Monday, September 28, 2009

"Wicked" Weekend!

What a weekend!  I FINALLY got to see the musical "Wicked" in Des Moines!  I've wanted to see it for a couple of YEARS now, but either the timing wasn't right, or the finances weren't, so it never happened (even tough I think it's been in the Twin Cities THREE times since it started touring!).

What can I say...except WOW!  What an amazing show!  The cast was STELLAR (except for the guy who played Fiero, who tended to go sharp whenever he sang his high notes...NOT pleasant).  We had the understudy (or "stand by" as the program listed her) for Elphaba, but she was REALLY, REALLY good!  The actress portraying Guh-linda was HYSTERICAL, and even channeled a little bit of Mary Catherine Gallagher during "Popular"...she was AWESOME!

The set was amazing, the costumes were FABULOUS, and it was truly a WONDERFUL show.  I sat next to Tena, and we were BOTH mouthing the lyrics to SEVERAL of the songs (I hid behind my program to do so...especially sicne the only songs I knew were Guh-linda's and Elphaba's)!!!

I REALLY liked how the musical wove the "classic" movie version into this story!  Origins of the tin woodman, the scarecrow, the cowardly lion...even the flying monkeys were cleverly touched upon, as were the departure of the wizard from Oz, Dorothy's ruby slippers, the Emerald City, and the whole "I'm melting" bit...VERY clever.  Not a seamless fit, but charming and clever enough to make it work!

The weekend was a blast all the way around...from staying at the Holiday Inn...where a drag queen pageant was taking place in the ballroom on the top floor (!!), to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with good friends from Fairfield, to walking amongst hot air balloons being "fired up" for a leukemia walk, to brunch with Kim and Ashley on Sunday, fun, fun!!!

The only NOT FUN part was the HORRIBLE night at the hotel...the elevator was located right outside our door (and people JUST DON'T GET IT that there are guests BEHIND all of the doors in that long hallway trying to sleep, and, when getting off the elevator at 1:30 in the morning should NOT TALK AT ALL UNTIL THEY GET INSIDE THEIR OWN FREAKING ROOMS!!!).  It didn't really matter, I guess, because across the room from the door, outside our window, interstate 235 was continually rumbling by... Noisy...ALL NIGHT LONG, and not a very good night's sleep.

Oh well...all things was a TRULY magical weekend!  GREAT SHOW, GREAT FRIENDS, and some GREAT Des Moines...who knew??!!

Here are some pictures...

Kim and me

Kim, Ashley, and me

Ashley and Duane

Duane and Kim

Tena and me outside the Civic Center

Duane and me

Andrew and Tena

Heather, Andrew, Duane, and Tena

Hope YOUR weekend contained some WICKED fun as well!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nothing to Write About!

Not much has happened since my last post, but wanted to write to say that I'm still alive, and things are fine...just haven't done anything lately worth blogging about...

Duane and I took the Riviera to Canon Falls "antiquing" on Saturday, and then went to an Oktoberfest celebration at a friend's house in White Bear Lake...

School continues to spiral out of control....half the time I don't know whether I'm coming or going, and I SWEAR that I met myself running down the hall today outside the cafeteria...not sure WHAT that means...

Duane and I are headed to Iowa this weekend.  I FINALLY get to see "Wicked".  I've wanted to see it for about FOUR HUNDRED YEARS...but have been too poor to buy tickets (and they sell out in, like, 10 minutes when they finally get to Ticketmaster). 

We're not sure if we're driving down on Saturday, and spending the night, or flying down on Sunday for the day.  MY vote is for driving down on Saturday, as I'd LOVE to spend time with some Fairfield friends who will be in town, but we'll see.  Duane isn't the greatest at committing to "advanced plans"...

Some interesting new shows debut this week on television...I watched "The Good Wife" with Julianna Marguelies last night...I LIKED it, but we'll see how good the stories are a week or two from now.   "Flash Forward" looks intriguing...good cast...interesting concept...we'll see...

We're HOOKED on "Drop Dead Diva".  What a HOOT of a show.  Last week, Liza Minelli, Delta Burke, AND Rosie O'Donnell had guest spots...QUITE a cast!!!!

As far as returning shows go...

"America's Next Top Model" is okay, so far, but the short model thing seems a little LAME...

I'm not particularly enthused with how "Glee" has been progressing.  I'll give it a couple more weeks, but Kurt joins the foolball team tonight...PUH-LEEZ...

"Ghost Whisperer" begins the season on Friday.  The whole Jim is Sam thing last year got a bit tedious, but it WAS intriguing, and when Sam FINALLY realized that he was Jim, I did cry a little bit.  SO not as great as it was when Andrea was on (remember the whole "plane crashed, and it turns out her car was hit as it crashed and she was actually DEAD" thing??!!  AWESOME...and I TOTALLY did not see it coming...!!!!).

I'm curious to see where "Desperate Housewives" goes this year...haven't they DONE it all already??!!

"Amazing Race" always amuses me, but Harlem Globetrotters...really??!!

Wow...this is a POINTLESS entry.  Just wanted to touch base.  I'm SURE I'll have SOMETHING to say about "Wicked"...stay tuned!!!!!

Hope YOUR life is progressing nicely from day to day...!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Wow...what a week last week was!  Happy, stressful, sad, EXHAUSTING, intense...did I say exhausting??!!  School started, the play opened and closed, a friend had a baby, and a friend's father passed away.

The details: 

School started on Tuesday.  On that very first morning, I walked in to the office and was greeted by the school secretary, who stated "the computers are down, the telephones aren't working, the copy machine is busted, and your media assistant's background check hasn't come back yet, so she won't be here until it does"... 

I'll leave it at that for week one, except to say that the rest of the week didn't get any better.  I should have just turned around, and walked back out the door.  I'm not sure I'm going to make it through this's certainly going to be a "nail biter" to see who or the job...

Patrick Healy, renowned Gilbert & Sullivan expert from Ireland, came on Tuesday evening to "workshop" us for the remainder of "tech week".  I was COMPLETELY intimidated by the man, which is stupid.  He's a very nice, older gentleman, and he was nothing but kind, and funny.  I think it's the "renowned expert" part that freaked me out!  Here I was...a community theater actor/singer...being directed by THE Patrick Healy...gulp!

The rehearsals went well, (mostly), although redoing choreography and rephrasing and setting new tempos on songs we've been working on since July, FOUR DAYS BEFORE WE OPEN, is a little stressful!  It all went well, though.  The Loft Stage at East Ridge High School, which is BRAND SPANKING NEW, was GORGEOUS, and the show was quite good (although I'm still not sure I LIKE Gilbert & Sullivan...)!  It kind of felt like dress rehearsal all weekend, and it's CRAZY that we did two shows and are now closed, but, it's all good.

As I was leaving the cast party last night, I thanked Patrick for his direction, and he said (not directly quoted) that I did a very nice job on my solo.  I'll take THAT compliment!

I really enjoyed working with so many AMAZING performers, and made some really good friends throughout the rehearsal process.  Lenore (the director for MOST of the rehearsals) and Lisa (the vocal director) said last night that they were shocked that so many "solo performers" auditioned for the show. There were MANY new faces in the cast, and it really was a WONDERFUL group. 

I look forward to working with the company again someday (mostly because the "powers that be" kept telling me how wonderful I was, and THAT'S always nice!).

Not many pictures to post from the show yet.  I'll put some in a new post when they get loaded onto Picassa!  Here are a couple that I took with my cell phone...

Michael and Me in the makeup room!

Rachel and "G" (G-Geoff)

Me and Rachel backstage

Me and Rachel backstage- 2

Mugging for the

Janelle, Ro, Jan, and Marcie in the makeup room

My friend Linda had her baby (three weeks early, and a shock to MOST people!). He was born prematurely, so needed to be in the "Special Care" nursery until yesterday, but Israel is doing well, and I THINK they went home today.

He's adorable, as the picture below will attest, and I can't WAIT to get to know him better!  (I MIGHT even be brave enough to hold him when I go over to visit this week!).

On the flip side, my friend Amy's dad died on Saturday.  I only met him once, but he was a very nice man, and, he must have been an AMAZING person to raise such a FABULOUS person as Amy (and her sister Sara!).  My thoughts and prayers go out to Amy and her family as they deal with this sad loss.

I guess that about sums up my September...I mean week (ugh...has it REALLY only been a week??!!).

Hope YOUR week last week was ALL UPS, and that you survived it with FLYING colors!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Washington D.C.

Ack! School starts tomorrow, and I'm FRANTICALLY trying to cram EVERYTHING I wanted to do this summer into THIS AFTERNOON!!! I'm also going into "production week" for The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan, the show I'm doing with Woodbury Community Theater, so am going to be COMPLETELY swamped with school, then rehearsal every night. So...wanted to post a QUICK entry before the onslaught begins!

Duane and I spent the DAY Saturday in Washington, D.C. We decided to go for a day trip because

1). we can! We flew out at 7:00 a.m., and flew back at 8:30 p.m (with first class seats BOTH WAYS!!!). We've been to D.C. SEVEN times now, so we know exactly what we want to see, and how to get there on the METRO.

2). our friend Peggy is not in town this weekend, so we didn't have a place to stay and didn't want to try to find a hotel,

3). it's the weekend before school starts and I need some "panic time" at home (and still have about 20% of the G&S lyrics to memorize before rehearsal Tuesday night, and Patrick Healy, the G&S expert from Ireland will be here to "workshop us", and I don't want to look like an IDIOT), and,

4). I've/we've been gone one or both days of the last NINE weekends in a row, and I wanted some time to clean the bathroom, dust, do laundry, go to the grocery store, etc.

We did a couple of things there that we've done before (the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of American History), and something I've wanted to do for AWHILE now, but never got around to (lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl!).

It was a GREAT, if not slightly frantic, day, and, even though the metro was closed from the airport to the pentago stop, the shuttle buses ran fairly frequently, and didn't slow us down TOO much.

Here are some shots of the day...

 Inside the Air and Space Museum

The controls in the Northwest jet

 Duane with the Northwest jet

Duane doing the "pointy" thing we do!

Duane and a Northwest wheel


Ben's Chili Bowl! (black owned and operated since 1958,
and TOTALLY a hoot!)

Me outside of Ben's Chili Bowl

The capitol from a street near the national mall

me doing the "pointy thing" with the Washington Monument

The hope diamond at the Museum of Natural History

The Julia Child Exhibit at the Museum of American Histor

Julia's cookbooks, phone books, and videos (of her show) to preview, in her kitchen

Me ALMOST in Julia's kitchen!!

Wow! The Sears Christmas catalog!!!

Kermit the Frog
Oscar the Grouch!

Phyllis Diller's "fright wig", gloves, and cigarette holder

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

Abraham Lincoln's Hat

Lincoln and Family

Mary Todd Lincoln's Dress

Abraham Lincoln's Suit

the Washington Monument

Duane and the Washington Monument!

Duane and Jeff "up close and personal" with the Washingtion Monument!

Duane took this from the plane window as we were leaving Washington

A LOVELY trip, and a GREAT place to visit...again, and again, and again, and again!!!

Ack! The minutes are TICKING AWAY, and I still have to wash and stain the deck, finish all of the home made "travel tree" ornaments for the hallway Christmas tree, scrub all of the hardwood floors, paint the kitchen, and go to Target and print and place all of my summer (and older) photos in albums.

I'll post again after this CRAZY week is over. I'm SURE it'll be ALL ABOUT the trials and tribulations of working with a Gilbert & Sullivan expert, and how it is NOT recommended to have the FIRST week of school and the LAST week of a show taking place at the same time.

Here's hoping YOUR weekend was fun, and historic, and interesting, and that your coming week is mellow, and enjoyable!!!!