Hour 30 of 24in48 reading Marathon!

Spine Poetry!  Oh yes!   So here is my attempt at a very brief artistic form of spine poetry – here at hour THIRTY of 24in48 reading marathon!  Read on!

Photo on 7-23-17 at 8.47 AM

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

24in48 readathon

Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 4.52.47 AM

Yep!  the 24in48reading marathon is here and JUST because I am only starting at 4:50ish AM Central time DOES NOT mean I am not committed!  With given 48 hours to read as much and as close to 24 hours of reading as possible, the fact that this event exists is amazing!

If you would like to stab at it just to see what this is all about. start here – and look for me on Facebook, my Repentino. crew Twitter (@Repentinomag) or right here!  🙂  I have some reading to do!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Everything in this Life is Linked”

Swedish.  Spanish subtitles.  A mild interest in seeing what this Hannes Holm film, A Man Called Ove.  As a Swedish author, Fredrik Backman and his novel that led to the movie, I went in unsure.  Realizing I was not going to see any English, be it subtitles or on the screen, I left the theatre so thankful for the things that I have failed, and still fail, to realize so many times through a day in my life.  Rolf Lassgard is amazing as well as Bashar Pars, she takes the cake and then some to push the plot forward.  The story as well as characters simply reach inside and play the heart strings of your heart to a melody you never knew existed in the first place.  

Love, memories, bitterness, loneliness, isolation, surprises, families, lost loves, humor, irony, and MORE all are contained in this amazingly warm-hearted foreign film.  

 Another famous line“Either we die, or we choose to live” has so many connotations in relation to this film, and in life in general, you end up taking away several possibilities thanks to the deepness and intensity, lined with humor, of this film.  The trailer certainly does not give the depth of what you will feel coming away from this film, and the gratefulness you will come into contact with will stay with you way past leaving the theatre.  Priceless.

 

Posted in Film, Movies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Unexpected, Hidden Truths

Hieronymus Bosch.  Not familiar with and well acquainted with this artist after It Comes at Night.  Not able to find the painting that appears in the film and bizarre loss of facts about this artist add to the, “what you think you know, but will find out” elements of this film.  When you are looking through the listing of films, it just seems as another one of the latest horror films that are on the cinema ticket.  Absolutely false.

What I expected from It Comes at Night versus what the film actually is will surprise you too completely.  I did not expect a film that would share pieces of films like The Stand, I am Legend, and The Book Of Eli, and yet, Trey Edwards Shults‘s new film stands on it so own which is completely unexpected.  It makes you realize that this was worth the trip to the cinema when you you see and feel this walking out.

What I find fascinating is the casting is truly right on (I wanted to say “dead on”, but that would the wrong choice of words).  Even though I do not recall these characters in other films, they role in this film sets the standard of what they CAN do in a film.

Add to this the roles that emption plays effectively, as well as normal fears each one of us has, and you have a film that grips you into fascination, fear, and a “what happens next” so strongly, you are left reeling of what you were expecting at the beginning and what you experienced at the end.

Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott, David Pendleton, Carmen Ejogo, and especially Kelvin Harrison Jr., all contribute to just the right amount of emotion, suspense, and questioning that land them as major players in a successful film.  I am so glad I did not brush this off as “just another horror film ” when this psychological thriller is so much more in truth and fear.

 

Posted in Film, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Promises of Awareness…

In seeing The Promise, directed by Terry George, and starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale, but you realize half way into the movie you realize some pertinent points, this is a film that captures your heart due to the victims of a holocaust that occurred.  I left this film grateful for the characters that committed themselves to sending the message of events happening far away, and letting anyone in the world realize events that seem far away, are close when they affect people’s very way of life.

I thought how important it would be for individuals to start using film and media to get the messages of saving people’s way of life, and supporting each other all over the world, instead of simply to make money off the most spectacular film?  There are countless stories where lives of children, whole cultures, are threatened, because they are just out of reach of those that can help.  Movies and film can certainly be a way to allow those in need to be within reach.  I felt this film brought that realization even closer.

Several months ago I actually had the privilege to see this film in the theatre, and still, the beautiful scenery, amid the love story and tragedy that took place, and the message of getting the Armenian Genocide across to the world and the realization that the United States has always stood for the diversity that makes this country capable of being an advocate for all ethnicities, I love that this possibility exists, and hope that the powers that be realize how important lives are, here and abroad.  It makes me sad that the money grossed from this film was so low, only in that the message I hoped would be so powerful that many would make it a point to see.  

The way so many lives interconnected, and how many lives were affected by selfish governments, this point does not fail to reach you in viewing this film.  Despite the actors being stars, you find yourself sucked into the plight of so many children, women, men, residents of Armenia, and I found myself disappointed that I was not more aware of this, despite this occurring in 1915 but not being a major study of any history studies, I wish I would have been exposed to such incidents to be aware of what we, as a country and world can do to help shed more awareness of such tragedies to prevent them.  Of course, we can’t prevent such incidents all over the world, but I do see the possibility of using media more effectively to spread awareness than it has in the past.

I detest the reviews that state this move did not utilize the actors as well as they could have, as if the purpose was to have actors and actresses shine, and forego the message and plight of this genocide.  I hope that everyone does take the effort to make this film a part of their agenda, and to realize how powerful a medium can be to prevent an UNawareness of events that occur in the world. In that sense, this movie ranks as one of the best I have seen due to the purpose, effectiveness, and effort put to document an event that all should clamor to prevent in the future.  During the course of this film, so much more effective historical education is revealed than most would get through a textbook, and is food for so much thought and discussion, that this except of an event from this event, as well as this film, reveals the stories that haunt our histories:

“A photograph, taken by the American W. L. Sachtleben, depicting the victims of a massacre of Armenians in Erzerum on October 30, 1895, being gathered for burial at the town’s Armenian cemetery. “What I myself saw this Friday afternoon [November 1] is forever engraven on my mind as the most horrible sight a man can see. I went with one of the cavasses of the English Legation, a soldier, my interpreter, and a photographer (Armenian) to the Armenian Gregorian cemetery. The municipalty had sent down a number of bodies, friends had brought more, and a horrible sight met my eyes. Along the wall on the north …. lay 321 dead bodies of the massacred Armenians. Many were fearfully mangled and mutilated. I saw one with his face completely smashed in with a blow of some heavy weapon after he was killed. I saw some with their necks almost severed by a sword cut. One I saw whose whole chest had been skinned, his forearms were cut off, while the upper arm was skinned of flesh. I asked if the dogs had done this. ‘No, the Turks did it with their knives’. A dozen bodies were half burned.” … “A crowd of a thousand people, mostly Armenians, watched me taking photographs of their dead. Many were weeping beside their dead fathers or husbands.” W. L. Sachtleben, “Letter to the Editor”, the London Times, December 14th 1895 (quoted in G. Aivazian, “Sachtleben Papers on Erzurum”, in “Armenian Karin/Erzurum”, ed R. G. Hovannisian).”

I realize that sometimes it takes films to bring what we can do as individuals to make a change for the better.  Sometimes we all need that nudge.  This films SHOVES us in that direction and memorializes the many lives that never should have been lost.  All the while we are brought up close and personal to what can occur with attention, being proactive, and being knowledgeable of making a difference.

 

 

 

Posted in Film, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Andy Warhol

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 1.28.09 AMThe Jumex Museum presents a pretty wide range of pieces from the Andy Warhol collection – the Dark Star Collection,  and I feel it is definitely worth the visit on several levels.  The Deja vous I experienced was pretty strong though unexpected.  Having been through the Andy Warhol Museum in my stomping grounds of Pittsburgh several times, I could almost smell and feel what it was like when I had gone through the exhibits then.  

I love the space given to the various exhibitions, from the top level to the bottom.  The prohibition of photography is not a actually limiting, as it seems with Warhol you can take this with you where ever you go.  I was pulled into the memory of the Art Fair at ASF in the Fall of 2013 when all of ASF spied look-alikes of Andy Warhol across the campus (check out page 26-27 of the Focus).

I like the fact that Warhol was perhaps one of the most misunderstood artists of his time, and little did many realize this repetition, blandness, controversial coverages, as well as what seemed at first simplistic reproductions actually mimicked and called out for a closer look at our society at the time. Warhol strikes me as the Rolling Stone and Madonna of his period, not afraid to shake things up alot, and certainly not afraid to put his responses to how he saw all around him on display.

The exhibit at the Jumex does a superb job with the space to show several periods of his life as it progressed from his immersion into New York to The Factory. I like that this exhibit does cover so much of what we knew and didn’t know about Warhol, and leaves you with information to research further.  The whole incidents surrounding his near fatal death (he was dead clinically for a period of time) involving the fanatical SCUM organization, to the Silver phase of his life, (coolly represented in the Jumex on the bottom floor), all help represent Warhol’s method of shaking things up in a period that art seemed to be in a holding pattern.

Finally, the area around the Jumex is quite amazing.  As if the free fruit boxes and access to umbrellas while you waited was not enough,  it is worth the line (try to go early) but when you step out and look out all four sides of the Jumex, you do realize how the views seem to be postcard-like if you step back

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 1.26.43 AMand take in what the views really are in front of you.  I think the same can be said of Andy Warhol’s pieces, both graphic, sometimes undetectedly deeper than you realize, and a reflection of society in a variety of ways without having to impose variety at all at times.

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 1.19.00 AM

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kubrick, Pirates, and Aliens

When you say the name, some it registers instantly with, others, not so much – but his work almost everyone has been familiar with, if just by name.  Clockwork Orange, 2011 Space Odyssey, The Shining, Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, to name just a few of his 13 blockbuster films, Stanley Kubrick has shown his masterful talent a countless number of times.  Having his exhibition here at the Cineteca Nacional was a huge deal to say the least.  The exhibits displayed and the details and props from some of his most famous known, and unknown films, have definitely stood the test of time.  

Then there is the Cineteca itself – a haven of anything films, this is truly a haven for the cineophile – so many salsa, so many selections, even amazing outside areas to take it all in and reflect.  Aside from the museum being a worth it ten times over, the staff was able and will continue in all the right directions.  Extended to another month, this exhibit is worth catching and then some- as well ranges over a huge area of nostalgia related to film itself.

~

Alien Covenant has received tons of hype, tons.  To be prepared I went back and viewed every previous Alien, some familiar, others not.  Was it necessary?  I am thinking maybe watching Prometheus is necessary, as this seems to where the before Alien begins, similar to the approach Star Wars took.  Watching every episode did in fact help, and did in fact help me remember details in noticing this newest Alien has much more human touches weaved in the plot.  Yes, there are still moments that make you jump and squirm, but maybe a worrisome aspect, it seems to get less and less as I made my way through each episode.  I am not exactly connected at the hip to these movies, but understand, that a few more will be produced to reconnect to the original Alien.  I am not like “No more!” but am curious in what way will watchers still be pulled in and not get to that phrase by the end of the overall series as coming close to 8 parts of one film seems to me, a little overwhelming.

~

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – I have seen all of these and it is not too hard to forget the details, thanks to the characters.  What drew me in was the Johnny Cash song to the trailer I saw, and while this is not the soundtrack for every trailer, it is powerful.  The film itself is great due to some surprises of faces you do not expect to see and that ties into the original film perfectly,  The laughter and lines of hilarity are ever there, and GREAT, and the prominence of music in the right places, the right time, still are a huge factor.  Did I watch all the previous parts before seeing this portion?  No.  Did I need to?  No.  You will find it exciting to see also much background of info from previous films also revealed.  This still remains a great addition to the parts of this series that keep the whole theme moving towards the horizon.

 

Posted in Film, Movies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Behind a Legend, On and Off Screen?

“It is Inevitable.”  There is so so much about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword that is over the top – but let’s start with the soundtrack.  Sam Lee and The Wild Berry /The Devil and the Hunstman- nothing has to be said, not one word.  Just listen. 

Daniel Pemberton was responsible for the soundtrack, and with a little research, has a lot of soundtracks under his belt.  Not sure if any could compare to this production, but it carries weight in this production.  Add to this the tracks like Growing Up Londinium that make you progress through the years in record-breaking moments, the amazing rhythm of The Darklands, and the amazing cinematic footage that covers the track Run Londinium, and The Story of Mordred JUST TO NAME A FEW  – add so much personality and mystique to this production ALONE – that is before you realize…

Guy Ritchie, who I am totally unfamiliar with, but should not be apparently from films like Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Rock N Rolla,  , nothing is done small and insignificant in this newest production.  It seems that is a legend of Guy Ritchie.

The characters here aligned with the powerful Legend of King Arthur, are unstoppable.  You catch nostalgia of recall that fall from Lord of the Rings, but with much more antiquity and power.  You have the rawness of Game of Thrones, but more sharper details that stick with you, and that is saying much.  Go even back to A Knights Tale, and you catch the whisper of the power characters can have when matched with a legend.  

Seeing this film two times in one weekend was not enough, the soundtrack, the strength of the story alongside the characters – the depth of what is happening on the screen – and a star cast on and off the screen – this has become one of the most exciting films for many many reasons but leaves an inprint of what a legend is way after you leave the theatre.  While many legends lead you to search for more, this film will leave you searching for nothing!

 

 

Posted in Film, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greasing the Wheels of a Legacy…

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 1.04.42 PM.pngSecond nights. are unusual to be last nights, so quickly following up first nights, but what matters is what occurs between the first and finale – and not to be disappointed, the vibrations of success, nostalgia, and the realm of possibility all existed again on one stage with a whole lot of “grease” to keep everything moving.

It was amazing to “hang out” behind the stage, on the stage, and in the FAC before the production itself started.  Stories of Tech gone wrong (there are many- there SHOULD be a book), the excitement of a cast that was experiencing what many have experienced before so many times ; the images and memories of the productions dating back to Beauty and the Beast have never left me, ever ever left me, and so I am haunted by those amazing memories combined with the current day’s production, and it feels as if everyone of those individuals still share the spaces in between scenes of all these productions.

The audience was amazing as always filing in, and I had the privilege of sitting beside one of the old timers (and he is so incredibly young), Ivan, and we shot back and forth what we remembered since Les Miserables, and even what occurred in Beauty and the Beast, with Ivan enlightening me on so many theatre and film experiences he has acquired, I would opt to say it was a fine evening before it even truly began, all involving theatre. 

The night and last show was amazing for the very fact that the heart and soul of so many was being played out right in front of you. We were the lucky participants to be able to experience it, from the very beginning where you sensed the last show and first time we ever did this energy, to the amazing ending where…well, we will get to that at the end of this blog, won’t we?  Huge huge Kudos to –  

Gonzalo A – Okay so I admit it, after the first night, and moving into the second night, I wondered is this is brother or is this Gonzalo, but it will be difficult to ever picture him as anything outside of Grease after the attitude, ease, and comfort level he exhibited as Danny Zuko.  By the way, was calling RIzzo, Sandy, part of the script, just saying, it wasn’t in my memory from the first night…if not, it was played so so well – showing the ad lib ability of making this show simply work, up until the very last line.

Ana C – While the “first Ms. Lynch” was pretty specific in her characteristics, and it worked, so did what Ana brought to the role of Ms. Lynch.  A little more snarky, a little more unique and less rough, yet irritating, her role did the job for sure.  Always having to be in the “know” you get that feel about her whenever she appeared, at any event, any announcement, anything, Ms. Lynch was always there.  Ana does a good job, of insuring that Ms. Lynch remains a presence throughout this production.

Oriana C – The life of the beats, the life of the competitions, the life of the mic.  At times I wanted Oriana to belt it out so much more, but, her presence and motivating the competitions and just the theme of dancing – love.  Kind of makes you think of Footloose.    Especially the FIRST footloose 🙂

Polo C- A whole lot of personality packed into what could be a minor character, Polo does not let it be a minor character.  It almost seems as he was always made for leather grease, and the tough talk.  He walks the walk, and talks the talk, and the production is better for it, all the way to the closing of the curtain.  It is easy to say he is an original member of the “T’Birds.”

Ale D – Maintaining a stage presence is not difficult to do, if you are Ale, and even though the show is two nights, we all find ourselves wanting more time.  If you watch the precision and energy she puts into the dances moves, trying no to be irritated or irritated, or keeping her fellow cast in line when they call her Sandy (did you catch that the last show?) – she is the epitome of passing the torch onto someone else and believing in the power of a Middle School Drama group, and having something to say and leave audiences with.  Now THAT is a LONG sentence, BUT – when you see Ale and heard Ale speak at the last show of moving from her school to be involved in Drama here? – you thank your stars that this event, Grease, Ale, and everyone together bringing the excitement to stage, occurred in the first place.

Alexander F – Still to me representing a lively Casey Kasem, I did see his speech, while quick and catchy, slowed a bit to allow for more understanding.  It is funny to also pay attention to his antics from behind the mic as well.  There are many.  The blue suit speaks volumes in his relationship to the cast of Grease, and this goes a long way in greasing the wheels of “coolness” in Grease overall.

Lauro F – Sorry – I can’t help this but this is what comes to mind – Animal House, James Belushi – a broken guitar – but when Lauro steps up, no smashing needed.  His ability resonates through his need and wantingness to be that good, and he is.  He continues to show he fits right in with the period, with that guitar in his hand, and with the ability to get everyone tapping their toes and feet.  He makes it work, and makes it all work well as Doody, and he is able to rock everyone around him.  What more could you ask for?

Luciana – Yes, every bit the cheerleader, Luciana is able to pull this off amazingly.  She is everywhere you expect and don’t expect her to be, a busybody a complete kiss up to everyone, and sometimes as sweet as it could make you sick – so yes, she pulls this role off sometimes it seems effortlessly.  it is amazing that when you think you have identified the key characters, then there are characters that can easily cause you to be confused with who is actually in the lead roles.  Luciana does a absolute energetic process in making Patty Simcox as real as you’d expect to turn in the hall and see her tomorrow!

Miriam-  (Again, this sounds like a broken record), but after seeing the first night, one wonders, how could someone pull of a successful Jan in  a second show, how could there be a second Jan?  Of course there was and Miriam pulled off the back and forth, here and there kind of toying that occurred with Patrico as Roger.  It helped blend with the other potential relationships that were occurring on stage and in between alot of bravado – and together – yes.  Much much support should be sent to the roles of Jan for being an exceptional supporting element of Grease as a whole.

Monste  – After seeing the first night’s Frenchy, I thought, how could there be another one?  Well another side to Frenchy is definitely there and represented well in Monste’s body.  Again, the power of seeing the strength Jacinta brought to Frenchy only helped set the stage for another interpretation of how Montse could pave the road for another Frenchy.  Do so and doing so well she does.  From being frustrated, defiant, and submissive, her pink hair matches perfectly how she portrays the attitudes and emotions Frenchy works through, all through this production. Well, well done as a complement to what seemed an insurmountable challenge from the first night.

Mare  – As the outrageous, outgoing, and VERY forward Cha-Cha – she pulls it off and pulls Gonzalo (as Danny) right into and onto the dancefloor.  It takes energy, a level of heightened self-awareness that just someone as Mare can do.  Especially competing with a first night Cha-Cha, then you realize, there is no competition, it is just being able to play off the opposites and the other ways to portray Cha-Cha – and being able to do so she does.  Her lines and moves need to be in line to pull off the anger that could result on the dance floor, and she does!

Patricio R – There are so many absolute references to “Moon”, we could have a blog post JUST on that, lol.  Aside from his behind antics, Patricio goes on to represent “mooning” but even moreso, does a GREAT job of the musical additions with Jan, and surprises all of us a bit.  While not from the ASF production, this clip, goes on to offer not much competition on how well as job Patricio does with this role while also fitting right in with the overall gang of the “T-Birds.”

Yu Hyun – it would seem Yu Hyun would be way too shy to pull off a spotlighted angel.  At first it would seem that.  Have no fear, by the end of the number with Frenchy, she is able to tick off, humiliate, and show that Frenchy made the wrong choice and she does this in her own style.  It is super exciting to see the potential someone has when they might not have ever tried the stage at all, and one gets the feeling with Yu Hyun in this fashion.

Peyton – Yet another quite colorful “T-Bird” , Peyton almost uses the difference in his attitude to those in his gang  to push those around him to be much more forward, more bold, more outstanding, simply be making the role of Kenicke fit him like a leather glove.  (Maybe a jacket).  Grease, comb, and jacket included, Peyton lets this role suit him and suit everyone else around him with the interactions he has with EVERYONE.  Excellent addition to the staff and the attitude of indifference he exhibits lets this role shine.

Sandy  – I felt there was a HUGE contrast between the Sandy played by Ana and the Sandy played by Alexia, and I think it makes the overall show even better.  Certain singing numbers were definitely more suited to either actress, and while some characteristics of Sandy differed when confronted with changing her look and approach, some the reactions to Danny also resembled both night’s shows.  I feel the ability to focus on who Sandy was as a main character was not a weakness for Alexia in this production and also felt moments where I hoped her voice was a little stronger and could be heard more, as I think many were surprised as the strength he voice could have in the role of Sandy. Well done and well thought out as part of the overall cast.

Valentina – Valentina represents a Marty that seems so in tune with the real Marty I remembered from Grease.  Age-wise Valentina brings a sense of maturity, facial expression, and approach that stands out from any character is just being the fact that she IS Marty!  She brings the right amount of knowing who is is and who she wants to be to the role, and is one of the characters that I feel for sure we will see on stage soon, otherwise many will be missing alot of talent she has to bring to many roles.

Daniel W – There is no limit or level of sympathy that Daniel is not able to bring to this role, as well as laughter and sincerity.  He does this from the very very beginning.  Showing some of the antics that the original grease maintained, Eugene continues to shine in so many parts throughout the production, and his solo scene to his overall student body scenes cement his important on the stage!

I could go into the details of the amazing address given by the cast of Grease at the end of this show, but if you weren’t there, it can;t be really put into words.  You get this idea though, the risks and learning experiences the cast took away from them after just two shows? – you learn everything you need to know from that final address from the members involved in this production.

The Ensemble played SUCH an important role, SUCH that you realize it in a HUGE onrush when they come to the edge of the stage – and you realize how much a part they made throughout the whole production, if you did not catch all the details as Grease was progressing.

If you did not realize how much the stage crew, the tech crew, the light crew, the production crew made – to the actors and actresses – adding them all up, you have an AMAZING effort thanks to Maria A, Andrea A, Natalia B, Paloma C, Fer Diaz P, Daniella F, Ana Sofia L, Maia R, Petra S, Ariadna V, Ms Rosana Cesarman, Manuela Fagoaga (I LOVE they received their own jackets!), Annabella M., Gustavo A and Patrick B, of course, Teruhi and Hugo, and the support of a Middle School led by Mr. Robert Lewis, a week later, you can still hear and feel the “Greased” wheels of a successful production.

Posted in Drama Productions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Firsts Upon Firsts Upon Firsts…

RizzoYou realize living in Mexico City, there is no way at all, NO WAY, that some things you see in Mexico City you will see occur anywhere else in the world, Take for example the industrial flat bed we saw driving down aCalle Baja California at 11:00 PM, it was not an illusion seeing the guy in a white shirt, hanging on to the edge of the crane, dancing the night away as he passed our intersection. Did we really see that?  Yes you did.

Seeing Middle School’s FIRST EVER musical production, and it being Grease, was a pretty big deal.  Yet, seeing not a single seat empty, feeling the heat generated by that many people so quickly, and the energy, you could FEEL the energy all around you.  There is the nervous buzz of Middle School students, but add to that the nervous excitement you sensed in the adults, the cast behind stage, the production team and yes, stage manager Isabel Rios back for another stint, Rob McCabe begging to be even more supportive, a great Tech Crew, and a cast that is just – overflowing with let ‘er rip energy, there are many firsts with this production that you can’t help wondering how so many successful firsts can there be in a year?  

When you first see the cast printed in big, prime time style in the lobby of the FAC, you realize how big of a deal this will be.  Go into the FAC, preshow, or back stage the day of the show, hours before start time, and you see why. You feel the same energy as before any show, yet, add a little more electric to the air and you feel the energy that courses through the actors and actresses of this Middle School Drama group.  Here I was, contacted by email from one of the representatives of the Middle School Drama group, an honor really, and it was amazing being able to take part in the energy, excitement, and anticipation of another first at ASF.  

Even on the lobby, you felt the thrill of this opportunity, parent that operated Grease-themed tables ran when they knew it was picture-time, the energy and excitement was contagious.  Why not?  It was a Friday night, having the chance to witness a cult-production of a classic high school musical, and being part of something that has never occurred before – it makes a Friday night at ASF something that you hope will occur again and again, creating a place to escape to and take in something great.

As the lights began to dim and you hear the voices of a a character in Grease tell you to please “Don’t Cheat” and leave the food and excess outside of the FAC, and that show time in nearly ready, again, it is hard to believe the space that has been taken up so quickly, every seat occupied, and you can feel the heat pour over you from the sheer numbers. While sometimes you have a quieter audience than others as experienced from “Y Me…” this first show of two was not going to be a quiet one, with overheard conversations of students wanting to sit in choice locations to belt out their shouts and cheers to their favorite actors and actresses on stage.  The level of excitement and enthusiasm existed before anyone ever hit the stage.  Add to that the exciting scene of the MS principal, just as excited and motivated on the side, posing Grease style, thumbs up, almost jumping out of his skin from excitement, and you have all the ingredients for one heck of a show before it even starts.

Let’s recognize those that jumped in head first and allowed this first of firsts to occur:

Gonzalo A – It is pretty strange after seeing a production like “Y Me…” where you know almost every actor in some respect and go to a production where you do not know almost all the members and yet – Gonzalo’s brother in the Upper School made this a Doppleganger-like experience (do you KNOW how long I have waited to use that literary term as an English instructor?)   Gonzalo came off exactly as I would have thought he should and would have based on his brother’s personality, and Danny Zuko’s, but not at first.  I thought at the very beginning his slight timidness might not be able to pull it off, and yet, the clapping started.  Gonzalo kicked in, and we had Danny Zukp front and center.   In Greased lightning, ready to nag heads, even willing to join the track team, all the while struggling against the likes of Sandy.  It was exciting to see him build his momentum on stage, and build it he did through each scene, while belting out the tunes we all know and have come to know from Grease.

Montse B – What kind of individual does it take to play Ms Lynch?  I could not even imagine where to start with this character and yet, Montse takes us there and then some.  From the serious brows she gives to us from the very beginning, the no-nonsense character that is portrayed is a great mirror to the many lively characters that step forward constantly throughout the production.  She is the definite anti-climatic character with so much going around us on stage, and Montse manages to keep this character in check the whole production, something I definitely could not do throughout such a pumped up, energy-filled show.  This took much talent you would not think of and she pulled it off quite easily.

Oriana C – The one thing you notice about Jenny, and Oriana, is that they both have this infectious smile.  This is unescapable as you witness her leading the excitement from a microphone.  I want to hear her voice even louder, and think the role she is is super super exciting – I think she can be powerful in voice and character is she wants to be.

Polo C- Something happens with Polo dons a leather jacket. The greased hair, the attitude, the hysterical belonging to the T Birds, it is all there – Polo is full of personality, hysterical antics, grease for his hair and enough to show the audience and gutsiness, he makes this role great.  The leather jackets only enhance and add to this continually throughout the production.

Ale D – Okay so let’s talk about motivation off the stage. WAY before this show started, I received an email from Ale inviting me to be a part of capturing this, and it was one of the best articulated written emails I have received.  Add to that the past performances where Ale has given her all and energy, confidence, and belief in those around her, and you have a power punched dynamo, that is capable of much when she believes in it.  Watch her dances, watch her attitude grow as the production progresses and then also see in the production she takes on co role of program design, production manager, and a representative of the Middle School Drama team – nothing can be more clean that she believes in the cast around her, this production, and being supportive when it counts – just watch her and this oozes from her every pore.  Love seeing her on stage!

Alexander F – Love the blue suit and occasional DJ voice.  If he slows down the pace of his speech a little, you will get the rhymes even more as he is the easy fill in Casey Kasem DJ of the time.  The transitions between the action of the musical are well done and done very smooth.

Lauro F – Love him as a member of the T Birds, and his singing and guitar ability – you’ll love it.  Very very well done and a good part of this production, and when you think he will be an awful singer, he turns and surprises you.  Great addition to the cast. Put that guitar in his hand continually!

Sofia F – Contentious, moving in on the property of Sandy and Rizzo maybe,  but her role is played perfectly and without any flaws.  Very well done and just enough to get the attention of Sandy, Danny, and others – while the whole time pulling off the theme and role model of Rydell High.  

Julia K – Funny thing is, I remember Julia from maybe the bus ride home from school, and never realized she had a voice!  You hear and notice in in various scenes and moments, and when you do, it is very well done.  Love her quirky personality and quick to decide on what she wants, she fits right in to the diverse personalities that make up this performance.

Jacinta L – SO much personality – SO MUCH!  From the Pink hair, to the decisions of dropping out to just having so much personality, it pours out of her and makes her pretty ideal for this role.  LOVE her performance. 

Daniela O – Lots of attitude, not afraid of the spotlight or Danny, and always a controversial character, she plays the role of Cha Cha perfectly.  Her appearance and interaction with the other characters is great, and she is not afraid to flaunt who she is as a dancer and character.  LOVE.

Patricio R – Hysterical and definitely a colorful character as part of the pack.  He adds to the group a chance to harass and tease each other even more, but is confident in his role and contribution and supports the lead perfectly as well.   A great great addition to the overall cast.

Sofia S – Her angelic wings and angelic personality can be deceiving as she really gives it to Frenchy.  Yet, she starts out timid and by the end of her appearance on stage finishes strong, excellent to see.  

Luis S – As Kenickie, he is always pushing the role either with his hair, his flirting, or being “tough.”  As the other members of the pack, he also has this specific look to make his role as a fellow “T Bird” work.  

Alexia T – At first I was not sure Alexia might fit the role of Sandy, at some moments her voice was so soft and hard to hear but then you hear numbers like “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee” and you know she has a set of vocal cords that can due Sandy the character justice.  Even when she might have a fall, she continues with the role perfectly, and this shows her determination, ability, and confidence in the role,  You could not, and would not, want to ask for more.

Ana Pau V – To say she nailed it would be an understatement in her role as Marty.  HYSTERICAL.  She does an excellent job, and her expressions, confidence, and just general “I am Marty, watch out!” work so so well.  She is GREAT with the other Pink ladies and on her own is just as good, a great great pick for this role.

Daniel W – He has so much personality, he more than makes up for his height in every scene he appears in.  The timidness he brings to the stage seems natural as it should be in real life, and he adds a ton of personality to the production overall.  He will keep you in stitches laughing continually.

A HUGE Kudos to the ensemble members, Maria, Andrea, Natalia, Paloma, Fer Diaz, Daniela, Ana Sofia, Maia, Petra, and Ariadna – they made so many scenes so good, SO GOOD,  🙂  It was DYNAMITE!  And Gustavo and Patrick at the lights, while sometimes at some point in the beginning kind of shaky, did a a great job, a fantastic job, of following all the action around the stage – it was everywhere and they were there.

HOW Cool is it to see Annabella M, Isabel R, Jose H (and as driver!), Hugo, Manuel, Rosana, Teruhi as a TECH all over the place before, during, and even IN (Annabella!) this production!    This shows a synthesis of amazingness in a production, a show that maximizes the effect in two shows (the next in an hour and a half!) – and shows also how a first can be a start to something that synthesizes with something even later, and then you realize, Hmmmm, there are some bridges built here between MS and HS – that you might not have realized before.  One of the coolest things in recognizing firsts, and make you wanting to come back for the second show.   Kudos and congrats on a GREAT GREAT first night, wow!

Wait wait wait, hold the coffee – did you ever hear of the Blank Angels?  Well, not the Hells Angels, but the Black Angels, are the tech staff that are so easy to not be mentioned and yet, there they are, moving, tech-ing, adding, manipulating, supporting, and that is just FIVE gerunds I could think of.  They are ALWAYS there so never, ever, forget the Tech Club that is not just a club, they become the reality of the success you see after so many nights.

A huge number of cool things occurred that will make you not forget a first performance such as this, (WARNING< THIS IS A LONG SENTENCE) –  the scare “Greased Lightning” almost seeming as if it would come into the audience, a great announcement for First, Second and Third call as a Grease cast member, the excitement and thrills of a crows throwing flowers at the feet of the cast, and SO MUCH happened and yet, you will never forget the talent, bravado, and creativity that showed a GREAT set,  and the thrill of an amazing night, led by Rosana, Manuel, Annabella, Alejandra, and so so many more, thank you so much for the audience, the likes of the FAC managers Teruhi and Hugo, The Tech Club and the parents and Mr Williams and ASF as a whole for letting everyone know, risks and taking chances do have an outcome when you have a shared vision for success!

Posted in Drama Productions, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment