Sunday, December 30, 2018

Day 316-Elf the Musical-Sing Out Loud for All to Hear



It’s a tradition in our house to watch the movie Elf  every Holiday Season. The musical, based on the comedic movie, tells the story of Buddy who was raised by Santa  after he slipped into Santa’s bag one Christmas Eve. Buddy towers over Santa’s elves and does not have the knack for building toys; but Buddy is full of Christmas spirit. He ventures to NYC in search of his real dad, finds love and spreads his infectious cheer throughout the city.


Reflection
According to my blog inspiration psychologist  Maslow, remaining “child-like” in life is a characteristic of a person who strives to reach their personal best or reach self -actualization.  Elf is a grown-up that has the Christmas wonder and excitement of a child all rolled together. The musical differs in some ways from the movie but still has the element of Buddy’s infectious holiday cheer. 

The show opened with Santa’s elfs singing that Buddy is  “Happy All Time”. Santa (not Papa Elf like in the move) narrated the tale of  Buddy, who wearing his green suit, navigates through  NYC searching for his real dad.
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Elf , with some adult humor and a brightly colored set that resembled pages from a story book, kept  both adults and children entertained. The story is so appealing because it is about someone who is always smiling, whose food staple is candy and who loves to sing. Buddy   even accomplishes to get cynical New Yorkers to believe in Santa again. In many ways Buddy amplifies and does what we wish we could all do-navigate through life always seeing it as "half full."

As a lover of the movie, I was skeptical about any actor other then Will Ferrell playing this character.  Eric Williams was  terrific. He had the right tall and lanky stature and wide eyed child- like expressions. He gave us  just  the right amount of “kid and adult” to make the character as lovable as a teddy bear. Williams’ strong vocals and dancing abilities anchored the show with his adorable half- brother, Michael (Grady Miranda) and his love interest ,Jovie (Paloma D’Auria) who belted “Never Fall in Love (with an Elf)”.

My face was sore from smiling. My mother did not see the movie Elf did the same.
The charm  of this show is an upbeat Buddy who reminds us all to tap into our child -like nature,  get excited about Christmas and spread cheer by “singing loud for all to hear”.  

(Elf runs from December 26 to 30, 2018 at Heinz Hall.For tickets and more on PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh go to trustarts.org.)



Other sources
https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Day 315- A Magical Cirque Christmas- Gracefully Sparkled and Amazed- Kindling the Spirit of Christmas




A Magical Cirque Christmas, from the producers of the Broadway hit The Illusionistrecently brought their new holiday spectacular  to Pittsburgh. Performers from around the world showcased their talents in this modern circus that was accompanied by live holiday music. This show kindled the spirit and excitement of Christmas with amazing acts,  acrobatic beauty, comedy and illusions. It was a night that sparkled and amazed.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Day 214- Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin- Meet the Man behind a Lifelong Love of Song and America

In Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Felder transforms into this American composer, telling his life story and playing his songs. Berlin has a long list of legendary compositions with a resume of 18 Broadway shows, 16 featured films, 232 top 10 hits and 10 number one hits.  This  was a night to meet the man behind the music- a  man who loved music and America, a man with a philosophy that “if you can sing you will never give up” in life.     

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Day 313 Phipps Conservatory “Let it Glow”- Relax and Share the Wonder of the Season


The weeks surrounding  the Holiday Season often involve that panic rush feeling "to get it all done.” We forget as my blog inspiration book, “Everything I Learned About Christmas, I Learned From A Little Golden Book”, reminds us that Christmas should be a “time of wonder, a time like no other time of the year.”   At Phipps Conservatory,  the beauty brings back the wonder of the season as you navigate through the 8 rooms of nature infused with lights, Christmas trees and  poinsettias,  as well as 6 permanent  botanical  gardens.

It is so magical that I have decided to make experiencing the winter wonderland at the Phipps an empty nest tradition. It is even better to share this magic with friends and family making memories and even getting that perfect Holiday card picture.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Day 312 A Musical Christmas Carol-Pittsburgh CLO-Refreshing Reminder Tis the Season for Family, Love and Second Chances




Everyone knows the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol”. It is a traditional Christmas tale of hope, redemption and second chances. This production  adds  all the  familiar Christmas carols  to this beloved story  with characters Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. A Musical Christmas Carol  is a reprieve from the commercial holiday and brings Christmas into focus as a time where it is better to give than to receive – a season  for family and love for mankind.   

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Day 311 Hilaree Nelson-Adventurer- Explorer-Live Outside the Box




Hilaree Nelson is one of the first Women to summit Mt Everest and its neighbor peak, Lhotse, in a single 24 hour  period. As part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust lecture series, this adventurer recently brought her  National Geographic Live Tour, The Point of No Return, to Pittsburgh. She shared her adventure of leading a team of elite climbers on a grueling climb to the summit of Bruma's Hkakobo Razi (a remote peak in the Asian country of Myanmar). Her amazing story of determination and passion for the climb was an inspiration to never quit and “live outside the box”.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December Preview of Events

Elf the Musical -December 26 to Dec 30, 2018-Heinz Hall



It’s a tradition in our house to watch the movie Elf  every Holiday Season. The musical based on the comedic movie, tells the story of Buddy who was raised by Santa  after he slipped into Santa’s bag one Christmas Eve. Buddy towers over Santa’s elves and does not have the knack for building toys but Buddy is full of Christmas spirit. He ventures to NYC in search of his real dad, finds love and spreads his infectious cheer through the city.

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Join me  from December 26 to 30, 2018 at Heinz Hall and believe just like Buddy, that the “best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. For tickets trustarts.org.

Blog post here

Sunday, December 2, 2018

310 Sweat-Pittsburgh Public Theater-Riveting, Powerful, so Real




Sweat is a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning play about the struggles of the Olstead’s Steel Tubing workers in Reading, Pennsylvania. This play dives into the lives of close friends from 2000 to 2008 as they face the consequences of a changing economy. It’s a powerful story on how our livelihood is the thread that holds together identities, relationships and survival. Sweat is a riveting experience that exposes what happens when that thread is cut.