Friday, June 18, 2010


Follow-up:  Here is what a real Tony Awards number should look like:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dear Tony Awards:

For those of you who don't know (but you probably do unless you are a total stranger who just fell across my blog randomly), I love musical theatre.  I grew up around it since my dad was an opera/musical theatre singer and I fell in love with it as I grew.  I got my bachelor's degree in Musical Theatre from ASU 2 years ago and have been lucky enough to basically make a living performing since (current employment at the Pita Pit aside).  I love music in almost all of its forms, but musical theatre is probably my favorite.  It incorporates acting, dancing, and singing in one glorious production and few things make me happier than a great showstopping number.

I even met my husband in a musical called Blackbeard.  We freakishly got cast opposite each other as characters who were engaged and that got the ball rolling. Now we are married for EVER and I couldn't be happier about it.

About a year and a half ago I moved to New York City to chase the Broadway dream.  I won't go into all my adventures there (another blog for another time perhaps), and although I left to chase other dreams (named Jordan), I still like to keep in touch with all my friends back there and root for them as they try to tackle the big bad city.

The Tony Awards---the "Oscars" of Broadway- were this last Sunday.  I had a few friends who were in shows that were nominated and one that was even performing.  I grabbed some grub and settled in to watch.  What I saw could only be described as a monstrosity.

And so I compose this letter:

Dear Tony Awards:

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO BROADWAY??!!  I know that by the end of this blog I will come across as a musical theatre snob and probably a jerk, but just know these two things: 1) According to sports talk radio host Jim Rome, everyone is a snob about something.  Whether its "I only eat organic" or "I only fly first class" or  "I have to have complete darkness whilst I sleep," EVERYONE has a thing...or two.  2) I happen to be on a roll about this awards show, and I can be dramatic and I tend to use hyperbole in order to get a point across, so there ya go.  I don't want to be a traitor to my craft or a "bitter betty," but I feel that something needs to be said.

As a friend of mine posted on facebook..."Is this the Tony's or the Grammy's?"  It should be easy to tell.  But on Sunday, my mind was reeling trying to figure out why on this earth Green Day was the opening act.  And why ANYONE would let the lead singer try to crawl out of his drunken/wasted/ completely high stupor to present anything.  This is not a rock concert.

But maybe that is what broadway is now.  I mean, it seems that in a noble effort to revive the American public's interest in musicals, Broadway producers have pored through decades of pop/rock music, looking for an artist whose canon of music they can somehow slap together into a "musical."  Now, the jukebox musical has its place.  I think that probably 1 in 7 of these types of musicals/revues really shine and will be around for awhile.  Examples: Jersey Boys, Smokey Joe's Cafe, even Movin' Out.  Now, to be fair, I have not seen any of the musicals that were up for Best Musical this year.  I can't give an educated opinion about the show itself.  But that's not what a blog is for is it?  This is a rant, people, not a NY Times review.

All night long, the only thing I saw that showcased Broadway talent adequately was Matthew Morrison's "All I Need is the Girl."  A lot of people got their panties in a twist because he is on Glee, a TV show--not a broadway show.  Fair enough---but given the fact the the drivel we had to watch for two hours before he showed up was actually ON BROADWAY, the Tony's needed some real entertainment value.  Morrison was a broadway star before Glee even happened, so it didn't bother me--and I was grateful for the reprieve.  How sad, though, that they had to resort to calling a veteran to sing a song from a show that isn't even nominated for anything to breathe life back into the show.

Now, please don't for a minute think that I am knocking the talent of the people onstage.  As one who has been to all those auditions, I know that those people are good.  They work hard, and I'd like to think that most of them can sing.  I'm just saying that the material that they are given to put onstage is crap.  I was impressed by NOTHING that any of the new shows performed- and that was their one chance to do the "big number" from the show-- or at least a number that would make me spend $80 bucks on a ticket.  

Yep.  EIGHTY DOLLARS.  At least.  Now, there are student rush....but tickets are expensive. And quite frankly, I can go see an Elvis impersonator (ahem...Million Dollar Quartet) for free on the street in Vegas.

I am just tired of producers of pop/rock albums looking to make yet another buck by slamming a bunch of songs together, trying to add a storyline (probably something anti-establishment or angst-ridden), and calling it a musical.  If I want to headbang, I'll go see Muse in concert (who are amazing by the way).  Keep the punk rock in the stadiums and the show tunes on Broadway, please.  

As for the plays, I actually have no problem with "Hollywood" actors coming to the stage.  In fact, I respect it.  Denzel is good.  Why shouldn't he win a Tony for his performance?  I do think that it makes it harder for us no-names to get a job because even if we are good actors, our names won't put butts in the seats like Catherine Zeta-Jones will.  But, alas, what can be done?

The technical problems were, yet again, abundant.  Get it together guys.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned.  But maybe I just want to see new work come to broadway that isn't already have-created by using existing music.  


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Doesn't this make you smile??

warning: this blog may turn into me posting my favorite dances from So You Think You Can Dance and why.  Here is Lauren Froderman's final audition before making it into the top 10.  It pretty much sums up how my husband makes me feel inside...enjoy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Tale of the Toxic Taters

So I consider myself to be a pretty good baker, and a decent cook.  I can make a few things REALLY well for dinner, and I'm getting better since I've been trying new recipes from  BTW, their herbed chicken parmesan made my husband fall in love with me all over again.  

Anyway, the problem with me is that it usually takes me screwing a recipe up at least once before I get it right.  Apparently I have a problem reading recipes.  For instance, a few months ago, I was making these delicious maple date bars cause my hubby and I were going through a serious "I love dates more than ice cream" phase, and I misread ONE word on the recipe.  It actually says
 "Beat sugar and Butter at medium speed" after the first step.  I read it as 
"Beat IN sugar and butter at medium speed."
To all of you cooks out there, that tiny two-letter word makes a BIG difference.  The bars turned out delicious anyway, but the consistency was all wrong (truthfully, Jordan want me to make them "wrong" every time--out of pride I have to do it right at least once though).

Or the time that I made two pumpkin pies the night before our first Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie spice, had a nervous breakdown, and my man went and got me more pie stuff so I could make two more the right way.

I have had my share of successes though.  This last Easter Sunday was a complete triumph (jordan's word I swear).  
And, for dessert we had chocolate parfaits.  I've already mentioned Jord's love for chicken parm, and we also thoroughly enjoy chocolate chip cookies on occasion. 

A few nights ago, though, I was having one of those days and was, shall we say, craving a little comfort food.  So I had my heart set on pork chops with mashed potatoes.  I LOVE mashed potatoes.  So, I got myself going on dinner, so that Jord could eat before rehearsal.  I am still working on getting all the food that I make ready at the same time, so, of course, I had to put the pork chops and gravy in the microwave to keep warm while the potatoes finished boiling.  After I drained them, I remembered that I only had one mixing bowl in the apartment, and that it was currently being used to house Jordan's award winning salsa.  Hmm.  What to do?

I decided to just mix them with a hand mixer in the pot I cooked them in.  No problem.  I got it done and served up, and just as Jordan was about to take a big fatty bite, I noticed some suspicious pepper flecks in our creamy taters.  Wait a second...  I didn't pepper these....

Yep.  The hand mixer had scraped the teflon from the pan into my food, making them poisonous.  WHY??!!!!  Luckily, neither of us ate any.  But, I was totally distraught.  I started crying like I had cancer of the puppy and felt like I really couldn't do anything right.  It seems over the top now, but, it really was devastating.  After calming down a little, my amazing husband took me out for some frozen yogurt and suggested that we watch Clueless.

Its okay.  You can be jealous.  :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why do we do this to ourselves?

If you asked me in high school what kind of music I listened to, I would have said "A little of everything...except rap and country."  I haven't changed much, but I find myself liking certain country artists more and more.  My husband is a Garth Brooks fan, and I like many of his songs.  I became a Rascal Flatts fan in college and went to their concert for my 21st birthday.  I consider myself a "crossover country" fan--I would never "favorite" a country station on my radio, but every now and then I just need a twang in my day, okay ya'll?

My question today is this:  why are so many country songs so sad?  I mean, really people.  Aside from the typical infidelity songs...which span every musical genre I think....I really believe that country music holds the record for the most heartwrenching songs about cancer, unexpected death, suicide, or any other tragic event.  Any sane person would rebel against this depressing stuff.  I consider myself to be a happy person...but every so often, "Sara Beth" will come up on  my shuffle and, instead of saying "No thanks, I'm having a great day," I listen.  And I let myself get sucked in to this manipulative heart-string pulling song and end up crying on my way to the gym.  Seriously?

Again I ask...Why do we do this to ourselves?  For that matter, why do I intentionally opt to watch movies repeatedly that I know will reduce me to nothing more than a sniveling ball of kleenex and snot.. (Up! anyone?)  My mother absolutely refuses to watch anything that is remotely sad.  I used to mock her for this, but ever since I got married, I have become more and more like her.  I'll still watch those movies, but I am more disturbed by them.  Somehow, the unfortunate death of a computer-animated elderly woman and her widower's fantastical and touching journey to their dream vacation locale finds its way into my mind as something that will ABSOLUTELY HAPPEN TO JORDAN AND I.  I am so afraid to be apart from my husband that I immediately take whatever I am reading, watching, or listening to way too personally and start worrying about it.  I am hoping that this will calm down with time.  We'll see.

Anyway, I leave you with a favorite quote from one of my favorite shows...Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander- "That's okay. I don't wanna go. Just gonna go home, lie down, and listen to country music. The music of pain."

Well said my friend, well said.