Tuesday night we went to see the touring Broadway musical, “If/Then.” I was excited to see it, because Anthony Rapp (of Adventures in Babysitting fame – ha!), who starred in it on Broadway, was also with the touring company. I listened to the Broadway Cast Recording a few times and I knew that there was a dual story line of “what could have been,” but the ending was a surprise to me – very sweet.
The story shows the life lived when chances are taken, when the heart wins over the mind, and when a life is lived fully. Tonight at Cosmo Girls we watched “About Time,” the little British drama about time travel that is also sweet and thought provoking. The movie and the play both have the message that each day we get to start over and make a choice about what kind of life we’re going to live. Each day is filled with choices and what we do with the road we travel is what can make life meaningful and full.
The musical numbers do not translate well into a singalong, but the songs tell quite a story. Songs encouraging taking leaps, songs wondering “what if?”, songs of love to a baby, songs questioning whether you would change your path if you knew your story ends with hurt, and a song with an expletive in it questioning what just happened. Idina Menzel was the original lead on Broadway, but the touring actress was a look-alike and sound-alike – quite a powerhouse.
So glad we saw it. Enjoy a few clips of the music. And ponder your own “What if…”
I failed at the Daily Gratitude Posts on Facebook this November, so I thought I’d attempt a wrap up of the month. There is, indeed, so much to be thankful for!
I am grateful for the arts – music, movies, theatre…
Chris and I saw Madea at Saint Mary’s University in Winona – a translation from Seneca which was creative and interesting to see!
10 years of Take Note! Amazing… 10 years ago we created a group with people who loved to sing showtunes. We moved on a few years ago to incorporate different genres, but we still have a great time! We have put on 10 Christmas concerts (our final one with our current director is this Sunday!) and 9 spring concerts. We have performed at community events, nursing homes, and with college students. It has been a touchstone in my life, keeping me connected with the community where I grew up and raised my daughter, with my friends, and provided me with great visits with my parents. Let’s see what the next journey is!
Koni, Gracie and I saw the final installment of the Hunger Games series, The Mockingjay Part 2. We went to a late show and sat holding hands through the entire movie! Just a little stressful, that final flick. A war film with monsters. I watched some through my fingers and asked for spoilers (Gracie remembers the story better than I do!). Glad to see it through!
Chris and I saw Glen Hansard at the State Theatre in Minneapolis! I don’t know what it is about Glen, but his passion for his art moves me. I had tears in my eyes for the first four songs! He started the concert unamplified with strings. Wow. Chris appreciated the live music and got a handshake as he came up the aisle! A fun night! Tickets were purchased in August – the anticipation was worth it!
I am grateful for family –
We had a great weekend in Rushford during opening buck season. Many cuddles with baby August, Gracie’s first buck, Rees’s first hunt (with the big ones that got away!), and movies and relaxing together. Only thing that would have made it better would have been having Derek’s family and Chris there!
We had a delicious tuna casserole (made mostly by Chris) at Sierra’s house, with games and books and good times! We also had Kaydee over to help decorate our Christmas tree – complete with hot cocoa and cookies!
I worked during Thanksgiving so I missed all of the family time in Rushford. But Dana and Koni invited us over (via an email from Rees!) for a Thanksgiving Feast on Saturday night! We had great food, great family time, and played some fun games (Suspend for the win!)!
Sunday we drove to the Cities for time with the Bendson Cousins! Kristyn, Andrew & Natalie and Emily and Andrew were home and we joined them with Ruth and Steve and Marissa, Adam and August for snacks and chili. All was delicious and the company was fantastic. A great celebration of family!
The basketball season is underway, so we have made a few games with many more on the calendar! I hope to make as many as possible! Trajan, Gracie and Rees are all playing, so it’ll be a whirlwind!
It’s hard to get enough snuggles of that new little grandbaby. He’s giving us those precious smiles and it’s hard to stop looking at him. Love him so! Marissa is counting down the days left at home, so send special wishes and prayers her way!
I’m looking forward to December and hoping for some quality family time, grandbaby snuggles, and Christmas cheer!
I am grateful for friends –
Cosmo Girls met at my house in November and the focus was gratitude. How appropriate, eh? We watched YouTube videos, TED Talks, discussed what we’re grateful for, and of course there were laughs. We left everyone with a notebook to keep track of the things they’re thankful for and Thank You notes to send. I’m going to start my daily journaling in December – so that’s tomorrow! Looking forward to getting in to a habit of writing again!
The Satellite Sisters were in Minnesota for a book signing and us faithful followers drove up to be with them and get books signed by them! They are amazing women/sisters, and it was fun to see Sheila and Liz in person and hear the stories they chose to share. There were many laughs and a few tears. We had a great time and I’m so thankful that my Satellite Mister from NYC was able to come to Minnesota and spend a little time with us. He Periscoped from the Brooklyn signing and it was so fun to get that glimpse into the next-generation of women who wrote for the book, and it wasn’t too hard to convince him to trek to MN! We had a great time with the Sisters as well as over dinner at Parma 8200. It was such a fun day!
Work has been a little calmer than earlier in the fall. I worked a lot of afternoons, evenings and overnights during November, so I am not used to getting up in the morning but I am working on it. 🙂 I’m thankful for my coworkers who work hard, are supportive and fun. It makes the difficult stuff we do a joy.
I am looking forward to some intentional quality time with friends during this holiday season, as well! I’m going to start making plans soon! Time is precious!
I am grateful for so much.
For the cookie dough I whipped up, which is in the refrigerator waiting to be rolled out into stars.
For Hulu and Netflix – I love commercial-free television.
For books – I’m hoping to spend more time reading and less time on Facebook in December.
For quotes and words and pictures.
For the wonderful autumn we have experienced so far – it has been amazing!
For Trader Joe’s.
And most of all for my daughter, the beautiful new momma, and my husband, my confidant and rock.
Life is good.
William Blake, 1757 – 1827
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise
I first saw it in June 2012 when it was on Broadway in NYC. It is not a musical, but a play filled with music, and it is magical and fantastic and simple. Prior to seeing the show I had read two of the books in the series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – “Peter and the Starcatchers” and “Peter and the Shadow Thieves.” These books detail Peter Pan before he became Peter Pan, when he was simply, “BOY.” This is an adaptation of these books and is brought to stage by Rick Elice.
It’s been a while since I did a post exclusively about movies. The list is quite long since my last film post just over 6 weeks ago and most of them were in the last few weeks as I’ve been hanging close to home and resting my knee.
In the Theatre:
Oz The Great and Powerful– Saw this last Wednesday (free popcorn at the Wehrenberg!) with Jen. We didn’t go for 3D, because isn’t that getting a little old? Everything does not have to be in 3D. This movie did not need to be seen in 3D but it was obvious when they were playing it up. James Franco is pretty cute, the China Doll was adorable, the monkey was a great side-kick, and it was fun to think about the land of Oz pre-Dorothy, and pre-Wizard!
Quartet – Saw this today and loved it! I want to live there or a place like it, say in 30-35 years, so I’m going to start building my community! The home for retired musicians was filled with the ever-constant presence of beautiful music, people rehearsing for fun opera or showtunes, and croquet and walks on the grounds. Sounds blissful, eh? The characters were lovable and the story was fun. And no one died. 🙂
Liz on the Satellite Sisters podcast was talking about creating her own retirement community for her future and I was thinking about that throughout the entire movie. Instead of moving to some canned community, she was going to create hers, inviting the people she loves to spend time with and figuring out where they want to live and hiring someone to live with them to prepare meals. So, who’s in? 🙂 You know I’m a great social organizer! I will ensure that there will always be something to do!
From Netflix Instant:
The Giant Mechanical Man– What a nice little find this was! Starring Jenna Fisher (the Office) and Chris Messina (more about him later!), the movie is about not fitting in and not knowing what to do “with the rest of your life.” Chris is a street artist and Jenna struggles keeping temp jobs. Family and friends try to assist, but they don’t fit their mold. Very sweet movie.
Butter – And what a hoot this was! I saw it on preview somewhere and saved it to my Netflix queue. Surprising cast in this film about the competitive butter sculpting world in Iowa! The cast includes Jennifer Garner, the guy from Modern Family (Ty Burrell), Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, and a surprise appearance by Hugh Jackman. And a funny and sweet plot about a pre-teen girl who is living with yet another foster family. Good stuff.
7 Up, 7 Plus Seven, 14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up –These British documentaries are interesting, although I’m not watching them fully engaged but while multi-tasking. In the first they meet a group of 7 year olds and they follow up with them every 7 years. I believe that 56 Up was just released, so I have some catching up to do and I’m glad they’re all available! Just a “slice of life” for a small group of people in Britain.
From Netflix DVD: I have mentioned a few of these in previous posts, so these will be brief.
Ruby Sparks – Did not keep my attention. Interesting premise – a writer meets a girl like the one he is writing about and then realizes that she is, in fact, the girl he is writing about. I don’t know what I was multi-tasking with this day, but I let it play without re-watching it.
Celeste and Jesse Forever – Starring Rashida Jones (also one of the writers!) and Jason Samberg, these BFF get married and then divorced, while remaining BFFs. It is awkward and uncomfortable for their friends and gets in the way of their ‘moving on” so they have to figure out a new relationship. Also starring Chris Messina!
Ira & Abby – Starring Chris Messina (!) as a neurotic guy who gets dumped by his psychotherapist after many years, and Jennifer Westfeldt as the loosey-goosey gym membership salesperson. They meet and feel a connection and decide to get married. Lots of talking in this film, crazy family members, and a pretty fun story.
Coming up on DVD:
The Sessionsabout a quadraplegic’s experience with a sex therapist and The Intouchables (again!), the lovely French (?) movie about a quadraplegic’s caregivers. Wow. That’s interesting, eh? Good timing.
I have purchased Anna and will plan a viewing party soon!
Movies starring Chris Messina: So as I was watching the third movie starring Chris Messina lately, I decided to look him up on IMDB and see how many of his movies I have seen. He has been in a lot and I have seen a fair number of them! It is surprisingly a lot! I counted 30 MOVIES on IMDB (he has also been on several TV shows).
Of those 30, I have seen: Argo, Ruby Sparks, The Giant Mechanical Man, Celeste & Jesse Forever, Julie & Julia, Greenberg, Away We Go, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Ira & Abby, Made of Honor, You’ve Got Mail, and Vicky Christina Barcelona
That’s 12 movies through the years! Crazy, odd statistic.
Well, that’s enough. More than enough!
Let me know if you’d like to be in on the retirement community I’m planning!
I can’t believe that in an hour May will be history! The days and weeks continue to fly by… wasn’t I just celebrating Cinco de Mayo de Derby Day?
There have been baseball games and softball games and musical events and concerts and lunches with friends and work. One blissful day at the lake, resulting in sunshine on my shoulders which kept me warm for a few days! I’m sorta caught up in my magazine reading (June Oprah awaits!), I culled my blogs so it’s not so overwhelming to read them anymore and I’m reading a great book (The Shoemaker’s Wife by Trigiani). I saw a couple good movies in the theatre – The Five Year Engagement and The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel – and continue to watch DVDs and wonder why I pay for cable television. 🙂
Life is good.
Now, onto June. It’s really hard to believe that it will be here tomorrow! My crazy work schedule continues; I work the next two weekends with random days off during the week. I have a girl’s day in the works next week and a four night / five Broadway show trip to NYC to look forward to mid-June! I can barely contain myself — I’m always planning and thinking about how to pack so that I can be minimalist and still bring everything that I need. I don’t want to be high maintenance but I want to look good!
The Broadway itinerary for the week includes:
Monday: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Wednesday matinee: Newsies
Wednesday evening: Peter and the Starcatcher
Thursday: Nice Work If You Can Get It
Are you jealous much??? It’ll be a dream week for sure!
I look forward to Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tony’s on June 10 and have a good chance of seeing the Best Musical winner!
Well, enough gloating… I’m going to enjoy the rest of May with a good book in hand!