Would You See 10 Plays in One Night?

When Mother Goose finally recovered from her Phantom of the Opera swoon (in fact it took nearly ten days), she found herself back in a theatre waiting for another show to begin. Actually waiting for TEN shows to begin!

There is a wonderful small place in Chicago, near the intersection of Milwaukee and Lawrence Avenues, appropriately called The Gift Theatre. They have a GREAT repertoire group, and every year about this time of year, they present a production of ten plays, each of them ten minutes long and IT IS A WONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING bit of showmanship.

My friend, Kay Martinovich, directed “Winsor McKay” — again, appropriately so. Kay holds a PhD in Theatre Arts and is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northern Illinois University. She is a VERY special friend of the goose. Of course, her little jewel of a play was the most delicious to Mother Goose, and I chewed it up and swallowed it with great gusto.

2014_TEN_Poster-226x340

The other plays were all quite good, some better than others. Some quite funny, some quite thought-provoking, some quite sad, and of course, Mother Goose was completely offended by a couple of the short plays, but that’s OK.

It was a unique experience to be sure.

And naturally there was a bit of “coincidence” — as we were sitting in our seats, an older woman (yes, older than Mother Goose…) sat down next to us. As we began to chat a little, it turned out that she was one of Kay’s dearest friends and mentors of the stage world! You know that Mother Goose does not believe in “happenstance” or “accidents”, but only the wonderful providence and sovereignty of our loving God.

We had a LOVELY evening at The Gift Theatre…

And just a few days later, we attended ANOTHER play! Stay tuned!!!

Flapping about the Phantom

Mother Goose used to say, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I get to see Phantom of the Opera on the stage…”

And then it happened! And thankfully, it was a cold day in Chicago not hell.

For twenty-five years, this story and opera ghost have been seen in theatres around the world — but never within the grasp of Mother Goose. I’ve heard the songs in my head for so long, seen the movie renditions of the Broadway productions and the Hollywood productions of the original screenplay, and read the original novel over and over. I have permanently sealed this tragic love story of the ages within the phantom’s lair of my fowl brain. “Where all will pay homage to moooooosic…. my moooooosic.”

And then the surprise announcement that this new production by Sir Cameron Mackintosh would indeed be stopping in Chicago for a short run at the Cadillac Palace Theatre! Imagine Mother Goose gasping at the thought! And then the gentle nudge to Husband Goose, “Oh dear Mark, look! Phantom of the Opera is coming to Chicago….wouldn’t it be wonderful to see it? What a sweet birthday gift it might make…”

And then within minutes, the electronic printer of the Goose starts its fussing and fuming indicating that it has a item of circumstance which it would like to share with us. And out of the printer, click by magical click, comes the TICKETS to see Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago! OPENING NIGHT with seats in the first row of the Circle Section, center of the house, just above the main floor. Prime real estate!

And then Mother Goose fainted away…

One month later, here she is, glowing from head to toe with anticipation of the show…

Natalie at Cadillac Palace with a Phantom

Cadillac Palace Theatre with Phantom

I believe that we were most fortunate to see Cooper Grodin in the title role on this opening night. Originally cast as Joseph Buquet and the understudy for the phantom at previous stops and venues along the road, Mr. Grodin was a perfect new Phantom. His amazing energy and haunting voice simultaneously thrilled, frightened and delighted this goose.

Julia Udine was wonderful as Miss Christine Daae, just wonderful. Though I am not a fan of Raoul, I must say that Ben Jacoby totally nailed his character and his singing is really beautiful.

As you know, I am not a professional reviewer of theatrical productions and know next to nothing about Broadway shows and would never claim to be an expert about anything remotely musically dramatic. But I will say here and now that the current production of Phantom of the Opera is a spectacle beyond my wildest dreams.

More lovely than I could ever imagine.

The music, the melodies soar as I knew they would.

The sets were more grand and majestic and more wonderful than anything I had ever seen on the stage.

The phantom’s boat did indeed move miraculously across the stage.

The smokey mirrors made “Masquerade” more surreal than I ever thought possible.

I gasped, I cried, I clapped my hands in wonder like an amazed child at her first play.

Quite possibly, I will never again be impressed with another musical production because the Phantom has spoiled me so terribly — I shall never love again as I have loved that evening. The Music of the Night will haunt me ’til I pass from this world…

Words cannot express, alas they fail me so terribly, as I try to describe the show to you dear and loyal readers. I would tell it from the perspective of a goose, but you could never grasp the glory unless you see it for yourself. It would break my heart to say more — I would never want to steal your joy and ecstasy at seeing and hearing this incredibly marvelous production for yourself.

Only trust a goose when I say, “Do not miss this Phantom of the Opera.”

A standing ovation to Mark for taking me to see the show of the century!  THANK YOU, dear!!

A standing ovation to Mark for taking me to see the show of the century! THANK YOU, dear!!

The Goose is Back

Mother Goose is back. After a much needed sabbatical, I’m rested and recovered and revived and ready to tell some brand new stories. Who can ever tell why a goose must take a break from her blog? Who can explain the sudden aversion to the compound word, WordPress? How do some writers keep writing and some need to fall off the wagon for awhile?

Obviously, life for these past six weeks have been jam-packed with adventures — to be sure, my life has never lacked for subject matter. We had a lovely Christmas holiday, a fun and surprising New Year (yes, Mother Goose woke from a deep sleep and jumped off the couch at exactly midnight, surprising the family with a dance that included much jumping and flapping and merriment!) and January has proven to be one theatrical performance after another.

Whew! The goose has been on the loose!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? How’s that working for you? It’s been nearly a month since January 1, and my resolution is still holding strong. And here is what I resolve for 2014:

Always dance in the Kitchen.

In the home of Mother Goose, the kitchen is the place where most of the action takes place and most of the goslings hang out. What better place to dance? One of the priceless gifts I received for my birthday last month was a G-Pop wireless and bluetooth audio speaker, and so I simply connect my favorite Pandora stations to the G-Pop and CRANK IT UP.

Pandora radio is such fun! I have created nearly one hundred channels! So much selection, so many favorites, so many thumbs up! Since the beginning of the year, I have been mostly listening to the Family Road Trip station and the Lenny Kravitz station. Yes, I know — eclectic tastes for a goose, indeed.

Anyway, imagine the scene as Mother Goose is preparing the meals:

There is twirling and whirling, stepping and stomping, dipping and tripping, wings extended and tail wagging.

There is giggling and wiggling, peeking and winking, oblivious to the stares and intensity beyond compare.

goosedancing

Mother Goose has found the perfect combination of exercise and entertainment — it’s good for the goose and good for the gander!

They may laugh at my moves, but in the long run, they will remember this has been a very Happy New Year.

I hope you’ll return tomorrow to hear the story of Mother Goose and the Phantom of the Opera, opening night at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago….oh my gooseness!

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 77,906 honks to date

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