Jack's mom. I wasn't aware that she could sing and the only thing I'd seen her in, well, I wasn't at all impressed with her performance. From her first to final appearance she was spot on! Jack's mother can come off as a selfish, uncaring bitch. Sally played the role with the perfect amount of moxie and tenderness. Never did I doubt that she had Jack's best interest at heart.

(photo by Daniel Alvarez)
I've recently become acquainted with Sarah Jenkins. She ran lights and sound for our Saturday matinee performance of 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche and I spent some time talking with her during one of our cast parties. While I've not seen her on stage, I knew she was talented. (Not to mention smart and pretty!) I was blown away by how good Sarah was. It was such a treat watching her! She is a stunning singer and actress. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her Cinderella bloom.

(photo by Daniel Alvarez)
My favorite performance was that of David Joy. Now, I'll admit, I am a bit biased. Like numerous other folks in the Triad area, I've got a little crush on David. It's not just because he's handsome. He's a bonefide talent. He played both the Wolf and Cinderella's Prince in the show. Both roles made me shiver in delight; his Wolf especially. While I'm in no way a singer, I've never wished so hard that I could have played Cinderella instead of Sarah!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Write Up in the Triad City Beat

Lesbians, quiche and nuclear war figure in play

The women of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein come out as lesbians and reveal that they care more about quiche than Cold War brinksmanship.
by Kelly Fahey
How many lesbians does it take to fend off impending nuclear annihilation? What sounds like an offensive joke that could ruin a social outing is actually the main premise behind Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood’s satirical comedy Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, which finished its run with Winston-Salem’s Spirit Gum Theatre Company last weekend at the Community Arts CafĂ©.
The performance is set in an anonymous 1956 American town during the annual quiche breakfast held by the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein. The group’s central activity is the adoration and devouring of the most sacred of savory pastries: quiche. Their motto is, “No men, no meat, all manners.” That is to say, bringing a quiche that contains meat is highly frowned upon by the Sisters of Gertrude Stein.
Halfway through the quiche breakfast, all hell breaks loose when the greatest fear of the 1950s comes to fruition in the form of an atomic bomb dropped on their unsuspecting city by the relentless Russians. Luckily, Vern, played by Spirit Gum Theatre Company co-founder Caitlin Stafford, has gone to great lengths of preparation by installing a blast door and food rations to last through the nuclear winter.
Rather than lamenting the loss of everyone they’ve ever known or expressing terror over the fact that they are under attack, the sisters pine over the loss of all the wonderful quiches prepared for their annual breakfast.
In a fairly unexpected plot twist, the members of the Susan B. Anthony Society all decide to admit to themselves and their fellow sisters that they are, in fact, lesbians. At that time, they turned to the members of the audience, who were provided with nametags and included as members of the annual quiche breakfast, and encouraged them to announce that they were also lesbians, which they all did.
While this particular play is not very well known, it was a hit for the Spirit Gum Theatre Company. A friend brought them the idea while they were planning their second season.
“We read it and were laughing out [loud],” said Stafford, who is the fourth generation of actors in her family.
The production was small in scale. Only five actors made up the cast, and there were no set or costume changes. This lack of frills allowed the hilarious dialogue and acting to take center stage.
According to Stafford, the theater company had to turn to friends in the community to complete director Michael Ackerman’s vision of the production.
“Since we own very little in the way of set materials,” Stafford said, “we reached out to other local theater groups to borrow bits and pieces to make the whole thing come together.”
The Spirit Gum Theatre Company was founded by Stafford, Ackerman and Rene Shepard, who is taking a short hiatus as her first child is due in a few weeks. They met through performing in plays at Stained Glass Playhouse and Twin City Stage.
“When the three of us hung out as a trio, something clicked. We decided to read some scripts together and Spirit Gum was suddenly born,” Stafford said.
Although Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche was a small production, their modest theater company has grown considerably since being founded in June 2013. Their first show, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, consisted of only the three founders, with Shepard and Stafford acting and Ackerman directing.
“I think we had an unspoken understanding that if our first show was a complete flop, we would have said we had a lot of fun and moved on, but it was a success and it motivated us to keep moving on,” Stafford said.
While Shepard is on hiatus and Ackerman takes time to train his new puppy, Stafford will continue to participate in productions in Winston-Salem including Into the Woods at Twin City Stage and Night of January 16th at the Stained Glass Playhouse until she directs Spirit Gum’s Next Production.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hall and Oates

Ken purchased tickets a while back and asked me if I wanted to go. We were right in the first row. I was afraid it would be too loud, but it was awesome!

You'll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos.



Destination Do Crew: Make A Wish Picnic in the Park

This is my favorite Do Crew event, which is why I usually sign up to be project lead. 98.7 Simon and Pepper Moon Catering team up for a fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

For a mere $.98 you can get a hamburger/cheeseburger or hotdog and a bag of chips, an apple or banana and a bottle of water. And I must say, the cheesburgers are fantastic. It's another reason why I volunteer to work this event!

Simon plays some kickin' music. Today was a bit overcast, but usually the day is bright and sunny. I love meeting all the folks getting lunch and helping out a great cause.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Spirit Gum Cast Facebook Teaser

(photo by Caitlin Stafford)
Cheryl Ann Roberts simply "kaaaaaant" wait to make her debut with Spirit Gum Theatre, even though she does not have the same ravenous appetite for quiche or "quiche" (Wink, wink.) as her character Ginny does. (Sorry, ladies!) She would like to thank her family and friends for their support.

Monday, September 01, 2014

2014 Goals - August Update

Here's how I did with my goals for August.

See a minimum of 5 Broadway shows  (completed June)
  1. If/Then (June 12)
  2. B ullets Over Broadway (June 13)
  3. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (June 14)
  4. Violet (June 14)
  5. Aladdin (June 15)
  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 15)
  7. Heathers: The Musical (June 16)
Read 60 books for my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge
- I read 6 books toward my goal this month:  Believe, Second Star, Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched, The Architecture of Loss, Pronoun, and Allegient

- This brings me to 60 books read and this completes my goal!

Read 3 books off the BBC Reading List
- Gah! 

Attend 3 Festivals (completed July)
  1. North Carolina Wine Festival (May 24, Clemmons)
  2. North Carolina Blueberry Festival (June 21, Burgaw)
  3. North Carolina Blackberry Festival (July 12, Lenoir)
- This goal is completed! 

Travel somewhere I've never been
- I need to get hopping on this one.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Here's my boss with John Isner. Gloria is 5'5". John is 6'10".

Friday, August 01, 2014

2014 Goals - July Update

Here's how I did with my goals for July.

See a minimum of 5 Broadway shows  (completed June)
  1. If/Then (June 12)
  2. B ullets Over Broadway (June 13)
  3. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (June 14)
  4. Violet (June 14)
  5. Aladdin (June 15)
  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 15)
  7. Heathers: The Musical (June 16)
Read 60 books for my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge
- I read 13 books toward my goal this month:  I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman33 Variations, Cock, The Realistic Joneses, Race, Outside Mullingar, The Flick, Her Dark Curiosity, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Cop Town, The Sweetest Hallelujah, Switched and The Here and Now

- Total books toward my goal of 60 - 54 books. 

Read 3 books off the BBC Reading List
- Gah! 

Attend 3 Festivals (completed July)
  1. North Carolina Wine Festival (May 24, Clemmons)
  2. North Carolina Blueberry Festival (June 21, Burgaw)
  3. North Carolina Blackberry Festival (July 12, Lenoir)
- This goal is completed! 

Travel somewhere I've never been
- I need to get hopping on this one.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In Concert: Sara Bareilles

I was first turned on to Sara Bareilles' music during a Season 5 episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Kayla and Kapona did a contemporary dance number to the song "Gravity." It was such a profund song and a powerful dance peice. Before the episode was over I'd purchased the single from iTunes.

A few months later a very dear friend of mine emailed me. He asked if I knew who Sara Bareillis was because one of her songs on her new CD reminded him of me. I rushed out that same day and bought Kaleidoscope Heart.

Chad is also a fan of Sara and when she released The Blessed Unrest he burned a copy for me. It was a no-brainer that when I heard she was coming to Raleigh that we'd buy tickets and go.

Last night Chad and I drove to the Red Hat Amphitheater to see her Little Black Dress tour. We had great seats and after a quick Blue Moon I settled in to enjoy the show. She did not disappoint. I didn't stand up and rock out due to issues with my back. Even sitting down I was able to see her perfectly. She did treat the audience to an original song she's working on for a new Broadway musical based on the movie Waitress.



I thoroughly enjoyed the concert!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Next Theatrical Endeavor


Stay tuned for more details!

NC Blackberry Festival

Chad and I traveled to Lenoir today for the NC Blackberry Festival. It wasn't as big as Burgaw's Blueberry Festival but we did get some free blackberry cobbler!

I bought two fabric coasters from Sew Unique. I also got some homemade natural dog treats from Blue Ridge Barkery for Commander. When the sun got too hot we perused some air-conditioned antique stores.

Two hours later and we'd walked up an appetite. We had a late lunch at 1841 Cafe. I had a very delicious salad.

All in all it was a very lovely, albeit hot and humid, day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

An Evening at the Theatre, "Boeing Boeing"

The show's premise is simple. Bernard is an American architecture living in Paris. He's engaged to 3 flight attendants stewardesses: Gloria works for TWA, Gabriella for Alitalia, and Gretchen flys for Lufthansa. Each woman has no idea about the other women due to their flight schedules. Robert, a school chum of Bernard's comes to visit and due to faster airplanes and delays due to fog and weather, Bernard's carefully scheduled lifestyle is in danger of exploding.

I had read the script several years ago, and because I work for an airline, I've always wanted to see a production. I had hoped to see the revival on Broadway, but I never made it. So, I was thrilled to learn that No Rules Theatre Co. was bringing Boeing Boeing to Winston-Salem. I immediately emailed Chad and we made plans to catch the final preview performance. In anticipation, I purchased a copy of the script to read again at the Drama Bookshop in NYC . I was counting down the days to the performance.

I'd never been in the Hanesbrand Theatre and was pleased that there's great legroom and the seats are comfortable. The Boeing Boeing pre-show set was eye-catching. I just knew I was in for a very fun evening!

Within the first 5 minutes, poor Nick Kowalczyk, who plays Bernard, was sweating at the pits. Ultimately that was the only remarkable thing about his performance. Sherry Berg, who portrayed Gloria, had such an affected, very high pitched New York accent, I was immediately put off. Knowing the character doesn't appear again until the second act, I overlooked it.

As soon as Jamie Smithson stepped onstage in the role of Robert, I knew I was going to regret the evening. There's absolutely nothing in the script that describes Robert as a nerd. From costume to characterization, that's how Jamie played him. His Robert was a mixture of Jerry Lewis' physicality, Jim Carrey's facial expressions and a smashup of Josh Gad's and Spongebob Squarepants' child-like vocalization. I was gobsmacked and trapped for the two hour first act.

Chad is usually into overacted farces, so I was surprised to notice that he wasn't laughing. We finally made it to intermission and quickly agreed that neither of us liked the show. We left at intermission.

As we walked back to the car, we both lamented the show. We wondered what the hell Matt Cowart, the director, had been thinking. Matt points out in his Director Notes that stewardesses "required not only an attractive appearance but higher education, fluency in at least two languages, and the flawless mastery of social etiquette." And yet none of his stewardesses were classy. Gabriella, played by Jenna Berk, was boisterious and Gretchen, played by Sarah Olmsted Thomas, was...well, let's just say that her performance left me speechless, and not in a good way. Her German accent was over-the-top (much like her performance) and difficult to understand.

As disappointed as I was with the show, I was grateful for one thing. Since it was a preview performance we only paid $15 per ticket. I'm so glad I didn't fork out a penny more.



Tuesday, July 01, 2014

2014 Goals - June Update

Here's how I did with my goals for June.

See a minimum of 5 Broadway shows 
  1. If/Then (June 12)
  2. B ullets Over Broadway (June 13)
  3. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (June 14)
  4. Violet (June 14)
  5. Aladdin (June 15)
  6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (June 15)
  7. Heathers: The Musical (June 16)
- A 6-day, 5-night, 7 Broadway shows NYC trip fell into my lap this month. Ken's original "and guest" wasn't able to go, so I was the very fortunate, very grateful understudy! We had an absolutely wonderful time and saw some outstanding performance. 
- This goal has been completed!
Read 60 books for my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge
- I read 5 books toward my goal this month:  The Fever, Rosemary's Baby, You, Fifty Words, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet

- Total books toward my goal of 60 - 41 books. 

Read 3 books off the BBC Reading List
- None (yet). 

Attend 3 Festivals
  1. North Carolina Wine Festival (May 24, Clemmons)
  2. North Carolina Blueberry Festival (June 21, Burgaw)
Travel somewhere I've never been
- I could count Burgaw, since I've never been there. But I don't think I'll do the "two birds with one stone" thing on this goal. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Book Report, "You"

"A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes's You is a perversely romantic thriller that's more dangerously clever than any you've read before."

I've read very few books that actually live up to the teaser hype. This book is one of the rare exceptions.

Boy meets girl in his bookstore. Girl flirts with boy and boy stalks girl. And I'm not talking the kind of innocent FB stalking we all occassionally partake. This is the watching from across the street, lying to the super to gain entrance in the apartment, hack into email and Twitter accounts, and steal the cell phone kind of stalking.

And yet, as creepy as Joe is, I found myself rooting for him! Trust me, no one is more surprised than me and I'll admit that I'm slightly bothered by what that might say about me.

Yes, there were things that I had to suspend my disbelief - the cell phone being the biggest hurtle, though Kepnes trys really hard to justify it. I didn't particularily find anything at all likeable about Beck, the object of Joe's obsession. And let's not get into the typical horror moviesque ending. (I mean, come on. Really?)

But I've got to tell you, as far as psychological thrillers go, this one is very different, fresh even. Joe is one of the most complex characters I've ever read. He's intense, creepy, a complete psycho and yet he has insecuries that we all can relate.

(I received an ARC of this from NetGalley for this review.)


Sunday, June 22, 2014

ILM

Chad and I spent the day in Wilmington wandering around the Cotton Exchange.

I bought this book from Two Sisters Bookery.


Chad acted silly.



And I bought some dog treats for Commander at Doggie by Nature. After visiting every store in the Cotton Exchange, we headed to Old Bookstore on Front Street. We spent two heavenly hours there - resting, relaxing and reading various books. I did end up purchasing this book.


Because we weren't able to get table the night before, we made early dinner reservations at The Little Dipper. It was our first time eating at a fondue restaurant. We had an outstanding waiter who walked us through each step. Dinner was delish and the experience was thoroughly enjoyable.




And we found a new favorite wine.