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Theater

Phantom of the Opera, broadway theater league, broadway tour

I’m pretty sure that you can say the words, Phantom of the Opera to just about anyone, anywhere in the world and they will know what you are talking about. It is one of my favorite musicals of all time.

I love the story because I am a sucker for a good love story but I love one with a plot twist and a good soundtrack even more so. But then you set that story in Paris and the romance level goes up about a billion percent.

Base on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

READ ALSO: Wicked Good for the Entire Family 

I saw the movie. I’d seen the performance on PBS. I watched the 25th-anniversary performance at the Royal theater with my daughters and that was it. My oldest, she fell in love with the story and the music immediately. Obviously, this made my heart happy. It was like, check, this is something we can share and bond over. I told myself that one day, I would take my girls to see it.

As many of you know, I’ve made it a priority to raise the girls to be well-cultured. I want them to understand and appreciate the arts. For me, art is the great equalizer because talent is not something you can be taught but rather something innate. It is a gift given to you and it is your responsibility to nurture and grow it. It takes a lot of hard work and hustle to make it as an artist and there’s more who don’t than who do make it so I want my girls to understand how special those talented people are and how hard they’ve had to work to get to that stage.

Phantom of the Opera, broadway theater league, broadway tour

We take the girls to as many shows as we can. I made this a priority when they were very little. We take them to live concerts. We encourage them to participate in the arts. They both dance ballet and play the violin. I’m working on teaching them to speak a couple other languages because I think people need to be diversified. It’s not enough to just be smart, you need to have common sense. It’s not enough to travel, you need to be able to immerse yourself into those cultures to truly enjoy the experience. And one cannot just watch art, one must be open to feeling it and being caught up in it. Even as a member of the audience, you have your part to play.

Last weekend, we finally found ourselves seated in the theater waiting for the show to begin and I looked around and that’s when I realized we were surrounded by a whole lot of people who had a genuine love of the arts, more specifically Phantom of the Opera.

When we see a show or hear a song, it is human nature to relate it to ourselves; a moment in time captured that makes us identify with the art. Phantom is about love; unrequited and the naiveté of young love. It’s funny too because depending on where you are in life, the different your interpretation and isn’t that one of the greatest things about art? Our interpretations can change as our experiences do, in that way, art is ever changing.

Phantom of the Opera, broadway theater league, broadway tour

When I was younger, I saw the love story as Christine and the Viscount. I rooted for them and the Phantom was a monster. But now, I saw the love story between the Phantom and Christine. He was in love with her but he also wanted to possess her. Christine loved him, was intrigued by him, but at the same time was terrified by the way he looked and maybe even by the way she felt about him.

Was it shallowness or self-preservation? Once you’ve had your heart broken, it’s a little harder to put yourself out there, especially when you’re falling for a brilliant, monstrous beast of a man who wants to possess you. It’s a little overwhelming.

Phantom of the Opera, broadway theater league, broadway tour

I found myself angry with Christine because she was so immature. How could she not love someone who loved her so much? And I found the viscount to be infantile in his pursuit of her but then again, that is young love. Impetuous and silly and beautiful and grand.

In the past, I would have instinctively rooted for him. It’s like when you watch rom-com movies. They do outlandish things. They cheat on spouses, they hurt people but you root for the main characters to get together and you ignore their bad behavior and you want it to work out but in real life, you’d think they were the worst people ever because of the destruction their affair caused to all those involved. Why are we so lenient in art where we are so rigid in life?

READ ALSO: Aladdin Broadway Tour

The thing is as I looked around the house, I saw so many couples because on the surface, it is a love story about a young man and a young woman but beneath is a beautiful love story about a man too ugly to be seen by the world who is completely devoted to a beautiful woman who sees his beauty within. Sadly, reality eventually makes her see his ugliness and, in the end, she chooses the choice society would deem acceptable. Or did she? Perhaps the true ugliness is his need to possess her versus to just love her.

The performance was stellar and the Phantom was outstanding. The entire cast was spectacular. If you have the chance to see the Phantom of the Opera on tour, do yourself a favor and do it. It will not disappoint.

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is raved by critics “bigger and better than ever before”  and breathtaking. It features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and new staging by director Laurence Connor.

The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour.

Worldwide, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has been seen by more than 140 million people and won more than 70 major theater awards.

The new production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is suggested for audiences aged 6+. The production includes gunshots and pyrotechnics. We encourage parents to consider these factors when making their decisions about attending the performance.

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to see Phantom of the Opera at the Morris Performing Arts Center by the Broadway theater league but all opinions and love of Broadway stage productions are my own.

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cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

I’ve taken my family to the Cirque du Soleil live on three different occasions and we’ve seen every DVD available. The first time I saw a live Cirque du Soleil was on my honeymoon in 1999.Since then, Cirque du Soleil has held a special place in my heart and in our family so when I heard Cirque du Soleil Kurios was touring in Boston at the same time we would be there, I knew we had to see the show.

Cirque du Soleil KuriosCabinet of Curiosities is live under the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at Suffolk Downs from May 26th –July 10, 2016.

You can either get your tickets online or you can stop by South Market and pick up your tickets while spending the day at Faneuil Hall. Whatever you do, you don’t want to miss this show.

Cirque du Soleil “Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities” is about as close to a transporter device as you can get. Step into the Grand Chapiteau and you immediately enter a magical world. There are 426 props in the show, the most of any production in Cirque du Soleil’s history. Some 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment for KURIOS™ – Cabinet of Curiosities.

This world is simultaneously a retro and futuristic version of a mad scientist’s lab all at once. It’s a mechanized world of the future with people of the 1920’s, at once wondrous and nostalgic. The steampunk ambiance only serves to make this Cirque du Soleil even more astonishing.

From the moment we pulled back the tent flaps, we were transported to another dimension. The energy at a Cirque du Soleil show is palpable. I’ve had the luxury of going behind the scenes on occasion and I am even more mystified of the magic that happens on stage after knowing all the hard work and determination that goes into a show. The 116 tour members come from 22 different countries. Some have been touring with Cirque du Soleil for more than 20 years. All performers are responsible for applying their own make-up every show, which can take them between 40 minutes to two hours. These performers make the near impossible and gravity defying look easy.

When you walk in, the dull gleam of metal is everywhere, from the portal through which the performers materialize to the masses of industrial-duty gears ready to clank into motion in every direction. Towering automated music-making machines cobbled together from giant glass globes, metal bracing and junkyard’s worth of unusual finds adorn the stage defying reason and logic.

The Cirque du Soleil Kurios show, in the Suffolk Downs parking lot, reinvents the wheel.

Anyone who has seen more than one Cirque du Soleil knows that there are certain expectations that will always be met. For example, there will always be a clown who makes you simultaneously think and belly laugh on their witty commentary of society. There will always be amazing aerial ballet (one of my favorite acts) and there will always be incredible acrobats and a trapeze or trampoline act that will blow your freaking mind. This time, even the most familiar acts (13 in total) had new twists and left me gasping and clapping so hard in my seat that by the end of the show, my voice was gone from woo-hooing and my hands were exhausted and sore from extreme clapping. (It’s a thing, look it up.)

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The show starts with the band parading through the audience. My daughters are obsessed with the live music (both being violinists) and fell fast and hard for the singer, Eirini Tornesaki. I know because I had the privilege of listening to the soundtrack for Kurios for our 15-hour drive home from Boston.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

A solo trapeze act is performed not from a bar but from a suspended bicycle (Anne Weissbecker).

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

 

Meanwhile, the Russian cradle duo perform 13 feet above the ground as the strongman turns into a human trapeze.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The rola bola, balancing atop stacked cylinders, is taken aloft on a levitating platform (James Eulises Gonzalez Correa).

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

The aerial straps are commanded by muscular Siamese twins who magically detach when airborne yet perform in perfect tandem while synchronized with perfect timing (Roman and Vitali Tomanov). Every act more exciting than the last.

One of my husband’s favorite acts was the clown (Facundo Gimenez.) He is a miracle of transformation as he changes from a Lothario trying to seduce an audience member to a parrot, a Tyrannosaurus Rex ( our favorite) and ultimately into a feline which is given to hairball hacks and cat-box indiscretions.

cirque du soleil, Kurios, Boston, travel

“Kurios,” like all Cirque du Soleil shows, inspires wonder, awe, excitement and suspense and will leave you feeling like the impossible is possible. My daughters have both decided that they want to run away with the circus…well, the Cirque du Soleil, anyways. I can’t blame them; I want to too. We are completely enamored with all things Kurios. I’m using it as an excuse to encourage them to practice their violin, ballet and gymnastics more.

“Kurios,” times vary, but generally 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1:30 and 5:00 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 10. Prices vary but currently are about $40-$165, not including VIP packages. (877) 924-7783 or www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios. Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes with a brief intermission between halves.

If you can’t catch this amazing show in Boston, fret not. Kurios is touring and I’m sure it will coming to a city near you soon. Next up, Washington D.C. opening July 21, New York City opening September 29 and then on to Miami!

Disclosure: I was provided media passes to see Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities but all opinions and love for all things Cirque du Soleil are my own.

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disney, disney junior live, sofia the first, theater, entertainment, kids entertainment

In a couple weeks, Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure is coming to our town and lucky me, I’ve been offered tickets for review to take my girls. They will be ecstatic. They love Sofia the First and Jake and the Neverland pirates. A little bird also told me that there might be a couple surprise guests; paging Doc McStuffins! I can’t wait to surprise my girls on Friday October 25 th, when I pick them up from school and announce that we will be seeing this production!

I’ll have to be sure to grab a couple tiaras and doubloons before we head out. Mickey and Minnie are taking their seats too at this never-before-seen live show featuring our favorite characters from Disney Junior’s hit series, Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. I hear Sofia and her family are preparing for a royal celebration that helps us all learn the true meaning of being a princess with a special appearance from Cinderella.  Cinderella!!! My girls are going to go crazy!

Then it’s off to Never Land where Jake and his swashbuckling friends Izzy and Cubby, with a little help from Peter Pan, battle Captain Hook to unlock treasure hidden inside a mysterious volcano. It’s danger and dueling on the high seas as Jake discovers what it takes to be a true hero.

Filled with new music, amazing effects, thrilling action and endless surprises, I’m sure our whole family will enjoy Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure!

Special bonus! Starting ten minutes before every performance you can join the loveable Doc McStuffins for a special pre-show! You and your child can help Doc take care of one of her beloved toys with her own special brand of love and magic. Maybe it will be Lambie???? I hope so.

I will be there! Will you? If you want to go you can buy tickets here and bonus you can save $5 per ticket by using the promo code “BLOG” ! Hope to see you there.

 

Disclaimer: I am being provided tickets to DIsney Junior Live Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure but all opinions are my own!

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