Monday, September 21, 2020

Day 373 - City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival- Adapting Live Shows- Lifting Our Spirits

 As a lover of the arts, I have had “theatre withdrawal” during the pandemic. I had accepted the grim reality that live shows would take an intermission for some time. My desire to find an activity outside the home and to stay safe caused a reoccurring dilemma just like the song lyrics, “should I stay or should I go.”  City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival put a kibosh to the conundrum and gave me the green light to go when they offered live performances in a safe social distancing drive-in theatre venue.  Like many, I am tired of staring at a computer for work, school and entertainment. I applaud the creativity and collaboration of the arts community in adapting live shows to lift our spirits.

Reflection

City Theater held true to its mission to provide “ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience.” This Arts Festival included collaborations with the Pittsburgh arts community to provide a variety in the entertainment: the symphony (Pittsburgh Symphony),  jazz (MCG Jazz), hip hop (August Wilson African American Center), magic (Pittsburgh Cultural Trust/Liberty Magic) and more.  According to  City Theater's Artistic Director, Marc Masterson, “this festival drew from local talent for shows that unify and uplift the spirt.”  I think that we could all use a little dose of that, especially now.   

Entering the drive- in we were greeted by an array of people who directed our car with enthusiasm. I presumed that they were smiling under their masks.  I brought my dinner to enjoy before the show but I forgot the popcorn. (There is something religious about popcorn at the drive-in.) Even without it, I had a smile plastered on my face because I was going to see live shows.                        

Mars Jackson

 I have had limited exposure to rap/hip hop but Mars Jackson had me singing the catch phrases of his music. His sound was jazzy with a little  R &B undertone combined with rap. The show started with a solo Jackson and DJ, later added a smooth vocalist, Cam Chambers, and ended with a full band crescendo.  I wanted to jump out of my car and move to Heart Dance but opted for flashing my car lights and honking the horn (both encourage to show appreciation).

Jackson’s message was uplifting with lyrics like, “Be who you are” and “Keep my faith and hold my head high. Life’s a journey we shall survive. More Happy Days for you and I.”  His show was a positive light.

Lee Terbosic

Lee Terbosic is an expert on Harry Houdini and he even recreated Houdini's upside-down straight jacket escape in Pittsburgh in 2016. He performed his show “In Plain Slight” giving us a dose of card tricks, mind reading, humor and a little story telling.  I never thought that I would experience a magic show at a drive- in but these are crazy times.   

Wearing my mask I walked the parking lot and observed that the magic worked from various angles. More importantly, I saw families gathered together, heard car horns serenading  in appreciation  and people just having fun.

 Both shows, although very different, sure did uplift my spirits. Next time I will be sure to bring the popcorn.  

(City Theater’s Drive-in Arts Festival runs until September 27,2020. The festival will be followed by a production of  Frankenstein from September 30 to October 16, 2020. For tickets and more information on shows go to citytheatrecompany.org)

 Spiritual Reflection

A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken sprit dries the bones(Proverbs 12:22)

Other Source

https://citytheatrecompany.org/

https://trustarts.org/pct_home/events/series/liberty-magic

https://pittsburghsymphony.org/

https://www.trustarts.org/


  



Saturday, September 12, 2020

Day 371- Remember 9/11- Flight 93 National Memorial (Shanksville, PA)- Pause Refection on Unity

 

A common field one day. A field horror the next

Like many, I remember EXACTLY what I was doing on September 11, 2001 when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.  During this horrific event “time stood still” and we were glued to the television watching repetitious replays of the events. Yet this monstrous day somehow birthed a feeling of unity in this country. Stores were sold out of American flags. The American flag waved everywhere, on cars, homes, lawns and television. There was a united spirit to help, pray and care for one another.    

 During the present time of social distancing, protests and polarized elections, visiting the memorials are powerful reminders to pause, put aside our differences and unite as we honor those that left this world  on September 11, 2001.  

Reflection

Flight 93 National Memorial 

Shanksville Pennsylvania is where 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 thwarted the hijacked plane which was heading toward the US Capitol on September 11, 2001. The first time I visited only a fence and mementos were at the site.  This was before the memorial was built but even then, it was humbling to stand in front of  the make shift memorial as the Park Ranger told the story of  horror and heroism on that day.

 


At the site now you will find a well thought out memorial and impressive tribute to the heroes on that flight. During the visit we took in the beauty of the picture perfect day and the sorrow in silence. A visit here is a very individual personal experience.

The museum walks you through the sequence of events on September 11th with TV footage and more. It brought me back to my living room chair when I watched the events live in 2001. Waves of sadness flowed followed by satisfaction that we had a way to remember and honor those  heroes on that day. It was sorrowful yet healing.  

You can walk the flight path fight path or look over a balcony to view the site of impact. The balcony railing inscription proclaimed a reflective truth- “A common field one day. A field of horror forever.” 

The “Wall of Names” is beautiful marble sculpture inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew.  From the front view it resembles one solid wall  but from a side vantage you can see each angled panel. It symbolizes that these individuals worked as one united force against the evil that day.

"The Tower of Voices" is a reminder of the heroism  when you enter the park and upon leaving.   Although still under  construction, it is an impressive 93 foot tall tower and will hold forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members of the flight. It seemed to reach to the heavens.

The visit was somber and humbling but also peaceful because we had a means to  honor the heroism and the lives lost.  I  reflected on a time when an evil brought forth the good in so many individuals and when our country focused on what unites us not on what divides us. 

 (The Flight 93 National Memorial is approximately 1 ½ hour drive from Pittsburgh. The park is open 360 days a year, 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and a mask is required)

Spiritual Reflection

We urge you brothers and sisters…encourage the disheartened. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

 Other Sources

https://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm

memorial plaza https://www.nps.gov/flni/planyourvisit/plaza.htm

visitor center https://www.nps.gov/flni/planyourvisit/vc.htm


 

 











Friday, May 22, 2020

Day 370 -Happy 143 Day-A day to Remember Kindness and Love



Mr. Rodgers stature with mom (Pgh North Shore)
 Today is the 143 day  of the year, a day of kindness and love initiated by Pittsburgh icon Mr. Rodgers. During this pandemic when stress levels are high and protesters are in the news, we all could use a reminder from Mr. Rodger's to say "Happy 143 Day" and celebrate with a little dose of  kindness and love for others and self.  

Friday, May 1, 2020

Day 369 Liberty Magic@Home -A virtual Magical Experience Every Friday- Where Thoughts of Covid- 19 Disappear and Objects Reappear



Just prior to the pandemic lock-down in February 2020, Pittsburgh’s Liberty Magic, a venue dedicated solely to the art of the sleight of hand, celebrated its one year anniversary.  For two seasons, world-renowned magicians wowed, amazed and brought a variety of personal approaches to the "magic show" for an adult audience. Magic@Home continues the show with a virtual magical experience. Host Zoe Ruth, Venue Manger of Liberty Magic, brings interviews and tricks with two new magicians to the virtual stage every Friday at 7.30 pm. Tune into Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Youtube or Facebook live  every Friday and watch your thoughts of  Covid-19 disappear  as objects reappear during this magical home experience.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Day 368 Earth Day-Virtual Celebration-Pandemic by-product, Blossoming Earth


Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Pittsburgh’s Global connection with Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day celebration has gone digital in the present age of social distancing. Although Pittsburgh’s Earth Day has been moved to August due to Covid- 19, organizers have put together a variety of  virtual activities to explore for several weeks to come. One of the positive by-product of this pandemic has been cleaner waters and bluer skies. It seems that the earth decided to blossom this spring in celebration of Earth Day.   

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Day 367- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater-“Ailey All Access”-Weekly Free Performances



During this “stay home” period, I have been in search of new “art experiences.” New York based Alvin Ailey Dance Theater offers "Ailey All Access"- weekly full-length dance videos from their repertory every Thursday, Ailey dancer conversations on Instagram live every Wednesday and Saturday at 1 pm, and virtual dance classes.  This is an opportunity to experience this modern ballet dance company whose mission is to use “the beauty and humanity of the African-American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and backgrounds” through dance. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Day 366-Easter-Passover-Spring


This Holiday looks a little different in the shadow of the Coronavirus. We celebrate even as we stay home and keep our distance from others and our loved ones. I wanted to share one of my favoret Psalms in the mist of it all.

Reflection

The LORD is my Shepherd;
     I have everything I need.
 He lets me rest in green meadows;
      he leads me beside peaceful streams
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
      bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk 
       through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid, 
        for you are close beside me.'
Your rod and your staff 
       protect and comfort me.
(PSALM 23:1-4)

Wishing you all an enjoyable modified holiday as we adapt to our changing world.  We can find  peace and rest in the constant of nature, newness of spring and promise of love this holiday.




Friday, April 10, 2020

Adapting during Pandemic -New Ideas

Free Drive- in Movies- Boyce Park, South Park and Hartwood Acres- Through the beginning October 2020

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Located in three area parks, it’s "date night" or "family night" at the drive-in. Get this, all shows are absolutely free. The parks open at 6pm and shows start at dusk.

Even though you might have seen some of the movies, it's a great way to celebrate the nostalgia of a drive-in and fight "pandemic fatigue."(All of us at a certain age have a drive -in story to tell.)

Join me for a movie at one of the three area parks and create some new drive-in memories. Don't forget your popcorn! Here are the schedules:  

Harwood Acers(Friday and Saturday through Oct 3rd) schedule click  here

South Park (Thursday and Friday Through October 1st) schedule click here

Boyce Park (Tuesday, Thursday through September 29) click schedule here


City Theater-Drive-in Arts Festival-Live Shows-September 10 through 27, 20202





As a lover of the arts, I have had “theater withdrawal” since the pandemic. Like many, I am tired of staring at a computer screen for work, school and entertainment.

City Theater has turned an old steel mill site (Hazelwood Green) into a venue for the arts. The City Theater Drive-in Arts Festival  offers a variety of  live shows in a  safe venue.   

Join me for a show and applaud the art community  for using creativity and adapting during the pandemic. I hope with our support, This will only be the beginning. 

For tickets and more information on shows go to citytheatrecompany.org.

        ( For Blog Post click here

        On-Line Theater Entertainment -Dates Varies


Who would have thought  that a virus could cause such a life paradigm shift  in a few months. As we all navigate though this pandemic, I find comfort in the Pittsburgh Trust's sign- "This is Just Intermission." When it's safe to be back, I am looking forward to exploring the Trust's 2020-21 Broadway season (preview here), the Pittsburgh CLO and more. There are still a variety of one-line arts programing free or for a small fee. 

Day 364-Good Friday- St. Anthony's Chapel-Virtual Stations of The Cross-Love and Peace out of Death and Pain


On this Good Friday I am re-posting  the Station of the Cross experience at St. Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill. I am sharing the memory during this time of "stay home and stay safe." The beauty and peace that this little chapel offers is so needed as we all navigate through this pandemic. Although we can not visit the chapel this Easter season, the stations can be viewed live today from 12 pm to 1 pm   on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pghshrines.

 I  long to see that little chapel in Troy Hill that I discovered several years ago (see Day 35 )  but I am looking forward to this new experience of a virtual Station of The Cross.  The stations of the cross (the telling of the story to Calvary) is a beautiful experience at St. Anthony's Chapel  with life sized sculptures. It reminds us that  love and peace can come out of death and pain. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Day 363- Hollywoodland -Trust Cabaret Series-Intimate Evenings with the Best of Broadway



You get an intimate evening of music with  the Trust Cabaret Series  which brings top notch recording and Broadway talent to the Greer Cabaret Theater. Hollywoodland: Songs of the Silver Screen recently brought together three powerhouse vocalists, Jane Monheit, Jim Caruso (originally from Pittsburgh) and singer-pianist Billy Stritch. The lighthearted classic Hollywood musical movies of the 1930's, 1940’s and 1950’s where Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and others sang and danced were the focus of the night.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Day 362-Cats- PNC Broadway- a “Purrfect” Night to Embellish A New Beginning


The musical Cats is the fourth longest running show on Broadway. This show with colorful costumes, non-stop energized dancing and a beautiful musical score by Andrew Loyd Webber, was all the rage in the 80’s when I first saw it with my parents.  The show revolves around the annual Jellicle Ball where cats gather to choose the one among them that will be reborn to a new life. This show now seemed more applicable to my human life because this blog is all about trying new things and new beings after a life change.  Cats was a “purrfect”  night to celebrate the chosen Jellicle cat’s rebirth and to embellish the idea of a life “do over” -a new beginning.