How To Succeed…

I know that the auditions for West Valley Light Opera’s production of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying are coming up, so I’ve been doing my homework.  The first time that I heard the Matthew Broderick version of the show, I thought, meh.

I recently watched the movie version and was mostly creeped out rather than impressed with it.  Because of this, I have to say I wasn’t really looking forward to these auditions.

So today, I reluctantly put in the newest version featuring the guy who plays Harry Potter.  What’s his name again?  Kidding, he’s brilliant in the show.  I actually enjoyed listened to the whole show while I was doing the laundry.  While I was folding away and I found that I felt lighter in foot than normal when doing such mundane chores as this.

Now don’t get me wrong, the staff that West Valley has assembled is a trio of positivity and fun. Of course that makes for some happy times to be had.  When I first heard that this show was going to kick off next season, I was so happy.  Then I found out the staff and I was over the moon.

So I went back to dance class, not only to work on my technique and remind myself of things, but to get my mind set ready for the audition.  Can I just say that playing catch up for three different routines is not as fun as I thought the challenge of it would be.  I guess I over romanticized it to myself.  Don’t get me wrong as I am having a crazy good time. Seriously.  My body is sore as hell and I’ve got some bruised areas, but it’s so fun, I wish I was able to have never stopped dancing.

Relearning the different weight changes for the different styles is frackin’ nuts.  It took nearly half the class for me to get my hip hop swagger (yeah, right. Like I really have some.) from walking around working on my posture for the modern class.

We’ll just have to see what happens.  Still can’t figure out what to sing though.

Got any suggestions for a song?  Feel free to leave them in the comments section!!

 

 

Hey all you Patriot fans…

(PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS)

Every now and then I get an email or a flyer that tries to appeal to my softer side.  It says things like “theatre performers should go and see other people’s shows also” or “I saw your show, so come and see mine.”  I try to get out and see as many shows as I can, but due to time and money, sometimes things don’t always work out.  (Sorry Jillian, I really wanted to see your show. Srsly!)   Most of the time the flyer is for a company that has a lot of support already.

Today I got a note, and I would like to try and spread the word to help out this time.

Lyric Theatre needs to sell 200 seats in the next 3 days!!  If the seats aren’t sold, they stand to lose a large sum of money that could potentially affect their ability of producing a full season next year with all the bells and whistles.  Their show “Oh Mr. Sousa” is a tribute to the music he penned.  Nothing like supporting an American composer on the day before Independence Day!!

For full details of the show please click HERE.

I am asking that if at all possible to “Share” this post on Facebook or Twitter to help out our local arts scene.  Thanks a million for your help!!

♫ I’m Jean Valjean ♪ Bub! ✷Snikt✷

Well, maybe not yet…

You know, when I watch the old MGM or Universal musicals I feel like I was totally born in the wrong era.  To be a dancer in any of those massive production numbers would be my idea of a fabulous time!  To dance in the same room as Gene Kelly, one of my heroes, or Danny Kaye, another wonderful performer, or Ann Miller, or Cyd Charise, or… (I could go on and on) would be bliss I tells ya!

Fast forward to the present and we see that somehow, the musical has luckily found it’s way back to Hollywood.  While it hasn’t always been as amazing (Rent, Phantom of the Opera) as some of the movie musicals back in it’s heyday, the fact that musicals are becoming more accessible to the people that can’t afford to always pay $60+ to sit in the nose bleed section to “see” a show, has me jumping for joy.  Movies like Hairspray, Mamma Mia, and the Oscar winning Chicago have helped to bring more musicals to the silver screen.  Not only that, these metamorphoses from Broadway stage show to movie musical have featured some of the most emotionally diverse array of casting that leave you wanting more or wanting to punch the star in the throat (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Pierce Brosnan!)

Hushed whispers have been circulating here and there that the head honchos of Universal, director Tom Hooper, and the big wigs at Working Title have set their sights on Hugh Jackman for the lead in their planned production of the Broadway mega-hit Les Miserables.  No negotiations have been made as of this time, so it’s still just rumors. But still, how awesome would it be to have Wolverine play a man on the run trying to redeem himself for his past and creating a new virtuous life.  Wait, is that redundant?

In any case, Jackman is a talented man, so it’s certain that he’ll do a decent job singing this incredible role. But, guess who has actually read for the role of Javert and sang some of the songs from the show?  Mr. Paul Bettany!!  If anyone looks like a strict policeman without a heart, it’s Bettany.  HOWEVER, just looking at the stature of the two men, either Jackman needs to slim down or Bettany needs to bulk up.  I feel like these two character are similar, but on opposite sides of the “law.”  To me, I would like to see the characters portrayed nearly identical in strength and intensity.  Jackman is always gonna be a badass in my book, so it’s already a little lopsided.  I’m just sayin’.

The script is already completed for Les Miserables, so the movie is gonna happen.

Another movie that’s HAPPENING is Rock Of Ages!! With Tom Cruise as the lead, I can’t wait to see if he’s gonna need a throat punch as well or if I am going to want to watch it again.  I think this is an amazing snap shot. I just hope that the voice behind it matches.

It’s back on track. Congrats to the new Spider-Man team!

Everyone's happy about this!

I’ve just spent, at the very least, the last half hour reading the updated reviews of “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark.”  I am delighted to say that it seems to me that people are beginning to change their minds about this once cursed production.

After reading a review of the show, it piqued my interest to see if other people felt the same way.  The article says that thanks to the reworking of the script to give it more of a complete solid story, that made all the difference.  One of the main issues was with the character of Arachne, who had such a large role through the show one would think the show was about her.  The rewrites have pulled back the character so she’s more like a spirit guide for Peter Parker.

Now there’s also no Greek chorus.  The Greek Chorus, while it’s been around forever, it seems to recently be making the rounds on Broadway, from Legally Blonde to Xanadu to Priscilla. Not that I minded them in the first two shows, but not so much in the latter.

It’s still up in the air how well Spider Man will do, but at least it won’t be the big disappointment that was originally forecast.

Here’s to a good multi-year run!  Cheers.

Oh, Hell to the No!!!!

There are times when people just need to be tucked in a cave and that cave covered with a huge boulder so that they are never heard from again.  Sarah Palin is one such person! In this instance, I would love for it to be a coal mine.

I recently came across an article that she was on Sean Hannity last week talking her usual smack and bringing up old stuff that she’s comfortable talking about.  When she’s asked about budget cuts she says: “NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn’t be in the business of funding with tax dollars — those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14 trillion debt that we’re going to hand to our kids and our grandkids. Yes, those are the type of things that for more than one reason need to be cut.”

And what really gets me is that there wasn’t any sort of news coverage about something this big.  And the link for the clip doesn’t have any mention of the economy, just her, mindless monotone blabbing that really offered no real insight on Hannity’s questions.  There was a link for the transcript, so I figured I would read it.  Then,  I saw that the clip was from March as was the transcript thanks to it’s posting date. When you do click on the proper date, there’s no Palin interview.  Instead it’s Tim Pawlenty.  WTFrack?  So I did some digging and even lowered my standards and went to the Hannity site and Fox news   There is no mention of it there either.  I love how Fox is so quick to protect their own.

Thankfully the LA Times took the time to say something.

‘Debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. Palin’s support of a federal subsidy for the notorious “bridge to nowhere” in her state became a campaign issue when she ran for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket. That local project carried a price tag of $223 million.

“Reality is we have 15 million Americans who are out of work,” said Palin. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts. The NEA is one linchpin in that sizable economy.

In the interview Palin made no statement advocating similar budget cuts to her home state as she recommended for the NEA, which is also in the cross hairs of Washington’s Republican leadership. Palin’s Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes.’      – LA Times

 

Charles Segars, television CEO,  remarked, “This kind of knee-jerk, uninformed rhetoric is the stuff of cheap-shot campaign commercials” and pointed out that calls for “cuts to the NEA don’t take into account the substantial return on investment those funds generate in tax revenue to local, state and federal treasuries.”

According to the National Endowment of the Arts, this year’s budget is a mere $154,690,000.  This program actually makes money for the economy 1074 times more than it costs.  Even at its highest budgeted year in 1992, $175,954,680 would still bring in 945 times its cost.

Hey Palin, if you really want to make a difference in the economic costs stop the war you moron! Many groups place the war at different costs per day but the majority of them agree that it’s over $1 million dollars a day.  $365 million dollars in a year.  If we stopped fighting when Dubya said the war was over back in 2003 $2.5 billion would’ve been saved. Not to mention the cost of its consequences on those involved and the interest that’s accrued on that debt.

So saying that these programs need to be cut because they’re frivolous fundings is an ignorant statement on your behalf you half term Bridge To Nowhere dingbat.

Want to hear something that’s scary?  The scary thing is that there are people out there in our country that actually take her seriously.  Does that mean they are even less informed than she is?  Now that’s a horrible thought.

Does this make a chill run up your spine?  Do you agree that Arts Funding is ‘frivolous’, please let me know why.  Leave a comment.  Let’s chat…

Super 8 is a big fat…

I am always filled with amazement when things in the world are actually kept secret!  It’s like a trust that doesn’t seem to exist anymore.  Whoever J.J. Abrams collaborates with are a very rare breed.  I finally got myself to the theaters to see Super 8 today with the Bestie and the Munster.

I have heard nothing but vague good things about this film, so I went in with my own preconceived ideas about what I was about to witness. So many people said it was good, but they mentioned that they couldn’t describe why.

I had the expectations that the acting in this film would be so so.  I haven’t seen too many kids that excel at making me believe wholeheartedly in what they are going through.  Call me a harsh critic, if you want.  I mean the first Harry Potter flicks were only about the story and the effects, not so big on the acting was Mr. Radcliffe.  Although, he has certainly come into his own.  I do respect him especially now after seeing his performances on the Tonys and Jay Leno.  So I was expecting the adults to handle most of the heavy acting and the kids to do most of the running and screaming.  I was happily proven wrong when the movie began to take off after the opening scene of the movie.

Elle Fanning is incredible in the scene with Joel Courtney when they watch the film featuring his mother and she tells her confession.  That entire scene was so heartfelt and honest that you have to have a heart of coal to not be moved by it.  I don’t mean you have to cry like a baby, but to feel something.  All the younger cast in the film were incredible.  They really held their own against film veterans Kyle Chandler and Ron Eldard.  I loved the scene with the kids in the restaurant and the back and forth that ensues.

But the acting wasn’t the only thing that made Super 8 super.  Abrams is a master storyteller.  There were so many unexpected moments that got a reaction from me that I felt like I’d been on a very long roller coaster ride when I left the theater.  The story had such a powerful message about how our government would go through great lengths to cover up anything they deem classified.  Not that we didn’t know this already, but it’s always nice to be reminded every once in a while.  The other theme that I loved was how our species always tries to destroy things that it fears.

The misunderstood “creature” is a big confusing mass, though.  I still can’t figure out what all of it’s parts were exactly.  It had tentacles, and I think 8 legs, but I thought I saw claws when it first gets out of the train.

I did find one thing that was weird though.  At the end, when Deputy Lamb and Joe were brought back together, Joe’s necklace is a focal point.  While I can clearly see that Joe is looking at it, I thought that the Deputy would be looking at it also.  But he is obviously looking at something else completely.  I wonder if it’s the monster or what, but it’s not the necklace.

All in all, Super 8 is a big fat 10!!  Now, I know what my friends meant when they say it’s hard to explain why it’s so good.  Just know that on every level, Abrams and team have crafted a solid story that is nearly perfect in all facets of movie making magic.

Don’t be a Weiner!

On the 16th of this month, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned from office thanks to his own political party.   As I was finishing up my run at the gym, the breaking news bulletin was just beginning.  It made me a little sad that it ended up like this.  It’s not that I condone his actions, but what about Republicans like The Governator, who now has a “new” kid;  John Ensign, who carried on a two year adulterous affair with one of his staffers; Paul Stanley, an evangelican who cheated on his family with a 22 year old intern and nude photos were involved in that little brouhaha as well?  Oh, and my personal favorite my favorite toilet toe tappin’ Senator Larry Craig!!

In comparison, a few pics vs. actual sneaky sex pale immensely in my opinion.  People are arguing that the guy lied about the pictures and that’s why it’s such a big deal.   My answer to that: He’s a politician!! They all lie!!  That’s what we pay them for.  At least that’s what it seems like that’s what we are paying them for.  All we ever get is political theater.  There is never any true action that happens.  Take for example, the deficit.  The tax payers are going to be paying a shit-ton more in interest on that debt (even though we can’t afford to) while Congress pretends to be concerned with cuts that aren’t even going to make a scratch on the overall amount AT ALL!!  But the politicians pretend that it was going to make such a difference.  And we buy it.  Why? Because we pay them to lie to us.  To make it feel like things are under control.  If the deficit was America the amount that they wanted to cut would be the equivalent of a city block.  If you look at a map of the states in it’s entirety, would you miss a single city block?  I bet you wouldn’t even be able to notice.

So back to Weiner…With Fox News, the “unbiased” (excuse me while I crap my pants laughing at that!!) “news” network owns the majority of the news media, I feel like the weiner was grilled a little longer than usual in an attempt to begin swaying the public for the 2012 elections.  What I have a problem with was that Weiner should have fought more.  He could easily have said “Hey, I’m human, and I made a mistake.”  Then  use that tenacity and knack for words to rebuild your career.  I mean it worked for Chris Brown, right?

What does this have to do with theatre or the site, you may ask.

Two things that strike me: First, I say fight my fellow dream seekers!! Don’t get pressured into doing what the mass thinks you should.  If your dream is all that you are, then fight.

Secondly,  Politicians, after years and years and YEARS of lying and cheating, still haven’t realized that even though they have the opportunity to do something forbidden it doesn’t mean they should.  You are always being watched.  Just like when you go in for an audition, the moment you walk in and interact with the people around you, you are creating an impression.

I love to listen to everything that the staffers say.  I want to learn and not make the same mistake that someone else made, or make the same choices that the previous actor has made.  Being mindful of the little things that people say to others, when it’s not private, is a good skill to obtain.  Often times, it’ll only help you become better at your craft if you let it.