A way to survive the empty nest and a "cracked "relationship with a fun daily challenge of new experiences, reflections, sources, and some biblical guidance. I hope this blog which offers a fun journey to survive by trying something new, either vicariously or by doing, will result in a survival tool kit to replace the past familiar doing, giving, and/or incorporating the interest of your child or your long gone love interest, with some new self interest(s).
The Pittsburgh Broadway 2017-18 season opened with "School of Rock”, the musical, with music by Andrew
Lloyd Weber. The play is based on the 2003 movie with the same name. If you like kids then you will love this lighthearted play because the best part of the show is experiencing the kids powerhouse musical talent as they
perform rock n roll live.
School of Rock is about a die-hard struggling rocker, Dewey (Rob Colletti), who after getting kicked out of his band impersonates his friend, Ned (Matt Bitter), in order to land a job as a substitute teacher in a prestigious prep school. Dewey has
little interest in teaching until he witnesses
the students’ musical talent. He introduces
them to his passion, rock music, and forms a band of 5th graders to compete in
the Battle of the Bands.
The young cast in this show have a powerhouse of musical talent. I got goose bumps when Zack (Pheonix Schuman) played a riff on the guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) plucked the base, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) played a run on the key boards and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) pounded the drums.
In the School of Rock we see the transformation of anxious kids stemming from parental pressure to achieve high academic performance, to ones that gain confidence as part
of a band. These kids expressed that
they just wanted their parents to hear
them as they sang, “If Only You Would Listen”. We join in their excitement as they developed a feeling of belonging when Dewey made them all part of the band in, “Your In the Band” (watch here).
Dewey teaches his band that the spirit of
Rock n Roll is to , "Stick it to the Man”. He encouraged them to use the energy produced from things that made them angry. The students rattled off what made them angry such as
“parents that don’t pay attention to them” or "being over scheduled”. We all know children that might say the same thing (maybe even our own)!
The show is humorous, fun, and energetic. It reminds us that "Rock n Roll is not about being perfect" but about expression or having a voice.
(School of Rock that
runs until Oct 22nd was a great
kick off to a PNC Broadway Series. I will continue to keep the Broadway series
in my survival tool box. The next show, “Color Purple” runs form November 14th
to November 19th). `
My Blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book” reminds us
to “be unique” and unique is just what you get with Black Violin. Classically
trained violist (Wil B) and violinist (Kev Marcus) fuse classical
music with hip hop, pop and rock. They call their new musical genre “Classical Boom”. Their
music is not just about a new sound but as Wil B said during their show, it is about “breaking stereotypes, thinking outside the box and creating your own path.”
I have always enjoyed
the symphony and even a little violin/fiddle as in the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” but I never really listened to hip hop. I was curious
how they would put it all together.
Black Violin exploded with energy from the start. I definitely picked out bits and pieces of familiar classical music as they played. Then they mixed in beat boxing rhythms and song hooks by using a DJ and/or a rock beat from a phenomenal drummer. They added the violin and viola to pop
songs from Bruno Mars (Uptown Funk), Ed Sheeran
(The Shape of You) and Marvin Gaye (Let’s get it On).
The audience was often on their feet scything an arm through the air in time with the beat and words. I particularly enjoyed the song “Invisible” from their third released
album Stereotypes, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical
Crossover Chart and # 4 on Billboard R&B Chart (listen here).
Encore with students from Hope Academy and Pittsburgh CAPA
Black Violin’s commitment to music outreach was evident during the encore which was played with students
from Hope Academy and Pittsburgh CAPA. These school kids aging from 7 to 17, sounded terrific and their excitement for playing string instruments was infectious.
These two guys sure created their own enjoyable musical path and by doing so, encourage others to "think outside the box".
dedication to innovation and creativity this event and more are brought to Pittsburgh
by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust , part
of the 2017-2018 Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series. I definitely will continue to see what new “outside
the box” shows are next at www.trustarts.org.)
Don’t copy the
behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. (Romans 12:2)
I have seen several operas,
some modern (Day 212) and some classical (Day 143), but they have all been larger than life
productions. What I love about the opera is that it is not really about the story but about the way the set, voices, and symphony combust to produce the overall "operatic experience." The best way to describe Puccini’s "Tosca" was a
powerful vocal and musical explosion!
I have seen many plays but never one as powerful, as thought provoking, or as visually interesting as Equus. Equus tackles
the question that most of us ask when we hear about a horrific crime or
event-“why?” In this drama, Martin Dysart, a child psychiatrist, searches for the source of the pain in a teenage boy, Alan Strang, that birthed
a horrific act of horse mutilation. As the puzzle unfolds, we discover that the act of worshiping a higher being
or thing can be a powerful catalyst for good or evil.
I have recently enjoyed
several tribute band’s recreations
of music from the 80’s and 90’s (see Days 220 and 222 ).
Adam Ant is a UK 80’s Punk Rock/New Wave icon. I remembered going to an Adam Ant concert as a 80's high school girl at the now long gone Syria Mosque with my best friend Paul (who quiescently
changed his name to Adam). We dressed in
“new wave” garb by wearing black and
white, garnishing our outfits with safety pins
and adding white stripes under
our eyes. We jumped like crazy to the energetic pulsating drum beat of Adam and the Ants. When I heard that he was touring again I was off to a new venue, The
Palace Theater in Greensburg, to see the real deal and once again experience the high octane music of Adam Ant!