Monday, September 29, 2008

opening night

so we officially opened BUSYTOWN at imagination stage on saturday...and it was exciting and fun to get the show up and running!   a huge thanks to everyone who was part of opening night - from the staff all the way down to my opening night guests...thank you all for your love and support!   hope to see many of you in the streets of Busytown very soon!!!

the girls of busytown...busy getting ready....

and a quick pose before the curtain goes up.

2 of my opening night guests (and overall favorite people ever) steve and allison block! 

the rest of the opening night friends.    back row:  (l-r) bryan banker, huckle cat matt, darci nelson (hiding), jim nelson.  front row:  (l-r) merry casillas, lowly worm, sierra casillas, rachel oliphant.

a quick shot with a couple of my favorite cast friends!   (l-r):  me, the adorable emily levey, and the hysterical mj casey!   (sadly, i missed tiernan, sara and don for an all-group shot....but i dig them all......)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

'busytown' preview

in memorial....

Paul Newman
January 26, 1925 - September 27, 2008

thanks for the memories....

Wonka played the Westport Country Playhouse in January 2006. Meeting Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward and their grandchildren was a highlight of our first year of tour....

Friday, September 26, 2008

get ready

tomorrow, saturday september 27th, BUSYTOWN the musical opens its colorful doors at imagination stage in bethesda. the show runs through november 2nd, and if full of lots of color, fun and music for kids of all ages. please let me know if you're attending one of the shows, i'd love to say hi afterwards.

and for all of you wondering but too afraid to ask: NO...that is not a giant pez dispenser. it's lowly worm. duh.

the incredibly patient cast of BUSYTOWN: (l-r) tiernan madorno, don casey, me, lowly worm, emily levey (driving the pickle car), sara brunow, mj casey (driving the banana car.)

huckle and lowly. aaaaaaand...sorry huckle looks freaky. it just happened.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

photo update

evidently, our 20,000th visitor is now also making demands...and, it would even seem, threats.   newly crowned, amy emailed me last night with a new picture - because EVIDENTLY she was unhappy with the one that i had to post.   and her picture was accompanied with the following email-veiled-in-threat:

"...I would suggest you change it out.  I think I have proven how much time I am willing to waste on pretty much anything.  You wouldn't want it to be wasted on the "wrong thing" would you?"

your wish is our command, #20k.  anything else, just let us know. 

but seriously...this is a great shot of BOTH of us....

congrats, again, amy!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

congrats to visitor no. 20,000!!!

and the winner is....


congrats, amy! this magical picture is the only one i could find...from way back in high school!!! i'm glad you spent your day in pursuit of this honor...even leaving your kids sitting at school, on the curb waiting for you, as the number clicked closer and closer to that number 20,000! the victory and the gift package are both yours.

#19,999 & #20,001 are still being worked out...more details to come on those 2! but for now, and rightfully so, the focus is on today's big winner! it's your day to shine, amy thurston! thanks for choosing to shine on The MAnderson Report!

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

UPDATE: the final countdown

it's getting exciting now, folks!  we're down to our last 80 or so visitors before we welcome visitor #20,000 to the manderson report!  keep checking back to see how wins!
it could be YOU!!!

the fun begins....

so today was our first public preview for 'busytown: the musical'.   there was a very cute audience of 3, 4 and 5 year olds (and their chaperones) who wiggled and danced and waved and giggled and smiled.   the show today was saddled with a lot of headache and struggle throughout (and don't even get me started on the week of tech rehearsals)...but luckily, when it comes to the little ones in the audience, they didn't know the different - they just came to laugh and clap and sing along.  and as stressed as we get, as long as we come back to remember just WHO our little show is for, we'll be fine - and we'll be able to find what we love about this show and share it with the little hobbits that come to see it everyday....until november 2!

tomorrow is preview #2...and previews continue the rest of the week until saturday night.  saturday night is our official 'opening night' when the press comes and writes what they will and 'busytown' is officially declared open for business.   we have a lot to learn and re-learn and adjust over the next few days.   believe me when i say it will probably continue to try my, and everyone else's, patience.    but we'll pull it out.  somehow.   and come saturday, i'm sure that we'll be ready and proud to get 'busytown' open.

and if we're not ready....then by saturday, we WILL be ready to burn the whole town down and storm out in an angry pack....scattering the carnage of various props along the way as we go.    so could say we're at a pivotal point in the process.   i hope it works out.

a few random shots from our week of tech rehearsals.....enjoy.  and come to the show to see what everything is!

Friday, September 19, 2008

another sneak peek

here's another look at another costume piece from busytown: the musical!   these are the glasses i wear for about 2 minutes when i play a bug airport worker...who is dropping off a bag of mail at an airplane.   riveting, right?   enjoy this look as you head into your weekend.....and like with the yellow Chucks, try not to be jealous....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

for chris and gillian

"THESE old things?"

so here is a look at my shoes for huckle the cat in busytown!  canary yellow chuck taylor's?  yes.  please.   who is jealous now!?

more to come....more to come...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

more japan love

a big thanks to dainon...for posting this on his blog so i could steal it.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


so first off, i wanted to find an image to go with this blog entry. so i went to google images and googled "milestones" - and this picture was on the first page. now i have no idea what it actually has to DO with milestones, but i love i am using it.

now - on to the matter at hand. if you scroll to the bottom of this blog page, you will see a counter that, depending on when you visit, is increasing somewhere OVER 19,500 - ticking ever so closer to marking my 20,000 visitor. originally, for those who were helping me, i had set a somewhat lofty goal of attaining that number by the one year anniversary of the manderson report...back on august 17, 2008. we all know now that i didn't make it...and i'm ok with that, as i knew it was going to be a stretch going into it. but it was EFFORT that counts...and everyone around me were real champs in helping me try!

but now - that 20,000 visit is in sight...and that is cause to celebrate. and to make the climb to that milestone even MORE interesting...i'm putting out an offer that you can't refuse. the 20,000 visitor to the manderson report will get a super-special care-package put together with my own 2 hands! there are some surprises i started collecting back in august when i set the 20,000 goal...and some others that have come along since then. there will also be additional little trinkets once i know who the winner is. and for those of you who really want to win, there will ALSO be a fresh batch of "matt's super secret trail mix of amazingness" - or, what some of you have come to know as "matt's crack." (MINDS out of the gutter, people.) for those of you who have no idea what i'm talking about, trust me...the magic is worth the visits.

and finally, to make the fight to the top THAT much more fun, there will be BOOBY PRIZES for #19,999 and #20,001.

once the winners and "winners" are known, i will post pictures of the care packages before they are sent out!  so start visiting....and getting your friends and family to visit.  the more you visit, the greater your chance of being our lucky winner!

here's wishing EVERYONE a happy climb!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

some things for your conisderation...

so once in awhile, i come to one of those blog entries that, for one reason or another, i have been putting off writing and so i need to catch up. this is going to be one of those times. there isn't a lot to catch up on....just some random thoughts, a variety of pictures, and a little bit of information some of you might find helpful. (some of you also may find the information lame and ridiculous. if you feel that way...the information was clearly not intended for you. just move on.)

let's start our list:

1. "BUSYTOWN" the musical opens in 2 weeks with previews!

that's 2 short weeks, you can see your favorite characters from the world of Richard Scarry come to LIFE at imagination stage in bethesda. and evidently, the deal is that if you want to see the show cheap before our "official" opening night (the 7pm show on september 27th), you can snag $10 tickets! you can't beat a deal like THAT with a stick! SO - if you want to check out the washington dc premiere of this show in previews and save money, click HERE. (the $10 shows are sept 23 @ 11:00am, sept 24 @ 10:30am, sept 25 @ 10:30am and sept 27th @ 12:30pm or 3:30pm.) let me know if you end up coming to one of the $10 shows! i'd love to say HI afterwards!

2. i had a VISITOR!

ok. honestly. she didn't really come to just see me. and after she arrived, i learned she really came to see the backstreet boys at wolf trap in vienna. but august, one of my favorite people ever came to visit the greater DC area. shannon west! shannon and i met here in northern virginia, and then she decided that she was going to head back home to utah to close to her family or whatever. but every so often, she shows up out east here, and we have a crazy good time whenever she does! i think i've said it before, but shannon is one of those people who reminds me how life is SUPPOSED to be lived: enthusiastically, passionately, and always for 'the dream'. although i was pretty busy with life and jobs while she was in town, we did have a chance to go on one of the technologically advanced people movers that i used to give tours on...and, like any good shannon west visit, we had a chance to go eat dinner at rio grande cafe in ballston. (which, truthfully shannon, i don't really dig all that much...but i'm always happy to go for YOU!) when shannon is around, there is never a dull moment...and you'll soon notice that life takes on a sparkly, glittery glow when she is near. all i can say is stand as close as you can and hope some of it rubs off...because she knows what this thing called life is all about!

a shot from rio grande.

another shot. both shots are shannon REFUSING to motorboat. and although i wanted her to, i appreciate her sticking to her guns and not giving in. sadly, i think she'd be really good at it. but that's an arguement for another day...

3. i took a quick trip to GEORGIA!

labor day weekend, i hopped in a car with the nelson siblings, drove 11 hours south, and hopped out on the front step of carlos and heather gonzalez in newnan, georgia! heather knew i was coming...but it was a surprise to los. and his reaction was priceless. (confusion...sheer and utter confusion for about 5 minutes.) there were no plans...and it had been a year since i had been down to visit, so the kids were bigger, the house was new, and the relaxing was in full swing! the gonzalez family is right up there on my list of 'favorite people' - and i'm glad we got the chance to hang out in 2008. it means our streak is alive and well...and i'm looking forward to 2009! plus - i got the chance to introduce them to cajun trail mix from sam's club...which can, will and did change their it has changed mine! enjoy some pics from the trip!

katherine and jim nelson getting ready for the big drive. the....carolinas, maybe...we had a slight hiccup in our plan. but a kind citizen stopped, gave us a jump and we were on our way again. here, darci and jim check out the like....2am.

cubbie considers hitching the rest of the way.

as soon as i arrived in newnan, the play-do came out and abby and i were busy making ART.

charlie, as it turned out, only wanted to eat popcorn.
here is heather, in one of the pictures i let abby take with my camera.

another 'abby original' - titled: charlie with candy necklace.

i don't know what is really going on, but i really love this b&w of the 2 of them. these kids rule.

abby is clearly happy about something.

i catch a picture of charlie up on his favorite perch in the house.

4. BUSYTOWN rehearsals continue to roll forth!
i gotta put the pictures i keep snapping please enjoy this latest collection of photos from our rehearsals. with a show that includes a pickle car, a banana car, a crayon car, a carrot car...and a whole slew of other crazy props, the pictures promise to keep getting more and more interesting and entertaining.

rehearsal well under way. please notice the rehearsal 'lowly worm' character/puppet (with the blue head) in emily's hand, center stage.

an 'art shot' of lowly and the girls.

mj gives the banana car a try.

tiernan hands don the cheese.

then she goes to help emily out of the pickle car.

the rest of these are amazing on so many different levels....for so many different reasons. enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

unclear about jeremiah

today, after rehearsal, tiernan and i were riding the metro back into DC, and i saw an ad that i have been seeing on the metro the past month or so. i don't get it. it baffles me. i'm not sure what it means. and they have it all OVER the trains. finally today, i pulled out my camera, turned off the flash (so as not to wake the nice business man asleep next to tiernan, across the car), and snapped a quick picture, so i could share it with all of you here tonight.

i'm going to go out on a limb here and say....THIS ad is probably not pulling in a high number of customers.....

but you be the judge.