Saturday, June 16, 2018

Day 287 -On Your Feet, Musical- Dance in Your Seat-Pittsburgh CLO -Benadum Theater


As an 80’s girl, I loved dancing to the beat of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. That Cuban rhythm just makes you want to move! The musical, On Your Feet  tells how this pair overcame adversity to land “on their feet” in the music business.  This show will have you either on your feet or like me, dancing in your seat but it  also wonderfully celebrates Cuban Americans.

"Tradicion" 
Reflection
I expected to hear all of Gloria Estefan’s hits but On Your Feet was so much more. It was a love story, a story about overcoming discrimination, having strength in the face of adversity, and it celebrated family and Cuban heritage. Not to mention that it was a show filled with fantastic dancing and dancers who could swivel their hips at seemingly lighting speed!

The show opened with  the pulse of the hit “The Rhythm is Going to Get You" and  I just wanted to jump up and dance from the start. Homage to their Cuban roots was  woven throughout the story especially as a young Gloria  sang "Cuando Sali De Cuba" (When Left From Cuba)  in Miami’s Little Havana. This song transitioned into Tradicion (Tradition) which exploded with classic energetic rhythmic Cuban drums and fantastic Latin dancing.

Young Gloria " Cuando Dali De Cuba" 
Gloria's iconic hits with the Miami Sound Machine ( 1,2,3,  On Your Feet, and of course, Conga) of course energized the show but her ballads (Hear We Are, Live for Loving You and Don't Want to Lose You Now ) fit the story line as if they were written for the musical. 

The  love story between Gloria (Christie Prades) and Emilio (Mauricio Martinez) was  a potent theme throughout the show.  Their beautiful duet, When I See Your Smile  gave us the first hint of their personal passion and our first taste of Martinez fantastic vocals.

Prades' impressive dancing matched her strong vocals.  In fact, everyone in this show seemed to be on their feet (pun intended) especially the little boy, Carlose Carreras (Nayib, Young Emilio, Jeremy) who stole the show several times with his “fancy feet”.  

Gloria and Emilio ’s story had that “Rocky Theme” of the under dog winning the fight.  They persevered   and overcame barriers to gain acceptance in the music industry, prejudices as Cuban American immigrants, and Gloria  fought back to recover from a spinal injury after a  bus accident.
  She  triumphantly sang  Coming out of the Dark  and  just like in the movie Rocky we all celebrated the successes of these Cuban Americans, ending our celebration with a musical (Mega Mix) that had everyone out of their seat!

 (On Your Feet  runs  from  June 12-17, 2018 at Benedum Theater.  For tickets go to.pittsburghclo.org for the tour go onyourfeetmusical.com/tour/.)

Spiritual Source
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

Other Sources 
 Pittsburgh CLO Pittsburghclo.org
On Your Feet Tour https://onyourfeetmusical.com/tour/

Day 286-William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged)- Fancifully Hilarious Ride through Shakespeare –PPT-O’Reilly Theater



I  must  admit that I subscribe to the group that is not “Shakespeare savvy”.  During my school days, I used the  CliffNotes  to get through my required Shakespeare readings. I  enjoy  a good comedy  so I was willing to try The Reduced Shakespeare Company's comic  parody of  Shakespeare’s most famous characters and speeches in William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged). I was  intrigued to see how this three man show would mash-up  the tales and cover over 70 characters of this notable writer in 2 hours! 

Reflection
I really did not know what to expect  but this play was witty, fast moving, and filled with   physical comedy. It was the pace and silliness that made it so humorous as these 3 friends made quick changes to perform Shakespeare’s long lost  first play. They found the old manuscript in a parking lot in England next to a pile of bones. We all enjoy this  fiction, as these three men try to reduce this 100 hour manuscript, written in Shakespeare’s hand (no  play really exists in Shakespeare’s script) into a 2 hour play.
Puck

The leads  in Shakespeare’s first play are the fairies Puck (Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Ariel (Tempest), not to be confused with Disney’s Ariel in the Little Mermaid. These two fairies are arch enemies and battle, adding mayhem into the lives of over 40 characters such as Juliet, Richard II, Lady Macbeth and Hamlet (view here).

This show contains  puns (which are definitely intended) and clever injected references to politics, movies such as  Harry Potter and Star Wars, and of course  Pittsburgh. It was the  jousting of these themes during  the constant action that produced continual punches of laughter throughout the show.





Three Wiches

I particularly enjoyed the dialogue of the  three witches with the  googly-eyed witch puppet and  Hamlet that just could not make up his mind, “To be or not to be”. This show was a little bit of vaudeville,  Saturday Night Live, and a Warner Brother cartoon all rolled up together resulting in a  fanciful hilarious  ride through Shakespeare!
  
William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged) at the O’Reilly Theater  runs until July 1, 2018. For tickets go to www.ppt.org 

 Other Sources


Friday, June 1, 2018

June Preview

On Your Feet- June 12-17, 2018-Pittsburgh CLO -Benadum Theater


As an 80’s girl, I loved dancing to the beat of Emilo and Gloria Estefan. That Cuban rhythm just makes you want to move! The musical, On Your Feet  tells how this pair overcame adversity to land “on their feet” in the music business. I am sure that I will be either on my feet or moving in my seat during this show!

Join me for On Your Feet  and experience a night of rhythmic pop music and inspiration  from  June 12-17, 2018 at Benedum Theater.  For tickets go to.pittsburghclo.org.

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) comedy - May 31 – July 1, 2018  O’Reilly Theater  












The Reduced Shakespeare Company  brings a comic  parody of  Shakespeare’s most famous characters and speeches in William Shakespeare's Long Lost First Play (abridged). I think this will be the kind of Shakespeare that everyone can enjoy.  It’s a three man show of  quick changes, wit, and more,  as the tales of this  notable writer are told.  

Join me for this “National Lampoon type” night of Shakespeare at the O’Reilly Theater  from May 31-July 1, 2018. For tickets go to www.ppt.org 

Pandas 3D - June 8-21,2018-Rangos Giant Cinema at Carnegie Science Center


Pandas are adorable and in  3D,  on this giant screen, their cute factor should be off the charts!  This 3D film  follows these captive- born pandas' journey back into the wild.  I can’t wait  to visit the Sichuan mountains and enjoy these beautiful animals with this 4K digital technology.

Join me for another immersive nature adventure  with Pandas 3D at the Rangos Giant Cinema. For tickets and times go to carnegiesciencecenter.org. 

             


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Day 285-Perfect Wedding -Finding Love in Confusion-CLO Cabaret


On the day that many were  glued to the TV to watch the royal “perfect  wedding” between  Prince Henry and Meghan Markle, I ventured to a hilarious “not so perfect wedding” at the CLO Cabaret  In  Perfect Wedding  the groom wakes up next to a stranger on the day of his nuptials and he has no idea who she is!  A Perfect Wedding is a romantic comedy where whatever could go wrong does go wrong but it spite of it all, everyone finds love.              

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Day 284 Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella-Partners in Love and Life-Heinz Hall



Everyone knows the Cinderella fairy-tale story where the prince rescues the mistreated girl and she lives happily ever after.This  Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of Cinderella  not only has  humor, amazing music, and an  extravagant set, but also an  independent updated Cinderella.  This version  beautifully  celebrates equal partnership in love and life. It is the perfect treat in this month of  the real fairy-tale wedding of England’s Prince Harry and Megan Markle which broke some traditions and is a real life royal partnership love story. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Day 283 Storm Large & the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS-Love, Lust and Rock ‘n’ Roll-Wild Ride Honoring Love



The Pittsburgh Symphony POPS merges  the symphony with the diverse talents of  other artists giving us symphonic music “with a twist”.   Last weekend,  Storm Large, a 2006 finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova , brought her wild spirit to the show Love Lust and Rock n' Roll.   Her passion and sultry show was a fantastic wild ride honoring  love!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Day 282 Resonance Works-Opera-Dvorak's Rusalka-Charity Randall Theater- Innate Nature



 Rusalka is an opera based on  Slavic mythology which is similar to the Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. It's a love story of  a water nymph who falls for a prince and decides to transform into a human in order to  experience love in the human world but she can not change her innate nature.   I was excited to experience this transformation and the  Resonance Works production of this Czech opera  in the intimate setting of the Charity Randall Theater.   

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Day 281-Pittsburgh Ballet West Side Story Suite+Fancy Free+In the Night-Hybrid of the Arts




For the last show of the 2017-18 ballet season, the Pittsburgh Ballet premiers three dances in celebration of the  100th  birthday of collaborators Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story Suite, Fancy Free and In The Night.   In West Side Story Suite, the Pittsburgh Ballet combines classic dance with the iconic music of  the musical West Side Story. I was excited to  see  these premier dances and  experience “a little rumbling”  with some singing in  West Side Story Suite. This was an interesting hybrid of the arts!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May Preview of Events

Cinderella-May 22-27, 2018 at Heinz Hall              




Dreams really do come true in the  tale of Cinderella. The Broadway musical, Cinderella , is a  perfect treat in the month of  the real royal wedding of England’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This Rodgers and Hammerstein version with some humor, amazing music, and an  extravagant set  is sure to be a fairy tale evening.

Join me for a night where dreams come true in Cinderella  at the Heinz Hall on May 22-27, 2018. For tickets go to TrustArts.org.

Blog Post here 

 A Perfect Wedding- May 10-August 12, 2018 -CLO Cabaret Theater 


A Perfect Wedding  should be the “perfect” romantic comedy  as wedding season approaches. (I am going to 2 weddings in June). The day of the  nuptials the groom wakes up next to a stranger and has no idea who she is.  This sounds a little like the move The Hangover that had me in tears laughing.

Join me for a Perfect Wedding at the Cabaret at Theater Square from May 10-August 12, 2018 and see how the groom gets out of this one. For tickets go to TrustArts.org.

Blog Post to follow 


Storm Large with The Pittsburgh Symphony POP- May 11-13, 2018-Heinz Hall

  
Storm Large, a 2006 finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova , will bring her  wild spirit to the show Love Lust and Rock n' Roll  with the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS. I love how the symphony brings a variety of artist and conductors to entertain. Under the direction of Michael Krajewski, this should be an interesting  rock 'n' roll spin on her tribute  love!

Join me at Heinz Hall on May 11-13, 2018 for a passionate and sultry Storm Large with the Pittsburgh Symphony for a little Love, Lust and Rock n' Roll. For tickets go to https://pittsburghsymphony.org.

Blog Post to here

Resonance Works Opera- Dvořák’s Rusalka May 11 and May 13, 2018-Charity Randall Theater


I have never seen a production of Resonance Works. Rusalka is an opera based on  Slavic mythology which is similar to the Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid . It's a love story of a mermaid that falls for a prince and must decide to give up her voice and immortality to become human.

Join me for this love story  at   Charity Randall Theater, 4301 Forbes, Ave on May 11 and May 13, 2018. For tickets go to http://www.resonanceworks.org.

Blog Post to here 

Decades Rewind-Music of 60's 70's and 80's-May 5, 2018-Byham 


Decades Rewind is a musical  party of sound and visuals of the  60’s, 70’s and 80’s (see Day 189).
When you’re a child of these decades you know all the hit songs and when you hear the music, you sing the words, you add a little dancing, and then bingo-you’re in your own special flashback memory. I saw this show last year and it was  non-stop fun! 

Join me for a musical celebration  of three decades  in Decades Rewind on May 5, 2016 at the Byham Theater. For tickets go TrustArts.org.

Blog Post here

 West Side Story Suit+ Fancy Free+ In The Night with PBT Orchestra May 4-6, 2018-Benedum



For the last show of the 2017-18 ballet season, the Pittsburgh Ballet premiers three dances in celebration of the  100th  birthday of collaborators Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story, Fancy Free and In The Night.  

West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals. The Pittsburgh Ballet combines classic dance with the iconic music of this musical and the dancers even sing!

Join me for  Pittsburgh Ballet 's three premiers and  experience a ballet with some singing on May 4-6, 2018 at the Benedum Theater.  For tickets go to https://www.pbt.org/.

Blog Post here


Monday, April 30, 2018

Day 280 WordPlay-Storytelling With a Musical Spin-An Intimate Experience




The Bricolage Theater  is synonymous  with “adventurous theater”.  It  is a forum were art can be  pushed to new limits.   In the show WordPlay, actors, writers, and just ordinary people, tell their own stories with the injection of music.  This is grown- up storytelling with literally a spin as a  DJ spins real-time soundtracks during the dialogue. I recently saw this show which was an entertaining yet intimate experience as strangers shared their lives.