Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Ragtime and Black Coffee at Collide Theater

 If you're looking for dance, look no further. Collide Dance Company has created 12 original full -length dance musicals that have engaged subjects as diverse as the Los Angeles race riots of 1940s (Zoot Suit Riots), classic Shakespearean drama (Romeo & Juliet-2014 & 2020), prostitution and sex trafficking (Lot of Living to Do), bullying, coming-of -age journeys (Class of ’85), and female empowerment (Le Petit Moulin). On September 26th, Collide came to Gremlin Theater to perform their show The Café, a story that navigates the pitfalls and pinnacles of modern-day relationships.

I opted to enjoy this story through ZOOM.  This was my first virtual show and it was all systems go after I positioned my laptop and inserted the ZOOM link. And boy was the performance grand! This story was told entirely through dance and music, consisting of male dancers: Rush Benson, Patrick Jeffrey, Jarod Boltjes,  and female dancers: Renee Guittar, Chelsea Rose, Betsy Nelson, Heather Brockman, Katie Gerty,  and the director, Regina Peluso. 

Ragtime choreography interspersed with jazz and modern songs made this show unique.  All of the songs were renditions and changed in beat to match the 2/4 or 4/4 tempo of Ragtime music.  Some of the songs included: Halo by Beyonce, Don’t Let Me Down by the Chainsmokers, and Call me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson. The 1920s was brought to life with snazzy flapper dresses, decorative head gear and gold sequined tablecloths. The costume design reminded me of the Orpheum's staging of My Fair Lady which I saw last March. Back in March, the cast of My Fair Lady also wore 1920s fashion, the women in elaborate merry window hats and men in Edwardian fashion. 

Collide's backdrop changed in color to match the tone. Dancers approached one another in coquettish fashion, nodding their heads, or offering their hand to their partners'; eager to attract one another’s attention.

Members of the audience were so engrossed in the show, I could make out a few getting up to dance. How was that possible? You might ask, since I was watching virtually? Well, the show was performed live with social distancing outdoors near the Gremlin Theater.  There were moments where a Go-Pro would have been a good idea in terms of sound and visual effects. I would have enjoyed seeing some close-up shots of break dancers and dance lifts. And there were moments where I felt like I was watching a 1950’s television versus a 2020 Chromebook, but I think it was the earlier jazz music that added to this feeling.

Dance number, Black Coffee by Parov Stelar was my favorite. Eight of the dancers were up and moving with coffee in hand. A combination of step hops, strides, and spins modulated in pace so fast that at one point I thought I was listening to rave. And by the end of the song, everyone had raised their cups in good cheer.

What a fantastic celebration of life through dance. Come and see Collide’s upcoming shows Girls Night Out Tribute to the Superstar Women of Country, October 3rd, as well as Frank Capra's It’s a Wonderful Life, December 3-13 2020.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday Post #amwriting #amjoy



 Today's post will link up to The Sunday SalonThe Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves for weekly updates.

Weekly Memories

Why am I celebrating laughter?  
Because it helps!
I got this idea from theater.

So this week I'm celebrating laughter.  I've laughed a few times with a variety of people.  I started doing interactive readings on  This requires me to read a script or novel that a writer has sent in, and then a couple actors help improvise or add their own character.  I found myself laughing because I had to play a music manager and I'd most likely be that home girl manager who's going out of her way to make her rapper client happy. 

I also laughed this week because I did some improv with some people and at one point I was a pawn shop owner who had to lift a heavy phonograph into her shop (this was all on Zoom) And here I am pretending to pick up and act like it's heavy and stooping over, practically falling on the floor.  But it was fun.

I also thought I would share my YOUTUBE interview with an artistic director on accessibility. I hope you enjoy.
Lastly, I've had some spam on my blog as you may have noticed so I had to create a captcha for the comments section.  This will only be temporarily as I fix this issue.

Pic from my week

Upcoming shows I'm excited about

Weekly Memories


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Live at the Loading Dock: Ordway Cabaret

                                                Photo by Laura Alpizar

Behind the Ordway theater, the loading dock is transformed into a stage with tables and chairs arranged over the black top. The bustling downtown, with the sound of buses, trains and passer-bys doesn’t stop this cabaret of Reese Britts, Rajané Katurah, Ruthanne Heyward, Ben Bakken, and Ordway Resident Artist Jamecia Bennett, produced by artistic directior, Rod Kaats. All eyes are on the artists as they sing Seasons of Love, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. 

The audience looks up as the artists come down the stairs from the balcony.  A shiver transcends down my spine, as Rajane Katurah solos. Maintaining a distance of six feet apart, the artists stands to deliver to an audience of less than seventy. The feeling is sombre as each of the songs were chosen at random as part of the 2020 Ordway season that had been cancelled.

Reese Britts sings, If I Can’t Have Her, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Britts’ emotion shows angst and love on a stage that seems to amplify the voices of fifty, but carries only five. Ruthanne Heyward makes her debut with song ‘Just A Little More.’

Rajané Katurah comments that singing at the loading docks is a ‘declaration of everything in the world. We’re getting attacked at all ends. You’re here, you’re breathing and you matter.”

“This season’s theme is impregnating,” Moore said ‘Because we’re all waiting, like being pregnant to see what’s going to happen next.”

If you’ve been to outdoor performances before, perhaps you'll know each one has its own nuance. With this one, Ordway resident Jamecia Bennett appears for the grande finale in a limo. To say I was a surprise would be an understatement. Its nice to see the Ordway is having some fun, why not join them.  The Cabaret’s final performance will be September 26th, so get your tickets soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Sunday Post #amwriting #amjoy


 Today's post will link up to The Sunday SalonThe Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves for weekly updates.


This week I recorded in the studio for my accessibility group.  I had a talk with an artistic director and it was recorded on zoom, and will go on YouTube soon.  We often patch in the sound so that its even better at the studio.
My son got a new hair cut and he's still getting to know his new school.  Some memorable clients this week included one who is a personal trainer and offers classes in south Minneapolis.  

My nephew's link to his gym

My nephew opened his own Crossfit Gym in Sauk Rapids, MN near St. Cloud, so I was encouraged to to talk to the passenger about the importance of working out.

Bucket Brigade has a family musical, find it on vimeo


Some local shows: History theater showing Wilson’s Girl opening 10/2/20
And Sweetland 10/9/20

MJTC is showing Operation Immigration virtual show opening 10/17/20

That was my week, please tell me about yours in the comments below.


Reading:Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera 

Generation X by Jen Lancaster

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Sunday Post #amwriting #amjoy


Today's post will link up to 
The Sunday SalonThe Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves for weekly updates.


This week driving for Ride share, I got into discussions about big cities, and whether Minnesota is fast paced, slow or in between.  I've only ever lived in Minnesota, but I've been to big cities like New York and I've read countless of books that are based in New York, like Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, Goldfinch By Donna Tartt, and My Little Life by Hanya Yanagiharato to name a few. And I think New York is pretty great ,but expensive! 

 I feel like things are pretty spread apart in Minnesota, and if you live in St Paul, you're always commuting to Minneapolis and vice versa to do things.  I keep real busy but I've been to small country towns like Jordon and Belle Plane and I've been curious what those folks do out there for fun.

I also tried Thai curl icecream and spent some time learning about artists like Keith Haring and Japanese Artist Yayoi Kasuma.

Pics from my week

That was my week, please tell me about yours in the comments below.



The Isle of Youth:Stories by Laura den Berg

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol


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