Tag Archive for: Broadway

Clicking Our Heels – Theater Anyone?

Clicking Our
Heels –Theater Anyone?

Monthly Clicking Our Heels Giveaway:

To enter for a chance to win a set of her 3 mysteries from Kay Kendall or a book by Shari Randall (2 winners) comment below on the blog with what your favorite show is. Good luck and happy reading!
— winner will be announced next Wednesday on The Stiletto Gang Facebook page
– https://www.facebook.com/stilettogang 

There isn’t a
member of the Stiletto Gang who doesn’t love books and writing, but what about theater? Do we love theater, too, or do we hate it? If we love it, what are our
favorite shows? This is what we think – how do you feel about theater?

Debra H. Goldstein – I love theatrical productions – especially musicals. When I was
four, my parents took me to a production of The
King and I
at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. If I proved I could
sit through the show, they promised they would take me to shows in New York.
Passing the test permitted me to see most Broadway musicals and many dramas in
the seasons that have followed. Some of my favorite shows include 1776, Come From Away, Company, Hamilton, and South Pacific.

Julie Mulhern – The performing arts have always finished a distant second for
me. I’d much rather go to a museum or read a book.

Judy Penz Sheluk – I don’t get to the theater much, but I’m looking forward to
seeing Come From Away in November. My
favorite plays to date are probably Cats
and La Cage aux Folles. I saw them
ages ago, but I still remember them as if I saw them yesterday.

J.M. Phillippe – Growing up, I went to plays, musicals, and even some operas,
but I have to say that seeing Shakespeare live – pretty much any production –
was always my favorite. I had the greatest familiarity with the source material
and watching different people interpret it really made me see it from different
perspectives over the years.

Juliana Aragon Flatula – Thompson Highway wrote The
Rez Sisters
and I loved being cast in that play about Indigenous Women. A
comedy with a tragedy ending and a death song.

Dru Ann Love – I love the theater, especially musicals. My favorite all time
is probably Hello Dolly and I saw it with Pearl Bailey,
Carol Channing and Bette Midler. Of course, I love the movie version with
Barbra Streisand.

Kay Kendall – Whenever I go to New York City for meetings, I always go to at
least one show on Broadway. I read the art section in the New York Times daily so I am always up on what’s doing and am able
to pick great shows. I saw The Producers
in previews, the week before its opening. Stellar entertainment. Although I’m
not one to see anything a second time, for this I would have sat right back
down and watched it a second time, right after the long standing ovation ended.
My other vivid memory is being in the fifth row center for Mama Mia in its
first month. Beside me sat three gay men from San Francisco. Chatting with them
and whooping it up during this marvelous show doubled my fun.

Cathy P. Perkins – While I loved classical music, I never warmed to opera, until I
saw Miss Saigon. I sat mesmerized on
the edge of my seat for the entire performance. I passed this love to my
children, who picked it up I different ways. While studying in Italy, my oldest
discovered the joy of opera performed in outdoor theaters that date back to
Roman times. My youngest performed on stage for several years, including a
small role in an opera.

AB PlumLes Misérables is my
all-time favorite theater production, but the opening of Lion King still wows me.
On my to-see list: Wicked.

TK Thorne – Growing up, my father was on the board of the “Little Theater”
in my hometown, so we went every time there was a production suitable to my
age. I loved the dramas, but musicals bored me. Now I enjoy both, amused at the
many things I didn’t like as a child – squeaky violin music (give me piano),
stuffy roses and tulips (give me pansies and daffodils), bitter fresh asparagus
(give me canned asparagus, mushrooms, and ravioli – yuck!). Now I have embraced
the stately formality and complexity of roses, the piercing, haunting voice of
the violin, and almost every fresh vegetable. Life is change.

Paula Gail Benson – Oh, yes! Definitely musicals, usually my favorite is the lyrics
of the one I’m singing in my car. The relationship between Elphaba and Glinda
in Wicked is unique and “For Good”
describes the relationship I have had with close friends. But, I adore the concept
of Something Rotten and look forward
to someday seeing Hamilton.

Shari Randall – I adore theater! I grew up with an aunt who took me and my
sisters to the opera and Broadway shows. I lived in CT and my friends and I
used to hop on the train or bus to NYC, getting standing room or half price
show tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. Those were the days – see a
show and grab a hot dog at Nathan’s or spaghetti at Mama Leone’s. I saw Chorus Line, Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls, West Side Story, Annie, Phantom… My favorite show? So hard to
choose! Evita? Wicked? Maybe it’s Les Misérables
– I’ve seen it three times and I still cry every stime.

Linda Rodriguez – I saw Aida twice on
Broadway. The first time was the night before opening night, and it was
breathtaking. The second time was almost a year later. We had wanted to see
another play when we were in New York, and those tickets were not available. We
caught tickets to Aida at the last
moment, and it was still mesmerizing and wonderful.

– I have loved almost every live theater show I’ve ever seen. I love
humans being creative and displaying their talents. It’s magical. But I
wouldn’t describe myself as a theater buff. I don’t know enough. But probably
my favorite theater show was Chicago,
which I saw on Broadway in New York. The talent was amazing and we were sitting
so close to the stage I could see them sweat. I loved every minute of it.

Generational Gifts

Generational Gifts by Debra H. Goldstein

When I was
four years old, my parents told me I could attend a Broadway show once I proved
I could sit through a regional theater performance. To this day, I remember
seeing Betsy Palmer in the King and I
at the Paper Mill Playhouse, located in New Jersey, only miles from New York
City. From the moment the musicians began the overture, I was enchanted. My
parents deemed the evening a success. I’ve been hooked on theater ever since. And
yes, they kept their word.

I made the
same deal with my twins when they were four. The only difference was the
regional theater they attended was in Birmingham, Alabama – a far piece from
New York. Consequently, my husband and I raised the stakes. They had to sit
through shows, basketball games, and the symphony. When we took them to New
York a couple of years later, we compromised and saw a show as a family, but on
one evening, my daughter and I attended a performance of Phantom of the Opera while my husband and son watched the Knicks
play at Madison Square Garden. They still both enjoy theater and sports.

Recently, I
spent time during an Alaskan cruise with our just turned five grand-daughter.
Every night on the ship, she put on her pajamas and brushed her teeth, so she’d
be ready for bed. Holding one of my hands and one of her father’s tightly, she
swung between us as we took her to the ship’s late show. Excitedly, she sat on
her father’s knees, her eyes never leaving the stage until moments before the
show ended when she’d crawl against her daddy and fall asleep.

Upset the
next day that she’d not made it to the end of the show, we explained how it was
a family tradition to miss the final moments of a show — when her aunt was
six, she fell asleep during the last five minutes of The Secret Garden and we all refused to tell her how it ended. She
was forced to read the book and even then, we refused to tell her whether the
ending was the same. She had to wait another seven years to see the show again.

But, back to
my grand-daughter. She came to Birmingham two weeks ago and while the rest of
the family was at an Alabama football game, Abby and I attended a regional
performance of Hello Dolly. Dressed
in her Sunday finest, Abby loved the show. She is ready to see another one. My
hope is that one day, soon, she can experience the tingling thrill I still have
when I hear the first notes of a Broadway musical.

There was a
time I went to New York often, but life got in the way and I didn’t have the
opportunity to go for several years. Then, my sister and I decided, as a
tribute to our late mother, to meet in the city and see a few shows. We both
flew in and celebrated the memory of our theater loving parents by seeing Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Hello Dolly
(with Bette Midler), and Come From Away.
This past weekend, I met my daughter in New York for forty-five hours. We
crammed a lot into those hours, including Kinky
, The Band’s Visit, and the
marvelous Come From Away.

I’m older
than four now, but I still feel the same way when the houselights go down. Only
now, I can glance at my family members sitting next to me and know I’ve
instilled my love of theater in the next two generations. What’s even better?
I’ve also shared my love of reading with them.

The Sidestep

Here’s a confession from the Northern Half of Evelyn David. It’s important to distinguish who is talking here because as you will learn, there’s a real schism in this partnership.

When I drive, I listen to Sirius Radio, specifically I listen to On Broadway (channel 75) with Seth Rudetsky and Christine Pedi, self-described as “a couple of dueling divas.” Truth is, I want them both to shut up and just play the music. I also listen to 40s on 4 – the era of the big band sound. I’ll flip to some classical music if the Broadway tune is too depressing or atonal. I switch over to AM radio to catch the traffic conditions and news on the hour. Great, thoughtful discussions on topics arcane or newsworthy? Not so much. I have what is best described as middlebrow taste – verging on low brow. And I have no apologies for any of it.

In contrast, the Southern half of this writing combo listens to NPR with a dedication that borders on religious fervor. I could no more tell you the host of All Things Considered than she could hum a few bars from Fiddler on the Roof.

But I’m not here to discuss our drive-time taste.

The truth is I don’t listen to NPR, just like I don’t watch much of what’s on the public TV stations now that my kids have outgrown Mister Rogers (a national treasure, may he rest in peace). But I do believe in public funding of the arts, even when the nation is in the midst of an economic crisis, because art, in all its forms, is as necessary to the life of a democracy as clean air. George Washington in 1788 declared the arts “essential to the prosperity of the state and to the ornament and happiness of human life.” If it’s good enough for George, it should be good enough for Representative Doug Lambon, a three-term Republican from Colorado who introduced a bill that would block all taxpayer dollars that NPR might receive.

Representative Lambon has glommed on to the sting operation organized by conservative activist James O’Keefe. Was the fundraiser for NPR who criticized the Tea Party to a potential donor absolutely wrong to make such a comment? Sure. Was it absolutely wrong of O’Keefe to play gotcha by setting up this undercover sting? You bet.

But I’m even more irritated with Representative Lambon. Because I know he knows that NPR receives only 2 percent of its budget from Federal funds. He knows, as the New York Times editorial points out, that his bill is “unattached to a budget measure, it will never survive the Senate or a presidential veto.” It’s what I call “posturing.” Doesn’t really intend to do anything for the current budget crisis, doesn’t really impact NPR, doesn’t really address any issues, but is designed to put his name in lights, maybe draw some attention and money to his political career. What a waste of time and energy when there are bigger, more important problems facing America and the world.

Do you remember the movie, based on a Broadway show, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas? One of the most delicious scenes is Charles Durning, playing the governor of the state, who sings and dances to The Sidestep, able to take whichever position on an issue makes him popular. It’s a show-stopper and the audience responds because it’s not only clever (and Durning is fantastic), but also because too many of us believe that is what most politicians on both sides of the aisle are doing.

This is a serious time. The crises we face here and abroad are real and scary. Stop wasting time crafting bills that don’t address the real issues. Quit dancing The Sidestep.

(Nice that I could end this little rant with a reference to a show tune.)

Marian (the Northern half of Evelyn David)

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries – e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- KindleNookSmashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords

A Haunting in Lottawatah – KindleNookSmashwords

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake- PaperbackKindle
Murder Off the Books- PaperbackKindle
Riley Come Home (short story)- KindleNookSmashwords

Love Lessons – KindleNookSmashwords

How to Succeed in Business

The truth is he can’t sing particularly well; he’s a so-so dancer; his comic timing is off; and as an aside, I had no idea he was that short.

So why did I leap to my feet at the end of the show to give Daniel Radcliffe and the cast of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying a standing ovation? Because the finale was a show-stopper and most of all, because I was in awe of the risk this 21-year-old kid had taken.

Sure it’s easy to try something different and risk failure when you’re a gazillionaire, but this was putting himself “out there” in a very public way and nobody, not even gazillionaires, likes bad reviews.

After seven, going on eight, Harry Potter movies, the chance of being typecast is basically a sure thing. But in the last 18 months, Daniel Radcliffe has deliberately chosen to project a new image and expose himself literally in Equus, as well as figuratively. He made a conscious decision to reinvent the public persona that his role in the blockbuster movies has made.

All of which gave this author pause. It’s easy, as you age, to become risk averse. Stick to what you know and what you know will sell.

Write a successful cozy. Write another one.

Heck, even simpler. Serve a recipe that’s worked for the past 20 years – and never bother to change the menu. Jalapeno peppers? Never bought one. Have no clue what I would do if I did.

But there I was, in the darkened Al Hirschfeld Theater, just steps from the gleaming lights of Broadway, and I pondered, for a change, not How to Succeed in the mystery business, but how to shake things up and change on a bigger, pardon the pun, stage.

As Goethe told us: “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.”

I’ve been in a comfort zone when it comes to writing. It’s time to take some risk. I made a start when Rhonda convinced me to write the Brianna Sullivan series. I didn’t like, to be honest was afraid of, the paranormal. But exploring the world of ghosts has made the world of the living all the more exciting and fun. Next up is a series of short stories about love and romance. Should be published in e-book formats in the next week. If they sell, wonderful. If they don’t, I have no regrets. I tried.

And that’s how it should be. The point is not whether Daniel Radcliffe or I succeed. What’s important is that we walked out there and risked failure. As T.S. Eliot wrote, “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

Marian, in search of Jalapeno Pepper for dinner

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries – e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- KindleNookSmashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- KindleNookSmashwords

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake- PaperbackKindle
Murder Off the Books- PaperbackKindle
Riley Come Home (short story)- KindleNookSmashwords

Love Lessons – KindleNookSmashwords