Saturday, December 25, 2021

Sunday Post #amwriting

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO DECEMBER

Happy Holidays. Today's post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post


This week I spent a lot time with the family making cookies, including peanut butter bars and a "Better than Robert Redford" cake. We also watched the James Webb telescope launch into space.

And we talked about the neuralinka device that will be surgically implanted into your brain to communicate with machines and even control them. Originally it was proposed to help with spinal issues but it may have the potential to do much more. Its nice having a brother who is a computer programmer.  He's fascinated with astronomy, (not astrology lol)
My nephew Nathan in his Holiday Sweater

 from The Nutcracker Fantasy I went to this week



I saw six of these MSP trucks  outside, I'm assuming the block had Heating issues and it's been cold in Minnesota
 



Readers please comment below




I liked this Holiday Book.  I've read most Jane Green's books and there was something very intriguing about the heroine's misconceptions about her first love during the holidays when she brings him home to her family.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Review:Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy, State Theatre, Minneapolis


 

December is perfect for watching a holiday show like The Nutcracker Fantasy. Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT) is showing it until December 19th at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

Sunday blog post #funtimes

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO DECEMBER

I had an interesting week. I drove a bit for UBER and received a ton of tips. One guy forgot his phone and when he called the number popped up as "Bride".  The guy told me him and his wife had been married for thirty years which was nice. I told him how my adoptive parents had been married for that long as well. 
I picked up a woman who said she was having a flair up on her way to an Al-anon meeting and I turned around and drove her home. 

I got some shopping 🛍 done and bought ingredients for cookies. This week my sister went with me to see "The Nutcracker Fantasy" at the State Theatre and we talked a lot during intermission. Catch my review on my blog.

fun pics


My son Zulfi (four years ago) with his uncle Uri


Here's a fun survey I took.

What is your favorite color? blue, sometimes turquoise

Number? seven,

 my golden birthday. I still remember it too, because we went to Micky Dee's and I saw Ronald for the first time and he only somewhat scared me.

Letter of the alphabet? R-

I never struggled with sounds of letters but I'm fascinated with people who do, and love the british accent in particular.

Domesticated animal? dogs-their fun. I don't have one currently but often dream of a owning a small dog that I don't have to walk everyday.

Wild animal? pandas, anything docile. I kinda dislike squirrels and rodents.And will dodge them if they cross my path.

Mountains or ocean? Oceans. I've been to both coasts and I cherish these experiences, having to live in the midwest with flatlands and people constantly dodging the cold and keeping isolated.

Long drive or long walk? I'll take a long drive. If I can rent a luxury car I find that more appealing than the vacation itself.



Readers please comment below



j

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday Post #amwriting

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 on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

           LOOKING FORWARD TO December

It snowed like a foot in Minnesota on Friday. I was prepared for it (somewhat). I had received a message from St. Paul schools asking parents to pick up their kids early, if possible, so I did. I got some supplies and hunkered on down for the night. Snow is real in Minnesota. The next morning, I could hear the plows coming through. 

"Anastasia" (Orpheum Theatre)


Earlier in the week, I went to two shows including "Anastasia" and  "The Christmas Carol" at the Guthrie with my sister. 
This year's performance had a reveal that was unbelieveable!! And I noticed "Scrooge" walking home after the show and called out to him. Seeing him made me feel like the show was still going lol

    I spent some time working on screenplays this week. I didn't do a whole lot of improv or UBER driving. I had slight cold and drank lots of cinnamon tea. Caribou has this unbelieveable tea that I can drink for days. 
Otherwise, I also went to see the Nutcracker through a smaller ballet company and hopefully I'll go see another "Nutcracker" at the state theater this week.

 Upcoming shows


The Nutcracker Minnesota Dance Theatre’s beloved holiday tradition returns to the State Theatre with Loyce Houlton’s imaginative choreography, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, and the thrilling dancers of the MDT company and school. Featuring the 44-piece Nutcracker Orchestra conducted by Philip Brunelle, this spectacular dream fantasy creates magical memories for generations to share. though Dec 22nd tickets @ 
https://hennepintheatretrust.org/












ON THE BLOG

I liked this one. The MC gets spotted by a baking show employee while she's making cinnamon rolls in a shop in New York and then the show flies her to London to be on their show. It was cute. There were moments that I thought the MC had a negative tone but maybe its all the travelling that got to her.

 Synopsis: Ready or not, Isabella Whitley is returning to her snowy hometown of Pineridge, Colorado for her sister's Christmas wedding.
This is turning out real cute. I'm not one for car trip books (maybe because I do so much driving) But was short and then were in Colorado. The Love/hate romance is cute, and the characters seem to be coming of age. I like how the MC just has to get back to her hometown in order to celebrate her traditions with family.




Friday, December 10, 2021

'Anastasia' in Minneapolis: This is a princess story with fantastic musical scores




Anastasia the musical has played to sold out crowds on Broadway and across North America and now it's being shown by Hennepin Trust at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis.

Stephen Flaherty’s script is inspired by the Twentieth century fox motion pictures. Anastasia was the daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. After she and her family were executed, rumors claimed that she might have survived. Ten years later, Anastasia is suffering from amnesia and goes by the name Anya. She is persuaded by the con man Sergei Bounine to pose as the grand duchess to stake a claim to the Ramonov fortune.

In the first act, the year is 1916 and young Anastasia (Veronica Raejiao) is introduced along with her family. Anya is hoisted on the shoulders of her father as he sings and dances with her (choreography by Peggy Hickey). All the characters wear lavish 20th century suits and gowns designed by Linda Cho. The palace is digitally set ablaze in fire by the villain, Gleb (Brandon Delgado) who represents the communist regime in a post-imperial Russia. Gleb was tasked with carrying out the assassination of the entire Romanov family. This scene is quite dramatic.  Red flames engulf the backdrop and falling debris creates this display of tension and fear as the Romanov family release death hollering screams. The scene of pure evil would be shocking in a family musical forty years ago but in this day and age, kids have seen it all.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Theatre Review: ‘Little Women: The Broadway Musical’

 

Madeline Trumble (Jo) credit Amy Newton



If you enjoyed Little Women by Louisa May, you may like the musical. It is being directed by Tamara Kangas Erickson showing at Artistry Theatre in Bloomington through November 28th.   

Little Women is the story of Jo March (Madeline Trumble), a writer who rebels against 19th century conventions. Jo has three sisters; the eldest sister Meg(Camryn Buelow), along with timid Beth(Lauren Hugh), and romantic Amy(Shinah Hey).  Then there's the mother, Marmee(Kersten Rodau), and the wealthy, disapproving Aunt March(Angela Timberman) who is a source of strength and inspiration for Jo but also her nemesis.  Jo would rather travel and write adventure novels than follow customs and get married, a plan complicated when she meets the socially naïve Professor Bhaer.  Except for timid Beth, the other sisters find their suitors as well. The play travels in time between the childhood home in Massachusetts and Jo's college in New York.

In the first act, strong shouldered, straight back Aunt March brings a very comedic vibe to the play.  She looks at Jo with a serious face and says, “You should be saving yourself." and Jo responds with “I don’t need saving.”


Aunt March often chides Jo as she cuts her hair short and acts decidedly unlady-like by speaking her mind and wearing odd fashions. It’s delightful to see Aunt March’s reaction when she wins her games of manipulation, like The Little Mermaid's grand villainess, Ursula.

Meg is Jo's opposite, her femininity and damsel-in-distress roles are hilarious as she collapses on a sofa to feign a sprained ankle after dancing with her love interest, Mr. John Brooks (Matthew Hall).

A scene in which Brooks lays on the ground pinned there with a knife leaves me smiling. I want to get up on stage and sword fight with the actors or lead like Jo did; directing the choreography for fight scenes with my hands.

But what impressed me the most was Mr. Lawrence (Brian Frutiger) whose grumpy disposition was reminiscent of “Scrooge.” He entered the scenes with a strong voice. His playful piano playing was a nice juxtaposition to a musical that could have added a few more comedic beats, if the script would have allowed.

The orchestra led by director Anita Ruth did a fantastic job of being in sync with the performance, a strong feat considering how the actors improvised instruments and often sang in staccato phrases.

Little Women contains themes of femininity, love, and sacrifice. It is a musical that defines love.  As Jo says "We don't love for society, we love for what's inside us."

Come see a musical that will promise a great night out with the family.  Tickets at artistrymn.org

 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sunday Post #amwriting

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO NOVEMBER

I had a great Thanksgiving filled with pumpkin cheesecake and turkey legs (I only eat dark meat). My sister held the gathering at her house and invited her ex -boyfriend's family. So that was fun getting to know them (wink).
I found myself in a corner of the house (with my son) reading a bit. I also helped my brother drive DoorDash.  He didn't realize you can pick and choose how far you want to travel before you "accept" an order.  We came across a situation where we had two extra pizzas and we made two families quite happy with the donation.

This week I found myself reading and meeting new people through scriptcamp.net This is a place where you can talk to writers about your screenplay and get feedback from professional producers.  Simply download the discord app and/ or go to https://discord.me/scriptcamp and you'll be texting and talking on mic to other screenwriters. I learned about the blacklist which is an annual survey of the "most-liked" motion picture screenplays not yet produced. I read "Apex" and "The Saturday Night Ghost Club" screenplays.  

So that was my week.  How was yours?

                                Photos

My son helping out with clean-up

Friday Delight (improv) Theater (Me bottom left)


A fun Pic from last week's Improvathon (HUGE Theater)



Upcoming shows

THE SANTA CLAUSE: A Drinking Game-Minnesota
Come see some of the Twin Cities finest actors and improvisers perform a LIVE stage reading of this new holiday classic with props, costumes, puppets, music, fight and dance choreography, and, of course, DRINKING!
Produced by Shadow Horse Theater, LLC in association with Embassy Jack
Where? Phoenix Theater
When?Dec 4, 10:30pm









ON THE BLOG


I liked "Fool Me Twice" which has to do with a fake engagement over the holidays. But there was something about this book that reminded me of one I read in the past that has the same premise (just not on the holidays).  If I find out which book it is I may just write a review because Wow!! I don't know how the books could be so similar.


Synopsis: Noel who suddenly finds it harder and harder to keep her attraction for her longtime friend in check, and the sexy, hesitant Nick who may not be as heartbroken about his recent breakup as he thought
I thought I would like this one a little more than I did, but the main character gets back from the war and finds his gf has cheated on him and then his new love interest gets in a cat fight with the girl and I  didn't like that as much.

Synopsis A story about a used table that Lauren Mabrey buys from a furniture store. There's a history that comes with the table. It's a time split novel 
There's a lot of hype about this one but I think its supposed to be like a classic like "The Night Before Christmas." It was hard for me to get into.






Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Sunday Post

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO NOVEMBER


Fun week. I helped read the Superman script with a group of actors on ZOOM. (I was the narrator). The script is like 120 pages long.  Some of the most memorable were lines like "Its not a bird, not a plane, its Superman " and  "Up, Up and away."  If you'd like to watch a little bit of it, it was posted on YOUTUBE

A pic with the Doc Cooper (improv) class(Me bottom left)
Superman Script reading






This week I searched for a new car and found myself going back and forth between my makes like: Hyundai, and other makes like Toyota and Nissans. I guess a few dealerships have not been making new cars because China has put a halt on making the chips necessary so a few cars are overpriced currently.
 
This week has flown by due to the fact that I've picked up more hours at my job and I've been planning to see more holiday shows in the coming weeks. 

Upcoming shows

The romantic and adventure-filled new musical Anastasia  is at home in Minneapolis at last! From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love and family.


When? December 7 - 19 where? Hennepin Trust








ON THE BLOG



I picked up this book because it's supposed to echo some of Alfred Adler's views on psychology

Fun story.. I picked up "The Family" because I was at the gym and an afternoon talk show was doing an interview with Naomi Krupitsky and I decided to get the book at that exact same moment. So far the book kind of echos "My Brilliant Friend" (which I adored)
Synopsis The novel is about two best friends Sofia Colicchio and Antonia Russo. As neighbors in Brooklyn, New York, both of the girls' fathers are members of the Italian mafia. Their yin-and-yang friendship seems like it will last a lifetime as they grow into young women with families of their own
I liked this "Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe." There's gender reversals and its a modern story with the Main characters living in New York during the holiday season.  The main character Darcy (female) plays a snob who is a millionaire.  My one gripe would be that the Darcy doesn't interact with her love interests for very long, so there's a lack of believability in my opinion.
I was beginning to like "A Convenient Christmas" because the main character is someone who decorates rich people's homes for a living and I love that Idea and I might have had a job like that in a previous light and it reminded me of one of the most beautiful town homes I had been to as a kid, when my sister was house sitting and it over looked a frozen lake. 

A magical holiday love story set at the glamorous Plaza Hotel in New York City. ... A struggling journalist, Sabrina can't believe her luck: a paycheck and six nights in her own suite at the Plaza. She feels like Eloise, the heroine from her favorite children's books.
Even though the synopsis describes mostly the heroine, what I remembered the most was the male protagonist who is supposed to be the assistant to a LORD from some country in Europe and he fakes as being the Lord to impress Eloise.  I went back and forth between liking this novel and not.  Mostly I'll read any book with NY city setting and I loved the little dates that these two went on and it went into depth about a very expensive restaurant in NY which I think was called the "Red Roof" and I wondered if it really existed because it was like on the 12th floor of building and sounded very ritzy. 













Wednesday, November 17, 2021

'Medea by Seneca' at Theatre Elision in Crystal


This is event posted in 2020
Nearly every person who has ever taken an English class has had to read Greek Tragedy. Some would say this early introduction helped them understand Greek mythology. Medea by Seneca is produced by Shadow Horse theatre by Matthew Kelly, Max Besner and Matt Saxe, and directed by Matthew Kelly at Theatre Elision in Crystal through February 29th.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Sunday Post

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO November


Little Women will be showing at Artistry
This week I worked on my screenwriting.  I have a script in progress but it needs a lot of formatting. Luckily, there's a group

 on discord, that helps you understand how this is done; including spacing the margins, and dialog, and things like cut-to's and narration.  I read a few people's film scripts and gave some feedback. 
I also drove a few people to the airport. I had a somewhat freaky thing happen where a stranger got in my car while I wasn't on duty.  I was able to get him out though. I also picked up an author who wrote a book based on Amelia Earhart, and did his research by going on a dig for her body with archaeologists in Fiji.

Photos from my week

My son Zulfi and his drawing


Last night I went to see "Top Girls" at Crane Theatre



upcoming shows

Artistry Theater in Minnesota presents the musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book, Little Women The Broadway Musical. This captivating and timeless coming-of-age story about family, friendship, heartache, hope and everlasting love is further enhanced by songs you’ll not soon forget. The March sisters take us on their journey, each forging their own path during an ever-changing time in American history. We invite you and yours to join us as we start the holiday season at Artistry.Dates Nov 11-28th








ON THE BLOG

I loved Stanley Tucci in "The Devil Wears Prada" and it makes sense that he's talking about food in this memoir( after his debut in "Julia, Julia" with Meryl Streep).


Friday, November 5, 2021

Sunday Post

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO july


This week I finally went sailing, and that was a blast.  I zoomed across Lake Harriet and waved to other sailors and took some fun pics.  There's moments where you feel like your boat is going to capsize because your tipped to one side but these boats have 300 pound weights at the bottom to stabilize you.


I also went to a few shows.  One was with a fortune teller who helps people learn their fortune through poems.  The poem I received was "Imagine." (very fitting) Another was an  immersive show. And here's what I love about immersive shows on ZOOM. The theater will send you an email or text to your phone with top secret details that you supposed to remember.  And then you open the ZOOM link, half knowing what to expect -and it turns out to be something completely different, like an escape room, or a show where your personal details are made into a joke. So its fun!

This week, I also drove a few people to the airport.  One was a power couple: a clergy therapist and a teaching coach-so that conversation got interesting.  I also drove a teacher and a guy who thinks to become a youth pastor.
Then I sat in on a discussion on ZOOM about anxiety and coping.  I got to throw in a few ideas of my own, and include links to YouTube videos that help on these topics like Leo from actualization.org

(Me) sailing








Upcoming Shows 

Theater 29 Denver, Colorado will be opening their VIRTUAL show Communication Solutions:A story of Extravagant Love,  July 26
Immersive (Audience engagement show)
Experience an immersive story of upper-management intrigue, authoritarian coercion and corporate S&M that unravels via social media, email, and in virtual and visceral reality at Theater 29.
After receiving an official email from the Communications Solutions CEO, the real story will unfold as an anonymous entity releases a cavalcade of damning documents, clandestine voicemails, and alarming images, on Instagram, Facebook, and email, culminating with a top-secret image appearing in a subversive storefront window-reveal at Theater 29.







ON THE BLOG

Reading:

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

"Reasons to Breath" by Rebecca Donovan-This is the first in the series and I'm liking it a lot. At first I thought it would be some kind of guilty pleasure and then I was blown away but some of the physical aggression by the parents in this book.  There were moments I wanted to scream at the main character "Run" and I couldn't believe what was going on.  I will definitely come back for more.


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Sunday Post #amwriting #amjoy

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO NOVEMBER


This week I attended HUGE Theater's improvathon: 24 hours of non-stop improv. I was there for four hours in two days.
It was great to see people I haven't seen in a while. I mistook a few for someone else because of the their mask.  I also kept busy house cleaning and getting rid of stuff in closets.  I've tried the KonMarie method in the past:
  • Commit yourself to tidying up.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
  • Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
  • Tidy by category, not location.
  • Follow the right order.
  • Ask yourself it it sparks joy.
  1. (Usually I get to about three of these stages. Imagining my ideal lifestyle is a challenge)
  2. Either way, it's been a good week and I got a ton of reading done this week.

ON THE BLOG




Sunday Post

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           LOOKING FORWARD TO November

I got further along in "Taste."  Stanley Tucci's memoir talks about how his mother used to watch Julia Child religiously and how she would make comments like "Oh, that’s how you do it." 
He talked about attending the Deauville film fest in France.  And and later attending photo shoots in Paris and how this can be a very tedious part of his job.

And Stanley shared how he had to go to the actors union  in New York to get help on his rent because he was unemployed and they offered him shoes, because according Union Members actors do a ton of walking due to all the auditions they take. Tucci also has a show on HBO max called Searching for Italy. Unfortunately I don't get Hulu or HBO or any of these other streaming shows like Peacock, Amazon, Apple TV (The list goes on and on..)

Photos 
view from my Home.

Upcoming Shows


Huge Theater is having its annual show Family Dinner
An improvised show while actors eat dinner

Guthrie is showing Christmas Carol. Tickets at guthrietheater.org ( This show was recently in the
news because there was a disruption that ended the show this week by a crazed woman in the audience who was shouting.


ON THE BLOG

The Holiday Switch by Tio Marcelo.  I thought this one would be similar to "The Holiday" but its more like The Twelve Days of Dash and Lilly.  Synopisis Two Rival with two very big secrets. work together during the holidays+_098788ik,
I finished this book in one week and I loved it! The main character is a highs school blog writer (score!) and she reviews holiday books.  She debates whether med school or a career in writing is worth her time and energy. Her love interest is adoring but not at first! I just love love love this, and can't recommend it enough.

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