I ❤️ Alice

The most beautiful love story that isn’t filled with cookie cutter presence. Love that unfolds mixed with uncertainty, a few doses of patience, and an uphill battle to allow love to be what it is pure and whole. I laughed from beginning to end but it was a laughter from familiarity. Love is special between two people even if those people just happens to be two women in Ireland who share a kiss inside of a grocery store. Alice and Alice just made me want to love better and on purpose.

Where did you share your first kiss? I personally shared my very first kiss after church of all places. I was giddy and just so full of puppy love. I didn’t even know myself. My first kiss with my now husband was inside of my dormitory. Something about that kiss let me know we would be where we are now. I knew he was my forever in just one kiss. It was magnificent and reassuring. Imagine having that first kiss as two women at a time when it was taboo to have and in public. Imagine someone seeing you and wanting to ask you questions about your journey. We see love now as love being love that covers multitudes of lines. It crosses all genres and it crosses all stereotypes. Alice and Alice didn’t live in that time. They were before their time.  They had the weight of this love and stepping out in it and wondering if this “thing” was real.

I took my husband of whom I shared that magnificent kiss. We sat next to each other watching both Allices share their story. Their story mirrors ours. Each perspective of each other quite different than the other. Each love story having cracks and fishers. However, the love was strong enough to push through angry times, times of unsettling. I watched him laugh and enjoy the show. I looked at both ladies and they had their shares of imperfect moments. There’s an affair well at least 2 of them. The lines were blurred. One not feeling as if they had gotten what they needed from the other. I was glad to see this. I love to see the heartaches of love. In the beginning of love, you always have these amazing moments but that first disagreement, first sign of tension shows you who you have in front of you. Are the one who will bear the weather. Alice had to watch as Alice endured breast cancer. A challenge that would knock anyone of the love train. 

I felt nervous for them. I felt every pain. Both women gave of themselves in this production. It was witty, engaging, and beautiful. I remember leaving and feeling so peaceful in their love as I enjoyed the hand of my husband. We don’t always get quiet moments. We are always on the go. We talked about the production and how much it was just the best love story that had to be told. I love the documentary style that the production provided. It was like watching a love game show to me where you hope the stories mirror but in this case it didn’t always. Alice fed off Alice and then the other way around. Both women remarkably candid. I knew that this was about two women’s story of love and the support that it gives for the LGBTQ+ community but if I can be honest, I saw past that. It was a love story. It was simply just beautiful. One of the most beautiful one that I had seen in quite time. It was like a movie and a coming into the confidence of that  love. 

Sometimes when you hear about same sex couples the focus is on the trauma of acceptance. They were simply loving like everyone else. They were simply trying to shower themselves in as much love they could possibly give. Their love was affectious. It was simply two women who just happen to be women loving one another. This takes the truest form of Love is Love to what it should truly mean. Sometimes I believe that heterosexual folks say Love is Love to make sure they show solidarity for LGBTQ+ but I love Alice is the production that teaches what Love looks like. Its not about getting others to accept it but showcasing and calling you to love better while you watch love take flight. 

Love is like an envelope you know what you put into it you will get back in return, but you know there are times when what’s in the envelope challenges you as well. What will you do with the expectation of love? Let it overflow and make the decision to love and don’t forget love as the foundation of all you do. This is a production for all. Everyone who thinks they are in love, want love, or simply need a new sprinkle of love needs to be in the seats. Alice’s love for Alice is that production that challenges you to simply enjoy love for what it is to be. 

Yes, Alice and Alice are two women both named Alice. I love Alice was written by Amy Conroy and co-directed by Gay Carducci and Rachel Gluck. It stars Trice Baldwin Browns and Aetna Gallagher as Alice respectively. I love Alice is being shown at one of my favorite theatres, Curio Theatre located at 4740 Baltimore Avenue in West Philly. It’s a gem of a theatre. Also know that I love Alice will be in production until February 29, 2020 and makes a great Valentines Day gift. Allot a little time for parking. There is a lot at 4716-23 Baltimore Avenue when available. I usually elect to park on the street and so far, I have yet to have issues. The staff at Curio are always super welcoming. You will have a great experience while there. Thanks to Carrie Gorn, and Curio Theatre for having me. This production is such a great way to experience Philly Theatre Week. Thank you to my forever date, Marques!

A Hundred Words for Snow

Death is numb. Death leaves you feeling like you are in a wilderness or in this case an arctic wilderness. No one can tell you how you should respond to the sting of death especially for a child that has suddenly lost a child. 

This production was raw in its truth telling for Rory. A child abandoned almost twice if you think about it. Mom is engrossed in work I am sure attempting to numb the sting of death while Rory is numbing her pain in her pursuits to complete the trek that her dad set out to do before his death. Self-discovery is at an all time high. Who is Rory? A higschool student who is trying to put the pieces together. She is witty, funny and has a mouth on her for sure. Satchel Williams plays an extremely heartfelt Rory. She draws you in with her charm.  She’s  enthusiastic but also shows so much depth of character. When you have an actor or actress play the only part in a production the weight of the show is on their back. Satchel didn’t disappoint at all. She holds her own as she showcases an arrangement of emotion.

A hundred words of snow written by Tatty Hennessey is pure life circle of conflict. Internal conflict to figure out who Rory is now that the parent she most identifies with is no longer here. His death and her trek to the North Pole seems so surreal. It seems that she as she faces adult decisions will face them alone. How will her pursuit of carrying out her father’s wishes would serve to bring her full circle to dealing with the feelings she originally tried to close the door to. 

You know how it is when someone passes. You do all you can to honor their past but in the same time all the questions of life flood your soul. Rory is a young girl almost to her “prime.” She also has a sexual encounter. How in the world is she supposed to know what is right for her? She makes the decisions but like sexual encounters she gets more than just a sticky mess to deal with. The clean up of her life is about to take place. 

Parental abandonment we only talk about when a parent walks away and never returns but parental abonnement can happen while a parent has mentally and emotionally checked out as well. The doing the basic dance with no ability to check in leaves Rory to find solace in other ways. This trip is taking over her mindset. It is taking over to help her in a way. Each scene is a buildup to the other. I watched as each bag Rory picked up and the uneasiness of having no clue where to start to unpack her pain. You know pain is like a backpack of sorts. You squeeze as much as you can into them. Each later of unpacking exposes layers and layers of pain. Its debilitating at times. Rory is on this conquest to unpack the layers of her life and she doesn’t even know it. There’s a lot to think about when you travel alone. The snow for one is always so hard and cold and it seems to drag you down. So I’m not shocked by Rory‘s candid conversation with the audience. When the mind has so much to think about finding the words become easy.

Does she get to the North Pole? What happens to the layers as she unpacks them? What about her sexual encounter? These are all things you will have to unpack with Rory as you attend the showing. A hundred words of snow is set to end on Sunday February 23rd. Inis Nua Theatre is located at Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street. When you come; try your best to be there at least 15 minutes before the show to make sure your ticker is secured. Also, they have wine and snacks available for purchase. The show is 90 minutes with NO intermission. 

Thank you to all the staff who were so welcoming. I am always greeted with such great smiles. Thank you to Inis Nua Theatre and Aversa PR for the invitation. I enjoy my time while there always.

You can get your tickets here!

Support the arts always! Philly Theatre Week is going on now until February 16th! Get tickets here for Philly Theatre Week!

The Phoenix Theatre Presents: The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie is an explosion of ups and downs of navigating familiar relationships. Tom is a writer who goes back home and is hit with the reasons he left his family in the first place. Relationships are strained but they reveal some hidden and hurtful truths.

Mothers we have a responsibility to our children to develop in them what they need to be successful. We can’t drive them to success. We must find ways to encourage and listen and hear what is on the hearts of our children. Amanda has not gotten that message. She has gotten the message to ride the coat tails of her children, push them so much that they don’t succeed and then blame them for their inconstancies. Amanda was hard to take in. Amanda was hard to open up to because she is so unlike me as a mother and I hope like many mothers. We know the moms who push things too far. We hear their stories through the rebellion of their children. That is what Tom does. He does all he can to make his mother happy or at least entertain her mess until he leaves too. Laura on the other hand is being pushed but because of her disability she’s “stuck.”

Laura

Laura is not your typical young lady. She has developed a limp or even a very noticeable inability to walk without her rolling walker. She is shy and this shyness has been super devastating to her social life. She is registered in school as her mother Amanda thinks it’s a great thing for her to work or marry so she’s not considered “crippled” as she hates to use the word. More on that later. Laura is sheltered in every aspect but it’s more the inability to do and therefore she withdraws from the world around her and pays all of her attention to the Glass Menagerie. It’s what she finds solace in. 

Tom

The brother who leaves like his dad because he can’t take the toll of having to do what his mom wants, his desire to not work in the factory and be a writer, etc. He is more verbal. He can help Laura escape but he doesn’t. This guilt follows him and will continue to follow him for quite some time as he travels. Tom took the brunt of the emotional abuse that his mom, Amanda gave. A part of me thinks a lot of that has to do with the fact that Tom could remind Amanda of his father. We know those women who take their angry out on the children and hopes to make them better than the no good father but instead turn them right into the father with their misplaced hate. 

Amanda

As I stated above she is a piece of work. I love the mirror that is plastered. Often times even when the gentleman friend Jim comes and fancies himself after Laura he too leaves since he’s spoken to. It’s Jim’s fault he would bring Laura a gentleman friend who couldn’t commit almost like that father…… There are a lot of come to Jesus moments in this play. I was sitting there more engulfed in their interaction and the fact that from the outside we see the break down but in the midst of it none of them sees the tearing down of their relationships. That’s how life is though! We see the breakdowns but if people aren’t able to see if for themselves there’s not much that can be done.

It made sense like a light bulb when I learned that the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams was loosely about his own life. The scars we carry will show up in his work. I hope that this piece and his other pieces make some closure for him. The guilt of the sister he left behind to deal with his mother is prevalent in this play. It makes this piece more personable. I got it. I sat there trying to peel the layers. Layers that are too weighty to write. I could write a whole essay on this and have whole chapters. The weight of living under disappointment is very heavy and burdensome. The burden on all of them to figure how to deal was a like watching a soap opera. If you paid attention you could see so many nuggets of wisdom that we ALL need to pay close attention so that we can raise a new generation. There’s nothing new under the sun and there are still Amandas running around raising children. Jim still lives on in children who will never be good enough and have broken dreams unfulfilled. Laura and her disability and her lack of engagement I’ve seen in women who seem to lose sight on loving themselves every single day.

Check out The Glass Menagerie for yourself. See if you can spot the nuggets I didn’t even give you. Trust me these characters are walking amongst us daily. You can see it for yourself until February 2nd at the Phoenix Theatre. This production is directed by Michael Hajek and is beautifully flawed and uplifting. Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre and Carrie Gorn for the invitation. 

 

 

Sunday Message: Your tribe Matters

It’s one thing to be born into a family and not be able to choose who you are around. It’s another to consistently pick the wrong tribe and blame it on others.

Often times the one you choose reflects who you are. That can change from time to time. When I was in college not all of my college friends reflect who I am today! I’ve changed. My tribe has changed as well. It’s very rare to be who you are through all phases in life. Life changes and so does your taste in friends. It’s okay to acknowledge when something no longer works! It doesn’t mean you are stuck up or that you are being mean to people just because you are choosing to expand your circle.

Who’s in the circle?

Ask yourself why you hang with whom you hang with! Do they build you? Are they one sided? You know the friends who want you to uplift every achievement who won’t even say congratulations to even the biggest or smallest of things! Does your circle include those who make you genuinely feel loved? Do they remember the important days? Do they make you feel like you need to step up! Are they truly in your corner? If you answer anything in the negative about your circle it’s time to change the circle a bit!

Natural Progression

Sometimes instead of wrecking shop and upsetting the balance you could especially for friends who don’t do as much let the relationship have a natural fizzle! This means you could simply allow the lack of communication etc. continue! After awhile it will fade and you can let it fade or you can have a conversation and speak genuinely to the person to let them know you are just going into separate directions! This is for adults! Meaning kid and kid like folks who want to play games this isn’t for you. To be an adult means that at times you need to have uncomfortable conversations. It doesn’t feel good to end things but it’s necessary.

Cut the Cord

There are times when you can’t let things naturally progress. You have to be super clear about the intentions and cut folks off. You can do this a number or ways. I like direct conversations. Sometimes you can talk it out and find ways to mend even at the moment of ending it! However there is no need to keep people in your life who don’t even serve a greater good for you. Why? What’s the point? I get some folks have been in your life but longevity doesn’t equate to meaningful forever stay. Some folks are super mean and they don’t think you will ever walk away because you haven’t in the past. In 2020 we need to have conversations about what works and what doesn’t and it’s okay to be the adult that you are and acknowledge it’s time to cut the cord. You can wish folks well and distance yourself! You don’t have to be mean to tell people you are done!!

Know yourself

Do you get mad and easily irritated and take that out on your friends? Sometimes it’s not your tribe that’s the issue it could be you! Sorry to say that there are some who tear their friend circle with their own hands. You can’t be so demanding. Every group has a natural leader or two! Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean you can demean others. If you are the cause of many frictions deal with you! I’m the type that looks in first before I point out to others! You might really need to do a self check in how you act with those around you.

So it’s one thing to not be able to pick family but you need to work on your tribe! Your tribe is all about who you allowed into it! You can’t get mad at the tribe you picked!

Let’s clear the path for those around us to help us to be our best versions!!! Let’s define the tribe!

People’s Light Presents: Little Red Robin Hood

I was originally going to take one of my kids so I wouldn’t be one of the only ones in there with no children but the way this weekend and the stomach virus went down I was on my solo trip! I must say this was a brilliant mix of Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood that I’ve ever seen. From the second the show started, I knew kids or not I would have a ball of fun.

This was my first Panto style play. However I was so thoroughly impressed. Although I’ve attended many plays at People’s Light this was my first time at the Leonard C Hass Stage. I got the same warm welcome as I always do! This stage has the cafe and has two levels of entrance. I went in on the second floor and made my way downstairs. I absolutely loved it.

This Musical Panto was absolutely crowd pleasing and engaging to say the least. This isn’t your simple watch and enjoy musical. Throughout your asked questions, sing, dance, and just enjoy those around you. Nothing brings people together more than a great performance.

Each actor played unique parts that told the story of how Lady Nottingham tried to take over the Forrest to make her new fur business take off doesn’t go as planned. Played by Mary Elizabeth Scallen she is the villain you love to hate. Accompanied by Lupo the Big Bad Wolf who is employed by Lady Nottingham to “take care” of Maud aka Granny the whole tryst is such a love story, family reunion, and a who’s who of sorts. The journey brings about a unity of the Forrest as well as allows Amelia aka Little Red to discover her abilities and who she is. It’s like a family entertainment for everyone with adult punchlines too.

I loved how engaging the play was from the actors coming into the crowd to talk to you, a little righteous candy giving, and even some crowd stage participation-it kept everyone on their toes. I met as I always do a young lady who was there alone as well. We chatted up in between the intermission. This play was about 2 hours long with about a 10 minute intermission. It didn’t feel long at all and although there were kids as young as 3-4 years old not one was antsy or a disruption to the rest of the patrons. I think the fact that the singing grabs and keeps your attention helps. I saw young and old singing along together and it was the best part of my Saturday!!

I didn’t have my most favorite character which is rare. The reason being they all had such large stage presence. I mean amazing voices both their acting voice and singing I was extremely impressed. They all brought such great personalities. However if someone made me choose I would go with Maud! Maud stayed in character on and off the stage!!

Maud aka Granny after the show had me laughing so hard I didn’t even care to get a better shot this was the shot!

This is such a great holiday get together that I was originally scheduled to go before Christmas and ended up going right after it. This is a good family time musical. Everyone of all ages will leave smiling from ear to ear. Also we were greeted by the actors while leaving as well.

If I had a suggestion for you as you attend I would say come with the mindset that as a musical you are going to have some of these tunes in your head. I left out with so much energy. Also the snacks aren’t expensive so if you have little kids and you end up having to get them a snack it’s not back breaking at all. Bathrooms are clearly marked and even if you have to leave they do try to find a time for you to re-enter. However be aware because the actors are coming into the crowd you might have to wait a little bit.

The singing from the actors/actresses were phenomenal. I have to throw my hat off to all of the actors but more importantly to Mrs. Higglebottom she was blowing!!

So is it worth a second viewing? It’s one thing to try it once but if it’s worth a second viewing than its golden and I definitely would view it a second time. It’s worth a second viewing. I would take my whole family as I know for sure they would feel the same way as I did leaving.

With all good things you don’t have much time to see it!!! Little Red Robin Hood is leaving with your last chance being on January 5th. So get your tickets here!

Help in Our Own Community

What do you have a mix of community service, 31 consultant, and hygiene kits? You have Crystal Capetillo. Taking on a mission of her own she’s making hygiene kits for those who are displaced.

I personally remember when I was younger and we went into a shelter. It’s one of those moments that keep me grounded. Not knowing what each day would bring was a bit unnerving. However I have to shout out my mom who made sure to keep us clean and put together. Apart of doing that had to come from having hygiene products. Being displaced you have to have a short list of items and not much in bulk to prevent others from taking from you.

Crystal is helping in those regards. What started as a project with World Vision through being a 31 Consultant has turned into a mission to help those in her own community right here in Philadelphia. Crystal along with Erica of whom I’ve interviewed and a team from Bethel Church will lead this charge!

Now here’s how we can help. These kits take time and money. The World Vision kite cost $16. After acquiring the kits they need to be put together. Crystal is in need of both. You can donate for the kits as well as help put together your kit. But there’s one last portion, each kit comes with a hand written letter or note. That made me smile because of someone being displaced that doesn’t mean that they are below humanity.

I watched my mom cry when she thought I was sleep. I know as a mom I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling as she watched over us at night! Having a hand written note letting her know she’s loved and never give up could mean the world of difference!

I personally stand behind this mission of Crystal and will be helping to assemble these kits. I’m asking if you’re able to consider donating by gifting towards her PayPal crystal.capetillo331@gmail.com!!

I can’t wait to see the kits go to fruition and be given to those who need it!!

Week 5: Storr Summer Adventures

Well this week was a bit slow. I got what I thought was a sinus infection and my oldest had a Summer cold! So laid a bit not this week! We still had fun! So heres is how we ended up with a messy situation but ate well and spent time recovering for our Hershey Park trip! A total of 56.28 was spent!

Monday

Mondays are always uneasy! It was also national gummi bear day so we decided to do an ice-cream gummi bear dessert to celebrate. I love gummi bears and being Vegan didn’t have to miss out! With non dairy ice-cream and vegan gummies I was still winning! I had the Chunky Monkey ice-cream in house! I bought the kids Sour Patch ice-cream and gummi bear materials for $10.78!

Tuesday

We definitely kept it indoors as the heat was picking up and went to GPCC indoor swimming! Who didn’t need to cool off last week in Philadelphia?! We had a great time as usual! We grabbed snacks on the way for $12.00!

Wednesday

I find that these are low days and I secretly love them! I had an event so the kids hung out with family! I was able to get work done and attend the Philly Influencer Mixer which has brands come and meet Influencers and bloggers to work with! It’s an amazing way to network! Thank you to Davida for being our fearless leader! Follow especially Philadelphia bloggers or influencers as a Fall Mixer is up next and you want to be in the building!

Thursday

We got our and about! I had my physical with my doctor! I’m happy to announce that I’m in great health! My doctor is over the moon with my numbers. I encourage everyone to see about their health physically and emotionally!! I feel my best when I take for me! It’s not just about working out or just food it’s about the total mental health too. Doing what I love makes me complete! While there I was able to visit my old co-workers! We went to lunch and the kids got McDonald’s! Total was $12.71! I had the new plant based bowl at Qdobo for $10.79! We were going to go bowling but traffic was at an all time high so we made slime! To all of my parents you already know my plight!! But…..they had a blast! Materials were $10!!

Friday

It was entirely toooo hot but we also needed to get ready for the weekend Hershey Park trip since we were doing an overnight trip! So that meant cleaning, packing, and laundry! We also elected to do shaving cream art and keep things a bit messy! Armed with shaving cream and food coloring we had an amazing time!

I know if we hadn’t had a few sicknesses this week we would have been out and about more but with the way the heat was set up and the way our air conditioning bill has been we should never leave so we can feel like we are getting your money worth!

This week is already adventurous! We added a new activity for the week! I’ll highlight it next week!