Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Easy Being Green ... In 'Shout! The Mod Musical'!

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on November 27, 2010.

Please pardon the lapse of 'original' posts, but I do have some exciting news!

I had auditioned last week for LP Stage Production's run of Shout! The Mod Musical - and if you liked Jersey Boys, this one's right up your alley for a groovy girls' night out!  Shout! takes you back in time to the 1960s and 1970s, where women were awakened to a new independence never before experienced by previous generations.  In the wake of changing attitudes toward genders, the birth control pill to the evils of marijuana, mod fashions and big hair, heartbreak, true love and everything in between, this revolution of women is set to a soundtrack of the pioneers of the time from America and 'across the pond' in Great Britain.  Such great ladies as Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark, Cilla Black and so much more map out the timeline for these five girls growing up through changing times in a 'groovy age'.  With tongue in cheek and humour in check, this musical "will make you wanna throw your head back and Shout!"  Check out this video of the national tour hitting Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, United States!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'With A Thousand Sweet Kisses,' An Open 'Thank You' Letter to the Cast, Crew & Musicians of Brampton Music Theatre's 'Rent'

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on November 24, 2010.

The thing with community theatre and their short run dates is that you never want that feeling to end; not just the rush of the applause and the spotlight, but the sense of family with the cast and crew after it all comes together, and the people you've shared the experience with become great friends in the end.  Rent was the perfect production to get myself back into the swing of things after such a long hiatus from theatre in general, onstage or off, and I am very humbled to have shared it with such glowing, talented people of all facets.

Jonathan Larson's masterpiece pays homage to the dramas that came before, deriving its plot from Puccini's La Boheme, set in 1830 Paris focusing on the love between Rodolfo, a poet, and Mimì, a seamstress.  Although they separate because of Rodolfo's disapproval of Mimì's flirtatious ways towards men, they reunite before she succumbs to the clutches of tuberculosis, dying in his arms, surrounded by their adopted family of artists and friends whom also shared their state of Bohemia.  A poignant piece that reminds us to live and appreciate each day to its fullest, we were reminded of the short time we would share together bringing Jonathan's message to our little corner of the world.  I don't think there was a finer group of artists that could have accomplished this in only the way we could.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brampton Music Theatre's RENT: Video Sneak Peek of 'Take Me Or Leave Me'

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on November 9, 2010.

Have you bought your tickets yet for Rent?  If you haven't, you won't be seeing it for a long time - this will be the final North American production before its return to off-Broadway!  Click on the blog's Rent banner to take you to the Rose Theatre website to buy your tickets online - but hurry!  We're running the show this weekend only, opening Thursday, November 11th.

Here's something that should sell you - check out this video sneak peek featuring Erin Hyde as Maureen and Lumena Daniel as Joanne!  Enjoy, and see you at the show!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BMT's 'Rent' Video Sneak Peeks!

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on October 26, 2010.

Rehearsals are well underway with the cast of Rent, opening November 11 at the Rose Theatre in Brampton, Ontario!  Check out these videos of the talented cast, and follow Brampton Music Theatre's blog for more backstage awesomeness!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No Day But Today: Brampton Music Theatre Presents RENT!

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on October 10, 2010.

I'm excited to announce that I will be working on the production team for Brampton Music Theatre's production of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Rent! I'm part of a two-person team in charge of acquiring necessary props - prop wranglin', so to speak.

Since community theatre is entirely volunteer work, we're working on a limited budget and aren't ashamed to go into 'beg, borrow and steal' mode.  Bartering isn't out of the question, either!

Friday, March 5, 2010

'In All Thy Political Correctness Command!'

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on March 5, 2010.

The following post is an editorial from the author.  So remember, it's just an opinion.  Smile, everybody!

I've read in the news recently that the Canadian Conservative government's throne speech (for those not of Canuck origin, this is when the Governor-General, a Commonwealth representative, makes a keynote speech outlining the goals of the parliamentary government) consisted of a few points of interest: budget cuts, a "tough on crime" bill, and a proposal to adjust the national anthem of Canada to be more gender-neutral.

Here's the offending stanza of our anthem: "True patriot love, in all thy sons command!"

Here's the offered lyric in its place: "True patriot love, thou dost us all command!"

This suggestion came at the hands of Janet Keeping, president of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership in Calgary.  She says that the anthem as it is does not reflect modern women who "are side by side with their male counterparts, showing that patriotic love, making those sacrifices," she totes to CTV News Channel. 

"We know that that language was not meant to include all of us.  I would just change it to 'In all of us command' and be done with it," she says at the end of her statement.

The suggestion is not of modern invention; it comes from an original version of a poem written in 1908 by Mercy E. Powell McColloch, which includes this stanza.  McColloch had submitted his version of O Canada into a contest hosted by Collier's Weekly Magazine.  He did win the contest, but his version didn't garner wide acceptance.  Well, we are about to repeat history, according to popular polls all around the internet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games: I Believe in Canada!

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on March 1, 2010.

I believe, Canada!  I believe!

I've never really been a big sports fan - except for hockey; it's a rite of passage for all Canadians, really.  So with the Olympic Games ending in sweet victory with Team Canada taking the gold medal for men's hockey, it had turned into an overwhelming swell of pride that we, as a nation, take our passions seriously and with dignity. 

Yes, sweet indeed.  But merely a jewel in the crown that was the presentation of the Olympic Games in Vancouver.  We, as Canadians, proved ourselves worthy hosts to the world, shattering the presumption that we are a reserved, quiet people with hesitation of our place in the world.  The Opening Ceremonies showed the poetry of the vast wheat fields in the Prairies, the relentless energy of the Eastern Coast fiddlers, the passion in performance of our greatest artists and musicians, the youth of our nation that step on their soapboxes with a mission to change what the world knows about our incredible country.  Our Opening Ceremonies gave way to conversation about what the world thought they knew about us as a people, and I think they now understand us a little better.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shot in Brampton: F2: FORENSICS FACTOR

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on February 26, 2010.

Walking home from work the other night, we happened across a night television shoot for Discovery Channel's F2: Forensic Factor.  We're not entirely sure what the plot of this episode was, but we know the crew was trying to turn snow-dumped Eastern Avenue in Brampton, Ontario into summery Georgia, Atlanta.  Going as far as removing every trace of snow from hedges, trees, bushes, sidewalks and lawns and working in tight shots, it was a pretty cold night to work outdoors.  We watched as they shot a suspicious young man coming out of a car, looking around, and reaching back into his car for a gun, which he placed in the pocket of his large coat.  Nick had a chance to chat with the special effects supervisor, who told us to expect some gunfire to go off a little later, as they were applying bullet holes to the side of a car.  We didn't stick around for the gunfight, it was too cold, but we'll try to look out for the episode.

Shot in Brampton: FRINGE's Pilot Episode

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on February 26, 2010.

So here's something that was a little too close to home for hubby and I ...

We are both huge J.J. Abrams fans; we absolutely love his work.  More often than not you'll find a Lost rerun playing on the television when you walk into our apartment.  So, to immediately recognize the hospital FBI agent John Scott was kept for treatment after a chemical explosion in the pilot episode was a bit of a shock - to have it a block away from our apartment was another thing!

Agent John Scott, played by Mark Valley, is transported to a military medical unit for observation after his skin turns translucent after being in the middle of a chemical blast.  Agent Olivia Dunham rushes to the hospital to see his condition, only to be faced with challenges she would never expect to overcome.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Haiti: A Nation In Need, A Nation Of Miracles

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on February 19, 2010.

The earthquake that had hit this impoverished nation about a month ago had changed the lives of these people forever, with a society in ruins, death at every corner, missing family and loved ones yet to be found.  Food is scarce, water is depleted, shelter questionable, with the country still threatened with powerful aftershocks.  No matter how much help is sent, it doesn't seem to get to them fast enough, with nearly 3 million people displaced and in need of the most basic qualities of life.

We hear of devastation and death, we hear of panic and despair, but we also hear of miracles.  Survivors are still being found among the ruins, singing praises to the heavens, smiling happily at their rescuers.  Nations from all over the world toss rubble aside in hopes to find more survivors; the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives of those who still hope.

Haiti is still in need, and the rebuilding efforts will be colossal.  Backed with a global effort made up of charitable organizations and international governments, it is a combined goal that Haiti will become a nation that will be able to restore its envisioned glory, its culture and society intact and stronger than ever.

Below are a collection of images that have marked poignant emotional and public moments of the tragedy and triumphs of the Haitian people.  If you would like to help, donate now to World Vision Canada, and the Canadian government will match your donation.

Some of these images may be disturbing in nature.

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