Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review! The Miracle Worker

It’s review time again!

Show: The Miracle Worker
Where: Kelowna Actors Sudio
When: On till June13th.

Dinner, Dessert & Theatre ($51 - $69)
Dessert & Theatre ($36 - $45)
Saturday Matinee & Sunday Evenings ($32 - $41)

The Miracle Worker is called an “American Theatre Classic” for a reason.

It is!

The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan has been told on TV in the movies, in books, in classrooms and of course on the stage! It is such an inspirational and wonderful true story about determination and transformation about love and about honesty.

Most people know the story of Helen, we know about her struggle to learn sign and that a teacher who never gave up opened a whole new world to this girl, and in turn the world was gifted by her wondrous mind.

I was nervous going to see The Miracle Worker. While my faith in the ability of the cast and crew at Kelowna Actors Studio has rarely been given a reason to be shaken, I was apprehensive of how the story was going to be approached. Helen is important to me, as a child with serious learning disabilities I understand the moment when language becomes more than just a struggle, when language opens a new world, and I didn’t want to see such a victory in anyway tarnished.

Helen truly is a hero to me.

I didn’t have to worry. Both Patricia Burns who plays Annie Sullivan and Emma Magirescu who plays Helen are outstanding. I was captivated by the ultimate student teacher story once again. Another role that I truly enjoyed was Kate Keller played by Dorthy Dalba, her warmth and struggle to find the balance with both her daughter and step son was palatable and rang so true. When these 3 ladies were on stage together I forgot I was sitting in an audience and truly felt like I was part of the fabric of the play. (Until the lady sitting next to us passed wind.. but that’s another story.) Also kudus to Martha played by Brianna Lange, her timing was wonderful and was key to more than one “laugh out loud” moment. Casey Kneller rounded out the ladies in the cast with the part of Aunt Ev and did a wonderful job not getting lost in the light that was being cast by the others.

The ladies of this cast ruled the roust, with the fella’s falling a little flat. I was brought back to my seat more than once when the attention was turned from the energy of Helen and Annie. My attention was also turned by the “haunting” of Annie by her past and the sad story of her brother who she couldn’t save. When those moments came I wanted to grab my remote that has the “skip ahead” feature so I could get back to the good stuff!

The good stuff in Kelowna Actors Studio presentation of “The Miracle Worker” was very very good. I would encourage anyone to go and see it! It was lovely to look around the theatre before the lights went down and see all families that were in attendance, which is exactly what should happen with an “American Theatre Classic”

Congratulations once again Randy Leslie, and Nathan Flavel for another job well done.. and an extra congrats to Randy for adding to his resume the 2009 City of Kelowna Civic Award for Honour in the Arts!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ever wonder what it would be like to be on the radio? Guest blogger!

Hi, my name is Eric and I was morning show co-host for 2 hours.

Yesterday morning I had the extreme pleasure of sitting in the SUN FM studio and co-hosting the Breakfast Club with Susan Knight. I will never be the same. I, like so many people, completely take for granted my car radio. I do not have satellite radio in my car – possibly because Susan would kill me and make it look like and accident – but mostly because I have that opinion of why would I pay for something I can get for free. FM radio comes standard on a car (at least it does now. I had an AM jam in my car all through high school and was somehow able to survive that and become the man I am today) and all I have to do is start my car and it comes on automatically. In fact, it picks up right where I left off when I turned it off last – I don’t even have to touch that dial. Volume is even in the same place – at least it is supposed to be. Somehow it is always WAY louder when I turn the car on than I remember it being when I turned it off…

Anyway, I was that spoiled listener who simply assumed that my morning show would always be there for me when I took my daughter to school and drove to work – it has to be. It’s easy! I even through that being a DJ was the coolest job in the world for 2 very important reasons: 1) everyone knows you and loves you – you are on radio for goodness sake, and 2) because it is the easiest job in the world. When I was a kid it might have been hard cause they had to actually spin records – although my record player at home could hold like five or six 45s at a time and drop them one at a time, and I could do that when I was 7, so really how hard could it be? BUT NOW!!!! They have CD’s and MP3’s and itunes and all kinds of stuff. Computers can run it all!! DJ’s just have to push some buttons and be loved by everyone.

Turns out I might have been a smidge off base – which is surprising since my wife will tell that I am never wrong. I walked into that studio like a kid in a candy store and then sat wide eyed as I realized that Susan was watching 4 computer monitors on her right that showed her EVERYTHING that was going on currently and would happen during the course of the show. THEN, she had a fifth monitor on her left. She had a control panel in front of her that had more buttons than my grandmother’s sewing kit and more lights than my Christmas tree. Oh, and she was updating the station’s twitter feed and their Facebook page, as well as HER twitter feed and Facebook page. She was answering phones and while she talked to them she was simultaneously recording the call and then when she hung up she would edit the recording into a timed playback so she could incorporate that into the show. She was talking with me, both on air and off, AND running a live auction of a sweet little cooking class for 4 with wine pairings from RauDZ Regional Table with proceeds going to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. That item when for a tidy $950 dollars by the way – which translates into over 450 meals being provided by the Mission to those in need in Kelowna.

She did all this on one cup of coffee at the proverbial butt crack of dawn too. Oh, and there was math involved all morning…I was under the impression that there would be no math.

To be honest, I may never listen to the radio the same way again. From now on I will turn my radio off as I get out of the car. I will do this so that in the mornings, I can get into my car, put my seatbelt on, start the car, and then – with the appropriate amount of reverence – turn my radio on and be amazed at the incredible amount of work and talent that goes into making my face smile and my head bob on the way to work.

Susan, I can never thank you enough for what you do for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and the people of Kelowna. Nor can I ever thank you enough for the privilege of being shown how very wrong I was…though you are pretty much universally loved – so I was right on that. 1 outta 2 ain’t bad. That’s shooting .500 and that will make the all-star team in any sport!


Eric Frans, CFRE

Resource Development Director

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Singing and Roaring!

So I found myself walking the dogs late this afternoon singing this... Loudly.

Outside of obvious reason why this would be scary/hilarious on so many different levels it caught me off guard because truth be told that last couple of days has just stunk.

I have been moody.

I have been grouchy.

I have been unmotivated.

I have been generally feeling pretty darn hopeless.

I have been bursting into tears at the drop of a hat.

Not things anyone enjoys!

Like you, when faced with the ugly face of unexplained crisis I do the same thing, plast a smile on my face a soldier on! Truly life hasn't been that bad, great supportive friends, great family, great job, new opportunities.

I have just been crotchety.

You have an emotion that sticks in the "craw' more than others I am sure, mine happens to be frustration. Nothing frustrates me more than frustration! When that knot in my knickers is going to take some time to loosen, like a wrinkle that the hottest iron just won't get out, I don't deal very well. Of course at this time it always feels like everyone is also rubbing your face in it, making money hand over fist, losing weight by blinking, achieving that promotion because "gosh darn" they just deserve it.


So what had me singing about a beautiful morning late this afternoon. Well, along with a sense of "ha" which allows me to see myself for the imbecile I can be, It was indeed a beautiful morning! Eric Frans from the Kelowna Gospel Mission joined me on The Breakfast Club (Dan's on holiday's) and we raised almost 2 grand for KGM in just under 2 hours.

That leaves you feeling pretty good.

Plus we did it while having fun and sharing in laughter. (Truly it takes a Texan to teach you and the rest of Kelowna how to pluralize y'all.) Well, y'all I also came across this quote:

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,I will try again tomorrow. (Mary Anne Radmacher)

My running has been a tough go, my weight loss is stubborn, and I still haven't done my taxes..

I will try again tomorrow and will keep trying till I roar.

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to put on a duvet cover -- the fun way!

OK.. my blogging has been a bit slow as of late!

But we are back on the blogging wagon!! We will start easy.. after 3 rounds with my duvet and duvet cover I had to turn to the internet for this fine advice..