Friday, September 30, 2005
Ebony and Ivory 2....a cabaret featuring Eleasha Gamble and Stephen Gregory Smith...November 4th and 5th at Signature Theatre...
Now what you'll see in that cabaret is still unsure...
It always happens this way, folks. Putting a cabaret together is an excruciating, yet rewarding task. And just when you think that you have resolved what your song list is, you listen to all of it in a row, and go...wow....*yawn*.
Such was my yesterday. This is no surprise to me....this happened last year as well...we had just compiled our song list, found some of the music, then realized that we couldn't do some of the songs...they just didn't work.
The problem is this....we need more songs that portray an action...listen up...songs that occupy time away from someone...like...oh....for instance....Drinking Again....or see..I can't think of any....any suggestions?
Recent songs cut: I'm Gonna Be Strong, If you were gay, I Like Beer, Your Smiling Face, Home Again.
Nothing like being down to the wire, huh? No sweat...Eleasha and I put the last one together in 2 weeks...which might happen again...:)
Thursday, September 29, 2005
This gem comes from the BEST place on the web to find strange cinema...
Basic plot goes a lil' something like this...
A newly-hired housekeeper in a remote area is alarmed to discover that her boss's eleven-year-old daughter is using her supernatural powers to take revenge on the people she holds responsible for her mother's death, with the aid of her flesh-eating zombie 'friends'...
Zombie Child(aka: The Child /Kill & Go Hide)(1977) is a grainy, clunky scored gem of a stinkfest...
Alicianne Del Mar (played by the lovely Laurel Barnett) arrives in the heart of the forestry to look after the difficult child, Rosalie. She has broken down and she is now stranded. What are those creatures wandering around the grounds at night? Why does everybody act so strangely? It transpires that Rosalie's mother has recently died and ever since her departure, her only daughter has found comfort visiting the nearby graveyard at night. She admits that the things in the woods don't scare her because they are her friends. Alicia realizes realises that these friends are the murderous zombies who have killed everyone that have, in some way, annoyed the spoiled little girl. The climax involves boarding up every possible entry as the horde of ghouls gather around an old mill to get at Alicianne.
Zombie Child is so peculiar, not to mention obscure and hard to find, you end up liking the film. The eerie misty cemetery scenes and some of the murders are quite well executed for a film whose low budget is obvious in every shot. You even begin to appreciate the silly looking zombies who appear like they've wondered in off the set of Creature from the Black Lagoon.
If you manage to find this old gem, I recommend you check it out. Just wait until you see the mad acting skillz of the nosy neighbor. Especially in the scene preceding her death. Yowzah!
Even extras the extra's...
A featurette called "The Outsider", is a much applauded addition...about a misfit girl's tribulations...it is a 50's educational reel, complete with a questionnaire at the end of the feature.
The narrarator questions... "Susan...Susan Jane...why don't people like you...Is there something the matter with you? Why are you always the outsider...The outsider...the one nobody asks..."
Some girls play with dolls, Rosalie plays with zombies.
This film is an atmospheric cross between Night of the Living Dead and Carrie, by way of The Bad Seed. It is an unnerving creature feature that reminds us just what little monsters children can be.
So, unless you have not read my earlier posts, you know by now that I am obsessed with Halloween...
Well, the current townhouse that I dwell in doesn't have much storage, so for the past 2 years, I've had to haul my 2 giant tubs of horror decor back to PA, to store with my parents... Well, Saturday I am going to meet my parents in Winchester and do the trade off...I am giddy.
It's like getting a whole 2 trunks full of old friends back... These creatures, corpses, and beasties are almost all hand made, and I made all of them with the help of dear friends. Each one of them is special to me for a different reason, and represents a different chapter in my life.
Saturday begins a month full of evenings dedicated to ghoulish creativity.
How glorious is it to have a month where it is ok to create nightmarish creatures out of whatever you have laying around your house and make your house and yard look like a scene from Night of the living Dead? Well, maybe you don't care about all that, but it is heaven on earth to me. Pumpkin carving get togethers, Ghost tours, evenings spent hanging wraith-like creatures from trees...ahh...and that first chill in the air...tonight the air is chilly for the first time...
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
So...maybe it's all the slasher flicks I've been watching in my preparation for my favorite holiday, but Matty and I had the strangest night...
We were house/pet sitting for a friend, and I was out walking their dogs late, and saw two spots in the street where the ground had opened and water was gushing out...we're talking flood, here. LOTS of water. I guess a water main broke...I had never seen something like that before, and now laugh at my stupidity when I asked Matt, "Do you think it was an earthquake?"
Then I decide that he and I should walk to the gas station to buy another pack of smokes. We walk, and the woman tending the store looks bewildered. She said.."You walk here?"
We said... "Yes."
She said, "You shouldn't have...too dangerous..."...she proceeds to tell us that a dead body was found this morning in the construction lot that is not 50 yards from where we were standing. Also, (as if that weren't chipper news enough) , another dead body was found slightly further down the street the night before.
Charming, I think.
Matty and I grab the smokes and start to walk home...past the lot that the body was found in...(This is real shit, folks...I know it sounds a little like The Goonies, but it is true!). We walk briskly. Then I say...maybe we should power walk? (I couldn't run, I was wearing my Prada's...ok so I was wearing flip-flops from Old Navy, but still..) We get back to the house, proceed to shut every blind, and hole up in one room with the 3 dogs (who were looking confused). We didn't really sleep a wink, since the house seemed to be "settling" all night, and was giving off strange noises...or maybe those were the dogs...?
All of this wouldn't have seemed so bad, had I not just watched The Hills Have Eyes earlier in the day. *sigh* Over-active imaginations are a curse sometimes.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Sorry I haven't had as many entries lately...
Between Sean's visit, and my day job, what you see to the left is pretty much what I've been up to.
Did you watch the new Martha Stewart movie last night?
Not as good as the first one, by a long shot. Cybil plays her well, though.
Had a rehearsal for my cabaret tonight...
folks, where else can you hear a variety of music from folk to country to Broadway to 80's pop to 50's rock-a-billy?
COME AND SEE! It proves to be an amazing evening of music.
I should have my gay card taken away...just saw "Auntie Mame" for the first time...oh god...I was in awe...
So damn funny. I must put it on my Santa list. All I have is the Lucille Ball version of Mame, and that is dreadful.
Looking forward to Wednesday's episodes of Lost and Invasion...GOD! I hate being hooked into TV shows...such a drug.
OK...that is the skinny for this, the darkest day of theatre, Monday. Fare thee well.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Photography by Sean MacLaughlin
I thought I would share some of the pictures that Sean took during his stay here this past weekend.
The one to the left was found in a park in Arlington. I love the emphasis.
This image on the left was taken on King St. Don't see many giant chickens on King St, do you?
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
So, here we sit for an evening at home. Watched the re-cap of LOST (since I missed it last season), then the season premiere, then the premiere of INVASION. Wow...I had a good time. Good shows, and I have truly missed out on LOST. Right up my alley.
Had a meeting about my cabaret with Eleasha Gamble on Monday night...productive. We have a set song list, but are still looking for a few more. Tickets are selling out quite fast, from what I hear from my box office angel there, so now is the time to put in orders, peeps! I cannot tell you what is IN the show...I can tell you some of the songs that were cut, though...."Tony's got Hot Nuts", "Get Here", "How Lucky Can You Get?", "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "Lovesick Blues", "You are the Sunshine of My Life", "I'm Blue(the Gong-gong song)", "Potatoes in the Paddy Wagon", "Old Friend"...to name a few.
Some of you might say..."What was wrong with those songs?" Not a damn thing. We just found better ones. We are eliminating songs ala a "reality show". We have elimination rounds, and if we are doubtful about a sing, we give it a "P" with a circle around it...this stands for "Paula". Meaning...we both like the song and are passing it on to the next round, but it's future is doubtful.
Rita is churning in the Gulf. I, once again, am transfixed, being a Meteorology buff.
Work with Happy Hounds has been tough lately. I have been walking my ass off, literally.
So...blog news...Lucky Spinster and I have been cross pollinating each other, so tune in to her blog as well as mine to catch our collaborative dirt....I told you I was mentioned on DC Blogs...scroll down and check me out...
Coming soon...still more installments of On The Heels Of...featuring Amy MacWilliams, Eleasha Gamble, and Erin Driscoll...(ladies of Urinetown)...then I will start a new series focusing on men.
Stay tuned in, folks...this baby's just learning how to walk. Thanks and love to all who visit daily...this site is growing every day, and I am pleased that the response has been so fantastic! One of my dear friends, Sean Maclaughlin is coming in to town to visit me, and arriving tomorrow, and he will be one of my male interviewees, so, stay tuned for all the shite that went down as he was here to visit before he starts rehearsals for the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, The Woman In White, on Monday. This is his "last fling" before he buckles down into rehearsal mode, so I'm sure he, Matty, and myself will have a fun and eventful weekend, as I watch "Rita" coverage. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
I have known Karma for almost 6 years now, and my career in DC would not be what it is without her. I have had the honor of being in many a production that she has choreographed, including Grand Hotel, 110 in the Shade, A Funny Thing...Forum, Street Scene, and Pacific Overtures.
I met her as a cast member of Gypsy at Signature Theatre, and have been friends with her since...
Karma has extensive credits including, The Graduate on Broadway with Kathleen Turner, Merrily We Roll Along at The Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration, the first national tour of big, and Never The Sinner off-Broadway (Drama Desk Award, Best New Play). Recently she worked on Shakespeare in Hollywood at Arena Stage. She is a two-time nominee of the Helen Hayes Award, one for Signature's original production of Nijinsky's Last Dance, which was remounted at The Kennedy Center in 2003. As an artistic associate of Signature she has choreographed over 15 productions, most with Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. Additional regional theatres include, The Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, McCarter Theatre and Tennessee Rep. Camp directed/choreographed the 1992 Inaugural Gala for Vice President Al Gore, as well as Remember the Children, featuring Kathie Lee Gifford at the Lincoln Memorial. Opera credits include, Goya with Placido Domingo, Vanessa for the Washington Opera, and Kurt Weill's Street Scene with the Wolftrap Opera Company. TV credits include, The Sounds of WWII for PBS, All My Children for ABC and over 18 international commercials. Her most recent collaboration with Eric Schaeffer was on Snow White for Disney.
Karma and I got to check in and have a chat recently, and here are the spoils...
SGS: You have a serious hit on your hands. How did you develop the style of the movement for Urinetown?
KC: Joe Calarco and I were on the Disney Magic working on a new musical for their ship when we first started talking about the show. I guess the sea air agreed with me! The Broadway show was such a success that we really wanted to have something different. Joe and I came up with a vocabulary that really worked for our production. We're fortunate to have such a great design team that helped to contribute in the design of the show. We were all on the same page! It makes a huge difference working with a team that knows each other. Plus the show almost dictates how to choreograph Urinetown. You can hear a different musical in each number and I had so much fun with that. I also had a very creative group of actors that helped to inspire everything I did. I am total believer that we all contribute to what is seen on the stage.
SGS:What shows do you parody/homage in your choreography?
KC: Lets start with the obvious ... Les Miserables, West Side Story, Ragtime, Disney's The Lion King, Alvin Ailey's Revelations, Sweeney Todd, Side Show, and some others that are mere poses from shows that I'm entertained with but a lot of people may not get. It was soooo much fun!
SGS: When doing your own special style of dance (which I have been privileged enough to be a part of), what do you draw on for inspiration in a piece?
KC: It depends on the piece, and honestly, on the group of actors that are in the numbers. I ALWAYS do research. I always try to be honest to the period, and also take liberties on mixing styles. As you know, since I have been blessed having you in my numbers, as well as my dance captain, I choreograph like a director directs scenes. I can make myself completely nuts trying to make sure that every move I do makes sense. I choreograph in "acting beats" so that there is always a story going on. I personally have to justify why I do everything. That's also why I will always listen to an actor if he has an idea, because they are ones doing it every single night. It has to look like it came out of their mind, not mine.
SGS: How do you collaborate with a director in your work?
KC: I will always ask what the director sees for a number. What they would like to see at the end of a number. I sometimes ask them to give me a few adjectives to describe what they think the number is ... that can really get me going! I believe the best work comes when an audience cannot tell where the director's work ends and the choreographers begins. It makes a seamless show. Some critics think that choreographers only choreograph dances. SO NOT TRUE. Choreographers (at least me) always have an opinion on everything with music. I have wanted a critic to do a story on choreographers for the theatre because I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about what we do. Choreographing for non dancers is much more difficult than choreographing for dancers. In the end the audience doesn't want to know that they're not dancers onstage. They only want to see a great show ... as does everyone. However, it can certainly make my job more difficult to find choreography that makes a group look great when they don't have dance training. I have been fortunate in the directors that I work with because most of them understand movement. Joe Calarco uses movement in everything he does and it is always a true collaboration. Plus he inspires me to always be my best. I adore him.
SGS: What movies have influenced your work? Name 5?
KC: Cabaret, West Side Story, White Christmas, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and anything Jack Cole choreographed.
SGS: What is your favorite piece that you have created?
KC: I'm still not there.
SGS: You were a performer of the first right...what made you want to get on the other side of the table?
KC: I'm bossy! THAT, and I was never truly happy just doing the same thing all the time. I found out that what I enjoy the most, is the process. I love rehearsing, finding new things, changing them, changing them again, and I love tech! Once the show is up is I'm ready to go onto the next thing. When I was acting on the soaps (yes, I was on two of them) even then, in which you're doing something different every day, I was never truly happy. I'm so happy and fortunate that I made the change. I can honestly say that this is where I'm meant to be.
SGS: I did Gypsy with you, the last show that you performed in...To get to the gritty important question, did you like my ass as I mooned you every night in a countdown till closing?
KC: A cute ass I might add. We redheads have to stick together! Doing Gypsy with you and my dear friend Sherri Edelen was worth the ride. Well, almost. I will say, FINAL performance indeed!
SGS: How do you find the language of movement in a character?
KC: I generally like to watch acting rehearsal before I completely choreograph for an actor. Just watching how they move in general is a huge help. I watch how they respond to questions, their body movements when they're vulnerable, when they're upset, when they're just being themselves. I have never choreographed a piece in my studio and had it turn out in it's original format. I change movement on the spot quite a bit. What looks good on me may not necessarily look good on an actor. You have to be willing to change for the good of the show. I'm fortunate to have been an actor because I use acting tools to choreograph and I think (or I hope) it helps the actors connect to the text. I also use Ann Bogart's viewpoints when it's appropriate for my choreography.
SGS: What music inspires you?
KC: I was born in the wrong era. I rarely listen to pop music unless I'm watching video. I love the music of Ella Fitzgerald, give me a Big Band sound any day of the week, soundtracks from movies ... the good ones can make you weep, Latin music, Stephen Sondheim, and I have to admit ... I'm a fan of Cher.
SGS: Who isn't, sistah? :) But what do you listen to?
KC: all of the above and many different musicals. After I'm done rehearsing for a show ... I drive home in total silence! Plus I'm a huge "talking heads" show junkie.
SGS: What makes you happy?
KC: Working. I love my job. My kids..... they are my world. Time to travel, a great book, losing weight, friends, and time to enjoy them all. Ah yes, and Peter Marks finally enjoying my work.
SGS: That's enough to make anyone happy! What is the last thing that stopped you in your tracks?
KC: Hurricane Katrina. The loss of it all, the sadness, and yet so many people reaching out to help.
KC: Amadeus, anything with Gene Kelly, I Claudius on PBS, and I absolutely sobbed and loved Big Fish.
SGS: Advice to upstarts?
KC: Just get in the door ... come in prepared, offer to assist or be a dance captain if that interests you, know your profession and always do some research before rehearsal so that you can contribute to the process.
SGS: Thanks, Karma. I hope to dance with you soon!
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Out on the boat again with my mister,(pictured here). Gorgeous day for a romp in the Potomac. We had a great time, and felt so free.
I thought of William Finn....
" I taste lemon on my lips,
I marvel at the sailing ships of
well dressed girls and boys...
You told me life has
Indeed, Mr. Finn.
Fare thee well, summer...
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Sherri Edelen is the latest victim in the "Strong Woman" interview series, On The Heels Of...
An actress of many strengths, she has been seen at many of our regional theatres, from Rep Stage to Theatre of the First Amendment, and everywhere in between. She won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Resident Musical for her work as Violet Hilton in Side Show, at Signature Theatre.
She also is obsessed with the movie, Grey Gardens.
She is currently playing two different and hilarious characters in Urinetown...here's what she had to say...
SGS:Tell me about Little Becky Two Shoes and Mrs. Millennium.
Sherri:They are still evolving. Right now, Mrs. Millennium is a lesbian in lust with Hope. And Little Becky just wants revenge. She was raped in amenity no. 9 and she is pissed off about it. Big huge choices, huh? The great thing about being in the ensemble is you can make these changes and nobody really sees it but you. It's my own little game I play to keep things fresh.
SGS: Name some, if any influences in building their characters.
Sherri:Becky is completely physical. She is 9 months pregnant, eye patch and brace on her leg.
That's a big play ground. And all her lines are defiant and angry. Mrs. Millennium is tougher. There is nothing physical to grab onto, only the little amount of text she has which probably evolved from the NY workshops and rehearsals. But Joe Calarco works a great deal in Viewpoints, which he learned from Anne Bogart. So you play with shapes and relationships within the shapes. It's a blast.
SGS: When is the last time you have watched-A) Grey Gardens B) It's a
Sherri:Wonderful Life is an annual event during the holidays. I put it on when I am wrapping gifts. Plus, whenever it's on TV, I always tune in. Grey Gardens was over a year ago. It's time for another viewing. my friend. We should also watch Mommie Dearest. Eleasha and I have been quoting that movie for some dressing room fun. "Figures you know where to get the boys and the booze."
SGS: Name something that makes you happy.
Sherri:I love this time of year. Cooler weather. Plus, I love going to places like Eastern Market and looking at all the food possibilities. Weird as it sounds, I like cleaning my house. It feels
good when things are clean. I like baking.
SGS: What is your dream role?
Sherri: It was Peter Pan, now it's Edwin Drood. I want to play something I am not. I am not a man, or a lesbian or a mother or a wife. I want to discover what those lives are like. I want to be Judas in JC Superstar. Shave my head, scream musical theatre rock n roll.
SGS: What is your favorite story involving a production you have been in?
Sherri: I don't have a favorite, although I like the one connected with Question 7 below.
You tell it, Steve. There are many stories wrapped up in that production.
SGS: OK...Sherri's skirt broke and fell off during "Come Spirit Come Charm" in The Secret Garden at Olney. She finished the number in her bloomers. We were in tears by the end...Aye-yai-yai...Which brings me to my 7th question... When is the last time you have taken your skirt off and used it as a cape?
Sherri:The last time my skirt came off was in The Secret Garden with you.
I'll let you fill in those details. I didn't use it as a cape. Maybe it would have helped.
SGS: What is the last good film you watched?
SGS: When is the last time you found yourself speechless?
Sherri:When the president of Jefferson Parish gave his testimony and plea last week on Meet the Press.
Stopped me in my tracks.
SGS: How do you approach building a character?
Sherri: Inside out most of the time. Usually look for the physical, how she walks, moves in spaces, talks, what the text says about her.
SGS: Any favorite shows/roles?
Sherri: Annie Get Your Gun is at the top of my list. Sunday in the Park with George. She Loves Me. I could do those shows for a long time. Did two different roles in Sunday and it's nice to get a change of view. Annie Oakley fits me to a tea.
SGS: What is up next for you?
Sherri:A Year with Frog and Toad at Round House.
SGS:What is the secret to being a happy actress?
Sherri: Learning the business of the business early on so that you have money or having a second income that will support you that you enjoy. All the artistic stuff comes with education and experience.
SGS: What is in your CD player right now?
Sherri: I was listening to James Taylor's Greatest Hits on the way home last night.
SGS: Any advice you would pass on to up and coming actors?
Sherri: Don't be afraid to ask for more money. Remember, it's show business. No one is going to take care of you but YOU.
Thanks, Sherri. You definitely are a S-T-A-U-N-C-H character. :) You can try to catch her at Urinetown, but probably have a better shot catching her in A Year with Frog and Toad at Round House this fall.
When the president roared his cavalcade of trucks into New Orleans 2 days ago, they brought with them a truck load of generators.
These generators were hooked up lickity split, and behold, this one small area was lit up again! Citizens were heard cheering this. The photo op was set up, the area nicely lit for the presidential speech, and then when it was over...the generators were shut off. Audible groans sounded out, as these poor people were once again, left in the dark by this this administration.
Where did they take the generators? Were they really needed someplace else?
President Bush's speech said many stalwart things. Many of the same things, of course. Lots of big "we will do this" rhetoric. Not a whole lot of "how we will do that" solutions. Lots of grand ideas, no idea how to get there. Sound familiar? This is what was not discussed.
In the 30's, a law was passed, forgive me, I cannot remember the exact name of this law, but it was passed for situations of disaster reconstruction. The law allowed the President to suspend the prevailing wage in favor of lower wages. This law has been enacted before, but usually for periods of a week or two, and when it has been enacted, the time limit was set upon activation.
Bush has enacted this law, but not set a time limit. He, upon activation of the law, proposed that there be no cap on it. He also gave the reconstruction contract to, guess who? Haliburton. So, in effect, here is the replay, folks: Haliburton will be making the money off of this reconstruction, and paying the employees who are doing the reconstruction at a discounted and below minimum wage standard. These reconstruction employees will be made up of mainly citizens of New Orleans, who need a job to make money and a living again!
I reflect on a book I once read about the California earthquake of 1904. Do you know that in 1904, with no phones, just telegraphs, the army was in the streets 2 hours after the quake. They put up signs immediately saying "Looters Will Be Shot". They started search and rescue operations within 3 hours. There were shelters and a train load of food and water available that night. Teddy Roosevelt was a pretty efficient cookie.
We don't hear about these things. They use religion to mask over facts. We have days of national prayer to make us feel better about it all, and divert attention elsewhere. When the citizens of New Orleans checked into the Superdome, you know what they were issued? A blanket, some food, and a bible. ? Who spent the money on all those? Wouldn't you prefer to have a gallon of water instead? So strange.
I'll leave this snarky rant with a few well put quotes from the past few shameful days...
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job"-W.
"I'm going home to my kids and making a stiff drink.." Michael Brown, upon being relieved of his New Orleans privileges and sent back to Washington. For a day or two.
"Most of these people were under privileged before, so they are better off now."-Barbara Bush, remarking on the Citizens of New Orleans in the Astrodome. Let them eat cake?
"Come on kids, tell the truth...isn't this all kind of fun?" Tom Delay, talking to children in the Astrodome.
Hmmm....Sound bytes and photo ops and Americans left in the dark. Life in the Bush years, I'm afraid. Par for the course.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Gov. "Ahnold" has not yet put the smack down veto on same sex marriage in Kali-Fournia, as he calls it.
If you care at all about the cause, and would still like to be invited to me and Matthew's eventual wedding, then take the time out of yo' schedule and do this. It will feel good to help stop the hypocrisy going on here.
Follow these directions:1. Call the Governator:916-445-2841 (his number is listed at http://www.governor.ca.gov)
2. Push: 2 (voice your opinion on legislation)
3. Push: 1 (gender-neutral marriage bill - Senate Bill 849)4. And push: 1 to support marriage equality
Do your part, folks!
OK..I have met my match....
I have many best "girl friends"...The list reels from Eleasha Gamble(my betrothed straight wife), to Tracy Olivera, Donna Migliaccio, ect.
But it all began with Callie.
Callie was in my first show in DC with me...it was "The Birth of Christ and Farts" with Cherry Red. She was a shepherd, I a sheep. Poetry.
We re-united on www.theaterboy.net
From our shared love of curb salvaging, to our joint love of FROGS! the movie, to our shared conversation that did not tire, I find that I have a neighbor that I truly adore. (She lives in my 'hood).
I ignored friends of years to talk with her...and I didn't feel bad about it...I re-discovered a missing link that I should have never lost. She also is a playwright, and has an amazing blog...check her out at...
Callie...call me...I look forward to our next meeting of crazy minds...I know that I'm not rich, black, or gay...wait a minute...I retract the last one...but have you ever seen the video for uptown girl? I'm your fag, baby...:)
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The second installation of "On The Heels Of..." brings us to a DC Theatre staple, Donna Migliaccio. Co-Founding the Signature Theatre in 1989 with Eric Schaeffer, she is a very familiar face to those who patronize the "garage".
She has appeared in numerous Sondheim musicals there, playing such an array of impressive roles, including: Mama Rose in Gypsy, Charlotte in A Little Night Music, Sara Jane Moore in Assassins, Carlotta Campion in Follies, Domina in A Funny Thing...Forum, The Reciter in Pacific Overtures, and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, which won her a Helen Hayes Award. She has been nominated a gazillion times, as well.
But most of you know all that. She also makes me laugh, honestly scream laugh at times..(a punchy rehearsal for Allegro at Signature comes to mind..something to do with a schmata...)
Currently enjoying a successful run as Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown at Signature, (too bad its sold out!), I was able to catch up with her between pratfalls, pee-charging, and rubber apron wiping...
SGS: Tell the folks at home a little bit about Penelope Pennywise.
DM: Penny is a big ol’ drama queen. She’s highly emotional and easily angered but just as easily moved to tears. She’d be a boozer if she could get the booze. She also has the attention span of a gnat.
SGS: You have a long record of playing strong women roles. Do you ever yearn to play a softer sort?
DM: Nah. There’s lots of women out there who can play the softies, but I think it takes a lot of confidence and chutzpah to play schemers, bitches and ball-busters. And they’re a lot more fun than the doormats and mommies, anyway.
SGS: Which of these roles from your past was your favorite?
DM: Mrs. Lovett from “Sweeney Todd” – hands down.
SGS: Have you ever done the one titty shake?
DM: I have, and nearly gave myself a black eye in the process.
SGS: Funny you say that...when I do a spellcheck on this page, Migliaccio comes up as "missles"...Interesting...What is in your CD player right now?
DM: The soundtrack to “O Brother Where Art Thou,” Israel Kamakawiwio’ole’s “Facing Future,” Peter Gabriel’s “Shaking the Tree”, selections from Leo Delibes’ “Coppelia,” Lyle Lovett’s “Pontiac” and a CD of sea chanteys.
SGS: Ahoy! When you and Eric Schaeffer founded Signature, did you ever imagine that it would become all that it has in the past 16 years?
DM: I always knew it would do well, but I didn’t dream it would grow as fast as it did in its first five years. I think its next five years are going to be very interesting.
SGS: Any favorite memories from a past production that you find funny enough to share with the class?
DM: I set fire to my purse during Signature’s 1992 production of “Assassins.” I was playing Sara Jane Moore and had to shoot off my blank pistol inside my handbag as I made an entrance. Unbeknownst to me, the repeated firings had frayed the lining of the bag, and at the performance in question, a spark ignited the fabric. Sherri Edelen was playing Squeaky Fromme and in this scene, she had a long monologue while I listened to her and ate chicken and drank Tab. I smelled something funny and realized that the inside of my handbag was glowing. I picked it up and clutched it to my chest to try to snuff the fire, but realized that it wasn’t going out and emptied my Tab can into it instead. Sherri gave me a very strange look (she didn’t realize what was happening) but to her credit, didn’t miss a beat.
SGS: I swear, most of my funny show memories involve Sherri or you! Funny stuff. What is the last movie you watched?
DM: I haven’t been to the movies lately, but I caught “Contact” on HBO the other day and part of “The Grudge” this afternoon before I had to leave for the theatre.
SGS: What are your top 5 favorite films?
DM: In no particular order: “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Time Bandits,” “Big Fish,” “The Duelists” and “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.” Yeah, I know – not too highbrow.
SGS: Name someone that you admire, and why.
DM: I admire my mother and father for raising seven children who are relatively normal and well-adjusted. I admire fellow actress Dana Krueger for her guts, intelligence and sense of humor, as well as Chan McQuay and Stevie Cupo for their ability to stay upbeat in the face of adversity.
SGS: Dream roles yet to be played?
DM: Love to have a crack at Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard.” I’d also like to play Dolly Levi and the Old Lady in “Candide". Both the mothers in “A Light in the Piazza” are attractive roles as well.
SGS: State a fact that not many people know about you.
DM: I’m a crackerjack whistler.
SGS: Favorite score?
DM: “Sweeney Todd,” although I also love “Pacific Overtures” and “Candide.” I can listen to Carl Orff’s “Camina Burana” anytime.
SGS: What is the secret to being a happy actress?
SGS: Any advice to upstart actors and actresses?
Amen, sugar...chat soon!
You can try your best to get a ticket to Urinetown at Signature Theatre, although I doubt you can. Check Craigslist.com under tickets, or you can go to the theatre one hour prior to showtime and wait in case there are any cancellations.
Urinetown the musical, at Signature Theatre till October 16th.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I received "The Annoying Music Show's Songs for People" as a birthday present from my gay-lover-partner-man this past year.
Now, he ordered it from the usually quick as lightning Amazon.com, but for some reason, due to availability or what not, it only came about 2 weeks ago. It turned out to be one of the best presents that I have ever received...
Compiled by Jim Nayder, famed from NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me appearances, this is incomparable. Made up of obscure recordings from NPR, middle schools, old records...you cannot imagine the carnage to the ears that you will endure...but what sweet carnage it is.
My personal favorites include:
"Jesus Christ Superstar on Bagpipes" by the Antigonish Legion Pipe Band
"Whispering" by the Swingin' Sisters of Syracuse
"Disco Jesus" by Tammy Faye Bakker
"Melody of Spring" by Florence Foster Jenkins
and..."Fugue for Tinhorns" by the cast of Guys and Dolls from the Revis High School Thespians...
That last word is definitely in question. The keys that this rendition go through are mind bending...
I cannot stop listening. It has been in my cd player on repeat for 2 weeks. I kiss my boyfriend every time I see him and say Thanks SO much!
You can find this gem on www.amazon.com
Listen and be astonished.
We live in a country where a pop star can molest children, and get off scot free, but if you involve money in the equation, you're going to jail. Especially if you are a woman. Hence Martha's Jail time.
Do I think that she is a shrewd bitch? Absolutely. That's why she has gotten so far.
I actually am in a little bit of a Martha kick right now, because she is constantly amusing me with her recent behavior. The ankle bracelet came off, and she emerged like a deadly butterfly coming to destroy Tokyo.
The Post did a GREAT piece, reviewing her "Talk Show" today. It made me scream. Have you seen the talk show? Oh, please tune in. It is a train wreck. She is constantly controlling, and seems on the verge of strangling her interviewees. Her dogs run loose and uncontrolled around the set as she tries to keep her patience with David Spade (guest today), yet you know she could crush him at any moment. It flares up now and then, too. It is an emotional rollercoaster of a morning talk show. I don't think that this show will be on the air for long...I'm taping it from now on. It is too good to miss. Who knows? You may tune in to see her braining Jay Leno with a frying pan if he doesn't appreciate her appetizers...
This film is pretty poor, yet is fantastic in its camp value. Observe when Cybil (as Martha) throws pots down her driveway at her former catering partner, yelling "Every cook needs a good set of pots!"
"Hey, slut! I'm writing your mother a letter telling her you're a whore! "
Also, watch for the just completed film about Martha's Jail time with Cybil reprising her role. And catch Martha's talk show before it is cancelled due to murder charges, from poison in the Quiche!
"Did I NOT ask for merlot?"
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Four years ago, I was doing my second show at Signature, Grand Hotel.
I had found a family of friends who I remain very close with to this day. These friends, actually I count among my best. Probably because of the circumstances we went through emotionally.
The day before was a Monday, and we had off. Lynn Filusch and some folks were going white water rafting, and I was invited, but had to work. Sean MacLaughlin and R Scott Thompson had gone to NYC for an audition. They left Sunday night, after the 7PM show. They were to come back to DC on Tuesday, September 11th.
I went to work, came home. Sat on the couch, had a few brewskis, and watched Lucas. Yes, Lucas.
The next day, as the events happened, I watched in disbelief at work. Then the Pentagon got hit. Then there were other "supposed" incidents at the State Department and on the mall. I couldn't get ahold of Matty, or anybody. I was working on Capitol Hill at the time, right across from the Navy Yard. I saw the Marines on the top of the building with machine guns pointed towards the sky...I grew nauseas. The traffic on 295 S looked frozen. The smoke from the Pentagon was visible, as were Apache helicopters and fighter jets. It felt like the end of the world.
I waited for hours, hoping that the traffic would die down. When it finally did, I got a call at work...it was my Mom. It felt so good to hear a comforting voice. She was, of course concerned where I was, and didn't understand the geographical layout of where the Pentagon is in relation to my house and my work. She, I think, just wanted to hear my voice. As I wanted to hear Matty's. The smoke was billowing all over South Arlington, and a co-worker said to me earlier, "I hope that they didn't put chemicals or biological agents in the planes..." Of course, there were MANY doomsday speculations that day. Why not? One felt like...what next?
I got onto 295 S after I felt like all of my responsibilities at work had been fulfilled. By then, 295 was empty. Nobody was on the road. Jeepers Creepers. The creepiest feeling. I saw the Pentagon as I drew closer to Fairlington...saw the smoke. The Apaches. The Jets. It looked like the Sci-Fi flick, Independence Day.
I got home and hugged Matt for like 15 minutes.
At minute 16, I grabbed a beer. I suddenly had a sick feeling in my stomach...I had forgotten something...
I was scared for the whereabouts of Sean and R. Scotty. Eric Schaeffer was up there too.
Soon they were all accounted for...*sigh*
The next night, we had a show again.
Grand Hotel is not exactly the show you want to be doing during a national crisis. Not too happy a show. I yearned to be doing State Fair.
On top of it all, the first night back was a discussion night.
This proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered. All of us, including the audience needed a reason to get away from the TV. For us, the performers, it was also an outlet of creative energy...I recall one part of the show, where the always repressed staff of the Grand Hotel is building to a shrieking climax near the end of the show...the anger flowed out in rivers. It felt so good to get it out.
The talk back after was a healing session for both audience and actors. The audience was thankful for the diversion. As were we. I was thankful that everyone I knew was ok. I was lucky. So many were not. God Bless the victims and their families.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I was able to catch up with DC/NYC actress, Lynn Filusch today, and ask her a few questions about her upcoming showcase, Choosing Helen, as well as some questions related to nothing in general. Here is how it went..PS...She was at the dog park with her beloved dog, Sadie(my Buddha's sex slave), and I was cooking hamburgers in the back yard...FYI
SGS: Lynn..tell me about Choosing Helen.
Filusch: Well, it is a musical based on the story of Helen of Troy, from The Iliad, although it is a very liberal take on it. The character of Paris cannot decide if he wants Helen or Ajax (a man), although it's not THAT liberal a take, considering the sexual politics of the time. The music is very...well...Sondheim-ish, with LOTS of wordy songs, gorgeous harmonies, and actually, stunning ballads, even given the circumstances in the show. These characters are foolish, yet singing many heartfelt and lovely songs...not seeing the irony therein.
SGS:Any correlation between Choosing Helen and Raising Helen?
Filusch:..or Boxing Helena? No. None. Very predictable, Stephen.
SGS: Ouch. Tell me about your role, and what you drew from to create it.
Filusch: I am playing Aphrodite, the goddess of love. She kind of gets the ball rolling in Paris's love life. You see, she's SO bored on Mt. Olympus. It's such a drag. Nothing to do, except the other gods, and she's done them all. So she meddles...she makes Helen and Ajax available to Paris as lovers, but constantly screws things up, and tries to right them again. And she's a big whore. Now, as far as what I, personally drew from myself to play this role? Hmm...my own supernatural abilities! I channel Mae West and Kim Catrall's Samantha from Sex and the City when Aphrodite is being honest and straightforward. When she is trying to get something or being charming, she's more...Judy Holiday.
SGS:Have you ever done the "One Titty Shake"?
Filusch: Try though I may, I have not mastered the 1 titty. Got lots of jiggle with both, though.
SGS: I am SO not surprised. What's up next for you?
Filusch: Well, I'm going on tour with LA Theatre Work's production of The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, which is based on the famous Scope's Monkey Trial. It features a revolving cast of some very notable actors including Marsha Mason, Len Cariou, Tyne Daly, Ed Asner, and Mike Ferrel. It proves to be very thought provoking. It actually makes a stop at the Clarice Smith Center from January 31st to February 1st. I'll probably start a blog documenting the tour itself. I'll keep you posted.
SGS:PLEASE do! Compare and contrast DC and NYC theatre.
Filusch: Well, I have to say, I've seen some of the worst theatre in my life here in NYC. Some of the worst acting, too. Abominable. I think that because there are SO many here, the chances for it to be dreadful rise...however, I HAVE seen some theatre here that I have been BLOWN AWAY by here on and off-broadway. I think DC theatre has stiffer competition amongst it's own theatre companies to put on better material.
SGS:What is in your CD player right now?
Filusch: Well, I just bought an I-River..so MANY things...I've been rediscovering some Pink, some Lyle Lovett, OH, a duo from here in NYC called the Knuckleheads...SO hysterical...also a mixed CD you gave me...I think there is some Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Paula Abdul, and the song Mercedes Boy on it...
SGS:So embarrassing..my bubblegum phase from last spring... What is the last movie you forced yourself to watch?
Filusch: Being Julia.
SGS: What has the transition from DC to NYC actress been like for you?
Filusch: Well..it's hard. No one knows you up here, you know...and they don't know what you can do, either...so until they do, you kind of have to rely on other people introducing and putting good words in. It is frustrating, but doors are opening for me. It takes time.
SGS:What's the secret to being happy as an actor/actress?
Filusch: ...Not wanting to be famous. Having enough of an inner life to be content between gigs.
SGS: Thanks, kitten...I'll talk to you after the showcase...
Filusch: You're welcome, baby. You got burgers to eat...talk soon..
CHOOSING HELEN...September 12th at 7PM...The Theatre at St. Peter's (home of the York Theatre Company)CitiGroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 54th Street)7:00 p.m.!!! Tix are free
Well...In remembrance of Patsy's Birthday, which is today, I thought I'd do a My Favorite Movies dedicated to this controversial film.
Made in 1985, It featured the divine Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, and a standout performance by Ann Wedgeworth as Patsy's Mother, Hilda Hensley.."I'll Make Your Teeth Rattle!"
I first saw this film in my Junior year of high school, and became Patsy obsessed ever since. In truth, one of the reasons I went to Shenandoah Conservatory was that it was in Winchester, where she (kind of) grew up, and where she is buried. How sad is that? No, how gay is that?There has been lots of discussion in years past about the fact that the script makes Patsy look like a mean and bitchy whore. Some swear she wasn't like that at all. Some disagree.
The actual Hilda Hensley lived down the block from the house I rented in college, and she swore that the film was totally a bogus depiction of 'Ginny'. (Virginia Hensley aka Patsy Cline).
Be that as it may, It is a fine film, and VERY quoteable...as you can see from most of these surrounding quips.
Patsy would have been 73 today, and probably still crooning the Lovesick Blues, had her plane not crashed in 1963. I don't know about you, but I definitely will go out Walkin' after Midnight in honor of her tonight..
Charlie Dick: I want to get to know you better. Patsy Cline: Ok, now what does that mean? Charlie Dick: Means I want to get to know you better. Patsy Cline: See, I figure when you say you want to get to know me better - what you really mean is you want a ten minute screw in the back seat of your car. Charlie Dick: Son of a bitch. You must think that thing between your legs is lined with gold. I can get tail any time I want, I don't have to come crawling after some mean mouthed woman who got a cob crossways. Hell, if I just want to bump uglies with somebody, I got plenty of places to go for that. Patsy Cline: [laughing] Bump uglies? Charlie Dick: That's right. Patsy Cline: My lord Charlie, what a charming expression.
Hilda Hensley: Oh, for heavens sake girl, sit up and take nourishment. Charlie'll have his first leave in three weeks and you walk around with your lower lip draggin' the floor in front of you. You big bawl baby. I oughta fix you a sugar tit.
Hilda Hensley: Well, you're just too mean to live lately.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Ray Milland plays an aging, grumpy, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday celebration. Sam Elliot plays a free-lance photographer who is doing a pollution layout for an ecology magazine. Jason Crokett (Milland) hates nature, poisoning anything that crawls on his property. On the night of his birthday the frogs and other members of nature begin to pay Milland back.
OK...I Watch this film every 4th of July. It is part of my Birthday celebration week. I first saw this stinker when I was probably 12, on TBS (the gateway to bad films for many), and have been hooked since.
Great stars...well..good stars fill the cast of this epic...including Ray Milland, Sam Elliot, Joan Van Ark...ok...I'm on thin ice with that one, but still,...
The death scenes in this flick are so laughable, they are worth every cent. Joan Van Ark's in particular...chasing butterflies deeper and deeper into the forrest, as snakes, spiders, leeches, alligators lie in wait...
This movie should be called "When Good Actors Choose Bad Material"..or.."When Good Actors Need a Paycheck"...
And there are frogs everywhere...what is funny is...
Spiders bite...snakes bite...alligators bite and eat...what do the fu*kin frogs do?
Watch Ray Milland's inevitable death scene...death by frogs...how did they kill him? So dumb. I love it.
I usually have this film on repeat in the DVD during 4th of July week..(4th of July is Ray Milland's character's birthday in the film, thus the reason all of the family is there to celebrate)..
And I cannot watch it outside of that week. Usually. Unless I get a hankering.
One of the many "Nature Gone Wrong" flicks that I have become obsessed with...more to follow.
This film is a summer tradition for me, and the perfect ending book mark to the glorious summer that has past...
I usually post a bad or funny line with these "My Favorite" entries...but they are ALL so bad that I couldn't chose just one...Please check this flick out...I can't be the only one to appreciate it's awful fun...could I?
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
This is just for Jenny Soto...
Yesterday, at the Nevermore showcase, She and I joked all day about the scene from Bridget Jones's Diary, where she introduces the "Greatest Book OF Our Time", and the microphone is not on..
We are both HUGE fans of the movie, and were chuckling at sound check, re-inacting the scene.
After Marsha Gardner spoke (on the mic that I was to use), she put it back into the mic stand, and it must have shut off.
I was the first to sing.
I could not hear myself, nor could I hear that the mic wasn't on. Some old bag in the front row yelled, "Turn your mic on!"...and I did.
I immediately looked back to Jenny. She looked away, holding back giggles.
We introduced that energy into the atmosphere, and look what happened...so funny.
After that, each time we were done with a song, I would lean to Jenny and say "OI!"
I have been laughing about this since 6PM last night...Jenny Soto, you make me scream...
If you caught the Nevermore showcase at the Kennedy Center tonight, you caught brilliance. Not from us, the performers, but from Matt Conner and Jenny Cartney...
The music landed so gorgeously, and was received so well...people were in awe...
Here is a picture of the "B" cast at the Ken Cen...
We are not the people IN the show, yet have helped to develop the music as "muses" through Matty.
We are all SO proud of Matty and his music...if you missed this show tonight, check my last post and watch the archive.
If not, get your tickets for Nevermore now!
Monday, September 05, 2005
If you go to this site at 6PM, you can watch the simulcast of the Nevermore showcase. You can also see it anytime after that on the Millenium Stage archives.
But yet again, if you are in DC, and have nothing to do this evening, come out and see us!
Mildred Pierce dotes on her daughters while husband Bert looks to Maggie Binderhof for affection. They soon divorce, leaving Mildred to raise the girls on her own. Elder daughter Veda goads her mother about their lack of money and in response Mildred proposes opening a small restaurant. Realtor Wally Fay advises her while making numerous rebuffed passes and introduces her to Monte Baragon whose property becomes the first of a chain of restaurants. Mildred has an affair with Monte. Meanwhile, money-hungry Veda pretends to be pregnant by wealthy Ted Forrester in order to bilk his family of $10,000. Mildred tears up the check, is slapped by Veda, and orders her daughter to leave. After time away, Mildred returns to find Veda singing in a cheap club. Veda will return only if Mildred promises luxury, so Mildred agrees to marry Monte in exchange for a third of her businesses. It soon becomes clear that something is going on between Veda and Monte. Mildred learns of this only after Monte has sold out his third of the her business leaving her bankrupt. She goes to Monte's beach house to kill him... A single shot rings out, but what really happened?
I have to admit, I've been watching this movie nonstop since first referencing it...I've been tempted to slap people and tell them that they smell of grease...
If you have not seen this movie...and since most of the people who read this blog are gay, I can't imagine that it could be true... but still..
Check out this flick...It features the most evil daughter ever captured on film, Veda...
"Aren't the pies enough?"
Joan won the Academy Award for this film...this was Joan on the cusp of being "Joan". Before she became a caricature of herself. Way too many slaps, you smell of grease comments, drunks, ect. Netflix this gem if you have not seen it!
Sunday, September 04, 2005
I know this is the second post about this subject, but I wanted to remind all of you that tomorrow is the showcase of Matt Conner's new musical, Nevermore at the Kennedy Center, Millenium Stage North at 6PM. It will last 45 minutes, and the song set will include:
Dreams, To One in Paradise, Evening Star, To My Mother/ Evening Star, El Dorado, Israfel, Fairyland, Annabel Lee, Dreamland, and The Raven.
Performers include: Stephen Gregory Smith, Eleasha Gamble, Kurt Boehm, and Jenny Soto. Piano/vocals by Jenny Cartney.
This will be the last chance to hear this music for free, so please take advantage of this concert!
And if you cannot come, you can view it online at www.kennedy-center.org
OK. So I have hosted at a local restaurant 2 times. I was subbing, because they didn't have a host. So...extra dough, easy work, why not? So what if I feel like Mildred Pierce for a hot second?
This local restaurant is near a certain local theatre, so I happened to be recognized a few times...
"You were great in Urinetown"...one said. Funny. Last I checked, I wasn't IN Urinetown. So I said, "Thanks, some of my best work, I feel."
What would you do?
Once I was on a train to NYC and some little girl thought I was some guy from boy band. I politely said that I was that figure, signed her napkin and went to the club car for a smoke.
Hey, it made me laugh, made her happy, and made the train ride more interesting, why not?
Another person at this restaurant said, "You were so great in Elegies...God, I loved that show.."
I simply said, "Me too..."
I find that this misplacing of me in other casts is not limited strictly to me...
In a review in the Washingtonian for Urinetown... they commented on how they have loved seeing Mr. Gartshore grow in shows such as Side Show, Allegro, 110 degrees in the shade,Elegies, ect...
We both had a tee-hee on that one. Because, last time he checked, he was not a part of the cast of 110 in the Shade..(PS, people...it's 110 in the Shade, NOT 110 DEGREES in the Shade...honestly...)
Another guy, probably a poof, judging from his white wine spritzer and gruff, yet handsome dinner companion, says.."So is this what you do when you're not onstage?"
Buddy, you have no idea. I wanted to say, no really this is only one of the 25 thousand things I do when I'm not onstage...I also walk dogs, balance budgets, live my life, do payroll, balance the ledger, run the scheduling of a company, freelance landscape, AND it just so happens that tonight I am here, guiding you to your seat...and I do all this to afford living the lifestyle I have become accustomed to in Arlington. Coffee?
I didn't, of course. I smiled and all I got out was..."It just so happens..."
And it just so happens that I won't even be doing THAT anymore...they just hired another host! Oh well, Mildred. Back to the perfume counter. You smell of grease, anyway. :)
Saturday, September 03, 2005
This just in from Lynn Filusch..
Earlier in the week, I posted details of her showcase in NYC, Choosing Helen..well, the venue has changed..here is the new info...if you are in NYC on September 12th at 7PM, check it out!
The Theatre at St. Peter's (home of the York Theatre Company)
619 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 54th Street)
7:00 p.m.!!! Tix are free
Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I am a true Cancer. Eleasha always laughs at me, because she says that every time she comes over, which is a lot, that I am working on a new project...whether it be in the home, or in the garden.
It is true. I am a true Cancer...all about my shell..uh...home. My garden has always been a place of solace for me, and is a leading reason why I couldn't move to NYC...If I didn't have my own garden in my own backyard...I think I would shrivel up and die.
This year was a gorgeous year in my back yard. The perennial that I planted a year ago came into gorgeous fruition this year...most notably my hydrangea and "Disco Belle" Hybiscus...
I mostly opted away from flowering plants this year. I dwelled, more specifically on leafy plants...LOTS of different varieties of Coleus...Creeping Jenny, Vinca Variegata, sweet potato vines everywhere of every different variety and color, sedums, hosta, of course, and Yucca.
It was also a fantastic year, climate wise, for plants...at least mine. The tropical summer that we had made my Hibiscus almost as tall as the back door!
I also ventured into water gardening this year...I installed a water feature last summer, and this year planted lily pads in it. There is NOTHING as satisfying as seeing little lily pads spring up from a bubbling water feature and knowing that YOU planted them. I will expand my water gardening next year, and consider this summer my experimentation into it. Next year I will know much more about it, having this past summer as a crash course. (I've read 3 books on it!)
Sorry to get all Martha Stewart on you, but I would be lying if I didn't include this summer's garden among these remembrances. Don't worry...more tits and gore to come in future posts.:)
...Matty, Ryan, and I spent some of the most incredible nights of this past summer aboard the"Sweet Freedom", My friend Kim's yacht.
I celebrated my birthday/4th of July on it....that night was so unreal. To see the fireworks on the Potomac like that...so gorgeous. It was a magical night...
Then came many different days of cruising the Potomac...to feel the wind going through your hair while out on a boat is something that I never had really experienced. Nothing else seemed to matter in that moment...as Matty said, "It was like nothing could touch you..."
I never fully understood the song, "I'd Rather Be Sailing" from A New Brain until actually experiencing the feeling...
The sweet and hot Washington summer air being electrified by lightning bugs as we swam in the twilight...The sun setting behind the Key Bridge...and the wind.
As the wind blows over you, you feel as though you are experiencing a change. A rapid evolution...your thoughts are everywhere, yet no where all at once...and you can't help but have a Cheshire cat's grin on your face at the same time.
We'll venture onto the yacht again...(we would have on Monday, but we'll be at the Kennedy Center)...but the summer voyages are but a part of my summer legend...my romantic, nostalgic memories of the past few months will sail on until I make new summer memories next year...