Tag Archives: theatre

Types Of Shows In New York City

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Types Of Shows In New York City

If you’re in New York and hoping to see a show, the choices are always numerous and diverse. Rather than purchase tickets for something you might be disappointed in, consider the different genres available. This will allow you to narrow down the options and spend a wonderful evening watching something that will suit your tastes and mood:

Musicals:

Broadway musicals have more depth than ever before. Featuring memorable music, choreography, costumes, and acting, the subject matter runs the gamut from hilarious comedy to stirring dramas. Consult NYC theater reviews to check out which ones audiences and critics are raving about and why. In addition to currently popular titles, you can also choose from revivals of classic shows and newer and sometimes less-well-known productions in off-off-Broadway venues.

Plays:

Although they don’t have the show-stopping numbers of their musical counterparts, Broadway plays are every bit as captivating and memorable. From comedies and tragedies to biographical and historical works, you’re bound to find something of interest. If you’re still having trouble deciding, consult a list of Tony Award nominees and winners that are currently in theaters to uncover the critics favorites for writing, acting, and direction.

Interactive:

If you’re in the mood to be a part of the action rather than just observing it, consider a more immersive event. Interactive productions are typically experiences that enable the audience to participate as actual characters in the play, answer the actors questions throughout the show, or even solve a scripted mystery. Ranging from elaborate narratives to stripped-down one-man solo acts, this often experimental theater is presented in venues ranging from smaller stages or warehouses to parks or even moving trains.

Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, think, or tap your toes, the New York City theater scene has something for you. A little research before purchasing your tickets will go a long way to ensuring you have a great time.

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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

March 2019 Funky Time Jams

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March 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hiii everyone and welcome to March! My recent drive to Pittsburgh provided me with the most rando playlist, because I definitely listened to Broadway musicals for most of it. Lol, to some this is lame and to others it is totally brilliant! For me, it made the drive so much quicker and it provided me with a lot of entertainment considering I had to be both the male and female lead, supporting characters, AND the chorus! So, trust and believe the Funky Time Jams this month will be peppered with a little Broadway flare. Check it out:

(And, as always, I do not own any of the rights to these songs or videos!)

Okay, so I often get asked why Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat are on my iPod because I’m not religious at all. And, I honestly have no idea. But, what I do know, is that the music in those musicals are catchy AF and we also watched them basically every year at my Catholic grade school. So, I guess I got a permanent ear worm from that. I could listen to the soundtrack or watch any filmed version of those shows and enjoy myself, so they were a must on my drive to Pittsburgh. And, how can you not love Sweeney Todd?!

I have also been listening to a buttload of The Cure since they announced an upcoming tour, which I would LOVE to go see. Breathing the same air as Robert Smith would probably make my chronic depression go away, so it needs to happen!

And, finally, I watched Burlesque with one of my clients a few weeks ago for the first time and I thought it was so good! Christina Aguilera is definitely one of my favorite female singers, so it was easy to get down with a movie revolving around her. I also saw the second Lego movie with another one of my clients and anyone who says that Everything Is Awesome isn’t a banger is a stone cold liar.

And, finally finally, Black & Yellow needs no further explanation after a Pittsburgh Partayyyy! Turn up, turn up, turn up!!!!!

What is your favorite Broadway musical? Who do you have on your road trip playlist? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Newsflash!

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Newsflash!

Helloooo everyone! We interrupt your scheduled programming of Urban Decay palette swatches with a very important Newsflash. Becauuuuuse GUESS WHAT?! Some very exciting things are happening in Lil Red’s world and I wanted to share it with all of you first. So, let’s get started!

For those of you who don’t know, I used to be very big into theater and acting in plays. Then, when college began as well as the blog, I just kind of fell out of it. I haven’t done a show in about four years but, I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t miss it. In fact, a month or so ago, I was chit chatting at work and talking about how if an acting opportunity came up, that I’d love to do it.

Well, the cosmic gods answered this seemingly meaningless conversation because, about a week ago I got a Facebook message from an old theater friend inviting me to act in one of her shows. The play is called the Parish Chronicles and it was written by her. The role that she offered me was one of the female leads and, coincidentally, I read that part for her about five years ago when we were just having some fun performing other people’s scripts.

I was so flattered and happy and then had an “oh shit” moment when I realized how demanding it would be to do a show. I already couldn’t make the scheduled rehearsal times but, that was solved when they offered special times just for me to be able to make it. And, then, I thought how the two weeks that the play runs would really put a damper on my work life as I work most evenings.

I was so beside myself because, as excited as I was to be offered this part, it would really shake my work schedule up. I asked my friend for a few days to think it over and, after some deliberation, I accepted the part the following day. How often does a leading role just fall into someone’s lap? They are making a rehearsal schedule just for me and I work hard enough that a minimal few work weeks when the show runs won’t be an issue, either.

I felt so good when I started ice skating again and I know that getting back into theater is going to be an amazing thing for me, too. And, you know what the best part is? When I participated in theater and figure skating during my teenage years and early twenties, I was so depressed and miserable that I didn’t even enjoy it. Frankly, I didn’t want to get out of bed unless it was to cut, make myself throw up, or get drunk. So, of course I didn’t fully get to experience the joys of skating and theater no matter how much I wanted to.

Now, since I’m in a better place in my life, I am ready to finally revel in the fun, excitement, and craft of acting as well as continue on with my skating. I feel proud that I’m letting myself get back into my once loved hobbies instead of falling into the trap of not doing it because I haven’t in so long. Being on the ice again was just like riding a bike and I know that acting will be the same way. I feel happy and I can’t wait to dive into this new adventure!

Do you have any exciting news to share? Who else has been bit by the acting bug? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

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Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

Nurturing your inspiration is a vital requirement if you hope to continually enjoy your best creative self from year to year. Remember that creativity is a fire to be kindled, not a pool that continually refills no matter how you encourage it. Many people think that reading books, watching movies or television, and even playing story-driven video games are simply efforts in pure recreation. However, are they really? Consider what you are doing during this time. You are intellectually absorbing a story, emotionally feeling through the methods the medium is using to present its ideas to you, as well as serving as a way of connecting with narratives that may not be present in your life.

This is why stories and recreational entertainment will always be a powerful tool for inspiration. For example, no good writer has ever managed to write an amazing book without being skilled in the art of reading or understanding the narrative elements that help a book come to full fruition. Every painter can list their favorite paintings. Even some of the best stories known are inspired projects. For all of the incredible writing and extremely polished narrative arcs of the Harry Potter series, even JK Rowling herself has credited the New Testament and Joseph Campell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ as helping her formulate the basis of her efforts.

It’s likely that you understand the need for inspiration. But how can you find it in the world around you? Are there methods of helping you attain this without difficulty, or do you need to work at it in order to kindle your levels? Well, not entirely. Consider the following:

Live Theater:

Live theater offers the power of presenting us a story in a dramatized fashion and, as such, can be tremendously useful to see the full visceral and creative power of a story. In order to make the most of this experience, you need to stay present, and also know what to look for in the first place. Heading to the theatre can be an absolutely essential experience for many people, but not enough people head to the shows that aren’t mainstream. The theatre can completely transfix you in thought, show you a story with more intimacy than a movie or TV series ever could, and inspire you with the creative beauty and excellence of actors and dramatists in their prime.

Go to a hit show, like Sleep No More in order to feel sustained, or find your favorite theatre practitioner and decide to view many different plays in their style. Some of the best shows, such as Sleep No More, are adaptions of some of the most famous plays of all time, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There are reasons stories such as these have survived for hundreds of years, and they deserve your attention. This historical performance and memorable peak that is presented to you can really inspire you. How could it not? Heading outside of your comfort zone and to a show like this could be the first bedrock of inspiration you consider applying to your life.

Biographies:

Literature can teach us many things. It can serve as a means of not only shaping the world around us by depending on it artistically but can help us learn the lessons of a period, become intimate with a setting, or understand human nature through both fictional and real-life vessels documented with beautiful language. If you rarely read, you are sorely missing out.

However, instead of insisting that you read Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky in order to feel inspired, sometimes nurturing your own motivation and creative interest on a personal level can be best achieved by reading the biographies of those who you most respect. From people who have managed to turn challenges into beacons of positivity such as Michael J. Fox, or historical figures that spearheaded a movement such as Mary Wollstonecraft, biographies have the power to help us feel and think as a person who we admire.

You might find biographies that inspire you to work out, help you through an injury, or to help you manage loss. Remember that you are human too, so connecting to others through this personal yet private experience can help kindle your inspiration.

Personal Achievements:

Of course, finding inspiration needn’t come from others. Sometimes, you should look to yourself for this. Remember, it’s likely that you are much more amazing than you think and have completed many great achievements that your modesty will not allow you to celebrate. Remember your best self, because this is who you are underneath everything. Understanding this and reminding you of it can help you bring that side of you out more often, and can generally help you feel more comfortable using that side of you to conduct most matters of your life. If you make this effort, you are sure to experience inspiration.

With these tips, you are sure to feel fueled and nourished from day to day as a more inspired individual.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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  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