Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Oops, I did it again! Some of you may remember that I saw A Chorus Line back in March when it played at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC). And I didn't like it. At all. Even if it is the Best Musical Ever. Whatever. So when The Community Players announced their 2009-2010 season back in May, I wasn't thrilled to see that A Chorus Line was the first show in their line up. (Even if I had loved this show, it really doesn't make sense to me that a small community theater group would choose to do a show that was just in town as a Broadway tour. Does this make sense to any of you?) But, I digress. I decided to go see the show at The Community Players (TCP) anyway. And I still didn't like it. There were however a few bright spots. Albert Jennings who played Paul (the Puerto Rican who relives his drag act and his coming to terms with his homosexuality) was spectacular. A real triple threat. The boy can act and he can sing, but man can he dance. He was amazing. It was also fun to see Lia Del Sesto in the role of the saucy and streetwise Sheila. It looks like a fun role to play and Lia did a great job! Lia just happens to be a friend of Colleen - who is one of the friends with whom I attend TCP. As a matter of fact, it's because of Colleen's friendship with Lia that a group of us are now season ticket holders to TCP. So any show that has Lia in it, is especially exciting for us. But, exciting or not, I'm done with A Chorus Line. I won't be seeing any more productions of this longest running Broadway show - no matter who is in it or where it is playing.
This past Saturday night was the long awaited production of To Kill a Mockingbird at 2nd Story Theater in Warren. 2nd Story Theater is another local community group that gets rave reviews - and not just locally. Believe it or not, I had never seen a show there. Mostly because I like musicals a lot more than dramas (at least I thought I did) and until last year I wasn't seeing all that many shows. After last season when I had an opportunity to see a few different productions at different venues, I vowed to myself that I would make an effort to see more theater this season and at more venues. Since 2nd Story Theater is practically in my neighborhood, it made sense to see a show there. When I saw that To Kill a Mockingbird was in their lineup - it was a no brainer for me. I vaguely remember reading this book in HS, but I couldn't remember anything about it. Then about a year and a half ago, my book club read TKAM and everyone loved it. The book made such an impact on me I borrowed the movie from the library and watched it. And needless to say, I loved it as well. Four of us from book club attended the production and it was fabulous. The theater is quite small and very intimate. The acting was all very well done. Both Margaret Durning, who played Scout and Vince Petronio, who played Atticus were very good. But two of the actors really impressed me. The first is Evan Kinnane, who played Jem. I wish I knew more about Evan (there was no playbill for this show, just a half sheet of paper with the actor's names - no bios. That's a real shortcoming in my opinion). He looked to be about 11-13 years old and he was a real natural.** But the best characterization by far was F William Oakes portrayal of Bob Ewell. Oakes portrayal of Ewell was so realistic and creepy that I swear I thought they found some dirty scumbag from off the street (or in a prison) to play him. His body language, his appearance, his demeanor - everything - was so authentic. I've never seen F William Oakes in any other plays or in real life, but I'd love to see what he's like. He's either a scary individual or a great actor. My gut tells me he's a great actor. Kudos to Mr. Oakes! I will definitely try to fit more 2nd Story Theater productions into my theater schedule. Wish me luck!
**EDIT: I did a little research on Evan Kinnane and he is 13 years old and has already appeared in over 2 dozen shows. He is one of 9 home-schooled children. A recent article in the Providence Journal highlighted Evan's career. You can also watch video of Evan singing John Lennon's Imagine (which just happens to be my all time favorite song). And as the American Idol judges would say, "Evan, you really made that your own. Good job, Dawg!" Since I have no idea how to post a video here, I'll give you the url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnVfB9hcPf8.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Image from Google Images (I had my camera in my purse, but I failed to take pictures. *slaps self on forehead*)
That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Image from Trinity Rep's Website
Monday, November 9, 2009
Image from Google images
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Here's my take on this week's episodes of my favorite shows?
1. The Biggest Loser - Thank goodness Tracey was finally voted off the show. I loved that Jillian admitted to the camera that she doesn't like Tracey! I'm liking Jillian more and more all the time. I must admit, however, that Tracey looks fabulous and she really was able to keep up the weight loss and healthy lifestyle after she went home. So, good for her! I'm going to have to complain about product placement again, though. What the heck's up with suggesting that Extra Gum will be a good snack alternative to ice cream?! Really?! I don't think you can convince people who are thin and not food lovers that gum can be a good substitute for ice cream. Let alone people with food issues. (Or ice cream lovers like me). I'm not buying that. No way. And lastly... What's up with Bob and Amanda? I think it's great that he motivates her and they have a connection. Does anyone else think maybe there's more to it? I don't have a problem with that (unless one of them is married. Are they?). I just noticed it and I was wondering if I'm the only one.
2. Modern Family - What can I say. This show is just one great laugh after another. Loved the very end when Mitchell and Cam were pretending to figure skate and Cam yells "My turn" as he runs at Mitchell for a lift and the screen goes black. Brilliant! Geoff and I are still making jokes about that scene days later. Loved all the sweet and clever t-shirts Jay had made for his family to celebrate their accomplishments. Awww... But I think my favorite part was that they focused a bit more on the middle daughter, Alex, and her practical jokes on her brother and sister (charging the cell phone and iPod). I thought it was very clever how they took her nerdy, bookish personality and showed how she used that in a comedic way to get back at her snarky sister. Go Alex! I hope to see them develop the other minor characters as well. Another great episode.
4. Glee - No new episode for the second week in a row! This is so disappointing. Especially since the last episode I saw was one I didn't enjoy. I'm kind of losing interest now. Not good. I hope it's back this week with a really great episode.
3. The Office - Again Creed comes in with a zinger of a line (that paper wasn't supposed to be delivered). So random, so funny and so Creed. I liked that we got to see some Dwight/Andy one-upmanship and prankiness. That is definitely an area of the show that has the potential to be very funny. And one I think they should pursue. This weeks scenes were a little lacking, but the idea is good. Not sure how I feel about the whole Michael and Pam's mom scenario. I thought his birthday lunch and scrapbook was very cute and I liked that Pam and Jim were charmed by it. But then when the whole thing changed because of her age, I wasn't really sure how to feel. I didn't think it was funny. But it was typical awkward Michael Scott, just much more personal than most of his previous gaffes. What did all you Office fans think?
How about you? What did you all think of these episodes or those of your favorite shows?
Image from Google Images
Friday, November 6, 2009
No, not menopause. The time change that comes with daylight savings time. I know I'm a little late talking about this, but here it is 5 days after "falling back" and I'm still feeling the effects of it. I've noticed in the past three years or so that this simple one hour change in time has a real effect me. It's not quite so bad in the fall as it is the spring, but it definitely takes a few days to adjust. I don't ever remember this being a problem when I was younger. Of course I lived in AZ from 1987-2001 and didn't have to worry about this for those years. AZ is one of the few states that doesn't participate in daylight savings time. As much as I didn't love living in AZ, that is one thing that I did appreciate about living in the desert. No need to save daylight in a place with daily summer temperatures over 110 degrees.
Earlier this week I read an interesting opinion piece written by William F. Shughart II about daylight savings time that discusses the effect of this time change on the hypothalamus, which regulates our circadian rhythms (our "clock"). According to Shughart, the hypothalamus has to struggle to "adjust the body's internal physical, chemical, electrical, hormonal and immunological environments to the new conditions". Most of us just feel groggy for a few days, but apparently this can actually lead to heart attacks in some people. WHAT?! Up until now, I've just been annoyed by this silly time change. But now knowing that this can actually effect people in real and serious ways, I think maybe it's more than just an annoyance. When I was younger I felt no effects, now I feel groggy. Will I have a heart attack 10 years from now? Who knows? And since it's been proven that there are no energy-conservation advantages to daylight savings time (the reason it was started in the first place), I think it's time to seriously consider eliminating it. What do you all think? Did any of you have trouble adjusting? Do any of you know of a reason why we should keep daylight savings time? I'd love to hear from you.
Image from Google Images
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thankful Thursdays are all about taking the time to appreciate all the little things that actually went right during the week. I am someone who can get flustered very easily - even when the smallest thing goes wrong. So why not focus on all the little things that went right and be grateful?
1. I'm thankful that the police checked in with Mr. Croft and determined that there is in fact a safety mechanism on his homemade guillotine. Phew! I'm also thankful that this guy has come to the attention of the police. I hope they keep an eye on him.
Image from Google Images
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday in my local paper, The Providence Journal, there was an article that really gave me the creeps. Robert Croft,who is 74 years old, has built a working guillotine which now sits in his driveway. That's right. A guillotine that works! Did he build this as a Halloween prop? No! He built it because he is so upset about all the child abductions and murders. He thinks the people who commit these crimes should be publicly beheaded. He feels so strongly about this that he hired a carpenter and spent $900 to build his very own guillotine. This is certainly an extreme reaction, but not necessarily something that would raise too many red flags. Though a working guillotine, in a place where someone could actually access it and use it, is troublesome. Where the heck are the cops?
EDIT: Oh and I forgot to mention this. If anyone decides to go along with Mr. Croft's idea of a public beheading, he has gallantly offered to be the executioner. Why not? He already has the equipment. Regulation blade and all.
Photo from Providence Journal/Kathy Borchers
Monday, November 2, 2009
Reading is hugely social for me. Most of my friends are avid readers and we are always sharing our thoughts about what we are reading with each other. Of course, reading is also a big part of my profession (I'm a Library Assistant) so much of my work day revolves around sharing books. I also belong to two book clubs - one social and one that I run at the library. As for sharing books with friends ... I don't share actual, physical books too often because I rarely buy books. I do own some of my all time favorites and I'm always happy to share those with friends, but most of the time the opportunity does not arise. But my friends and I are always sharing books in the sense that we will recommend something that we have read and loved with each other. And I am beyond thrilled to tell others what I am currently reading. Just ask. I love to talk books. Most of the time it's pretty obvious what I'm reading, because I tend to carry my current book with me wherever I go. I'm more attached to my current read than I am to my cell phone. Here on my blog, you can always see what I'm reading in my Good Reads widget on my sidebar. Right now I'm about halfway through The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's a book about books. Can't beat that!
How about you? Is reading social or solitary? What are you reading now? I'd love to hear all about it. I really, really would!
Image from Google Images
Sunday, November 1, 2009
It's been a while since I've posted a Sentimental Sunday. OK, it's been awhile since I've posted much of anything at all really. Since November is National Blog Posting Month, I decided I really should clean the cobwebs out of my brain and try to get my blogging mojo back. Now I can't promise I will post every day in November, but I can at least do my best to post my regular features. May as well start with a Sentimental Sunday today on November 1st.
Here in RI we have a very cool event called WaterFire. The Providence River flows through the center of the city and throughout the summer and fall the river is lit up with flames contained in braziers that are set in the middle of the river. Boats of volunteers float up and down the river keeping the braziers loaded with wood and music is piped over loud speakers. The music is usually something haunting or melancholy with no lyrics. It's a very cool event and people come out in droves to walk along the riverfront and sample food from local restaurants and vendors. There is even some performance art in the park that runs along a part of the river. My favorite are the gargoyles. The WaterFire website can give you a better look into this unique and one of kind public event.
Geoff and I (and sometimes the girls) attend Waterfire at least once a season. Each event is sponsored by companies in the area and Fidelity Investments always hosts one in August. Geoff's business is a Fidelity customer and every year they invite us the "their" WaterFire. We get to attend a private cocktails and desserts event under a tent. It was at one of these Fidelity events that I was introduced to a chocolate fountain for the first time. I've never missed a Fidelity WaterFire since.
If you look closely you can see the boat of volunteers on the left.