I attended the new lobby art exhibition at none other than Sofitel Philadelphia. They hosted an amazing happy hour featuring their Summer drinks menu while showcasing the world of Janice Telestar’s “French Kiss.” This was Janice’s love letter to Paris in photographic form!
I had just come from Paris not too long ago so seeing the pieces took me back. Every piece was alluring and beautiful and if you haven’t gone will make you feel like Paris was in the middle of Center City! Janice did an amazing job on the display. I was able to talk with her about her pieces. It wasn’t about just taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower. It was capturing the right lighting and the essence of Paris that some photographers miss trying to get the “right” shot. Some of the pieces had my arms with goosebumps from feeling the joy of what Paris meant to me!
I attended the event alone as my husband was meeting me there later. Without saying one word to him as soon as he saw the pieces an immediate smile came over him. You really can’t help it. Also let me note that the Sofitel Philadelphia encompasses what being in Paris is about. While I visited it was about love, friendship, a welcoming spirit, elegance and helpfulness! Janice display couldn’t have been highlighted in any other location but the Sofitel Philadelphia.
So how can you take a Paris adventure without actually going? Come to the Sofitel Philadelphia and walk in the lobby to view it! It’s that magical as it places you in the heart of Paris. You feel like you have traveled the world right here in Philadelphia! While you are there stop in and try the new Summer drinks. When I tell you they are exquisite I mean it. Sofitel’s “luxury reimagined” comes to life from being greeted by the doorman to your maître d’ serving you.
Also if your interested in one of the pieces once they leave Sofitel contact David Telestar at 610-236-0680.
As always when you think luxury, think Sofitel “luxury reimagined.” They can host your event including weddings, anniversaries or a staycation to get away without going away! You will not be disappointed!!
Where do I start? I had the most magical time at this production. I love everything about a Bohemian garden and what’s better than a Bohemian garden? A Bohemian beer garden and taking my love of all things Shakespeare to another level. That’s right it was like getting a two for one in fun and theatre at the same time.
I am so grateful for being exposed to Shakespeare in High School. It really changed my outlook in plays and poetry. When you combine it and have an outstanding production like Curio Theatre has, it was amazing. Every last actor, played their part. They really played them well. I was in the front row where I love to be and the action captured me. I left the theatre unable to go to sleep.
I laughed so hard even though a Winter’s Tale is about Leontes, King of Sicillia gets into a jealous rage thinking that his friend, Polixenes had an affair with his pregnant wife, Queen Hermione. If you never read this Shakespeare classic I won’t spoil it but it includes a lot of turns of events that feature violence, death, betrayal, and forgiveness. It’s true what they say about jealousy, it is a killer. What we think when we don’t control our thoughts turns into negativity and can hurt the ones we love! Nonetheless the pure emotion that each actor gave was amazing. Each actor captured their roles and even if you cant get past the Middle English of the time, if you listen with intent, they played their part enough for you to modernize it and understand it beautifully.
Taking the production from inside and then outside to the Bohemian Beer Garden was the best surprise I didn’t even know I needed. The air was crisp, the wine was sweet and the actors continued to stay in their parts while we enjoyed the best acting intermission I had ever been too. Curio Theatre, this had to be the best part of my night. I had the most magical time. Everyone who attended smiled from ear to ear the entire time. It was a pleasant experience and if they ever have another production, I want to be in the seat.
You only have 2 days to catch this treat. That’s right make your Friday night magical by getting tickets for the 8pm show or tomorrow’s final night at 8 as well. You can get your tickets here. One thing that Curio Theatre does is that when you get your tickets they encourage their new ticket initiative and that’s with Curiositix. This is a new initiative that allows those who would have not been able to see amazing theatre and make it affordable. When you order your ticket at the time of ordering you can select how much you want to give toward the ticket. You can also even pay for your another ticket so that someone who can’t afford it can. This is making sure that everyone has the opportunity to get that amazing exposure to theatre. Also if you want to just donate, you can do that here as well. No donate is too small.
I would recommend this production for over 15 years of age due to scenes of violence against women and adult themes.
Follow Curio Theatre on their social media channels so you don’t ever miss another production. Who knows you may see me in the audience real soon:
This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.” It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes. The winds and turns that the story takes the audience is definitely one for all to see.
Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention. It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior. Be willing not only to accept but change it.
One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.
So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.
“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!
To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.
For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre
I had the honor of being invited to attend the opening show of How to Catch Creation. I actually withheld reading any reviews, or any the media write-up before hand because I love coming in without any thoughts of what to expect before hand. I was pleasantly surprised of this production. First of all the set was magnificent. I grew up in theatre so sets matter to me. Secondly the cast looked like me. I loved seeing all of the representation of pretty brown faces. Third, the play captured my attention and gave me a whirlwind of surprises some subtle and some knocking me over.
Let me give honor to whom honor is due by saying that How to Catch Creation is coming off the acclaimed Kilroy’s list. It’s a play about discovering legacy as well as what it means to create and how creation shifts during periods of life. Creation takes many forms from art, life, relationships, and how all of the loops come together. As a creator myself it definitely spoke to the hills and lows of life and watching my own work take dips according to what may or may not have taken off.
Christina Anderson, playwright, did an amazing job on capturing the experience of black queer feminist writer and how through her life, life has taken on turns that end up bringing the most unexpected people to unite. When you see the connection I found myself holding back in the audience try not to mess it up for someone who might not have. I laughed so hard during this play. I loved at moments when the audience interacted right on cue without a notion. I also loved seeing Christina Anderson herself in the audience as well as the director, Nataki Garrett. Seeing them watch their work had to be amazing.
This play is for everyone. I do love how it highlights love and heartache for same-sex relationships. To be honest sometimes society in my opinion forgets that they have an experience like everyone else. It’s not as easy even with society beginning to open up to what it means to be apart of the LGBTQ community and also be Black. I enjoyed hearing prior to the show from Amber Hikes who is the Executive Director of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t even know there was a division first of all. I also didn’t know that are only 3 other positions in the cities of the United States like it. There is definitely a need for all of us to be aware of what our city is offering. It was great knowing that the city of Philadelphia and the Mayor’s office is representing all walks of life.
So what were some of the themes presented:
Despair, from seeing Lindsay Smiling who played Griffin, try to work his way to normality after being wrongfully accused of a crime and incarcerated for 25 years. His struggle to want to have a child of his own as he learns about his mother and her past was incredible.
Love, from Tiffani Barbour who play GK Marche a writer who falls in love with Natalie played by Shauna Miles and seeing who their love goes from incredible highs to the lows of breaking up and infidelity. Their love was priceless and unmatched until loneliness lead Natalie into the arms of another.
Betrayal, Shayna Small plays Riley a young woman who has motivated her boyfriend, Stokes, played by Jonathan Bangs, who is losing his focus and rhythm. Their beat is thrown off when Riley falls in love with Tami, played by Stephanie Weeks who is opening herself up to this forbidden love. The beat is so off that now in order to get the rhythm back do they let go? Do they go back to life before the betrayal? Can they co-exist?
Explosive, fun, witty, and most importantly colorful are some of the best words to describe my experience. You are not going to want to miss out on this adventure. How to Catch Creation will be playing until April 14th. You can purchase tickets which range from $10-69 by clicking here
I would strongly encourage you to see the play and take some friends or family along as well. Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre Company for as always inviting me and treating me above well. Thank you to Kory Aversa and Aversa PR for these opportunities as well. Thank you to the amazing cast of How to Catch Creation for such a wonderful time. You all were professional and most gracious as well after the show. Thanks to my personal team for always helping me get to these shows and for being the best caretakers for my littles!
I had a wonderful time at the opening night of Bridges of Madison County. This musical was not only engaging, it also hit on some questions in life. The story involves an Italian woman named Francesca Johnson who married an American solider to flee the war in Italy. The story also surrounds Francesca family as they head off to the state fair without her. Who she encounters while they were gone, sets the many questions of what would you do.
What would you do if you found yourself in the company of a handsome stranger who woos you? In crossing the line you are left with the questions in your heart and mind of staying with the man you have built a family but not necessarily having the fire in your soul for or the man who with whom you just met who makes you feel alive? How deep is your loyalty? I attended this musical with my husband and it made for one great date night and an interesting conversation for the journey home. We talk in our society of men cheating but this woman clearly cheated on her husband and fell hard in love. Could she in the 1960’s just leave? Could you in an unhappy relationship leave your mate now? I think about all of the social and economic structure of that time and think about how staying definitely was more of a stable decision. To leave stability and your children is not only now but then unheard of. So of course my husband and I are talking about how life is different for women in a lot of ways with advancement in careers, etc but there are still women who are housewives who feel stuck in their current state. Now I am not condoning cheating in any way. Matter of fact, although stuck Francesca was actually quite wrong to cross the line with the photographer even if I understand it!
Did I mention that it’s a musical? I love musicals. Bridges of Madison County kept my attention and the front seats were probably the best part. I would highly suggest you getting to this show, opting for VIP seats if you can and by the way you can because there are many options to make it affordable. This musical has romance, its funny, the music is A1, and it has drama and will have you talking well after you have left. If that isn’t the making of a good time? I am enclosing the link for deals, like reduced tickets 3 hours before show time, ticket discounts if you are a SNAP recipient, group tickets, etc. Tickets for all budgets and the ability to have one star-studded night. So affordability for all is important and trust me when I say you are going to want to get out and not miss this masterpiece.
Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre for a magical night. Thank you to the amazing cast you were above and beyond talented. Each of you have such a great gift. Thank you to Aversa PR for the invite. Thank you to everyone who were involved in the reception afterwards for the reception. The brisket was divine! I felt like a celebrity with all of the star treatment.
Everyone get out and support Bridges of Madison County. The show is located at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 215 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19107; 215-985-1400. The show runs from February 8 to March 3, 2019!
We all have triggers. Triggers are the things that we see, experience, or are around us that pushes an emotional response. We all have to find a way to control them, handle them and most importantly address them.
Some people deal with them in healthy ways such as counseling, talking to a trusted associate or friend or acknowledge them. The unhealthy way of dealing with triggers is hoping they will simply go away, drugs, sex, relationships, etc. I am aware of my triggers because I have had more times of not handling them right that I had no choice but address them. I was tired of arguing, yelling, ready to fight, and being about drama to deflect what I hadn’t acknowledged. It was too much to keep things going! My tipping point came when I got into it with family and it spilled over into social media. I knew at that moment that I had to disengage, take a break, and handle the root of the issue. So instead of worrying who was wrong, I just dug deep into getting my life aligned. Now the issues that came up didn’t disappear but with the help of my counselor I worked through! Funny part I was in counseling and she told me that the situation was going to happen. It was almost verbatim how she described it. It’s funny now but then I was one split second from bail.
I have since seen a few family members since the whole breakdown and nothing on he inside of me moves. I hold no malice. However there are other triggers that I still work through quite often. For me they come out when I handle my children. My kids are good overall but they will every now and again make me tap into something and I find I have to work through some things. Parenthood in my opinion is sharpening me to be a better version of myself. I owe it to my children to be the parent that they need and not the parent that is in constant fight or flight so that is why I have been in and out of therapy since I had my oldest and she will be 10 this year. I have no embarrassment at all with saying that in order to control how I walk in this world is to have help. I want to spend my days being whole and not a whole mess.
How do you know that you are being triggered? Listen to yourself. The things you speak about portray where you are. If all you speak about is certain people or things that aren’t about building you to be your best, that issue you speak on still has life and you need to really deal with. When I as having marital issues and not speaking and listening to my husband all I spoke about was negativity of our marriage. I also would speak negatively about the imagery of other positive marriages. This is where the term hating does apply. I wanted my marriage to be a safe space. I wanted it to be strong from the inside out and would take issue with others who appeared that way. I wasn’t strong enough to be real about my part in my marriage. I never acknowledged how my triggers were not my husband’s to deal with. I wanted him to be understanding and fix me while I acted a fool and hide behind “for better or for worse.”
We are responsible for our own happiness. We want others to care about our triggers more than we are wiling to deal and handle them. It’s not enough to be understanding as you watch a partner do nothing. How about just regular folks watching you wallow in your triggers. Are your friends supposed to carry your triggers and the bad behavior they often demonstrate? They can love and be supportive but they are limited in making things okay. I blogged the other day about who my friends were present for my most colorful times with Marques in college. Looking back they should have raised the standard for our behavior in that if we wanted to hang the drama couldn’t come. Triggers place distance between people. Triggers is the cause of why hurt people hurt people. It’s simply still not okay to contain hurting people and having expectations that your relationship, title, or age will grace you.
You need to speak for, handle, and show up for that inner pain and deal with it. You need to trust me it’s in your best interest. Everyday I wake up even when the day before might have allowed a trigger to get the best of me and show up for myself. It’s important for me to mirror wholeness to myself as well as my children. Also social media and triggers is real. I do not argue with folks on social media. Debate is a thin line to fighting too. I will debate you with maybe 2 exchanges and that’s it. It also depends on the topic. The trolls will never engage me. Also if its family or friends that I have personal numbers to, it’s a no automatically. First I don’t post too many subjective things and on top of that I think about whether or not its someone who has a front row or at least a few rows into my life for me to get hype and it has zero outcome. Also don’t let what you think you see on Facebook. I knew of several males who made who dedications to their wives and was cheating the whole time using hashtags like couple goals. Life is complicated and comparison will leave you in self defeat! Don’t do it!
One last thing, in life we can’t always retreat but one of the things that can assist in healing is separation. I was told when I stated I needed to separate from individuals that I was wrong. I knew what I needed. I knew I wasn’t going to be okay from years of mess by staying in the midst. My counselor allowed me to see that the person needed me to stay and work things out because staying gave the other party to believe that things weren’t as bad as it was. I didn’t care if I was looked as wrong. I no longer wanted to be right. I wanted to be free to live and love. I needed healing from my triggers. I needed to separate to walk in real wholeness and know right or wrong I was entitled to how I felt but not entitled to react negatively to it! Working through triggers is a daily tussle. However if you are overwhelmed or feel overtaken in your triggers, its time to acknowledge it and get help!
So as many of you know I came across the Christmas Village last year doing a Google search for free family fun. I then convinced my family to give the authentic outdoor German Market a try. We were impressed and excited to attend again this year. This year I was invited to take an intimate look at what the Christmas Village really has to offer behind the scenes. This year thanks to the renovations of the Love Park sign, it was even more special!
I was able to attend the opening ceremony to light “The Present.” Thanks to Mayor Jim Kenney who hit it home with his opening speech about giving towards others. This is the season to not just think about ourselves and our families but how we can best serve the people of Philadelphia. The Present is 27 feet in height, well-lit holiday present. It is in the middle of the Christmas Village. Not only is it visually stunning, its set as a reminder to give to others. If you are in the area you can give by texting and you will receive a gift tag that can be displayed on “The Present” that is a symbol of what the holiday is all about. You can actively give by doing the following:
TEXT BOOKS to 20222 to donate to Welcome America’s holiday book campaign for Parks and Recreation. Every $5 raised will purchase a total of 4 books.
TEXT 80100 to donate to Project Home to help end poverty and homelessness
Inside “The Present”
“The Present is open starting today to the public all the way through December 24th. It’s free to enter and as you can see from the above photos it’s a beauty to see, take photos and walk inside! I felt like the biggest kid. The colors and lights had me mesmerized.
So I knew after watching “The Present” light up that I was off to a good start. The first stop on the tour was the German Grill. The open grill had all the best of the German deliciousness. From Bratwurst to Schnitzel, I was in pure Heaven. The open grill is such a delight and the smells pulled me in. I was completely satisfied. As soon as I got home, I was upset as to why I didn’t take a Bratwurst to go.
This took me to the second stop on the tour and that was to the open beer garden, The Alm. It’s always a good idea for beer. There are a lot of new items on the menu. Let me also point out for families with young children. This is a great spot to combine adulting and kids. It’s closed in. So this means a lot of play for the kids and drinks for the adults. This year they have a new beer mug. It’s a beauty to behold and you know that the bigger the cup, the bigger the gulp!
As if the beer wasn’t enough, I made my way to one if that’s right one of the wine offerings, German Gluhwein. It’s a mulled wine. They offer a white and a red wine and both were amazing.
Next up was Käthe Wohlfahrt. This indoor gem blew my mind. This unique shop was full of mostly hand-made treasures. From one of a kind pieces to ornaments and decorations, it was a delight. Note there is no videography or photos for the public. However I was able to get you that inside look. What I will say is this is a must on your stops through the open village. Be careful as some of the pieces are pricey. So if you have little ones just hold their hands. I do believe once they see how well-lit and how beautiful the pieces are, they will spend more time asking questions than running through the store.
Next stop was the The Bacon Jams. I’ve never had bacon jam but today I wanted to buy all of them. These easy to spread jams taste super authentic to real bacon. The flavors were amazing. I tried every last one. From the maple bacon to the honey bourbon! All of them were a treat!
I believe I was turning into a foodie by the end of the night. The next stop was to Sweets where we tried some toasted chestnuts. I’ve never had any before but I was a believer tonight. Be sure if you attend that you make your way. There are other sweet treats as well.
Keeping in line with sweets we make our way to John and Kira’s. This was like chocolate Heaven! I tried for her first time honey bee chocolate made from local honey bee. First of all this gooey treat should be eaten in one bite. It’s honey flavor mixed with chocolate had to be the best that I have had in a long time. We also had some amazing sea salt caramel.
If you ever been to the Christmas Village you are full aware of the Raclette. It’s basically the best cheese I’ve ever eaten, that is melted under a special heated lamp and the cheese oozes onto some of the freshest bread Philadelphia has to offer. I was in cheese coma. Let me say that yes I took one for the team of non dairy, but I ain’t feel not ounce of shame.
For those who love unique cards you must stop at Love Pop. You can get pop up 3D cards. I enjoyed the tour and I plan to grab a few to give to special friends.
Our next stop was Mike’s Hot Honey. We were told that when you taste it, it would be sweet and then bitter and it was true. Mike’s Hot Honey is a spread that can be put on almost anything from bagels to chicken. I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I am getting a cold but if I was when I left I definitely felt like my palette was cleared.
Of course we needed something a little sweet so we headed over to Helmuts Original Austrian Strudel. They had your classics like cherry but they also had some that were a definite go back and true such as the meat and pulled pork puffs. They even have a mac and cheese one!
One of the final stops before ending with hot chocolate was Truffleist. This is what the name says, Truffle. So between some amazing cheeses and salami, the truffle butter was everything. I mean everyone enjoyed it. They have an amazing selection and to be honest I could eat that truffle butter by the spoonfuls. It was that good.
One more goodie before I end, I love hand blown glass. The colors are amazing. So I had to take a picture of the Mouth Blown Ornaments.
So the tour was everything and more. You and your family or friends will have an amazing time. I tried to give you a snippet of what it would be like. The only thing that I didn’t see was Santa but you can catch Santa in the Santa Hut for pics starting on the weekends and then close to the season being over he will be there everyday. I would make sure you go and see him if you’re trying to get on the Nice List.
Special thanks to Philadelphia Christmas Village, the sponsors: Bank of America, Acme, Käthe Wohlfahrt, and Hernnhuter and all of the partners who helped to make this day. Also shout out to all of the amazing vendors who bring the Christmas Village to Life rain or shine. Remember its free to enter and you only pay for the food, drinks, and treasures you find.
Special shout out to Kory Aversa and the Aversa PR and Events for having me.
So head on over and grab your kids, your friends, your girls, or your boys and have an experience to remember!