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.