Director Jewels: June 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Coterie Theatre Presents MADAGASCAR: A Musical Adventure - Now through 8/7/16

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.



There are a lot of days here in Kansas City when the heat is just too much and we moms have to find something engaging to do with our kids without fear of heatstroke. Last week was so warm, I didn't want to go outside at all. So we spent the week coloring endless pictures, reading books, using our imaginations, and - my favorite - heading to one of our most-loved local spots, Crown Center, for a day of fun.

In addition to hosting amazing free kid-friendly exhibits that change throughout the year, Crown Center is the home of The Coterie Theatre - one of my favorite places in Kansas City! This summer, you'll find that The Coterie has been transformed into a tropical paradise featuring some familiar characters that kids will be delighted to see onstage: Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, and Melman the giraffe!

Left to right: Enjoli Gavin (as Gloria), Patrick Beasley (as Alex), Joey Boos (as Melman) and
Donovan Woods (as Marty) Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, featuring, based on the DreamWorks
animation motion picture, with book by Kevin Del Aguila, original music and lyrics by George Noriega
& Joel Someillan, and directed by Jerry Jay Cranford, receiving its world premiere as part of The Coterie’s
Lab for New Family Musicals in its 2015/2016 Season, June 14 – August 7, 2016.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.

This world premiere show, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure follows the hilarious antics of these four rambunctious friends on their madcap journey from New York’s Central Park Zoo to the beaches of Madagascar. With ten memorable new songs added to a pop favorite from the original score, their journey goes from the wilderness to just plain wild when they are tracked by Skipper and his always plotting penguins, and then learn to “Move It! Move It!” from King Julian and his loyal lemur subjects. The story is brought vividly to life on stage by imaginative sets, colorful costumes, and a high energy, dance-filled production.

We were able to catch a matinee performance of the show that was filled with children of all ages. Their energy filled the air with anticipation and before the show even began, we were treated to cast members teaching us several dance moves in preparation for the "Move It! Move it!" dance break partway through the show.

The show features excellent pacing and the cast does a fantastic job of keeping their young audience engaged at all times. My kids are three and five years old and while they were a little fidgety, they never asked to leave the show. They were pretty mesmerized by the animal characters and asked questions about the story. My daughter (she's three) did not enjoy the "Foosa" song and hid her face for a minute, as she thought that was a little scary. But otherwise, she loved it - and once I told her that the "Foosas" were just people in costumes, she was okay.

Left to right: Donovan Woods (as Marty) and Patrick Beasley (as Alex) in The Coterie’s summer musical,
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, based on the DreamWorks animation motion picture, with book by
Kevin Del Aguila, original music and lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan, and directed by
Jerry Jay Cranford, receiving its world premiere as part of The Coterie’s Lab for New Family Musicals
in its 2015/2016 Season, June 14 – August 7, 2016.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.

Standout characters for me were the four primary animals: Marty (Donovan Woods), Alex (Patrick Beasley), Gloria (Enjoli Gavin) and Melman (Joey Boos). Each of these actors displayed personalities that were evident from every corner of the theater. The supporting cast was phenomenal, as well. The songs are catchy and led to much dancing in our seats as we watched the show. The "Move It! Move It!" dance break truly has to be experienced in person - you won't be sorry! It was so much fun. Plus, a big shout out to the writers, directors, or cast members who decided to throw in some references to other popular Broadway shows. I laughed until I cried when Marty the Zebra alluded to a certain recent Tony-winning production. You'll just have to go see it to find out what I'm talking about!

The cast of The Coterie’s summer musical, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, featuring
Enjoli Gavin (as Gloria), Patrick Beasley (as Alex), Donovan Woods (as Marty) and Joey Boos (as Melman),
based on the DreamWorks animation motion picture, with book by Kevin Del Aguila, original music and
lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan, and directed by Jerry Jay Cranford, receiving its world premiere
as part of The Coterie’s Lab for New Family Musicals in its 2015/2016 Season, June 14 – August 7, 2016.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.

Make sure you check out the remaining schedule of special extras that are included with certain performances -

Friday, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5, 7:00 p.m.: Friday Family Fun Night. Post performance autograph session and photo op with cast members.

Saturday, July 9, 2:00 p.m.: Interpreted performance in American Sign Language. 

The cast of The Coterie’s summer musical, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, featuring Donovan Woods
(as Marty), Patrick Beasley (as Alex), Enjoli Gavin (as Gloria) and Joey Boos (as Melman), based on
the DreamWorks animation motion picture, with book by Kevin Del Aguila, original music and lyrics by
George Noriega & Joel Someillan, and directed by Jerry Jay Cranford, receiving its world premiere as
part of The Coterie’s Lab for New Family Musicals in its 2015/2016 Season, June 14 – August 7, 2016.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.

Hats off to the entire crew and creative team for bringing to life a show that so many kids will recognize and enjoy. I am actually not very familiar with the original Dreamworks film, but I still had a grand old time. Get your tickets and head to The Coterie - just make sure you're ready to dance!

The cast of The Coterie’s summer musical, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, featuring Francisco Javier
Villegas (as King Julian), based on the DreamWorks animation motion picture, with book by
Kevin Del Aguila, original music and lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan, and directed by
Jerry Jay Cranford, receiving its world premiere as part of The Coterie’s Lab for New Family Musicals
in its 2015/2016 Season, June 14 – August 7, 2016.
Photo by J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.

If you're in Kansas City, you don't want to miss this outrageously fun show! Madagascar: A Musical Adventure plays now through August 7 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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Saving Time with a #DotComDIY with Pennzoil & Walmart

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias



As parents, most of us are probably drowning in responsibilities - at least to some degree. I never worried about my brain cells before I became a mom, but in the last five years I have spent a lot of time wondering where all my time goes and how I never seem to catch up. And unfortunately, sometimes things slip through the cracks - like, forgetting we're almost out of orange juice while I'm at the grocery store, or neglecting to put the lid on the kids' sandbox before a big storm, or realizing that my car is almost 3,000 miles overdue for an oil change. I don't have to admit that all of these have recently happened, right? Okay, good. 

There are so many other things I would rather do than try to keep up with all the errands and to-dos and lists of things in my head. I mean, I want to have free time to paint my nails in whatever variety of pink my three year old picks out for me this week.


I'd love to spend hours every day coloring with crayons and markers in a perfect world of Lisa Frank-inspired rainbows. 


If I manage to get the lid back on the sandbox before the sand turns to mush, the kids and I can have a Disney princess beach day where everybody goes sand diving. The giant bulldozer running them over is definitely the five-year-old boy's idea.


And I'm not gonna lie... it's been maybe years since I have read a fictional book all the way through. I would happily trade in all the things that need to be done for the excuse to just sit and read a book from cover to cover in one sitting. That sounds amazing.


While I may not be able to make all of these things happen on a routine basis, I can certainly improve my brain capacity when I am able to purchase the things I need before I even get to the store. Remember what I said up there about orange juice? If I can't remember that, there's no way I'm going to recall that my car needs oil while I'm at the store. Usually these things come to my mind at about midnight, when everyone is asleep and the house is quiet and I can think clearly.

I was super excited this week when I realized that I can actually order Pennzoil motor oil online at Walmart.com. It can be either shipped directly to your house or you can pick it up from your local store. Bonus - right now, a bunch of Pennzoil products are on Rollback right now (for a limited time) at Walmart.com.




A store like Walmart can be busy during the summer months, with so many families out and about running errands together. If I can save time and the effort it takes to get the kids back to the automotive section of a store, I'm all for it! Plus, Pennzoil cleans out the sludge that other oils leave behind...so it's kind of like clearing out mom brain for my car, too.

What's on your to-do list this week? How could ordering basics like motor oil online save you time in the long run?

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.
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