Can’t Stop the Feeling: Prepare for Spark.Me

Spark.me is less than a month away! And today, Justin Timberlake drops a new song that expresses how I feel. I may have modified some of the lyrics ;), but turn up the volume and dance with me.

“I got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on. All through BUDVA, all through MONTENEGRO. We’re flying up, no ceiling, when we in our zone. I got that sunshine in my pocket. Got THIS good song in my feet. I feel that SPARK in my body when it drops. I can’t WAIT FOR END OF MAY, moving so phenomenally WELL. You gon’ like the way THIS CONFERENCE rocks it, so don’t stop. Under the lights when everything STARTS. Nowhere to hide when CONFERENCE getting you close. When SPARK.ME STARTS, well, you already know. So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine…SPARK.ME WILL MAKE you dance, dance, dance. Feeling good, good, SPARKING up on you. So just dance, dance, dance, come on. All those things I should do to PREPARE, but you dance, dance, dance. And YOU ARE leaving soon, so keep dancing…”

I CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! How about you? 😉

10-Tips-for-Spark-MeHere’s my TOP 10 checklist to help you prepare for Spark.Me, so you can continue to dance your way to Budva, Montenegro, on May 28-29, 2016.

  1. Search Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for anyone talking about #SparkMe. You can then determine if you want to follow them and start conversations ahead of Spark.Me. This works amazingly well for people who might be a bit shy. Make sure you are also using #SparkMe hashtag, so can people can also find and engage with you.
  2. Visit the speakers blogs or youtube channels for ideas of how things are going in their lives or in their businesses. Before meeting them, maybe you’ll read that they just closed a B round of funding, and thus might have budget for a project with you. It’s free intelligence before a conversation.
  3. Check out the partners for Spark.Me. Visit their web pages. What do you know about them? Are they a prospective vendor for you? A client? Do you see some business value in meeting any of them?
  4. Write some of your best work in the days leading up to Spark.Me and have a great post launch on the day of the event. The likelihood of people checking out your blog during or just before an event is high. JUST DO IT! 🙂
  5. Consider writing posts that might help you form conversations at Spark.Me. For instance, if you’re looking to work with startups, write a blog post about how you’d help startups get funding. Thus, people who might investigate your blog ahead of time might also know what you’re thinking about and will engage you.
  6. Consider making a video about something and posting it to your blog. Videos will give people an even better opportunity to observe you and see what you’re about. It might also help with the people recognition factor, as seeing you in motion might improve their chance of seeing you at an event. 😉
  7. If you’re going to take lots of photos or videos at Spark.Me, check your gear to make sure you’ve got everything (charger, media transfer tools, spare things, etc.). Consider any extra batteries or power supplies you might need to bring with you.
  8. Backup your laptop before you travel. You might not think about it, but there are many chances to destroy your data once you’re on the road. Make sure that’s not going to happen.
  9. Pack business casual clothes and comfortable shoes for two days and a nice black dress or button-down shirt & nice pants for the cocktail party! And, DON’T FORGET YOUR SWIMSUIT to wear while you enjoy the Bečići beach. 🙂
  10. Practice, practice, practice your elevator pitch explaining who you are and what you do. Be crisp. Make it easy to say. Be very clear. If you’re looking for work, be clear that you’re available for a few extra projects. It seems that lots of folks beat around the bush or don’t exactly know how to have a beginning, middle and end to a conversation. REMEMBER, YOU ARE AWESOME! TI SI SJAJAN/SJAJNA!

Look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. For now, make sure that we are connected on all these social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and Pinterest.

How to Throw an Epic Captain America: Civil War Party

captain-america-civil-warMy son loves the Avengers…like LOVES the Avengers. I could not tell you how many times that I have seen that movie – well, I digress. The excitement has been building in our house for the newest movie, Captain America: Civil War. Naturally, when I asked my son what he wanted his birthday party theme to be, he yelled: “Marvel!” This year, we threw an epic birthday party for his friends, and I am here to share how his party has just the right amount of epic awesomeness to get your family pumped for Captain America: Civil War. The only question remains is, are you for #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? 😉

Themed Snacks Instead of Flashy Decorations
I am all about themed snacks. They can double as decorations, and since the point is for you and your guests to eat the snacks, it can cut down on your cleanup time after the festivities are over. Here are a few snack ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.Hulk-Juicecaptain-america-pizzateam-cap

Bring the Entertainment Home Instead of Paying for a Playhouse
Next, I had to figure out what entertainment to provide for 9 year-old boys. Thanks to my friend, Facebook, I discovered a piñata company in Kotor, Montenegro. Angela is amazing and made us an Iron Man head. We just added some hard candy into the piñata and grab the nearest scarf and broom stick – an the party festivities went up to an epic level. Then, we added a “pin-the-star on Cap’s shield” game and much fun was had. Here’s are some of the fun pictures.Iron-Man-Beforeiron-man-pinatairon-man-blastcaptain-america-shield-gamepin-the-star-captain-america

Jane Austen’s “Love and Friendship” is Deliciously Fun!

banner_LoveAndFriendship1457115967The eagerly awaited film LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP opens in Dallas on May 20, 2016!  The movie is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s unfinished novella Lady Susan, believed to have been written in the mid 1790’s but revised and published by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in 1871.

Love and Friendship takes place in England in the 1790’s, and features the beautiful, notorious but poor widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale).  It begins with her abrupt visit to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws who she barely knows.  She’s there because she has no place to live and to lay low while the rumors about her scandalous affairs (with a married man no less) die down.  While there she continues to spin her web on her next prey, this time on the young handsome and eligible bachelor Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel) who is her in-law’s brother.  She’s also dead set on securing a husband – the very rich Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett) for her young and rebellious daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark).   What ensues is a most delightful story told through the creative eyes of Screenplay Writer and Director Whit Stillman.Love and Friendship 89You can’t take your eyes off of Kate Beckinsale throughout the movie.  Not only is she beautiful to look at, but her monologues are absolutely brilliant. She walks the line between being a perfect English lady while she’s flirting with scandal and deceiving everyone in her path.  Chloe Sevigny, who plays her American friend Alicia Johnson, is well-casted as one of Lady Susan’s only friends and confidante.  Tom Bennett’s character Sir James Martin is especially wonderful.  He doesn’t have a brain in his head and he will make you laugh out loud at some of the idiotic things he says.Love and FriendshipLove and Friendship is a joy to watch from beginning to end.  It’s a departure from most of Jane Austen’s novels and in Whit Stillman’s creative hands it’s a true delight.  Because the relationships between all the characters can become quite complicated  they are introduced in a funny and creative way in the beginning of the story which gives you a clue that this is going to be a different kind of Jane Austen film. Despite it being a period film it’s funny and fresh and you can’t wait to see what the conniving and absolutely brilliant Lady Susan will do next.

Grab some girlfriends and go indulge yourself in this wonderful new Jane Austen film.

Written & Directed by:

WHIT STILLMAN

Starring:

Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, James Fleet,Jemma Redgrave, Justin Edwards,  Jenn Murray, With Stephen Fry, and Chloë Sevigny

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Batman V Superman? Let the Kids Decide!

In two weeks, the battle is on when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters on March 25, 2016! The Children’s Place is partnering up with Batman & Superman to treat one lucky winner to a heroic family trip to Los Angeles with VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes. Click here to enter! The-Childrens-Place-Batman-V-Supermanbatman-v-superman-kidsNot only can you enter to win, but you can also find apparel for your kids to support their favorite superhero. GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES:
· 4 roundtrip airfare tickets to Los Angeles & complimentary ground transportation to/from LAX
· Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
· 4 VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes
· $200 gift card to The Children’s Place


This video also features another contest, but it gives back to the community. If you donate, you could win a prize package that includes a trip to the Los Angeles premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a ride in the Batmobile with Ben Affleck, a ride in a helicopter with Henry Cavill and an opportunity to “photo bomb” the Red Carpet at the premiere.

Now, your kids may not necessarily care about the moral differences between Batman and Superman. Let’s be honest, some of them will not be seeing this movie in the theater (rated PG-13), BUT they undoubtedly have participated in conversations like this one. “Who do you think would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?” or “Which superhero is cooler?” I have to admit that I am #TeamSuperman because well Henry Cavill…oh, and Batman is Ben Affleck. Also maybe it’s because of my love for Kryptonians by watching Supergirl on CBS.

Post below which one you // they are cheering for! 🙂

Million Dollar Quartet is Electrifying at Dallas Summer Musicals

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What do you get when you mix Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash together?  You get an extremely fun and entertaining night of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll music ever performed and it’s called ‘MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET”.  This International Tony Award Winning musical is coming to Music Hall at Fair Park February 27, and 28th  for three performances  and  you will not want to miss this incredible night of music that will have you dancing in your seat.  You will experience the music of these four rock ‘n roll geniuses that came together for one moment in time and went on to shape the music scene forever.

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The musical is inspired by a true story and is set on the afternoon of  December 4, 1956, when record producer, Sam Phillips, gathers musicians Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash together at his studio, Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  The result?  One of the most incredible and legendary jam sessions ever.   Hits like “Blue Suede Shoes, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Hound Dog”, Fever, “I Walk the Line” are performed plus many many more.    You will get to experience what it must have been like to witness first hand four young artists ready to burst into the music scene and see that magical moment when they all came together to perform with each other for the first and only time.   This is a “must see” for all you rock ‘n roll lovers.

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Trivia:

  • Where did the name “Million Dollar Quartet” come from?  A newspaper reporter who was present at the jam session dubbed it “The Million Dollar Quartet,” offering a rough guess as to what the salaries of the four men would have been, and the name stuck.
  • The actual session that day (and night) yielded nearly four dozen musical tracks.
  • Who was the original singer of the hit song, “Blue Suede Shoes?” Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis or Carl Perkins?  The answer is Carl Perkins.  Due to a severe car accident Perkins did not get to perform the song on The Perry Como Show as scheduled.  Elvis Presley performed the song a few weeks later on the Ed Sullivan show and it became a huge hit for him and he was forever identified with the song.Million_Dollar_Quartet

Performances:

Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Single tickets start at $25 (pricing subject to change) are now on sale at:  DallasSummerMusicals.org by phone at l.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

The Bridges of Madison County at Dallas Summer Musicals

Bridges of Madison County
This new Two-Time Tony Award winning musical production is based on one of my favorite romantic books and movies of all time, “The Bridges of Madison County”.  It was created by one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams with music and lyrics by Three-Time Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown and based on the best selling novel by Robert James Waller.  It opened February 2nd and runs through February 14th.bridges of madison county finalHere’s the plot if somehow you missed seeing the incredibly romantic 1995 movie with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep:  It’s the story of  star crossed lovers  Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride living on an Iowan farm in 1965 with her nice but boring husband Bud and their two rambunctious teenage children Michael and Carolyn.  When the husband and kids leave her at home for four days to go to the State Fair to show Carolyn’s prize steer guess who shows up for dinner?  The extremely handsome, sexy, worldly, and rugged photographer, Robert Kincaid.  He stops at her farm to ask directions to one of the famous covered bridges of Madison County that he’s photographing for his magazine, National Geographic.  She invites him in for iced tea and the rest is their story of desire, love, lost dreams, hope, and sense of duty.Bridges of Madison BridgeBrown’s musical score is fresh and a total delight.  It’s a mixture of country, operatic, and folk which might sound odd but it works.   Elizabeth Stanley’s (Francesca) operatic voice is absolutely beautiful and Andrew Samonsky (Robert) vocals were for me, perfection.   Remember that name, because I predict we will see much more of this wonderful singer and performer.  I also loved the sets.  You really feel what it must be like to live in the flatlands of Iowa in the ’60’s by the bare but creative use of scenery.

This is not only a wonderful date night production to take your significant other to but is also a great “chick” musical.  And remember Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!!  This musical will make you laugh, swoon, and will break your heart – but in a good way.bridgesSingle tickets for THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, starting at $20 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016. Dallas Summer Musicals Management Group, Inc. will also present the Broadway hit musical MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, February 27 & 28, 2016 for a limited engagement.

 

Discovery Channel’s True Crime Series “Killing Fields” featuring Forensic’s Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you had followed your dream of being an actress or an astronaut, etc?   Forensic Expert and Mom, Lori Morgan not only achieved her lifelong dream of being a forensics expert after she became a mom but she’s now being featured on The Discovery Channel’s new true crime TV series “Killing Fields”.  “Real Posh Mom” participated in a recent question and answer session with Lori about her life as a forensics expert and how she juggles her career and family.

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But first here are the details about this exciting new series “Killing Fields”.  It’s on Tuesday nights at 10/9c PM, and is Discovery Channel’s first-ever true crime series.   I don’t know about you but I’m a huge fan of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” HBO’s “The Jinx” or “True Detective” so this is definitely a series that I will be checking out.  It is uniquely Discovery with an exploratory feel tracing the criminal investigation in real time.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

Close up of Retired Detective Rhodes Sanchez and Detective Aubrey St. Angelo at burning sugar cane field.

The story follows homicide detectives as they reopen the case of a young woman found in the Louisiana swamp lands, a body dump site, where the forces of nature often erase evidence of a crime. Tormented by an unfulfilled promise to solve the 1997 homicide investigation, Detective Rodie Sanchez comes out of retirement to rework the case that has haunted him for the past 18-years. Armed with cutting edge investigative technologies, Rodie puts together a top-notch team including Detective and forensics expert Lori Morgan.

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Originally a stay-at-home mother, after her children were in school, Lori sought a new challenge and went on to earn her degree in forensics.  Lori is often first to hop into her vehicle to attend to a crime scene in the show. She is the liaison with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and is tasked with the job of finding a piece of evidence that can be used in conjunction with modern day forensics to help solve a case.  We had a chance to catch up with her and ask her about what it’s like to be chasing killers, while balancing life at home with her family.  Here is what she had to say:

What drew you to the field of Forensics?

I was always interested in the field of Forensics – even before I even knew what it was. When growing up, my brother and I would read stories about crimes and serial killers.  While most kids shy away from that kind of stuff, or be a little afraid, that wasn’t in our case.  But interestingly enough, even though I was so interested in that as a kid, I didn’t go into this business when I first went to college.

Was it hard making a career switch later on in life?

The challenge was finding a degree program that would work into my life with my family. I never wanted to take away too much time with them to study or be in class. The hardest part about studying was that I usually had to study late at night, after my children went to bed. Some nights I was so tired that I would just have to throw in the towel and wake up super early to study. I also tried to get as much studying done while my kids were at school.

What is it like to have a full-time job as detective and a busy family life at home?

My days are packed — working full time and then going home to try and have quality time with my three teenagers and a husband. That in and of itself is a big challenge.

Are your kids interested in following in your career footsteps?

So far, no. None of my children have expressed an interest in Forensics. They see how much I love my career but they also see the late nights and long hours that doesn’t have very much monetary compensation. I tell my children that their career choice should be something they have passion for because the money aspect of it will only keep them happy for a limited time.

Was it strange to have a TV crew following you around in your daily routines?

When we first began the project, I don’t think any of us realized the magnitude of it all. In the beginning, it was strange but now we’ve all gotten used to the crew. And we’re actually going to miss them when they leave.

Is working as a DNA detective just like CSI, True Detective or those other shows on TV?

Not exactly.  We don’t always get that perfect DNA profile to give a lead that will end up with an arrest or a suspect. There aren’t machines yet that draw up this beautiful fingerprint every time. A lot of times we have to deal with very small partial fingerprints that yield nothing, and the same goes with DNA. It’s only a 50-50 shot that you’re going to get that DNA profile, and then when you do get it, that person has to be in the national database system for you to even get a coded hit.

 Anything else you’d like to add?

The mystery deepens each week and the clues keep coming in.  Be sure to watch Tuesdays at 10/9c PM on the Discovery Channel.

Get to know Lori even better by watching YouTube Clip – Featuring Lori:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpLokB6MOr4

“KILLING FIELDS” reached a new high with 1.84 million viewers last week and has grown consistently each week across key demos. The series continues to build not just a large male audience but last week’s episode set new ratings highs for women as well as younger viewers. The series also has cemented Discovery as the #1 unscripted cable net in the 10/9c PM hour across key demos. Shot in real time, the season finale is on February 9 at 10/9c PM on Discovery

Sneak Peek Clip: Killing Fields – Episode 4 airing Tuesday, January 26 (FOR POSTING ONLINE)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZK_OOw8PWg

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Real Posh Society Presents: Top 10 Wellness Books

Wellness-BooksJanuary is the month that calls for a fresh start and just as many of you are probably doing this month, I’m working on goals and an overall reset. I think a little inspiration always helps in those areas, so with that in mind, we thought we would share some of our favorite books on the subjects of wellness, health and joyful life. Whether you’re in need of some new-year motivation or just looking for a good read to pack on your next vacation, here are ten books to get you started.

#1. Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsleyart-of-eating-wellWritten by two food-obsessed sisters, this book is all about eating real, unprocessed and nutritious food. This is anything but a diet book. (They use lots of butter and there’s an entire section devoted to desserts.) It’s focused on eating nourishing food that’s good for your body and downright delicious, too. Every recipe I’ve ever made from them has been nothing short of fantastic. It’s the best “healthy” cookbook you’ll ever read.

#2. The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness
Striking a balance between accessible, easy-to-execute and comprehensive in nature, “The New Health Rules” by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro maps out longterm habits worth integrating into everyday life. This is no fad diet and these aren’t temporary tricks. The real challenge happens to be continued commitment to what clearly represents a beneficial and healthy habit. Lipman practices integrated medicine and this book targets the whole self—physical, emotional and mental—for improved day-to-day wellness and increased longevity.

#3. Everyday Super FoodEveryday-Super-FoodJamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food champions a healthy, balanced diet, and is all about eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and foods from each of the food groups. The main reason for this is that each food group – fruit and vegetables; meat, fish, protein alternatives (such as milk and dairy products); bread, cereals and potatoes – contributes different good stuff to the body. The final food group includes foods that are high in fat and sugar (pastries and cakes, for example), but these shouldn’t be eaten too often.

#4. The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

This book had such a positive effect on my marriage. The bottom line: each of us has a primary love language, a particular way that we like to give and receive love. (You can find out yours by filling out this questionnaire.) Once I understood mine (quality time) and my husband’s (words of affirmation), we started communicating differently and so much better. It’s truly enlightening. It not only changed my relationship with my husband, but the relationships I have with my family and closest friends, too.

#5. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Usually when I hear people talk about Brene Brown, it’s on the subject of vulnerability. She gave a fantastic TED talk about it. And what I love about The Gifts of Imperfection is her focus on time. Are we ruled by our To Do List? Or are we guided by higher principles? That’s the essence and core of The Gifts of Imperfection. She places a high importance on becoming still; growing quiet; finding more fulfillment in being and doing less. Really, this book is a call to re-insert meaning into our lives: cultivating meaning in our personal and professional work; moving toward art or literature that inspires us; and cultivating real joy.

#6. The Last Lecture
I listened to the audiobook of this one while driving home from college. I loved it so much that I immediately bought the hardback version and reread it. It’s written by Randy Paush, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away in 2008. This book is his “last lecture” and emphasizes the idea of living life to the fullest. This book will make you cry, but it will also leave you feeling totally inspired to seize every moment. It remains one of the best books I’ve ever read.

#7. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
The principles within The Miracle Morning are all things that we have heard of before. All ways that successful people have used to advance in their careers, their physical wellbeing, and their relationships. What makes The Miracle Morning so powerful is the way that Hal has put these principles together to give us the very best start to our day.

#8. Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
This is one of the best books I’ve read for wise life guidance next to Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and is a must read for those who want to be leaders in their organizations or just want to live a better life.

#9. The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time
The Huffington Post chief marries the latest science with her moving personal journey to explain the transformative effect of sleep on every aspect of our lives, and how we can doze more and better.

#10. When Breath Becomes Air
36-year-old neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi wrote a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir about being faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis. Kalanithi died before he finished the book, leaving his wife Lucy to write a beautiful but painful epilogue. The book attempts to answer the question, “What makes a life worth living?”

If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments. We would love to hear them!

Finding Neverland Delights on Broadway

Finding_Neverland_Broadway_PlaybillThe classic musicals of Broadway past will always have a special place in my heart. I walked down the aisle to “Wedding Processional” from The Sound of Music to marry a man who won me over by gifting me an entire DVD collection of Rogers and Hammerstein movie musicals including Oklahoma and The King & I. However, at some point during my adult years living in New York I developed a stronger taste for that darker and edgier theater with adult themes that usually fills my itineraries when I visit my old home. So despite frequent excursions to see local school and community family-friendly productions with my daughter, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen a good-hearted, family-friendly, positive musical at the Broadway level. Thankfully, last week in New York City I had that opportunity.

 

At the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on West 46th Street, I was transported back to the Finding Neverlandmagical and sentimental world of the classic musicals of my childhood during a matinee of Finding Neverland, the musical based on the 2004 movie starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet that came to Broadway earlier this year. Currently the show stars Glee’s Matthew Morrison and Broadway stars Terrence Mann (Pippin, Cats, Les Misérables, Chorus Line, Beauty & the Beast) and Laura Michelle Kelly (Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Mamma Mia!, Sweeney Todd), and all three of them blew me away with their voices and presence. Like the film, the show follows playwright J.M. Barrie as he summons the courage to become the writer – and the man – he yearns to be. Barrie finds the inspiration he’s been missing when he meets the beautiful widow Sylvia and her four young sons: Jack, George, Michael and Peter. His journey rediscovering his childhood imagination leads to the now renowned stories of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and the lost boys of Neverland.

Surrounded by a packed audience of all ages, from young children on a special holiday adventure with their parents, to elegant ladies from upper Manhattan known for frequenting matinees, to even otherwise cynical teenagers, I was swept up in the magic and spectacle of a musical that brought me back to why I fell in love with theater in the first place. Finding Neverland BroadwayA highlight was the scenic design by Tony Award®-winner Scott Pask (Pippin, Book of Mormon), particularly in the number Stronger (see video), where we first get a glimpse of the Neverland in Barrie’s imagination. And while mainstream audiences may at first be disappointed to no longer find familiar TV star Kelsey Grammer in the double role of the producer and Captain Hook, I was beyond grateful to instead get the theater legend Mann who has delighted us as a natural on the stage for decades.

Listed this month as one of Time Magazine’s Top Plays and Musicals of 2015, the funny, charming, and beautiful Finding Neverland plays at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater (205 West 46th Street) Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 2pm & 7:30pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets and more information can be found online at www.FindingNeverlandTheMusical.com, in person at the Lunt-Fontanne box office. Follow the magic on Twitter and Instagram: @NeverlandBway.

Get Your Elf On with ELF The Musical!

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ELF The Musical opened last night at The Music Hall at Fair Park and will be playing from December 8-20!  Nothing will put you in the Christmas spirit like watching a grown man in an elf suit dancing, singing, and acting like he’s 10 years old!   This production is a wonderful opportunity for families of all ages to experience the spirit of Christmas with lots of laughter and fun!

If you are the only person on the planet that didn’t see the popular 2003 New Line Cinema movie starring the adorable Will Ferrell then here’s the plot:

Buddy is a young orphan child who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts on Christmas and is mistakenly flown back to the North Pole.  He’s raised as an elf, unaware that he is actually human (even though he’s at least 3 feet taller than his fellow elves and sucks at making toys).   When he questions Santa about rumors he’s heard from the other elves, Santa confesses the truth that he’s not an elf and tells him the story of how he ended up at The North Pole.  He sends him on a journey back to his native New York in search of his birth father and his true identity.   His father of course, is quite the workaholic Scrooge who doesn’t have time for his wife and young son much less getting to know his new 30 year old, “crazy” son who thinks he’s an elf and dresses in a hilarious green elf suit.  The rest of the story is about Buddy introducing his new family and all of New York to the spirit of Christmas!

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Buddy, is a pure delight to watch with his goofy, childlike merriment and pure innocence.  Okay he’s hyperactive and exudes pure sugar (literally) and is over the top in the spirit department but he ends up making friends everywhere he goes.  From his father’s publishing office workers and family, Macy’s Christmas Santa and elves, to the humorous and hardened New York policemen he encounters along his journey.  He even finds love with a disillusioned, beautiful young lady from LA who’s never seen snow much less believes in Santa Claus!

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The cast of actors are a delight to watch and hear.  The music is infectious and the dance numbers are fast, and upbeat!  I loved the opening scene where the elves are singing and dancing (on knee pads – so adorable!) and the musical number in Macy’s is a lot of fun too.  I think my favorite though is the really jazzy number that takes place in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve and features several depressed “fake” department-store Santas.  The songs are written by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, and based on a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

Elf 5

ELF is fun Holiday entertainment!  Take the whole family – it’s time you find your “Inner Elf”!!

 

Elf Jackie 5

Single tickets are from $20 – $104 and are on sale online at: DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at l.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542, Dallas, TX.

 

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, February 2-14, 2016; DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.