White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, September 18, 2017

"A Walk on the Waterfront," Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

A car isn't always just a car - sometimes, it's so much more.

The youngest of six daughters, the driver/owner sitting at the wheel of this 1962 Corvette, as a little girl would hand her daddy tools while he lovingly restored an identical Corvette. Decades have passed, she's grown up, raised her own family, and today, I met her sitting on the waterfront enjoying a spectacular late summer day in "America's Hometown." She is sitting in the exact model car she helped her daddy build all those years ago. It may seem like she is sitting alone but she's not - her daddy is with her sharing the memory.

Our things and possessions aren't always just things - sometimes, they are infused with life and the wonderful memories of days gone by - like maybe helping daddy build a car........

It's mostly quiet on the waterfront today - the kids are back in school, vacationing families are back at home, and slowly we residents assert our domain again to enjoy the almost 400-year-old settlement of Plymouth.

Some nautical types use a taxi service to get around and/or in the harbor........

....others use dingys or other water craft.

Soon, the boats will start to disappear from the harbor buoys, either sailed to warmer climes or, hauled away to back yards or storage yards, many shrink-wrapped in plastic - getting ready for another brutal New England winter ahead.

It is a pretty spot - Plymouth - the Pilgrims chose wisely all those years ago (and were very lucky, too, their survival critically dependent on receiving help from the Native Americans that lived here then).

One of the 29 different and individual lobster art displays around "America's Hometown" - Plymouth. A nice place to be - always.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Cambridge Carnival International Festival," Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

I had a great time recently at this annual festival in Cambridge. I took the Redline "T" from Braintree to Kendall, walked the parade route to Central and, after the parade, rode the "T" back from Central. A smooth, and efficient plan to avoid driving and parking in busy Cambridge. Photographically, I chose this area along the route because I liked the trees and the background near Central Kitchen and the sun angle was pretty good along that stretch. I was not alone - lots of photographers out and about.

"Cambridge Carnival is a colorful and festive celebration rooted in African traditions. This free festival is celebrating 25 years this year and is considered a Cambridge Institution, and is the largest festival in Cambridge with thousands of attendees. The highlight of the festival is a grand costume parade accompanied by rich rhythmic musicality promoting all types of cultures. Participants can be seen as revelers masquerading through the streets in dazzling handmade costumes, dancing to the beat of the Carnival. The festival is also an opportunity to celebrate Cambridge’s diversity, enjoy international foods, and purchase multicultural crafts from around the world! (Source: Cambridge Carnival.org)

(Click on an image for a higher resolution version if your device supports that action).

This man led the parade, crackin' a bullwhip. I'm not sure why.

He was followed by Miss Carnival.

Then along came a great marching band to get things going musically.

This was a random friendly dude interacting with the roadside crowd. Not sure if he was part of the event or made himself part of the event. In any case, it doesn't matter.  The truck behind him was common - perhaps I saw 10 or more throughout the event - with portable speakers, musicians, percussionists, DJ's, whatever - all blaring Carnival music at unbelievably high volumes.  They would have drowned out jet airplanes during takeoff even if I was standing by the runway! Throbbing bass you could feel in your bones. I love it. Fill me with loud music.  I may be getting old but I'm not done yet.

But these are what we came for - beautiful artwork costumes! The winds were lighter this year than last so it was easier for the people to maneuver in the streets - the tripod base on wheels helps, too, for those that have them.

No wheels.

No wheels.

Random people in the crowd.

Seems maybe to be a family affair for this group - but I'm just guessing.

Looks like a heavy burden to carry but still, this youngster was all smiles.

I think I'd prefer the wheeled versions if I was marching.

I always enjoy this event - happy people, beautiful colors and costumes, loud music, nice weather - a great combination.

This restaurant along the route had an incredibly fitting marquee that looked like a parade participant.

This restaurateur was serving Indian street food along the route........

......and here, other cooked food was available from a vendor tent......

...and you could wash it down with yummy fruit drinks.

I had a few extra minutes waiting for the parade to begin so I headed over to Graffiti Alley near Central Square - always interesting. This artist was quite happy and willing to share information about her art and the whole alley concept.

It was a perfect summer day again in the Boston area!  Seems like we have had more than our normal share this summer - I'll take it gladly!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"All Shook Up," Final Dress Rehearsal, Part 4 of 4, Priscilla Beach Theatre, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

The Broadway musical, "All Shook Up," opened recently for a six performance run at Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT). They sold out fast so two additional shows were added to try to meet demand.

This is Part 4 of a four part series that covers the final two dress rehearsals. This post covers Act 2 of the final dress rehearsal. Part 1 is at this link. Part 2 is at this link. Part 3 is at this link.

The entire cast is composed of an extraordinary group of young people. All either current college/university theatre/music/dance students or recent graduates. It is a competitive field they have chosen for their careers and their performances here at PBT certainly indicate they are ready to compete.

Demand has been so strong this season for all the shows at PBT that owners Bob and Sandy Malone have often had to add extra performances to meet the need. You should consider purchasing season tickets for next summer (they go on sale in December) to ensure a seat in advance. For tickets and information, you can contact PBT online at this link or by phone: 508-224-4888.

The plot of "All Shook Up" is: "Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley. It's 1965, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that'll have you jumping out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Don't Be Cruel'." (Source: PBT)

Many members of the PBT team that make all this happen behind the scenes include:

Owners, Guardians, and Producers: Bob and Sandy Malone
Directors: Jennifer Farrell and Daniel Burmester
Musical Director: Christopher Ricci
Production Manager: Joshua Patino
Stage Manager: Ross Magnant
Asst. Stage Manager: Rosa D'Ambrosio
Choreographer: Jennifer Farrell
Dance Captain: Thomas Doelger
Costumes: Molly Rosenthal
Lighting: Ellie Rogers
Sound: Chris Conti
Set Designer: Joshua Patino

The following images are in order of appearance in the show.

And yes, I realize some images are similar to each other. That is purposeful. None of these are posed (except the final cast portrait), rather, they are moments frozen in time during a live performance. They are basically snapshots. An individual actor/actress may look better in one than the other. It matters if you are the individual actor/actress - perhaps not so much if you're a random reader looking at this blog post - please indulge me for the benefit of the cast. They often use these images to share with family, friends, and to build their portfolio.

(Click on an image for a higher resolution version if your device supports that action).

I don't often caption individual images when I'm covering a theatre performance. Live theater is a team activity but, here I make an exception. Asha Hirsi, above singing, "There's Always Me," just knocks it out of the park if I may get away with using a sports metaphor.

Her voice and emotion is so raw, and beautiful, and wonderful - I've seen/heard this scene live five times and I am still swept away with emotion as if it were my first. Such hope and heartbreak and love and want, all fused together in her voice of unbearable longing........what a striking performance by this young woman.

Scenes like this are what can make live theatre a transcendent experience. You rarely can get a moment like this in the tightly controlled, multiple take, many rehearsal environment of a formal studio that results in a TV show or movie. This is live - the real thing - the richness and depth of emotion that pour out of her is exceptional - and not just for me - the audiences have responded much the same way for each and every show. This confluence of actress, scene, context, music, voice, light, and direction have all come together at this moment to create more than the sum of the parts - this is theatre magic, pure and simple.

That concludes Act 2 of the final dress rehearsal.

This image is a posed cast photo including the directors (front row kneeling at left, and back row second from the right). It was created immediately following the final dress performance.

I have saved this very important recognition for last: the musicians! Under the direction of Christopher Ricci (piano - seated above), along with John Chebator (guitar - second from right), Mark Elsner (second piano - at left), and Isaac Lit (percussion - at right), this show was brought to life by their extraordinary musicianship.

Nestled in their nook just offstage, they provided the accompaniment to the vocalists and created the mood and feel of the Elvis era. Not many community/regional theatres make it the priority to provide top quality live music for their shows as do PBT Owners and Guardians Bob and Sandy Malone. Another reason to put PBT at the top of your personal preferred entertainment venue list.

And at the end, PBT stands regally in the fading light.

Although there is one more show this year, "Little Shop of  Horrors," in October, it's not too early to start thinking about next summer.........season tickets go on sale in December. The PBT 2018 season will offer:

"The Last Five Years" in May,
"The Drowsy Chaperone" in June,
"Guys and Dolls" in July,
"Bye, Bye, Birdie" in August,
"Damn Yankees" in September,
"Dames at Sea" in October.

Plan now to be there! Support this local, live theatre in our community or, wherever you may live in the world. Live theatre is storytelling at its finest - and storytelling is at the core of our shared humanity.