Curio Theatre Company Presents: The Winter’s Tale

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Thank you to all of the actors for a job well done. Thank you Curio Theatre for having me and thank you Carrie Gorn for the invite!

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Monday Motivation: She is me I am she…

Remember when Beyoncé first left Destiny’s Child and she had her alter ego named Sasha Fierce. She would reference her in that she was shy outside of performing. I think a lot of us adopted the whole alter ego, mine was Natasha.

Natasha was also an alias I used in my single days when I didn’t feel like being bothered. This was back in the day when you could curve a dude and he would just eat it. Now a days when are forced to give their rightful numbers to avoid the male ego and avoid being harmed. Men we need you to go back to the days of being okay of being curved. Women I think are getting better at attempting to be authentic too. I know men read my blogs I am not putting it all on you.

Back to Natasha, as I gotten a little older I still refer to Natasha but I realize that she is me and I am her. She is a part of me. She isn’t this imaginary alter ego that I use to be more bold. Natasha and I are one. We are both bold and quiet. We are both able to speak into the universe what we need and get it. We can read a book and turn up with a quick twerk. We both love book stores and the occasional club scene. We both know how to act in corporate America and we can respectfully fall in line in any small company atmosphere. We can be healthy and have splurges. We can be homebodies as well as out and about. We can want solitude and be okay in a crowd. We use alter egos to do the things that we are to shy to achieve not realizing that if we can call on the alter ego which is us, it was in us to do so. We can ask for a raise from that job because we have done the work. We can ask for someone’s number because we are dope individuals and want someone on our page.

We can make moves in our lives because Natasha is us and we are her. We both combined are awesome. Being older I hear from women older than me telling me not to hold back. If something is no longer serving its purpose in my life, get rid of it. Don’t wait until you are 50 to make your own choices. There is too much love and light on this Earth to allow life to simply happen to you. Regardless if you name your alter ego or not is neither here nor there. We ALL have multiple sides to us. It’s learning to allow you to fold and evolve. It’s a beautiful thing to see yourself in the mirror when you accept yourself with all the flaws and messiness you are.

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Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

  • Say NO more
  • Say YES more
  • Eliminate waste in all areas of your life
  • Link with other dope individuals
  • Smile More
  • Cry when necessary
  • It’s okay not to know the answer
  • It’s okay not to have it together
  • Compare yourself to you and no one else

Whatever you need your alter ego for, combine her/him with who you are and shine. Together you are all you need. Be great today!

 

How to Catch Creation

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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Theatre Company Presents Bridges of Madison County

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!

 

Ask Toi: What do you think of Meek Mill saying women need to take wigs off in 2019?

A reader wanted to know my thoughts so here we go:

Meh. A man telling a woman about hair is neither here nor there to be honest. Meek can have any opinion he wants. He has a right to voice that opinion but Meek isn’t a hair dresser or someone of an authority of hair so I saw what he said and kept scrolling. I don’t follow him and he doesn’t influence me one way nor another. It doesn’t mean I don’t like his music.  I do like his music but as a fan of music I don’t allow celebrities that I don’t feel have authority on a topic to speak into my life-like that.

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Who knows why he said it? It could be a dig on his past love Nicki.  It could be encouragement for women to embrace natural hair or healthy hair. Either way what he said didn’t give me life. As a woman who is natural and has had a perm and a weave at points in my life, my hair will be whatever I choose. I am grateful for being diverse and it is what it is. He like many other men state they don’t want a lot of things and still gravitate towards them so when he stop messing with women with wings and weaves than maybe I will take what he says into consideration.

End of the day any woman who is with him should be of concern to him.  I know folks gonna email me with the “even if I was dating” comments. Listen what’s best for you. I never allowed folks that I was dating to dictate to me how my hair was worn. I cut my hair off when I dated my (boyfriend) husband back in the day and he hates short hair. He is still here so end of day preference shouldn’t dictate a person but you can consider them if you are at least married to them. But hair advice from men who don’t know a lick of hair and would smash someone with wig in hand if their ass was big enough, can have a seat!

That’s my thoughts on that one…..

Ladies do you!

Tinsel Philly: Happy Hour Meets Christmas

So if you love Christmas and you love drinks and getting out this is your bar. This pop-up Christmas bar is the envy of anything holiday that I have attended. Tinsel Philly Pop-Up bar is your go to. What is Tinsel and how should you prepare? Bring some friends, be ready to drink, bring a fun attitude and leave the decorations, great fun and awesome Christmas atmosphere to Tinsel.

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First of all you are going to want to be in the holiday spirit from the door until it’s time to leave. From the window display to the bathroom, there is no corner or ceiling that is left unturned. I loved it.  The ceiling even has real drop down presents.

It is an eye pop of happiness. If you had the unique opportunity to attend last year, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that its bigger and better. It features a 33 foot bar. Say it with me, dranks!   I was impressed. Being a lifestyle blogger I feel as if it is my job to be able to bring anything that makes your life fun, easier, and gets you out and about and this had all of that. I am going to start from the front of the venue to the back.

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I found super convenient street parking. I only had to walk less than one block away. This was not a turn off for me. Tinsel is not hard to find. Once you are on the block it literally sets itself apart from all of the other venues around it. It’s the most lit Christmas display and that itself reassured me I was in the right place. Once inside, I walked into an overhead of lights. Lights engage me. Once inside, the 33 foot bar is undeniable. The bar was absolutely wonderful. Now I am going to keep it real. Bars sometimes for me can intimidate me, but not at Tinsel. The staff was warm and welcoming and let me know their favorites off the bat. Now I had my sight set on the Tinsel Snow Globe. It is a keepsake.  Let me say the inner child kicked in as I shook my globe and enjoyed the tastings of Grey Goose La Vanile, White Cranberry and the best part edible snow. Yes, you read that correctly, edible snow. The slew of drinks that Tinsel has to offer has something for everyone. From cold Christmas drinks and specials to hot drinks and wines and beers, you are sure to be pleased. I was super happy not just with the themed drinks having great names but making sure it didn’t lack in quality. At Tinsel, that is not the case. You know I love to be on point and if I am spending my coins, I want my drinks to be worth it. You will find my personal stamp of approval. I love adult juice so when I am out and about I want to be able to get out and know that I am getting what I paid for.  Knowing that last year’s Tinsel Philly was packed nightly I can definitely see why.

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So let’s hit you with the Logistics:

Where is Tinsel Located:

116 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia PA, 19107

What drinks Does Tinsel offer?

Like I stated above there is something for everyone. The coveted Take Home souvenir drinks include the Tinsel Globe, Canned “Good” which is what it sounds like, a canned good can that is filled with your choice of either Deep Eddy’s Vodka or Bacardi Cuatro, Cranberry or Cinnamon (proceeds benefit MANNA) and Makers Mark Stocking Shot or the Neat X-Mas Ornament. I personally tried the Tinsel Globe, the Canned “Good” and the Makers Mark Stocking and they all were worth their price because one the bartenders were awesome and they didn’t short change me on the liquor.

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Tinsel Philly is donating $1.00 for every “Canned Good” drink to Manna who prepare and deliver meals to those are in need and are battling sickness and would otherwise not be able to have nutritional meals. Learn more about MANNA.

They have cold and warm drinks like the Hot Toddy, and the spiked hot chocolate that was made with either Stillhouse Mint Cocoa or the Bacardi Coconut. Absolutely everything that the holidays drinks  are about.

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There is also an assortment of holiday beers, wines and what we all need to know about the happy hour which is Monday-Friday from 5-6 pm with $2 off most drinks.

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Oh and for my Mall or any other professional Santa, you get one drink free and 50% off at all times. You must be wearing your full attire and credentials may be asked to verify.

Music

No bar is complete without music. When you come into Tinsel you will be welcomed by Philadelphia DJ Robert Drake aka Mr. Christmas. He also in addition to spinning at Tinsel will host his 26th year on XPN which is the Night before Christmas with 24 hours of nonstop sounds bringing everyone into the holiday spirit. You can check out his music takeover on XPN

Tinsel Holiday Take overs

DJ Drake will be spinning Monday Mixers on December 10 and December 17 from 5-7pm where there will be prizes. Yes prizes.  That means you can have some fun, dance, drink and win a gift for you or for someone else and have one less gift to purchase. Come on out!

Letters to Santa

This year Tinsel will have brand new post cards to the first 500 patrons. Tinsel staff will take these postcards that can be sent to Santa, or to spread holiday cheer to others. Staff will take these cards and mail them off for you!

Santa’s Throne

This was one of my favorite spots. It was a great place for that coveted Instagram pic! I had to make sure I got one! The room attached to the Santa Throne was well decorated and completely inviting. So make sure you bring someone who can get that great shot and angles for you. Definitely well worth it!

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Holiday Events Coming Up:

Saturday December 22, 2018: Jingle Bars Holiday Crawl. For tickets and more Info

Follow Tinsel and keep yourself updated you don’t want to miss, The White Elephant Party where you bring an unwanted gift and exchange it for something else. Also they will announce Day parties and New Years Eve Party and you don’t want to miss out!

Shout out to Craft Concepts Group which includes,Teddy Sourias (owner of Trademan’s BRU Craft, and Wurst, U-Bahn, Cinder Cooper and Lace, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s Ale House) and the local artist  who worked to make sure that they opened up the space to exceed the space from last year to this year’s bigger, and definitely decorated open space. The intrict detail in all of the artwork was mesmerizing and appreciated.

And as always thank you Kory Aversa and Aversa PR for having me.

Make sure that you don’t let the holidays over take you, take some time to have a drink at Tinsel where you can have a drink and leave the cleaning and stress up to them. You deserve to have a ball and celebrate. Grab your friends and family and Pop-up to Philly’s Christmas Pop-Up at Tinsel. You will not be disappointed!

National Make A Difference Day

How can you make a difference? This is such an open-ended question. We always have a tenacity to go to what we don’t have before we answer. You start listing all of the things you aren’t before you can just simply find ways to be the difference in someone else’s lives.

Whatever gifts and talents that are inside of you is more than enough to make a difference. Here are a few ways you can give back and make a difference:

 

Home Life

One charity starts at home. I hate to see people who are super bomb to everyone around them except their own family. I hate to see it with parents who go out and win everyone else’s child but ignore the issues with their own. I hate to see husbands and wives flex on social media but behind closed doors, give silent treatments and ignore the needs of their spouse. We all have to do better.

  • Spend more time with your children. Yes you work to provide. Provision is responsibility. Taking time away from your phone, to sing a song, or play one of their games, or sit and ask them what they like and what’s bothering them makes a difference for a child. Try it some time.
  • Love on your mate. Whether it’s a boo, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, take some time and spend it on them. Yes gifts are great, but how about watch one of their shows actively with them. How about talk and make sure the air is clear? You can also make a dessert together. These are inexpensive ways to show the ones you love that you are one with them.
  • Check in on loved ones. We say we love folks but the only time we check in on them is if we have the tea about another family member. Change that. Call and ask if all is well and mean it. Than when you find out it’s not if you can help, help. Also unless someone told you to tell another person, build trust and just listen and not take their issues to another family member so you “can pray about it.”

Work Life

  • Show up and be on time ready to work. That’s a ministry all in itself.
  • Don’t be apart of the office gossip-remember the same lips bringing you the tea, is the same one taking your tea to stir at another pot on you
  • Be the change in the office you want to see
  • If the job no longer serves you, don’t stay get an exit plan. This may take time, but be proactive in leaving
  • Find ways to be more productive even if that means changing the scenery. When work starts to get to me sometimes I redecorate to fit a new mood. It helps me about 60% of the time

Social Media Life

  • Don’t go back and forth with them……. (in my Lil Duval voice) if you find yourself having to respond to more than one comment just stop. You aren’t going to win an argument on social media with trolls
  • Be who you post to be. Yeah that’s right. Align your social media to reflect who you are. On my social media I highlight me as a mom and wife. I don’t create doors to let anyone think they have space to slide in the DM. They do but at that point they just are trying to do the most.
  • Make sure you don’t do subliminal post. This is hard even for me at times. You see a post and it speaks to you but post it cause it spoke to YOU. You can’t be out here taking shots at folks you don’t even @

 

We all have things that we can give to the world. I came across a young lady on social media that is a hair dresser and she feeds the homeless. This is her life work. She literally gets out there with the folks that many would snub their noses at, and she feeds them and cleans them up and does their hair. She has a whole team of folks that assist her. Think about how her being there does for them. She treats them with dignity and respect. I know if I was down and out the last thing I would want is someone kicking me when I was done. What about those who raise money for others?  They are making a difference in the causes by which they are raising it for. How about those who set up camps at the bus stops for kids to make sure all of the kids have breakfast. You don’t know what someone may be going through at home. Everybody ain’t sitting at home collecting checks. Some middle class folks work everyday and still can’t make ends meet. How about the men who go into the community to pray over the city. There are a few groups here in Philadelphia who do it consistently. What can you do? Whatever gift is inside of you can help make a difference.

I said it before but around thanksgiving I see so many companies give back to others and it warms my heart. If you cut hair, how about offer your services to people who can’t afford to maintain their cuts on a regular basis? If you are a financial planner, offer your services to a few families for free to get them out of debt?  The sky is the limit. Whatever you do, do it well. Someone needs the very thing you have and complain about. Make a difference today and everyday!