Friday, July 30, 2010

Drama Momma Ticket Give Away!

Drama Momma Ticket Giveaway!
South Coast Rep is letting Drama Momma give away FOUR tickets for an opening weekend performance of Cinderella! Performance times are 1pm and 4pm on August 7th and 8th
To enter:  leave a comment telling why you’re excited to see Cinderella at South Coast Rep.  Extra entries can be obtained by
1.      Tweeting the following:  @Terry_tkw is giving away 4 tix to see Cinderella @SouthCoastRep over at her Drama Momma blog @OCFamily  (include link)
2.      Follow @terry_tkw on twitter

Everyone loves this story of a servant girl who’s transformed into a princess!   The fairy tale from long ago has been an opera, a pantomime, a ballet, an ice show, a comic book, a video game, many movies and plays.  But this is the most fun—a song-filled show for all ages.  Cinderella’s only friends are a cat named Charles, a dove and four white mice.  But add a pumpkin, a hip fairy godmother without wand or tu-tu (“Been there, done that!”) and a little magic, and you know what happens!  And don’t forget the handsome prince who finds—and then loses—his own true love.  He’ll find her again, in spite of those mean step-sisters with feet too big for the glass slipper!
SCR’s Summer Players (chosen by audition after at least one year in the Theatre Conservatory) bring all the characters to life in this glorious musical by America’s greatest songwriting team.
Regardless of age, everyone must have a ticket, sit in a seat and sit quietly throughout the performance. No children under age 4; no babes in arms.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach

This is the summer of the Staycation.  Finances are tight so I'm doing day trips around Southern California for our family summer fun.  One of the events I've been waiting years to do with my son is Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.  It sounds strange to describe on paper, but it's magical to witness first hand.  Originally entitled The Living Pictures in 1932, the tableaus were created by vaudevillain Lolita Perine for the Laguna Festivals of Arts.  She dressed local residents in costumes and seated them behind a makeshift frame, creating a life size tableau.  The models within the frame would freeze in their tableau, fascinating viewers of all ages.

It was the summer of 1983 when I became a volunteer model at the pageant. I worked at the famous La Brisas restaurant on the cliffs of Laguna, overlooking the Pacific during the day and would perform in the pageant each night.  It was the 50th anniversary of the pageant and my painting was entitled Empress Eugenie and the Ladies of her Court. I've looked all over for the actual slide of our tableau. It's somewhere in my garage full of memorabilia and I'm sure it will turn up someday.  Here's a look at the painting we honored:
(I portrayed the lady-in-waiting in the blue gown touching the flowers)

Many years have passed and now I'm attending the pageant once more; not as a model, but as an audience member thrilled to be sharing this live art experience with my son. We had dinner at my old haunt, Las Brisas, then took the free trolly to the pageant entrance.

My son's a bit of an artist (he creates his own comic books) so I basked in the glow of his persuing the children' artwork gracing the festival courtyard.

 The secret here is to save your POM ticket.  It will gain you admittance to the festival courtyard all summer long for viewing the artwork and listening to the concerts on the grass. Bring your picnic basket of wine and cheese, lawn chairs and enjoy.

We had a few minutes before the lights went down.  I snapped a photo of the amphitheatre as we were sitting down and an usher immediately came and informed me that photography in the amphitheater was forbidden (Perhaps they don't want people to know about all the ghosts haunting the grounds.  Look closely at the photo...see the orbs? Ghost hunters say these are supernatural energies.  With so much history on these grounds, it makes sense for lost souls to dwell in such a magical place).

The lights go down and the audience settles under the open air.  Music and stars fill the night as the Narrator weaves a spell of the year's theme: Eat, Drink & Be Merry.  My son was mesmerized as paintings, tapestries and sculptures were revealed under the evening stars. I hope he remembers this night forever. I know I will.  

Pageant of the Masters - where art comes to life is an internationally acclaimed 'living pictures' production that combines the worlds of theater and art. Under the guidance of an experienced and talented staff, volunteers are magically transformed into life-sized re-creations of classical and contemporary painting, sculptures and other works of art.  Presentations are accompanied by the music of a full orchestra and live narration in a beautiful starlit amphitheater in Laguna Beach. Eat, Drink & Be Merry, the 2010 Pageant of the Masters will devote its uniquely theatrical celebration of the art of tableaux vivants to share that sense of exuberant joy reflected in breathtaking re-creations of inspirational artworks.  Performances are held nightly at 8:30 p.m. through August 31, 2010. Tickets for Pageant of the Masters are $15-$100.  Pageant of the Masters ticket holders can present their stub at The Festival of Arts front gate for free admission all summer long. For general information, call 949-494-1145 or visit the website at  The event is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA.  Proceeds support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jammie Cullum Sings my favorite ballad, Gran Torino

share the beauty i witnessed the other night. Jamie Cullum is my favorite jazz artist.  his talent is superb.   

if you've never been to the Ford Anson Theatre, across the freeway from the Hollywood Bowl, find an event you like and go. soon. Between you and me, this intimate amphitheater is one of the best venues in southern california.

Monday, July 19, 2010

guess the celeb.

Can you name this  hollywood celebrity?

this one?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Nostalgic Date Night HITS and one big MISS for July

Lately I’ve been searching out theaters I’ve never visited to learn more about all OC theater has to offer. Here are two hole in the wall venues, both offering up a bit of nostalgia for your entertainment:

If you know anything about being a Baby Boomer, Boomers, produced by the American Coast Theater Company at the Lyceum Theater on the Vanguard University Campus in Costa Mesa will take you down memory lane. You may not be a Boomer, but maybe your crazy Aunt Dolores was a hippy who always smelled funky in an herbal sorta way …or maybe you’re like me: a tail end Boomer, prone to wearing corporate casual and stuck in corporate bondage. Boomers is a musical medley which weaves together television theme songs and top 40 hits from the past 50 years, illustrating the journey of the Baby Boomer generation. Even if you’re a whipper-snapper in your 30’s, you’ll still get a kick out of the musical journey of our past decades set to music. 

Television hits like Glee and American Idol with overproduced musical soundboard mixing might make the musical quality of Boomers seem a bit thin, but there’s quality to be found in the script and the ensemble cast, especially Tameca DeVant’s ability to belt out some soulful riffs. A bit young to be a boomer, she was definitely cast for her strong singing chops and not her birth year. Take your Signif Other, take your Mom or Dad. You’ll have a good time. Boomers gets a nice warm fuzzy HIT from Drama Momma.  Shows run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 18.  Check Vanguard University's website for ticket information.

Stages Theater in Fullerton has another trip into the past with a late-night 10pm adaptation of The Twilight Zone television show that’s worth the drive over to Fullerton for a unique date night night-cap. Getting back past midnight too late for you and the babysitter? Tell your son to take his hot date there. He’ll thank you in the morning. Several Twilight Zone episodes rotate performances and you’ll be treated to two episodes with no intermission. I saw Five Characters in Search of an Exit and Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? Both had excellent ensemble casts and the adaptations remained true to the original tv scripts, if memory serves. I was taken back in time to when I was a little kid sitting in front of my family’s black & white Zenith, where I really was afraid to touch that dial as the announcer said my tv had been taken into another dimension. Stages gets a Drama Momma HIT for their Twilight Zone adaptations. I hope they keep doing more TZ adaptations as an ongoing late night offering. It’s like  going back to a favorite restaurant over and over for the most awesome desserts.

I also saw Stages’ 8pm show, Spring's Awakening, which would be considered their main course on the menu. Suffice to say if it was a meal, I’d send it back. Stages Theatre leans towards theater pieces not normally part of the OC fare, and I pride them for their experimental nature, but when choosing pieces for their season this adaptation of the 1890’s German play should have been skipped. What was a controversial and shocking play in the late 1800’s bears no relevance in today’s society. Productions of Shakespeare’s works are still successful today because the scripts hold a depth of human truth that still ring true and directors can use their individual visions, tweaking Shakespeare’s concepts to help it speak to today’s audiences. Stages’ Spring's Awakening isn’t a world famous piece and even though I researched the historical aspects of the script I still felt like I needed my old high school Cliff’s Notes to understand the symbolism being used. The IngĂ©nue, Wendla, is the only character who’s in her thigh high pantaloons with layers of slips and skirts being pantomimed. At first I thought we were witnessing a costume malfunction, which is every actor’s nightmare: being on stage in one’s underwear. Call me stoopid, but if a theater is going to do an obscure experimental adaptation, I think it would be wise to use some space in the program for the director to share his vision and give the audience a bit of a heads up. Is it to be a modern piece, perhaps with today's insane teen sexual pressures and cutting, like the promo picture implies or a period piece as the on stage mixed bag of costumes suggest? None of it gelled into a cohesive product. I was left confused and frustrated (Not sexually. Theatrically).

I must give kudos to three young actors who successfully tread through a horrendous script. Samantha Aneson successfully gave Wendla the naivetĂ© and sweetness of a pure spirit trying to understand the complexities of life while being kept in the dark. Aneson’s Wendla truly was the little lamb being offered up to the lion. Adam Evans’ Moriz Stiefel was a joy to watch. He gave 110% commitment to his character and I became invested in watching his journey into oblivion. Ashley Bravo as Mrs. Gabor, although miscast in age to play a mother, had commitment of character to successfully pull the audience along the precarious path of the play’s story line. If nothing else, Stages’ Spring Awakening gave some experimental stage time to young performers working on their craft, which is never a bad thing. 

Drama Momma rates Stages Theater's Spring's Awakening as a MISS, but still recommends you visit them for their Twilight Zone late night shows. I’ll be interested to see how this theater group handles an iconic piece of American theater, Our Town, opening in August. I bet I can leave my Cliff's Notes at home.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jamie Cullum takes me for a spin

ever have a song stick with you and become a part of who you are?  Gran Torino is one of those songs for me. its melancholy minor chords hit my soul and make me stop what i'm doing, close my eyes, breath in slowly and set my mind to float in the solo existence of a divorced woman.

i can relate to the theme of loneliness, so i feel this song gets me.

i spent several years in a mental cave of solitude after my apocalyptic divorce several years ago.  now i've emerged from the cave, i'm out and about meeting new people and experiencing lots of new things.  it's good to be in this new place outside the cave, checking out the surroundings.

this song reminds me of my past. i look back on my loneliness and understand where i was and how i got there. i'm continually resolved to looking forward with a positive outlook, enjoy life and be a good role model for my kids. 

some people say don't look back. i say, "Look back and learn from your past, then close that book and make new chapters in your life with better choices, filled with better people who are uplifting, encouraging, and possess a solid moral compass.  Because if you're traveling with good people, your road is bound to be a happier journey, no matter what bumps come along the way."

now, all that being said, i'm tickled pink because i just bought tickets to go see this talented artist, Jamie Cullum, perform at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in a few weeks. don't know who i'm taking yet, but you know it'll be a good soul.

Rock on!

Friday, July 2, 2010

soup for the funked out soul

I found myself in a bit of a funk today.
My son hugged me goodbye then waved as the car pulled away.
His smile through the windshield both warmed and broke my heart.
Holidays alone tear a mother apart.
                                                        Rocky Road 7.1.10 

I found myself alone and I was aching for being surrounded by family. I missed my daughter away at college and my son away with his dad. Some moms vocally crave their alone time, but I feel an emptiness when they’re both gone. I’m experiencing empty nest syndrome every other weekend. Divorce does that to me, but I won’t let it keep me down for long. 

I cried a few hot, unexpected tears in the bathroom at work, put on my game face, walked out of the stall and decided to snap out of it the best way I know how: Distraction. Humor. Farce. Bowling for Soup. 

I turned on Pandora and let the lovely lunacy of their lyrics seep into my being. I was cleansed by their unique brand of irreverence. I laughed to myself as i listened and did the work of an office drone.
When this song came on I knew I'd found the perfect tool to kick my gloomy mood to the curb.

“…I’m gonna feel sorry for myself
I want to blame it on everyone else
I want to be self centered
And make everybody feel sorry for me.”

Rock on.