Nostalgic thoughts

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they’ll say about this period in time? What do you most hope they remember?
That we tried.  That we tried hard to make a difference.  Tried hard to change the world for the better.  Tried to leave the world a place that they would be proud of.  Tried to fix the mistakes of our parents without making too many of our own.

2. National Teacher’s Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th…share how a particular teacher positively impacted you.
Oh so many.  Ms. McCreary in elementary school, who was an awesome first grade teacher then moved to third grade so she could have our advanced language arts class again.  Ms. Mann, who was my fourth grade math teacher.  Ms. Frasier, sixth grade English.  Ms. Ragsdale, tenth grade Algebra II and senior year calculus.  Pat Robertson, the nations foremost scholar on Civil War history.  But most of all my friends.  I have so many friends that are teachers, and I’m so proud to know each and every one of them.

3. What’s a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?
Rice.  My brother and I were talking about this just the other day.  No one else we know has ever eaten it the way we did for breakfast growing up.  It was a special treat–to be had at Christmas or if we were sick.  We didn’t ask for pancakes or eggs, we asked for rice.  Hot, with milk, butter, and sugar.  Almost like a cereal, but warm.  Oh so good.  Still a comfort food to this day.

4. Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing up…no pieces, parts, or plugs required. What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug-free?
Across the street there was nothing but woods behind the houses.  We would tromp through the woods for hours.  Up to the railroad tracks, to the campground a few miles away, making forts and gymnastics equipment out of the trees that had fallen.  And playing categories.  Awesome days.

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child?
When I was a teenager, we had Acteens in my church.  I started in grade 7 and went through until I graduated from high school.  I met so many women through that who were icons in the missions world.  Mary Saunders, who brought the plight of starving children in Ethiopia to the world.  Kitty Walker, whose son was serving in Taiwan.  Julie, who was the first person I knew that was married but kept her maiden name.  Such a cool lady.

6. Mamma Mia! What’s the best play or musical you’ve ever seen?
Ohmygoshtherearesomany.  Cats was great for being the first one I ever saw on Broadway.  Lion King was absolutely stunning and so ground breaking visually.    A Chorus Line was the first one I got to see on my own by choice.  Les Miserables was the first I became obsessed with.  Will Rogers Follies was the first one I got to work on backstage (and onstage too, for that matter!).  Rent was one of the first ones that I felt spoke to my generation.  25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was just pure fun.  Avenue Q was the first R rated show–with puppets even.  Book of Mormon was R rated as well, but the first seen on Broadway since I was 13.  Musicals speak to me, in various ways.  I’ve seen plenty that weren’t spectacular or weren’t moving, but the music was fantastic.  Jeckyll & Hyde before Lisa became Emma.  Side Show (Virginia girl made good!).  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Miss Saigon.  Wicked.  Billy Elliott.  The Secret Garden.  Seen some that were just clunkers, in my opinion–The Wedding Singer.  The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Once on this Island.  South Pacific.  Paint Your Wagon.  Because I live in an area that doesn’t get A-market shows often, and when they do they run to death (Wicked is coming for the third time in four years, making the total running in town eight weeks.  While I’m thrilled that Riverdance isn’t coming for the thirtieth consecutive year, it would be nice to see something new!), I don’t get the opportunity to see many, if any, plays.  But two years ago, some friends and I took a day trip to NYC.  Saw the evening performance of Book of Mormon (where I alternated between laughing hysterically and thinking ‘I’m going to go straight to hell for finding this funny’) we also saw a matinée performance of The Normal Heart.   It had only been running for a week.  And a cast that wouldn’t quit.  (Ellen Barkin, the sole female, won the Tony for best featured actress that year, as well as a host of other awards for the show.)  There were four of us that went, and at the end, three of us needed to go shopping for tissues and a new shirt because we had cried so much during the show.  So powerful.  So moving.  And while not necessarily the best thing I’ve ever seen on the stage, it’s probably the most meaningful, most heartbreaking, most thought provoking thing I’ve seen ever.

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?
A new jar of Play-Doh, because it instantly takes you back to age seven.  Jergens hand lotion, because that cherry scent reminds me of the instant that Nana finished washing the evening dishes and then coated her hands with the stuff to avoid dishpan hands.  A combo of freshly shaved wood, motor oil, and aftershave–the smell of my Papa as he worked in the shop after a day of work.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I’ve been lax in my linky parties lately.  I had some life to take care of for a bit, and then just didn’t get back in the habit.  I apologize for being absent, as I do enjoy them.  I’m off to bed this evening, and if last night is any indication, I will be possessing about six inches of my king size bed as the dog, who at the age of 2 has learned to jump up to spend the night (seriously, he was so proud of himself.  He used to be terrified of the bed, now he looks at me every night as if to say ‘can we go to bed yet?’.  Too bad he can’t figure out how to get DOWN in the morning yet.), and became the biggest bed hog I’ve ever seen.  Night night y’all!

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Wickedly Awesome

I promise, this is the last time that I will write on this stupid show. 🙂

So tonight was Wicked #5 of 11 (I think).  I was assigned to direct on the balcony level, which is rare.  So rare, in fact that I had to get a MAP.  I think it’s been seven years since I’ve even been ON the balcony level, much less worked up there.  So learning experience, right?  Always fun.  The good thing is that the work is significantly less.  I was almost relaxed even!  And because of the no-door structure, I was even able to SEE the show.  Like the WHOLE show.  From beginning to end.

Amazing.

So much fun.

Tomorrow night, back to the madness on the downstairs level.

Wicked tired!

So I was supposed to have a relaxing Saturday.  No worries, no problems, just hanging out with friends.

That got canceled.  Instead I ended up back at the Mosque, for about eleven hours, helping with Wicked.

It’s a fabulous show, but I am beat.  People complaining because of their seats being broken, an usher made them mad, an usher stole their  credit card/ID, it’s exhausting!

I’m going to bed!

Unadulterated Loathing for Wicked

I volunteer at several of the local theaters (or theatre, depending on the locale).  I love doing it, even for the shows that I have no desire to see.  Last night was the first night of a three-week run for Wicked–something that is unheard of in this town.  Most shows only get a week showing.  But this one, well, it sold out for all three weeks.  So cool!  The problem is that, as a volunteer, I have to work 5-8 shows during the three-week run.  I guess it’s not so much of a problem, it’s really fun, it’s just a lot in three weeks.

Anywho, I was VERY impressed with the traveling show.  Plus, in the theater house that was built in 1926, it has one of the BEST sounds of any show I’ve ever seen there.  I don’t know how they did it–but I am thrilled that they were able to coax sound out of every nook and cranny of the house and maximize it for their use.

The thing that cracked me up is that it is the most regimented, strict, and particular show I have ever worked in terms of late seating.  The minute the house lights go down, there is NO movement in the house.  Everyone has to stand outside for the first eight minutes, and if they don’t make it in then, they have to stand out for another eight.  VERY particular.

Today I worked two shows.  It is rare to have a weekday matinée–especially since in the city parking is at a premium.  There is a parking garage across the street, but it is filled with students from VCU who are currently in class.  So it was a DISASTER trying to get people in on time.  Then trying to get them out in time to let people in for the next show, well, let’s just say I think I walk a faster mile than these people were driving.

The second show, however, reinforced the fact that people today have no idea how to behave in public.  We told you that if you went to get a glass of wine there would be a chance you would have to stand outside and wait for late seating.  You didn’t listen and went anyway.  So now you have to stand with the other people and wait until the cue to go is given.  I can’t help it if you know where you seats are, nor do I care.  My instructions are to keep the door shut, and that is what I do.  Do not curse me out for it.  Likewise, it is not my fault that you showed up at 7:45 for a 7:30 show.  The show even started at 7:41 to accommodate those that were having problems getting there on time.  The radio and TV all told you “go early”.  The gentleman on the front row who was amazed that so many people had showed up already for an 8:00 show only to be told it was a 7:30 show was even there on time.  Also, it is not my fault that people one door down did not follow instructions and let people in early.  Trust me, I watched them get yelled at by the production company.  Just because they opened their door does not mean I will open mine early.  Please understand the situation I am in–I am following the directions of the people on stage.  If we do not follow directions, we will be unable to get shows like this again.  I understand that seats went between $60-$125 on the lower level, and I’m sorry that your bladder wouldn’t wait until intermission.

IT’S NOT MY FAULT IF YOU WERE MAD.  I was just doing my job, and I just ask that you remember that.

Off my soapbox now….

Not cool at all!

So there are hundreds of obscure and odd groups on Facebook. Some funny, some serious, some nostalgic, some for a cause. I was a member of one known as “I Only Know How Many Minutes Are In A Year Because of RENT”. Cracked me up as a monument to the totally overplayed, but still loveable song.

Someone changed the name over the weekend to “JonBenét Ramsey: Good Riddance.” Now tell me, what does that have to do with RENT? Then the group changing continued: next was “I know that God punishes gays with Aids and death only because of RENT”. And heaven forbid that idiot has a typo so they changed it again to “I know that God punishes gays with AIDS and death only because of RENT”. What was a group that was for those of us that loved RENT and yet recognized its overexposure and the fact that we can totally make fun of ourselves has now become something that, I dare say, the majority of the members would never support if they paid attention to the changes.

I don’t care if it isn’t your personal lifestyle, I don’t care if you don’t approve. I don’t go changing the names of Christian groups to say that the Islam Nation is doomed to hell, I don’t switch the group titles from various college affiliations to say that all members are inbred mongrels with ties to communistic beliefs, and I don’t flip the group from a nostalgic love of the Muppets to a furry fetish. So who is this person that takes a group that is laughing over the lyrics to a SONG for Pete’s sake, and switches it to a group that makes light of the disappearance of a small child and then to a group that has no tolerance whatsoever for people that are honest about their own feelings or infected with a horrible illness?

I’m sorry. That’s just not cool. Not cool at all.

Sometimes, the city gets it right

Living where I do, in a town that has three other major towns within a two hour drive and several more within four hours, we get passed by on a regular basis. For someone like me who is a major theater junkie, that means that we frequently get passed by for various touring entertainment acts–concerts, plays, musicals, you name it.

But tonight was an exception.

Ever since BACI went bankrupt a few years ago we have not had many opportunities to enjoy touring Broadway shows. Well, for two nights, we got The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. (The third night was canceled for some reason). And it was a great blast of fun.

I have had the soundtrack ever since it won the Tony for best actor in a musical a few years ago, so I knew the words. Good thing, because the acoustics at the Mosque sucked as usual. Sorry, but it’s true. That place is just horrible for sound. But B, NoMH, and I had a blast, and it was a great way to kick off my vacation.

That’s right, I’m on vacation. My daddy is coming to town to power wash the house and help me clean out the yard (he keeps saying that is what husbands are for, and while NoMH helps it just doesn’t count) so I’m loving the fact that he’s coming down.

So hey! Great vacation thus far! Doesn’t get better than Broadway musicals!!!