Artichokes and Pink Martini

If you like artichokes, Pink Martini, knitting, then read on. If you are interested in the woes of losing the last 20 lbs or working in education, then read on. If you want to know what it's like to be an empty nester or to share that nest with to two dogs, then read on. If you want to know what the theme is for Monday night dinner, when the kayaks are going out, or who was at the Y at 5am, then read on. If none of this interests you, just hit the button that says "next blog", & read on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Bday Paul

Paul turns 38 and we spare no expense! We hired Elton John to play the gig!

Nothing quite says birthday like a cake, singing and Mitch in a cardboard tiara.

Paul gets all of his candles extinguished in one blow (of course there were only 12 candles, but I won't tell if you won't). We were also fortunate to have Megan join us from Los Angeles. Who needs all of that sunshine when we have perfectly good grey and drippy weather? Ok, at least we have a lot more green.

Jenn came too, but I think she is trying to smuggle out some birthday gifts under her shirt. Or maybe she is just anticipating an upcoming birthday .... say sometime around June 28, 2008. Looks like we will need to make room for one more at the Monday night table.

And now for an encore performance, Elton is going to play us a little more Happy Birthday. Thanks Elton!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Stars in Tacoma

The glitz, the glamor of Oscar Night in Hollywood and Tacoma. Yes, two of the stars of Juno, opted out of the Hollywood scene in favor of the new, hot film community of Tacoma, Washington. We are just so very lucky and honored that they wanted to celebrate the biggest night of the year with us.

Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter

Our final play of the weekend is a world premiere for OSF. After we saw Jenny Sutter, we were wiped out emotionally. But it was well worth it and really reminded us how powerful a live theater experience can be.

Jenny Sutter (Gwendolyn Mulamba) considers her situation at Slab City. Photo by David Cooper. Gwen is amazing. Katie's favorite role of hers was in the play Intimate Apparel.

Buddy (David Kelly) gives one of his improvisational sermons in Slab City as Jenny Sutter (Gwendolyn Mulamba) listens. Photo: Jenny Graham. David Kelly has a great range, and is a hysterical comedic actor. Did I mention that this play only runs through June in Ashland and then will travel to the Kennedy Center in Washinton, DC in July.

Lou (Kate Mulligan) tries to provide a welcome home for her new friend Jenny Sutter. Photo: Jenny Graham. Kate is new to the company, but has a lot of experience in TV. Peter, do you recognize her from Judging Amy? Kate is also married to another company newcomer who plays the bad guy in the Clay Cart (btw he is also a UCLA grad, we're everywhere!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Clay Cart

Welcome to India! The Clay Cart is the first non western play that OSF has produced. Thanks to New Artistic Director, Bill Rauch, Katie's hero. When she learned that OSF was doing a 2000 year old play from India, she was thrilled!

Vasantasenā (Miriam A. Laube). Photo: David Cooper. Miriam is one of our favorite actors at OSF. I especially loved her in a song that she performed from Spamalot during the Daedalus Project a couple of summers ago. If you don't know what Daedalus is, just think Underwear Parade. Enuf said.

Chārudatta (Cristofer Jean, left) with his son Rohasena (Kaj Pandey). Photo: David Cooper. A beautiful and ancient play. Lots of emotion, lots of eye candy, a fabulous evening.

Vasantasenā, (Miriam A. Laube, left) dances for Chārudatta (Cristofer Jean, right) as Maitreya (Michael J. Hume) looks on. Photo: David Cooper. The dancing was great! Katie and I were lucky to meet the choreographer, her daughter and the dramaturg for the show. Did I mention that they were originally from India? Or that the choreographer's daughter is a UCLA grad. Small world.

Part of The Clay Cart ensemble. The sets were beautiful and with the costumes, it was really like spending a night in India.


On Saturday afternoon we were treated to August Wilson's "Fences". We have been treated to other August Wilson plays in previous years, "The Piano Lesson' , "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Gem of the Ocean". They are always some of our most favorite OSF productions.

Troy Maxson (Charles Robinson, right) embraces his wife Rose (Shona Tucker). Photo: David Cooper. You may recognize Charles Robinson from his many years on the TV show "Night Court".

Troy Maxson (Charles Robinson, left) gets a loan paid back from his son Lyons (Kevin Kenerly, right) as his friend Bobo (Josiah Phillips) looks on. Photo: Jenny Graham. Does the name Kevin Kenerly sound familiar??? It should, he also plays Oberon in Midsummer this season.

Rose (Shona Tucker, right) shares a laugh with Troy's brother Gabriel (G. Valmont Thomas). Photo: Jenny Graham. G. Valmont Thomas is a Tacoma boy and a graduate of Wilson High School .... small world.

Cory (Cameron Knight, right) gets a stern lecture from his father Troy (Charles Robinson). Photo: David Cooper As you can see Fences is a very intense play. Take a good look at the stage. This is the same stage that was home to Midsummer the night before and will transform into the Clay Cart's India in just a few hours.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The first play that we saw was A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was amazing, colorful, and lots of fun. Here are a few stills from the evening.

Hippolyta (Shona Tucker, left) and Theseus (Michael Elich) anxiously await their nuptial celebration. Photo: David Cooper. Don't you just love those chairs!

Titania (Christine Albright, left) and Oberon (Kevin Kenerly), Queen and King of the Fairies, quarrel over the possession of a changeling boy. Photo: Jenny Graham. Christine played a superb Juliette last season & Kevin was Romeo 4 seasons ago. Oberon in black ostrich feathers and not much else ..... yum!!!

Tom Snout (Josiah Phillips), Francis Flute (Eileen DeSandre) and Bottom (Ray Porter) arrive to begin their preparations for rehearsal. Photo: Jenny Graham. These actors are the veteran comedians of the company. They were crazy funny every time they hit the stage.

The fairy world (Mark Bedard, Eddie Lopez, John Tufts, Edgar Miguel Sanchez) dances to a disco beat. Photo: David Cooper. The fairies in this production were just too much fun to watch! Tutus and rippling biceps under fishnet tank tops is the way Shakespeare was meant to be done.

Opening Weekend at OSF!

Welcome to India ..... I mean Ashland, Oregon. We have come for Opening Weekend for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The play we are dying to see is the Clay Cart. Written in India over 2000 years ago, Katie can't wait.

We arrived at the Gala dinner Friday night to find out that everyone is excited about the Clay Cart. The room was decorated like an Indian wedding & the food, amazing (not to mention the pink champagne flowing everywhere). We were treated to some fabulous Indian dancing.

And Katie (complete with new haircut and black dress) did a little posing with some over the top Indian decor.

Yes, I did mention Indian food and pink champagne, so at 7 am the next morning I was at the Ashland YMCA when the doors opened. I usually visit the Y every day that we are in Ashland, because the food is great & so are the beverages. Trying hard to be a good girl.

And who did we bump into in the bathroom but an old college buddy of Katie's, Alicia. Of course we had to stop at a local watering hole to catch up and we landed smack dab in the middle of the Midsummer Night's Dream cast party. Too much fun. We were only in Ashland for 48 hours which included 4 plays, 2 dinners, 2 lectures & 2 cast parties. Katie and I never waste a moment when we are in Ashland.

And now for the man himself! Katie's bud, Bill Rauch, the new Artistic Director of OSF. He is energy and passion and has already brought some fabulous new ideas to Ashland. We are so excited to be able to be part of this wonderful new era!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Chris doesn't listen to me

Last week I decided to start biking outside. I know it's February & it's cold ( I don't ride in cold & inclement weather!!) but I was thinking that I might toodle through the neighborhood, if it gets warmer, toward the end of the month. My ultimate goal is to ride to work in March maybe 3 days a week. So, with this in mind, I asked Chris Sharp if he would stop by, give my bike the once over, put air in the tires for me so it would be ready, when I am ready.

Chris got even more excited about me riding again than I was. He volunteered to go riding with me some Sunday. I told him that I would get myself in a little better shape & then we could make plans toward the end of Feb, or maybe March, weather permitting. A few days later he emailed me to ask what time we would go riding this Sunday. Hello Chris, not this Sunday, not ready, too cold. Again an email, then a phone call, and he arrived at my house today at 10 am all geared up with his bike and ready to ride. Sheesh!

So with my bike shoes on, helmet, etc, I slowly climbed on my bike and started to pedal. Chris, where are we headed??? My work????? That's 7 miles away, mostly down hill there, very uphill back. Very, very, very uphill back through downtown Tacoma. Yikes!!! Uh Chris??? I think it's starting to rain & was that wet snow????? It's a balmy 33 degrees & I am now getting officially wet. This is not good. This is really not good.

Made it into Fife, pretty easily, though it is really, really cold. Chris is wearing shoe covers & is complaining that his feet are getting numb. Don't look for sympathy from me buddy! The trip back was quite the challenge for me. I hadn't gotten the hang of changing gears going up hill when both me & my bike thought it would be fun to lay down on some friendly dirt. It was nice to take a moment to look up to the sky and appreciate the day.

The great news is that I did survive & it wasn't all that bad. Though tomorrow parts of me might be crying in pain.

Thank you Chris.