Sunday, February 13, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

Having a chocolate craving, but you're trying to behave? Me, too. Every day. Well., I just learned about this recipe and let me just say, it's easy and delicious! So go for it and dump the guilt.

Open the can of black beans (i used Trader Joe's organic) and empty the beans and juice into your blender and puree well. Combine puree with brownie mix.

Bake according to box directions. Makes 20 brownies worth 2 Weight Watchers points each.

Yes, I ate one for breakfast.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Unlikely Pair: Justin Bieber on the The Daily Show

Jon Stewart does some promotional fist bumping with teen hottie du jour, Justin Bieber. My favorite part? Wait for the very last word on this clip.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro - Justin Bieber and Jon Switch Bodies
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

HAIR Shines at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

I experienced the 60’s. Being born in 1961, I saw it through the eyes of my OC parents who met at a Young Republican’s ball at the Balboa Bay Club. I saw it through black & white television news clips and heard about it through comments made at the dinner table. I saw the conservative side talking about the wild side: pot smoking hippies were a “disgrace” and “an embarrassment”. Their unwashed hair and sweat stained suede was not only frowned upon, but feared. What was happening to the world? These hippies were making noise (yip yip yip yip) and the adults were nervous.

The musical Hair was written in the early sixties by Gerome Ragni and James Rado. Their main characters were autobiographical and their close relationship was reflected in the musical. "We were great friends. It was a passionate kind of relationship that we directed into creativity, into writing, into creating this piece. We put the drama between us on stage," Rado said.

"It was very important historically, and if we hadn't written it, there'd not be any examples. You could read about it and see film clips, but you'd never experience it. We thought, 'This is happening in the streets,' and we wanted to bring it to the stage."

And experience it you will, if you go see this national touring production at the Segerstrom Center of the Arts in Costa Mesa. They call themselves @HAIRTribeOnTour, and you’ll see why when you go. Their energy, synergy and talent will suck you into their theatrical world of free love and be-ins, as well as the palpable tribal bond these young actors have as they share their version of the hit 60’s musical.

With the first spoken words, charismatic tribal leader, Berger, (playfully rendered with sexual prowess by Steel Burkhardt) pulls the audience into the experience and lets everyone know they’re going to be a part of this experience, like it or not. His in-your-face gyrations shout his desire to enjoy the lustiness of life and he invites you to join in. Aisle and front row sitters beware, you may get the theatrical equivalent to a lap dance. Trust me, just go with it. You know, when in Rome…

While Berger thrives on freedom and revolution, his good friend, Claude Bukowski (portrayed with purity and passion by Paris Remillard) struggles with the mental tug of war of deciding whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or risk his life by serving in Vietnam.

Burkhardt and Remillard make a powerful pair, their voices blending into rich harmonies; their chemistry pulls them together as friends and partners in a love triangle with their roommate, Sheila (powerfully handled by Caren Lyn Tackett). Tribe member, Jeanie (wonderfully quirky Kacie Sheik), summarizes everyone's romantic entanglements: "I'm hung up on Claude, Sheila's hung up on Berger, Berger is hung up everywhere. Claude is hung up on a cross over Sheila and Berger."

Needless to say, these kids could use a Facebook “It’s complicated” relationship status.

Hair is irreverent towards the more conservative social norms. Maybe a few older OC theater goers were channeling the spirits of my dead parents, shaking their heads in woeful disbelief. One poor old gentleman was shaking his head in dismay as the intermission lights came up. His ashen face looked like he was about to cry. As Act I comes to an emotional climax, under dimmed lighting the tribe strips naked as an expression of defiance and freedom. It’s brief and non sexual. Some may be uncomfortable, but if one opens up to the "why" and not the "what" perhaps new ideas and emotions will arise, and that's theater at its best.