If you only do one thing this week…go see a play

If you happen to live in NYC or the surrounding areas, you really have no excuse. Going to see a play, either a Broadway show or off-Broadway production, should be a fairly regular part of your life. A night spent getting lost in a story, in awe of the amazing singing and dancing, and laughing out loud or even shedding a tear, is sometimes exactly what’s needed to forget about the everyday stress that’s plaguing you. Not to mention you will feel cultured and have something more to add to conversations other than the happenings of today’s reality show television nightmare.

Over the last few months, I have seen two off-Broadway shows and one major ticket, The Book of Mormon. Concerning the latter, believe the hype! This show is laugh-out-loud funny and shockingly inappropriate but what else would you expect from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park? It is a religious sattire musical so if you’re easily offended, this is not the show for you. Personally, I thought it was creative and extremely entertaining (I loved the spooky Mormon hell dream!) and thought the overall message was poignant.

I was also lucky enough to check out All New People, Zach Braff’s first play, on opening night. This off- broadway show focuses on one man’s desire to commit suicide and the random people who are called into his life on that fateful night. It wasn’t the greatest show I’ve ever seen but nevertheless it was entertaining and I thought the overall message (yes, I’m big on messages) concerning happiness was worth hearing.

So if you’re stuck in the dinner and a movie rut, put a play on your calendar. As an added bonus, you can feel good about supporting the Arts. Currently running Broadway shows and off-Broadway productions can be found on the following links. If you’re not in the NYC area, check your local theatres for great shows in your own backyard.

P.S~ Next up on my list is the off-Broadway play, Love, Loss and What I Wore. If any of my NY friends are interested, let me know!



Start a “Home Learning” Project With Your Kids This Summer

So far this blog as been a little bit of everything that makes up my crazy life but it’s real objective is to motivate myself and possibly inspire others. Each summer I have the idea to start a Home Learning project with the girls but can’t seem to follow through. I’m making a commitment now, for the world to see! Read about our first project below.

It’s time to break out the colored pencils and watercolors! One of the things that saddens me about the state of education these days is the lack of time available to teach some of really interesting and important things such as history and art. To help close the gap in my daughters’ education as well as expand my own, I’ve decided to begin what I’m calling our “Home Learning” projects.

First up, Art!

I decided we would begin in the renaissance period, studying Michelangelo and Da Vinci. For the Michelangelo portion of the project, I had both girls work together on a PowerPoint presentation. My older one found the information and the younger one chose the pictures. My older one scoffed at first but quickly got into it and was very eager to share the completed project. To introduce Da Vinci, I found a cartoon video on youtube. We watched it together and then googled his most famous works of art.

Now mind you, the girls wouldn’t be happy about doing this if there wasn’t real art involved. After checking out the Crayola website, I found a really cool project that manages to encompass both artists. I also wanted to have the girls try sculpting because both artists did that as well. I made a trip to the art supply store and stocked up on clay, new colored pencils, small canvases, Crayola Texture It!, and watercolors. The first day we all tried sculpting and the girls quickly grew frustrated and bored. That’s ok~ at least they gave it a go! Yesterday, we worked on the second project and although my older one lost interest fairly quickly, my seven year old and I spent two hours drawing and painting together. Quality time like that is priceless.

To “cement” what they’ve learned, I bought them both composition books and they’re summarizing what their newly acquired knowledge. Nothing intensive~ just a few sentences. I think music during the renaissance period will be up next, following our upcoming weekend trip to D.C. (government/politics).