Dandy Review for Favorite Daughter’s Opening Night

11 01 2008

The JJ in this story btw, is no relation, thanks for asking! I guess since it’s the role for which John Lithgow won a Tony, I won’t protest any confusion (other than gender confusion) too much . . .and maybe this review’s description of “JJ’s acid arrogance” . . . 😉


The ensemble of singers and dancers was packed with fine singers who also could dance. . .”

Jan 11, 2008
‘Sweet Smell’ has sharp edge, snappy cast
By Kati Schardl

If “Sweeney Todd” is the dark and gleaming star in Stephen Sondheim’s theatrical diadem, then “Sweet Smell of Success” is Marvin Hamlisch’s “Sweeney.”

That’s right — Marvin Hamlisch, whose first hit was Lesley Gore’s 1965 rendition of his ditty “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” and who’s best known for his peppy reworking of Scott Joplin rags for the soundtrack for “The Sting.”

The man who made “The Entertainer” a pop-music staple got downright dark with the tunes in the score of “Sweet Smell.” Craig Carnelia provided lyrics of an equally dusky hue, and the inimitable John Guare (“Six Degrees of Separation”) supplied hard-edged, snappy dialogue.

“Sweet Smell of Success” is a musical adaptation of the superb Clifford Odets-Ernest Lehman movie (based on Lehman’s novella) of 1957, a thrilling dive into the shark tank of Noo Yawk celebrity culture as chronicled by celebrated columnist Walter Winchell in the ’40s and ’50s.

Theatre A La Carte’s Concert Series production of “Sweet Smell” put the music in the spotlight at Wednesday’s preview performance. There was a jim-dandy chamber orchestra/swing-band onstage, and the performers packed nifty dance numbers (choreographed by Michele Ackermann) into the remaining space with verve and economy. . .


Read full review at the newspaper link. We have tickets for tonight, whee!


Schilling for Video Games No “Natural Progression”

11 01 2008

Guess what The Never-Shy Bloody Sock, Curt Shilling, will be doing after his last year with the BoSox?

Why, schilling for video games of course!  😉

Homeschool Evangelicals Heed God’s Wartime Call

11 01 2008

We have a conservative Christian military family on our local homeschool discussion list, and the dad often posts from Iraq. It’s the most direct connection I have to homeschoolers at war, even if I don’t share any of his personal beliefs and have never met him. So I was thinking of that family especially — what we share and what we don’t — when I saw this homeschool family’s story from Jacksonville (practically local!)

In my current frame of mind, I see in it some layered insight into matters of ultimate concern, as Scott Somerville used to dub our NHEN discussions — fraught family, church and school choices, the difference between “mom” and “teacher” and perhaps, how the group labels we choose seeking the individual support we need, wind up defining — pigeonholing? — us even among good, godly people, and costing some much more than others. And overlaying it all, of course, real (not metaphorical) war and peace . . .

. . .McDaniel told the Witness he is proud of the sacrifice his wife has
made to support him and to homeschool the children. McDaniel said the
schooling situation is fluid and the family reevaluates often based on
the children’s needs and what is available in the private and public
sector wherever they are stationed.

They move about every 18 months, he said, so finding schools — and a church — can take time. . .”

I would feel remiss if I didn’t add two key words for all military families homeschooling, evangelical or not — Valerie Moon. Her own family’s homeschooling stories were recently recounted via a wordpress blog interview in four parts, and her online magnum opus, “The Military Homeschooler” site, is nothing short of excellent.

“Interview with Valerie Moon, Part I”

“Interview with Valerie Moon, Part II”

“Interview with Valerie Moon, Part III”

“Interview with Valerie Moon, Part IV”