Friday, June 8, 2018

May in Review

May Reads

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle: I'm not a huge fan of his "Better Nate than Ever" series, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one. But I loved it!  I raced my way through it and was super sad when it was over. I believe it's meant for young adults too so that's my young adult pick for the month of May.

Hello NY by Julia Rothman: This book is a New York City lover's dream. It's an illustrated guide to the best parts of the city - according to the author. I finished it in about an hour, but I just loved it.

And that right there is all I read in the month of May - super sad!  Though if we're counting, I bought the equivalent of a metric ton in books to read this summer. Does that count?

May Travels

May was spent mostly in Maryland with two side trips to New York City. The plan was to only take one overnight side trip, but when you manage to get tickets to The Boys in the Band AND Me and My Girl, you spring for the hotel room. Both were excellent!  And we had a little extra time to explore Chelsea Market. If you're looking for something to do on a super hot or rainy day, the market has expanded a bit making it the perfect place to explore and eat.

The next trip was a week later and had been planned for a while. During that trip I walked in AIDS Walk NYC, as well as took in some theatre. I saw The Band's Visit as well as Escape to Margaritaville. Both shows were fantastic!  The Band's Visit was definitely my favorite of the two, and was a bit deeper than Margaritaville, yet that didn't make Margarittaville any less fun.  The walk on the other hand was super inspiring. Thanks to my trusty camera, I had a pretty good spot to watch the opening ceremonies, and see the amazing crew work their magic.  It's definitely an event I'd love to repeat next year. After the walk, I had just enough time to grab a late brunch at my favorite place in Chelsea - Sullivan Street Bakery, and then some cupcakes for home at Empire Cake.  Two perfect trips!  Though, had it not been rainy and miserable on the Saturday before the Walk, I'd really have enjoyed it more...

May Eats

One of the very best things I ate this month was pizza at Ava's in St. Michael's MD. I've eaten at Ava's before, and it's always been a favorite. Whether it was because of the heat outside, or just that I was in a fabulous mood, the lunch I had was positively stellar. One of the things I love about Ava's is that they have Arnold Palmers on their drink menu - pricey but delicious! As an appetizer we had the meatballs which are always a hit, and then it was a deep dish pizza as the main course. To die for!  I'm usually a thin crust girl, but if all deep dish pizzas tasted like this, I would definitely switch over!

Though you can't tell - this is from Curtain Call. I'm not that girl that records shows, I promise!
May Shows

One of the reasons for my busy-ness in May was the number of shows I saw for MD Theatre Guide. I realize this is the very definition of #FirstWorldProblems, however the amount of time I stress over writing reviews contributes to the increase in my overall stress levels. I'm trying to get better about that.

Aside from the four Broadway shows I talked about above, I also saw Kiss Me Kate at the Annapolis Shakespeare Company - a show I had some definite opinions about, Casa Valentina at Colonial Players (so good!), Winnie the Pooh at MET (loved it!), New York at Just Off Broadway (so compelling!) and The Book of Joseph at Everyman (so moving!)  All of the shows were definitely good in their own ways, yet a few were much better than others.  

In the category of non'ish shows, I also had the chance to see Puffs again - after seeing it in New York - on the big screen. It was just as amazing as it was the first time. It's fun being a part of the Harry Potter fandom and really getting the fast and furious jokes in this gem.  Lastly, I fan-girled a bit over Erich Bergen at the National Press Club in DC. He was in the city to talk Arts in Schools, and stopped by the Press Club for a chat. It was a quick hour that ended with him singing two songs at the piano, before heading back to New York City to start rehearsals for a limited run in Waitress. So if anyone asks, he is why I'm seeing Waitress - a show I've been a tad judgmental of - for a third time...

May Moves

May has been spent trying to get ahead in my career. I've been applying to a few jobs and interviewing with different places. I enjoy my work and the people I work with, but after 5 years I think it's time for something new. It's also been spent working on new writing opportunities. Also, after months of stressing and studying, I passed the Adobe InDesign ACA test - something after seeing the first question on the test, I didn't think I'd get to say. It was terrifying and god help me if I ever need to take the test again!

Thanks to my work with Everyman Theatre, I also had the chance to interview Bruce Randolph Nelson who's currently starring in The Book of Joseph.  He is the absolute loveliest person, and immediately put me at ease. In other interviews I've conducted (this was my third), I found myself speaking quickly and rambling. I made a concerted effort for this chat to slow it down, and let the interesting person on the phone (Bruce) do most of the talking. And I think it helped. The thing I need to do now, is to learn how to pair down the article afterwards. Usually I write about 600-700 words. Bruce's article was 1700 at the start, which was then paired down to 1500. It's a work in progress I suppose...

Then, out of the blue, I was given the awesome opportunity to attend the Helen Hayes Awards. If you're not familiar - because I wasn't - the Hayes awards are the Tony Awards of the DC Theatre Scene. Each year, there's a big party and award ceremony celebrating the artists in professional and non-professional theatre companies from the DMV. This year's ceremony was held at The Anthem which is a totally new and totally awesome event space on the DC waterfront. I had the best time dressing up and seeing these fabulous actors celebrated. 

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