Dallas Mavericks/McDonald’s Family Nights!

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Grab the family and head to the Dallas Mavericks game!  Packages include 4 Mavs Tickets and 4 McDonald’s Extra Value Meals all starting at $59!

Looking for a fun night out with the family?  Go to a Dallas Mavericks Game!!  The Mavericks and McDonald’s have partnered to provide both a very entertaining AND affordable night for the whole family!

The Mavericks organization make a basketball game a fun event for families of all ages!    Worried that the kids aren’t that “into” basketball?  Don’t, because the Mavs provide entertainment for the kids from the beginning to the end.   They provide funny games (everything from a “make a human burger” to “name that tune”) to the entertainment from the Mavs ManiAACs, Mavs Dancers, and the mascots – Champ and MavsMan.   I loved watching the kids get involved in all the different activities and the camera shots of happy families with their kids are priceless.

Mavericks Game Family NightMavericks T-ShirtMavericks Titanic Cam

 

Mavericks Game 2The games are fun for couples too! My husband and I went last Saturday night and we were thoroughly entertained the moment we got there!  We got to see the first game for the Mavs first round pick Nerlens Noel (former Philadelphia 76ers) and they had a very exciting game and win against The New Orleans Pelicans 96 – 83.  Let’s face it – it’s always fun to win!

 

 

Your kids will love you for taking them to a game and you will have just as much fun as they do – I promise!  GO MAVS!

Mavs Family NightFor McDonald’s Family Night tickets go to: www.mavs.com/tickets/mcdonaldsfamilynights

For The Mavericks Schedule go to: www.mavs.com/schedule

For regular tickets go to:  www.mavs.com/tickets

 

Stomp Returns to Dallas Music Hall for One Week Only – February 14-19, 2017

Stomp Donuts

Audiences of all ages will love this production!  STOMP, the international percussion sensation, returns to Dallas after six years for a one week limited engagement at the Music Hall at Fair Park February 14-19, 2017.  Get ready for a fun and fresh production where the performers use anything from tires, matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, and Zippo lighters to make rhythm.  The creative and energetic (to say the least) stage show brings together all the arts – dance, music, and theatrical performance and explodes with an inventive and electrifying production that will leave you in awe at their creativity.

Stomp Lids

STOMP’s beginnings as street performers in the UK has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years.  They have performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people and have been met with rave review, numerous awards everywhere they go. The performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-founder/director Luke Cresswell. A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps – to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.  This production is still as popular and as fresh as ever and if you’ve never seen it – GO!  You will be amazed!  If you have seen it before – GO again!  They continue to change it by adding creative and new material every year!  I can’t wait to see it!

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StompSingle tickets for STOMP, starting at $15, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2016-2017 season continues with the lavish AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Jan. 31 – Feb. 12, 2017; followed by STOMP, Feb. 14-19, 2017; THE ILLUSIONISTS, Feb. 28 – Mar. 5, 2017; LET IT BE, Mar. 7-19, 2017; KINKY BOOTS, Mar. 28 – Apr. 9, 2017; CIRCUS 1903 – THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS, May 23 – June 4, 2017; and closing the season will be THE BODYGUARD, July 18-30, 2017.

Three-Show Mini Packages for DSM 2017 season, starting as low as $46*, are now on sale online at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 214-346-3300. *Price does not include processing fees.

 

An American in Paris on Stage at Dallas Summer Musicals

An American in Paris

Dallas Summer Musicals presents AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Music Hall at Fair Park, January 31 – February 12, 2017.

The Academy-Award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS has always been one of my very favorite musicals and now it’s on the stage and it is not to be missed.   This beautiful musical based on the classic movie debuted on the Broadway stage in 2015 and won best new musical and is the winner of four Tony Awards – does that tell you something?

an American in Paris Soldier

Here’s the story:  It is the tale of an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan who finds himself in the most romantic city in Europe, Paris after the end of World War 11.  He’s an inspiring artist and decides he wants  to stick around for awhile and see where Paris will take him in his career.  Little does he know that he’s also going to fall in love with the mysterious and brilliantly gifted French dancer Lize who continues to cross his path.  Along with his two new friends who are also aspiring artists (an American music composer and a wealthy French heir who just wants to be a song and dance man).  They are also looking for a new beginning in the City of Light (actually the French guy wants to head to Broadway in New York of course) and we find ourselves seeing Paris through all of their young and hopeful eyes.  Paris is a reawakening city of after years of the oppressive Nazi occupation and it’s exploding now with the promise of hope.   Paris in the late 40’s was a magnet for artists, writers, and intellectuals from all over the world, which makes it a perfect place for our four young hopefuls.  If that’s not enough excitement, unbeknownst to each other, they are all falling in love with the same beautiful Parisian ballerina.

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This is traditional Broadway at it’s best and it is a beautiful version of the 1951 movie.   It features a glimpse into the world as it was in the 40’s.  The production is witty (it still includes some corny jokes of the day which is fun), vibrant, and sophisticated – remember it’s Paris after all.  The musical is based on the book by playwright Craig Lucas and features the musical genius of George and Ira Gershwin.  Their music lives on and never gets old.  The score includes some old favorites such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Liza,” “‘S’Wonderful,” “But Not For Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” and my personal favorites, the haunting and wonderful orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “Second Prelude,” “Second Rhapsody/Cuban Overture” and “An American In Paris.”

An American in Paris romance

The production is directed and choreographed by 2015 Tony Award winner Christoper Wheeldon.  The dancing is amazing –  it’s modern, jazzy but with classic ballet intertwined throughout the numbers.   The long sensual dream ballet (the dance within the dance) is dance perfection and will transcend you into the dance.  It’s performed by the wonderfully talented romantic leads, Garen Scribner (I believe Gene Kelly would approve) and Sara Esty who are both truly gifted dancers.    It’s a sexy, romantic, artistic dance and it is absolutely memorizing.

An American in Paris Ballet

The supporting actors and dancers round out a cast of extremely talented singers and dancers.  A favorite ensemble dance takes place in the department store where Lise works and includes the number “I’ve Got Beginner’s Luck” (with homage to  “Singin’ in the Rain” as umbrellas are used as accessories in the dance”).

An AMERICAN IN PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE

The minimalist but artistic sets are beautifully conceived and richly executed.  The props become a part of the musical as they are danced onto and off stage.  Iconic Paris locations are projected onto the stage and set the atmosphere of Paris in all it’s beauty.  I loved the over-sized ornate mirrors in the ballet studio, and the huge rendering of boats floating on the Seine with clouds shimmering overhead in the park scenes where the our two lovers meet secretly.

An American Ballet

One of my favorite lines of the production was spoken by the American musician/composer Adam Hochberg character after his triumphal debut as a musical composer.  It seems to be as timely now as it was then and resonated with me as I left the theater.  It went something like this, “The world is dark enough as it is, so when you have the ability to make it a little bit brighter, why wouldn’t you?”  An American in Paris absolutely does.

an American in Paris Jackie AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will play the Music Hall at Fair Park January 31 – February 12, 2017, for two weeks presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. This lavish modern classic will then head to Fort Worth, where it will play at Bass Performance Hall February 14-19, 2017, for one week presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, starting at $25, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

An American in Paris Movie Trivia: 

  • Gene Kelly discovered Leslie Caron while vacationing in Paris where he saw her perform in a ballet.
  • Leslie Caron didn’t speak English when she landed her first major role. She had a vague understanding of the language due to having an American mother, but was not conversant. Luckily for her, the part didn’t have many lines and was comprised of mostly dancing, a skill that Caron was very fluent in.
  • A major reason Gene Kellysuggested Leslie Caron as the female lead was because he felt this movie needed a “real” French girl playing Lise, not just an American actress playing one.
  • According to Leslie Caron, her introductory dance sequence, which included a seductive dance with a chair, was considered too suggestive by some censors. Gene Kelly directed the brief fantasy dance sequences shown as Lise is introduced.
  • Arthur Freed originally just wanted to buy the rights to the George Gershwin number “American in Paris,” but Ira Gershwin made the condition that he’d only sell on the condition that if a musical were to use the song, it would use only Gershwin numbers as its other songs.
  • At 38 Gene Kelly was 19 years older than his co-star Leslie Caron.
  • Gene Kelly‘s favorite of all of his musicals.
  • Alan Jay Lerne rbegan writing the screenplay in December 1949, and finished it in a 12-hour stretch in March 1950 on the night before his wedding.
  • Film debut of Leslie Caron.
  • Despite the objections of Gene Kelly who wanted to shoot on location in Paris, the movie was shot at MGM Studios in California, on 44 sets built for the film. It was reportedly difficult for the studio to secure travel arrangements or locations for shooting. Two shots in the picture are from Paris, but they don’t involve Kelly.
  • The ballet sequence was almost cut because the shooting was behind schedule, but MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer stood by Arthur FreedVincente Minnelli and Gene Kelly in withholding the release of the movie because he felt the movie wouldn’t be effective without it.

Peace, Love, and Free Frozen Yogurt February 6th!

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Free Yogurt for Froyo Lovers Everywhere!

Yogurtland “Raises a Spoon” to the First-Ever International Frozen Yogurt Day Celebration

February 6, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Yes, you heard me – FREE YOGURT!  Celebrate International Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Yogurtland!  The self-serve frozen yogurt pioneer, Yogurtland will offer guests around the world Free Frozen Yogurt and Toppings!  That’s right – at all locations!

 Each guest will also receive a Limited-Edition Hershey’s® Collectible Spoon for joining Yogurtland in its tasty mission to celebrate peace, love and frozen yogurt.  To help sweeten a delicious day, Yogurtland will feature a new Peanut Butter Cup frozen yogurt flavor made with Reese’s® and Hershey’s® ingredients, and the popular Chocolate Milkshake made with Hershey® flavor, also made with real, creamy California Milk.  These two chocolatey flavors will continue to be served at Yogurtland locations throughout the month of February.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to taste the new flavors and some old favorites!  

International Frozen Yogurt Day is sponsored by Yogurtland and The Hershey Company.

Find a location go tohttps://www.yogurt-land.com/locations  For more information visit http://www.yogurt-land.com    #YogurtlandIFYD   

Yogurtland Story

The Yogurtland Difference

Yogurtland today leads the industry with the best-tasting handcrafted flavors made from real ingredients. Separating Yogurtland from competitors is the company’s team of flavorologists who develop the proprietary recipes for the brand’s more than 100 different and customized flavors. Whether traditional or exotic, each flavor uses real ingredients sourced from their original locations. By controlling the entire frozen yogurt making process, Yogurtland has raised the standards for flavors and quality to new heights and much to the delight of millions of fans.

Naturally occurring calcium makes Yogurtland yogurt a healthful, refreshing treat. Fruit flavors are also fortified with Vitamin C. All of Yogurtland’s flavors meet the National Yogurt Association Criteria for “live and active culture frozen yogurt” and are produced in a kosher-certified facility. Yogurtland features non- and low-fat yogurt flavors as well as non-dairy and no sugar added choices.

Presently there are 320 locations across the U.S., Australia, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand and Venezuela

Discovery Channel’s “Killing Fields” Returns for 2nd Season!

Detective Leslie Jones Bradford and Forensic expert Lori Morgan examining evidence.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S TRUE CRIME SERIES ‘KILLING FIELDS’ HAS RETURNED FOR A SECOND SEASON ON TUESDAYS AT 10 PM ET/PT WITH NEW LEADS, AND NEW CASES…

The Discovery Channel’s True Crime Series “Killing Fields” returned Tuesday, January 3rd     for its 2nd Season and it did not disappoint. If you didn’t catch the 1st Season (I was hooked from the first episode) you definitely should watch the 2nd Season! “Killing Fields”  is uniquely Discovery with an exploratory feel that will take you inside real murder investigations in one of the most difficult places in the world to solve a murder, the Louisiana swamplands.  I’ve learned that the Louisiana swamplands are a perfect dumping ground for bodies – tune in and find out why.  The law enforcement team that Discovery follows is armed with determination, experience, and the latest in forensic technology.  They are focused on solving these horrific crimes and bringing closure to the murder cases and the victim’s families.  Watching them try to accomplish this in real time can be intense at times.

Detective Rodie Sanchez, Detective Aubrey St. Angelo, Hydroterra Specialist Jason Poret, Hydroterra Specialist Damien de Comarmond, Hydroterra Specialist Creighton Burnett, among other Crew Members preparing for Diving for Barrel process.

If you haven’t watched the series before here’s the synopsis:  The sheriff’s department investigate real crimes in the small community of Iberville Parish, Louisiana, located just 15 miles from the state capitol, Baton Rouge.   This season picks up from last season as detectives Rodie Sanchez and Aubrey St. Angelo and their team continue to investigate the infamous 1997 homicide of former Louisiana State University student Eugenie Boisfontaine.  Rodie is more determined than ever to close the case, which has haunted him for nearly two decades.  Last season I interviewed forensics specialist Lori Morgan about her life as a wife and mother of three teenagers in addition to her career in forensics (and now a TV Star) and found her own story to be inspiring.   This is a mom who followed her career dream and has achieved success in her field.  The affectionate bantering and camaraderie between Rodie and Aubrey is entertaining to watch as well.

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KILLING FIELDS is co-executive produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Tom Fontana (“St. Elsewhere,” “Homicide: Life On The Street,” “Oz” and “The Philanthropist”) and Academy Award-winning film director Barry Levinson (“Rain Man,” “Diner,” “Bugsy,” “Wag the Dog” and “Good Morning, Vietnam”).

Watch it tonight!!  To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.

DSM’s Broadway Christmas Wonderland – The Holiday Show!

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Your entire family will enjoy this traditional salute to all things Christmas!  Dallas Summer Musicals  kicks off its 2016-2017 Season with one of the most enchanting Christmas shows ever, Broadway Christmas Wonderland.   It’s at Fair Park Music Hall  for two weeks –  December 6-18, 2016.

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The production’s cast of 24 singers and dancers have been handpicked from all over the world and they perform all your holiday favorites such as  ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Let it Snow,’ ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, plus many many more.  They also perform a rocking set called  “Gospel Christmas Time” that includes a lot of my personal favorites such as ‘Mary Did you Know’,  ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Higher and Higher’.   The production has something for everyone – High Kicking Chorus Girls, a Dancing Santa, Elves, Toys, and Snowmen!  One of my favorite segments from the show was watching as the stage magically converted (how did they do that?) into a glistening ice pond with world champion ice skaters.

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This production is an old fashioned, high energy. crowd pleasing Broadway performance of your favorite Holiday tunes with first class vocalists and dancers with sparkling costumes and dazzling performances.  It will put a smile on your face, and will bring back favorite Christmas memories.  And it will definitely put you and your family in the mood for Christmas!

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Single tickets for BROADWAY CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND, starting at $20, are now on sale at: www.DallasSummerMusicals.org by phone at 1-800-514-ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.   Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214-426-4768 or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ 2016-2017 season will continue with the lavish AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Jan. 31 – Feb. 12, 2017; followed by STOMP, Feb. 14-19, 2017; THE ILLUSIONISTS, Feb. 28 – Mar. 5, 2017; LET IT BE, Mar. 7-19, 2017; KINKY BOOTS, Mar. 28 – Apr. 9, 2017; CIRCUS 1903 – THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS, May 23 – June 4, 2017; and closing the season will be THE BODYGUARD, July 18-30, 2017.

When you go be sure and take a photo with your favorite Christmas Tree in the Lobby and use #BwayChristmasDSM on all your posts!

#BwayChristmasDSM | 1475807562_Twitter1475807764_Instagram_New1475807643_Snapchat @dsmusicals |1475807542_Facebook@DallasSummerMusicals



I Fell in Love with Moana….

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Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to fall in love again with Disney, it happened.   Moana is the very best of Disney and much much more.

First of all, can I just tell you it doesn’t get much better than your college age son asking you to go see a Disney movie with him.  He’s in the Arts and Technology School at The University of Texas at Dallas  and recently went to a lecture given by a visiting representative from Disney who was there to discuss their soon to be released feature “Moana”.  The lecture went into great detail about the new technology that their animators developed in the making of the movie.   One new technology in particular enabled the animators to manipulate each individual hair strand on the characters’ head.  Now that you know that you will be as mesmerized as I was watching Moana’s beautiful hair move in every scene of the movie – it’s amazing!


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They also discussed the lengths Disney went to to be as accurate as they could in making the movie.  The Disney team traveled to the island and researched the Polynesian’s culture by meeting with linguists, anthropologists, historians, and even fishermen to try to be as accurate as they possibly could.  Their goal was to both educate and entertain audiences and treat the culture with the respect they deserve.   I think they achieved all of the above.

MOANA - (Pictured) Grandma Tala and Moana. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The fictional movie takes place 3,000 years ago in the islands of Polynesia, an area that includes Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti. The star is 16-year-old Moana, voiced by Hawaiian actress Auli’i Cravalho, who goes on an ocean voyage with Maui, voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.   Moana defies her family to travel beyond the reefs to save her beloved island and to find her destiny.  Mind you, Moana isn’t your usual Disney princess, she’s more like a heroine.  She’s beautiful, spunky, brave, defiant, and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty along the way.   She’s also not looking for love which is a Disney princess departure.   She’s got the demigod Maui for company on this journey but he’s too busy being in love with himself to give her much attention and she really could care less.  Their relationship is sweet and refreshing.  Their sarcastic banter is pure fun.

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The new Disney project is visually stunning, fun of action, and you will love the music!  Hamilton creator and theater darling Lin-Manuel Miranda has created some of its best music.

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The movie made $82 million over the five-day weekend, placing it behind only “Frozen” (2013) for a Thanksgiving debut and it is sure to be another Disney success.  Your kids will love it (no matter what age they are!) so stock up now on all things Moana for Christmas!

http://movies.disney.com/moana

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is Coming to Town This Week!

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RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER SOARS TO DALLAS-FORT WORTH LIVE ON STAGE NOVEMBER 22-23, 2016 AT BASS PERFORMANCE HALL in Fort Worth AND NOVEMBER 25-27, 2016 AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK in Dallas

What a great opportunity to take the whole family to see “the most famous reindeer of all” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  The family friendly stage adaption is based on CBS’ highest rated Christmas Special of all time.  The story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright shining nose, is excluded from the Reindeer Games. He flees Christmas town and meets up with new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius.  After finding The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph journeys home where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. Can Rudolph rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday?

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Projections, costumes and characters will be faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs. The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and lovable puppets highlight the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. In preparation for the Dallas-Fort Worth run, the show will be adding new flying elements and an enhanced set and scenic design to create an even more fantastic theater experience for Rudolph fans.

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Don’t miss this family favorite! 

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Single tickets for the Fort Worth engagement of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL, starting at $27.50, are now on sale. To charge tickets by phone, call 817-212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

 

Single tickets for the Dallas engagement of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL, starting at $20, are now on sale at www.DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1-800-514-ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Review: Manchester by the Sea


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Manchester by the Sea is opening in theaters across the U.S. starting today (it opens in Dallas/FW November 25th).  It’s already getting rave reviews from the critics and has been selected as an Official Selection for several film festivals such as the 2016 New York and Sundance Film Festivals.   The movie is also getting lots of Oscar buzz for Best Picture and Best Actor for Casey Affleck who gives his best performance of his career.   I believe it could earn Oscar nominations in several categories, it’s that good.

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Synposis:  In Manchester by the Sea, the latest film from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan, the life of a solitary Boston janitor, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck)  is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, Manchester by the Sea is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.  After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges).   Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester by the Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16 year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he grew up.   With the father and brother who bonded them together as a family no longer alive, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.
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The film is moving, thought provoking, raw, and film at its best.  It’s also probably one of the saddest movies you will see this season topped off with a big dose of reality.  It’s a very honest study of human grief and how the human spirit strives to overcome it.    The film also examines the Chandler Family and their long history of difficult but strong relationships through masterful flashbacks.  The relationships and dialogue seem so real that at times you feel like you’re actually watching a documentary.  But at the heart of the story is the unconditional love that they share for each other.

 

Casey Affleck gives a superb performance as Lee.  He’s consumed with grief, guilt, and loss and he will break your heart with his sad eyes and thin voice.   Michelle Williams doesn’t disappoint in her small but poignant and heart rending role as Lee’s ex-wife.  Lucas Hedges as the teenage nephew is a young actor to keep an eye on.   His rebellious teenage character is both endearing and exasperating.  His subtle sense of humor is a delight and his interactions with his uncle are both touching and funny.

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The bleak winter New England seaside setting of Manchester by the Sea brings a poetic statement to every scene and you will be thinking about Manchester by the Sea long after you see it.  It’s a beautifully made film and one of the best I’ve seen in quite awhile.

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AMAZON STUDIOS AND ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS RELEASE THE FILM STARTING NOVEMBER 18TH IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES AND ROLLING OUT INTO THEATERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA OPENS IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH NOVEMBER 25, 2016

It’s Island Time – Galveston Island!!

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Looking for a great place for that next girl’s trip?!  Go to Galveston, Texas!!  It’s just a short drive or  plane ride away from all major cities in Texas and you will love it!! It’s not just a beach destination or a port to catch a cruise – it’s much more.  We discovered how much more recently when my sisters and I decided to take my mother there for her birthday weekend!

Let’s start with shopping.  Okay, my family (2 sisters and mother) love to shop.  That’s our entertainment and that’s how we bond.  Galveston has a treasure trove of cute boutique shops. I have been to the Historic Strand area of town many times before but on this trip we discovered the quaint downtown shops in the Historic 2100 block of Postoffice Street.  The Naked Mermaid (love the name!) carries very unique and chic home décor and gift items.  It’s worth a visit just to meet the adorable “shop” cats (see photo).   We also shopped at The Style Co. next door which has very cute clothes and jewelry (I bought both).    Just Add Sparkle is just across the street and carries fun Halloween/witch themed gift items.  Down the street in this area are several restaurants such as The Gumbo Bar and Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar.  Love this group of unique shops and restaurants!

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We took some time out of our shopping spree on Postoffice Street and and walked down to The Shrimp Fest in Downtown Galveston.  What a fun happening that was!  Over 200 booths served samples of some of the most awesome gumbo I’ve ever had. The Festival also included  activities such as a Shrimp Gumbo Cookoff,  an official 5k, Lil’ Shrimps Parade, live music, a kid’s area, and  a Strand Merchant Walk­About.  This is just one example of some of the fun and community type happenings that Downtown Galveston hosts every year.    After thoroughly enjoying the scene we checked out some of the chic shops on The Strand such as:  Head to Footsies and The Admiralty.  Both have unique boutique clothing and sea inspired home decor, jewelry and art.

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We wrapped up our afternoon shopping spree by treating ourselves with ice cream at  La King’s Confectionery on The Strand.  La King’s features a working 1920’s soda fountain serving malts, shakes, ice cream sodas, sundaes, splits, floats and fountain treats.   Don’t miss visiting this old fashioned soda fountain and confectionery – it’s a family tradition when we visit Galveston!

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Saturday night we had the opportunity to visit Galveston’s historic The Grand 1894 Opera House which is also on Postoffice Street.  What a jewel The Opera House is and a wonderful example of the long history Galveston has of being a major cultural center over 100 years ago. The Grand is one of the few remaining opera houses in Texas and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The Grand hosts several musical performers and musical theater performances throughout the year.   We were very fortunate to see the incredibly talented Ben Vereen sing and dance for two hours!  To see what is coming up at The Grand go to: http://www.thegrand.com

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Our second favorite thing to do when we’re together is eat.  There are some incredible restaurants in Galveston and we had the opportunity to sample several.  Here are just a few that you should not miss!

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The Sunflower Bakery and Café.  This is a must.   It’s located in Galveston’s Historic East End and 99% of their food is homemade and made with fresh local ingredients and their bakery is heavenly!   This place is a double win – after you finish eating you have the opportunity to shop at the adjoining retail store called The Bacon Farm.  They have a beautiful selection of antiques, art and jewelry.   www.thesunflowerbakeryandcafe.

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galveston-bacon-farmMiller’s Seawall Grill.  If you want some great fresh seafood go to Miller’s Seawall Grill.  It’s home cooked food and serves huge portions!  Don’t miss the homemade Italian Cream Cheese Cake – one slice will feed a family of four for sure!

Nonno Tony’s Grill.  It’s at Pier 21 and offers Italian, Asian, Creole and traditional fare and features an open style kitchen.  After dinner  you can stroll around the Pier and check out the ships and water. http://www.nonnotonys.com/

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Also worth checking out:

Tremont Hotel has a lovely rooftop bar for watching the sunset. www.thetremonthouse.com

The Olympia Grill at Pier 21 has a fantastic patio dining on the water.  The menu includes greek influenced fresh seafood.  It’s next  to the 1877 tall ship Elissa, Harbor House Hotel, and Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museumhttp://www.olympiagrill.com

We had the best time in Galveston doing what we do – shopping, eating, checking out the historical flavor of the city and visiting the beach.   It was a great girl’s weekend!  A big thank you to Galveston’s Visitor Bureau for helping make our weekend a huge success!

Check out the official website of Galveston Island  to find out the many things to do during your visit: http://galveston.com

Downtown Galveston also has a website and will keep you updated on all things downtown:  www.downtowngalveston.org

Coming up in October!

  • Ghosts of Galveston
  • ARToberfest
  • Oktoberfest

Did you Know?

  • Galveston is steeped in history in the downtown area, the seaport and it’s historical homes.  Galveston was once called  the “Wall Street of the Southwest” and has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark for its outstanding collection of 19th century architecture.  You can explore on foot, ride in a horse drawn carriage and visit the many museums has to offer.  You can also tour the 1877 tall ship Elissa or the 1892 Victorian residence “Bishop’s Palace”.  Want to know more go to: http://www.galvestonhistory.org
  • Galveston has several wonderful museums!  Allow time to visit a few your next trip there:  Go to:  www.galveston.com/attractions-museums
  • Galveston has a temperate year round climate which makes it a very popular destination.  The temperatures range from winter highs in the 60’s and lows in the mid 40’s.
  • Galveston Island has over 25 miles of beaches – lots of room to find a spot for your beach umbrella and chairs!

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No visit to Galveston is complete without visiting Moody Gardens!  I have taken my kids there several times and it is definitely a great place for families.  It has a golf course and hotel but it also includes an Aquarium, Rainforest Exhibit, theaters, museum, amusement park, ropes course and zip lines and seasonal exhibits.   Want to know more?  Go to:  www.moodygardens.com

The latest addition and great family attraction is Pleasure Pier!  It features waterfront fun and entertainment with family-oriented attractions including rides, midway games, a wide selection of food venues and retail shops. http://www.pleasurepier.com/

Shops:

https://www.facebook.com/theundressedmermaid.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Style-co

https://www.facebook.com/justaddsparkle

http://www.headtofootsies.com

https://www.facebook.com/theadmiralty

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