Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day 211- Pittsburgh Public Theater, Death of Salesman –Which American Dream?

Bendard (Shaun Hall) and Willy (Zach Grenier)*

Death of a Salesman, written in 1946 by playwright Arthur Miller, is one of those classic tragedies that we all have to read at some point in our educational history. This play is well known for  an analysis of the “American Dream”. Willy (Zach Grenier), a 63 year old washed up salesman  anguishes over his lack of  self-success and the lack of career accomplishments of his two sons, Happy and Biff (Maxwell  Eddy and Alex Mickiewicz).  He  fades in and out of reality as he relives his  past but in the present, he has a delusional  view of his imagined success. When forced to face his failed “American dream,”  he ends his life.

To be honest, in my youth without much life experience, I just did not get it. In my empty nest period, this play was much more relevant-I think Willy missed the American dream that was right in front of him because of an  unbalanced  focus on being liked by others and  equating success with monetary gain.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 210 Pittsburgh Ballet-Romeo and Juliet- Grand Romance/Love

I have enjoyed dance performances before (see Day 90) and I have seen several ballets but not the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet.  My blog inspiration, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, reminds us to “be romantic”.  As this season comes to close, I was excited to experience the romance and passion of this first time Pittsburgh Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet.

We all know  Shakespeare's story of the two young lovers who would rather end their life than live without each other but this production was so grand. It had 13 scene changes in 3 acts. The sets were magnificent with an elaborate market square, a stone castle home, a garden with the famous balcony, floor to ceiling stained glass in the chapel, beautiful arches in Juliet’s bedroom, and finally, a crypt. An ornate tapestry- like 7 paneled curtain, which  rose and fell  in sections between each scene, directed the audience's  focus on the character(s) by the pattern used.  It looked just like a painting each time!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 209 Celebrate Earth Day-“Ecolution Fashion Show” at Fairmont Hotel/ the Universe and more

Earth Day Pittsburgh celebrates the city’s transformation from steel production to a city with a pulse for green innovations with the theme,“Steel to Sustainable”. The festivities kicked off with the, “Ecolution Fashion Show” at the Fairmont Hotel. My Blog inspiration book," Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book", reminds us that we should remember to, “Look up…Stargaze”. “Plants-Preserving the Wonders of the Universe” was what this show celebrated with art, fashion, food, and dance.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 208 Nightly- Alternative POP at Spirit (Lawrenceville, Pgh)

Nightly in Pittsburgh

I have tried listening to various genres of music and exploring different music venues in my continued  quest to try new things (see Days  169, 172 and 174 ). This is in line with what my blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, recommends, “keep music in your life”.  So I was off to experience Nightly, a band from Nashville and try listening to some alternative pop at a new venue, Spirit, in Lawrenceville.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day 207 STOMP- Enjoy the Rhythm Made From Nothing and Everything

A beat produced from any source (a drum, a hand, or a can) is an instinctive way of human expression that  transcends all  language obstacles.  I think that is what makes  STOMP, a show that  focuses on sound and the creative  percussion of objects, so appealing.  My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Bookrecommends that we, “make something from nothing”. That is just what happens in STOMP- everything and nothing is turned into a nonstop rhythmic experience!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 206 PNC Broadway Pittsburgh/Fun Home –Tackling Real Life but Soaring

"Fun Home" is not like any other musical that I have ever experienced. It’s not a musical where: “boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, and they sing  catchy show tunes that reverberate in your head  for  days”.  After this show,  it was  not the songs that played in my head, but the characters’ pain and joy  expressed through the music.   One  character (Alison) soars after she  openly  comes to terms with the fact that she is a  lesbian, while her  father (Bruce) self destructs from a  life  of  hiding that he is gay.  This musical  tackles real life family issues and is emotionally powerful  entertainment. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 205 PNC Broadway, King and I- Overcoming Cultural Differences and Finding Friendships

As a child, I loved the movie “The King and I.”  I must admit that I had a crush on the king, Yul Brenner, in the movie, bald head and all!  This is a story of  two people from very different cultures (The King of Siam) and the British schoolteacher (Anna), who’s contentious relationship at first  develops into a  loving friendship.  Initially, their ideas are very polarized because their  worlds could not be  more different but by being open to learn about each other, and  by developing a deep respect for each other, a powerful friendship/love evolves.  “The King and I" is all about  the process of  overcoming cultural differences.