Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day 202- Riverdance 20th anniversary-Amazing-Benedum Pittsburgh

Riverdance is on its 20th year of touring and I have never seen the show!  I love  to watch dance (see Day 193-Pilbolus & Day 90-Nutcracker ) so I thought that  it was time to see why this show has had such a long run and get my Irish fix on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. My son was home, so even though he needed a push to go, we both were amazed at the show. I overheard several people say “I thought it would be good but did not know it would be this good!”  

Russian Dance, Flamenco too!
I first saw Riverdance on  a television PBS special about 10 years ago. Back then,  I was amazed at the skill of the dance and loved the  mixture of tapping with ballet but nothing compares to seeing it live.  This show started with a foggy stage and the classic haunting flute as the men, and then the troupe, preformed the iconic Irish tapping  with military precision. The whole show was intense with the pulse of the drums and the electrifying rhythms from the dance. At times the tapping was so fast that my ears almost could not  keep up with the pace. As the dancers upper bodies remained  still, your eyes are drawn to the legs and feet with entertaining amazement. (My thighs ached as I watched them and I couldn’t help but wonder  how many  calories they burned as they danced).

The show had a balance of music and dance.  In the song, “The Heart’s Cry,” the lead vocal had an  angelic  pure  sound. The Irish sound was beautifully harmonized with the other singers as they sang about love.  There was also plenty of the traditional  Celtic  sounding music with  uilleann pipes, fiddle, drums, flute and saxophone. ( see show clip here).

Men duel with styles, American vs Irish 

The  show took the audience on a ride from the Irish coast to Spain, Russia, and then America. There were two brilliant Flamenco dances by soloist Marta Oritz Duesto.  Her hand and upper body moved like waves in  contrast to  her pounding feet. The Russian acrobatic men dancers reached amazing heights as they jumped and the girls twirled faster than a top. The most fun was the men’s dance that dueled the looser jazzy “American style,” against the tight  “Riverdance style” of dance.


I particularly enjoyed the  intensity of the all women dance, “Anna Livia” and the  all  male dance, “Thunderstorm."  This show with its energetic  rhythm (either from the tapping,the drums,or the music) made a perfectly amazing St. Patrick’s Day celebration,  I see why Riverdance has entertained for  20 years!  

( Be amazed  by Riverdance from March 17th to 19th at the Benedum Center as part of the Cultural Trust  events or on tour). 

Spiritual Source
Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe. And they praised God, saying over and over again,”We have seen amazing things today.” (Luke 5:26)

Other Sources
Cultural Trust

Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 201 Brit Floyd-Music of Pink Floyd- Immersion Tour at Benedum Pittsburgh

My first experience with the  music of the British  rock band, Pink Floyd, was in college.  I was  not  a  “rock and roll” girl but a disco queen  in college mostly because I loved to dance.  One  of my roommates gave me  head phones and  I listened to the entire  album of “The Wall”laying down in a dim lit room.  I could not believe the musical experience with  the voices, sounds (laughter), and instrumentals. I assure you that no drugs were involved but  I was taken on an escape, a relaxing ride,  and  I was hooked on the band. My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from A Little Golden Bookreminds us to “use your imagination” and that is just what I remember doing that day in my college dorm as I was immersed in the music.   I was excited to see if  Brit Floyd, which is a Pink Floyd cover band, could capture the experience.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 200- Musical, Daddy Long Legs-Secret of Happiness and Lemieux Family Center Event at O’Rielly

March 9 to April 9 at  O'Rielly

Pittsburgh Public Theater  held an event to support  The Children's Home of Pittsburgh and the Lemieux Family Center before the second night of the musical "Daddy Long Legs" at the O'Rielly Theater. This organization which offers adoption services, a pediatric  hospital and a day care for medically fragile children, seemed like the perfect charity to combine with this play. Daddy Long Legs is about an orphaned girl (Judy), who goes to college because a generous anonymous trustee (Jervis) finances her studies. This musical is really about Judy's educational, social, and personal growth, and her  secret to happiness.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 199-Travel Around the World- Play at Epcot (Orlando)

As noted in Day 198-Winter Park, Florida, it's been 15 years since I visited the  theme parks in Orlando and back then my son was only 5 years old. At that time, it was an exhausting Disney World experience keeping my son entertained in the long lines, finding food that he would eat, and avoiding an over tired child meltdown. Even with all that,  I was still joyous when experiencing my son’s Disney excitement.  This empty nest experience was new. I was playing as an adult and I chose  Epcot so that  I could travel around the world in a day.
Disney  1999,  loved  my son's joy 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Day 198 Beauty in Winter Park, FL- Orlando, museums, peacocks, lakes and more


Since February and March in Pittsburgh can be the perpetual rain and gray sky months, I say fly south for some beauty. From Pittsburgh there are reasonable and sometimes down right cheap direct  flights to Orlando. However I have not been to Orlando since 2002 when I did the Disney thing with my 5 year old son. Like most, I associate Orlando with Disney parks and endless exhaustive walking but  my friend introduced me to a lake community, Winter Park, Florida. It’s 7 miles from Orlando and  a small gem offering so much beauty in a quaint town with lakes, museums, peacocks and  more.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day 197 Fat Tuesday-Milk Shake Factory

I have to admit that in my world  ice cream is a basic food group. My opinion is not based on any nutritional science but based purely on my  love for the stuff (see Day 10- Brewery and Ice cream).  I cannot pass an ice cream establishment  without indulging!  Therefore,  I  have no problem following the wisdom of my blog  inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book that suggests,“treat yourself.” On this Fat Tuesday, the last feast day before the Lenten fast, I choose to have my feast with an ice-cream shake at the Milk Shake Factory.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day 196-Pittsburgh Symphony POPS Broadway Standing Ovations-Feel the Music

I have had a run of Broadway show experiences lately (see Day 168 Kinky Boots,  Day 171 Finding Neverland , and Day 191 Something Rotten) so when I heard that the  Pittsburgh Symphony POPS  had a show, “Broadway Standing Ovations," I thought  that it would be perfect to experience  a variety of  the best  from Broadway with the full sound of  the Pittsburgh Symphony.  What I got was  such a powerful  sound that  during the show I had the  urge  to stand in appreciation, especially in the second half. You  could not help but feel the music! It was a standing ovation!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Day 195 Oaks Theater- John McIntire's Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show

As a kid, I always loved talk shows like the “Johnny Carson Show," which is now "Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel." On occasion  I enjoy the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Therefore, when I heard about a comedy/talk show with some locals: the Mayor, Bill Peduto; Pirate's announcer,
Greg  Brown; and WQED’s, Rick Sebak, I thought that I would venture to a new place, the Oak Theater, and see what it was all about.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Day 194 Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop- Love Lives in Memories –Happy Valentine’s Day

On this Valentine’s Day, one of my blog inspiration books, Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From A Little Golden Book, says it so well, “love lives in our memories of simple, happy times.”  When I found Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop in the Pittsburgh's Strip District, the candies of my childhood brought back some  memories of those simple happy times.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 193 Pilobolus-Collaborative and Inventive Dance

My Blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book  reminds us to, “use your imagination.” The  dance company, Pilobolus does this by pushing  the limits of  creativity and imagination to tell a story with movement.  I experienced this company in the 80’s as a high school and later as a college dancer. I loved how they contorted, formed, and molded, the body with an element of pantomime to express feelings and to tell stories with humor. This show, Shadowland,  uses dance and  shadows formed by the body, by its parts (hands, feet and legs), and by the collective dancers, to produce an explosion of screen images.  These images, are far better than the bunny or bird shadows  that  we all have made to amuse
 ourselves or entertain our children.