Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bipartisan Holiday Greetings

From my good friend, David Kopp. It gave me a good laugh, so I had to share.......

To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas/Hannukah and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Almost Time...

So the week of Shlemiel's opening has arrived. Tonight is a final dress rehearsal, tomorrow and Wednesday are our pay-what-you-can previews, and then Thursday night, we are officially OPEN! I snapped a couple of pictures this past weekend, during our marathon rehearsal weekend, that I wanted to share. We are finally coming to a good place with the show. It is SUCH a cute, charming, happy show with incredibly fun music...I'm sure people will be clapping and perhaps even dancing in the aisles. We have a few more things we need to work out on OUR end to ensure the best possible show....and even then, if we don't, we will just have to fake it. Either way, it's going to be a great show to check out. Just WAIT until you see me as a Yenta. Magic.

Have a great Monday!
MAnderson

This is the poster outside the front door of the DCJCC. That's right....it's just like Fiddler on a sugar high. Who wouldn't want to see that?

This is Fred. OR should I say Yenta Fred.

Yenta Fred and I. This was before I got my NEW beard. You'll have to come see the show to see it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mamma Mia!

I'll be honest....when I heard the plan to make the Broadway juke box musical, MAMMA MIA into a full-length feature film, I wrinkled my nose, and thought it sounded like a terrible idea. And you know, after all is said and done, it actually still might turn out to be a terrible idea. But what I know right at this moment is this.....the first trailer for the movie was released today, and I couldn't be more excited for it.

I'm happy to admit it here and now....it looks fun. So mock or scoff or say what you will...but I'm going to happily support the movie musical genre in the summer of 2008, when Mamm Mia! hits the big screen. Singing? Check. ABBA music? Check. Dancing? Check. Set in Greece? Check. Meryl Streep vocalizing? Check. I mean....MY! MY! HOW CAN I RESIST YA?

See for yourself....

Party With Chopsticks

Saturday night, my friend Darci took me to her work holiday party! The fun part of it is that it's actually where I used to work - at the Washington Speakers Bureau - so I would get to see old friends and dance the night away! So I got my tux, met Darci at the Fairmont Hotel downtown DC, we put on our dancing shoes and hit the party! The final verdict is that we did, indeed, dance the night away. The theme this year was an Asian/Chinese theme...either in honor of the 2008 Olympics or because they had an extra Chinese dragon costume laying around and wanted to use it. Either way, it made for a fun evening. And lots of fans sitting around for when it got hot.

But just HOW much fun did we have?

Let the pictures tell you.....

I mean right off the bat...THIS is the level of fun we were dealing with. Go Maggie!

Darci and Georgene S pose infront of the Great Wall of China. Natch.

John, Malcolm and I do a reverse Oreo. OH DAMN!

As the alcohol level went up, so did the crazy antics level. LIKE...who thought it would be a good idea to try and catch the LIVE goldfish in the centerpieces?


Look no further. It was Christine and Shanna.

Kelly S and Becky mug for a quick picture.

Georgene, Brett and Maggie get cozy for a group shot!

And then Brett and Monica got cozy for a photo. That is a lot of Brett and a lot of Cozy.

Maggie shows off her scarf from her Secret Santa.

Darci shows off her frame and gift card from her creative Secret Santa. (Good work, Nika!!!)

Old friends and cubicle wall buddies RE-UNITED! Me and Nika strike a pose!

John L and date also caught striking a pose.

Liz M and Darci flash their smiles for my lens.

Meredith contemplates what she has seen this evening.

Waiting to see Nika's reaction, if she wins the Bermuda Trip drawing.

Monica dances over to mug for the camera.

Best Friends FOREVER. To The Maxxxxxx!

John celebrates with Becky - who ended up winning the Bermuda Trip!!!! Congrats BECKY!

Becky and Maggie celebrate Becky's big win!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sleep On It

A HUGE shout out to Jeffrey Scott Bailey (aka Mike Teavee, Wonka Tour Year 2) for his commercial premiere on HGTV today! The commercial is for the new HGTV show, SLEEP ON IT, and Jeffrey plays a home buyer who lip-synch's Meatloaf and dances the Pony with the other people on the block! Makes me want to watch the show AND move to whatever neighborhood these people live in. They've got mad skills...that's all I'm saying!

Congrats, JSB! I love the commercial! Thanks for sharing!
MAnderson


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shlemiel In Rehearsals

Hey friends! I now have 2 weeks of 'Shlemiel' rehearsals under my belt, and I figured it was about time that I give you a fair and accurate accounting of things. This past week, which was our 2nd week, was full of mucho craziness, so there is a lot to report.

Last Monday, as I was coming out of the Metro station to head to the theater, my phone buzzed with a new voice message I had gotten while I was on the train. The voice message was from our Assistant Stage Manager, Lacey. She was calling to tell me that rehearsal had been cancelled because our director, Nick's partner had had a heart attack. (Jumping to the end of the story really quick....he's doing well. Game on.....) She told me to hang out and wait to hear from our Stage Manager about what was next. Definitely stressed me out a bit...a week into rehearsals and two weeks from opening...you know....just a bit stressful.

The rest of the week shook out like this: Nick's partner, Tim, had triple-bypass surgery on Tuesday, which went as well as it could. Rehearsal director-less on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday, we found out that Nick had withdrawn from the project to take care of Tim. Sad and stressful and crazy all rolled into one - but important and understandable, in the end. Wednesday, Theater J tells us they found a new director to step in and help get the showing moving along. Thursday, first rehearsal with new director, Michael, which goes really well. Friday, continue pulling the show together and piecing together what we have and what we still need.

So what I'm saying is that basically, the process for 'Shlemiel' has been anything but BORING! I am happy to report that the show IS coming right along. The show is definitely pushing me and stretching me and challenging me. It's fun and silly and happy and joyful...and the cast is doing an amazing job of rolling with the punches. We are down to our final FULL week of rehearsals before the curtain goes up on December 18th!

*And now...for your viewing pleasure....please enjoy the first 'behind the scene' shots of 'Shlemiel The First' in rehearsals, this past week, at the DCJCC!

Have a GREAT Monday!
MAnderson

L-R: Amy (Mrs. Shlemiel), Justin (Shlemiel's son) and Maribeth (stage manager standing in for Shlemiel, who had to work and couldn't be at rehearsal this day) work out one of the 'family scenes' in Act 2.

L-R: Derek (music director and a serious reality tv fan friend) and Donna (Yenta Pesha) chillin' on the side lines.

L: Justin, Tom (Shlemiel) and Maribeth (who is NOW standing in for Isabel, who plays Shlemiel's daughter. She was on her way to rehearsal from school.) R: Dan (Gronam Ox) studying lines....or sleeping....I can't really tell.

Howard (Sender Shlamazel) watches the action on stage. Please notice Howard's awesome beard around his neck. Love the beards.

Another 'family scene'. You have previously met all the players.

Rob (Zalman Tippish) sits, contemplating just how much UN-fun the beards are. OR he's just looking over his script.

L: Fred (Mendel Shmendrick) looks at the action on stage and laughs. Fred CRACKS. ME. UP. R: Dan and Howard hard at work with their scripts. There is actually a good chance that Dan is sleeping in this shot, too.

Amy and Tom tug at the ol' heart strings with 'My One And Only Shlemiel'.

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*I realize there are no shots of me. Because 1. I was TAKING the pictures, DUH! and 2. We all KNOW I hate being in pictures. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Can't Beat Honesty

Today I was walking to the Metro after my rehearsal, and I passed a homeless woman, standing on the side of the sidewalk against a store front. She had a foot up on an upside-down empty milk crate, she was wearing a dirty Santa hat, and she had a small Dixie cup-type-cup in her hand. She was shaking the cup, and it sounded like there were a couple of coins in the bottom of it.

As I got near her, I could hear her talking...and her words ended up being one of the best things I had heard all day. She said:

"Please make a donation to help the homeless! Help the homeless wtih a donation. Your donation COULD probably could feed a few homeless people."

(pause)

(pause)

"But it will PROBABLY just feed me. Thanks."

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Sadly, I didn't have any cash in my pocket. But if I had, she TOTALLY would've gotten some. I liked her flare. I appreciated her honesty.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 3, 2007

Stupid Strikes Again

So I have tried, for the most part, to NOT embarass myself by writing about seemingly insignificant pop culture stuff. Every so often, I will make a reality TV remark, or comment on a song or something, but for the most part, I avoid making comments, at least in print, that actually prove that I'm 30-something and still into pop culture. But I just can't hold it IN any longer. I read the MOST ridiculous AND funny thing, and I had to comment.

There are a lot of people that I dislike from the Reality TV realm...but there are no 2 that I despise MORE than the backstabbing villains from MTV's The Hills, 21 year old Heidi Montag and her 24 year old boyriend Spencer Pratt. I see pictures of them, and I want to punch them. Sometimes, I WILL punch them. ('Them' = the pictures, in this scenario.) They are snot-nosed rich kids from Southern California who have been handed everything they have ever wanted and have NO clue what 'REALITY' is even like.

But the best part about them is that they are in LOVE with themselves and their 'D-list' celebrity status (and giving them D-list MIGHT be bumping them up. I would probably put them more in the H- to K-list celebrity range, if I was being completely honest.) And this SELF love they have causes them to LOOK stupid a lot of the time, but also causes them to say REALLY stupid, albeit entertaining, things a majority of the time. LUCKILY, they can't seem to shut up, so we get to keep laughing. Most recently, they turned up AGAIN in Us Magazine...with a couple GEMS of quotes from both of them.

Here is the article, with the really magic moments in bold italics:

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HEIDI'S NEW MUSIC CAREER

Heidi Montag has something to sing about! 'The Hills' star, 21, is in the studio recording her first album (which will be self-released in 2008) with fiance/manager Spencer Pratt, 24, by her side.

"It's nothing music has heard before. It is its own genre," she tells Us of the tunes she's cowriting with producer Theron Feemster (who has worked with Michael Jackson). When it was time to shoot the video for the single "Higher," Pratt had big ideas: "We wanted to do it in space, but it cost too much." They settled for a beach shoot, but Pratt insists the music is out of this world: "This album is going to be so good. People will try to hate, but you can't hate on a good thing!"

"I want to inspire people," Montag tells Us of her music.
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HAHAHAHAHA! It is its own genre? Come on now, Heidi. Is 'CRAPPY' really its own genre? Or can it span all the genres? I think you know the answer. We ALL do. And I LOVE how Spencer almost sounded.....oh, I don't know.....surprised to learn that shooting a complete music video IN SPACE actually cost too much....even for these LA socialites. Luckily, they "settled" for the beach shot.

So yeah....tell me they aren't ridiculous. I'm pretty sure YOU all want to punch them now, too. Here's a picture......

Sunday, December 2, 2007

White House Memories

So today, I'm taking a chance to celebrate the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Wonka Crew's trip to the White House! That's right, it was a year ago TODAY, early on a cold Monday morning, we rolled into the East Wing of the White House, proceeded through security, and finally made our way into the building....eventually performing for the President and First Lady. The first Children's Musical to perform in the East Room, thank you very much. It was such an incredible day and still such an unbelievable memory. It still makes me smile to think about being there and the whole whirlwind weekend. You can read my account or see my pictures from my various posts from last year on my Tour Blog. Just click HERE.

So to Graham, Elisa, Eric, Roe, Rachel, Tara, Jeffrey and Steve...HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you all. Hope you have a great day remembering our magical experience together last year! I'm taking it upon myself to declare today a holiday....but I'm hoping to get a bill passed through Congress here in DC making the first Monday in December an actual NATIONAL holiday. We shall call it Wonka White House Day. We deserve it! I'll keep you posted.....

Hope EVERYONE'S December is off to a great start...where ever you may be! And it is my deepest hope that you all have a Happy Wonka White House Day today!

Cheers-
MAnderson