Posted tagged ‘theater’

Mom and the King

March 10, 2018

muscialsI grew up to the sound of music (and, yes, The Sound of Music) on the TV/Stereo Console in the living room, right under the picture window that looked out on Bradley Street. That is, I grew up to music when Dad wasn’t home.  Dad liked it quiet and I can remember Mom lovingly lifting the needle for one of her favorite LPs at the sound of Dad pulling into the driveway.   I get it.   I would have music playing all the time (it actually is, in my head) … my wife Muri sees it as background at best, off even better.  Like so many things that define me, I got my love of music from Mom.   What did she listen to?  Yes, there was some obligatory Montovani, 101 Strings and yulFerrante and Teicher but mostly she played big bands (especially Glenn Miller), classical music (she favored symphonies) and Broadway musicals.   I still remember the lyrics from South Pacific (Some enchanted evening …), Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plains ...) and My Fair Lady (I’ve grown accustomed to her face …).   Then there’s The King and I.  My Mom’s favorite.   She saw it in New York and immediately had a crush on Yul Brynner.   It was the only time I remember my Mom owning up to a crush.   I think my Dad was OK with it because he had more than a little bit of the King in him.  Then I went away to college and became educated (technically) and sophisticated (supposedly), too cool to listen to Broadway musicals.  Once I was married, my wife and I became fans of live theater, but I resisted seeing those uncool musicals.   It would be years before I admitted my love of musicals and began to add them to our theater repertoire.   Sophistication be damned, right?   At 73, I’m nostalgic. (more…)


Monday (Musical) Smiles

March 7, 2016

musicalsI grew up listening to Broadway musicals.   It was not entirely my choice, however.  My Mom, who loved music almost as much as I do, loved Broadway shows and her record collection (remember those) included most original cast recordings of her favorites.  My Fair Lady.  South Pacific.  Oklahoma.  I’d say her favorite was The King and I, at least in part because she had a crush on Yul Brynner.   She would play her music during the day until Dad came home from work, then turn it off.  Dad was a fan of quiet.  Me?  Being the lyric-sponge that I am, I still know virtually every word to every song that she played. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 1/25/2016

January 25, 2016

date night tooYears ago, when my wife Muri and I were younger … and friskier … we would periodically take mini-vacations.  We’d find, perhaps, a play on Saturday evening and maybe a concert on Sunday, then stay in a hotel near the venue on Saturday night.  Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants was always part of the agenda.   As we push forward, me into my seventies and Muri not far behind, we still reserve nearly every Saturday for a date but the mini-vacations have been few. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 5/4/2015

May 4, 2015

Scenes from a weekend:

tmp_24317-20150501_203229456155580Blair Field:  It’s is the home of the Long Beach State Dirtbags.  That’s right, the LBS baseball team is known as the Dirtbags and the are playing the Rainbow Warriors from the University of Hawaii on Friday night.  I’m out for an evening with the guys, even though I have no affiliation with either university and don’t really care much for baseball.   But I’d been invited before and I need a change, so there I am, laughing as I listened to the kids in attendance (with their alumni parents) cheer, Let’s go Dirtbags.   It was a good game on a gorgeous night relaxing with friends.


Monday Smiles – 3/2/2015

March 2, 2015

russian boardMy wife, Muri, and I attend a lot of theatrical events ranging from drama and comedy to musicals.  We attend concerts of classical music, jazz or rock and roll.  We occasionally attend more diverse fare, like dance or magic shows or acrobats, courtesy of Goldstar Events, the half-price ticket outlet that sends a list of available events by email every week.  We’ve seen the Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil at sea.  Consequently, a show rarely strikes us as completely unique.  This weekend, Goldstar was offering tickets to Sequence 8, a show by Les 7 Doigts de la Main (Seven Fingers of the Hand), billed on the Goldstar site as a Canadian cirque troupe.   The show was a combination of performance art, comedy, interesting music, acrobatic choreography and cirque acts that left the audience gasping. (more…)

Monday Smiles 1/12/2015

January 12, 2015

It is four thirty-five in the afternoon.  In less than an hour, the first College Football Playoffs Championship Game kicks off.  Is it OK if I just say, This was a good weekend.  It’s Monday … I’m smiling and call it a day?  No?  I have to explain why it was good?  Seriously?  OK.

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See?  It was a good weekend.  I’m smiling.  Now can I go watch the game?

Monday Smiles – 12/8/2014

December 8, 2014

striking12_200I have to admit, sometimes, I pre-plan my Monday Smiles. If we are in Arizona and seeing the grandkids, I’m fairly certain I have a topic in hand.  If we have plans … for example, theater tickets … for the weekend, I frequently assume that the experience will give me smile-fodder, especially if it’s something I expect to like.  Thursday night, noticing that we didn’t have plans for the weekend, I went online to see what there was to do.   Our favorite local theater, the Laguna Playhouse, was offering Striking Twelve, a play called a throughly-winning minimalist musical by the New York Times.   Written by the Groovelily, self-described as just your typical violin/piano/drums theatrical power trio, Striking Twelve tells the story of a holiday-disillusioned man staying home on New Years Eve to avoid the faux cheer of the season.  An unexpected visitor to his door sets him to reading Hans Christian Anderson’s The little Match Girl, which in turn transforms his evening.  the Playhouse’s webpage said, Striking Twelve is a unique hybrid of pop-rock, musical comedy and live concert.  Sounded to me like a sure thing for a Sunday Date Night  and … as a bonus … a great topic for Monday Smiles so I grabbed two tickets. (more…)