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Story: Three monologues by English playwright Alan Bennett depict the plights of a trio of middle-class, middle-aged Brits who share the common trait of loneliness. Nights in the Gardens of Spain concerns a homemaker, largely ignored by her husband, who becomes involved in an unlikely friendship when her neighbor is convicted of killing her own abusive spouse.
This summer, think of your backyard as the next decorating frontier. Use designer-quality furniture, rugs, lighting and charming decorative accents for stunning results.
NOTE: The review below was written for the original presentation of Stupefy! last December. The latest production features three new cast members, including Chris LaBanca, Ben Ritchie and John Wolbers, who are replacing Blaine Adams, Rob Suozzi and John Foughty, respectively. Additionally, the new rendition includes a 5-minute video pre-show as well as new scenes and a new ending, all in a “faster than last time” 90 minutes.
Throw a full-time job on top of being a mother, and women these days are busy. We spotlighted three working moms who balance high-profile jobs and motherhood with ease and style.
Story: Sam and Dinah are a young married couple living the good life in suburbia. Sam is a businessman who commutes by day to his job in the city, while homemaker Dinah tends to chores around the house and caring for their son, Junior.
So, I’m an OK mother—Cranky, Whiny and Punch seem to be surviving. Honestly, were I grading my parenting, I would give myself a B, which is weird because I always have been an A student.
I have been a pet owner for many years—sometimes successfully; other times, not so much. I have had a towheaded 3-year-old come to me with a goldfish in his hand, and ask with utter sincerity why Gil doesn’t seem to like playing in the yard. I have had a guinea pig give birth not once, not twice, but three times on my watch. We had an albino gecko. Why, you ask? I wonder the same thing every day. I think it may have taken its own life, but the official cause of death is ‘accidental.’ Apparently, it accidentally stopped eating and drinking. I have had a puppy sit on my lap while I scratched her head and rubbed her back as she—unbeknownst to me—devoured a bird. But now, I fear my patience may have run its course. It appears our puppy—our adorable, precious, impossible-not-to-love puppy—has discovered a nest. Or a herd. Or a pack—of voles.
Story: Roz is struggling to make ends meet as the proprietor of a daycare facility. Her only employee, Joy, has taken early education classes and badly wants to work with children, but instead is stifled handling secretarial chores. It doesn’t help that she is Roz’s niece and has a troubled love life that she just as soon her aunt wouldn’t divulge to her mother
Thank you for the great spread in LN for our Change Begins with Me exhibition opening. You have been wonderfully supportive and we couldn’t be more pleased with the impact. You are the best. (2/8/13 issue, p. 7)
So last week, a show premiered on ABC called Splash—not to be confused with Smash, which has an actual story line. Splash is a reality show where 'celebrities' attempt to dive. That’s it. They dive. Coaches coach them, they hurl themselves off a 10-meter board (please don’t call to correct me about the height of the board because frankly, I just don’t care), and judges score them. So let’s tally it up: We’ve had celebrities dance. We’ve seen them skate, cook, diet, rehabilitate and survive in the wilderness. All I can say is that fame—however it is achieved—must be pretty freaking awesome if people are willing to go through all this to get it--or rather cling to it. And that got me thinking: I wonder what else we could get said fame-seekers to do?
What do Mikhail Gorbachev, Madeleine Albright, Frank McCourt and Walter Cronkite all have in common? They’re among the many famed past speakers at the St. Louis Speakers Series, presented by Maryville University. We spoke with Bill Conrow, the originator of the series, about how it emerged, some memorable moments, and a sneak peek at the 2013-2014 season.
Story: Paul and Julianne have a problem. Their 3-year-old German Shepherd dog, Carrot, is overly aggressive with Paul and, to a lesser extent, their teen daughter Brittany. Paul has the bandages to prove it when he answers the door to their posh Florida residence to welcome Vadislav.
Story: Bernard is an architect, and a very successful one at that. When he’s not designing fancy buildings, he’s designing romantic conquests from his fabulous apartment in Paris. When his old chum Robert pays an unexpected visit, Bernard is delighted to welcome him and promptly introduces Robert to his fiancée, an American stewardess named Gloria.
Story: A group of eager young missionaries graduates from the Latter-Day Saints Church Ministry Training Center in Utah, and each of the young men is given his two-year assignment as well as the name of his partner during that period. Two by two, they’re sent to places such as Norway, France and even other parts of America. Elder Kevin Price is shocked, though, when he learns that his destination is Uganda and that his partner is the nerdy class dunce, Elder Arnold Cunningham.
Do you have a secret? Are you living a shameful (or shameless) existence? Do you hate your body? Do you have a sex tape? Do you think your toddler needs to go on a diet? Have you stabbed your lover? Do you have a more-than-meaningful relationship with your car, your pet chimpanzee, or an inflatable doll? Do you grocery shop at a gas station? Well, there may be some good news for you. Your outrageous, unrefined, crude, addictive, aggressive, compulsive, self-loathing behavior might make you rich and famous…well, rich and infamous. A quick glimpse at the array of what we so literally describe as 'reality shows' may have you wondering if there’s hope for you yet.
I’m on Facebook. I’m not proud. Admittedly, I really only check the site to monitor Cranky’s postings—what boys she’s posing with, scanning a photo for a stray can of beer in the background—but a problem has emerged. Facebook no longer is the cool college social networking hub it was in 2005. Now it’s the 21st century equivalent of a slide carousel of your neighbor’s family vacation. It’s the digital version of cropping, and worst of all, it apparently is the world’s most unproductive cure for boredom. I’ve realized something: Facebook isn’t cool anymore.
Story: Chiclet Forrest wants desperately to be included in the fun times of the local Malibu surfer group. She’s a bit reserved, perhaps because of the quiet life she lives with her mother. It’s 1962, and Mrs. Forrest likes to dress up and sip a martini while doing the domestic chores.
So, I don’t know if you heard, but the Super Bowl was last weekend. The score is final at the end of the game, but that may very well be the only topic that is not open to debate. Check any social media outlet or coffee shop or bar, and people are arguing about anything and everything football. Did the refs screw up? Was the power outage a conspiracy to shift momentum? Well, I only heard one guy claiming that, but he also was licking parking meters.
I’ve always been kind of cocky about my children’s immune systems. They may not be on the honor roll, but those kids are healthy. Sure, Punch may take to the bed every once in a while, but it’s really more of a personal day. Cranky and Whiny, on the other hand, you could throw them in a cage with an ebola-riddled gibbon monkey and they’d come out in the pink. Well, apparently the universe decided I was getting a bit too arrogant when it came to my uber-spawn. There’s a saying...oh what is it? That’s right--payback's a b*tch.
The January movie curse continues. I don’t know how much of the blame for this film we can put on Peter Farrelly—the production credits have more names than I care to count. Nevertheless, his name is among them; and this movie reeks of his signature, sophomoric witless comedy. The lingering question about this movie is How? How on earth did they assemble that cast with that script? The film stars A-listers, Oscar winners and soon-to-be Oscar winners. I get that they have their eye on a beach house, but come on.
Every year, a small college in northern Michigan compiles a list of words and phrases to eliminate from everyday vocabulary due to misuse, overuse and/or annoyance. In years past, words as mundane as ‘amazing’ or as trendy as ‘LOL’ made the list. Personally, I am of the opinion that any spoken text abbreviation should be banned. Do people realize that actually saying ‘by the way’ is shorter syllabically than ‘BTW?’
This is a topic I am constantly asked to revisit. I believe there are a lot of fathers of the brides who don’t even think about ‘the speech’ until the last minute.
Story: Ten-year-old Joe Shostak has a problem with anger management. His Little League baseball manager tells him so after seeing him get in a fight with a loud-mouthed player from another team. There are problems at home, too, as Joe’s parents have separated over money issues.
Every month of the year has a 'movie personality.' October is set for thrillers and horror, while February is the month for romances. December is family films and Oscar contenders, and July is action—we seem to enjoy seeing things explode in July. But what about January? There’s no big holiday in January to give it a movie theme. Award hopefuls all have been submitted. What kinds of movies get released in January? I will tell you the answer: bad movies.
I was doing a little research online last week. Well, let me back up. We have had our puppy for a little more than a year. According to all the experts—you know, the neighbors, my dry cleaner, the cable guy—her, um, rambunctiousness should have died down by now. Yet for some reason, on the scale of canine insanity, she falls somewhere between peculiar and deranged. Of course, it doesn’t help that Whiny and Punch are for all intents and purposes human puppies, always eager for a little rough-housing.
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