Director Jewels

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hairspray at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 


The cast of Hairspray. Photo by Andrew Mather. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

Welcome to a whirlwind of energy, laughter, and pure joy - Hairspray has arrived at Kansas City's Starlight Theatre and it is a show not to be missed!

Erin Riley as Amber VonTussle, Don Denton as Corny Collins, Eric Geil as Link Larkin
and the cast of Hairspray. Photo by Andrew Mather. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

Hairspray originally opened on Broadway in 2002 and went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show hasn't been at Starlight since 2006, so this is a welcome treat to the season lineup this year!

Broadway veteran and two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar leads the cast as Edna Turnblad. Oscar was previously seen at Starlight in The Producers in 2010. The supporting cast boasts the talent of many Kansas City actors and the local support was evident throughout the show during opening weekend as the crowd cheered for their favorite performers.

Brad Oscar as Edna Turnblad, Jessica Alcorn as Tracy Turnblad and the cast of Hairspray.
Photo by Andrew Mather. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

If you're not familiar with the story, here's the synopsis from Starlight Theatre:

Set in 1960's Baltimore, Hairspray tells the story of 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad, who intends to groove her way onto TV's most popular dance program, "The Corny Collins Show." After auditioning and winning a role with the show's dance company, Tracy becomes an overnight sensation and uses her nnewfound influence to advocate for the show's racial integration. With the help of her fellow cast mates, Tracy tries to change the workd, dethrone the reigning Teen Queen and win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin...all without denting her 'do!

Stephen Scott Wormley as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Katie Karel as Penny Pingleton and the cast of Hairspray.
Photo by Andrew Mathers. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

The cast was full of energy and it was easy to believe that they were enjoying the evening just as much as those of us in the crowd. Kansas City natives Jessica Alcorn (Tracy Turnblad) and Eric Geil (Link Larkin) took us on a wild journey as they learned to stand up to those who opposed change and progress. Standout characters included Stephen Scott Wormley (Seaweed J. Stubbs), who spent much of the show wowing the attendees with his flexibility and dance skills, and Katie Karel (Penny Pingleton), who continually brought those of us in the audience to uproarious laughter with her wit and antics. 

Catch the show before it's too late - it's playing now through August 2!

The cast of Hairspray. Photo by Andrew Mather. Photo courtesy of Starlight Theatre.

Tickets for Hairspray at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14+. Tickets are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The King and I at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 


Elena Shaddow and the royal children in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

It's summer in Kansas City again, and that means that it's time to spend some evenings out under the stars at the iconic Starlight Theatre. Starlight has a lineup of many Broadway shows to entertain and astound you this year - and this week is your chance to catch the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Elena Shaddow as Anna Leonowens in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The King and I originally opened on Broadway in 1951 and played for nearly three years. It has since had many revivals, most recently at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, where the production won four Tony Awards in 2015.

Elena Shaddow, Baylen Thomas and Rhyees Stump in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

If you're not familiar with the story, here's the synopsis from Starlight Theatre:

One of  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works,  THE KING AND I boasts a score that features such beloved classis as "Getting To Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," "I Have Dreamed," and "Something Wonderful." Set in 1860's Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Jose Llana and Elena Shaddow in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

This production, led by Jose Llana (The King of Siam) and Elena Shaddow (Anna Leonowens), is absolutely visually stunning to watch. It was not difficult to believe that we had left the Western world and entered into an unfamiliar, breathtaking place in Siam. The Tony-Award winning costume design by Catherine Zuber left me wishing I could touch each of the vibrant colors and rich textures of the fabrics used. I could have watch Anna dance in the "Shall We Dance?" ballgown for much longer than the song allowed!

The cast is strong and supports each other well. Overall, this production is well worth spending an evening under the stars for - and you will have missed something truly wonderful if you let it leave Kansas City before you've seen it!

Q Lim as Tuptim and Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Tickets for The King and I at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14+. Tickets are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuck Everlasting at Kansas City's Coterie Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this production at The Coterie Theatre. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own.


It may just be barely springtime in Kansas City, but at the Coterie Theatre - located inside Crown Center - you can already feel the sweltering, overbearing heat of the first week of August. The Coterie has been transformed into the small town of Treegap, and a visit to this odd little place is a must for KC area families this spring. 

Aurelia Power (as Winnie Foster), Fisher Stewart (as Jesse Tuck), Gary Neal Johnson
(as Angus Tuck), Nancy Marcy (as Mae Tuck), Tyler Rowe (as Miles Tuck), and
Jonathan Lloyd Schriock (as Stranger in the Yellow Suit) in Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt and adapted by Mark J. Frattaroli. Directed by Jeff Church.
Live on stage at The Coterie, February 27 - April 5, 2018.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

Tuck Everlasting tells the story of Angus and Mae Tuck and their boys Miles and Jesse, who live an extraordinary life thanks to a spring of water they discover in the woods of Treegap. After drinking from the spring, they never age - not a single day. The family separates to throw off suspicions, but they reunite once every ten years near the spring where it all started. It just so happens that young Winnie Foster runs into Jesse Tuck near the spring during one of the family's reunions...and before she knows it, she is drawn into their secretive and adventurous world.

Gary Neal Johnson (as Angus Tuck), Nancy Marcy (as Mae Tuck), and Aurelia Power
(as Winnie Foster) in Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and adapted by Mark J. Frattaroli.
Directed by Jeff Church. Live on stage at The Coterie, February 27 - April 5, 2018.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

As usual, the Coterie has put together a production that is thought-provoking, charming, and heartwarming all at once. Each of the characters brings their own piece to the story, and their lives are all undeniably changed by the friendships which are made as the show unfolds. 

Aurelia Power (as Winnie Foster) and Fisher Stewart (as Jesse Tuck) in Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt and adapted by Mark J. Frattaroli.
Directed by Jeff Church. Live on stage at The Coterie, February 27 - April 5, 2018.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

The cast features Gary Neal Johnson, Nancy Marcy, Fisher Stewart, Tyler Alan Rowe, Jonathan Lloyd Schriock, George Forbes, Aurelia Power, and Bonita Hanson. The cast worked well together as an ensemble and created a magical world onstage that was easy to believe. Gary Neal Johnson may be recognized by Kansas City audiences as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the KC Rep, and I enjoyed the chance to see him portray another character as Angus Tuck. Fisher Stewart, who played Jesse Tuck, kept the audience in stitches with his acrobatics and comedic timing.

Gary Neal Johnson (as Angus Tuck) and Aurelia Power (as Winnie Foster) in
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and adapted by Mark J. Frattaroli. Directed by Jeff Church.
Live on stage at The Coterie, February 27 - April 5, 2018.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

The production is recommended by the Coterie for families with children who are 9 or older. The show runs about 65 minutes with no intermission and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening while exploring Kansas City.

Aurelia Power (as Winnie Foster), Fisher Stewart (as Jesse Tuck), Tyler Rowe
(as Miles Tuck),and Gary Neal Johnson (as Angus Tuck) in Tuck Everlasting by
Natalie Babbitt and adapted by Mark J. Frattaroli. Directed by Jeff Church.
Live on stage at The Coterie, February 27 - April 5, 2018.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of Coterie Theatre.

Tuck Everlasting plays now through April 5 at the Coterie. Tickets are available online.

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this production at The Coterie Theatre. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream Family 4-Pack Ticket Giveaway

Disclosure: I will receive media passes to this event. No other compensation has been received. All views expressed are my own. 


Oh my goodness, we are so excited - Disney on Ice is headed back to Kansas City at the end of the month!


We've been so excited for this particular ice show for awhile, because my daughter is obsessed with Rapunzel. She cannot wait to see Rapunzel live and in person (we're hoping she waves at us again).

While my daughter is referring to the upcoming event as "the Rapunzel show," Dare to Dream also features many other famous and well-loved Disney characters - including Moana, Elsa, Anna, Belle, Cinderella, and Mickey and Minnie! It's said to be an expedition across raging seas and snow-covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza.


Here's some info from the official press release regarding the show:

Celebrate what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana will go in an epic adventure with demigod, Maui, to save her island and discover her true identity. Join Belle as she fearlessly befriends the enchanted castle staff and reveals the Beast’s gentleness. Experience Anna’s devotion to her sister, Elsa, on her life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter. Explore with Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Cinderella and friends from around the Disney Kingdom as they find the heart and determination to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true. Journey with Mickey and Minnie to uncover why no goal is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream!


This show will play March 28-April 1 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City!

You can purchase Disney on Ice tickets now, plus make sure you are following along on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest info!

Here are the upcoming show times:
  • Wednesday, March 28: 7 p.m. 
  • Thursday, March 29: 7 p.m.  
  • Friday, March 30: 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.  
  • Saturday, March 31: 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. 
  • Sunday, April 1: 3 p.m. 


Giveaway

One person will win a Family 4-pack of tickets to Disney on Ice at the Sprint Center. Winner will receive vouchers which can be redeemed at the box office for tickets to any of the following performances: 
Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.
Friday, March 30, 3 p.m.

This giveaway is open to US readers only. Winner will be emailed and will have 24 hours to respond or prize will be forfeited.

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below (you may need Javascript enabled to see the form and it may take a moment to load)! Once you complete the first entry, the other options will open up so that you can complete them as well. All of the "extra entries" are optional - you can do just one, or as many as you want! Winners will be contacted by email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Giveaway Policy and my Disclosure Policy.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lavender Oatmeal Bath Soak with Essential Oils DIY + Free Printable

Lavender Essential Oil Oatmeal Relaxing Bath Soak

I blinked...and the holidays are here. How did that happen?! Holiday gift-giving is so much fun, and I especially love it when I can incorporate some oily goodness into it. I had to prep a really quick gift last week, and I ended up making this Lavender Essential Oil Oatmeal Relaxing Bath Soak. This idea was adapted from Young Living's own Lavender-Oatmeal Bath Soak recipe.

This recipe is SO easy to make - it didn't take long at all! I put some in bath jars, then put even more in 3x4" plastic bags so that I have them on hand for last-minute gifts. Then I printed up a quick label to attach to the jars and the bags! I've made that into a PDF (linked below) so that you can make them quickly, too! I've also made these Lavender Essential Oils Bath Bombs in a pinch for a quick gift, but they take a bit longer than this soak.

Lavender Essential Oil Oatmeal Relaxing Bath Soak

Lavender Oatmeal Relaxing Bath Soak
Supplies Needed: 
-1 cup Epsom salt
-1/2 cup Baking Soda
-1 cup Quick Oats
-20-25 drops Lavender Young Living Essential Oil
-Mixing Bowl & Spoon
-Food Processor

Optional:
-Lavender Oatmeal Bath Soak Printable
-Mini Clear 3x4" Bags (I found mine at Hobby Lobby)
-Staples
OR
-Small Glass Containers with lids

Lavender Essential Oil Oatmeal Relaxing Bath Soak

How to make them: 

1. Put oats in a food processor and grind until they reach a fine consistency (like flour). You'll probably have some floating oatmeal flakes in the bathtub, so the smaller you can grind them, the better.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Add essential oils and stir until they are distributed evenly.

4. Toss about 1 cup in the bathtub when you need some time to relax!


And that's it! See? Super easy. Who is on your gift giving list this Christmas? I think I will give some of this goodness to friends, family, teachers, students....basically anyone who could use a little "me" time! And I think I'll keep a huge jar of this on my own bathroom counter, too!
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