Monday, December 31, 2007

THEATRICALLY: Year in Review

I am so blessed to have been involved in 5 amazing productions this past year. I am so thankful and greatful to have been given these amazing opportunities. It truly has been a fantastic year for me.
1st up was Into the Woods at Signature Theatre.

I had a blast as the bratty little Jack. The cast was wonderful, and it was such a great time romping through the woods with all of them. It was a special treat to have Angela Lansbury as the voice of the Giant. I loved when the giant would walk and the theatre shook, and leaves would fall. Amazing.

Next was Meet John Doe at Ford's Theatre. I had such a fantastic time with this show and it was great to work at Ford's Theatre. The cast was made up of some of my best friends, so that made it even more pleasurable. And it was nice to play a bad guy for once...actually I think it is the only time I have ever played one. I loved it!

In Summer came two different performances of my newest cabaret, Use What You Got. I had a great time, and Jenny Cartney lent such a wonderful skill and know how by helping me put it together and performing it with me. The audiences were enthusiastic and responsive, and sang along loud and proud. I really feel like I relaxed into it the second time (at the Signature Open House in August). This cabaret made me fall in love with cabaret as an art form again, and I have been working on putting together two other cabarets since this one has passed. Cheers and thanks to all who came and supported me.

Funny Girl was done as a concert this past Fall, with Jacqui Piro Donovan as Fanny Brice. She was incomparable. It was great to hear the score to Funny Girl, which I never heard as I tended to avoid Barbara Streisand like the plague before working on the show. I fell in love with the show, and will always hold in my memory the image of Jacqui belting out the last notes of the reprise of "Don't Rain on my Parade" while red lights blasted the theatre and red mylar glitter rained down on her. Breathtaking.

And finally, the ticker. tick,tick...BOOM! contained the biggest role that I have ever played. I am so glad to have had the amazing team that we had around us. I had an amazing time with the cast and crew of the show. The show was an incredibly important experience for me to have, and it taught me so much. More than anything, it taught me to listen. To many things.

Whew! What an amazing year! It is hard to believe as I write and look back on all of it. Thanks to all of the theatres, their staff, my beloved cast mates, and to fate, chance, luck, and yes, God, for all of these wonderful journeys. I can't wait to start more journeys in 2008.
Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I am finally back. I went to my parents house last Sunday, came back here for work on Thursday and Friday, then went back Saturday and came home this evening! Sorry to drop off the face of the earth as far as blog is concerned! BUSY week!
Here is a photo of our Christmas tree at the Smith house in PA.

I had a great time at home. Mom, Dad and I played Jenga, but it made my Dad very nervous, as you can see...

One of the best parts of being home for the holidays was that I was home for my Mom's last half day of work on Monday. Dad and I got her balloons, made signs, and had lunch ready, and sand "Happy Retirement to You" when she walked in the house. Here was her reaction, from shock:

To understanding and happiness:

The drive there and back was not a picnic. The skies were very foreboding as I approached the Summit skyline.

But I made it anyway, and Buddha was happy to relax on the couch by the fire when we got there. The trip seemed to be very stressful to him as well. He loved sleeping in the area of the fireplace.

We all had a fantastic Christmas, and a great time this weekend celebrating my Mom's Retirement. I didn't get to take many pictures, as my memory card was fullish, but my Mom will send me more in the coming days.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and I will post more tomorrow in my much promised year in review.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I had to post this amazing video I found of this rehearsal for a 50th anniversary celebration of the premiere of West Side Story. Many origional cast members, including Chita Rivera and Carol Lawrence, join a young cast and relive their former roles. It is an amazing thing to watch. Check it out, and Happy Friday! Wow...from barely a post at all this week to 3 in one day! Check the Best of Images of the Week below.
Enjoy, and have a Great Weekend!


I have picked one image from every month that I think is the best of the month.


Buddha and Albert, Sean's dog, taking a nap in hysterical positions. The Side Show dogs.


Eartha Kitt going Into the Woods with some of the cast.


A great picture of the cast of the terrific production of Nevermore at K.A.T. this past year.


Me and my beloved Mr. Cooper, may he rest in peace.


My two favorite men, Matt and Buddha.


Summer means: Watching TV out in the yard. I call this picture: Heaven


Great photo of my Dad enjoying his Father's Day present from me.


A great live action shot of my fellow Little River Turnpike band members singing at Signature's Summer Open House.


Buddha barking in the face of rules at Doggy Dip Day in Fairlington.


Buddha lounging on one of my yard creations in the back yard. He developed a creepy and sad relationship with this zombie.


The Yellow Crab Spider that I found while cleaning my yard for the winter.


And my Rusty in the snow. A gorgeous photo of a gorgeous boy.

It was hard to chose just one favorite photo from each month, but I did it. With one exception, my Conner Family Thanksgiving post got all weird and stopped being able to display it's photos. I never have figured that out. I love the photos of Matt in that post. So as soon as I figure it out, I'll post some of my favorite ones from that for year's end.
More to come!


I'm going to attend the tale of Sweeney Todd! I'll let you know my take on it tomorrow!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Secret Santa

Well, Santa has struck our household this season. Matt and I received in the mail an envelope with a card that had pugs on it, and inside were 2 $50 gift certificates to Harris Teeter! The return address was simply Santa Claus, The North Pole! Wow!
I have no idea who gave this ridiculously generous and anonymous gift to us, but we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and are truly touched by your gift.
As always, cash is tight for us around the holidays, as it is for most everyone, and this gift helps us get through the month with a little more comfort. Thank you so much, again!

And PS, I have not forgotten the year in review series, I just have been SOOOO busy between work (I'm at work right now on lunch break) and Christmas that I have had little time to work on it. I do have one post that I am working on, and will hopefully have up tonight around 8ish.
Talk later!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Name these Elves...

Copy and paste this link to your browser and see who is elfin' who...

Friday, December 14, 2007


In writing on a thing like this, and keeping track of your life on a day to day basis, I have found it therapeutic and a useful tool to make me take stock of my life as it happens and be thankful for every day. As is the custom in our culture when we get near the end of the year, we tend to look back at the year that was and remember the important points.
Why such naval gazing?
I guess it helps us learn from our past, celebrate our accomplishments, and move into the new year fresh and ready for more experiences.
So this weekend I will be writing a series of year in review pieces, including top 10 images of the year, favorite moments, and blog highlights. So if you are in for the weekend, fearing the rainy/icy weather that will be in our forecast, why not check in here at the old blog spot tomorrow afternoon and see what I see in my romper room mirror.
And as always, thanks to you, the readers of this blog, whose numbers have more than tripled this year. Thanks to you all for being so interested to read what I write about and see in my silly little life.
More to come this weekend, scout's honor.
I am off to December Divas at Signature to see Jane, Tracey, and Eleasha. Have a fantastic night and an even better tomorrow.


This in from my Mom tonight:

"Just wanted to say Thank You to all of you who have been keeping Rusty in your prayers. Please keep them going! He has improved sooooo much since last week. Our hope is that he will continue to do well through the holidays and beyond but we are taking it one day at a time. Thanks again, Love Cyndy and Roger."

Please keep those prayers going, folks.
Also, many years ago on December 13th, my Nana passed.

I forgot until my mother reminded me tonight. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Remember to cherish every day that you have with those that you love and to tell them how much you love them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Image of the Week: Buddha Claus

In twelve days, it will be Christmas Eve! Hopefully Buddha Claus will visit your house this year...but only if you leave out some pizza crust for him!
Goodnight, all!

Some Christmas Cheer...

Tonight, for the very first time, I watched Nestor, the Long Eared Christmas Donkey on ABC Family channel. I had never even heard about the special before this year, when Matt was telling Sherri Edelen over a holiday dinner that it was his favorite Christmas special growing up. He called it by the wrong name and said that it was Lester the long eared Christmas Donkey (which in a way, sounds better, but I digress). Sherri laughed and said, "It's Nestor!" I was confused, as I had never even heard of it. Matt said that it was like, his Christmas special. Whenever it was on, his mother would say, "Matt....the donkey's on...", and he would watch it.
I was sitting on the couch when I got home from work and saw that it was coming on ABC Family, so I set the VCR to record.
I sat down and watched it and found myself in tears over a claymation donkey. How embarrassing. It was so sweet but also very sad. If you were ever an outsider or different from all of the other kids, you would cry when you watched it. I loved it, and am glad that I taped it so that Matty can watch it.
He couldn't watch it because he was going down to Signature Theatre to play piano in the lobby before and after the December Divas cabaret, which features Eleasha Gamble, Tracy Lynn Olivera, and Jane Pesci Townsend.

I can't wait to see this Holiday season cabaret! You can find out more info about it HERE. It only plays for a few days, so go, enjoy, and tip my husband on the way into the theatre!

Giant Spider Attacks Space Shuttle!!!

I am on lunch at work, so to be brief, I saw this and laughed out loud. A spider crawls across the lens of a stationary NASA camera and it looks like the shuttle is being attacked by the spider. Funny stuff. Kind of looks like a 1950's B movie. Hence why I put it on here.
NOTE: NOT for the arachnophobic!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Charlie Brown Christmas

I put up the Charlie Brown Christmas display tonight. We didn't have the real tree that looked like the pitiful tree of the theme, as it had been cut down by landscapers this fall, but I improvised and made this.
What do you think?

Friday, December 07, 2007

O Christmas Tree

The other day, Matty put the star on the tree.
I must have about 7 or 8 pictures of him doing this every year, (I decorate, but let him do the final honors).
And then we hit the lights and transform this plain old fake tree into...

...a purple nightmare! Yes, we always do a purple tree. Hey, come on, it's advent colors, right?
I snapped this photo tonight, in the middle of our Christmas gift preparations...I have been working at Ticket Place everyday, and seing shows and shopping at night and trying to fight off sickness in between all of that, so if I haven't been calling as much as usual, know that it is just because I have been busy trying to catch up with real life now that tick is over.
Hope you all enjoy the photos, and oh god...17 shopping days left!!!
Gotta run!

He's the Best Cow...

I got this photo sent to me from a picture phone, saying only "from the girls at Signature".
Wow. Milky White in drag in the elevator.
The girls at Signature truly rock.
Luv, SGS

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


This in from my Mom tonight...

"Please keep our Rusty in your prayers. He has had a rough night and day. I think his tumor is putting a lot of pressure on his esophagus and he was having a lot of trouble breathing today. This evening he has improved a little and seems to be able to breath a bit easier, how long for I don't know. He is such a good dog and such a loving friend, certainly one of God's many miracles. Thanks to all of you, Love, Cyndy and Roger."

Please pray hard, folks.
It means the world to us.

4 years ago today...

Check the past year's retrospectives on the event.
This year I am not writing about it anymore. There are more pressing things going on in our family. Still, I have everlasting thanks to those who helped us.
God bless you all.

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

She turns 29 again today!!! I know that she is not having a great day, dealing with Rusty's health issues, but I love her just the same and celebrate her birth today.
I love you, Mom.

Buddha is 5 today

Go to HIS BLOG and wish him Happy Birthday!

Monday, December 03, 2007


We closed tick last night. whew.
I am always happy/sad when a show closes, but I have to say that I am leaning more to the side of happy. Not because I didn't think that the show was fantastic, or didn't love the cast, ect, but because it was ready to end, I think. I was ready. It was the hardest show that I have ever done. I know, wah, wah, do I want to cheese with that wine. But it was really hard and exhausting every performance. The relief that the pressure is off is amazing. Will I miss it?
I always miss gainful employment and beyond that, a show that really is so close to my heart. This show was so me that it almost felt like a cabaret.
I will miss Jon. Crazy guy that he was. He was fun to live in. I just wished that he would shut up sometimes. ;)
The constant talking/singing wore on me. The 5 sips of water that I sneaked through the evening were never enough. I always ended up with cotton mouth. Poor Felicia had to kiss that cotton mouth.
wowsers, what an amazing performer. She is such a smart actress, and lord, what a voice. She was so easy to be in love with. Such a delight on stage and off. She is a true star. I adore her.
Matt Pearson.
He was so great to be on the stage with. He was always in the moment with me. We had a great give and take with each other. I miss him already. He will always be a brother to me. And what an amazing performer, too. I hope he will be back in Washington,DC soon.
Matt Gardiner as our fearless leader was exactly that...fearless. He tackled this show with such an eager eye. His work on this show was fantastic, and so smart. He is a guy who is surely going places, and I am eager to see his next endeavor, whatever it is.
Metro Stage, and all of it's staff were fantastic to us, and it was a pleasure to work there. Brandon, Danielle, Jessica, Kevin, and Carolyn were all extremely supportive and fantastic throughout the entire process.
The band was fantastic, and changed hands so much that it was hard to keep up with who was playing what night. But they were all always fantastic.
A great cast, a great crew, a great band, a great creative team, a great theatre, and a great piece of theatre. Everything ends, though, and I am happy and blessed for the time that I spent with this piece, but now that time is at an end.
The commercial will, however still be able to view here, at Metro's blog.
Thanks to all of you who came out to see our show, and thanks to everyone involved for making it the amazing experience that it was. Thank God for you all.
PS- this is post number 800 on this blog, and I can't think of a better way to have spent it.
Goodnight, all.


Thanks to everyone who came to see us talk, I think we all had a great time! And as Marcia said, if you want to see another Ebony and Ivory cabaret, let Signature Theatre know!
Thanks again for coming out to see and support us!)

Tonight at 7, Eleasha and I will be speaking at the Shirlington Library. The topic is about how we put our cabarets together, kind of "the art of cabaret". Remembering the hysterical events that happened on the way to both of our cabarets, it should be a fun evening. And hey, it's free. Here is Signature's description...
December 3 , 2007
The Art of Cabaret with Eleasha Gamble and Stephen Gregory Smith
Many American theater artists began their careers in the cabarets of New York: Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Barbara Streisand, and Bette Midler

Eleasha Gamble and Stephen Gregory Smith, regulars on the Signature stage, have been performing and perfecting their own cabaret, Ebony & Ivory and Ebony & Ivory: The Second Coming for the last two years - creating their own distinct voice. Their professional association grew into a strong friendship which they toast and triumph throughout their cabaret. Although there were growing pains, the melding of two personalities (no matter how compatible) into a single, personal evening of song and stories has been a highlight for Signature insiders and the pair of performers.

What's the big deal about creating a cabaret? Do you have to write down what you're going to say or can you just improvise?

I guess we'll find out tonight!

Friday, November 30, 2007

UPDATE: Friday Evening

The commercial is back up over at Metro's Blog.

tick,tick...BOOM! runs for 5 more performances, and there are tickets available.
Visit Metro's website for details.


So, we had a little tick tick commercial put together for our last extension week by the theatre. It was a fantastic commercial, and in league with actor's equity standards ( 3 minutes, and no clip lasting more than 30 seconds), yet someone reported it and had it taken down. Now there is no commercial. A marketing tool shot down. By who?
I wonder. hmmm.
I know how to find out who did it. I am currently on a quest to do such. I have a hunch.
This is why my Union can be screwed up. We here in DC are at a horrible economic point as far as selling tickets to shows. No one has money to go and see shows right now. Any way we can market a show is a blessing and a godsend.
This ad was in standing with regulation, and because someone bitched about it, and why, I'd love to know, it was pulled.
What kind of protection is my union offering me by preventing an ad to go up that will sell tickets to an extension? I am not being taken advantage of in any way.
If this is someone in the union's idea to enforce rules, then guess what? They are A) wrong, because the ad met rule code, B) not helping me as an equity actor. Know why? Because now I will not be helped by the ad to fill the house.
So to whom it may concern who thought that they were being some kind of savior of the modern were wrong in reporting this, and are not helping or defending us. You are hurting us.
SO sorry for this post, but I cannot hide my frustration with this situation. When arts and theatre are hidden and tied down behind such regulations and tape, they are not art. Don't we want people to come and see us?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Different Kind of Christmas Carol

As you may or may not know, my husband, Matt Conner is always busy working on several projects at once. Since the completion of Nevermore in 2006, he has continued to write and create more projects, from Crossing, that just had it's first workshop at Signature a few weeks ago, to a children's book that he is still developing, and premiering this week at the Lisner Auditorium, The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington will perform a work that he wrote for them, A (Gay) Christmas Carol(s). He is very proud of the work that he has done on this mini musical adaptation of the classic tale, and I am equally as proud of him.
The show is hysterical, and takes a loving swipe at many a gay icon.
Matt wrote the book, music, and lyrics on this piece. I am always astounded at the levels and depth of his creativity, and he never fails to surprise me with his amazing talent.
One of the funniest things about this are the incarnations of the three ghosts. Think about it for a minute. Look at the title. Why is there an (s) at the end? Use your imagination, people. I think that it is absolutely hysterical! Especially the surprise of the last ghost.
For those with children, beyond the fact that there are gay people in relationships portrayed on the stage (which you can see any night on basic cable), this is not a lewd or non family evening at all. Just a bit of camp, with a huge heart behind it, and some very sensitive and endearing moments thrown in for good measure.
To purchase tickets, visit
And have your self a "Mary" little Christmas now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!!!!

a little well placed foil and you too can make this turkey your Thanksgiving Day surprise!
PS...did anyone else hear the annoying audio feedback that prevailed on the Macy's Day Parade?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well, our little show that could has chugged up the mountain, and is extending at Metro Stage. It will now play till December 2nd. Please help me pass the word on to those who might not have seen it yet, or might want to come a second time (as many have) to see it again.
Go to Metro Stage's website to get tickets.
See you there!

Friday, November 16, 2007

soup...(a condensed story)

What time is it? 6pm. One hour before I jump in the car, and drive the purple station wagon down to Metro Stage. Soup time. I usually eat chicken noodle soup for dinner during show nights. I can't eat anything that really is a trigger for my acid-reflux, and I don't want to eat anything too heavy, as I really don't have time for offstage burps. Or God forbid anything else.
The soup, as you all know, is pretty bland so it works well enough. The broth is also a nice warm treat for my vocal chords.
When I used to be asked by my cast mates what I had for dinner, after about the fifth time of answering soup, they got the picture. I told them that I had been eating so much soup that my last name should be Campbell.
Sometimes, Felicia will ask me out of the blue between shows, "Are you going home? What are you going to eat?".
I'll look at her and say, "What's my last name?".
She nods, knowingly.
Matt Pearson started worrying about my sodium levels since I was eating so much soup. I eased his fears by informing him, "no-no...I eat Healthy Request Soup. No worries." He shook his head and walked away laughing.
But about three weeks ago, Matty (my Matt) volunteered to make me my soup dinner while I walked Buddha. I came back and looked at what seemed to be a HUGE bowl of soup.
"How many cans did you make?", I asked Matt.
"Just one, honey.", he said.
I thought to myself that it must have been a large can. Oh well.
I started to eat it. tasted awfully bland. I even asked Matt if it were a different brand. He said no.
The next day around dinner time, Matt was in the kitchen fixing dinner, and I joined him, making my soup. He watched as I poured the can into the pot on the burner, and then went back to flipping my grilled cheese in the skillet.

"Aren't you going to add any water, honey?", he asked.
"NO! Why? That's why it tasted funny yesterday! I thought it tasted watered down!"
I felt like Sherlock Holmes, just having solved the mystery of a century. A great "A-HA!" moment. Water in the soup? No way, man. That's like when people put water in red sauce to make more of it, but what ends up happening is that they have a whole bunch of thin, runny, and nasty sauce. I hate that.
"But honey, you're supposed's condensed soup."
I pondered this for a minute.
"Doesn't it taste horrible without water? It must be like eating pure salt!", Matty said.
I pondered more. Condensed?
"But I have never added water to it.", I said.
Suddenly I felt a wave of stupidity, mixed with embarrassment, mixed with hysterics.
I became what I can't stand: just like every man who doesn't ever read instructions or directions because he knows he must be right.
We both had a huge laugh about the whole situation.
The next time I made soup, I used the recommended amount of water. Still blah. Tasted like water with some noodles in it.
So, I met the instructions half way. Half the amount. Which is how I eat it now.
Do I miss eating condensed soup without water added? A little.
Do my arteries? Not one bit.
With that, I have just finished my soup, so should go wash my dirty dishes and throw a sweater on. Time to go to work.
Have a warm, fuzzy, flannel blanket, cup of hot cocoa, curl up on the couch and watch old movies kind of evening. And if you have not yet, come and see tick,tick...BOOM! (10 remaining performances!)
Talk to you soon,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hump Day Check In..., this is not the scene from my backyard this evening. Just a little wishful thinking on my part. (yes, I am a snow advocate)
Well, I start the next weekend of TICKS today. Ready for another killer weekend. The sales have really been picking up, so I hope to see you there this weekend. Whoever "you" are. Whatever "that" means.
Next week is Thanksgiving week, and I am already pining to bring out the Christmas decorations. I can't wait!
I have been falling asleep to:
A Home of Our Own, The Homecoming, Miracle on 34th Street, and Charlie Brown Christmas. Oh yeah...I'm ready.
I'll be spending Thanksgiving, as always, with Matt's family. Always our annual swapping of names in the Christmas present exchange. Wonder who I'll get this year?

And if you are searching for pre-Thanksgiving week entertainment this weekend, visit TICKETPLACE's WEBSITE to buy online half price tickets to many shows in the area, including my own, Josh's, and both Shows at Signature! Check it out and go and support local theatre! We need you now more than ever, what with the economy being what it is. Come out and support local artists.
Talk more later. (I am off all day before the show.)