Tag Archives: musicals

“With Every Job When It’s Complete There Is A Sense of Bittersweet”

‘Tis done.  Except for one more evening tomorrow starring as the cleanup/set-striking crew, Mary Poppins is in the past tense.  I’m feeling conflicted.  On the one hand, I’m grateful to not have to feel so hectic trying to fit everything into a day, and on the other hand, though I kicked and screamed and thought I wouldn’t do it over and over and over, it turned out to be a great experience for me.  I don’t step out of my comfort zone enough… I just don’t.  And the fact that I conquered my weird social anxieties (with plenty of awkwarding up the joint), my non-dancing skillz (let’s face it, Whitney loves to dance, but dancing has an aversion to Whitney and often makes her look like a seizing walrus cub), my extreme fear of ruining a production, and being fitted for and wearing a costume is like a monumental thing in my book of Whacky and Out Of This World Weird Issues and Aversions (Hitting shelves the 9th of Neverember).

I cannot say enough about the kindness and patience shown me by the lot of the cast and crew.  The directors, choreographers, and musical directors who took me under their wings and taught me about owning my actions, the wardrobe mistress who was so kind and non-judgmental, the cast who put up with my corny nervous frittery jokes and still accepted me anyway.  The leads, Sarah Huff and Tyler Whitesides who don’t own a mean bone in their entire bodies, extremely talented, gracious with their time and compliments, and absolutely ZERO egoes… which can also be said about every last one of the folks in charge of this beautiful musical… behind and in front of the scenes.  It is an experience I will never forget… and one that I will look back on with fondness.  My part in this production was so very miniscule, but I was always made to feel like we were all a part of this fabulous thing that had record-breaking audiences during all 8 shows.

I had a friend say to me who has seen nearly every broadway show known to man (we call her the “ticket lady” Hi Karen)… “The difference between this production and a professional broadway one is a feeling of love.”  She said there was so much love and warmth and feeling behind each of the characters on the stage, and she never gets that from the Broadway productions because they are in it for the money.  I’ve thought a lot about that since… and it’s true… everyone who worked on this production did it because they loved the work.  They loved acting and singing and dancing.  They loved creating sets and costumes and marketing advertisements.  They loved the behind the scenes stage crewing and making things run like an oiled machine.  It was a production full of a lot of heart and warmth and LOVE. Four Seasons Theatre Company is a gift, Cache Valley people.  I hope you all support future productions from these wonderful people.  They deserve all the accolades they get!

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I had so many wonderful family and friends who showed up.  I love and appreciate you all… every last one of you whacky wonderful wildabeasts.  I’d name you all individually, but I know I’d forget some and then the list wouldn’t be complete.  I also could have kicked myself that I didn’t think to take more pictures.  It’s always the after thought!  Here are a few of the ones people did take and send me…

My darling cuzzin’s kids, Baylee and Owen (Hi Mark and Jenalee)!

My other darling cuzzin’s, Makayla and Corbin (whatup, Angie and Ryan)!

My momma!

My sweet best bud since we were 10 and she whacked a soccer ball at my nose and broke my glasses (no hard feelings, obviously), who just so happened to win the award for furthest traveler to attend… Alena and her oldest daughter Kayla came from Wisconsin!!  They came for other things too, but the sweetness of this girl cannot be matched y’all!

I also met some fabulous new friends in this production, which I also didn’t get many pictures of!

The delightful Stephanie (aka Mrs. Lark) and her bag of peanut M&Ms.

The delightful Leann who was patient enough to teach me the ropes!  (sorry… I had to cut my face out of this one… I looked like the dude from The Goonies squinting into the camera… note to self… wear glasses).

The delightful Cece who put up with my sarcastic jabs and then jabbed right on back (she also never washes her face… obviously).

Some of the beautiful ladies (inside and out) from the “band room dressing room”, Tara, Leann, Amy, Rory, Rachel, some bird woman, and Stephanie.

Thank you all for making my experience that much better.  I am blessed to know some top notch, cream of the crop, non-whackadoodle people!  Keep on keeping on, friends!

PS – For remembering purposes, I meant to post about the snafu I had on closing night.  During 7 of the 8 productions and all 4 of the technical and dress rehearsals, I had absolutely no issues with my microphone.  NONE.  It just so happened that on the final night, my mic did not work when I started to sing.  I felt something was off when I started singing but couldn’t put a finger on it until I realized that there was no vocal projection.  Heck if I knew what to do, but the pro that is Sarah Huff (Mary Poppins) sprung into action, walked over to me and knelt a few inches from my face so that I could be picked up on her microphone.  Did I tell you, no ego on that girl?  We weren’t able to do any of our normal acting or blocking of the scene as we had to be so close together to share her mic, so I’m sure it looked a bit weird and awkward, but that she had the presence of mind to come over there and knew what to do was a neat experience.  Afterwards I heard talk that she said no one had to tell her to walk over… she felt she was prompted by the spirit to walk over and help me out, and she heeded that feeling.  Thank you for sacrificing your performance for mine, Sarah!  You are a gem of a person!

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Filed under Life, Mary Poppins

Move Over Comfort… Bring On The Awkwardness and Anxiety!

Some of you may remember how I once waxed poetic about my ability to graciously navigate social waters.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA… that never happened.  Instead, I may have mentioned about 8 katrillion times of my penchant for awkwarding up a social situation with two hands tied behind my back.  It’s totes a gift and one that I wear with humiliation and cheese curds!

It turns out a new opportunity has presented itself for me to display my gift of awkward anxiety… cheese curds anyone?  The sweet people of Four Seasons Theatre Company (they who let me become the old olive tree in a production of “The Garden” two years ago) have once again thought of me for a role in their upcoming musical, Mary Poppins.  I wrestled with the decision of whether or not I’d want to audition for an actual role in a play that included scary things like costumes and makeup… and a solo about 3 keys higher than my vocal range of comfort… low and slow… bring it on!  High and die… wear your earplugs!  I had learned of the role about a month before the actual auditions and had made my mind up approximately 18 times that I was and then I wasn’t going to attempt it.  Three days before the audition, I made my mind up that I wasn’t going to do it and I was at peace with the decision.  But then my madre ran into a lady at church connected with the theatre company who told her they hoped I’d audition.  I somehow made it to the audition.  I really don’t think it was on my own two legs or right mind… it was like I was floating along in a trance of “spoon full of sugar” juice.  The audition didn’t go like I wanted it to… I was extra nervous and my high notes were strained and then I somehow messed up the words and stopped my own audition in the middle of it letting them know that they’d heard a plenty.  GREAT DIRECTION, WHITMEISTER!

They put the cast list up tonight:

I’d like to note that I’m coming full circle on my hatred of all things bird… being attacked by an angry turkey when I was 4, accosted by an angry owl, pooped on by a friendly magpie, and countless baby birds falling into my window well is about to go down.  Also, the resemblance is UNCANNY!

The song I sing, Feed the Birds is a lovely song about not judging a book by its cover… and probably a whole lotta other stuff that I haven’t discovered yet.  In other news, apparently I’m typecast at the age of 36 as “old”.  Old Olive Trees and Old Bird Women… I could probably sign up to join the AARP, considering!  Take some deep breaths in and out, Whit-Knee… time to step outta your comfort zone again.  Do it for the love of all things bird!  Thank you for the opportunity, ye’ sweet people of Four Seasons Theatre Company!

This view will never be the same.  This is a picture of the former Golden Toaster church.  Sayanora, historic church and view.  I once broke a pew by sitting on it in this church approximately 15 years ago when I weighed 530 pounds.  That’s probably why they tore it down.  😛

This is how Lucy-Fur sleeps.  It’s pretty freaky.  One eye wide open and snoring.  No one sleeps with their eyes open unless it’s a zombie.  Lucy… you got some ‘splainin’ to do!

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Filed under Life

Aladdin’s Hairspray…

I mentioned in Tuesdee’s post that I went to St. George, Utah this past weekend…since we live in Northern Utah and St. George is in Southern Utah it’s like a 6-hour drive and boy were Lindsay and Madre complaining a crab in a hailstorm about the drive.  They are so averse to all things driving long distance it’s not even normal.  No one in this joint is normal.  It makes me feel better about my non-normalness.

The purpose of the trip was to go see the musicals playing at the Tuacahn Theater.  A little outdoor theater tucked back amongst the red rocks.  We’d actually purchased the tickets MONTHS ago… way back before I turned into a poor miserly mouse-like creature.    First up… Aladdin:

I gotta say I wasn’t too hyped to see Aladdin.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the Disney cartoon on account of the fact that I didn’t really love the music.  Sue me… I’m a SNOB!!  I promise you I tried my best not to make too much of the fact that the actor who played Aladdin spent the first half of the play with his pants split up the back.  I think they’d tried to fix it with safety pins, but every time he ran or jumped (which was the whole first half), I got a glimpse of white underroos.  That was very distracting… I’m just saying.  Disney was not impressed!

Sister Lindsay, Shayne, and nephews Christian and Ethan standing in front of the stage.   It was a fun show… they even had a 3D section where we had to wear 3D glasses to watch part of the play.  The Genie pretty much rocked the kabash of hilariousness… but I was underwhelmed with the rest of it.  Ironically, we took a poll at the end of both plays and this was the nephew’s favorite of the two.  I had a stick up my butt apparently!

Y’all… did y’all know that Jasmine had a GOATEE!!?!?!?!?  For serious she does!

The next night… Hairspray!

Dudes… I loved Hairspray!  LOVED it.  I had seen the movie and loved the movie and knew the music and loved the music, so that helped.  But it’s just a fun, boppy, happy, busy, hilarious production with heart and a life lesson.  The subject matter was right on target with yesterday’s blog post topic as well.  It don’t matter what’s on the outside, be it weight, skin color, etc., everyone deserves a chance.  Don’t be a bully!   The dude who played the mom (for those unfamiliar with the show, the mom is played by a male actor in women’s clothing… it was John Travolta in the movie version) I sooooo recognized.  I was having major deja vous.  Reading the program it turns out he was once a cast member on the sketch comedy show, Mad TV, Paul Vogt.  There it is!  I knew I wasn’t going that cray cray.

On the way back to the hotel, nephew Ethan and Madre got the giggles whilst making up an alternate version to the closing song, You Can’t Stop the Beat.  Pretty sure tiredness and delirium set in because every other lyric was about shooting someone… and then they’d giggle for 20 minutes about it.   Something about,  You can’t shoot your poppa or you’ll pop-a his head.   Now your mother and your brother and your sister are dead and you’re dreaming about a chicken head that tastes good between bread.  

Y’all… get on the horn with Ryan Seacrest, yo… Seacrest out!

Question of the Day:  Have you seen Aladdin or Hairspray (plays or movies)?  Which song(s) are your favorite?  Any Utahites been to Tuacahn?

 

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Wicked To the Bone, DoDo…

I was totes Wicked this weekend… pretty sure I’ll be banned from any sort of heavenly place.  Friday, I headed to the big city to be Wicked… when we got there cuzzins Jen and her husband Seth had made the drive from Idaho… no Udaho… to be Wicked with us.  We were all Wicked.  Totes peer pressure if you ask me!

We were actually there to attend the traveling Broadway production of the musical, Wicked!  I had never seen it before.  I’d heard the music and liked a few of the songs, but it was never a LOVE kind of like… more of a… Oh, that’s a song kind of like.  Nothing like the way I adored every single song in the musical Les Miserables… but I had seen that musical on a hand full of occasions.

First set of business was dinner.  Madre had picked this place in the new City Creek great and spacious mall structure called Texas De Brazil… some Brazilian steak house.  Mmmmmm… vegetarian Brazilian cows!  She even made reservations.  We show up… entered in the wrong back door because we all live in hick towns… and then had to traipse all the way through the restaurant… everyone staring at us like we just hopped off the Beverly Hillbilly cart, to the front of the restaurant where a hostess would seat us.  We sat, someone brought us out rolls and water… and then a waitress chic came over to explain how the restaurant worked.  No menus… salad bar and meat… period.  That was when we asked the prices… dude… 42 bucks per person.  And I know it was per person because we asked if she meant that’s the price for the whole table.  I ain’t paying 42 bucks to eat a few lettuce leaves and glare at a bleeding piece of meat with a bell around it’s neck.  No how.  Cheap skate… through and through.  Also, poor as a field mouse and more used to paying $5.00 specials at the Subway.    Needless to say, we all left… stole some breath mints on the way out too for our inconvenience!  😛  Instead, we traipsed back across the mall to Kneaders, the sandwich shop… way more up my alley.  Good laws!

Anyways… Wicked.  The story of the witches in the Wizard of Oz… very creative… hilarious… fun… touching… and awesome.  I loved it… even if I did spend the whole 2-1/2 hours smelling the dude in front of me’s body odor.  An extra added bonus… the last time I went to the Capitol Theatre, I was a teenager… years ago.  I couldn’t fit in the seats.  I sat with my butt on the very edge of the seat for the whole production… miserable the whole dagnabbed time… trying to make myself smaller so the poor folks next to me didn’t die of claustrophobia.  It didn’t work.  The lady next to me left after intermission… she was way too squished with my fat blobules spilling out all sides of the seat.  I vowed I’d never go back to that theater again.  It was humiliating and I was scarred.  I was nervous going this time because of the seats… I don’t know why… I weigh considerably less than I did as a teenager… things would be different.  I wanted to cry when I sat in my seat with no issue at all… I even had room.  What a difference a few hundred pounds make… even if I’m not moving much right now… it’s still important to remember where I’ve been… because I won’t ever be going back there!  Mark my words, DoDo!

Wicked… see it if you ever have the opportunity… for certain.  Thanks to Karen for nudging me to go… even if I was scared of the seating for no reason.  😛

Question of the Day:  Have you seen Wicked or read the book?  Do you have a favorite song from Wicked?  

T

 

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Filed under Getting A Life

Falling Trousers and Broken Vases…

Madre’s side of the family are music lovers… lovers of all things music… at least the 3 youngest are.  I’m not sure about the 3 oldest but my grandma always used to tell me about all of the “operettas” she used to sing in… as the star.  I done never been to an operetta before.  Opera yes… operetta… not so much.  I think we call them musicals these days since we’re so much hipper in our colored skinny jeans and all.  My Uncle Phil got up a broadway music program and invited me and Madre along to sing at a few of the assisted living centers in Northern Utah.  That’s right… some people are wedding singers… some people are funeral singers… we prefer to sing at the in between place.  We’re totally like the Von Trapps, except with less Trapps and certainly less Vons.  Tonight we took the show up to the assisted living center in Brigham City where Padre works.

I’d say it was a success… we corralled all the people from the dining room area and had us a pretty good-sized crowd… it’s easier to get people to stay and listen when you block all of the exits in advance.  Note for future reference… trying pulling the fire alarm and/or flatting some wheelchair tires.  JOKES!!!!!  Laws… quit it… I am not that mean.

Uncle Phil is all dressed up to the nines kind of like James Bond.  He looked spiffy in his tux. Madre and I were underdressed but at least I changed out of my holey LOVES CHOCOLATE T-shirt before driving up.  You can thank me later for that, Uncle Phil.  Madre is pulling her supermodel pose… she learned that it makes you look better in pictures if you pose to the side… kind of like a twig… except with less leaves and a set of teeth.  I prefer standing like an ape.  Much more flattering.

We did songs from Les Miserables, Gigi, Showboat, and a bunch of other musicals.  At the end of the gig Uncle Phil revealed to the audience that he had forgotten his belt and that my dad had said if his pants fell down he would get extra tips… I then revealed that if his pants indeed fell down, I’d need to borrow the nearest vase to conk me unconscious… Dad revealed that if his pants fell down none of the residents would notice… and Mom was just happy to be posing like a twig.  Twas a successful gig and I hear we’re doing it all over again come Fridee night.  Thanks for setting it up, Uncle Phil!!

Question of the Day:  Are you a fan of musicals?  What’s your favorite one? 

 

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Filed under Family