Roaring Good Time

Mom warned me that we had an event planned for Sunday and that I should not make plans for today.

As an early birthday present for my sister, Mom and Dad surprised the family by treating us to an amazing outing to the Detroit Opera House to see “The Lion King“.  We had a fantastic group – my sister and her family, as well as Mom, Dad, and me.

The music was amazing, the costumes were incredible, and the dancing was gorgeous.  I could not have imagined the spectacle – even seeing commercials for the show over the years did not prepare me for the magnitude or beauty of the costumes and choreography.  It was truly magic for us.  The youngest among us, my 5-year-old nephew, would leap to his feet and clap after every song!

After the incredible theatre experience, we enjoyed an a fantastic meal at Mon Jin Lau, one of our favorite Nu Asian restaurants.  We’ve celebrated special occasions at this eatery since I was a small child, and now my nephews are the next generation of fans.

This day was amazing.  I feel so spoiled and so blessed.  What a gift to be in town and spend this time with my family.

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Singing, Feathers, and Chocolate…Oh My!

Ten minutes past one in the morning in Cleveland, but I wanted to at least craft a short post before turning in for the night. 

After a productive all-day session with the coordinators, we enjoyed team events downtown.  The men checked out a baseball game while the larger group of women enjoyed Girls Night: The Musical at the 14th Street Theatre.  The show, a musical featuring familiar songs such as “It’s Raining Men” and “I Will Survive”, was a hit with the group.  We all received pink feather boas.  Some team members got t-shirts and one received a CD of the show that we enjoyed on the drive back to the hotel.

The intimate theatre was a perfect location for this cozy, toe-tapping production.  The audience was encouraged to participate in the performance by singing along and even dancing during several of the numbers.  The event was not one we will soon forget.

The team reconnected at The Chocolate Bar, where I enjoyed a delicious splurge of macaroni and cheese with portabella mushrooms and carmelized onions, followed by a delicious dessert of fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate.

When I return to Sacramento, I think I’ll need several nights at the gym to work tonight’s decadence.  It was worth it.

Exit Strategy

Took time off from working at the house to see the North American premier of Marc Camoletti’s play “Ding Dong“, translated by Tudor Gates, at Meadow Brook Theatre.

The comedy provided the perfect excuse to break away from packing and cleaning.  With my husband in California, my sister was kind enough to brave joining me for the performance even though she felt congested, wheezy, and sneezy.

The energetic pacing, clever dialogue, farcical situation, and lively characters made the play a pleasure.  We were not alone in the audience laughing out loud and cheering for the performers at the end, which itself is a toe-tapping, rollicking treat.

Afterward, Jen felt up to catching a quick dinner at Kruse & Muer at the Lake.  She had a Spanish coffee and I had an X-rated martini to accompany our delicious meals.  I dropped Jen at her house, stopped at Meijer for a few more storage totes and laundry detergent, fed the doodles, and showered.  I am ready to resume work on the house at least for another hour, but am grateful for the fun-filled afternoon at Meadow Brook Theatre and date with my sister.

Ties that Bind, Part 2

Another day that started with working on things at the house and ended in the company of my family.

My sister, Jen, agreed to be my date to see the Michigan premier of “Reunion: A Musical Epic in Miniature” at Meadow Brook Theatre since my husband isn’t here to take advantage of our season tickets.  When I arrived to pick her up, I gave Jen her Valentine – a scarf in greens and blues and a pair of earrings I’d beaded for her.

Jen and I really enjoyed the play, and it was a treat to spend time alone with my sister.  I cannot remember the last time we did.

The play itself is set to music popular during the Civil War.  The content of the play, adapted from letters written by soldiers in the Civil War and their loved ones, memoirs, diaries, newspaper articles, left me feeling more connected with this period than I ever did in a history class.  The set featured line art, photographs, and newspaper headlines displayed behind the actors on the stage that deepened the feeling of witnessing something historic.  The liner notes suggested learning more about where the quotes used in the play originated by visiting www.lincolnmusical.com.

I left the theatre feeling nearly as emotionally overwhelmed and engaged as I did after watching the Ken Burns documentary “The Civil War“.  I know my husband would have really enjoyed the military history and humanism expressed in this theatrical adaptation.

Originally Jen and I were going to eat out after the play, but when the invitation to dinner at Mom and Dad’s arrived, we both agreed that it would be fun.  When we arrived, I gave Mom her Valentine – a scarf in purple and fuchsia also accompanied by a pair of beaded earrings.  Mom surprised my sister and I with LifeLinks bracelets for Valentine’s Day.  Mine included onyx spacers and the writer charm flanked by potential and perseverance.  I love it!

My brother-in-law and nephews met us and we had a lovely meal together before I headed home to relieve the doodles and prepare for work on Monday.

I’m so glad Mom invited me for dinner – this was a wonderful way to end the weekend.

Steppin’ Out

Had a date with my husband this afternoon to see “The 39 Steps” performed at Meadowbrook Theatre, one of our local gems.  For our anniversary last year, my parents gave us season tickets to this professional theatre, which happens to be on the campus of my alma mater, Oakland University.

This past October we saw “Dracula: A Rock Opera” at and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  This year, in addition to “The 39 Steps“, the season includes:

I’m really excited about these Sunday dates with my husband.

This staging opened recently, so today’s performance is early in the run.  The energy on stage is frenetic – four actors play more than 100 different roles during the play, which is hysterically funny.  We were not alone in the audience in laughing aloud.  All actors were incredible.

If you live in southeast Michigan, I encourage you to make a date at the theatre to see this extremely entertaining show or one of the upcoming productions in the season.  This theatre is a treasure.

We followed the matinée with a delicious meal at a Buddy’s Pizza.  All in all, a very pleasant way to spend a winter afternoon.