Friday, April 19, 2019

I Believe He Can Fly

I watched the live-action version of "Dumbo" today after singing at my church's Good Friday service.

  • Love Danny Elfman's arrangement of "Casey Jr."!  I'm thinking of getting the score for that song alone.
  • Storks DO bring babies!
  • I like that Dumbo was able to defend himself against those stupid human bullies.
  • I mean, he's so CUTE!  How can you possibly be mean to him?!?!?
  • "Never do anything I tell you without talking to me first."
  • Hey, I recognize that plush!
  • Nice to see Penguin and Batman together again.
  • Colette got to wear some beautiful outfits.  I especially liked the ones she wore when she was going to ride Dumbo.
  • Was Vandevere's hair supposed to be a wig?  It was weird.
  • Great bit with the mermaid singing on the dock.
  • Pink Elephants on Parade!  Those bubbles were cool.
I realized while watching this movie that I couldn't remember the plot of the animated one.  I think I need to see that again.  That one will make me cry more, but I did like this one, too.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Say My Name, Say My Name

When I was a kid, I loved watching the "Shazam!" series, which was part of the Shazam! / Isis Hour.  Yes, I was a fan of THAT Captain Marvel!   I was naturally excited to see the character in movie form, and made sure to see it on opening weekend.

  • I don't remember Billy Batson being such a rebel back then, but I don't remember much about the series anyway.   
  • "I don't even know how to pee in this thing."
  • Batman helps other superheroes, even when he's not there in person.
  • "Get him, Batman!"
  • It's a cape, it's a hood, it's versatile!
  • I like that Billy isn't the only one the wizard has tested for purity of heart.  Why, though, are they telling the story to people?  I might have thought I was going nutso, and wouldn't have told anyone.  Maybe I'd have to get a therapist, though.  But...what if the therapist refers me to the evil guy?  Ohhhh....
  • I don't think that Zachary Levi looks like a grown-up Asher Angel, but I like them both.
  • Yay!  Reference to "Big" because this is kinda like that, except with superhero powers.
  • So I see that John Glover, whom played Lionel Luther (Smallville) now plays a father to yet another supervillain.  I shall be wary of his presence in every show he's in from now on.
  • So I guess Shazam doesn't have super hearing.  I did enjoy that part when he and Sivana are floating in the sky and he can't hear the villain speech.
  • Loved all of the references to the other DC superheroes.
  • I especially liked the animation during the credits!
That was fun.  I hope we get to see more from Shazam and friends...and whatever that caterpillar has in mind.

Monday, March 25, 2019

It Must Be Bunnies

My friends and I purchased tickets for "Us" because we all liked "Get Out" and wanted to see Jordan Peele's next scary project.  I brought pink Gloomy Bear.  Cindy brought the bunny Pancake, not realizing that there would be rabbits in the movie.  She thought a woman wearing a "pancakes, pancakes, pancakes" shirt was wearing it for the bunny, but it turns out that the woman just likes iHop.  Get it? Hop!  I might be losing my mind a bit.  BTW, this is going to be very spoiler-y, so stop reading if you don't want any.  Maybe go read one of my Rockapella reports, why don't ya?

  • I thought maybe they were going to see vampires in Santa Cruz in 1986.  Maybe that's what they were filming, because that came out in 1987.
  • "I'll meet you in the magic room."
  • "Hide a Key?!  Of all the white people..."
  • "Nobody wants the boat, Dad."
  • "Why don't you ask Josh and Kitty?  They're RIGHT HERE!"
  • You know those people downstairs would have never known that there was light, so why would they be jealous of the people upstairs?  CLUE!
  • "Ophelia, call the police."  I love the song she actually played!  I need to go listen to my NWA CD.  I thought I was going to do that after I saw "Straight Outta Compton", but I never did.
  • I love Jason's taste: he wears a JAWS shirt and a Chewbacca mask.
  • "I have two kills, because I killed me and I killed Josh."
  • I was like, "How did she know there was a door there?"  CLUE!
  • I'm going to have a hard time seeing Lupita's face for a while.  Even when I went to the website to get the link, I couldn't look at her because I was creeped out.
  • The score did its job of keeping me scared, including the whistling of "Itsy Bitsy Spider".  
I enjoyed this movie.  I might see it again to see all of the clues that I missed, but it will not be in the theater.  It's too dark in there.

Thanks for protecting me, Gloomy Bear!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

DLR LotD 03/12/19

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Special Edition:  Coppola Wine Dinner at Catal

First Course:  Scallop Crudo with coconut milk, tomato water, young pickled ginger, mango, crispy garlic, fish skin chicharron

Director's Cut Chardonnay, 2015, Russian River Valley

"If I choke on a dandelion today, it's your fault, Glenn." -- Sherry

Second Course:  Poached Halibut with white asparagus, rhubarb, brown butter radish
Diamond Collection Pinot Noir, 2017, Oregon*

"Half a lush and boozles" -- Adrienne and Glenn

Third Course: Maple Leaf Duck Breast with tangerine, peruvian potatoes, lavender sesame vinaigrette
Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, Alexander Valley*

"...and then she tried to get away from her own head..." -- Ryan B

Fourth Course:  Rib Eye with confit potatoes, wild mushrooms, truffle puree*
Eleanor Red Blend, 2013, Sonoma County and Napa County

"Stop.  Nobody's listening because they're too busy laughing." -- Cindy, to Adrienne

Fifth Course:  Apple Rose Tart with diplomat cream, rose water consomme
Sofia Brut Rose, 2017, Monterey County

"I can't remember.  Do you like Star Wars?" -- Cindy, to Ryan B

I won this!

Sunday, March 17, 2019


My weekly visit to the AMC theater was to see "Wonder Park".

  • Why don't they call this "Wonderland"?  Is it because it would get confused with "Alice in Wonderland"?
  • When I saw the trailers for this movie, I thought, "Something bad is going to make her stop creating Wonderland."  I was right.  Tears happened.
  • I think I laughed at every single line John Oliver recited as Steve.  
  • "Wonder Beaver Twins activate!"
  • That Math Camp counselor is horrible.  How could she not know that June was missing?
  • I did love the math puns, though, and the Pi Song was cute.
  • I want to ride those rides, especially the fish on the carousel!  
  • I wonder how many different little chimp toys are going to be available in real life.
  • I saw a hippo swirling around in the Darkness.
  • Banky is so cute with his little "squee!" whenever June pays attention to him.   I also like when June's dad imitates him.
  • June is fearless and full of imagination, AND she can fix things!  I love this kid.
I enjoyed this movie.  I like its message of keeping hope alive, the little light inside of us.

My storybook created from the official site

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Vive L'Apaches

Les Miserables
Arcadia Stage Theatre Company
Arcadia Performing Arts Center
Arcadia, CA
Thursday, March 14, 2019

A few weeks ago, I saw a banner flying above me as I drove down Huntington Drive, advertising that the theatre students at my alma mater would be performing my favorite musical.  Awesome!  I bought my ticket.  I rushed to the high school after work, got in the very long line of General Admission folks, got my ticket scanned, took a couple of pictures in the lobby, used the facilities, and entered the door to the house of the theatre.  I asked where I could get a program, and one of the ushers walked to the other entrance to get one for me, and another one looked for a seat for me.  What service!  She found a seat for me in the front row!  In the center section!  In seat 19!  I felt like the luckiest alumnus in the building.

Photos of the cast

Props and photos of the set

I liked the French flags hanging from the balcony

Director Steven Volpe made announcements from the stage, and talked about the importance of the show in his own life and how the theme of forgiveness and people standing up for their rights is relevant in today's political landscape.  

The first musical he saw was Les Miz

  • Brady Stubbs, playing Valjean, had me in tears already during the first song.  He never failed me throughout the show.  I was amazed at the fact that this person was still in high school.  The acting, the singing, just everything.  He was awesome.  I found myself beaming with pride for him, like I was his mom or something, especially during "Bring Him Home", as he sang beautifully, and tackled that last high note like a pro.
  • I saw Brady limping and was, like, is that a Valjean limp, or is he actually limping, because I saw him jump off the stairs and was worried that he fell wrong.  So if that was a character thing, it was brilliantly done.  If that's the actual way he walks, then I'm sorry that he had to climb the stairs so often.
  • Brady was evenly matched with Joe Ganley as Javert.  His rage and frustration with Valjean was clear, and I was impressed.  I do think that Javert's low range was a little bit too low for Ganley, but he handled those low notes OK anyway.  I loved when he entered the stage after Fantine's Death with "Val...jean" at the low end of his range.  So cool.
  • I would have liked for the confrontation between Valjean and Javert to be the full piece, because I love that vocal battle.  Perhaps some of the lyrics were inappropriate for the high school stage, I don't know.  
  • Ah, yes, the virtuous Fantine.  Gabriela de Santiago was wonderful as Fantine, and she made me cry, as she was supposed to do.  I didn't like the makeup around her eyes when she was dying (it seemed too red for me), but her voice outshone that, and I loved seeing how tender Valjean was with her at that moment.
  • The couple playing the Thenardiers (Andrea Contreras and Alex Zhao) were very funny.  I'm surprised that they were able to recite some of the lyrics from "Master of the House", but they did edit, like using the word "Mercy" instead of "Jesus", which I felt was awkward, but probably necessary.
  • Young Cosette (Charlotte Li) and Gavroche (Joshua DeLuca) were cute as could be.  They are students at the middle and elementary schools, and had good stage presence. The lines they flubbed slightly did not flummox them at all, and they were able to carry on, and I think that's great.  I might have crumbled at that age, but they did not.  My problem is that I know those lines by heart, so I'm pretty sure the rest of the audience didn't even notice because they both handled themselves well.
  • And then there's my favorite role, Eponine.  Megan Colton did a wonderful job with this role and I felt her pain along with her when she was watching Marius and Cosette fall in love.  In "On My Own", she beautifully sang and displayed the emotion needed for the role, and that big note followed by the "I love him" were especially heart wrenching.
  • Marius and Cosette had a nice chemistry, and the voices of their portrayers, Derrik Griggs and Dominique Stellern.
  • I was impressed with the commitment from the actors as they sang from their deepest insides, sometimes growling in anger when they sang, and I thought, "YES!  That's the way to give it your all!"  
  • The show was shorter than the professional production, partly because of some of the cut portions, but there weren't many of those.  The music was pre-recorded and was at a faster tempo than is played with a live orchestra in the professional shows.
  • The costumes were very well done, and looked like what you would see from a professional Broadway show, even from my view in the front row.  Nice job, costume department!  
  • I also liked the set.  Instead of having a turntable stage, which would be really expensive to build, a large circular staircase was rotated on the stage, and the performers walked up and down the stairs while they sang.  I loved the way that the stairs were disconnected in the middle when Javert jumps to his death in his final song.  
Can you tell that I loved this performance?  I'm really glad that I was able to go so I could cheer on these young folks.  I wouldn't be surprised if any of the principals became Broadway stars.  I'm still reeling at their amazing talent.  Congratulations on an outstanding opening night, AHS, and thank you for doing justice to my favorite show.

A closer look at some of the cast:
Top: B Stubbs as Valjean & J. Ganley as Javert
2nd row: D. Griggs, D. Stellern, M. Colton, G. DeSantiago
3rd row: D. Ro (Enjolras), A. Contreras, A. Zhao
4th row: C. Li, J. DeLuca, N. Stone (Young Eponine)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Ooh....The Chase!

Rockapella posted this article about Where on Google Earth is Carmen SanDiego, and I love it!  They refer to Rockapella.  They say "do it Rockapella"!  They have a video of the guys singing the song.  How can I not love it?!

I decided to play the Google Earth game, and it's so cute with the 8-bit old-school type of play, mixed in with the Google Earth graphics!  Carmen is so cute, too, and what?  I teamed up with her?  

Anyway, I might be playing this game every day.  Maybe more than once a day.  Back to learning Geography in fun ways.  

I just wish they'd play the song whenever I catch the thief.