Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Passport to Provo and A Pocketful of Poetry

 Photo by Justin Hackworth, front and center.
(See how many Provo folks you recognize.)
Among them are a celebrity entertainer, a mascot, a basketball star, a TV's Shark Tank winner, a mayor,
a renowned artist, two bass players from famous bands, a comedy star, a contestant from The Voice.

Our family spent this past Saturday hanging out 
with these fine people.
Well, us and another 2075 people from Provo.
We participated as Team Picadilly to try and break the
Guinness World Record for Largest Scavenger Hunt.
And indeed Provo did break that record by double.
And it was an absolutely fabulous event!

 The afternoon consisted of a variety of tasks
which kept us running around Provo.
Here we are posing in our best "thinking" positions
in front of the large cube portrait of Einstein.
(If you've never seen this it is right behind the new temple and about a block south.)

 There were volunteers posted around the city to verify 
each task completed and then stamping the passport.

Silly tasks like sliding down a slide and saying 'Wheeee..,' 
flying a kite,
running through a splash pad as a group, 
taking a selfie with a Llama;
as well as service oriented ones like donating canned foods to the food coalition, picking up trash, weeding,
signing up to be a blood donor or volunteer with United Way.
Cultural tasks like telling a joke on the Covey Stage,
 lip-syncing to a band at Velour,
 sampling food at Los Hermanos and Gurus, 
or drinks at Sodalicious.

 There were even some bonus tasks like finding 
the 'Mayor's Head' around town.
(Mayor Curtis is awesome and was there from beginning to end.)
At the conclusion, all the participants returned to the 
Utah Valley Convention Center
to be counted by the Guinness Officials.
Each participant received two awesome tee-shirts 
(sponsored by Downtown Provo and Google Fiber.)
That evening all were invited to return to enjoy a buffet and a party with prizes and drawings,
entertainment, and a concert by Ryan Innes.
(It was our LDS Stake Conference session, so we didn't attend the festivities, but heard it was terrific.)

 On Friday, I attended my friend Mindy Gledhill's 
Tour Kick-off Concert at Velour.
Her tour leaves next week starting in Nashville and ending in NYC.

 Her concert was so much fun as always.
She sang songs from her album 'Pocketful of Poetry'
as well as some covers and new songs.

 This tour will be unique and special because 
she will be touring by bus.
Mindy has been searching for a tour bus for a long time.
She purchased this 1978 gem recently.
Her husband and boys have been feverishly working around the clock along with Mindy
to refurbish and get it ready in time.

I was lucky enough to get my own private tour of the inside.
It is a beauty and so very Mindy.
This is Nate whom I worked with at Rooftop Concerts.
He is Mindy's tour manager and one of the major heartbeats
behind the Provo music scene. 
He is a kind, wonderful man with a beautiful family
and he volunteers countless hours to the city.
Being around these talented, creative young people 
makes me feel alive.
I love the energy of this university town!

While I was inside the bus I took a few photos of Velour's exterior.
Later, while looking at them I noticed this couple in the frame.
Look closely and you will see a story unfolding.
Are they arguing or falling love?
Cue the movie music.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sutton Sings Splendidly

 Photo credit: Me

I had the thrill of a lifetime this past Friday
 when I met and saw in concert
one of my Broadway idols
the incomparable SUTTON FOSTER!

 Photo Credit: Brenda Labit
(thanks Brenda)

Here I am meeting Sutton after the concert
and telling her that I cried off all my mascara
 during her flawless performance.
And her telling me, "Oh, but you look so beautiful!"
I brought along two of my favorite CDs
Little Women and Thoroughly Modern Millie
with the hope she would autograph them.
She did!
Sutton was so very gracious and authentic and darling.

 Photo credit: A nice stranger

My dear friend, Brenda joined me for the concert.
 It was one of those communal experiences
 that are hard to describe.
Without a doubt one of the all-time outstanding concerts I have ever attended.

 Photo credit: Wikipedia

Broadway musicals were my first love
(along with the ballet.)
I dreamed of performing on Broadway 
and even considered it briefly 
during my time at university 
when some of my professors and fellow students
were pushing me in that direction.
However, I chose another path and am happy with my choices.
But, I'll tell you, I have lived that Broadway life vicariously through Sutton Foster.

 Photo credit: Broadway World

If you are not familiar with Sutton Foster,
she has been on Broadway for 15 or so years. 
She is the only actress to be the first to create the original role on stage for 6 Broadway musicals.
She has won numerous theatre awards including
 Two Tony Awards for
Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes.

 Photo credit: Maureen McGovern.com

Sutton first came to my attention when she performed the role of Jo
in Little Women, the Musical.
I fell in love with her voice.
I wanted to have her voice:)
I had always hoped to hear her live.
When the Broadway tour of Little Women came through Utah
I took my daughter Caitlyn for her birthday.
(We were disappointed that Sutton was not on the tour,
but were delighted to meet and talk with Maureen McGovern
who played the original Marmie opposite Sutton.)

 Photo credit: Broadway World

A double treat for the evening was that Sutton brought along her
best friend, Megan McGinnis who had played her little sister Beth
in Little Women.
She sang a lovely solo and then two incredible duets with Sutton.
Sutton told the audience how she has fallen in love with Utah.
That very day before the concert she and Megan had hiked up Mount Timpanogos
and they were thrilled by the beauty of Provo valley.
In fact, Megan said on her Twitter that they both thought the mountains looked fake
and so they determined to hike them to see for themselves:)

Photo credit: Sesame Street, of course.

Here is a TV performance from 2002 

of Sutton performing 'Gimme,Gimme' from Millie.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rollin' along...

Been on a roller-coaster this week.

Started out by singing a duet in church with my friend Mat and his wife accompanying on harp.
'Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.'
(As a vocal teacher I tell my students to not make excuses, but I just have to say I had a sore throat for a week previous and my singing was not up to par for me. Mat and Ashley are always stellar, so that made up the difference. I will say that the Lord sent extra blessings of the Spirit through the music and that is what it is about anyway.)

That evening Coryn's in-laws rolled into town and dinner at our home.
Entertaining is not my forte, but the meal seemed to please all.

On Tuesday I hosted our monthly Personal Progress activity for the Young Women in our ward.
We called it "P to the 4th: Personal Progress, Pajamas and Pizza." 
It was a pick-me-up to encourage the gals to keep plugging along with their goals.
By all accounts the evening was enjoyed by the majority. (See some happy faces above)
Our Young Women President (in the Dodgers shirt) gave her thumbs up!

 We've had a lot of clouds rolling in and out lately.
I have loved the rain.

On Thursday evening we rock and rolled with Kenny Loggins.
I have been a fan of his since high school and one of my first dates with my husband
was attending his concert at BYU over thirty years ago.
(We also brought along Coryn, Scott and Courtney who grew up on his music as well.)

 And let me tell you, that audience of 50 and 60-somethings were in rock and roll heaven.
Who says your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll?

Kenny Loggins did not disappoint.
This 66 year old was in amazing voice and sounded as strong as he had back in the day!
It was obvious he loved the crowd and was having a great time.

 He covered many of the favorites from 'House at Pooh Corner' to 'Celebrate me Home.'
And thrilled everyone with 3 encores including Utah Country connection classic 'Footloose.'
So great to be there singing along with the 'younger generation.'
Fun, Fun, Fun!

We helped the newlyweds move out of their apartment and into our home for a couple of nights.
The medical school interviews are rolling in,
and Coryn and Scott are rolling on to the East Coast.
They left early Friday morning for their journey across the country.
We hope North Carolina will roll out the welcome mat.

Saturday morning our family rolled out of bed and drove to pick up my mom,
the birthday girl, to attend the openhouse of the Ogden Temple.
Clouds were rolling in, but it did not rain.
Another beautiful House of the Lord will soon be dedicated.
So happy we were able to go.
And now another Sunday is upon us and the roller coaster can shut down for the day
 and I rejoice in a hopeful day of rest.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pomp and Circumstance

Our son-in-law Scott graduated with honors this week from 
Brigham Young University.
He earned his BS in just two and a half years.
He's a pretty smart guy.

 He gave an excellent commencement address 
representing his college.

His topic:
Finding happiness in the small, quiet moments.

Scott's dad drove in from North Carolina.
His father is an OB/GYN and Scott plans to 
become a medical doctor as well.

 So proud of this young man!
He is kind, patient, humble, bright, giving, funny,
and he loves and adores our daughter.
Who could want for more?

It was wonderful to meet BYU's new president
Kevin Worthen and his lovely wife.
The university is in very competent hands
with this humble man at the helm.

  Coryn was working graduation as line-marshal for
the Masters Degree candidates.
As she entered the Marriott Center,
Scott saw her and stepped out of line to give her a quick kiss.
Everyone in the arena saw this on the jumbotron. 

Now the young couple heads off to the other side of the country
as Scott begins his medical school interviews.
A new adventure.
We will truly miss having them around.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"I wish to go to the festival..."

 Our family had a 'serendipity' moment of sorts
and decided to head down to Cedar City
to attend a play at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
We love this venue having attended many times over the years.
 One of our all-time favorite musicals
Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods was the draw.
We took our oldest daughter Court to the Broadway 
touring production when she was younger
and it made a deep impression on her.
stage photos from bard.org
 The show uses famous fairytale characters to impart
powerful and valuable lessons.
Sondheim is a genius composer and lyricist.
 "Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood.
They will not protect you the way that they should.
And take extra care with strangers,
Even flowers have their dangers,
And though scary is exciting,
Nice is different than good."
 Brian Vaughn and his wife Melinda Pfundstein
played the Baker and his wife.
They are 'staples' at the festival and we have enjoyed 
their performances over the years.
In last year's outstanding 'Les Miz' they portrayed
Javaire and Fantene respectively.
Brian is one of the artistic directors for the festival.
 "Running away, let's do it,
Free from the ties that bind,
No more despair
Or burdens to bear
Out there in the yonder."
 Cinderella and Rapunzel's princes were appropriately over-the-top!
Their 'Agony' number was a show-stopper.
 "Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you,
You decide what's good.
You decide alone,
But no one is alone."
 If you've never attended the festival, I highly recommend.
You don't have to be a Shakespeare lover.
There is something for everyone.
Though Shakespeare is their forte,
we have attended dramas, comedies and musicals 
which are offered along with classic Shakespeare.
And even these two felt it was worth singing about.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Children Will Listen

Courtney sent me this You Tube clip in my email today.
I had told her about the time when I was 20 years old
and went on a road trip to California with Nancy, one of my college friends.
We spent an evening in Las Vegas and attended a concert of Glen Campbell.
But the revelation of that evening was a young singer who opened the show.
Bernadette Peters.
She was incredible.
She came into the audience and sang directly to those of us
 who were lucky enough to have seats close to the stage.
After her set she actually came into the audience to shake hands and meet us.
I remember thinking how stunningly beautiful she was
 with her flawless porcelain skin and her tiny petite figure.
But that voice!
All these years later she is still one of my all-time favorite singers.
And THIS is one of my all-time favorite songs by the brilliant Stephen Sondheim.
From his musical 'Into the Woods' in which Bernadette created the role of The Witch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nemo found

This past weekend we visited the
Loveless Living Aquarium 
in Draper, Utah.
It has recently relocated to a brand new beautiful facility.
We had visited the old temporary building years ago and enjoyed it.
Court and Coryn had missed our previous visit so we all decided to see the new digs.
It was well worth the cost and a lovely time was had by all.

 Nemo has friends.

 Stroking the Stingrays

 Who doesn't love penguins?

 Hi Dori!

 Strange-looking fish.

 Sea Turtle

 Loud Talking Parrot.

 Look at these friendly creatures.

Bridge across the Amazon.