Sunday, September 30, 2007

Securing her spot as my favorite!

When I got the A&E / BBC version of Pride and Prejudice I watched it over and over again. If it wasn't so embarrassing I would even admit to putting it on at night so I would hear Colin Firth talking while I drifted off to sleep land. I loved the new movie too and I have been known to watch either one of them over and over when the mood strikes. The story just never gets old.

We were talking about this movie in the dressing room one day and Erin brought me this book that her mother had. It is the same story told from Mr. Darcy's point of view. Oh Joy!

Maybe in this version he catches the eye of a young Jewess from the New World.

It could happen. Thank you Erin!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The second 1/2 (see last entry)

What is your favorite book? - Catcher in the Rye
Why Edward Scissorhands? - because he overcame being misunderstood and I can relate to that.

Favorite actor? - Al Pachino because I really liked the Godfather.

Best acting advice you have received? - If somebody says your head is bleeding on stage - don't question them.

What would you say to other kids your age that want to be in this business? - Go to every audition you can and hope you get a winner.

In what way is the Character of John Henry like you? - We both like to make cookie men out of cookie dough.

In what way is he different? - He is way more feminine than I am and he is younger.

Anything else you want to add? - I have to go on stage now so wish me "broken legs"!

1/2 an interview with a guy 1/2 my size

Eric poses on top of the trash can in the ladies dressing room.

The following is part one of an interview conducted between acts 1 and 2 of The Member of The Wedding.
MF - Why did you want to be in this production?
Eric - It's a job. And I had heard Carson McCullers was a great playwright.
MF - What has been your favorite thing about it so far?
E - Definitely the people.
MF - What was the last role you played?
E - A munchkin in OZ.
MF - Why acting?
E - My parents told me I needed to do something and I thought this would be fun.
MF - What has been your favorite role?
E - This one. It is a great story.
MF - What is your dream role?
E - I want to play Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands, The Musical.
MF - List 3 words that describe you.
E - Awesomosavrus, Stoooped,
(at this point we got called by the stage manager to get in place for the next act. More to come)

The story about last night

Last night was the Style Weekly award ceremony honoring their Top 40 under 40. My Pop and Kitty Mom came to town to come to the Top 40 party with us and see the play afterwards. The party started at 5:30 and the award ceremony began around 6:30. It was fancy and well attended and everything you would imagine. I didn't want to leave. I knew they would never call my name in time since the awards were being presented in alpha order and I had to somehow be backstage by 7. At 10 minutes til 7 I pulled away from my chair, took my parents with me and asked HNS to please stay so he could tell me what I missed later that night. I also had him taking pics that I will be sharing with you as soon as I can.

I left with mixed feelings. I was so honored to get this award and so happy Pop and Kitty Mom where with me but sad that I was going to miss out on getting the award actually presented to me and hearing all the nice things the presenters say and seeing my folks so proud and all that stuff.

I made it to the dressing room on time and was happy to be there. When I walked in I noticed a huge vase with a dozen red roses at my station. At first I figured Christine got flowers again and then I noticed that the card was addressed to me. It was from my Ma! She sent flowers saying she was proud of me and sorry she couldn't be there. How sweet?!

I told the cast about my evening thus far and began looking forward to doing the show. I knew my folks would enjoy it and as I put my make up on and got ready I also thought about how fun it would be to get home tonight and hear all about the rest of the evening from HNS. I called him from backstage at one point and asked him how it went and thanked him for staying there to pick up my award for me. In true HNS fashion he didn't have much to say. What I did get out of him was that he brought my award home but he didn't want to describe it to me over the phone - he said let it be a surprise and just see it when you get home. That sounded good to me.

The show went well and as I walked out to the lobby afterwards I spotted Erin Thomas and thought "Mmmm, I guess she saw the show." not remembering at the time that she had her own show to do that night. (Mr. Marmalade)
As I walked out further I saw Kitty and Pop and ....who is that?...Is that Jason Roop, Editor of Style Weekly? WTF? Did he see the show? No, he was at the ceremony I had to leave giving out the awards...then why is he here now? And My mind is just swimming and I look around the Barksdale lobby and notice HNS is there and so is most of my cast along with some of the parents of the kids in the show and a couple other friends (Including Erin who apparently raced to get there from her own show) and oh, wait, I get it! Jason Roop brought the award ceremony to me.
At 11 pm after the show, after he must have had quite a crazy night already. He stood there looking just as he did at the podium of the ceremony I had to leave. Then he began to speak. From what I gather he explained to the Barksdale lobby crowd what he was doing there and gave a lovely speech about why I was chosen for this honor. Then presented me with my award.
It is kind of all a blurr to me as I was trying to take in every moment and stop time (Not possible, btw). It was overwhelming and something I am not likely to forget. Seriously, even if I get amnesia one day, I will be wandering around - that's what amnesia folks do, right? From what I have seen in TV movies they do some wandering. So - I will be wandering around muttering to myself "I don't know who I am but I do know that I was named one of Style Weekly's top 40 under 40!".
Thanks to the folks who wrote such beautiful letters on my behalf and to everyone who participated in the theatre surprise and especially to Jason Roop who, after what I am sure was already a long evening, came to the theatre so I could have my moment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Muffinface got Sole

I have never been a big fish eater and almost never order it in a restaurant so I don't know what prompted me to order not only fish but a type of fish I had never tasted before.

Earlier in the evening I had participated in a Barksdale Theatre's first night of a program they call "Meet the Stars". It is just like their "Coffee and Conversation" daytime talk backs but at night where more people can attend . I think it is a good idea with maybe a silly name.
Last night's discussion was interesting and ended up being more about racism than the play itself. I think the play has a simpler message about love and life being in a constant state of change. But what do I know? I don't think there were many Jews in the deep south at that time. The war was still going on and we all know what was happening to the Jews during the war.

Anyhow - I popped into Cancan - one of my favorite places to sit back with a nice glass of wine and had a little while to catch up with Scott (currently starring in Urinetown - go see it, already!)

I realized at about 9pm I had not eaten dinner and while I love the lunch at Cancan I have not had many dinners there I would rave about. That all changed last night. My favorite bartender (NOT including my guys at WD) saw me looking at the menu and suggested the sole. The idea of fish sounded good to me because it was late and I didn't want anything heavy. The idea of fish always sounds good and healthy but that doesn't mean I order it. What I really wanted was this salad with chicken they have on their lunch menu but they don't serve it at dinner. I was feeling like anything was possible. (perhaps my mind was a bit more open after the Barksdale discussion.)

That was the best damn dinner I have had in a long time. I LOVE SOLE!! It was a super tender fillet cooked with lemon and capers in light brown butter served with a rich side of spinach and a couple tiny fingerling potatoes. I will now try different kinds of fish when I visit Cancan for dinner. That is clearly what they do best.

On another restaurant note - Karsen's is now open for brunch. A couple weeks ago I had brunch there and it was fantastic. I was sorry I didn't bring my camera so next time I go I will show you pics of the place and their yummy food. Please go! 3411 West Cary Street (804) 353-5277.
New Fall Menu and Brunch menu will blow you away! OK - I just checked and the new menu is not on the website yet but believe me it is filled with great dishes!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Opening....

It's just not fair how good they look but it was still great to see Melissa and her daughter.
Cast members Christine and Zac mingle with fellow actors Stacy and Lucas

Our proud Director, Scotty.

Catherine, the star poses with Artistic Director Bruce Miller and High School Musicals Hannah Miller.
Brilliant Lighting designer Lynn and Hubby.
BFF and Ginnie enjoying a grown up drink.
Beautiful Catherine after taking out the blue contact.
Renee fixes my wig
Christine gets flowers on opening night!

Lexi primps between acts.
Erin and Katy hanging out backstage. Looks like Erin is taking notes. I must have said something really important.

Old man Eric prepares for the stage.

AAAAHHHHH!!!! Get that eye away from me.

Thanks again to Janine! I hope to have more guest bloggers soon to supplement my show stories.

Here are some fun pics from opening night. Funny story - when I made my entrance in act three on Saturday night a man in the front row turned to his partner and loudly said "Who is she?" I almost started laughing at a very inappropriate time.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome the lovely Janine...

Poor Jill Bari is so slammed this week, what with being a famous actress and all. I felt it was a good time to contribute a guest blog entry, since JB ain't doin a whole lotta cookin this week. I hope you will all go see The Member of the Wedding at Barksdale Theatre. That's where I earn my daily bread, so this is a shameless plug for the both of us!

I love making bread. I love the whole process. The cool silky feel of the flour as I swirl my fingers through it. The transformation of the mass as I knead, from shaggy lumpy messy into smooth, elastic and springy. I wish I could smooth out my whole life like that!As much as I like kneading, I have discovered this really fun recipe that actually involves no kneading. Yep, you heard me. It makes a very rustic, crunchy crust and a sturdy crumb with big holes. It's not a light bread, but a hearty bread perfect for toasting and grilling. I found the recipe in the NY Times, who got it from some bakery. It's all over the internet now, and very popular. I could just post a link to it here, but then you wouldn't have the Janinified version, now, would you?

The key piece of cooking equipment you need to bake this bread is something heavy and thick with a lid. I use a pyrex casserole dish or this clay pot thing I've got. I'm told a cast iron pot does great, too. It just needs to be something heavy-ish and lidded that can withstand high heat.In a big bowl, mix 3 cups of bread flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast and 1.5 cups of water. Get in there with your hands---wait, for crap's sake, take your rings off--and mix this together only until the ingredients are just incorporated. This so- called dough will be really sticky and "shaggy". Cover the bowl snugly with plastic cling wrap and set the bowl in a warmish (70 degrees or warmer) spot.

you leave this mess for at least 12 hours, and as long as 18 hours. When it's ready, you'll notice that the top of the dough blob is liberally dotted with bubbles. That little tiny bit of yeast has gone hog wild, and because the dough is so wet, bubbles abound. We like bubbles, don't we?Sprinkle lots of flour on a surface like a baking sheet. Now tip the bowl of dough and with a gentle hand coax the blob onto the floured surface. Some degassing will occur during this dumping (I'm talking about the dough, not the baker!!)--that's okay! Sprinkle lots of flour to also cover the top of the blob. Let this rise another time for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Half an hour before it's done with the second rise, turn on the oven to 450, put your empty cooking pot in the oven and let the empty pot get really hot along with the oven.
Now, take the really hot pot out of the oven. Transfer the dough into the very hot pot. That's more easily said than done, because the dough might be really floppy. But just do the best you can, 'kay? The flour all over the dough should keep it from sticking. Put the lid on the pot and stick that mess in the oven. In 25 minutes or half an hour, take the lid off and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes.Take the bread out of the pot and put it on a cooling rack. Try to restrain yourself long enough to let it cool before you converge upon it like a couple of birds of prey.
You may be thinking, "Eighteen hours?? I don't have 18 hours to spend on baking bread!!"You silly monkey. You can do other things while it's rising. Go to work. Go to the gym. Go to sleep. Have a cocktail. Call your mother.Those are just a few suggestions.

Cheers! Janine

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The blogger gets interviewed about blogging and blogs about it.

Last week I was interviewed by The editor or Richmond Marquee Magazine. Ms Kotula is pictured with me below. She is doing a story about actors and blogging and myspace. Many of us use these tools to network and just keep in touch with each other. It should be an interesting article and for those of you who don't know about this publication please go to it is a very positive, informative Theatre Magazine. You won't find any reviews here - just fun stories about fellow artists and the latest audition news as well as info about what shows are running. It is a good resource for actors as well as anyone who loves the theatre.

Not only is Lisa Kotula the creator and editor of this great publication but she is also a very talented actor/singer/dancer. (She's not only the president...she is also a member.) I have enjoyed her in many shows from Seussical to Joseph. She is currently in Urintown at Swift Creek Mill. Go see it!! And thank you, Lisa, for the work you continue to do to keep us all connected in a positive way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And the winner is....

Erin Bradner!!!

I might have mentioned I am sharing the stage with a couple young adults (crazy kids).

I think I might have blogged about them a couple times already.

Well, there is more to come. I am going to be interviewing them individually throughout the run of the play and once in a while letting you know when they say something particularly noteworthy.

Last night I was in the dressing room with Erin who plays Helen Fletcher in Member of the Wedding. She turned to me and said " I told (insert SPARC teachers name here) that I wanted to be Jill Bari when I grow up."

Now, I am not sure who this Jill Bari person is but she must be pretty cool to warrant that remark. None the less I felt compelled to say "I think you should aim higher."

I did tell her and the other children that she was now officially my favorite. Sure, there were some tears but now they know where I stand.

Where's the Beef?

Lately while viewing my blog you may be asking yourself where the food went. I have not been able to cook as my schedule sends me to rehearsal until all hours of the night. How HNS is surviving is a mystery.

We took a trip to good old Costco to stock up on frozen stuff that we can eat quickly and easily for dinner and lunch (Since I haven't cooked that also means no left overs for lunch). While we were walking through the store I was getting sad that I couldn't just throw some of the beautiful meats and other fresh dinner ingredients in our basket. Don't get me wrong - I love being part of this play but I do miss cooking. The show opens this week so in a couple weeks I should get on a schedule that allows me to cook again at least a couple nights a week. I think I will start with a Squash Casserole that pnlkotula gave me last week - or maybe the homemade falafel recipe from Janine - or maybe try my hand at cooking fish - or maybe those cheese steaks from my sissy's blog - or maybe...........

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Scott!

It was a dark and stormy night as Erin greeted the Birthday boy.
Roslyn made us a scrumptious Birthday dessert plate. Everything tasted amazing!
My BFF sitting across from the Birthday boy and sitting in front of one of Roslyn's gorgeous paintings.
Muffin face and Birthday boy.
enjoying a card.

A radiant Bride-to-be.

Another present above and below.

One of the reasons I love Scott so much is because he is older than I am. He is also very talented and getting rave reviews for the role he is playing in Urintown at Swift Creek Mill. Go see it if you can. I will be catching the last weekend since they run one week longer than The Member of the Wedding.
Anyway...he is very talented and a very good guy to have around.
He requested a small but specific group to join him for a Birthday drink at White Dog after his show on Friday night.
You might notice there are 3 of us and only 2 presents....that is what he gets for having his Birthday during my tech week.

Tech week was long but the show is getting good.

Every weekend of tech week there is what we theatre folks refer to as a 10 out of 12. That means you work 10 out of 12 hours with a 2 hour dinner break. It can be grueling and long - this one was actually fun. I am sure the fact that I only have a "cameo" helped.

On the dinner break a few of us walked up to the Halloween store next to the theatre and - of course - craziness ensued.

Zac turned 18!

Katy "Monroe".

Big, scary, bling.

Too squishy for Erin.

The Birthday boy gets fancy. Katy makes a friend.

Eric "McCartney"?

I have no idea - but it is kinda scary.

Cob-web head?

Eric shot the sheriff (but he did not shoot the deputy).

This was the scariest mask I have ever seen. The price tag hanging down made it look like "Minnie Pearl re-animated".

Eric said no one was scared of Freddy Kruger anymore but this still wasn't pretty.
A floating head appeared like magic.

Thing 3?

They all convinced me to buy a grill that fit over my bottom teeth. I thought we could work it into the play somewhere. The director didn't agree with me.
I have more posts on the way. This weekend also included Scott's Birthday and crashing Johnny Nooks bachelor party. OK - I was invited but it sounds more fun to say I crashed it.
There are food pics too!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Member of The Wedding Cast - Part one

Current stars and future Bloggers.

The girls fix Eric's hair so it won't cover his face during rehearsal.

Acting out.Clockwise from the top they are Zac (Barney), Katy (Doris), Eric (John Henry), Lexi (Frankie), and Erin (Helen)

I asked each of them to provide me with a quote to accompany this blog entry.
Zac - "The Greek God."

Katy - "Barney, Barney, Barney."

Eric - "Ok everybody, try not to suck."

Lexi - "Look at me posing with all these young , left-over people!"

Erin - "...and furthermore, she is talented."

Except for Eric's quote these are all taken (more or less) from the script. You will have to see the play to figure out what they all mean.

These kids are so much fun and very talented. They make up half the cast of Barksdale Theatre's The Member of The Wedding opening (yikes) a week from tonight on Friday, September 21st.

As my loyal Blog readers already know, I am appearing in a cameo role. I call it that because it sounds much better than saying I don't do much. Of course, the children are still lucky to have me around to learn from. I am sure they study my every move and then jot all I say down in some special diary at the end of every rehearsal. They are lucky, indeed.

But enough about me - these guys stay busy doing all sorts of things and I will have future posts highlighting their individual achievements if they let me. For instance, Eric can't get his hair cut for the show until Sunday so he can finish filming an indy film he has been working on. That is why in the picture above the girls were pinning his hair back before our run through. Eric plays my son in the show. In real life, of course, I am way too young for that to have happened.