High Five / 05

High Five 05Long time, no see! Though Ciao Bella has been more quiet than usual, my spring break has been all sorts of wonderful, providing ample time for day trips with my family, events with friends, and reading books aplenty. Better yet? This week off has me looking forward to ending the school year on a strong note. I get ahead of myself though – for today, I’ll be studying for my APUSH exam {practice essays galore}, wrapping up Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s The Smell of Other People’s Houses {I’m digging it so far}, and sharing yet another High Five. What’s on your Sunday agenda?

[1] My interest in theater – and in particular, stage management – has long been a part of my life, shaping my extracurricular schedule and certainly influencing my college search! It’s a passion I’ll gladly discuss with anyone and everyone if given the chance, so you can only imagine my excitement when an opportunity arose to sit backstage on the national tour of The Wizard of Oz. I was allowed to shadow the stage manager, hopping on headset, watching the monitors, and learning her technical tricks – as someone whose crew work lies only in school auditoriums, I couldn’t ask for a cooler experience. Many thanks to the friendly crew for showing me the ropes and, of course, to my amazing middle school drama teacher for setting it all up. Are you involved in any production at the moment?

[2] I’m incredibly late to the party in just setting up a Spotify account this month, but in my opinion, better late than never! In all truth, I couldn’t have timed it better; after watching Begin Again {starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo} with my sister and friend, I was happy to find the film’s soundtrack available to listen to as I draft blog posts, prepare for quizzes and tests, and reply to emails. Knightley has a gorgeous voice, and it’s the perfect complement to Adam Levine’s own. To play the favorites game, my most-played tracks include “Lost Stars,” “Like a Fool,” and “Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home,” but that may change once I add in the songs of Once :) Have you seen Begin Again? I’m on an indie kick, so if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

[3] History nuts and The Mother-Daughter Book Club readers alike will recognize the picture above: it’s a snapshot from the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington, performed annually on the Lexington Green by the Minute Men. It’s been several years since my family had last gone, but with nothing else planned that early in the morning, my dad, sister, and I thought the fun of it would outweigh the 3:30 wake-up call! I’ll be the first to admit that the battle itself is anticlimactic, but what I love most is that it takes what you read about in textbooks and brings it to life. Coupled with my daily playings of the Hamilton soundtrack and my watching of Selma, it’s been one history filled vacation.

[4] My other theater outing of the week was to see a performance of Little Women at my local community theater. I’ve gone there only a few times before, but I love the March sisters too much to miss seeing them on the stage. The show was met with criticism when it hit Broadway in 2005 that I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m delighted to report that the production was incredibly well-done, especially for the venue: a tiny black-box theater! Hearing Meg and Mr. Brooke sing of their engagement, Jo of her publications, Beth and Mr. Laurence in a charming duet, and Amy of her crooked nose has me tempted to revisit the book or, at the very least, watch the film with Winona Ryder another time. Have you read Little Women?

[5] Finally, I caught a showing of The Jungle Book early last week, and I enjoyed it even more than I expected! I’ll admit, I have yet to see a Disney movie I’ve haven’t liked, but I was wholeheartedly impressed with the extensive CGI work and the performance of young actor Neel Sethi. I haven’t watched the cartoon version in ages, so the live-action remake served as a welcome refresher of the story {and the beloved song!}. Furthermore, the lush graphics drew me in from the opening scene to the final credits, which is to say: my eyes never left the screen. Rumor has it a sequel may be in the works, but during the wait, I’d be happy to watch this first film again. What movies have you seen recently?

Have a lovely rest of your weekend!


4 thoughts on “High Five / 05

  1. Ciao Bella!
    Congratulations on a great week!
    I LUV Wizard of oz. I did not know there was a play on tour. That is fantastic that you got to go back stage! Good luck with your stage manger career.
    I do not have much history in acting, but I was an extra in ‘Selma’. For three days I was a reporter, but none of the footage made it into the film. On one day I was a meany policeman. I caught a glimpse of myself in the movie just before the cops charge across the bridge.

    Jungle Book:
    I have a guilty confession!
    -I saw the preview for the new movie, and was turned off by the over-use of CGI.
    -I thought of a 1942 version of ‘Jungle Book’ that i knew of. It was a live action version of the story. I had discounted it initially for some reason, but decided to watch it since the new version was coming up. It was really good! It is a fairly true version of the Rudyard Kipling novel. It was a fairly lavish British production with an Indian boy as Mowgli.
    -I liked the 1942 version so much, I thought I’d watch the 1967 animated Disney film. I figured it would be fantastic, but I was disappointed. There was not a lot of story to it. This was the last project that Disney had a hand in, and he purportedly fired the writers, that had a good story, and insisted on a lame version of the story. {I hate to say this, but there is a scene with singing monkeys that comes across as racist. This is actually uncomfortable to watch.} I liked the colors and the artwork, and I loved the voice characterizations of Sebastian Cabot and George Sanders, but the movie fell a little flat. :-(

    -I was wrong about the 1942 version: it was good.
    -I was wrong about the 1967 version: it was not so good.
    -I bet I’m wrong about the 2016 version: I looked into the cast and they appear to be inspired. I need to get over my feelings about CGI, because I bet this new version of ‘Jungle Book’ will be great!

    Happy Reading, Bella!
    ~Icky. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How awesome that you got to go behind set of The Wizard of Oz! That was my first ever theatre experience last year and I fell in LOVE. I’m auditioning for a role in Beauty and the Beast in a couple of weeks and I can’t WAIT! Sounds like you are having a busy busy but fun spring so far =) <3

    Liked by 1 person

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