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.

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

 

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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.

 

 

 

The Sound of Music Opens at Fair Park Music Hall

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NOVEMBER 3-22, 2015

AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

 

I didn’t really know what to expect before going to see the new production of The Sound of Music on the DSM Stage.   The movie version remains one of my very favorite musicals/movies of all time.  I love everything about it, the music, the romance, the scenery, and the true story of the von Trapp Family.   So I was a little nervous about seeing this new stage production.  How could the producers and director dare to remake such an iconic classic and expect devoted TSOM fans to approve of it?  Sometimes you just don’t mess with perfection right?  Well, not only were they successful in producing a wonderful stage version of the musical but I loved it from start to end.

 

The new production of The Sound of Music features the music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is directed by three time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien. It’s fun, fresh and gives more depth to the characters that we know and love.  What a great opportunity to introduce this wonderful musical to a whole new generation of theater goers!

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The production is full of extraordinary talent.  The lead of Maria Rainer is  Kerstin Anderson.  Ms. Anderson is a sophomore at Pace University and won the role over hundreds who auditioned.  She’s a very talented jewel who nailed the role on many levels.  And although it may be hard to imagine anyone except Julie Andrews in the role she does a great job and makes the role her own.  Ben Davis as Captain von Trapp gives a solid performance as a nicer, gentler version of the Captain.  Oh he’s still stern and strict in the beginning but softens quickly under Maria’s spell.  One of the real show stoppers in this product is the extremely talented Ashley Brown as Mother Abbess.  She has a voice that you can’t believe exists it’s so strong and beautiful.  Which brings me to the heart and soul of this musical and that are the Von Trapp children.  They are some of most incredibly talented young actors you will ever have the privilege to watch perform.  All seven of them are very well cast from the tiny Gretl to the very talented 16 year old (going on 17) Liesl played by Paige Silvester.  They are a total delight to watch.

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Loved the sets.  Designer Douglas W. Schmidt’s sets are really quite beautiful and contribute tremendously to the overall effect of the musical.  From the beautifully painted Alpine mountain backdrops to the lacy walls of the family mansion and the dark atmosphere of the convent, they are creative and burst with color.

There are a few things in the musical that are different from the original.  The production has added a couple of songs and left out a few scenes that the original had but don’t fret.  I actually didn’t miss them and had a hard time remembering what they were until later.  Our favorite songs are still a mainstay of the musical such as the title song of course “The Sound of Music”, My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “So Long, Farewell”, and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”.    (Personal note:  Thank you to my grade school music teacher Mrs. Kraft for teaching us to sing these show tunes and many others in music class.  It instilled in me a love for musical theater that lasts to this day.) sound of music photos.jpg2

In the song “Maria” there is a verse in which one of the nuns asks the question about Maria  “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”.  I believe that’s what they’ve achieved with this new production, they’ve caught a moonbeam in their hands.   Go see it and it will make you fall in love with the musical all over again, I promise.

Fun Facts:

  • 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version. One of the most successful movie musicals in history.
  • It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
  • The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin, opened on November 16, 1959.  It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of nine nominations. The original London production opened at the Palace Theatre on May 18, 1961.
  • When it came to the movie, Julie Andrews wasn’t the first choice for Maria.  The Producers wanted Grace Kelly or Doris Day to replace her because Andrews wasn’t a big star yet (Mary Poppins hadn’t come out yet).  Doris Day ruled herself out as “too American”.
  • The Sound of Music (1965) was an exceptionally successful film in the mid-1960s – at the time of its release, it surpassed Gone With the Wind (1939) as the number one box office hit of all time.
  • The Sound of Music was the last musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.
  • The von Trapps did escape Austria as the Nazis came to power, but they didn’t flee over the Alps, they got on a train to Italy and then traveled to America, where they had a concert tour scheduled. The day after they left, Hitler ordered the Austrian borders shut.
  • When the von Trapps came to America they settled in Stowe, Vermont. They opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which is operational to this day.

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Single tickets for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, from $25 – $106 (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.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with ELF The Broadway Musical, December 8-20, 2015; 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.

Real Posh Society Presents: Most Romantic Movies

Most-Romantic-MoviesFall has arrived and so have the rainy days and cool nights. This means one thing, updating our Netflix List with some of our favorite movies and discovering new ones. It is no secret that we are hopeless romantics, and movies can capture some beautiful moments of storytelling. We experience the pleasures and pitfalls of courtship, the embarrassments and the successes of declaring our feelings and what “happily ever after” can be. Take a look at our list of the most romantic films ever made, and let us know if there’s anything we missed in the comments below, so we can add them to our Netflix List.

#1. Casablanca (1945)
Favorite Quote:
“We’ll always have Paris.”
Romantic Moment: Bogey tells Ingrid Bergman to get on the plane with her husband, or she’ll regret it. Maybe not today…

#2. Vertigo (1958)
Favorite Quote:
“Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.”
Romantic Moment: Judy finally gets the hair right and “Madeleine” lives once more.

#3. Princess Bride (1987)
princessbrideFavorite Quote: “As You Wish.”
Romantic Moment:When Buttercup realizes that her long-lost love, whom she believed was dead, is actually alive and holding her in his arms.

#4. Say Anything (1989)
sayanythingFavorite quote:
“I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”
Romantic Moment: Come on, like you don’t know. Window. Trenchcoat. Boombox. Peter Gabriel. Drop mic.

#5. Beauty & the Beast (1991)
Favorite quote:
“I love you.” With those three little words, Belle breaks the spell.
Romantic Moment: Belle teaches the beast to dance.

#6. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
last-of-the-mohicansFavorite Quote:
“Stay alive. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.”
Romantic Moment: Declaring undying love against a thundering waterfall.

#7. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Favorite Quote: “When I met my wife, it was so clear. I just knew. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a cab. And it was like… magic.”
Romantic Moment: Young Jonah schemes to get his dad to New York to fulfill her wish to meet atop the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. They almost miss each other—but of course, this is a movie, and as they take each other’s hands for the first time, the entire city lights up.

#8. Romeo & Juliet (1996)
romeo_julietFavorite Quote:
“A plague on both your houses! They have made worms’ meat of me.”
Romantic Moment: DiCaprio and Danes making loved-up eyes at each other through the glass and water of a fish tank.

#9. Titanic (1997)
Favorite Quote:
“Where to, Miss? To the stars!”
Romantic Moment: Oh, where Leo claims to be the king of the world, and just for a moment we all believe him. 😉

#10. Chocolat (2000)
Favorite Quote: “Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”
Romantic Moment: When Roux he returns unexpectedly to Vianne.

#11. Tuck Everlasting (2002)
Favorite Quote: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people, it’s that many will do anything, anything not to die. And they’ll do anything to keep from living their life.”
Romantic Moment: Young Winnie dancing by firelight.

#12. Love Actually (2003)
Favorite Quote:
“To me, you are perfect.”
Romantic Moment: The WHOLE movie because it intertwines together multiple tales of love gained and lost. Everyone will have a favorite tale, and they will not always be the same.

#13. Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)
eternal-sunshineFavorite Quote: “I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.”
Romantic Moment: That final conversation in the hallway, in which the repetition of the simple word “ok” means so much more than just “I love you.”

#14. The Notebook (2004)
notebook-003Favorite Quote:
“Do you think our love can make miracles?”
Romantic Moment: That moment they meet again just after Allie learns about the 365 love letters from Noah that she never received.

#15. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Favorite Quote: “You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
Romantic Moment: Darcy’s love confession to Lizzy. Both of them. 😉

#16. Once (2006)
onceFavorite Quote:
“What’s the Czech for “Do you love him”?”
Romantic Moment: In a local music shop, an impromptu jam session between the two near-strangers shapes the gorgeous, Oscar-winning ballad “Falling Slowly.”

He Named Her Malala

Not long ago the new school year started for us across the United States. For my family and I know for many, schedules were shifted meaning earlier wake up times and cranky kids. My Inara, now in second grade in Laguna Beach, California, sighed heavily and expressed her annoyance at both the early rising expected of her in the morning and the interruption to her summer social life. I brushed her hair and told her a story about a girl on the other side of the world who was forbidden to go to school, but risked her life to do it anyway. I told her the story of Malala Yousafzai.

#HeNamedMeMalala on #RealPoshMom

A week later, I was honored to learn more of the young woman’s story at an advance screening of He Named Me Malala, by documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman), opening October 9th across the country. The Fox Searchlight film is a portrait of the teenager’s life back in Pakistan and now in the UK, and it depicts not only what happened the day that a Taliban gunman shot her for speaking out and defiantly attending school, but also the evolution of her family, culture, country, and personal mission. Despite obvious opportunities to be preachy, the film stays on course about the central unifying issue: the importance of raising and educating strong girls to become powerful independent women, and the positive effects that this has and could have on the world.

There were moments, as I suspected there would be, that moved me to tears. The tears didn’t come from shock, sympathy or devastation, but rather from gratitude. Gratitude for a father who broke tradition by celebrating and sharing the birth of a daughter, gratitude for parents who instilled a passion for education in their children, and gratitude for a family that has every right to spread hatred and fear but instead spreads inspiration and strength to all who will accept it.

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #RealPoshMomThere were also moments of laughter. Malala is a teenager with two little brothers to torture. To them she’s the annoying big sister getting too much attention and making them do their homework, not the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and an international hero. Still the love in the family is evident and heartwarming, especially between father and daughter. Even when you wonder why this man willingly made his daughter a target, you begin to understand the long-term goal: ensuring that in the end she would get the education she is entitled to and the platform she longed for. When she was asked during a conference call last week what it was her father did to make her this person, she explained, “It’s not what he did. It’s what he didn’t do. He didn’t clip my wings. He allowed me to move forward, even though I am a girl.”

Wanting an even deeper understanding, I have been reading the memoir I Am Malala, choosing passages to read to Inara before bed at night. She and I cuddled on the couch to watch Stephen Colbert interview (and do card tricks with) the young woman last week on The Late Show, and we were both jealous when a friend in New York watched our young heroine speak live at the Global Citizen concert in Central Park. I am proud of my daughter’s interest and have even used Malala’s story in discussions about inequality around the world, including in our own country. It has all been a learning experience for us both. I intend to take Inara to see the film when it is released on October 9th and she is looking forward to it. Because the subject matter can be disturbing the film is rated PG-13, but as we’ve discussed it at length and are reading the book together, I am confident that my 7-year old can handle it. Other parents should take appropriate precautions, but know that it is told from the perspective of a very intelligent and peaceful young woman, and it is at no point unnecessarily violent or disturbing, beyond what it should be in order to be truthful.

The evening after the screening was back-to-school night for my daughter, whose public elementary school overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by a state park in southern California. The principal boasted that all classrooms had less than 20 children, and the teacher showed off the iPads and laptops available to each student, all thanks to all of the generous support from the parents and community. While I am grateful that my daughter and her friends have the opportunities they do, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with sadness at the inequality of education. Even within our own country there are children lacking basic school supplies and quality teachers due to lack of funds and interest. As a mother with one daughter and another one on the way, my heart aches especially for the 60 million girls around the world who should be in school today but do not have access to education. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be.

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #MalalaYousafzai

With the release of this film comes the opportunity to create and spread the #WithMalala movement in support of the Malala Fund. The goal is to enable all girls, everywhere, to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. They work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; they invest in local education, leaders and programmes; and advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child.

“Do I speak for myself?” Malala asked during our call, “Am I going to use my voice?” She did. Let us join her, and start by visiting the sites, seeing the film, and spreading the word.

#HeNamedMeMalala

#HeNamedMeMalala #FoxSearchlight #MalalaYousafzai

 

“The Intern” Movie Review

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I loved “The Intern”!  I attended a preview of it last week by a special invitation from fellow Fashion Blogger Leah Frazier, and I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well-written, funny and relevant it was to adults of all ages.  The movie might be somewhat more impactful to the over 50 crowds who are retired or thinking about retirement but I think the 20 and 30 somethings will thoroughly enjoy it also.  They will be able to relate to the issues that they face in today’s world of  technology, the struggles of balancing career and families, and how women/men relationships have changed in the last few years.

Here’s the plot:  Ben is a successful businessman who is retired and a recent widower.  He’s a real go getter who tries to keep himself busy with new hobbies and activities but he’s really lost in the new world he’s found himself in.  He’s searching for something to fill the void in his life and he’s more than a little excited when he sees a flyer advertising for “Senior Interns” at a new fashion website.  Ben jumps into the opportunity feet first and what you find yourself watching next is a pure fun.

The Intern

Who would have thought years ago that the great, dramatic actor Robert De Niro who was known for roles in “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas” would have become such a great comedic actor? And Anne Hathaway as the young, ambition driven CEO is a delight  to watch as always.    There are many great moments in the movie with the two of them playing off of their “reverse” roles as boss and intern and at the same time such sweetness to watching their relationship develop and grow.  There are also some hilarious scenes with Ben and the twentysomethings who work at the company who grow to love and respect Ben as a mentor and get into little trouble along the way..

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This movie is primarily about relationships, all different kinds of relationships.   “The Intern” is directed by Nancy Meyers who has given us some classic relationship movies such as “Baby Boom” and one of my all-time favorites “Somethings Gotta Give”.  “The Intern” explores the sometimes painful path that people take after their career and romantic relationships end.  It also examines the struggles that young people have balancing successful careers and families.  It gives us all hope that you can find relationships in the most unexpected places and times and you should never judge people by their age or sex.  Everyone has something to offer.  Relationships – isn’t that what life is all about?

‪#‎theinternmoviedallaswww.theinternmovie.com

Rating: PG-13 (for some suggestive content and brief strong language)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Nancy Meyers
Written By: Nancy Meyers
In Theaters: Sep 25, 2015 Wide
Runtime: 2 hr. 1 min.

 

 

Menopause the Musical: The Survivor Tour at The Music Hall at Fair Park!

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Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra AND memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, and much more!  Okay, that in itself may not sound very funny but I promise you that this musical will have you and your girlfriends laughing until you think you can’t laugh anymore.  This hilarious musical parody is set to classic tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s that will make you want to get up and dance. This tour – Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® Benefiting Susan G. Komen® is the first of its kind, donating a portion of every ticket sale directly to the ongoing effort to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

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The cast of four women consists of breast cancer survivors and co-survivors that in itself is amazing.  Each one of the ladies are accomplished singers and actors with a list of performances as long as my arm.  They are definitely role models and a testimony to the “survivor” spirit.   They each have their own inspirational cancer story but you won’t hear it in the performance because this is all about fun and making fun of the trails and tribulations of Menopause.  The actresses are all hilarious in their respective roles and will thoroughly entertain you from beginning to end!

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What a fun event to go to with a group of girlfriends or sisters/mothers.  Most of you will be able to relate to some or all of the issues and will laugh for days afterwards (my friends and I are still texting each other about it)!    I saw this musical years ago and saw it again last night and it was truly just as funny the second time around!

Fun Facts:

  • The Survivor Tour cast includes breast cancer co-survivor Linda Boston (Professional Woman) and survivors Teri Adams (Iowa Housewife), Judy Blue (Soap Star), and Megan Cavanagh (Earth Mother) known for her role as Marla Hooch in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. For more information on the cast and tour, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygJ5NCiqK20&feature=youtu.be
  • Menopause The Musical is recognized as the longest-running scripted musical production in Las Vegas and continues to entertain nightly at Harrah’s.
  • *In 2014-2016, GFour Productions, LLC will donate $50,000.00 to Susan G. Komen®. In addition, GFour will also donate to Komen $2.00 for every ticket sold to Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® performances from March 25, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

Menopause The Musical®: The Survivor Tour® is presented by DSM Management Group, Inc. July 21-26 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

LiveAtTheMusicHall.com or in person at the Box Office (5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center Suite 542) or by calling 800-514-ETIX

GROUP DISCOUNTS APPLICABLE TO ALL PRICE LEVELS
Available through Group Sales Reps only:
Email: Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org
Call: 214-426-GROUP (4768)
Groups of 10 – 35 Get a 10% Discount
Groups of 36+ Get a 20% Discount

***Please note: On the day of the performance, tickets will be available for purchase at the Music Hall Box Office beginning 1 1/2 hours before the performance.***

Pippin Sizzles at Dallas Summer Musicals

PippinIt’s hard to summarize Pippin in a one sentence but I’m going to try.  This four time Tony Award Winning whimsical musical is a combination of Cabaret, Chorus Line, and Spamalot, with Cirque du Soleil like acrobats and a circus theme.  Sounds like a lot of going on right?  Well, there is, but it works and you can’t take your eyes off the stage for long or you’ll miss a magic trick or an incredible acrobatic feat.  These players are seriously talented both musically and physically.  This re-imagined version of the 40 year old musical has a beautiful score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz and is sure to make you want to buy the soundtrack.  The musical also features some really steamy and sizzling choreography by Tony Award-nominee Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse.  The acrobatics are incredible and are created by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company LES7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN (also known as 7 Fingers).

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Ok, here’s the story – Pippin is the young son of King Charlemagne who’s going through a major identity crisis after he graduates from school and returns home to the Kingdom.  He just doesn’t
know what he wants to be when he grows up and goes on a dangerous and sometimes dark journey to find the meaning of his existence.  Sound heavy?  Stay tuned because it won’t stay that way for long.  There are so many extremely entertaining characters and performances that you will be thoroughly entertained.  One of the most talented new singers and dancer on the stage today, Sasha Allen plays the narrator and evil temptress of the show.  If that name sounds familiar it’s because she was on NBC’s The Voice and was a finalist on Season 4.   This girl was born to be on the stage and gives an incredible performance as Satan herself.  A special treat is the appearance of former TV actress Adrienne Barbeau who plays Pippin’s grandmother and gives a wonderful performance!  Who knew she could sing, dance, and do aerial tricks?   She is a very fun part of the musical.

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Pippin is played by the talented and good looking Kyle Selig (The Book of Mormon) who experiences a lot of angst over almost everything and decides maybe becoming the king is just too much responsibility for him or is it?  Will good or evil win?  Will he settle for the “normal” life?   Those are the big questions and you will have to go see for yourself how it ends.  Be prepared to be very entertained along the way – like seriously entertained.

Fun Facts:

  • The original production of Pippin, directed by Bob Fosse, debuted on Broadway in 1972, won five Tony Awards and closed in 1977.
  • Tony Award winner John Rubinstein, who created the role of Pippin in the 1972 original Broadway production returns to this production as Charles.
  • There are 6 yoga balls used in the show.
  • The acrobats usually spend an entire hour warming up before a performance.
  • There are 15 hula-hoops used throughout the show.
  • 7 feather fans are used in the entire show.
  • There are 17 acrobatic tricks in Magic to Do.
  • Gypsy Snider, who created all the circus elements, said “The life of an acrobat is how far we go to be extraordinary.”
  • The Manson Trio is named after Charles Manson. Bob Fosse was very interested in Manson.
  • Stephen Schwartz was only 24 years old when he wrote the show.
  • Pippin’s name, historically speaking, is actually spelled Pipen. Stephen Schwartz changed it so it wouldn’t be perceived as an adaptation of the Steinbeck novel, “The Short Reign of Pepin IV”. They liked the word “Pippin” because it suggested the slang meaning of “pip” – something nifty.

Pippin Jay and Jackie

Pippin closes out DSM’s 75 Anniversary Season and is playing from July 7th – 19th at The Music Hall at Fair Park!

Single tickets for PIPPIN, from $25-$98 (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.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Stay tuned for information about DSM’s 2015-2016 Season!