Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seven Thoughts (And a Glowing Endorsement of Into the Woods)

I haven't blogged a lot lately because a lot is happening. This blog is public--and honestly--I don't know who is reading it--so I'm a little leery of sharing my unedited thoughts today...

But I have thoughts...ohhowdyboy do I have thoughts.

First thought:  I would like to publicly and proudly proclaim my unadulterated love for The Echo Theatre's production of Into The Woods. I've never seen it--except for the recording they did years ago with Bernadette Peters. It was luscious. Delightful. I was giddy. The melodies are beautiful and strange--like all Sondheim seems to be. The costumes were inspired by Firefly. The set designs were deliciously Brechtian. And the acting was nuanced. There were a couple of moments where the actors would turn upstage for a special moment--and I wanted to see their faces in that moment--but that's only because I really cared about what was happening. It was very rare--and actors are allowed to turn their heads. As a music director--I loved that the live band consisted of a talented piano player and a violinist. I was giddy that in the small space--none of the actors were miced. (miked)? It was a credit to the production. The actors were able to maintain a wonderful balance of soft and loud. Audience members were pulled into the story--and carried away in the music. I loved it. You need to see this show. http://www.theechotheatre.com/intothewoods.html

Second Thought: I moved! I live in a castle now! I am a princess in a castle. And I have a dog!! She's my dragon warrior dog. If anyone comes to the door--she gives a lone bark. (She never barks otherwise.) It's better than a doorbell! (I don't really like the idea of being a princess--but honestly I feel more like a princess in this beautiful castle than a queen.)

Third Thought: I'm trying to make a concerted effort to date more. I'm trying. (big sigh) I enjoy the time that I spend with the gentlemen who I've gone out with. It's been delightful. But... none of us like to have to think about or plan dating. It's just one of the necessary evils you do if you want to eventually fall in love. Until then, you're basically just making new friends. Which is never a bad idea. The funny thing is hearing the men explain why they're not interested, without coming right out and saying it. Everyone enjoys making new friends--no one enjoys starting a new relationship. So first dates are about making sure that everyone knows "this is just a date... not a big deal...we're not getting married... we're interested in other people....just so we're clear..." It's delightful.

Fourth Thought: I've had a couple of men I dated in the past contact me out of the blue in the past couple of weeks. I love making friends. I love keeping friends. But sometimes--if we've stopped dating, and you've chosen to marry another woman... I wonder why you bother to contact me for a little online chat a year or so later....Why??? It's weird. Last night, one particular friend who is about 45 asked me if I wanted dating advice from his 20 year old girlfriend, since she has a better track record than I do... So I will just tuck that away. If I ever want to get knocked up by a guy who is 25 years older than me--I will contact his 20 year old girl friend to ask her how she did it. I'm sure she will unveil some pretty mysterious things to me about men. I look forward to her wisdom.

Fifth Thought: Why is it that I'm just not interested in finding love anymore? Am I just jaded? The fact is--I'm pretty happy with the status quo and I feel like love would throw a wrench in things... But... I really like my new doggie. I was scared to add her into my life--and now things are good. Granted, I think she'd prefer to be running around outside all day... but for the most part, we have a great routine together. So, if the right guy came along--I think I could make room for him in my life. I think I could enjoy love again... It's just FINDING him is a little....not on my list of things I prefer to do.

Sixth Thought: In my dating adventures--regardless of how tedious the "not interested in anything" conversation is going--I find myself feeling genuine respect for my male friends. I have enjoyed their company. They work hard and they try very hard to be good men. It's not an easy world to be a man or a woman. Especially when you're single. I am so impressed with the men I've had the chance to get to know.

Seventh Thought: I love my lady friends too. Every week, I get to go and visit different women from church--and it's so neat to see that they are all happy, intelligent, complicated, successful, ambitious, beautiful, thoughtful... etc.

These are my thoughts. These seven thoughts could make up seven different blogs.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Allow Me To Prophesy

I am announcing an upcoming style trend.

Men will shave again.

I have been a lover of the beard for quite some time. I love it for a number of reasons, the first being it indicates that the man I am kissing is quite manly. I love hair on the face almost as much as I love hair on the arms. I just love all that testosterony goodness.

But the beard is an old trend and soon fashion trends will reverse themselves--as they do--and we'll see the baby smooth face return to the forefront of fashion.

My evidence? The way my heart palpitated in the movie theater while watching Jersey Boys yesterday.  This is not a film review... my review is--I liked it... But really, I just liked staring up at really really handsome guys.




unshaved man

dapper looking shaved man

unshaved man

clean shaved

unshaved

shaved


Group shot of handsome men


Group shot of handsome men in suits

Mark my words, ladies and gentlemen, as much as I love a good beard--and God bless the movie 300 for giving us rippling muscles and awesome beards--the era has passed. 

Clean shaven men, eager to show off their chiseled jaws, high cheek bones, and sparkling eyes will begin roaming our fair streets. Granted, the trend will start in Europe, mosey on over to New York City, and sometime in the next year or two, make it's way back to Utah. 

But you heard it here first. 


Or rather, I heard it here first because I should probably research and find out if the trend hasn't already started. 

You know the beard trend is ending when men are tying flowers up in their faces. 


Friday, July 4, 2014

The Loud Laugher

I like to laugh. You might say, I love to laugh.


But Uncle Albert and Dick Van Dyke laughed when things were funny, and so do I.

I've been to a couple of shows recently where it seems like there are plants in the audience (or maybe they're just groupies, I don't know). It's either a man or a woman who will laugh obnoxiously just ahead of the joke. It completely draws me out of the theatrical experience. I am so bothered by this deranged laughter, when everyone else is trying to follow the plot, that if the moment WAS funny--I miss it.

It's ruined the last few shows I've been to. Well, maybe not ruined. The shows were still good--but they weren't as funny as they would have been if I had been able to breathe in and naturally enjoy the comedic timing.

I have no solutions. Just complaining.

Thank you for your support.

Just remember--laughter good. Laughter at random moments that aren't funny to anyone but anyone just to let everyone in the audience in on the fact that you have a crush on one of the guys in the cast and/or helped build the set and therefore you're a super duper winner... bad.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Spring Awakening



Midvale Main Street Theatre is great at doing theatre for young people, by young people. It's an amazing brand and Tammy Jackson Ross, who had been a business manager for over 25 years, is amazing at creating a brand and honoring the customers who specifically seek for that brand that only she can give them. With each production, the brand Midvale Main Street Theatre increases in its power and relevance to the talented young artists in Utah. They are unafraid of difficult theatre. They are unafraid of shock and awe. They are unafraid of provocative. (See NTN, Avenue Q, RENT)

It seems to me, most edgy theatre in Salt Lake is done with a professional edge by out of towners here to show regular old Utah the way. And yet, I'm seeing a slew of theatres no longer afraid to put thoughtprovoking new plays on their season. Lately, I've seen a wealth of great theatre from a variety of up and coming companies, determined to create brave new theatre in Utah. 

Last night, I enjoyed the opening night production of Midvale Main Street Theatre's Spring Awakening. It was Cassidy Ross's directorial debut. (She's worked behind the scenes for years, and directed two sold out runs of children's theatre performances last year--but this was her first go at helming a main stage production.) The show is about the sexual awakening of the youth in 1880's Germany. Supported by an amazing production team, (Aaron Ford: choreographer, Sean McLaughlin: Set Designer, Jennifer Hairr: Lighting Designer, Ryan Fallis: Graphic Design and Sound Tech, Taylor Erickson: Assistant Director, Austin Heaton: Stage Manager, and Jason Campbell: Music Director)--the show is a force. The energy of the movement--the mesmerizing harmonies--the jolting rock star tones.

Leo Cody Jensen leads the ensemble through their Spring Awakening as these teenagers ask questions and work their through the mysteries of their changing desires. I won't talk about the storyline. I went into the show a Spring Awakening virgin. I knew it was raunchy and unapologetic. And it was. The youth of the actors and production staff gave vigor to the raunchier moments--but one thing that age teaches is to value the quieter moments during times of tumult. The production seemed to skip over the less titillating moments. I wanted a touch more gravity in the small exchanges.

Erica Renee Smith found a lovely place between girl and woman. She was unafraid of the joy of both. Carolyn Crow's Marta was afraid of everything. And Allie Duke's Ilse gave up any semblance of fear and shame. I found myself wondering what my life would be like if I could just let go of society and join an artist's colony myself.

Thomas Kulkus was hilarious and his voice ripped up Duncan Sheik's melodies. Terry Lee McGriff had my favorite line in the show. Brock Dalgliesh resembled a cat holding a stick of dynamite. His frenetic passion made me want to give him a hug and a warm cup of chamomile tea.  Jim Dale mastered several different parts, lending voice to the patriarch and Kelsey Lyn Hoskins' matriarch was unnerving.

The whole ensemble roared through the production with energy and charisma.

The folks sitting to my left were uncomfortable during a few of the racy bits. They would start talking to each other or looking at their candy. And you are welcome to look right into your bag of popcorn if you like.

The show isn't for everyone. (Rated R) But if you're uncomfortable with lying to children about sex, or if you want to hear someone's unapologetic story about what it feels like to be a teenager awakening inside themselves--then come and enjoy Spring Awakening. It might not be your story--but it will remind you of your story and help you to love that part of your soul more than might have when you needed to love that part of your soul. However you choose to live, letting go of the shame of humanity is a truth I can support.

The show runs June 12-June 28 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7pm. Don't worry about getting dinner as they serve delicious food at the concenssions, and each seat is in front of a table top to make viewing and eating comfortable for everyone.

For more information on showtimes--visit www.midvaletheatre.com.