Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the last confession

Those of you who know me know I love the theater.  Specifically, good theater.  From musical theater to drama to anything in-between I'm a sucker for it all.  This past week I matched my NYC record and went three times in five days!!!  It wasn't exactly planned that way, but when it rains, it pours, right?!   On Tuesday I saw Mystere at Treasure Island (great acrobatics but anything Cirque sets me on edge, and parts of this show were downright creepy), Friday was a youth theater version of Fiddler on the Roof (the student playing Tevye was amazing...everyone else not so much), and finally on Saturday I drove to LA to see David Suchet in The Last Confession.  I honestly wasn't sure what to expect and went because 1) here was a possible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Mr. Suchet live and in person and 2) I got a great deal on the tickets. The subject matter was secondary to me, but I'm happy to report everything about this play was pure excellence.  The acting hit the right tone, and great as the RSC's Suchet is, he never overshadowed the other actors. It was a true ensemble cast in every sense of the word.

The Last Confession is a play about the reign of Pope John Paul I, who died under suspicious circumstances in 1978, only 33 days after taking the Vatican’s top job. A determined liberal reformist – similar to the current Pope – he intended to replace some of his most powerful conservative cardinals. The death was not officially investigated but one insider who helped install the short-lived pope, Cardinal Giovanni Benelli (played by Suchet), doggedly tried to uncover the truth.
- Sydney Morning Herald Entertainment
The Last Confession was written by lawyer turned first time playwright Robert Crane (see here for more info) and did what any great piece of theater should do: it made me think.  Not in a let's-bash-the-church or put-down-Catholics sort of way, but rather, it took an honest look at how the desire for power can corrupt even the very best of our intentions.  Although labeled a conspiracy thriller, TLC struck me more as an examination of human nature and how some cling to power at any price.  Like John Patrick Shanely's, Doubt, audience members are left with questioning what really happened...was the pope murdered or did he die of natural causes...and like any good researcher, I intend to give it my best Boy Scout effort and find out!  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

meeting hillary

So, this happened the other day!!!!!

I met Hillary Clinton.  You know, former Secretary of State, Senator, FLOTUS, potential future president ...Hillary!!!!  It all began a few weeks ago when I read she was coming to The Grove in L.A. as part of her book signing tour, and the rest as they say is history.

Of course, the event was the day after we got back from Vegas, and I admit to being exhausted on Wednesday night.  I'd read about people camping out for her signing in Seattle and was concerned the same would happen in L.A.  I didn't want to drive all that way only to find out the tickets were gone!  I woke up at five o'clock the morning of and checked The Grove's twitter feed to see if there were any updates.  Nothing. I guess they don't work that early. :-)  I left the house an hour later and thanks to two accidents on the 710 and a car fire on the 5 it took me an hour-and-half to get there.  Apparently, half the county had the same idea. The line extended all the way around the perimeter, but since I came this far, I wasn't about to leave now!

To make a long story short, I waited in line six-and-a-half hours, but it was totally worth it.

Sign inside the store.  

I waited four hours to see this! At this point, we bought the book and were given a wristband. I was in group Z. Talk about close!  (A few people later they started the standbys.  Eek!)  After exiting the store, we were directed to a different line and settled in for another couple of hours.  

I came prepared to pass the time with reading material and music but ended up talking with the people around me.  We sort of bonded, and eventually there were seven of us traveling as a posse.  (we went by the name The Magnificent Seven.)  We saved each other's places in line and took breaks for food and other necessities.  :-) 

Security was extremely tight, and we went through an airport like checkpoint before being allowed on her floor.  They had bullet proof glass set up on the side and Secret Service everywhere.  (These people have ZERO personality, and I mean, zilch.)  Barnes and Noble staff kept the line moving at a very steady pace.  I took this picture on the move (hence the blurriness), but it gives an idea of the overall setup. 

We weren't allowed to have our phones out after this point so the next photo I got is the one below!  When it was my turn, I was behind one of my new friends who goes to school in D.C.  Turns out he attends the same church as the Clinton's and mentioned it to her.  She replied, "I love that church."  Mini conversation!  Score!  I didn't have much to say other than, "Hi" and "Thank you."  Original, I know, but at this point she'd been signing for over two hours, and no one was given the opportunity to say anything more.  One thing I noticed was she made eye contact with every single person who came through that line, and I thought that was a nice gesture.  

It was truly an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. experience, and I'm super excited I at least saw her face-to-face.  And, I must say, she has the bluest eyes...

The prize!

Monday, June 23, 2014

what happens in vegas...doesn't stay there!

It has been a seriously busy week.  My family spent Father's Day in Las Vegas (my dad got a ridiculously amazing deal)  and stretched it into a mini 4 days/3 night sin city vacation.  Then on Thursday I met Hillary Clinton (okay, I use the word "met" loosely.  It was for approximately 10 seconds, but we said "Hi" and made eye contact -- more on that later), and Friday/Saturday I went back to work, finally caught up with my BFF, and fit in not one, but two theater productions.  First up: Vegas!

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip, and we made lots of great memories.  Going in I only wanted two things:
1) afternoon by the pool
2) spiked mocha at the Bouchon

Unfortunately, neither dream was fully realized. Our hotel kept closing its pool due to strong winds, and although we were allowed to use the pool at Treasure Island it turned out to be less than satisfactory.  So, I may not have read the afternoon away with a umbrella worthy drink in my hand, but we sure tried!  As for the mocha...the last time I had breakfast at the Bouchon the server surprised me by spiking my coffee. I assumed they did that for all coffee beverages and didn't say anything this time around. It seems that's not the norm...   :-(

Dad & I on Father's Day 
We celebrated Father's Day with dinner at Ottos Pizzeria at the Venetian.  My pasta was smothered in a butter sauce that would have sent my stomach into orbit so I think I only managed 2 or 3 bites.  Desperate times call desperate measures, and Dad and I had our "second dinner" a couple hours later at Cheesecake Factor.  Appetizers for all!

The little bro & I at the Bellagio.  I still find it hard to not have current pictures of Mother, 
but since I almost always wear my hummingbird necklace I suppose part of her is there in spirit. 

The boys & I!  What am I going to do with these two?!  
(and for the record, Mr. Beatles can whip up an awesome afternoon adult beverage...)

I love color!  And flowers! And carousels!  I found all three at the Wynn.  So beautiful.

More flowers at the Aria. 

I'm usually such a goody-two-shoes, but I broke my rule and took a picture of the 
Mystere stage at the end of the show. Everyone else was doing it...

We bought last minutes tickets for the 9:30 showing...perhaps not the best time for me because I was definitely fading by 10:30.

Awesome art show at the Bellagio featuring art painted by or of women.  (also 
confirmed I'm a total sucker for all things impressionist. I can seriously stare at those pieces for hours.)