Posts Tagged With: musical

IVORYTON PLAYHOUSE DOES DREAMGIRLS

DSC08095 (Copy)

In Ivoryton, Connecticut, the Ivoryton Playhouse was the first summer theatre in Connecticut and is a distinguished and significant contribution to the arts in the area, attracting theatre buffs from New York and Massachusetts, and elsewhere.

DSC08099 (Copy)

They’ve also attracted top name talent, like Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Mercedes McCambridge, Marlon Brando, Betty Grable, Art Carney, Groucho Marx,  to mention a few of the notables.

DSC08096 (Copy)

The playhouse itself is charming and intimate with only about 120 seats and then there are elephants. This is a sculpture in the front yard of the playhouse. An elephant with toes resembling piano keys. You have to know a bit about Ivoryton to understand the significance.

DSC08098 (Copy)

Ivoryton was the home of two piano companies. Those were the days when the keys were made of ivory. Thus, you see elephant motifs at the playhouse and all about town. Once radio, television and mass entertainment took over the standard parlor piano for entertainment, the piano business began to wane and the old buildings that once housed piano making are now closed. It is said 90% of the ivory imported to the United States passed through Ivoryton. Smaller companies also made ivory combs, dice, jewelry, sculptures and other sundries.

DSC08101 (Copy)

No theatre allows pictures of a play in progress, but we were free to photograph the inside of the building. On the side walls are many pictures of the stars that played here, and they were many.

DSC08110 (Copy)

The pictures behind glass are hard to photograph with any success. The glare is impossible. DSC08105

I enjoyed viewing them, even if they don’t photograph well. So many old familiar faces.

DSC08112 (Copy)

The Dream Girls, the play we saw was a preview where the playhouse invites criticism. Technically, we could detect no glitch. It was done perfectly. The voices of the men and women who eventually made it big at Motown were big, wonderful voices. The whole play was done musically and music was the theme. But, for us, the playwright chose to tell the entire story in song instead of having the plot spoken in interludes, the struggles, the girls and guys taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents, etc. they sang their lines and it was difficult to follow the plot.  Sometimes the music was so loud you couldn’t hear the lines well enough. But, the theme is certainly worthy and Motown music would have made it sooo much better.

Others loved it, so who are we to criticize?

After the theatre, we poked around a little antique store across from the theatre and I always find stuff I like, but luckily I can’t buy much when we live in a motor home.

DSC08118 (Copy)

 

 

 

DSC08119 (Copy)

DSC08120 (Copy)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dream Girls

The motorhome is parked at my son’s home in Ivoryton, Connecticut. We are planning to depart for the west coast next Monday.

The famous Ivoryton Playhouse is only about one mile from my son’s home. During my previous visit here in June I wrote a rather complete Blog entry about the history of the Playhouse which you can read by clicking this link… http://wp.me/pDCku-8uG

Yesterday Mary and I went to the Ivoryton Playhouse for the premier performance of Dream Girls. If you are unfamiliar with the story plot, you can read it here by clicking this Wikipedia link… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamgirls

No photography is allowed of the set or during the program. They allowed me to take a few interior photos before the show began…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

001

002

003

004

005

006

007

008

009

010

011

013

Speaking of Dream Girls…here’s mine…

015

Mary and I were both disappointed with the performance. While the story line is a good one, the performers semi-sing (screech) their lines rather than speaking them. In addition because we were so late in buying our tickets, we ended up in the last row of the balcony…which was okay…but even back there the orchestra volume was too loud making is difficult to hear the performers. Oh well, you buy your tickets and take your chances!

This was very different from the great performance of The Buddy Holly Story which we saw here in 2010 and you can read about by clicking this link… http://wp.me/pDCku-sJ

Enjoying a good play is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Connecticut. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

USA1IV

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

3E23M33J85Gb5Fc5M2cc4ab5610239cb71a2b

On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUN AND MOON PAGODAS

We’ve left the Urumichi area, which means oasis. It is part of the Gobi desert and we saw oil refineries that the government controls.  We are headed for Guilin, pronounced guay-leen and the roadsides are lush with terraced gardens. In 1998, this area flooded and 1500 people died. The government let the area return to farmland and forest. Makes me think of New Orleans, where the best solution is to let the river have its way, but we don’t have an autocratic government, we have property rights and developers rights and political sensitivity.  The horrifically expensive taxpayer fix will result in  more flooding, reduced wetlands necessary to buffer severe storms, more loss of property and life, and eventually the City of New Orleans will  sink anyway. The Army Corps of Engineers keeps building levees and moving sand from one beach to another ignoring science and heeding the popular political fix.

Clustered housing here is practical and uses less land than individual farms. A collective. It is a method that can stifle innovation and experimentation. But, Vicki says, it is tried and true. After all, people have occupied the area along the Li River since 214 B.C.  Why not high rises? Because no one can build higher than 20 floors so not to obscure the view of the beautiful mountains. Oh, my. A sentiment to admire.

Guilin was destroyed by Japanese bombs, but has been rebuilt. We are aghast when Vicki calls Guilin a small city of only 640,000 people covering 67 kilometers. We stop at a tea factory for a formal tea tasting.  As in days of old, tea is packed into bales, bricks, wheels and multiple sized rounds. We find the same shapes we saw in Jiliang that we didn’t recognize as tea. Not a tea bag in sight.

Everything here is loose leaf and smells divine. The city is famous for its osthumansis (acacia) trees that are in bloom. Intensely fragrant, like orange blossoms, they are used to make wine, tea and perfume. Guilin has 13 nationalities. The Yau and Dow are predominant. There are 3,000 caves in the mountains here, many of them open to tourists.

This magnificently carved wooden Buddha tray is outfitted with a gas burner and we are about to taste ten different kinds of tea. The rules are thus:  First, you smell the cup. Then you sniff the tea and chew the leaves a bit to make sure it is good and strong. Then hot water is poured in the cup to warm it while the tea is brewing in hot (not boiling) water. You surround the cup with your hands to warm them. You can drink the water or pour it out before the tea is poured. Then you slurp noisily. That is considered the best way. It was fun. Then there was theatrics of tea. A dragon tea pot that turns from green to red when the hot water is poured into it. And a baby boy tea pot that pisses into your cup when the water heats it.  There was a lot of slurping and laughing and talking and comparing. They sell aged, 28 year old  Puer tea, said to reduce blood pressure, cure diabetes and clean your liver. You can use the leaves nine times before the flavor and benefits disappear. Hmmm!  I bought some. It stayed flavorful for about four cups made with the same leaves. Their cups are smaller than mine, though.

We get to our beautiful hotel and Michal is taken by a carved jade dragon boat. Priceless. It is a free day for us and we can wander the town and eat anywhere we want though Vicki warns us to beware of pick pockets and even some merchants are rip-off artists. Our stop here is to boat up the Li River and see a part of old China and some famous, mystical rock formations.

Guilin is quite modern and university students go to coffee shops like Western students do. The whole city smells like orange blossoms though we don’t see the trees. The Dau people hold a folk song festival in Guilin in the spring. The Dau people have a beautiful courtship ritual. A woman throws her bouquet at the man she wants. If he catches it, that is his acceptance and they are one.

As we gaze around we run into Vicki and she points out a modern Chinese pharmacy.

Kind of reminds us of a fish and herb market. But, there are lizards and insects and worms and animal parts, very clean and dried.

The Chinese have centuries of medicinal experimentation with herbs and such and it seems prudent to respect it, even while we know many remedies don’t work, such as rhinoceros horn and other animal parts. Our own drug companies have learned much from the Chinese. They are healthy people.

After dinner we load into a boat near these Twin Pagodas for a ride on the Li and Peach Blossum Rivers as they merge together and form four city lakes. These pagodas are joined underwater and one can swim into and out of them. At night they are lit up beautifully.

Pictures are impossible, but you get the idea, anyway. The lake shores on all sides are lit up like Christmas trees. Entertainers sing from various famous boat replicas, like the Marble boat from the Summer Palace, and a dragon boat. Bands play modern and traditional music every section of the way.  You see people dining on shore or in pretty boats as  you continually pass under bridges, all replicas of famous bridges. Twelve of them. Each has frescoes of great beauty and interest. We point and guess, the Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate, Glass Bridge, Cambridge Math Class Bridge. We didn’t recognize them all.  It was another dreamland journey as we stayed mesmerized by the passing scenes. Near the turning point we saw  fishermen night fishing with their cormorants. The boatman smacks them with his cane if they try to steal a fish out of the basket and pretend they caught it.  He calls to them, “Ai, ai, ai!”  The birds continually fly out and back. We see live fish, flopping in the baskets that will soon be delivered to a local restaurant. Another magical experience that clings forever in memory.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.