Saturday, July 30, 2011

Simply, Saturday...Opening Night of "Sunday"

Chandelierious sure gets quiet when I am rehearsing for a new show...
Rehearsals are time consuming, indeed. But, lo and behold, here we are. It's opening night of  "Sunday in the Park With George"! If you are in the Rochester area, I encourage you to come see this gorgeous production. We have some seriously talented people here, on stage and behind the scenes. Take a look at this little preview one of our tech designers (my former "Tommy" husband) Ron Heerkens Jr. put together.
Tickets are available online or by phone at BlackfriarsOur run starts today, July 30th, and continues through August 13th. Consider it! To quote a song from the show, "It's Hot!" and our director Jack keeps the theater very, very cool. A perfect way to spend a hot summer day or night....just saying...
Happy opening night to my cast and crew mates! And a happy, simple and sunny Saturday to the rest of you, lovelies. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Simply, Sunday..."Sunday"

A story centered around one of the most famous paintings in the world, composed by one the the most famous musical composers in the world....
Sounds like a win-win combination, right? That's what "Sunday in the Park With George" is.
It's a win-win. 
Smart & stylish, colorful & clever, thought provoking & funny. We have been rehearsing Stephen Sondheim's musical about Georges Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte" since late June. We are about to explode with daily tech and dress rehearsals before finally opening this Saturday, July 30th at Blackfriars Theatre. It's exciting, and slightly nerve wracking, watching everything come together. But, it is.  And? It's gorgeous. This one is literally gorgeous.
Take a peak at what's going on during these rehearsal days:

Yesterday was our Sitzprobe, which is a fancy word for sitting and singing with the whole band for the first time. In this case, less is more, with our Musical Director on piano and a percussionist filling in the rest of the blanks.

My dear friend Carl, in red, is "George." He is amazing. I feel like a proud mama hen when I watch him. 

We have many set pieces that that come together to become "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte". These two scrims are are George's work in progress, and finished painting. 

Our artistic director, John Haldoupis, actually painted the set and pieces, recreating Seurat's color saturated, pointillist work. He's one exceptionally talented guy.

This soldier is one of many painted pieces that come on and off stage during the creation of the painting. Trees, dogs, people and parasols are among the others.

The costuming is gorgeous, as well. This is little Louise's dress. Beautiful.

So....come see us! We open in less than a week! As you can see, things are looking Chandelierious. But, the talent in this cast must be seen for itself. Come!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Hello,  Thirsty's been a while! Today I am sharing a little something different. Instead of the usual cocktail recipe, I am posting two books I stumbled upon while doing some online shopping. The titles speak for themselves, warranting a Thirsty Thursday plug:

Booze Cakes, by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone, touts "step by step recipes for spiking your favorite confections with spirits, wine and beer." Mouthwatering recipes include a tropical pina colada cake and rum & coke whoopie pies!

The Boozy Baker, by the aptly named Lucy Baker, appears quite similar and includes recipes for profiteroles (yes.) and peach cobbler, spiked with things like chocolate stout and Jagermeister!

What a fantastic idea for a themed party...BYO spiked desserts! And really, with the alcohol content getting baked away in the oven, you won't even to worry about cabs and D.D.'s. Bonus! You can have your cake and practically drink it, too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Simply, Saturday...spotted!

Coolest laptop case.

If I had a full sized laptop, this would be mine. Alas, I have a netbook...
 Go grab Animal. He's only $12.99 at the Webster T.J. Maxx.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's Wednesday...What to do? Here's a thought...

Wednesday is now my favorite day. Why? Because, for the summer anyway, it is my day off from work to spend with Eloise, doing whatever floats our boats. Today, since we are still in the processing of making our house a home, we worked on a little project for her bedroom. 
A while back, we found some old "Syroco" wall butterflies at Volunteers of America for $.20 each. Since Ellie's favorite color of late is purple, we went to the hardware store and grabbed 2 bottles of sample paint in different grape-y shades for $3.99.
Today, we sat on the porch and painted them, like so:

For less than $5.00 we made a one of a kind piece of wall art for a one of a kind little girl. And, had a great time doing it. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let them eat cake? Yes, please.

Do you love cake, too?
Well if you do (and you know you do!), my friend Shawn, just started her own cake business here in Rochester, N.Y. Shawn is a wife, a mother, an artist and teacher. And for her summer days off Shawn has taken the plunge and put her talents out there for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Her company, and blog, Straight to Cake, just launched. Shawn's approach to the blog is a time line dating from her first foray into cake decorating with her daughter's first birthday and the subsequent trials and successes since. It's fun to see her progress and....well, drool over the pictures at the same time.

This one's my favorite! Little Bee cupcakes that "flew" around a giant cupcake cake...
Look at the detail Shawn put into her jungle themed cake:

Don't you love that fondant elephant?!  
Please check out Shawn's blog.  And if you're on facebook (and who isn't?) "like" her there.
Mmmmm. Cake.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simply, Saturday...spotted!

By now, you all probably know of my affinity for animal prints and saturated colors like hot pink. And also, how much I love it when normally mundane, everyday items are made brighter and more fun to use because of it.
Here is a perfect example. A print, color and otherwise mundane item "perfect storm" if you will.
Spotted at TJMaxx, these home office accessories shout "look at me, I can be sassy whilst stapling paper." 

Or, something like that...

Friday, July 8, 2011


 A blank page or canvas...
(I would be remiss if I didn't begin that way, as it is the opening line of "Sunday in the Park with George."  It was too perfect not to.)  
I have been an absentee blogger of late due to a few things...a new nest to nest in and a new show to perform in, among others. That line from "Sunday" has meaning on multiple levels for me. It symbolizes a new place for me to call home. A new, blank, and yes, mostly white canvas to start fresh on. In literal terms, white is also a color (yes, I think white is a color, just like vanilla is a flavor).  It is pure, simple, reflective, clean.
In this new space I am calling home,  I find myself attracted to white. Whether repurposed or brand new, white things are finding a comfortable home in the nest.
This all white chandelier, complete with opaque white crystals, arrived yesterday.

It will hang over the dining room table (also white).  
Eloise and I (she has passionate opinions about design as well) are still going with that clean, mid-century modern, Jonathon Adler-esque type feel. We are mixing it with some eclectic other pieces, but that's the main style we're going with. That in mind, we went mod with this other little item:

The "Fish Hotel" by Umbra. How awesome is that?! 

The sofa mentioned blogs ago is "off" white, but provides that perfect canvas for other colors to pop off of. And the furry pillows? Yup. More white.

Personally, I don't love the vertical blinds that came with the apartment, but I think I am "not supposed to" really take them down. My simple solution was removing the panels and putting up an inexpensive cafe rod. I had intended to hang some wilder colors, but the white circled sheers seemed more...right. (Naturally, I reserve the right to change more mind!)

Lastly, the nest of the nest is quite white. My room.

Already having sweet dreams here...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

There. Happy Independence day!
Now, go to the parade, eat, drink, be merry...and grateful.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Simply, "Sunday..."

What better day to write a quick note about my latest theatrical endeavor "Sunday in the Park With George" than on a Sunday? Rehearsals have begun and this show promises to be beautiful and brilliant. Composed by the musical genius Stephen Sondheim, this Pulitzer Prize winning play is centered around the creation of the painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte" by the artistic genius Georges Seurat.

This musical happily reunites me with both the Artistic and Musical Directors of "Tommy" and a few cast mates, too! The opportunity to work with many more talented actors from around Rochester is exhilarating. It's my honor to be playing "Yvonne," a fictional character based on the woman in the center of the painting, with a little girl in one hand and a parasol in the other.
"Sunday.." begins it's run on July 30th and continues through August 13th. Please check Blackfriars for tickets and more details.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Simply, Saturday

There's an event, happening today, that was shared with me on facebook recently and a good friend suggested I share it here. (Props, to you!) What could be more simple and wonderful than a shake on a simple Saturday?
Mike Gamache, the event creator, said it best, so I will just link to the event and copy his words:

Milkshake Day  For Cancer Awareness & Support

July 2nd

Description: Wherever you are in the world, all you have to do is go to your favorite ice cream shop and enjoy your favorite milkshake. Its that simple. Go by yourself, your family, your friends, whatever - the only requirement is to drink a milkshake! If you like the idea, tell your family and friends as well.

History: My name is Mike and my Dad fought cancer for almost 4 years before it ultimately took him away from us. For him it started out as bladder cancer, but due to a few unfortunate turns in the road, it ended up spreading to his upper chest. At that time he was too weak for chemo, so his doctors tried to keep that tumor at bay with radiation, hoping that it would buy him some time. A result of the radiation was a terrible sore throat, so when he was ultimately send home on hospice, all he really wanted to eat was ice cream and milkshakes - we figured "why not?" at least he was getting some calories! That particular summer was bittersweet, knowing that we were losing him, but the time spent together was priceless. As part of our routine, we would get in the car and take him to various shops/stores that milkshakes, and he would rate them in order of preference. He became a milkshake connoisseur! After he passed away, my family and I wanted to do something annually to celebrate his zest for life, and we came up with Milkshake Day.

Legacy: This started as a simple, personal tribute to someone we cared very deeply about, but over the years, more and more people have wanted to participate. For most, we're not really looking for Milkshake Day to be a tribute to my Dad (as it is for us), rather we hope that on this day, everyone takes a moment, enjoys a milkshake, and just thinks about people they know and care about who have been affected by cancer. Perhaps someone personally dealing with this disease will be driving around that day and see someone else drinking a milkshake, and know that they are not alone. We hope Milkshake Day can be used as a personal tribute and that people affected can enjoy a few moments, wrapped in the support of people that care.

Ok, my locals, here are some perfectly palatable places to get your milkshake on today:

Cheeburger Cheeburger in Charlotte has an almost endless variety and even allow you to "design" your own flavor!

Abbott's. Any location. We live in Rochester, enough said.

Last, but not least, Friendly's...who doesn't love a Fribble? (Especially strawberry or vanilla.) Yum.

Mouth watering yet? 
Go! Go get your cancer ass kicking milkshake on. Happy Holiday Weekend!!