Broadway Series Preview: Newsies

group-2On Tuesday I will see the second show of the Playhouse Square Broadway Series, Newsies (or, rather, “Disney Newsies the Musical“). This is the only show of the season that I have seen before, having caught the original cast of the Broadway production. I’ve always been a huge fan of the movie, ever since I saw it IN THEATERS and bought the soundtrack, at the Disney store, packaged in a CARDBOARD LONG BOX. I’ve attended Brooklyn-hipster-sing-along nights. For years (and kinda still today) Newsies was my primary reference point of Christian Bale, Robert Duvall, and Ann Margret. And I know that the movie is about 30 minutes of awesome (all of which involves singing and dancing and shirtless men whose ages we will never ever discuss) surrounded by about two hours of really boring movie.

Disney Newsies the Musical was as big of a surprise hit as anything leading off with “Disney” can be. It started at Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey and originally came to Broadway under the guise of a “limited run” that would then launch a national tour. But then the “limited run” ran for over two years, fueled by enthusiastic singing and dancing of a corps of muscular, obviously-over-18-but-under-25, men. Harvey Fierstein wrote a new book that streamlined the story, balanced the pacing, and generally greatly improved upon the screenplay. It even took home Tonys for its score (Alan Menkin and Jack Feldman) and choreography (Christopher Gattelli).

So why didn’t I like it nearly as much as I (desperately) wanted to? Continue reading

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Recipe: Ultimate Spinach Dip

Popeye-with-SpinachTomorrow night my gentleman friend and I are throwing a combination Halloween/House Warming party, so I will use it as an excuse to share the “secret” recipe for my kiiiiiiinda famous spinach dip. I first made it at a lakehouse weekend with some friends and have been perfecting it–and trotting it out at just about every party/pot luck I’ve attended–ever since. The “secret” ingredient is goat cheese. (Shhhhhh) Below is what I have determined, via years of research, to be the definitive recipe. Veggies, pretzels and pita chips compliment the dip particularly well, but the best option is torn up pieces of bread drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and black pepper, and toasted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. Continue reading

Scene in Cleveland: Motown the Musical

motownAs I walked down Euclid Avenue after seeing Motown the musical, I was confronted by a series of vertical digital screens staggered along the sidewalk with ever changing displays promoting current and future performances, selling the mere idea of going out (a quartet of white-haired ladies with martini glasses is captioned “It’s Never Too Late for a Girl’s Night”), and dizzying collage of Motown-related tweets with the hashtag #DancingInTheSeats, culled from the previous weekend (and no doubt updated through it’s run.) Even though my show tweets were limited to an instagram of my souvenir magnet (see image to the left) and murderous rage and the audience members behind me, I will confess I too was frequently inspired to boogie in the confines of red velour. I was also frequently inspired to wish I had worn a watch, or that there was enough light to check the program to see how much time I had until intermission/the end. Continue reading