Thursday, July 31, 2008


Ok...this is the last chance to catch INSOMNIEOKE, my one man cabaret/sleep over/karaoke night at Signature Theatre. The last performance will also be the last performance of Signature's Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret Series, which will be tomorrow night at 9:30pm. Tickets are priced at $15.
This will be the official last time to catch the full shebang.
The next day (Saturday) Signature is having it's OPEN HOUSE, which I will participating in several events. One of which will be "Selections from INSOMNIEOKE", which will NOT I repeat will NOT be the same as what you will see tomorrow night.
SO come for the full shebang tomorrow, and hopefully you will come to Signature's Open House on Saturday. It is a full day of free events and should be a fantastic time. I might drop dead from exhaustion by Saturday night, but other than that, it will be a blast.
Hope to see you over the next 2 days!

Candle News

This is the last day that July's patriotic pillars are available, and also the LAST day that one year subscriptions may be ordered. If that means nothing to you, then ignore this post, but if not, send your order right away!
Also, Orders for the August Beach Candles have been pouring in and I have been slaving over a hot stove most of the past few weeks. These candles smell AMAZING, I must say.
So go ahead and send in your August Candle orders ASAP!

Full details over at CANDLES BY STEPHEN.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blast from the Past

BREAKING NEWS: California Quake

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has rattled Los Angeles, California.Visit (a link to the right hand side) for further details.

A Bumpy Night... was it? I have to say, it was really cool to see this film with a large room full of people who know and love it. The anticipatory giggles that started to erupt during the INFAMOUS party scene were too much. Several of the famous lines:
"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"
" Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be."
- got rounds of applause. Even small looks from certain characters got huge bouts of laughter from the loving audience. I laughed at lines that I never thought of as funny, but couldn't help myself once sucked into the group mentality of the audience.
That all being said, we arrived there at 5:50pm, and we were the LAST people let in the door. This film was screened NOT in the theatre, but in a long area upstairs.

It was nice to see that Bette could still haul in a nice crowd. Of course, it was free. While in line, a youngish teen asked the gentleman behind me "What is the line for?", to which the man remarked, it is for All About Eve, a black and white film starring Bette Davis".
The teen said to his friend, "Man, let's go - it's not for a real movie, it's for an old movie."
Apparently old movies aren't "real".

We were very lucky that we just got let in the door. I will say that it was not the most comfortable temperature in there, and felt like there was no air circulating at all in the screening area. That being said, I would not have traded the experience for anything. The chance to see one of my all time favorite films on a big (ish) screen was priceless.

A full schedule (only two weeks left) of the Bette Davis film festival is available HERE. Mr. Skeffington is next Monday, August 4th, and...wait for it...Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?is August 11th. I will definitely be there if at all possible on the 11th! That will be TOO much fun!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Best Bette...

Me and Matty are going to see All About Eve at the National Theatre tonight at 6:30pm for free! Details HERE!

Saturday, July 26, 2008



Tranquility on the Potomac

Matt and I are going out on the boat again tomorrow, and I wanted to share some more peaceful shots I have taken from other boat trips from this past Summer.

Matt loves this one solitary tree growing defiantly off of a rock in the middle of the Potomac. This is located at a spot called "Three Sisters", named so for the three large rocks in the middle of the river. I want to get a better picture of it tomorrow that is perhaps closer, so I will kayak out to the rock and get a close up.

I thought that this picture was dripping in romance. The small boat, the umbrella, the sun on the water. Heaven.
I picture them reading poetry to each other. *sigh*

Light on water is hypnotic.

The river bank of the Potomac is full of many interesting little nooks and areas. I loved this one. It looks magical for some reason.

Summer is winding down, with just one week of July and the month of August left. Enjoy every remaining moment of it.

Dizzy Miss Lizzy's Roadside Review Presents The Oresteia

Last night, Matty and I went to see Dizzy Miss Lizzy's Roadside Review Presents The Oresteia at the Capital Fringe Festival. DMLRR is the brainchild of Debra Buonaccorsi and Steve McWilliams, both long time friends of mine. I had known that they had been working on this show for quite some time, but had no idea what to expect as I sat in the packed Fringe Tent on New York Avenue.

Matt met me at TicketPlace and we went up 7th, catching a bite on the way at Potbelly's...which made me feel like a big ol' potbelly the rest of the night, but I digress...We took in the lovely sights of the neighborhood...

As we crossed on to New York Avenue, a young lady yelled at the window to Matt "Looking good!".
Matt loves the city.
After we passed the Eagle, we saw our destination in the distance...

I have to say, the former sight of the AV Restaurant is an odd, yet somehow perfect venue for the Fringe headquarters. The tents looming behind the odd and somehow tacky Greek looking statue add just the right atmosphere.

Speaking of that statue, the touch of the Fringe Tee Shirt and the string of Christmas lights was inspired.

Actually, that statue's butt was being ogled by most of the people I talked to on the outside deck. But then again, it's pretty easy to have a perfectly sculpted rear when your rear has been perfectly sculpted.

And as a sidenote, in the Fringe Headquarter's restroom, they had painted words and phrases on the walls to tart up the look of the place, and on the door of the restroom is painted the word "Consume".
I know what they are going for, as in consume as many shows at Fringe as you can....but...I dunno...I don't think that consume is the best word to think of while in the restroom. Bad form there...
Anyway, I digress again...
The Show.
If you are not familiar with the plot of the Oresteia, it doesn't matter, but HERE IT IS.
Deb's lovely husband Jay was such a sweet gentleman and bought me a beer at the bar before the show started. What a guy! :) And then we went into the tent.
While hot and steamy, the setting was perfect. It smelled of beer and sweat. Slowly the roadside review performers started to emerge, getting ready for the show. My ex-onstage girlfriend, Felicia Curry came out and immediately started stretching. She even engaged another cast member in a head stand-off. She clearly won. Maria Egler can vamp it up like nobody's business, and when she sings her first song, which I think is called Vengeance, her voice screaming out the high punk style notes was enough to make me look around the audience with shock wondering if any of them really appreciated how *(&%&^% high the notes she was belting were.
From the look of the costumes, to the cast, to the actual convention of how they tell the story, (complete with circus style deaths of Greek characters) it is all very smart and VERY entertaining. Steve McWilliams belted out a growling Victory song as he rocked out on guitar (he was Agamemnon), Deb was Iphigenia, dancing a gorgeous little ballet piece as guitars strummed in the background. Her ill fated character is killed by her father, Agamemnon as a sacrafice to the gods. Maria Egler plays Clytemnestra to the hilt, funny and viscious at the same time. Mike Kozemchak serves as a narrarator/ringleader of this circus like evening. His kind of a Willy Wonka meets Monty Pythonesque dryness fits this role perfectly. And Felicia Curry never dissapoints as she performs a fantastic dance as Cassandra, the doomed oracle, and as Athena at the end, singing the catchiest song I've heard in a long time. This show needs to be fully produced. It is aching to be. It needs that next level. It is ready for it.

But look, everyone in this thing is good, and doing a fantastic job, and I can't stress to you enough that if you can get there for the final show at 4PM today, you really should. It is really worth it, and you will not be dissapointed.
I am so proud of what Steve and Debra have created, and was glad to have been able to see such a fantastic show.
Don't take just my word for it, check out THE WASHINGTON POST's Review if you must.
But whatever you do, get your butt, sculpted or unsculpted out of your house and get down to see Dizzy Miss Lizzy's last show at 4PM!!!'

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tales of Thunder, Tales of Wonder

Today was our performance at Lubber Run Park for Creative Cauldron's Arts Adventure Camp. This performance was the culmination of three weeks work by 4 different groups of children from the youngest (The Claps), led by Lauren Williams, the next to youngest (The Peals), led by me, The next to oldest (The Rolls), led by Matt Conner, and the oldest (The Rumbles), led by Oran Sandel.
Our theme was Tales of Thunder, Tales of Wonder, and each class was assigned a particular culture (African, Native American, Cambodian, and Norse Mythology) and were to explore those culture's myths of the origins of thunder.
The youngest did the Cambodian folk tale of Thunder and Lightning about a giant and a goddess competing for a magic ball in the skies.
My class did the Native American myth of the Thunderbird, whose mighty wings caused thunder when they flapped.
Matt's class did the West Nigerian tale of "Masterman", which explains thunder by foolish men and women competing to be the best and strongest, and the competition that ensues is the racket you hear in the sky.
Oran's class did a modern take on Thor's legend called Thor Then and Thor Now.
All of these shows were written by the campers themselves. We took their plot ideas, their dialogue ideas and shaped them into a show.

(Lauren and the camp)

My class wrote a tale of a Native American tribe that was suffering from a drought. It had grown so hot that the Parent Thunderbirds up in the hills were too hot, tired and lazy to move. Since they had not flapped their wings, there had been no thunder.
Down in the village, the children of the tribe were trying to think of something to do to help.
They decided to go up to the hills and ask the Thunderbirds for help, but run into the baby Thunderbirds halfway. The baby Thunderbirds tell them of their plight, and the children are flown up to the nest to try to get the adult Thunderbirds up and moving.
They try 3 ways: First they try fireworks, but soon realize they aren't allowed to play with fire, so they can't light them.
Second they try to tickle them, but they are not ticklish.
Third, they develop a dance that is so fun to do, you can't help but join in: The Thunderbird Dance (to the tune of the Chicken Dance).
As the parents watch the fun and join in the dance, when they flap their wings, thunder crashes and a great storm brings rain to the land, ending the drought. The whole tribe as well as the Thunderbirds celebrate and dance in the rain together as our story ends.
I was so proud of them, and they did an awesome job.
Here are some other shots from today's show. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


As seen on 7th Street...

Because 7th Street NW is always anything but boring, and since I work there and am privy to all of the marvelous sights and sounds of Penn Quarter pedestrians, I have decided to start a log of all of the strange things I see while at work here in the city's "Theatre District". If any of you have interesting 7th Street shots that you would like to submit, please shoot me an e-mail and we'll throw it up here!

An interesting habit...

Isn't it a bit hot for those get ups?

Will the real Crime Dog please stand up...

My Deer Dad...

My Daddy, Roger Smith underwent surgery today. He had a hernia removed...yowch!
He has been suffering this annoying and limiting pain for a long time now, and I am glad his operation was a success. I just heard from Mom (Cyndy) a few moments ago, and all went well.
And no, I didn't spell the title of this post wrong, I wanted to also share with you these pictures that my parents took while spending a day at Ohiopyle State Park. They took this day trip as a sort of fun thing to do before Dad went under the knife and would be out of commission for awhile.

They soon encountered some very bold and playful deer. NO - they didn't touch them for fear of deer ticks, but these deer were very friendly. In the last picture, which I cropped down, you can see two of them on their hind legs play wrestling with each other!

Stay Tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Dolly Status
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Wind: 95 mph
Strength: Category 1
Direction: Moving west-northwest near 7 mph

Hurricane Dolly makes landfall; now a category 1.
Hold on to your wigs.
Full report HERE.

Christian the Lion

I am fascinated with this video of Christian the Lion. And yes, it is true.
Here is the link to the subject on SNOPES, WIKIPEDIA, George Adamson's Website, Christian the Lion's Webpage, and BORN FREE FOUNDATION's Website.
Being the animal lover that I am, you know how hysterically weepy I got when I saw this. They played it on the Today show the other morning, but left the end out, which I think is one of the most amazing parts.
And the cynical sub host David Gregory made fun of it. I wanted to slap him.
Anyways, enjoy if you have not seen it.
This was sent to me by both Lynn Filusch and my sister in law, Natalie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My little pug muffin made a new blog entry over at his blog. Go and give him some luvins!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Easy like Sunday morning...

Ok...much better last night. Not quite perfect, and still working out a few kinks, but at least I had a good time. For the time being, however, I don't even want to think about it. I have 2 weeks vacation from the sleepless night Cabaret. And last night was the first decent night's sleep that I have had in weeks. So on to talking about other things for the next 2 weeks. I'm sick of talking about myself!
Like this picture, for instance.

My friend Damien sent me this picture. It is from 10 years ago, when we were doing Sweet Charity at SU. God I look like a child. Anyways, I kind of love this picture, and wanted to share it with all of you.
Also, I am blogging from the Arlington Library below Signature right now. Kind of weird. God I can't wait till I get my computer fixed!
Till tomorrow!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where is the steering wheel?

Well...last night was interesting. The audience had a good time. I learned a lot about the show, what works, what doesn't, what needs to be honed in on more, and what angles need to be cut out.
I am still compiling all of this information and feedback in my head. The show that I did last night was made up on the spot. Entirely. It contained elements of the original idea, but was not the complete original idea.
I think what my problem is is this: I am an ambitious dreamer. I want to give people an entertaining, hysterical, irreverent and enjoyable evening. I want them to identify with the places the human brain can go when left to its own devices late at night. The problem is that I bring SO much to the table that I tend to lose myself in all of the everything else. I got stuck in an idea of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood as torture late at night as it gets stuck in my brain and keeps reoccurring.
Hence the puppets that you see below.
This idea started to force me into a creative corner, and I was getting stuck there.
At 6:30pm last night, after I sound checked and had already gone through my show order and lights, I went home and had a meltdown.
Not kidding, here. A serious meltdown. Most of this, funny enough, is because the cabaret about not being able to get to sleep has done the same thing to me in my real life. I have been working 4 jobs while trying to put all of this together in my living room, with no director or editor's eye. And all on about 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night.
And when I came home, I realized that I had bit off more than I could chew. There was simply not enough time to pull off all that I wanted to do. I had roughly 20 minutes to load in my set and props.
I realized that this would not afford me the time to devote to everything that I had intended.
I sat in my house with my ever valiant partner and he helped me to simplify the big mess that I had made for myself. The resulting evening was far less of a disaster than it would have been without his help. I really and truly don't know what in the world I would do without Matt Conner. He is everything.
So, long story short...last night, while fun, was a sort of hodge podge of what I had originally intended. Tonight, I have honed down many elements, cut some songs, and am much more aware of what I am doing.
Thank God.
You have no idea how terrifying it is to stand on a stage and look out at all of you wonderful people and feel like I am not doing the best that I can do. To fear that I am not entertaining you. From the wonderful feedback I heard from last night, I am gathering that I did entertain you.
But last night was about many things, and last night is over.
Tonight, I'm taking this horse's reigns back in my own hands. I'm driving the bus tonight, and you are in for a wonderful ride.
Till it's time for beddy-byes,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Here we go...

Ok, everyone! This will be my last post until Saturday, as I won't have computer access until then, so when next we talk, Insomnieoke night 1 will have passed.
As always, life imitates art imitates life, and I have not really slept much this past week. No, not trying to be method, I just literally have had trouble sleeping.
Funny how my little show about not being able to sleep has been causing me to lose my sleep in real life.
Well, I hope you all enjoy the show, and feel free to leave comments about it here.
I hope you all enjoy this little piece of insanity that I have crafted especially for you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bring it..

Alrighty folks...
Gearing up for Insomnieoke this Friday night at Signature Theatre. I had a sound check with sound designer to the stars, Matt Rowe last night, and I have to say that the Ark will be rockin' for sure! We also worked on some other sound effects that will be...well...I think they will be hysterical to say the least.
My stuffed animals have been costumed by me and none other than the gorgeous and talented Amy McWilliams...

These stuffed animals will become characters of their own as the night plods into the depths of insomnia, and my own nightmare version of Mr. Rogers' Land of Make Believe comes to life in my bedroom.

The space is empty and in prep right now, but when you come this weekend, you will be stepping into my own version of my bedroom. I am so excited to share this crazy evening with all of you, and hope you will come and join me July 18th,19th, or August 1st.
Come and stay up all night with me this weekend!