What Fools These Mortals Be!

Sunday was my husband’s 52nd birthday and we celebrated by attending The Elizabethan Madrigal Feast at The Center for Arts & Sciences. One of the things I love about living where we do is the convenient access we have to quality fine arts events without having to go into Houston. The Center for Arts & Sciences, in Lake Jackson, is comprised of Center Stages (the oldest community theater group on the Texas Gulf Coast), the Brazosport Art League, the Brazosport Museum of Natural Science, the Brazosport Planetarium, and the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra.

The Elizabethan Madrigal is the Brazosport Fine Arts Council’s big fund raiser and is held every other year. It’s such a huge production, it would just be too difficult to do every year. We attended in 2014 and had such a wonderful time, we promised ourselves we would try to make it a tradition. Tickets are in high demand and sell out quickly, so I ponied up the $10 membership fee to the Council so I could buy our tickets when they first went on sale. We had excellent seats, right next to the action! My girl was even pulled into one of the dance sequences by a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court.

For the price of a ticket, we were seated at beautifully decorated tables and enjoyed a lovely dinner while watching the performance of Queen Elizabeth and her court. The pageantry is spectacular — the detail of the costumes is every bit as impressive as something you’d see in the “big city” up the road. The players are all volunteers who’ve auditioned for their roles. In the midst of the Queen’s entrance, the presentation of the Christ Child, and several songs and dances, a condensed version of a Shakespeare play is performed. This year’s play was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (When we attended in 2014, we were treated to “Twelfth Night.”)

Here are some photos I managed to capture with my cell phone. I tried to be discreet because the players tend to discourage the use of “magic boxes,” as they call them.

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DD and Jami
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AJ and Laura

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Jami is asked to dance!

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Missing theater just a little bit.
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The costumes are simply amazing!

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Puck
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Queen Elizabeth I
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Queen Elizabeth I and her ladies in waiting.

Overall it was a great afternoon. We are already looking forward to the 2018 Madrigal!


P.S. — I have to laugh! After I posted this, I realized I’d put our photo right above the title, which is a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, to someone unfamiliar with the play, it looks quite like I’m saying we are fools. Well, maybe we are. But we’re happy fools, for sure. 🙂

Here We Go Again ….

This past summer, our theater group held a play writing competition in honor of Mr. Mike Parrinello.  Mr. Parrinello was an amazing man, a real renaissance man with a seemingly limitless supply of information on a seemingly endless variety of topics.  He was dear to our group, helping us with costume and set design … sewing many of the Civil War era costumes used in our first season production of “Little Women,” as well as costumes used in our second season production of “Anne of Green Gables.” He would be tickled with the outcome of our contest.  Lindsey Backen won with her delightful little story about a group of “little old people” who escape from the nursing home they live in.  Called “The Great Escape,” rehearsals begin on Monday, January 12 with performance dates set for February 20, 21, and 22.

I didn’t intend to audition, but the first night there was a very small turnout and so AJ and I both read.  The second night, there was a much better turnout, but we read again at the request of the director and assistant director, and …..

WE WERE CAST AS:

GLADYS

(A ditzy but lovable nurse who’s sole care in life is taking care of her “Little Old People” and making pudding.)

and

MITCH

( The UPS man who is sweet on Gladys.)

What is it about the theatre that just gets into your bones????  I had a small part in last summer’s show and was a nervous wreck, but after auditioning for The Great Escape, I couldn’t help finding myself wishing I’d get a part.  Isn’t that just so funny?  And AJ always says, “I just don’t have time ….” but then he always ends up either being in the show, building sets, or both and has a blast doing it.  I’m so glad that we’ve found this nifty little hobby that we enjoy as a family.  Even though Jami will not have a role in this production, she likes helping out with the backstage stuff and hanging out at the theatre during rehearsals — so it’s all good.

I’ll be posting on how things go over the next few weeks.  It will be interesting since we are doing this in roughly five weeks, as opposed to two months in the summer.  But it’s a short play, only about 45 minutes, so I think it will be just fine, even though production time is somewhat compressed.

Have a wonderful evening and I’ll be back!  (I just realized this is my first post for 2009 — it’s been pretty crazy, busy here, so please forgive the stretches between entries!)

Green Furniture and My Little Star

It’s been a busy two weeks … AJ’s been on vacation (summer break) … it always goes by MUCH too fast.  He only has one week left, and then it’s a random state holiday until Thanksgiving.  Here are some of the things that we’ve been involved in:

On Father’s Day he noticed his dad’s next door neighbor had put an old dressing table, probably circa 1930’s, at the curb.  Ever one for a challenge, AJ got our brother-in-law, Tom, to help him load the rickety old thing into the bed of my truck.  There was also an armoire in even worse shape … unfortunately the truck would only hold the dressing table without risking further damage.  When we got home, he began disassembling the dressing table in his spare time (what little he has).  He reglued veneers, carved replacements for missing pieces, began gluing the thing back together, and after sanding it, stained it an English Chestnut, per our daughter’s request.

Here’s the finished product in her newly painted bedroom (her color choice, not mine!):

It’s been a few months ago, but he also built the coffee table below from solid wood floorboards salvaged from his dad’s house when they had a new floor put in.  He brought the floorboards home, removed all the nails, planed them down to a suitable condition and then designed and built this table for me.  He has enough wood left to build two matching end tables, as well!

There are no nails or screws in the table … he used all mortise and tenon joinery and dowels to put the table together.  Pretty cool, huh?  I found the baskets at Target and they fit perfectly on the lower shelf.  They hold our magazines and a few games.

Last night was the 2008 Summer Children’s Musical Theater Workshop Performance.  I was blown away by the professionalism of the production.   Keep in mind, the workshop started this past Monday at 1:00 p.m.  Last night’s performance consisted of 15 actual workshop hours, plus whatever time each child put into practicing at home.  Here are some photos from the dress rehearsal on Thursday:

“Consider Yourself” from Oliver!

Jami is sitting on the second step from the bottom, on the right hand side (above the little girl in the green kerchief).

“It’s a Hard Knock Life” from “Annie”

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music

Jami is in the foreground, left hand side … her best buddy, McCauley, is in the center.

“Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof

This was my FAVORITE.  Jami got to play a main role (Hodel) that involved speaking and solo singing parts.  In this shot, the Matchmaker is telling her she’ll make a good match for her.

Another shot, where Hodel is singing about finding the perfect  match. 

I have to tell you, my doors were blown off … when this kid sings with her iPod … well, egads!  But she sang BEAUTIFULLY in this piece.  I kept wondering where she’d been hiding that voice.  Her instructor was very pleased, so I’m thinking that if she continues in this music/theater/dance direction, we may have to look into voice lessons.  We know two very good instructors, so I’ll have to talk with Jami and her daddy to see if that’s a direction we need to go in.

Have a blessed day!