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.