Archive for March, 2010

It Takes A Village

Or at least 8-10 actors on stage and some behind the scenes performers.  My review of The Village Players opening show of the 2010 season will be brief so as to not give away to those who have yet to see it.  And if you have not then definitely try to make the final performance tomorrow afternoon!  Most asuredly an ensemble piece led by the hilarious Mary as Mrs. Savage.

I have to say that another actress on stage (who I take full credit for) also was fabulous.  Courtney, who played Mr. Potter’s little seen secretary in It’s a Wonderful Life, amazed me as Mrs. Savage’s greedy daughter.

A real life father/daughter duo whom I have worked with before also had fine chemistry especially in one bit!  I saw a lot of built up emotion in that ironic moment 😉

A fine job by all that I got to share with my brother and his kids!

Also fun was a survey the audience was asked to fill out.

  • Is this your first time seeing a VP show? (No, but I’ve been in more than I have seen).
  • How did you hear about the show… check all that apply.  (An X on each line including “Other”… cast members forced me to come… HAHA!)
  • Finally, the shows you would like to see on the stage… (No less than 10, two provided by Joshua.  Our Town and Twelfth Night both of which he has read in his 7th grade gifted class.  The rest were 8 that I have wanted to be in.  Including one that will probably be tossed.  But if another group can attempt to persuade their board to do a show full of blood and gore then why can’t another do a show based on real people that actually has some intelligence behind it? Just a suggestion…)

A good way to kick off the season and a chance to sit back and be entertained.  But not too long… three months is too long to be off stage 😉

He Ain’t Heavy; He’s My Brother

Today was a big day indeed! It began at 6AM… about an hour and a half earlier than necessary, but I woke up and could not go back to sleep… UGH!  The family hit the road for  Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral for Joshua and Shelby’s confirmation.  The cathedral is a marvel of architectural design and was the model for my own parish’s church.  A gorgeous place to worship… not in the safest of locations in the city but beautiful nonetheless.  If you ever have the chance to visit it… the pictures on the website do not do it justice.

Upon arriving at the church, I was surprised to see one of the youngest members of our game nighters.  Since I know he is in high school, I had to ask… “Aren’t you a little old?”  To which he replied… “Oh, no… this is all for me!”  On the contrary, he and his sister are members of our twin parish and she was being confirmed and sat a few rows in front of Joshua and I.

I found Bishop Blair’s homily to be quite timely and very well delivered.  Aimed chiefly at the confirmands, he stated that they were about to state on their own that they were ready to become part of the larger Christian community.  And like Father Flanagan (founder of Boys’ Town whose motto is the title of this post) must be tolerant and compassionate to all who are part of that community.

I have been teasing my godson a bit throughout his preparation.  If he goofed in front of the bishop, he would be slapped… HARD!  I dunno where I heard this but I remember the same as I began preparing for my day.  However, he did just fine as he stood in front of the bishop with me behind him with my hand on his shoulder.  So happy to stand behind him as he took a major step on his Christian journey.

I forgot to grab my camera this morning.  I had it in my hand, ready to go.  Then, my brother came to the house and asked if I had a shirt he could borrow.  I went, grabbed one, and we then went out the door with the camera on the desk.  So… here is a picture taken of Joshua and his sister and little brother in what looks like a criminal line up.  AH, well… next time he’ll think before his mug is shot.

I still say with his new glasses, he looks like a famous boy wizard.  Especially with that mane of unruly hair!  In total, 120 young men and women from 6 parishes in the diocese were confirmed.

You Could Be A Twit And Tweet Or You Could…

Go Off On A Tangent.  It is so fun to see how our little blog group of 4 has grown and  developed in the past 2+ years.  It has been so exciting to not only read each others posts but to come to know each of these great people.  What started as theatre acquaintances has grown into a group of the best friends I have ever had.  That is what has made our little gang of tangenteers so special:

  • Taylhis describes her life as a stay at home mom, with her fabulous hubby, and their four wonderful kids and their menagerie of pets.  At times humorous, thought-provoking, but always insightful!  She may not have a great amount of time but I love reading every post she has the time to create.  And with baseball season finally approaching… you can bet she will be going in-depth (as much as possible) on  another season of her beloved Cubbies!
  • Derek has documented the many roles he has played as a substitute teacher in the burbs of a great metropolitan area, to youth group leader, and finally to his position in the auto industry.  Postings are a bit spread out but always fascinating.
  • The “Old Admin“… well what can we say about him.  I think he last posted way back in October.  I have been waiting on an Office post since da Bears’ season has come and gone once again.
  • Justj joined our gang a few months after we started.  His random thoughts center a lot on his family which I find truly endearing but also delve into many of his hobbies as well.
  • Somewhere along the road, we picked up a few other tangenteers.  Mare has become a great friend through my involvement with yet another community theatre group.  And with the new admin there are big changes in store.  Not forgetting froggy and our newest Kloe.

Brand new to the site is an interactive page on which you can post a single blerb about anything… much like tweeting (or whatever it is) but I think it will be even more fun.  So why not follow us and go off on a tangent of your own!

WOW!  How could I almost forget dear Carol!  She is also one of our new followers who offers great insight into her everyday life as a teacher and mother…. or this and that!  GREAT FRIENDS ALL!!!

The Arts Are Alive!

I am pleased to relate that EHS’ production of Your A Good Man, Charlie Brown was a hit.  Several people have asked me if I was able to attend last weekend… regrettably I was not.  Apparently, it went very well.  “Charlie Brown’s” mother was in today and she related that she was a bit apprehensive until her son got through his first song.  She did not know he could sing.  That comment took me back.  Prior to my duet of “Summer Nights” my junior year in high school, few people knew what kind of voice I had.  When auditioning for the bit, Emily herself was taken aback!

However, I am also pleased that the director is already making plans for next year’s musical!  HOORAY! It is so neat that we finally once again have a music teacher who is committed to not only building the band and choral programs but also reinstating something that has been lost at the school of a good many years!  Now only if the administration can manage to hold on to her!  Seems that the last few years the school had an array of music educators who have been poor influences.

Bravo to Ms. Reardon and to the young adults who have begun the work of making the arts once again flourish!

Would Ya, Could Ya, Ain’t Ya Gonna, If I Asked Ya, Would Ya Wanna

Funny thing about living in a small town for the better part of 36 years, you have many memories that really do take you back.  Last night, a customer who used to work at the store when it was known as Shaffer Value was in and I had to recite her full name (which is six in length… K.J.E.S.H.P) that she made it a point to teach me when we worked along with the Master Meat Lady in the back.  I recall that it was during this time when I was introduced to a great amount of country music (it beat the musak that played through the store.  One song in particular comes to mind: John Michael Montgomery’s “Be My Baby Tonight.”  Is that the title or is it the tongue twisting refrain of:

Would ya, could ya, ain’t ya gonna, if I asked ya, would ya wanna be my baby tonight?

I still can’t remember how long it took me to get that lyric down.  Forget the rest of the song.  I would be quizzed every time I went to work.  I think my fumbled lyrics were even more memorable than the real thing.

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  Sorry I could not find an official video.  Everything else was karaoke versions.

There’s Always OKLAHOMA!

For someone else 😉  Honestly, I don’t have anything against the show.  I still say that not for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration, the modern musical would be far different.  But the wait is over.  I received a message in my facebook inbox from the director of Miracles that told me that she had some news regarding casting!  Not to worry… it’s not bad.  I immediately grabbed my phone and was ecstatic after receiving the news.  I was the only one she and the producer of the show had firmly had in place.  Does this mean that I was the only guy to audition?  Tom is the only male role in a cast of three. Oh, well who cares if I was?

After getting off the phone, I struck up an online conversation with one of a few people I had to tell first.  I even had him thinking it was another JS (Jerry Seinfeld, Jerry Springer… forgot about him somehow).  He was about to phone the police to arrest the director for slander until I came clean.

This role is going to be memorable for several reasons.  Not only is it a serious drama (with some bits here and there of lightheartedness), but it is the smallest cast I have ever been part of.  I am really excited to see how well I am able to pull it off.  I have also been informed that the director is going to have her way with me (ok… so she definitely did not phrase it quite that way).  The subject of the show is very close to her and it is going to be done her way.  I totally agree!  Plus, my limited experience in such shows can only benefit greatly by a director who knows what she wants.  But I’m not worried: It will be work but it will be fun!

So… let the fun work begin! Does this mean that I need to add a new category?

When You Know The Notes To Play, You CAN’T Play Most A-ny-Thing

This is not meant to be a religious stance.  However, it is meant to be a stance on intelligence.

Ridiculous is what I call it.  A young lady who attempted to take her case to the Supreme Court was not even allowed in the doors.  Separation of Church and State, indeed.  Has the “Pledge of Allegiance” been taken out of the school system yet, or just “Under God”?  The case may be 4 years old but it is just as necessary as it was in 2006 when a high school wind ensemble wanted to perform an instrumental version of Biebl’s Ave Maria as part of their graduation exercises.  Kathryn Nurre and her ensemble chose the beautiful piece which had been performed  VOCALLY at graduation exercises at Everett High School (Everett, WA) one year before!.  However, school officials felt that the vocal-less arrangement would meet with criticism?  Selections were to be “totally secular in nature.”

Let’s see… how many art classes study the works of the Renaissance?  Better cut that out since the vast majority are religious in nature.  Umm… we can’t sing “When the Saints Go Marching In”  or strike us down if we play it instrumentally.  I wonder if Everett High School’s Christmas Concert consists of “Jingle Bells” and “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Sorry Mare, your “Hallelujah Chorus”… NO CAN DO! “Silent Night’ by candlelight… AXED! I wonder if the officials would be intelligent enough to recognize the original German version (OH, forgive.  All selections must be in English).  I imagine that their Drama Department will not be performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Godspell, or The Sound of Music (shameful) anytime soon.

I applaud Miss Nurre for her bravery in going before the high court to hear her case.  I also say a big fat “BOO” to our government for not even  considering to hear the case.  Before long, schools will go back to the three rs so as not to cause any “criticism.”  At least Justice Alito sided with the young woman.

Ok… rant over… thanks for listening.

Killing Time

I know that continuing to think about something does not make it approach faster, but if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a zillion times!  I HATE WAItINg!  I think the audition went fine… better than fine since I did get to read the script twice.  There were only three of us at the audition (enough for a cast but there was another round today and one tomorrow… UGH!) After the very quick table read-through audition, I did get to sit in a rehearsal for Curious Savage which goes up next weekend.  Break a leg Mare, Trav, and the rest of the cast!  I was pleased to see Mr. Potter’s secretary on stage again with a meatier role.  I will be in the audience either a week from tonight or next Sunday… depending upon when we get back from the cathedral on Saturday.

Last night’s evening wrapped with a long overdue game night.  Overdue because I was sick for the last one.  And I got to assist in moving a television… not a huge undertaking but big enough.  C and I got both the tv and stand back in their proper spot and a picture with sound came on so…

Now, I think I will read a bit of The Goblet of Fire before Taylhis catches up with me.  I forgot to ask how many pages “plowing through it” means. 😉  Of course, with any luck, she will catch up with me before I get to Order of the Phoenix.

A New Challenge

So, today I am auditioning for what will surely be a most challenging play! Miracles is a very dramatic play focusing on a father, his teenage daughter, and her teacher.  After reading the script (Twice) which was so kindly provided to me by the director, I thought it very thought-provoking but with a few moments of lightheartedness so as not to make it totally heavy.  There is even a bit of singing  and dancing (not too much dancing… of course if I’m cast that could be one of those light moments, right?!).

Hopefully when the play is presented in May, a huge crowd turns out.  Small dramas generally are not big crowd magnets but sometimes they are the most rewarding for both performer and audience.   I think it is well written and the subject is very touching.  And who say challenging can’t be fun as well?

Tick-Tock/Blah Blah Blah

I have been watching American Idol less and less.  Somehow, it has lost a lot of the appeal that it once held.  I have watched enough to learn that Northwest Ohio native, Crystal Bowersox, is one of the early favorites.  Good for her!  I have also watched enough to know that Ellen Degeneres has yet to become comfortable in her judging capacity.  She definitely has taken over the void as supreme cheerleader vacated by Paula Abdul… maybe a bit too much.  Enough about that because I really can’t say too much with the amount I have seen.

I will comment on the act that was part of the results show tonight.  A “Breakout” artist of the new year, Ke$hia (that’s how it is spelled) performed something.  Hot off the heels of her 6 million seller, “Tick Tock,” she came on stage and performed “Blah Blah Blah” and that is what it looked and sounded like.  Or maybe I could not hear the lyrics because I was too busy laughing at the audacity of the spectacle. It really made me wonder where she broke out from! I think I’d rather hear “Pants on the Ground” but I think that has had its 5 minutes of fame.  The video on youtube just did not do the hilarious performance tonight justice.  I’ll look back and update the post.  It is definitely one that needs to be seen to be believed.  Honestly, I never understood the need to fill an hour with something that can be done in less than a half hour.

Here is Crystal taking on the Creedence Clearwater Revival song “As Long As I Can See The Light.”

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And now for the moment tangenteers have been waiting a good 15 hours for…

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