Friday, July 31, 2009

In Which The Nerdlings Visit Wolf Trap And Listen To Some Opera

They walked on, thinking of This and That, and by-and-by they came to an enchanted place on the very top of the Forest called Galleons Lap . . . Sitting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky, and whatever there was all the world over was with them in Galleons Lap. -A.A. Milne, The House At Pooh Corner

The nerdlings and I were given tickets to see an Instant Opera at the Theater in the Woods at Wolf Trap yesterday (thanks Ngoc!). It was a fantastic introduction to opera for the kids. I suppose the best way to describe it is opera mad-libs. The performers, a very talented group of young men and women, wrote down the children's suggestions for places, people, and Things To Do, and once they assigned roles, performed the mini opera with hilarious results. Our production: Monkey Vampire (Sad Ending Version). Synopsis: Once upon a time in Bikini Bottom, a fariy & a dog were playing Candyland. Along came a witch and Spongebob and they ate Krabby Patties. Fin. Also interspersed in the show were arias from each of the performers - the children had picked between two for each artist.

I'd recommend to anyone in the NoVa area to check it out. It's quite amusing. And of course, there are plenty of places to have a picnic after the show.

Reports on more Summer Adventures™ to come . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

STC: The Dog In The Manger

I know it's been quite a while since I've blogged, especially about shows I've seen. I specifically regret not posting about the all male cast version of Romeo and Juliet, the superbly green* (in color, not talent) production of The Way of The World, and the highly entertaining delivery of Twelfth Night. Wow, I'm a slacker! But I digress.

Tuesday night, hubby and I saw The Dog In The Manger for the first time. We were completely unfamiliar with the play, but it was a fantastic production (I know. I say that about all the performances at STC. I swear, I'm not biased.). Normally I take a line from the show to use as a clever blog post headline, but the title of this play is quite clever on it's own.

According to Aesop's fable of the same name, a disrupted napping dog keeps the oxen away from their hay in the manger even though he has no intention of eating it himself. In the play, Diana is the dog and the hay is her secretary, Teodoro, who is in love with one of Diana's ladies-in-waiting (presumably the oxen). Well, that's the basic idea at least. It's a bit more complicated than that as the play involves many issues including aristocracy, honor, purity of heart, jealousy, revenge, . . . you know, the usual. Personally, my favorite form of theatrical entertainment is the coupling of "high tragedy with low comedy" and this certainly hit the spot. Essentially, Diana only wants Teodoro when he's pledged his love to Marcela. But because of her lofty social status and Honor, when he returns Diana's affections, she spurns him. In the end, with the help of hilarious plot devices including but not limited to Servants In Disguise and Shady Contractual Agreements, Diana and Teodoro end up together with an enormous subterfuge to uphold. Though the play is set in the Spanish Golden Age, director Jonathan Munby took full advantage of said "low comedy" throwing in modern colloquialisms and banter. Or perhaps it was the actors. Either way, it was brilliantly balanced and executed.

As always, the costumes and set were fabulous. All the ladies wore black hoop-skirt dresses that were not only fun to look at, but also provided a nice contrast to the bright, colorful attire worn by Diana's aristocratic suitors. The set was comprised of screen walls which offered the characters a means to eavesdrop auspiciously. Mwahahahaha. I love how clever the set designers are. They never cease to amaze me.

This show is only running for a few more weeks, so check it out while you can. It's not a well known play, but it's definitely worth seeing. Next on the list: Ion @ Sydney Harmon Hall.

*One very cool thing the Shakespeare Theatre Company does to recycle costumes is to have them re-sewn into handbags, purses, clutches, scarves, etc. by a very talented lady from Fusion Fashion Accessories. Tuesday night I added a nifty little coin/card pouch to my collection. It's made of one of the various green materials from The Way Of The World. Perfect for St. Patty's Day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

JoCo and Paul & Storm @ The Birchmere. Take Two.

ZOMG! We totally got Rick Roll'd by JoCo. ROFLMAO.

Also, zendrums are teh awesome.

Video courtesy of ginamai.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best. Decade. EVAH!

This last Friday was my 10th wedding anniversary. I was 20 years old when I married the love of my life, and I honestly had no idea he was truly my soul mate at the time. It was a hunch, and I'm very glad I followed it.

We met on a Sunday evening in late November. I had spent all day thumbing through Fathers and Sons and I took a break at the Beans & Brews in downtown Salt Lake City. He was there with his roommate, and all of us were bored. I believe our first conversation involved a discussion of our common frustration with our living arrangements — specifically residing in Utah — and a promise from the dear fellow that if I were to go out with him, he'd guarantee a short-term commitment due to his addiction to Lucky Strikes, 2-packs-a-day. I agreed to the proposal, as I was still quite young, and off we went to his place to make out and watch bad stoner movies. Four weeks later, I took a pregnancy test that revealed the bluest blue line in the history of HPTs, and two weeks after that we were married at a small chapel in the presence of friends, family, and a Justice of the Peace.


Ten years from that day, my wonderful partner whisked me away to a hotel in Reston, VA with dinner reservations ("reservations" as in we-waited-at-the-crowded-bar-for-a-table) to McKormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant where we dined on succulent surf and turf as we got properly snockered on Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape. We plan to celebrate this milestone further with a trip to Ireland in the late spring. We're a long way from the Meth Lab Capital of America where we had our first apartment, and I've truly enjoyed every minute of the journey. Here's to another decade of bliss!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The View from the Top

That last post was quite long for a blogkin. I assure you they won't be that long in the future.

Anyway, this is the view I get when I come over the hill on my way home:

Looking back:

Not bad, eh? The pictures don't do it justice, though.

My Main Street Is Better Than Your Main Street

After the economic fallout (aka the Not-So-Great Depression) and before the election, I had a mind to write a very poignant and eloquent blog about Main Street and the economy in my town. With all the talk of Real America™ and specifically Real Virginia™, I thought it might be interesting to see the real issues from a small town perspective. In this tourist town, economic hardships are not rare, and staying afloat means changing with the times, or moving on. Since I never got around to it I won't write the whole piece. Instead, I'm posting links to my current favorite spots in town and pictures that demonstrate the diversity that small towns in Real America™ have in this day and age. Enjoy!

The Town Clock
Toward one of the many antiques stores
The Catholic Bookstore
The Warren County Democratic Headquarters
Soul Mountain (restaurant)
The town gazebo. What? Your town doesn't have one?
Stokes General Store (Red Wings sold here!)
Closer to the antiques store

The Wine and Duck
Vino E Formaggio
Lucky Star Lounge
D&B's Chocolates and Confections
County Seat Pub

Discover Front Royal dot com

You Know You Spend Too Much Time . . .

. . . on the internet when you see a sign at Curves for a holiday promotion, and you want to click on the highlighted words as if they were links. Coincidentally, today was the day the owner finally destroyed the back-up floppy discs which stored all the member information. The times, they are a changin'.