“Wonder will always get us there…”

What a joy Silent Sky has been. Some shows just have such an affect on people – audience, cast, designers, crew – that you don’t want them to end. Watching this beautiful script by Lauren Gunderson do that to people over the last 5 weeks has been wonderful and, now that we have reached the closing performance, I find myself feeling the same way.

The sense of wonder, of exploration and perseverance from this show is beautiful and inspiring. The sheer joy it evokes, that sense that “Anything Is Possible”, is just so beautifully interwoven with the loving bittersweet reminder “But… we don’t have forever… so Savor Everything.”

Working with the entire production team on this show has been an amazing journey. Telling the story of Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming – true pioneers in their field who persevered and changed the world around them despite incredible resistance – has been an absolute gift, and one of the highlights of my career so far. I offer a giant THANK YOU to the many wonderful people who helped to make it happen!

Because the real point… is seeing something bigger. And knowing we’re a part of it, if we’re lucky. In the end that is a life well-lived. Because thank God there’s a lot out there bigger than me.

-Henrietta Leavitt, SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson

Every time…..

Every time this shows up in the mail, I think of my Dad.

I think back to when I was in high school, and told him I wanted to go to college for theatre. I was ready to be told I should find something more stable, I was ready to be lectured about responsibility and the future.

Instead, all he asked was “Do you think you can make a living at it?” When I said I thought I could, he just nodded, and said “Okay. Great. Your mom and I will help any way we can.” And that was it.

So when my membership card from SDC arrives I, naturally, get a sense of pride that I’m following my dream and making it work, and I’m thrilled that I’m contributing to the world the way I’d hoped to… but I also feel like I’m keeping a promise to my Dad. I know he was proud of me, of all his kids, but putting this card in my wallet every year makes me feel worthy of the trust and faith he had in me on that afternoon, sitting together in our kitchen, over 30 years ago.

On Tuesday I start rehearsal for Doublewide, a play about a guy who spends his life working in a factory and doing everything he can to provide a good future for his family.

Thanks, Dad. This one’s for you.

Pic Post Friday!

I had a wonderful quick getaway with my amazing wife Jeanne earlier this week.   We stole a couple days from the schedule and visited Saugatuck, Michigan.  We stayed in the fabulous Hidden Gardens bed-and-breakfast, where I now want to live year-round.

We spent a lot of time on Lake Michigan, at Oval Beach. Just beautiful.   Here’s the only pic I took at the beach!


To get to the beach, you have to take a short walk from downtown Saugatuck, across the Kalamazoo River.  This chain ferry is the way to cross and, according to the operator, it’s one of only a handful still in operation across the country!

Here is the guy cranking us across the river. Yes, when offered the chance, I did some cranking! Life is short, try stuff, celebrate everything!  😁


Jeanne and I had a great time, it was a wonderful relaxing couple of days. Downtown Saugatuck is adorable with lots of parks and little shops and great food. (If you go, don’t miss The Southerner, or Phil’s!)

This flower shop has the best name ever.

We also enjoyed some relaxing and great wine at a cool place called Borrowed Time…

 

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With life being crazy, and politics driving everyone nuts, and work being always busy, and Jeanne and the kids going back to school in a week…. a little breathing room with the most important person in my world was just perfect.

I hope you’re all able to carve out some hammock time, whatever your version is, before long.  These are the moments all the hard stuff should lead to. Don’t forget to take them.

Merry Christmas Day!

Christmas morning. 

I love it. 

Watching family open gifts, especially the kids pulling out all the stocking stuffers, is the best! Much hugging and love, lots of laughs, sitting on the couch, or the floor between the couch and Christmas Tree, everyone gradually donning new hats, or pajamas, or scarves or jackets, so that by the time we’re done no one looks the way they did when we started! 

Coffee being enjoyed by Jeanne and I, Maggie immediately begins brewing water for tea in her super-nifty new electric tea kettle. (“It GLOWS!!”, she yells from the kitchen.) Max is trying to decide which side of his reversible Star Wars jacket he wants to show off first, the Light or the Dark. Jeanne rises, starts preparing our traditional Christmas Day breakfast: eggs, sausage, cinnamon rolls, and pomegranates! 

Best laugh of the morning:  My wife (because she a: knows me, b: loves me and c: is awesome), got me Superman cologne. Max got Batman cologne. I sprayed some on, and declared “I smell like Truth And Justice!”  Max, in his spot-on Christian-Bale-as-Batman impression, whisper-growled “And I smell like THE NIGHT!!”  

Ah, I love these mornings together. Grateful to be here for them. 

Merry Christmas, everyone. 

  

Random Thoughts On A Saturday Afternoon

I’ve made a habit of making a fruit and vegetable smoothie as one or two of my meals per day over the last couple of weeks, trying to get a little healthier and slimmer. I need to go grocery shopping, so we’re out of fruit and veggies. I have, therefore, decided that Captain Crunch is a totally acceptable substitute. I glanced briefly at the back of the box, it seemed pretty full of ingredients and stuff.

Today is our first real snowfall this season. It’s beautiful. Here’s the view out our front window.
Evernote Camera Roll 20151121 143705Of course, we’re still in the honeymoon stage. Another few weeks of the slush and shoveling and cold and I’ll be ready to drop you, Winter and move on – don’t take it personally, Winter, it’s me, not you. Well, it’s actually you.

This last month has been so full of fun. A chance to see a bunch of theatre – the tour of Antigone, with Juliette Binoche. I liked it, but I’ll be honest, it felt a little heavy-handed. The first time we took a long pause to watch someone sit, or walk across the stage for 60 seconds, was interesting. The next couple times just felt indulgent and staged. That said, I liked the scenic, lighting and most of the multimedia designs, and the acting was terrific. Every time I go to the Power Center in Ann Arbor I’m reminded of what a cool space it is – I should go more often.

Saw American Hero in Detroit, at the newly minted Detroit Public Theatre. A nice inaugural production for this new company, hoping to see great things from them in the future!

I also got to see the wonderful production of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf at the Performance Network. Man, what a beautiful, moving production. Just clicking on all cylinders – it’s fun to see a big ol’ classic brought to life in a wonderful way.

We’ve just started previews of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol at Williamston Theatre. It’s a great piece, full of magic and redemption, fun and theatrical storytelling.
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And, most importantly, my kids were in a terrific High School production Beauty And The Beast, and I am incredibly proud of them. Maggie was Belle, Max was Lumiere, and they were just terrific. I’m a big softie, obviously, and watching them together onstage in these fun roles that they just crushed, well… I’m an emotional guy, what can I say. Maybe it was dusty in the theatre, or someone was cutting onions nearby, who can say… (Warning: Proud Parent Photo Post Imminent…)

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Happy Winter, everyone! Be safe out there… and Celebrate Your Lives!