Tag Archives: NOIAW

A Diet + The Waves

In the past week, I had the pleasure of seeing two quite divergent theatrical productions: My Life on a Diet, Renée Taylor’s one-woman show, and The Waves, adapted from Virginia Woolf’s novel as a chamber musical for the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College.

Renée Taylor (aka Sylvia Fine of The Nanny sitcom) and her autobiographical romp (co-written with her husband, the late, great Joe Bologna) are comic gold, a delicious summer time treat (all pun). A stellar career trajectory as told through the many diets RT has attempted in a constant struggle to be thin for show biz, makes for a good dramatic device and a very fun time. The anecdotes from her family life, the roster of diets and the performers she’s met and worked with that emerge along the way are all gems in their own right. The audience, as guests in her leopard bedecked stage set, was roaring. If you’re reading this and you don’t know who Hedy Lamarr or Rita Hayworth or Elaine May were/are, go see this show asap. If you’re reading this and you do know who they were/are, go see this show asap.

I attended through a NOIAW special event, which included a Meet/Greet + dinner with Ms. Taylor, a very generous gesture on her part. I stopped by the restaurant and she couldn’t have been lovelier, which comes through in our photo together.

Carolyn with Rene'e Taylor of My Life on a Diet post-show at NOIAW dinner July 19, 2018

The Waves could not have been a more different kind of theatrical excursion. A cast of six accomplished and electrifying actors portray six siblings over the course of many years and rites of passage (boarding school, college – that is, Cambridge). The music, musical direction and the pianist are quite extraordinary. I felt the music and the actors’ phenomenal vocal delivery washing over me, literally, as waves. In the score, I heard hints of phrases from Les Misérables and reminiscences of the masterful, constant jazz piano background music of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. I truly liked the less-is-more use of projection — a simple beach/water horizon which illuminated and changed color and form very subtly, but absolutely created the work’s title in setting and ambiance.

The Waves Cast Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College July 2018 (640x427)

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MLOAD and The Waves were apropos to see in high summer and I highly recommend them both.

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato as quoted by WQXR.org

photos in order of appearance by B. McDonough; Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College; B. McDonough; A. McDonough

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Int’l Women’s Day + Gilded is Hot

Like many of my formative experiences, my first International Women’s Day took place in Italy through the celebration day of the Festa della Donna.

I was in the thick of my Fellowship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, doing a shift in the gift shop that day, when fellow intern (later to become hub as he’s known to readers of this blog) surprised me with a nosegay of mimosa blossoms, as I was busily transacting de Chirico and Magritte poster sales. Awww…

Many moons later metaphorically speaking, as it’s in keeping with the universal yin energy of today, we named our daughter Acacia. WHO knew the derived-from-Latin species name for mimosa blossoms is Acacia Dealbata?!

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We had taken our time in naming her and considered many names while consulting different naming oracles (as new parents of a first-born often do) but I never came across this reference until researching for this entry. Awww…

In light of this day, and Women’s History Month, I recently had the pleasure of hearing author Karin Tanabe speak on her book The Gilded Years soon to be a major motion picture starring and produced by Zendaya in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Anything Neo-Victorian and gilded is HOT at the moment. So if this film is as engaging as The Greatest Showman (for which Zendaya–who’s career is on fire right now–received a lot of buzz as a stunningly beautiful, racially blended trapeze artist) and I have a feeling it may very well be, albeit in a different way, it has the potential to be a winner. The film’s working title alone is a winner:  A White Lie. Quite a compelling concept in our current cultural climate, n’est-ce pas?

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photo of Carolyn and Karin Tanabe by Acacia V. McDonough

I won’t give away the story, Karin’s a great storyteller and historical fiction genre writer, so please read the book:

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I’m also blogging today’s Int’l Women’s Day post as a new member of the National Organization of Italian American Women and I appear on the #NewMemberMonday March 2018 Edition. Mille Grazie NOIAW!

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(you GOTTA love NOIAW’s yellow blossoms new members Welcome + Lady Liberty logo!)

AND finally I will be dining with one of the most empowered women I know, Rev. Dr. Tami Coyne whose recent 1-Woman Show Singing For My Life: One Woman’s Journey, with hilarious opening act by her stand-up sister, Teri Coyne, was fantastic! Here’s a clip:

 

To all the women of the world today, be the WONDER WOMAN you already are, turn something upside down, don’t forget to brush your teeth and…

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…support #METOO today/every day!

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photo credits: Acacia V. McDonough, C. McDonough