Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bat Those Flirty Flirty Eyes!

Rockapella at The Coach House
Thursday, April 15, 2010
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Liz, Wendy and I greeted each other Good Morning and went to the hotel breakfast.  Embassy Suites always has a cook-to-order omelet station, which is nice, so that I could get my egg whites and spinach omelet with whatever else.  As we were packing up, we realized that we never gave the lollipops to the guys.  OK, we'll do it tonight, we told Liz.  LIARS!  We totally forgot later on, too, so Wendy ended up taking them home to hubby Jeff.

We drove to Santa Maria to Karla's uncle's house and picked up Miss 100.  We chatted a bit with her family and petted their cute doggies.  We said our goodbyes, got the Edge filled up with gas, and drove back to So Cal.  It was a nice day again for a drive, and we laughed as Karla kept telling us that Fred gave her flowers.  Yes, she knew where the flowers *technically* came from, but still, Fred handed them to her.  I'm glad that we could make her so happy!  At a quiet point in the ride, she even texted Liz, who was in the same car, that Fred gave her flowers.  Karla, you're funny.  We enjoyed our recaps of the previous evening, as usual.  The only part of the drive that was negative was the damn traffic when we hit the San Fernando Valley.  I'm used to the traffic because I drive it every day, but I was on vacation, and there I was, a couple of miles from my work, stuck in traffic as if it was an ordinary day.  Move it, people, we need to get to Pella!!!

By the time we got to my neighborhood, we were all in the need of sustenance and facilities.  We decided on Daphne's Greek Cafe, which was yummy.  When we arrived at my house, we said our goodbyes to Liz, as she had a conference to attend that night.  The rest of us got pretty.  While I ironed my clothes, I saw that Karla's pants were a little bit wrinkled, so I asked if she'd like to iron them, and she said yes.  As soon as I was done with my blouse, I said to her, "Take your pants off."  She said, "I don't think that you planned to say that to *me* tonight, but OK."  You're right, KP, but I don't think that I'd exactly get away with it!  We were ready at about my goal time, so we were doing well.  Thank goodness Liz called to tell us about the traffic on the 5, so I decided that we'd take an alternate route.  The alternate route and its carpool lane got us there quite quickly, and I was much happier than I had been in the Valley.  

When we arrived at The Coach House, Jeff T had just completed sound check, and as he was getting ready to leave, we said hi.  He said that we had a long wait ahead of us, and we told him that we knew, but this is what we do to be up front.  He said that he was going to go iron his clothes.  This prompted Karla to ask him if he wanted to hear what I had said to her earlier, then she said, "Never mind."  Hearing our giggles made him curious, so we told him, and JT said, "Oooohhhkayyyy, and with that, I'll be leaving now."  I just love amusing him.  I wondered if he now has fantasies of me and Karla telling each other to take our clothes off.  I'm totally giggling right now, just picturing him thinking about that.  Don't you love how I fantasize about how others would fantasize about me?  

I picked up our tickets from the box office, and was quite impressed with myself, because we had tickets numbered 1 through 10.  That's right, baby -- I was the first one to call for this show!  We were the second group of people in line.  The first two people in line were Kimmie and Brian, whom happened to know PellaPosse friend April.  Then Nicole and her friends Andrea and (oh, I forgot their names!) their friends joined us in line.  Linda drove up just as they started to open the door, so I waited for her before going in.  Since I had called so early, we had prime seats, up front, at center.   Whoo Hoooo!  Aura and Mox arrived shortly afterward, and all ticketholders #1 through #10 were present.

Since we had a long wait, I ordered a Sex On The Beach and some potato skins to tide me over.  Get it?  Beach?  Tide?  I also tried to figure out how to get my new camera to work in low light, so that I could take concert pictures.  I didn't do a very good job, though.  We tried to get pictures of Fred up in his sound booth balcony, but he saw us and heard us laughing, and ducked.  I reminisced with Wendy about first talking to her here at The Coach House, and that we had met during a private meet and greet after doing some publicity for Rockapella several years ago.  Wow, Wendy, that was almost 9 years ago to the day!  Karla, that's the day that I shocked you by remembering your name!  Wow, I can't believe how quickly time flies.  OMG, I had the same cocktail.  WHAT is up with that?

The opening act was a vocal jazz ensemble, Down 4 The Count.  If you go to their Music page, you can watch video of their performances from Valentine's Day this year of "Bernie's Tune" and "When She Loved Me".  I liked both of these songs, as well as "Hernando's Hideaway" (which Linda really liked as well), "Theme from 'The Pink Panther'", and Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout A Thing".  I like VJ's dimples. :)

We had an intermission so that they could take those big monitors off of the stage.

They didn't have a huge video screen at this venue like they did at the previous night's venue, but they had 2 smaller screens on each side of the stage, which showed the opening montage while Scott did his "la la la" from the stairs.  I was scared that he was going to fall while doing that.  Rockapella was wearing black suits, with George and John wearing lavender shirts and the others wearing black shirts.


For You, For Now, For Life:  Here's one of those songs where I wondered if they were singing in the same key as usual.  It just didn't sound right.  Karla noticed that George's fly was open, so, of course, I couldn't stop looking at his pants.  

Scott said, "How about Down 4 The Count?!  They were IN TUNE."  He then asked the audience, "Who has seen us for 100 shows?"  Karla raised her hands and we applauded.  Scott called out Karla's name and said to the audience, "You should have seen her.  She did a whole number, she was dancing, and went topless -- it was wild...that was tasteless, I'm sorry."  Oh, Scott, perhaps you *have* taken over for Kevin's silliness. 

Nuthin' But

Got To Get You Into My Life 

Karla made a sign and placed it on the foot of the stage.  It said "Geo -- Fly -- Open?"  Yeah, it was still open.  Yeah, I was still staring at his pants.

Just My Imagination/Imagine:  I like when they're singing "...and the world will live as one", and at that point, they're all in one line behind George.  

I guess Jeff had gone upstairs for that song, because after it was over, I saw him walking back down the stairs.  Oh, and George finally zipped up his fly, modestly, yes, with his back turned, but, like, I was staring, so that's how I knew it had happened.

Tell Me What You Want:  Nice pause between the bridge and the last "Tell Me..."

Scott talked about the audition process for their new voice, and said that they sent guys 3 songs to learn.  Steven was going to be a baseball player in college (hey -- another connection with Scott, who went to college on a baseball scholarship!).

Cupid:  Steven picked someone named Jamie, who stood up for him.  

Bang Bang:  Oh, good.  Geo didn't fall off of the little stage during his kicks.  Scott, though, almost ran right into Wendy, and I touched her back in order that she'd have support if he fell on her.  Seriously, I spent too much time worrying about the guys falling that night!  Afterward, Scott said, "Ooh, I need a nap."  Wendy said, "Me too.  We can share a pillow!"  OK, I realize now that I hadn't written about Wendy's pillow.  Let's just say it was awesome, and I want one.  Oh, here it is.

Wendy's Pillow for Pella

Scott was winded from all of the Bang Bang dancing as he talked about trying to find a good city name for the next song.  He chose San Bernardino, then said, "So don't snicker.  We needed a 5-syllable word."  Everyone started suggested other city names, including the guys.  But nobody's city name is as good as SB's in that song.

California Sad-Eyed Girl:  Scott shook his head as the inevitable giggles emanated from the audience when Steven sang "San Bernardino".

Tonight, John called Scott "The Spaghetti Man".

Scott then talked about listening to his mom's records, and what those were.  "You had to earn it.  It wasn't push a button: Boom.  Next Song -- push a button: Boom.  Next Song.  Boom. Next Song."  Ah, the ramblings of an old fogey. ;)

Paper Doll:  I've decided that Steven is one of those guys with the "Flirty Flirty Eyes".  Why is Geo smiling so much at Scott during G's solo?  What are they thinking? Was Geo thinking, "I'm really glad that I zipped up my fly before sitting on this stool"?

Rock The Boat:  Scott called the dance he "made up" a "hustle-kind of line dance".  It's hard to do the Love Slide on carpet.  

George and Jeff sure were having a lot of private conversations.  It reminds me of the old days with Kevin and Elliott just jabbering on to each other during shows, mostly about the people in the audience.  Awww...I've missed that.  

Scott said, "Before we became the legendary musical act that we've become..." and heard laughter from the audience.  He said, "One of those 'San Bernardino' laughs."

Jingle Medley

Sherry:  "Scott's belt is very shiny."
Wendy:  "Why do you keep looking there?!"

I like how Scott said "San Huwan Capeestrrrano".  

My Girl:  John chose a woman from the back of the audience named Gretchen, and said to her date, "Sit down, Boyfriend."  When she got up to the stage, Scott said to her, "I heard you want to sing with us.  Do you want to dance with us?  Would you like to have a spotlight dance with Steven Dorian?"  (Oh, so that's how it's actually supposed to go!).

Ain't Too Proud to Beg:  I yelled at Gretchen to dance, and Steven placed his hands on her hips to move them for her.  Perhaps that's what Gretchen had in mind all along!  Perhaps not.  She seemed pretty shy.

George said, "I was taking a shower today (females scream), and I was in there practicing and somebody flushed that toilet and I sang like a woman."  He did his rendition of I Will Always Love You.  He continued, "These guys always get to sing songs to the ladies, and I am the bass!  Hey, fellas, can you help me out on this?"  Scott said, "Yes, we can."  By this time, John was finally able to change his shirt.  He was really sweating a lot, and hadn't been able to leave the stage until then, so he had his suit jacket on the whole time.

Baby Girl:  ....and George just melted Wendy.



Papa Was A Rolling Stone:  AWESOME vocal percussion going on.  George looked at me! :)

Up On The Roof/Wonderful World (off mic):  A train whistled during Steven's solo, and Jeff did a train whistle motion, and they still kept in tune.  Awesome.  They ARE Rockapella.

Meet and Greet

It was a scattered M&G as per usual Coach House behavior.  George came over to our table, and we asked him if he had seen Karla's note.  He hadn't, so she showed him.  John said that they were all supposed to be wearing specific colors each night, but not everyone brings all of the clothes that they're supposed to, so it doesn't happen.  He talked to Wendy about Petey and why Jeff wasn't there with her.  

I walked over to Steven and told him, "I've decided that you have 'flirty flirty eyes'."  I think he liked that!  After getting over my really really true compliment, he asked me how he sounded.  I told him that I liked his sound better tonight, and he was surprised, because he was tired.  (I tend to get great compliments when I don't feel like I've sung my best, so I know the feeling).  I said to him, "So you're from Worcester?"  Aura laughed, knowing where I was going with this.  "Is that near Dorchester?  Do you know the New Kids?"  Steven said, "No, I only know Mark."  He was just kidding, though.  He said that I wasn't the only one that had asked me that, and that he wished he knew them, but no.  We talked about his gig at Walt Disney World, and he said that he was in The Lion King Celebration, and I asked him what song he sings.  Sigh.  He sings my most unfavoritest song in all of Disney history -- "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?"  I said to him, "I'm sorry.  I hate that song."  Steven said, "I hate it too, after singing it so much."  He's so kind to this crazy woman that totally insulted his song yet loves his gorgeous eyes.  He agreed to take a picture with me and rubbed my back as I said bye, and ... swooooooon, Sherry, swoon!  

Sher and Steven pre-Swoon

I talked a little bit to Jeff about stuff, and mostly listened to Scott talk to people about stuff that I honestly can't remember right now.  Then I talked to him for a little while, and provided my confession because I had been talking about him for two days.  I told him, "We've decided that your pants are shiny and snug."  He asked me to repeat that, feigning that he hadn't heard me, so I said it louder, but now I'm thinking that he just wanted it to be said louder. :)  He said, "Oh, sorry," and I said, "Oh, no, don't be sorry!  We LIKE them like that!  Wendy keeps asking why I keep looking there, but I can't help it."  He laughed.  I swear, I think Scott either thinks I'm the most straightforward person ever, or that I'm just drunk all of the time, because I say the darnedest things to his face.  But the most important part is that he thought my shoes were cute.  Wendy asked if our toes were smiling for the picture that she took of Scott's & my feet, but in all of the excitement, the picture came out blurry, so there is no photo here on the blog.  I think my toes were smiling, though, because they were next to Scott's.  We had to take a couple of pictures together to get one that I was happy with...or I just wanted to have Scott's arm around me longer, whatever. ;)

Scott, forever armed with his Sharpie, & Sher

The posse (except for Karla, who went home with Nicole and company) talked for so long afterward outside the venue that we saw each of the guys leave.  Ah, the diehards.

I drove Wendy home and got back to my house at about 2am.   It was a great couple of Rockapella-filled days, and I'm happy.  It's kind of a weird-happy, though, because I'm also going through withdrawals, not having a ticket yet to whenever the next show is that I can attend.  I missed them immediately after they all left the parking lot.  Wendy and I were actually following Scott and whomever for awhile as we drove onto the freeway, but I had already started missing them.  I was exhausted, but was still wide-awake from giddiness the next morning and returned the Edge to Enterprise.  

Thank you to Liz, Wendy and Karla for our funtastic road trip.  I look forward to our next Rockapella ride!

Monday, April 26, 2010

DLR LotD 04/26/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Sunday, April 26, 2010

"Which way does 'b' go?" -- Linda, at Catal

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Welcome to Cali, Steven!

Rockapella at SLO
 Christopher Cohan Center at Cal Poly SLO
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
San Luis Obispo, CA

It had been 4 months since I'd last seen Rockapella, and I was really looking forward to this road trip with my posse.  I had reserved a rental car so that I could save my car from dealing with the mileage, plus I wanted us to be comfortable.  So I rented an SUV.  I was going to have Enterprise pick me up, but found out that my parents were already on their way to my house, so I asked them if they could take me there instead.  So I waited.  But they didn't get to my house before Liz did.  Of course, as Liz and I were about to leave, my parents drove up, and got confused.  That's OK.  I asked them to watch out for Wendy, whom would be arriving shortly.  They didn't remember ever meeting Wendy, but not many people were going to just be showing up at my house, so how hard would that be to figure out?  Mom didn't know how she'd entertain Wendy, because APPARENTLY she's forgotten how to talk to people.  Whatever.    Liz and I went to the rental place...and then I realized that I had left my driver's license at home.  DUH.  So we drove back to my house, and Wendy was there, chatting it up with my dad.  (Mom was gardening in the backyard.  Thanks, Mom).  Dad must have recognized that Wendy was one of my friends by the Rockapella hat that she was wearing.  Thanks for keeping her entertained, Dad!  So I located my driver's license and the 3 of us got in Liz's car to go to the rental place.  Dad had offered to bring us, but I didn't understand why he felt he needed to do that.  Liz was confused at first and thought that Dad had said that he would take us to SLO.  We giggled, went to Henry's for our goodies, then returned to Enterprise, where I finally picked up the Ford Edge from a guy that looked a heckuva lot like Woody Harrelson.  As I started to tell him what he looked like, he finished my sentence.  He said that he was annoyed at first when people would tell him that because he didn't really like WH before, but he got to like him, as I said, "when he became a better actor."  We all reconvened at my house, and packed up the Edge for our journey.

It was a beautiful day for a drive up the California coast.  We enjoyed the comfort of our Edge, and ate yummy snacks.  I pointed out the places where my family would go camping, and I marveled at how many campgrounds we'd actually been to back in the day.  When we arrived at SLO, we went into town for lunch.  Liz had done some research before we left, and we had decided on Big Sky Cafe.  The bread basket included cornbread with jalapeno, which was delicious.  I had A Really Tasty Turkey Burger with avocado and Swiss cheese, and sweet potato fries, and I was quite happy with my choice.  It was fresh and yummy and I'd definitely return there whenever I'm back in SLO.  Wendy and Liz also enjoyed their food, although I can't remember what they ordered.  We then walked around town for a bit, and I bought a couple of wines at Central Coast Wines, including one that he termed "Sherry on Steroids".  :)  I can't be in "Sideways" country and not buy wine!  Especially one with a nickname like that. 

We checked into the Embassy Suites Hotel, and took some free lollipops sponsored by Parents of Ply Students to give to the guys.  They had to switch our room from the one they originally had for some reason, so we had to wait a little bit for the fruit & cheese plate that I had ordered.  Liz was too cold to wear whatever she brought, so we walked to the Forever 21 that was in the same block, and she bought a sweater there.  Of course, that shopping trip wasn't without its own humor.  Most of the clothes on display were for Spring/Summer, and we couldn't find the sweaters.  Liz asked an employee where she could find sweaters.  The employee told her that they were located in the carpeted section, past the other section.  Ummmm...EVERYTHING was on the carpeted section, save for the walk space between each section of clothing.  Seriously, can we be a little LESS helpful?!  Sheesh.  Anyway, somehow, Liz and I both resisted buying shoes that we wanted in the 2 shoe stores where we shopped.  The fruit and cheese arrived at the hotel room shortly after we did, and we made sure to eat a little bit while getting ready for the show.  I tried to get in touch with the guys to remind them of tonight's special event, then worried that they didn't get my message, but I did all that I could do at that point.

Since we would be celebrating Karla's 100th show that night, we bought some flowers for her, and plotted to have Fred give them to her.  We dropped off Wendy at the front, so that she could give her extra ticket to our new friend, Nick.  Then Liz and I had to think of a way to get the flowers to Fred without Karla seeing us.  Let's just say that sometimes doors are open and we get lucky.  The stage manager found us wandering around, and Liz asked her to give the flowers to Rockapella's sound guy, Fred.  All she had to remember was "Fred. Flowers.  100th show."  

We got to our seats:  FRONT ROW, BABY!  Karla and her family were in the seats behind us.  We met new friend Nick, and settled in for Steven Dorian's Rockapella debut in California.  While a guy was welcoming us all to the theatre, I could see Scott's blond hair glowing in the stage wing.  Yay!  I hadn't seen Scott in 6 months.  I was happy.  The show started in darkness, and I couldn't see my notes.  A video played on the screen, showing aerial shots of New York and then a plane landing, while Scott sang "la la la...beat gonna be so sweet."  So nice to hear your voice live again, CSL4!  Rockapella then took the stage, all dressed in all black.  

Tonight:  OK, Jeff, nice pelvic action during the pause before the final "Tonight".  :)

Scott introduced the band.

For You, For Now, For Life:  Oh, his pants are tight, that Leonard boy's.  Snug and Shiny.

Scott said that it was "so nice to be in SLO town."  He then asked for the proper pronunciation of San Luis Obispo.  For the record, "Luis" is not pronounced the French way, and the 's' is pronounced.  He said that it took 3 flights for them to get here today.  Liz and I decided that we really needed to be their tour managers for the West.  Scott introduced Jeff as "the rumble 'neath Cal Poly".

Nuthin' But (aka ZIP)

Got To Get You Into My Life:  This song was the first one tonight wherein Steven had the lead for the majority of it.  He smiled at me. :)  Hi, cutie!

Just My Imagination/Imagine:  Jeff takes a break during this song.  I like this arrangement of Smokey Robinson's famed tune, mixed in with my favorite John Lennon song.  John takes the lead during Smokey's part, and Scott & Geo take the lead during Lennon's.  At one point, John sings about having "2 children, maybe 3", and the other guys sing "three...four...twenty".  They also sing a little bit of "I can see clearly now ", which is just cool the way it's inserted.  Scott really is a fantastic arranger.

Tell Me What You Want:  I feel like this is being sung in a different key, or with different chords, or something.  That's weird, though, because Scott's still singing the same high notes.  Anyway, Scott said that this "will be on our new record."

Scott said that " a new guy has snuck his way in."  It used to be that their announcements regarding auditions for new members would go out into the trade papers and they'd get some interest, but now that the internet is available, they instantly had hundreds of guys responding like "Bam! I want the job."  They brought 10 guys to Boston, and sang with them over 2 days.  Scott said that the choice of Steven was a no-brainer.  He's from Worcester, MA, and was working at Walt Disney World, which is "a great place to cut your teeth.  He had experience with 7 shows per day, with different kinds of people, entertaining at the tip of a hat."  At his audition, Steven sang his own song, as well as Rockapella's.  They decided to include Steven's song in their show.

Cupid: Steven stepped into the audience, and saw a woman at the front row, and sat kinda in her lap.  Her name was Sally, and she said "no" when he tried to have her stand up, so that's why he sat there instead.  I like how he improvised that.  Now I'm wondering: if he ever asks me to stand up, should I stand, or have him sit in my lap like that?  Hmmm...

Bang, Bang:  Another new song, written by Scott.  Wow, it's energetic!  They dance and spin all over the place, and we got lots of looks at the guys' butts.  NICE.  Hello, Booties!  Geo even did some really high kicks at the end, almost like the ones I saw at Soweto Gospel Choir, but not as many, and probably not as high.  Afterwards, Scott said, "Ooh, I need a nap."

Scott said, "Sometimes, we have shows and someone is there for their 100th time.  Karla, are you here tonight?"  Karla, in the second row,  raised her hand.  Scott said, "Sorry, I'm nearsighted."  He had Karla step up onto the stage, and asked her to sit next to him while he interviewed her.  He asked her what shows she remembered the most.  Karla said that she remembered her "first show, this show, the night you (Scott) weren't here, his (Geo's) first show, his (John's) first show, and his (Steven's) first show."  The guys and the audience were all amazed.  Truthfully, Karla told me later, the one that popped into her mind first was Elliott's last show, but since she figured that not everyone in the theatre would remember El, she adjusted her answer.  Scott then had Karla switch seats with John so that she could sit next to Steven while he sang the next song to her.

California Sad-Eyed Girl:  Too cute the way that Steven held Karla's hand as he sang to her.  She also lip-synced some of the background lyrics with Scott and turned to him during those portions.  Karla was shaking, according to Liz, but I didn't want to see that because I was already nervous enough for her.  Liz asked me to take pictures, because APPARENTLY Karla's family blanked out and forgot to take out their cameras.  I would have taken video of the whole thing, but was afraid that the ushers would take my brand new camera away.  Since it's a brand new camera, I'm still working out how to use it, but here's a pic of them during this song.

Karla got a hug from each of the guys, including Jeff, whom walked onto the stage after the song was over.  The whole time, I wondered, "Where the heck is Fred with the flowers?!?"  Karla then went back to her seat, and we all beamed at her.

During the descriptions of each guy, Scott said that Jeff "is at the acme of these performers" of vocal percussion.  He also described Scott as "the man with the moves and the grooves."  John said that Scott had "the energy of a 10 year-old boy," to which Scott said, "Thank you for saying 'boy'."  He then asked Geo for his nickname for Scott, and Geo said, "Superman".  :)

Paper Doll

Rock the Boat:  Geo saw us doing the VP after Scott had instructed the audience to do so, and pointed at us.  By this point, they had all taken off their jackets.

Jingle Medley:  Scott said that there was a "dark, seedy underbelly of our otherwise wholesome PBS career."  I like how Steven grabs his own butt during Prep H.

John informed us that today was the 50th anniversary of the Motown recording studio.

My Girl:  John chose Margaret, from SLO, who works as a member of the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Scott noted that she was the one who knew how "San Luis Obispo" was pronounced.  Scott did all of the interviewing.  As they were talking, Scott said, "We could have you jus tsit here at center stage," and Margaret answered, "I would really, really love that."  Scott said, "We can have you arm wrestle Karla...I'm just kidding, Karla, I didn't mean to drag you into that."  I said to Liz, "Karla would wipe the floor with her."  Liz agreed.  We stand behind our girl.  Scott said, "We heard that you want to sing with us," to which Margaret agreed, as she is a singer.  She said that her favorite song is "Don't Tell Me You Do", but Scott interrupted and said, "I don't know that song anymore."  Really, he doesn't.  We've witnessed that.  So he suggested that she sing "Stand By Me."  HEY, THAT'S MY SONG!!!  Yes, I know that this is the song they always choose.  No, it still doesn't placate me, so just stop it.  Wendy told me later that I sang it better.  My friends love me.  They really do.  Plus, I did the *whole* song, which Margaret didn't do.  Yeah, I'm catty like that.  Sorry, Margaret, but I just am.  

Ain't Too Proud to Beg:  Margaret didn't dance with Scott.  I was, like, "What?!"  Liz said that she was probably worried about a potential wardrobe malfunction (she was wearing a bare-shouldered top, and was well-endowed).  She did eventually dance, though, with Steven, and then she danced with Scott, too.  

George said that he was taking a shower, "and when that toilet flushed while I was in that shower,  I realized that I could sing like a woman.  That water hit me so hot, my voice sounded like this."  He then sang a bit of I Will Always Love You.  He continued, "My responsiblity as a bass is tobe masculine and strong, and to make the ladies' seats rumble.  How many single ladies do we have today?"  Liz thought that they should then sing Beyonce's Single Ladies at that point, but they didn't. That would have been frickin' hilarious.  

Baby Girl:  Yup, another new song, this one led by Geo, and it is a great ballad for him.  During a part of the song, he sings "Say you're the love of my life" as the others sing "I will always love you", which is what he just sang a la Whitney Houston lyric-wise!  NICE.

During his "Do It Rockapella" spiel, Scott said, "Margaret, you know what it is."  

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego:  I'm not sure, but I think I heard Scott sing "Graceland" instead of "Greenland".  Then he re-entered the song late, after JT's solo.  At the end of the song, bright lights from the back of the stage made for a cool silhouette of the guys, but if your retinas were burned out from this effect like many people, you might not have seen it.

Papa Was A Rolling Stone:  That vocal percussion drumline had a different intro.

Scott thanked Fred, and also their new multi-media/lighting guy, Tim.

Up On The Roof/Wonderful World (off mic)

Meet and Greet
We thought that maybe Fred would give Karla her flowers when she went to see him at his sound board after the show.  Nope.  So I took a picture of the pretty organ instead.

In the lobby of the theater, Laura from wayback Rockapella shows and I talked for a bit, and she said that she is 80% sure that she would be going to Wales.  Cool.  She was dressed in a cute 40s-style.  New friend Nick told us that this was his second Rockapella show, and he hoped to see us at many more.  We met his dad later, who said that they were able to check out the campus for possible college possibilities.  For that theater alone, it would be a good choice.  It's gorgeous.  

Sher, Wendy & Nick

Fred finally surprised Karla with the flowers -- really pretty pink tulips.  She was happy.  She didn't figure out that it was our doing until the next morning, but she was happy anyway.  :)  I learned that Fred always drinks orange juice after each show.  
Karla with her tulips &Fred with his OJ

When it was my turn to take a picture with the guys, I ran up to them, and almost knocked down Scott.  Yes, the man that already had a broken wrist.  Sorry!  I held on to John's shirt, though, and he and JT pretty much rescued me.  It was funny and embarrassing and just so Sherry.  As I was straightening myself up, John told me that I was wearing a pretty dress.  Thanks, JKB!  I waved to Steven and said, "Hi, I'm Sherry."  Scott said, "You haven't met Steven yet?"  and I said, "No, because Jeff didn't introduce me to him at Tampa" and hit Jeff on the arm.   I apologized to him later on, and he apologized for my almost falling.  So, OK, I'm going to blame JT for my making a fool of myself.  NOT news.

We talked to George, and he said that Scott wrote "Baby Girl" a long time ago.  Wendy is smart, and told me later that "Hanae" must mean "Baby Girl" in Japanese, since that is the song's title on Scott's new CD.  Which I forgot to bring to Scott to sign.  Sigh.  Geo kindly called all of the guys back so that Wendy could take a picture with them.  What a sweetie.  He said that on the CD everybody gets their own song.

I had my first official conversation with Steven, and I also introduced him to Wendy.  He said that they would be going to Paris sometime during the trip to Germany, although they won't be performing there.  Wendy said that she'd find a way to get to Paris if they'd have a show there, and you know what?  So the hell would I.  I'd like to see them in Germany, too, though.  I need to renew my passport.  Anyway, I said that I'm going to ask him to be my friend on Facebook now that he knows who I am.  I also learned what I should include in his goodie bag when they're in So Cal for their holiday shows.  Not that I know when any of them are or anything like that.  Steven was very friendly and I could just stare at that face all day.  Wow.  He's a hottie, just like Scott said.

I joined Liz as she was talking to Scott about his arm.  It is going to be awhile before it heals, but he's left-handed, so it's OK.  (The injury is on the right).  He showed us his scar, and said that it still hurts a little bit.  He doesn't remember the incident at all, and doesn't even remember going up to the roof, but his wife told him that he was saying obscenities.  He said that the Vicodin helped him a lot with the pain, even though he was foggy for the show in New York when he was on it.  We talked to Scott about Steven, and he said that Steven plays guitar, and wrote a California song, "Malibu Grand Prix" which is actually about the speedway amusement center that is located in lots of places, but we're just going to claim it for ourselves. :)  Scott said that his daughter Natalie is now 10, which makes me feel really old.  He lamented that he had forgotten to take a picture of her stuffed animal today, and we mentioned the monchichi that he had on stage at Vegas. Jesse is still playing the drums, and I told Scott that I was really happy to see him play in Tampa.  The most important part of our conversation, though, is that I told him that I was reading the Rockapella notes on their website.  I had tweeted to my friends that he had written about their "long-cherished friends on the west coast", and that I had joked that he was writing about my friends and me.  He said, "Yeah, actually I was thinking about you guys!"  Aw, thanks!  I TOLD y'all! :)

Since the concert had started early, we were out of there before 10 pm.  We went to Denny's for an enjoyable early breakfast, and then went back to our hotel.

It was a great day, and I'm glad that not only were we there for Karla to celebrate, but I loved the fact that the 3 of us were together.  Liz and Wendy: I love traveling with you gals, and I thank Rockapella for enabling me to meet wonderful friends.

Thoughts regarding Steven and the New Rockapella Sound:
I'm going to preface this section by saying that I actually *never* like the new sound at first when I hear the newest member.  I've just been so used to the sound right before him that it always takes a bit of an adjustment.  Yes, this includes the time that Kevin started.  He just wasn't Sean, not rock enough, but I eventually got used to the sweetness of his voice, and like his version of "A Change In My Life" more than Sean's.  I didn't like Geo's attempts at being like Barry during intros to "Zombie Jamboree".  I didn't like that John's voice made the baritone of Elliott become a thing of the past.  So I didn't really want to hear Steven in all of the previews that Rockapella provided on their website.  If I didn't like the other guys even when I heard them live on the first listen, how was I going to like a recording?  The fact that I became addicted to them sprang forth from seeing them sing live.  I briefly heard one recording and decided that I needed to reserve my judgement for the real thing.

Now that you know that...I like Steven's voice.  I like his stage presence.  He still has some more meshing to do with the other guys in order to get their perfect blend, but he's well on his way.  He brings a great energy to the stage, and as I've mentioned above, he is gorgeous.  At times during the show, I felt that the chords sounded wrong, and I'm not sure if it's because they've changed them a bit to adjust to Steven's voice, or maybe Steven needs to sing out more when he's inside the chord.  But to all of the Kevin fans, just don't expect that you'll hear Kevin or anything really near his.  Kevin's voice was unique.  I miss Kevin's stories terribly, and I tried not to miss him too much, as I told him that morning on Facebook.  He said that I could still miss him, but to have fun anyway, and that I did.  

One of the guys needs to step up to the plate and start telling funny road stories.  I'm hoping that it's anyone but Scott, as he does enough up there!  Someone needs to take the reins on that story thing, even though I do love to hear Scott talk about stuff.  The group's sound needs a little work, and maybe with all of the recording that they're doing right now, they'll get it down.  The only thing that I really, really don't like is that they're having Steven sing "California Sad-Eyed Girl".  To me, that is Kevin's song on stage, and Scott's song on his CD.  I only like those two in the lead.  Sorry, Steven.  The selfish part of me wanted my last wonderful memory of that song to be the time we sang with Kevin in the lobby in Malibu, and that memory will live forever.  So I selfishly wished that it would not be recorded without him.  I'll really miss his voice during that song on the new CD.

We all need to move on, though, to the new Steven era.  Welcome to the group, Steven!  I look forward to seeing many more concerts with your new style.  I mean, hello!  It's still Rockapella, and they're still my favorite reason to travel with my friends. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Stand-Up Comedian

Jerry Seinfeld -- LIVE!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Saban Theatre -- Beverly Hills, CA

Jerry Seinfeld, friend of Reprise's Artistic Director, Jason Alexander, agreed to perform live as a benefit for Reprise.  The person that was supposed to come with me became ill, so Liz agreed to take her place.  This whole "I'm sorry, Sherry, but I can't make it to the show that we already had tickets for" thing has happened way too much in the last few months.  Yes, it's for different reasons, and yes, I'm a forgiving person, but y'all are just way lucky that I have other friends that are spontaneous, and can fill in for you....most of the time.  Rant over.

Liz met up with me at my house, and we drove to the Saban, and had dinner at Subway across the street, because the sushi place was full and the hostess looked really unhappy and mean.  We went into the theatre, and marveled at the theatre's art deco style, which is currently being refurbished so that Liz can stop wondering about the holes in the ceiling.  I was a little bit distracted the last time I was there, so I didn't notice the decor all that much.  I had mistakenly asked some bouncer to ask about our seat location, and he didn't really know, but still helped me.  Later, I realized that I should have asked one of the people in the red vests.  Whatever.  We found our seats.  We got to see Carl Reiner come in through the door with the bouncer guy.  Cool!

Jason Alexander walked onto the stage, and talked a little bit about the raffle to benefit Reprise (the winner would be taken backstage after the show for a picture with Alexander and Seinfeld).  He said a couple of Jewish jokes, clearly knowing what made up the majority of the audience.  I've truly never seen that many yarmulkes at a show before that night.  He then told us a little bit about his friendship with Seinfeld, and introduced him.

Seinfeld was hilarious.  I hadn't seen him since my days at UCI, when he performed at the Bren Events Center.  He is as funny now as he was back then, now using the topics of marriage and parenthood as his observational humor.

Liz and I thought that he must have been following us during the evening, as he touched on subjects that we had been discussing, such as texting, tweeting, and going out/eating.  I loved the proximity of That Which Sucks to That Which is Great.  Loved the comparison of Girlfriend as Whiffle Ball to Marriage as War in Iraq.  I also enjoyed the way the home with the children has become like a private mafia, threatening to get rid of things the kids loved when they misbehaved, and taking the heads off of play-doh creations and placing them on the foot of the kids' beds at night.  

Afterward, Jerry and Jason took some questions from the audience, which was pretty cool.  They talked about how the network really didn't understand the show (The Chinese Restaurant episode in the 1st season had the network absolutely perplexed from lack of actual plot), but still went with it anyway.  You see, the "show about nothing" actually came about much like the show's "Jerry" television show!  The "Seinfeld" fan in me was very, very happy to see them two of them interact.

Jerry Seinfeld is still brilliant, and at the top of his game.  Comedy Gold.

Back In Time .. With Crispin Glover

Easter weekend, as always, was a busy time for me, and I just wanted to chill on Sunday after church.  Especially after those balloons, one of which hit me.  ACK!  

Linda sang with me in the church, and we decided to hang out afterward.  Mox joined us, and we saw "Hot Tub Time Machine".

  • I wanted to hear "In Your Eyes" somewhere in the background, as a little wink to John Cusack, but that didn't happen.  We later found out that it was because that song was released after the time period that the guys visited.  Perhaps it was enough of a wink that Cusack was the star of the movie.
  • I'm so old now that time travel movies back into wacky pasts now include my college days.  
  • I loved all the guys, even Rob Corddry's character, Lou, the a**hole that everyone has in their lives, yet keeps them around anyway, because he's their a**hole.  
  • Do you know how much I loved seeing Crispin Glover in a time travel movie again?  As soon as I saw him on screen, I said, "YES!!!" 
  • I also loved the fact that Lou's usage of sports results had a better result than in the "Back to the Future" movies.  Well, except for that one bet.
  • Hilarious use of the Russian language in fending off the ski patrol douches.  "Dos Vidanya!"
  • If I was going to change something pivotal in my life, I think I'd go back to the 80s, too.  Told you I'm old.
  • Kid 'n' Play were two people.  
  • We were laughing so hard that when the Calexico earthquake struck during the movie, Linda thought that it was just us shaking the seats really hard.
I really enjoyed this movie.  Then we went to the mall and found out that it was closed, save for Borders and the restaurants.  I read "Where the Wild Things Are" and "The Velveteen Rabbit" while we waited for Glenn and Cindy joined us.  We had dinner at Bar Louie, where I had two yummy martinis.  Thanks for hanging out with me, everyone!

Fiddle Me This

Friday, April 2, 2010
Lewis Family Playhouse -- Rrrrrrancho Cucamonga, CA

I was planning on going to see Barrage with Wendy and Jeff, but Wendy needed to stay home with her dog, so Linda agreed to take the ticket.  She asked me what Barrage was, and I couldn't really describe it much more than "violins and stuff", since I had never actually seen them when they were playing regularly at Disneyland.  No, I didn't think to look it up on the website first, or tell her to look it up. That's too easy.

So off we went to Rrrrancho Cucamonga, and we had plenty of time before meeting Jeff for the show, so we shopped.  Yeah, I bought shoes.  Don't judge.  How could I resist when they were buy one, get one free?  Shhhh...don't tell Linda that the shoes I got for her birthday were so inexpensive!  :)  (I gave myself the free ones).

We met up with Jeff, and he told us that Wendy didn't believe that a group on TV included fiddle players who danced around while playing the fiddle.  She swore that it was some kind of recorded music that they were listening to, but Jeff was a believer, and we were about to find out if Wendy was right.

The show began, and 5 fiddle players took the stage, with a drummer, a guitarist, and a keyboard player.  It was lively.  It was rocking.  They DANCED while playing their fiddles.  Yes, Wendy, fiddle players can dance, too!  Oh, and they can sing and dance at that same time.  These people were dang talented.  

The orchestra geek in me took over.  I played the violin for 9 years, and if anyone had ever shown that I could do this stuff eventually, I would have practiced my ass off!  No giving up the violin to the Bro for me.  Alas, I am too old for all of that jumping around now...but I digress.  They were quite the virtuosos, these fiddle players based in Canada.  

They played rock, country, Irish jig...just about any style of music I could think of, except rap and hip-hop.  Maybe they're working on that, too.  I don't know.  After the intermission, I pointed out one of the songs to Linda:  "Orange Blossom Special".  Now, they had already done my favorite Country Bear Jamboree song, "Ghost Riders in the Sky", and you're telling me that they're going to do a Billy Hill and the Hillbillies song, too?  Oh, my heart!  That's the song that they opened with after intermission.  No, they didn't do the "Train Thang", but they did do some choreography that made them look like train wheels moving.  It was cool.

Throughout the show, I was wishing that Bro (current owner of the family violin) was there to watch all of this.  He would have eaten it up with a spoon.  But the part that made me miss him the most was when they played "Por Una Cabeza", otherwise known as the Tango from "Scent of a Woman".  That fiddle player can dance!  I have memories of Bro trying to learn that song on the violin, and playing it over and over again.  Bro, seriously.  If they ever go to AZ, you NEED to see the show.  Heck, I'll go with you.  Oh, and then I missed Brady, because they played one of his favorite songs, ColdPlay's "Viva La Vida".  Awesomeness.

I was in awe of the virtuosity of everyone, including the guys not playing the violins.  The drummer had a great solo during "Sing, Sing, Sing", and the guitarist was amazing during the Latin music portion of the show.  I waited, though, to see if the violinists were going to play something from the Virtuoso of Violinist Composition of all time:  Paganini.  Toward at the end of the show, I got what I was waiting for.  It was just a small portion, during "Devil's Nightmare",  but I was still happy.  This wasn't a classical music concert, but they all had a classical background, so it would only be natural for them to have some Paganini in their repertoire.  

Here they are in 2007:

At the end of the show, the male violinists jumped off the stage and played in the aisles of the audience, just to show Wendy that they were actually playing those things.  But Wendy wasn't there.  Bummer.

I didn't buy a CD because I couldn't decide on one, and I heard that they were going to produce a new DVD this year with the current cast, so I'm going to wait until that comes out.   I will definitely try to see them again when they return to SoCal.  

Oh, Happy Day

Soweto Gospel Choir
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Smothers Theatre-- Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA

Back when I was ordering season tickets for this season, it was in order to obtain tickets for Rockapella as a subscriber.  One of the performers that I was going to see was Susan Egan...whose concert ended up being the same day as Rockapella's in San Luis Obispo.  Oh, the irony!  As a subscriber, though, I was allowed to switch my tickets to another show, and decided on  Soweto Gospel Choir.  Linda and Lori were able to go with me, so Lori and I drove to Malibu and met up with Linda there, who was smart enough to have chocolate to share with us before the show, because we hadn't had time for dinner beforehand.

Wow, this choir was absolutely amazing.  They had wonderful voices.  They were wearing beautifully bright-colored clothing.  They exuded spirituality and grace.  They clearly were having fun on stage, and I wished that I was in the choir with them, even though I knew that my voice could not hold a candle to the richness of all of theirs.  They did some incredible African dancing, which just made me want to go home and try to kick my feet up over my head and clap, just to see if I could do it (I can't).  They even performed a piece called "In the Canteen", which was a percussion performance with dining utensils, much like "Trashin' the Camp" from Disney's "Tarzan".  Their songs included original material, as well as arrangements of songs familiar to an American audience, such as "Amazing Grace", "Bridge Over Troubled Water",  "One Love", and "Oh Happy Day", which was my personal favorite American song of the evening.   

Here's a little bit with the dancing that I can't do:

Yes, there were plenty of moments when I didn't understand what they were singing (despite the short translations recited beforehand), but they were filled with such glory and happiness that I beamed nonetheless.  Linda said to me at intermission, "You are just loving this, aren't you?"  and I teasingly said, "Oh, I can't stand it!"  I smiled from note one until the last one.  One of the choir members was celebrating a birthday that night, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  Lori and I had just been talking about how nice it is to have a choir sing that song in harmony, and there we were, listening to it, and it was great.  I was really glad at the end when we were encouraged to stand up and dance along, because I'd wanted to do so for most of the evening.  

I was uplifted, I was happy, I felt blessed.  

What an amazing end to my subscriber season at Pepperdine. 

Introducing Little Miss O

I have been slacking, and have been a Bad Tita. I haven't even written about the newest addition to D'Saints yet!

Back in December, V & Bro were waiting for their newest child, who decided not to be born on the due date of December 17. The crazy, intuitive person in me wished really hard that the child would be born on the 19th, because then the kid would be blessed with a great number, not unlike the Tita. And what to my wondering ears should appear but a call from the Bro, saying his daughter was here! On the 19th! A Santos Girl on the 19th. She's already got a LOT going for her. :)

Brady absosmurfly loves his little sister, and adorable pictures have been taken of the two of them. I visited them in January, so that I could spend my own birthday with the girl that I will spoil for the rest of my life with great fashion and shopping tips.

This was my view for most of my birthday. I was a Happy Tita.

...and here is Miss Fussy-Fuss, awake.

Welcome to the world, Olivia Harriet! May your life be filled with joy, your ears be filled with good music, and your closet be filled with fabulous outfits.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Drink Me -- *Not* a Vampire Tale

I hadn't seen "Alice in Wonderland" yet, and Cindy was willing to see it again, so after a fun dinner at BASIL, we saw the movie in 3-D.  I had never really been a fan of the Disney animated version, because the storyline freaks me out.  Since this is live action, I wasn't sure that I wanted to see it, because the posters were kinda freaking me out already, hence my apprehension.  But this was a Tim Burton film, with Johnny Depp: how could I not give this great quirky partnership a chance? 
  • I'm really glad that I gave it a chance.  I ended up liking it a lot better than the original.  Maybe I'm more grown up and accepting of it, maybe it's the Burton/Depp thing.
  • I already liked Mia Wasikowska from the HBO Series "In Treatment".  How funny that I only know her as someone with something going on mentally in both shows.  She did a great job in this film.
  • So are all live-action 3-D movies going to have little floaty things all around?  Because I never see that many in real life.
  • I liked trying to figure out who in Underland matched the people
  • The film didn't scare me as much as the posters did.
  • Loved Anne Hathaway as the White Queen.  She was just so cute walking around and talking with her arms raised all of the time.  I especially loved when she talked about her sister's abnormal head.
  • Helen Bonham Carter cracked me up as the Red Queen.  At one point, though, I thought that she was going to have some pies made out of the card people, because that's how I think of her now.  Off with her head, and put it in a pie!  OK, she didn't actually say that.  But I loved that EVERYTHING was heart-shaped.
  • I missed the Tweedles hats from the animated movie, with their differently-lengthed thingies.
  • I love the background characterization the Johnny Depp used to help design the Mad Hatter: mercury poisoning and red hair and madness. 
  • Johnny Depp and Tim Burton together are GENIUS.
I enjoyed that movie more than I had expected.  I hope you do, too.

Swooning for Free

PaleyFest 2010
Thursday, March 11

When my friend Glenn had offered to buy tickets to PaleyFest for me and my other friends, I couldn't afford the seats I wanted, so I passed.  But a few weeks later, Aura saw that Goldstar was offering free tickets to the event, and I jumped at them.  Seeing Joseph?  For FREE?  Are you frickin' kidding me?  So off we went.

I arrived really early, because I went there straight from work.  My tickets wouldn't be ready for awhile, so I sat in my car and caught up with a couple of friends on the phone.  Aura called to tell me that she was running late and traffic was being evil.  So I picked up our tickets (after leaving the confirmation in the car -- duh), and walked into the Saban Theatre.  I found Mox sitting in the same section, so I sat there, and eventually waved to Glenn and Cindy, whom were sitting in the front orchestra section.  

I actually wasn't sure that Joseph would be there, seeing as his wife had just given birth to their child the day before, but, like my friends said, "She's done, though, right?  Why wouldn't he be there?"  I just figured he'd want to bond with his child, but OK, whatever.

We were given a rough cut of the first 20 minutes of the first show of the return from hiatus.  Whoa.  They stopped the film at quite the cliffhanger moment, and the whole audience let out a collective "AUGHHHH!"  

Then the actors, the writers, and producer from the show were introduced, and I tried to remain calm.  I think I did a good job of it, considering the fact that I was so busy staring at Joseph and smiling, thinking of unzipping those zippers on his jacket...Oh, hi, there.  Well, it didn't help when Joseph himself said that the cast has porn names for each other's characters, especially when our group had just been discussing porn names the previous weekend.  For the record, Joseph's character's porn name if "Mark Bangford".

I kind of lost my mind at that point, but I do remember Dominic Monaghan wondering about the kangaroo.  I also laughed at the fact that Sonya Walger was teasing Brian Byrne about not knowing the show was based on a book.  Dude, you're ON the show!  The exchanges between Courtney Vance, Jack Davenport, and Dominic were hilarious.  John Cho was funny, as well, and I loved his reaction to the question of movies vs. television.  Kinda snarky, but I still liked it.  

Here is's clip of the event:

They had a Q&A afterward with the audience, and I was happy that someone acknowledged Joseph's new daughter (Congratulations, Joseph!).  I like the question on the PaleyFest site that asked if he would do any theater in L.A., but nobody asked that there.  I was way too shy (yeah, me!) to ask anything, and didn't even go up to the stage for an autograph.  I figured that Joseph and I needed to meet in more memorable, seriously, I was too shy!  There was the star of my favorite movie of all time, speaking in that awesome accent, and...oh, I'll probably just faint if I ever met him for real.  

I had a fun time, though, and I get to say that I had been in the same room as Joseph Fiennes.  Thanks for the Goldstar tip, Aura!  

This is, unfortunately, the best picture that I took of Joseph that night.  We were kind of far away, and I think I might have been shaking a little bit.  ;)  Still....swoooon!