Tag Archives: cleveland

Cats At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

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Cats At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

Hello! Every year, my dad gifts the family with season tickets to Playhouse Square and we divide the shows up accordingly. This month, Cats was playing at the Connor Palace and I had a difficult time finding anyone to go with me due to massive lack of interest lol. Thankfully, my brother, Andrew, stepped in in the clutch as long as we left at intermission. This was fine by me because I was just happy to go period!

I wasn’t expecting to like Cats as much as I did, especially considering how much I made fun of it prior to. However, I thought it was spectacular and am going to buy nosebleed tickets so I can see it in its entirety this weekend. The songs, production, dancing, and orchestra accompanying the cast were so amazing and I have spent my time since Saturday night being disappointed at not seeing the whole thing. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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Cats begs the question of what was Andrew Lloyd Webber smoking when he made it and where can I get some lol. The whole point of the show, as I understand it, is that a group of alley cats are preparing for the Jellicle Ball. During this one special night of the year, the wise Old Deuteronomy will choose one cat to make use of one of their nine lives and come back as something different. So, the musical is basically each cat introducing themselves in a song about what makes them unique.

As I said, it was not in my plans to freaking LOVE this show but I was hooked from the jump. At the beginning of the show, the stage was completely dark. Then, small green eyes began popping up throughout the stage as the cats began to prepare for their opening number of Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. And, can we please talk about what a bop that song is?! It is so catchy and fun and trust and believe that I have had it stuck in my head ever since.

The first few numbers of Cats were dedicated to explaining the show and then it was time for each cat to begin their introductory songs. In Act I, these songs were for the Old Gumbie Cat (Michelle E. Carter), Rum Tum Tugger (Hank Santos), Bustopher Jones (John Anker Bow) , Mungojerrie (Brian Craig Nelson) and Rumpleteazer (Taryn Smithson), and Old Deuteronomy (Cameron Schutza). Andrew was a fan of the portly Cat About Town, Bustopher Jones. We also both really enjoyed the Old Gumbie Cat, a prim and proper lady who could tap dance like nobody’s business. I love a good tap dancing number and this one was incredible. Her rhinestone tap shoes were also everything!

My personal favorite of what I saw was Rum Tum Tugger, a rock n’ roll bad boy of a cat who had an Elvis inspired number. His song has also been playing on a loop in my head and I’m looking forward to seeing it again! My favorite part of his song was when some cats brought out and assembled pieces of broken mirror and Rum Tum was dancing in front of it. Cat burglars, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, also had a great song and offered mind blowing acrobatics including tandem cartwheels. It was hard to tell where Mungojerrie ended and Rumpleteazer began lol.

Not only was the music and feline like dancing sublime but the set and lighting were also formidable displays of theater production. The alley setting was filled with tunnels and nooks that the cats could pop in and out of and it was so neat to literally blink and see a cat go from one end of the stage to the other. The lighting also helped set the mood for the special night of the Jellicle Ball with a sky of stars and a huge full moon.

As thankful as I am that I got to see half of Cats at the gorgeous Connor Palace, it just wasn’t enough! I want the whole enchilada and am keeping my fingers crossed that Johnny will accompany me in the nosebleeds this weekend. If you have the opportunity to see this show and can relate to my initial ambivalence, trust me when I say that you are going to have a blast. Cats might not be your cup of tea but it is going to be impossible to not appreciate it for what it is – a fantastic production!

Have you seen Cats before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Les Miserables At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

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Les Miserables At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

Hello! This past Saturday, Johnny and I went on a date night to The Haunted House Restaurant and Playhouse Square. Les Miserables was being performed at the KeyBank State Theater and Johnny and I decided to go since my parents couldn’t. Were we both chomping at the bit to see Les Mis? Not really. I love the theater more than the average bear and I have never had any desire to see it, despite its popularity. And, of course, Johnny didn’t care either way lol.

Because we were feeling wishy washy about attending in general, I told Johnny that we would make it to the intermission and leave. We were both tired after a long week and were also not trying to get stuck in traffic on the way home because the Cleveland Guardians was playing that night. Satisfied with this plan, we headed to Playhouse Square after a great meal. However, we ended up leaving after hearing “Castle On A Cloud” performed because it is my fave. Check out some pics and let’s discuss:

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EUGENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Let me preface our chit chat with the following: I freaking LOVE going to Playhouse Square and there is nothing better to me than a night at the theater. I have been to many a show there and have always had a blast, even with productions I wasn’t overly excited about because I can still admire the production value. For the life of me, though, I just could not get into Les Mis!

Johnny and I both had absolutely no idea of what Les Mis was about and we still don’t have the foggiest. BUT, when the show began we were both really feeling it. The beginning was set on a boat and it felt like you were rocking away on the stormy seas with the cast. Then… everyone started singing lol.

At first, I thought it was just a fluke but I couldn’t understand a word of what anyone was saying. In fact, I found myself wishing that the show had subtitles! I recalled to myself when I saw Frozen at the KeyBank State Theater in August and while I had some problems hearing/understanding the actors, it was nowhere near as bad as Les Mis. It almost made things worse that I have a bit of familiarity with the music of the show and still couldn’t understand NOTHIN.

As we sat through song after song (Because, let’s be real, the whole play is just one long song!), things were not getting any better. Yes, the set was spectacular and it always is at a Playhouse Square show but was it good enough to sit through the whole show in confusion? No, lol. Johnny and I had a loose understanding of what was going on from the phrases that we could make out but that was about it.

After close to an hour of attempting to give the show a chance to get better, we decided to call it a loss and head home – especially since we had an hour drive back. Honestly, on any other occasion, I would never consider leaving a play early. I was enjoying myself a little but Johnny most definitely wasn’t and we were exhausted – so much so that we were both yawning in our seats. The intermission was also a ways away and I was worried one of us was going to fall asleep! Sometimes, it’s best to just leave and this was one of those times.

I am a bit sad that Les Mis wasn’t this groundbreaking theatrical experience for myself and Johnny. But, we gave it a shot and no one can say that we didn’t try. Had we been able to understand even a little more of what was being sang, this post probably would have been totally different!

What are your thoughts on Les Mis? Have you ever left a movie or production early? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Frozen At Playhouse Square Review

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Frozen At Playhouse Square Review

Hello! This past weekend, I went to Playhouse Square with my dad, brother, and Val Gal to see a matinee showing of Frozen at the KeyBank State Theatre. I have never seen the movie the whole way through but it’s my niece’s favorite and Playhouse Square always puts on amazing shows so I was excited! There were things about Frozen that blew me away and other parts that were… not so much.

Regardless, it was SO special to accompany Val to her first ever live theater performance, which she loved. In fact, she asked if we could go again tomorrow! She was also dressed up in her Elsa costume and it was adorable seeing all of the little Anna and Elsas walking around. πŸ™‚ Now, let’s get to this review starting with the good:

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Although a majority of the acting and singing in Frozen was great, the best thing about the show was, easily, all of the wonderful special effects. The lighting, set design, and flying pieces was true theater magic. This production used techniques that I had never seen before and, honestly, didn’t even think were possible. I had no idea how they were going to create the eternal winter landscape that Elsa created but it really did look like the entire stage was encompassed in snow and ice.

A huge credit should be given to the production team because this show would not have been nearly as good without everything that was accomplished by them. The set was so elaborate and visually beautiful and the lighting and soundscape enhanced everything tenfold. Now that I think of it, the only things that “wowed” me were all production related.

While some of the actors kind of missed the mark for me, there were a few performances that really stood out. F. Michael Haynie who played Olaf was spectacular and a formidable puppeteer too. I didn’t know how they were going to create the talking snowman and a to scale version puppet was cleverly used. It worked perfectly and Haynie played the part so well.

Evan Strand played Sven, Kristoff’s reindeer, and this was also another head scratcher for me. It’s not like they could have used a real reindeer for the show and most animal portrayals by actors can be kind of lame. However, the costume that was used for Sven was one of the best that I have ever seen and I almost thought that it was an actual reindeer at first! His physicality was spot on and I was very impressed – I think he outshined Kristoff completely.

Caroline Bowman as Elsa was pretty good, although I felt like she was a bit boring. Her time on stage was kind of lackluster and what shined during “Let It Go” wasn’t her but the incredible production behind it. Lauren Nicole Chapman as Anna also left A LOT to be desired. She was SO. Freaking. Annoying. Her voice was also very shrill. Granted, I haven’t seen bits and pieces of the movie in a while but I definitely don’t remember Anna being like that – maybe I’m wrong!

Because there aren’t too many original songs in the movie Frozen, a majority of the numbers had to be created for the stage. I liked a fair amount of them and enjoyed “Let It Go”, “In Summer”, “Fixer Upper”, and “Monster” the most. I will say that there were times when it was difficult to hear/understand the actors so that took away from some numbers that I could have potentially enjoyed.

Some of the songs really dragged the show on for longer than I thought was necessary, though. For example “Hygge” sung by Oaken and company was kind of a hot mess. I get that productions more geared towards children have to throw some things in for the adults BUT it felt inappropriate for the kids in the audience. It was, hands down, the cringiest part of the performance.

There were times when Frozen was hit or miss and that’s fine because the biggest success of the show was how much fun Val had. I am thrilled to have been able to share in my love of live theater with her and can’t wait to do something like this again!

What is your favorite musical? Have you seen any good shows lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

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Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

Hello! I have been having so much summer fun last month and especially over this past weekend. My brother and his wife and son came to visit from Atlanta and we all had a blast hanging out. It was SO awesome for my niece and nephew to play together and they both solemnly announced that they would miss each other when it was time to go home. How sweet is that?!

Last Monday, we took the kiddos on a little day trip to Memphis Kiddie Park close to Cleveland and a delicious Mexican dinner afterwards. This was a very special outing, indeed, because my siblings and I used to go there all of the time when we were little. Whether we went with my parents or my grandma, it was always a huge treat to go to Kiddie Park and get ice cream after and I have so many fond memories of afternoons spent there.

When I was little, I remember thinking that Kiddie Park was a Cedar Point level amusement park. So, all of my siblings and I had a huge laugh when we saw through the eyes of an adult that it was the size of a large parking lot. It surely didn’t feel that way to my niece and nephew, though!

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^^^ The white Love On A Hanger top is one of my faves!

When we got to Kiddie Park my nephew, Patrick, was ready to ride all of the rides. My niece, Valerie, on the other hand… Not so much. Lol, it definitely took her a minute to get warmed up and, surprisingly, the only thing she wanted to ride at first was the Little Dipper rollarcoaster with me. Of course, I obliged and it made me think of all of the times that I would ride it with my grandma and we would go on it again, and again, and again. ❀

Val’s reaction to the Little Dipper was either going to be really good or really bad because she had never been on something like that before. Even more surprisingly, she loved it and after a juice box and a pretzel she was good to go. I guess she was just hangry and it was, honestly, such a mood!

After Val rallied, her and Patrick rode so many rides together and it was SO. Freaking. Cute. They loved the boats, spinning turtles, airplanes, and mini cars and it warmed my heart to see them waving to all of us and having a ball. Naturally, neither of them wanted to go home afterwards and, despite having no more ride tickets left, they were asking for “just one more ride”. ❀

Something tells me that we will be taking Val to Kiddie Park again this summer and I’m sure we will go all together with Patrick next summer too. It was just as fun for the kids as it was for the adults and it was the best day!

Do you have something similar to Kiddie Park in your neck of the woods? What is one of your fondest childhood memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

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Mother’s Day Date/Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Review

Hello! This past Saturday, I took my darling mom, JANE, out for a night on the town to celebrate Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, Pepper’s, and then we saw Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird at Playhouse Square. Our dinner was divine, the play was spectacular, but the company was even better!

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^^^ How cute is she?!

Pepper’s is an amazing Italian restaurant that’s about fifteen minutes away from Playhouse Square. We wined and dined with a glass of Reisling for mom and Prosecco for me and ate like the queens we are. I opted for my favorite of gnocchi but instead of my usual of Alfredo sauce, I decided to live a little and try the pesto. JANE went for the Penne with the house sauce and we savored every single bite. The salad, bread, pasta, and drinks were made to perfection and we pretty much talked about it until we got to the theater!!

After our dinner, which we are still daydreaming about, we made the short drive to Playhouse Square to park, grab a drink, and take our seats. And, of course, lots of pictures were called for:

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is, easily, one of the most important pieces of literature, film, and theater that there is. If you are unfamiliar with the plot, it is set in 1934 Maycomb, Alabama and tells the tale of Atticus Finch defending an innocent black man named Tom Robinson for the rape of a white teenager. It is just as relevant today as it was when the book was first published and it is truly a masterpiece.

My mom and I treasure this work of art so deeply and have been looking forward to seeing this play for months with our Playhouse Square season tickets. Atticus was played by the incomparable Richard Thomas and he was sublime. Mary Badham who played Scout in the film also was featured in a small role as Mrs. Henry Dubose. To be able to see this play performed with such seasoned actors was a gift.

We were so incredibly impressed by Richard Thomas and his portrayal of Atticus Finch was masterful. My mom and I also enjoyed the actors who played Jem Finch and Dill Harris. While Thomas was, obviously, the star of the show, I daresay that the supporting cast shined even brighter.

Jacqueline Williams as Calpurnia was simply gorgeous and Yaegel T. Welch’s heart wrenching portrayal of Tom Robinson, a man automatically guilty because of the color of his skin was STUNNING. And, we can’t forget Anthony Natale who played Link Deas. Natale is hearing impaired and he signed a majority of his lines while Scout or Jem translated, which was very cool to see.

Now, you might be surprised that I didn’t give a shout out to Melanie Moore, the actress who played Scout. She was, however, our only qualm with the show. In the book and film, Scout is a young girl. Melanie is a grown woman and, to be honest, she was quite annoying. I am not saying this to be mean, but the voice she used to sound childlike sounded exactly like Forrest Gump and it was kind of distracting. I understand that it had to be an adult actress who played Scout but there had to have been a better way to portray her and this was not it.

Seeing the play of To Kill A Mockingbird moved my mom and I so very much. There were parts that were physically painful to watch and our hearts ached as we left the theater. I wouldn’t have traded this experience for the world, though. The pain that we felt both physical and emotional is nothing in comparison to those who deal with injustice on a daily basis and I believe that Harper Lee’s work is a necessity in this world.

The play lasted roughly three hours and there were times when it felt slow moving but each scene was so crucial and there for a reason. By the time the show was over and we had time to digest it and decompress as we got onto the highway, we were ready to begin singing its praises. Just like the book and film, there were moments in that play that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I was moved to tears during several parts in the play. One of the most powerful scenes that I keep coming back to is when Tom Robinson was on the stand and being questioned by the prosecutor. He kept referring to Tom as “boy” while Atticus is screaming to call him by his name. It was chilling and I kid you not that my eyes have tears in them right now just writing about it. It was haunting and I can’t tell you how much Yaegel T. Welch’s performance as Tom meant to me.

I could go on for hours telling all of you about the experience of seeing Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird in play form. Rather, I will end it on: SPRINT, don’t run to see this show if you have the opportunity. I am so thankful to have been able to see it on a wonderful Mother’s Day date with my mom and it is something that I will never forget.

Have you seen any plays recently? What does To Kill A Mockingbird mean to you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

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Pretty Woman: The Musical Review

Hi! This past Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely girls night out with my mom to see Pretty Woman: The Musical at Playhouse Square. Every year for Christmas, my dad purchases season tickets at Playhouse Square and we divide up the shows between the family members. Originally, my mom and dad were supposed to go to Pretty Woman but he just had surgery so the tickets were fair game.

I was shot down by both my sister and Johnny to see the show with me and my mom finally agreed to come with, which I was so happy about! I can’t say that either of us were chomping at the bit to see the musical, but we were more looking forward to spending time together and it was a perfect night:

My mom and I got all dolled up and headed to the theater in downtown Cleveland around six o’clock to make it in time for the seven thirty curtain call. After taking some pictures, using the facilities, sharing a mimosa, and finding our seats, we made it just in time. It was almost a full house at the beautiful Connor Palace but no one happened to be sitting by us, which made it even better lol.

The set of Pretty Woman was amazing and featured the famous Hollywood sign, palm trees that lit up, and gorgeous ornate designs for the hotel as well as lots of set pieces that moved effortlessly across the stage. I have never seen Pretty Woman the movie before so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I did know that it was about a working girl who had her big break with a rich client.

My mom and I both weren’t overly impressed by the leading lady who played Vivian and the man who played Edward. While Vivian was cute, quirky, and obviously talented she was kind of difficult to understand sometimes while singing, which took away from her big moments. The man who played Edward was fine and, of course, he could sing well but he also could have been anyone and it made for a somewhat lackluster performance.

I could have taken or left both the male and female lead and it was the supporting characters that really stole the show, in my opinion. Vivian’s best friend, Kit, was fabulous and I loved her rock n’ roll voice and she had a lot of funny lines. “The Happy Man” who played the hotel manager/narrator was also excellent and most of our favorite parts in the musical came from scenes with him in it.

The first half of the show was pretty good, despite some songs that I could have definitely done without. However, it picked up the pace a lot in the second half and we both enjoyed that much more. Both my mom and I had similar sentiments on our favorite parts and absolutely loved “On a Night Like Tonight” when the hotel manager taught Vivian how to dance. We also really liked the opening and closing numbers as well as “Never Give Up on a Dream”.

One of the biggest stand out moments was “Entr’acte/Opening Act II” when Vivian and Edward went to the opera. The woman who sang as the main performer in the opera was divine and I could seriously listen to her all day. She had the most beautiful voice and it begged the question of “how does she do that?” as soon as she began to sing. It was wonderful!

Overall, Pretty Woman: The Musical was alright. It was a great show for a girls night but my mom and I agreed that it was one we would have skipped on if we didn’t have season tickets. The best part, of course, was spending the evening with my mom and that made me love every minute of it. Make sure you keep it posted for an OOTD from my night out soon! ❀

What is your favorite musical? What is your perfect night out like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

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Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

Hello! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had a wonderful date night to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Playhouse Square. This has been our first big outing since the pandemic began and it was even better than I could have dreamed! Also, huge shout out to my dad for making this possible with his yearly Christmas gift of season tickets to Playhouse Square for the family. Tomorrow, we will take a look at my OOTD so be sure to keep it posted for that!

Our date day began at Pepper’s Italian Restaurant in Lakewood before the show. We had a to die for dinner of gnocchi with Alfredo sauce, Margarita pizza, focaccia bread, salad, and Prosecco. It was absolutely delicious and my only regret is that it isn’t closer so that we could eat there all of the time. πŸ˜€

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After an amazing meal that I am still dreaming about, we had some time to kill before it was time to go to the theater to take our seats. We decided to have an after dinner drink at a bar down the street from Pepper’s called the Funhouse. Johnny has been there before but I haven’t and it was the coolest place ever!! It had the theme of an old fashioned carnival with tons of dark decor mixed with the bright colors of a fair. The Funhouse is definitely our kind of bar!

I was already sold on the bar based on the decor alone but their unique drink menu didn’t hurt, either. I just had to try one of their alcohol slushies and chose blue raspberry as my flavor. It was So. Yummy. and if we didn’t have a play to catch, I think I could have had one or two more. πŸ™‚

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After a quick drink, it was time to head to Playhouse Square for the main event – seeing Jesus Christ Superstar. Everyone has a laugh when I say that it is my favorite musical because I am an atheist. I can’t help it, though, and have been enamored with it ever since having to watch it every Easter at Catholic grade school. The rock opera music gets me every time and I love that it shows a human depiction of the story of Christ’s crucifixion.

A few years ago, I made Johnny watch the classic movie adaptation of the musical and while he liked it, he wasn’t one hundred percent sold on it. I wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be to the show so as soon as it began and he whispered to me “this is amazing” my heart basically exploded because he was seeing it how I do.

We were lucky enough to see the show despite it being canceled last year due to the pandemic and were treated to an extra special viewing because of its fiftieth anniversary celebration. Because of this, there was a small orchestra playing in the wings of the theater along with the band playing onstage with wailing electric guitar, organ, keyboards, drums, and saxophone.

The stage was set with an industrial vibe of open scaffolding and a huge upside down cross going directly down the stage. This was also reflected in the costumes for the characters who were dressed in baggy clothing to maximize all of their beautiful movements. And the actors? They were sublime.

The chorus was fabulous and the individual roles were just flawless. I daresay that the actor playing Judas might have out shined Jesus but who really stole the show was King Herod. His flashy rendition of “King Herod’s Song” was a major highlight of the entire show and Johnny and I spent so much time on the ride home going gaga over it.

Jesus Christ Superstar was performed with no intermission so it was seamless from start to finish. The loud music, glam rock style vocals, and all of the little tricks that they worked into the show made for one of the best adaptations that I have ever seen. It was so incredibly creative and really is a production that makes you think.

I knew that I was going to enjoy the show but it made it even better that Johnny loved it too. Our hour long car ride home until we went to bed was filled with conversation about the story, what we liked, and reliving it in its entirety. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and it was seriously one of the best evenings of my life! ❀

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What is your favorite musical? Do you have a favorite song from Jesus Christ Superstar? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mary Kay Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss Swatch In Fancy Nancy

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Mary Kay Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss Swatch In Fancy Nancy

Hello! My best friend, Lea, will be tying the knot in October and I am so honored to be a part of her special day as one of her bridesmaids. From a DIY wine and paint night and bridesmaid dress shopping to attending a bridal expo with Lea and her family, it feels good to bond even closer to my bestie and become friends with the rest of her wedding party.

I didn’t write about the bridal expo we attended but, I’ve gotta tell you, it was really something. Lol and by something I mean it was totally overwhelming. The IX Center in Cleveland was completely packed by vendors and brides to be and it was major sensory overload for me. But, the bagful of free goodies I ended up with from visiting the different vendors made being packed in like sardines somewhat worth it!

I walked away with a reusable tote bag full of candies, chapsticks, BBQ sauce of all things, and some makeup samples including the following by Mary Kay:

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My first and only experience with Mary Kay makeup left much to be desired so I wasn’t particularly excited to try out the Nourishine Plus Lip Gloss in Fancy Nancy. However, the rose gold hue shining through the package looked pretty and I was interested in seeing it more closely.

I am not a big lip gloss girl and much prefer smooth matte lipstick over a sticky gloss any day. The Nourishine formula wasn’t “I spilled juice and forgot to clean it up” level sticky but halfway between that and a chapstick. In my opinion, it was still too much for me but it definitely applied smoother than the other glosses I’ve tried.

Despite not loving the texture, I absolutely adore the color and would be willing to try it in a lipstick, for sure. The over the top glitter gives a fresh, summery tangerine shine in the light and I think that it would look so charming for rooftop drinks with the girls come the hot weather. Would I go out of my way to order the Mary Kay brand? No. But I will definitely be keeping my eye out for something similar!

How do you feel about Mary Kay? Have you ever been part of a wedding party? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

I’m So Excited!

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I’m So Excited!

Hello! One of my favorite things about dating my boyfriend, Johnny, is that we always have so many exciting plans to look forward to. We both love being out and about, planning trips, and going to concerts and we definitely will be doing a lot of all of that as we continue trying to kick winter out the door in Ohio.

Upon the warmer weather, I can’t wait to go back to our favorite bars with a patio to have drinks and play games with our friends outside. But, I am absolutely chomping at the bit to get to our bigger plans, because we have quite a few! Including:

1) Seeing Jesus Christ Super Star at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. My dad got me and Johnny tickets for Christmas because it is my favorite musical and I am simply thrilled to be able to see it live. I am also lucky enough to see it twice because one of my old theater friends invited me to go with her, too! πŸ˜€

2) The Rolling Stones concert in Cleveland! Aw yeahhhh. Johnny, my parents, my brother, and I will be in nosebleed seats attendance for this show. My dad hasn’t seen the Stones since the 70s and Johnny and I have never seen them and they are his all time favorite band. So, needless to say, we are over the moon excited.

3) Johnny and I will also be attending a Marilyn Manson and potentially Ozzy Osbourne concert if his health permits. My MAN got me tickets for Christmas just like I asked him to and I cannot wait to see my other man, Marilyn Manson, perform for the third time. Johnny hasn’t seen him live before so I can’t wait for him to experience that! Ozzy Osbourne performing would just be the cherry on top.

4) And, finally, for Johnny’s birthday I got us tickets to Riot Fest in Chicago. Riot Fest is a three day music festival and My Chemical Romance will be headlining. We don’t know anything else about the lineup except for that but it was enough to make me buy tickets because Johnny is always talking about how he’d love to see them live again. Our long weekend in Chicago is one of the major highlights of this summer and I am so happy I was able to score tickets that sold out within eight minutes for the two of us!

It’s always nice to have something to look forward to and Johnny and I have an abundance of that. I can’t wait to fill all of you in on all of these exciting events when they happen so keep it posted!

What are you looking forward to? What concerts are you attending this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dear Evan Hansen Review

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Dear Evan Hansen Review

Howdy! This past weekend, I enjoyed an outing with an old theater friend, Sabrina, to see Dear Evan Hansen at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Despite both of us not loving the musical, it was still a fun day filled with good food, drinks, and wonderful company. I was so happy when Sabrina invited me to see the show because our schedules never work well with each other so it was really nice to make up for lost time. As we are both theater nerds, we were able to have a great discussion about the show afterwards so here is what we thought as well as a brief synopsis (Without giving too much away!)

So, what you need to know about Dear Evan Hansen is the following: A troubled teen who is an outsider at school has homework from his therapist where he has to write letters to himself explaining why it’s going to be a great day. As Evan is printing his “homework” out in the library, an even more troubled teen named Conner snatches the letter and confiscates it after seeing his sister’s name in it. She just so happens to be the object of Evan’s affection but doesn’t know he exists.

A few days later, Conner commits suicide and the letter that Evan wrote is found in his pocket. A web of lies then begins because Conner’s parents obviously want to know who Evan is and he begins to spin a tale of how him and Conner were best friends. This quickly raises his popularity at school with the offset of The Conner Project and, suddenly, Evan exists because of his fake friendship with the kid who just died.

Okay, so the story line isn’t bad, but the writing and staging left a lot to be desired as well as lackluster performances from the cast as a whole. It was interesting to see the phenomenon of everyone instantly becoming “best friends” with someone who just passed. However, the main culprit of this was a girl named Alana and she was SO. FUCKING. ANNOYING. Omg, the scenes with her were just unbearable and I couldn’t stand it.

Another character who really didn’t do it for me was Evan’s mom. It was very tough to invoke sympathy for the mother of a struggling teen when she was so unlikable and all of her slow ballad songs felt lame and drawn out. Honestly, I didn’t feel any type of way about any of the characters because it just felt like they were there saying their lines and singing their songs and then the applause happened and it was on to the next scene. The play felt very disjointed and the flow was off.

A lot of this disconnect felt due to a poor choice in staging. It went from social media news feeds plastered all over moving walls and banners to a tiny room on a rotating circle in a matter of minutes. This felt very high school theater for a Broadway level show and didn’t create any visual interest on stage.

The quality of the script and songs just weren’t that good, either. A powerful message of looking out for the mental health of our teens was overshadowed by plot points that weren’t fully realized and writing that was subpar, at best. I understand that this show got a lot of hype but, frankly, I don’t understand why because I left the theater feeling very unsatisfied with the finale and the plot holes that never got filled.

I never say no to a night at the theater but, I think I could have passed on this one. I would rate Dear Evan Hansen with a five out of ten stars and I can’t say that I would recommend going to see it. If you’re into sappy teen musicals, though, I say go for it!

What were your thoughts on Dear Evan Hansen? What is your favorite musical? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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