Tag Archives: playhouse square

A Night At The Theater OOTD Pt. 3

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A Night At The Theater OOTD Pt. 3

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to be taking a look at my look for an evening at Playhouse Square this past weekend. My mom and I had a night on the town for Mother’s Day and it was so much fun! We stepped out in our Saturday night’s best for a delicious meal at Pepper’s and seeing To Kill A Mockingbird at Playhouse Square. Here’s what I wore:

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Who? What? Wear?

I’m not going to lie, I struggled a bit with creating this OOTD and it was thrown together about fifteen minutes before I left to pick up my mom. The original dress I had on just wasn’t doing anything for me and while it was pretty, it didn’t blow me away. I had toyed around with the idea of wearing Johnny’s blinged out button down the night before and am so happy that I went for it. The end result is definitely an outfit that I would wear again!

Playhouse Square is, honestly, one of the fanciest locations that I have ever been to and it’s fun to go there and see everyone dressed to the nines. This is actually why I vetoed this look at first because I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of wearing jeans. With a little styling magic, I ended up with what I thought was a very chic look and apparently everyone else thought so too – I was getting compliments all night. πŸ˜€

With Johnny’s shirt in mind that I had been coveting since he got it, I went from there. The button down from Phix felt like an accessory in itself with shining glittery stars so I wanted that to be the main statement of my look. To achieve that, I kept things simple and put on one of my favorite cami tops from French Rooster. Note that I didn’t add a necklace to keep from going overboard with the accessories and it was just right. The button down really didn’t need much!

The Seven Jeans that I wore were an obvious choice because they are coated and provided sheen to help compliment the glitter. And, in just the right lighting, you could see the snakeskin pattern really well and that made my Nine West purse pop even if its an all neutral color palette. The higher rise on the jeans gave a nice long leg line which helped make the look even more sleek.

My Forever 21 platforms were also a no brainer for my OOTD and they are one of my most treasured pairs of shoes. I love them SO. Freaking. Much. The red and gold flames on the heels gave an actual pop of color and the boot platform base blended seamlessly with the rest of the look. This enhanced the leg line and I felt six feet tall instead of barely over five foot one.

I am the queen of overthinking and that is exactly what I was doing before putting this outfit together. When, really, I should have just worn it from the start. This OOTD is very much inspired by my husband’s style with my own personal twist to it and I felt like a rock star all evening. I think that I’ll be raiding Johnny’s wardrobe a lot more often! ❀

What do you like to wear to dress up? Whose style inspires you? 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

A Night At The Theater Pt. 2 OOTD

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A Night At The Theater Pt. 2 OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! My last Night At The Theater OOTD was from about a month ago when Johnny and I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar. This time around, we are going to be taking a look at my look from when I went to see Pretty Woman: The Musical with my mom. We had the best time getting all dolled up together and having a night on the town and I love the outfit that I came up with:

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Who? What? Wear?

I bought my new floral jogger pants the day before my night at the theater and knew that I definitely wanted to wear them to see Pretty Woman. After such a long winter, the flower print inspired me to create a spring style OOTD and my joggers provided the perfect base for it. This OOTD was actually super easy to create because I had one piece of the look already figured out and my options for tops and accessories was limited to what would work well with the pattern.

For my top, I went with my oyster shell colored flowy cami by Mittoshop. I wore it tucked into my bottoms and I thought that it looked lovely. The color of this top is so elegant and the lace detailing on the front added such a girly touch for a girls night out. Originally, I had on a black tank top but it bored me and I am so glad that I changed it up.

Since it was a chilly night, a jacket was a necessity and I wasn’t sure what to wear. I played around with a couple of different black blazers but the sleek shapes didn’t pair well with the flowy vibes of this look. After some trial and error, I settled on my Ci Sono jean jacket which is an oldie but goodie from a past TJMaxx Haul.

Once the jean jacket was on, I don’t know why I didn’t go with it in the first place! Jean jackets scream “spring” to me and it looked just right with the rest of my outfit. While I love a crisp, tighter fitting jean jacket, my Ci Sono one is a bit baggy without being completely over sized and complimented the style of the rest of the outfit rather than hindering it.

Finally, it was time for accessories and I knew just what shoes that I wanted to wear. I have been dying to break out my Barbie pink Marc Fisher platforms since I got them this winter and they were everything that I wanted them to be AND MORE. These platforms were made to be worn with my OOTD and the added height was much needed. I wouldn’t have bought my new joggers if they were too too long but they are pants that definitely need to be worn with heels.

For jewelry, I chose my SJ pearl necklace in a gorgeous pale blue. Although I love flashy, bright jewelry, my outfit was such a muted palette and my necklace had to follow suit. The length of this necklace highlighted the lace detailing on my top and I think it tied the whole look together perfectly.

My Night At The Theater Pt. 2 OOTD is one that I can picture myself wearing all spring long. Two pretty women seeing Pretty Woman: The Musical required a fabulous outfit and I think that I delivered!

How do you dress for spring? 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

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

A Night At The Theater OOTD

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A Night At The Theater OOTD

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new OOTD post here on lifewithlilred! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had an amazing date night to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Playhouse Square. This was our first big outing since the pandemic began so, of course, we had to step out in our very best for A Night At The Theater. For this super special occasion, I had just the dress in mind thanks to my last TJMaxx Haul:

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Who? What? Wear?

  • Dress: Talia Benson, TJMaxx
  • Platforms: Bamboo, TJMaxx
  • Earrings: American Eagle Outfitters
  • The necklace belonged to my grandma

Ever since getting my Talia Benson dress about a month ago, I had been looking forward to mine and Johnny’s night out even more because I couldn’t wait to wear it! For an evening at the theater, it was important for me to wear something with some drama and I can’t think of anything that fits the bill better. My Talia Benson number is daring and sexy while still being perfectly appropriate for a special event.

As you can see, this dress didn’t need much in terms of accessories because of its loud pattern. I didn’t want to take away from its beauty but only enhance so I kept things simple. For a pop of color, I went with my red embroidered platforms by Bamboo. My dress moved so incredibly in the wind or just when walking so it added a great little peek a boo with every step.

For jewelry, gold was the way to go and it tied together with the gold accents on my shoes. I chose a small dangly earring from the multipack that I purchased at American Eagle for my wedding and a statement necklace that belonged to my grandma. Usually, I opt for long dangle earrings but it would have been way too much with such a bold necklace. The necklace that I wore is, easily, one of my favorite pieces of jewelry and is very sentimental to me so I loved being able to wear it with this outfit. I think she would have loved it too. ❀

When it comes to a typical OOTD for me, I jam pack it with accessories until it feels perfectly complete. However, this Night At The Theater ensemble truly spoke for itself with minimal effort and I felt like a starlet stepping out in it with my husband. As we made our way into Playhouse Square, we both had blue surgical masks on and a fabulous employee told us we needed black ones, instead, in outfits like what we were wearing. She handed us two and it made our almost all black everything looks even better!

What is your favorite accessory? How would you style this dress? 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

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

Featured Image By: TrustArts

Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

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Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend. This past Thursday, I had to venture out to the Tri-C campus in Parma, Ohio for an extra credit lecture. Because I’m literally never in Parma since I don’t attend that campus, I decided to make a post on my Facebook to let my friends in the area know that I will be there for the afternoon in case anyone wanted to meet up afterwards. My friend, Danielle, replied and we decided to meet up at the bar that she works at in Lakewood which was about fifteen minutes away.

Because Danielle’s work didn’t open until four, we started at a bar that was down the street called The Patio. Danielle was treating me to twenty-first birthday drinks even though it’s over a year late so that’s what made me justify drinking at the bar at three in the afternoon! About halfway through our time at The Patio, an older gentleman walked into the bar and within ten minutes he came up to us and asked if we liked Playhouse Square (the beautiful theater in Cleveland).

Being an avid lover of the theater, of course I replied with an enthusiastic “YES”. This sent who I now know was Weldon Carpenter off to his car to retrieve a photo album and a surprise treat. While Weldon was at his car, the bartender explained to us that he was a historian and photographed Playhouse Square and the surrounding theaters since their openings. She also told us that he used to work as the personal chef to the one and only Miss Judy Garland.

Just as the bartender was finishing up her briefing on Weldon, he came walking in with a thick photo album and two teddy bears for me and Danielle. He told us that he has over one hundred and fifty little stuffed animals that he keeps handy just to make people smile. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a stuffie sitting on the bar that he must have gifted to the bartender when we weren’t looking. “Aren’t they beautiful?” he asked as Danielle and I held our new bears on our laps. And they really were. The beauty lied in the gesture and the bear he picked for me couldn’t have been any more perfect considering it was sporting a black t-shirt!

After we settled in with our drinks and teddies, we began to look through Weldon’s album, page by page. With every picture of each theater, there was a story or memory that went along with it and I was just mesmerized. To watch him smile and speak enthusiastically about the memories that he loved so much was something that was really special to me. None of my grandparents are alive so I haven’t conversed with someone in that age range in quite some time. Speaking with Weldon felt good and safe. It made me want to curl up in a blanket and hear more.

With every page turned, Weldon insisted on either one of us taking whichever photo we liked. “Don’t worry, I have plenty of copies and I give them all away for free”. His gentle prodding led to both of us picking out a photo that we loved and you could tell how pleased he was that we did. This man genuinely loved sharing what he felt was beautiful – and it was.

After we finished looking at Weldon’s photo album and listened to a few stories about how he met Judy Garland at his friend Mae West’s party we unfortunately had to part ways. Danielle had to be at work so we had to head down the street to the bar for a night of serving for her and more drinking for me. But all evening, I was still enraptured by the kind stranger who we spent a half hour with in the bar. The man who bore gifts and treats for complete strangers and left them feeling like they had just met their guardian angel or long lost friend.

When I got home, I Googled Weldon and found so many articles boasting that he was one of Lakewood’s local legends. Pages full of articles telling tales of theaters, photos, and stories similar to the one that I just told you. I felt proud. I felt proud that the city that he seemed to love so much loved him back. I felt proud that he was sharing his beautiful spirit and stories with the world. I felt proud that I just met him.

Will I ever see Weldon again? Maybe, if I head up to Lakewood around three or so, I’ll find him at The Patio enjoying a glass of red wine that he will be diluting with shaved ice. Maybe I’ll see him sharing a photo or a stuffed bear with another person at the bar. But until then, I’m so happy to consider Weldon Carpenter as A New Friend.

Christmas Gift Night – Sister Style!

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Christmas Gift Night – Sister Style!

Hellooo everyone and happy Tuesday! This Saturday I was surprised with the literal best Christmas gift ever…Two tickets to see Elf the musical with my beloved big sister, Kristen! My sister purchased us two tickets for a night on the town to see one of our favorite movies turned into a musical at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio. Take a look at us being pretty (!!) and then let’s discuss:

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Last Friday night when Kristen asked me if I had plans for the following evening, I didn’t think anything of it. But when Saturday came around the next day and she texted me with meticulous plans for when to pick her up, I started to get suspicious. When I called her to ask her where we were going for our hang out she told me it was for my Christmas gift and asked if I wanted to know what it was. The thing about me, though, is that I HATE surprises with a capital H and a capital ATE – so of course I wanted to know! That’s when she told me that she got us two tickets to see Elf the musical at 7:15 sharp this evening! I was blown away!!!

After I came out of my happiness coma we began to make plans for when I could pick her up and where we would go for dinner. We settled on our favorite…Taco Bell! Afterwards, she treated me to a full tank of gas and we went on our merry way to Playhouse Square in Cleveland. The drive was easy peasy and once we were in the downtown Cleveland area we got to enjoy seeing all of the buildings lit up beautifully for the holidays – it was awesome!

We arrived at the theater in perfect timing and Kristen managed to get amazing tickets for our date night. We were about twelve rows away from the stage and smack dab in the middle so our view was spectacular. While we waited for the show to begin, we took lots of sister pictures and I also took a picture of the stage, which is my featured image photo. I couldn’t take any pictures during the show, of course, but rest assured that it was incredible!

Elf the musical was simply fantastic. The actors were sublime, the music was catchy, the set was darling (it was storybook themed), and the choreography was superb. Kristen and I had a blast watching one of our favorite films come to life on the stage. The story from the movie was modified a little but all of the changes were clever and made perfect sense. We were in stitches the entire show and spent the whole car ride back to Β her apartment quoting the musical.

Before we returned to Kristen’s place, we stopped at Giant Eagle to pick up some holiday gifts for her coworkers. The Giant Eagle that I live by is open twenty four hours and I found so much joy in just roaming the aisles with her at ten o’clock at night. We found gifts that suited our needs, as well as some treats for ourselves, and then headed back to her apartment.

Once we arrived at her place we crawled into our pajamas ASAP. As soon as we were comfy we made further preparations for our sister sleepover because this was the first night that I spent the night in her new apartment. Afterwards, I drove back to my house quickly to grab my sleeping pills and morning medication. It was no biggie, though, because we live a whole three minutes away from each other!

By the time I arrived back at her place, we were both beyond ready to hit the hay. We got tucked into her super comfy queen size bed and turned on the tube to fall asleep to. It was the absolute perfect ending to a perfect sister Christmas date night.

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had on Saturday night with my big sister. She completely surprised me with my Christmas gift and it will be a memory that I’ll cherish for forever. Everything that we did from our dinner and the show to even just driving around to our locations was a blast and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend our Christmas Gift Night with each other. I love you, Kristen! Thank you for treating me to an amazing evening – Sister Style!

So there you have it, my Saturday Christmas Gift Night – Sister Style! Kristen and I had a glorious time wrapping up the holiday season together and starting 2016 on a wonderful note. Have any of you seen a musical lately? What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah