Tag Archives: La Jolla Playhouse

Paula’s Picks Presents You Have To Be There From Kristina

If you are lucky enough to live in the Portland, Oregon area, or happen to have an Internet connection (which I suspect you might if you’re reading this) then you had the opportunity on Thursday May, 6th, 2010 to tune into the Paula’s Picks program on KBOO FM during her program and hear her present “You Have To Be There” performed by Helen Sjöholm from the musical “Kristina.” “You Have To Be There” is written by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Paula Small is a friend of mine that I went to high school with and she moved to Portland and one of the fun things she does out there is host a radio program on the first and third Thursdays of every month for KBOO.

The last time I saw Paula was when she was back in town to visit some family at the end of 2008, so I took Paula to see the Xanadu production at the La Jolla Playhouse, and when I saw her online on Facebook and I said hello using the chat feature of Facebook, we ended up discussing some music. I was so excited about the live album “Kristina At Carnegie Hall” coming out and I’d just gotten it in, I sent her “You Have To Be There” to share my excitement about the show. Paula really liked the song and we both commented about how it starts out similar to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” but ends up being a much more powerful song. Paula thought it might make a great addition to her show the following night.

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How I Met Your Mother Is Surprisingly Good For A Sitcom

While one of the disadvantages of not bothering with cable or other access to broadcast television is that I don’t stay current on “hot” shows while they’re hot. So I tend to get to them a little bit late if I get to them at all because I usually wait until I can rent the DVDs of a show one season at a time or hopefully they’ll make their way to the Netflix instant streaming so I don’t have to bother with a disc being mailed. The advantage to this is that I get to enjoy the show commercial free and several episodes at one time. In a way it’s kind of like taking a crash course in show. Recently one of the shows I’ve rented from Netflix is the “How I Met Your Mother” series.

As far as I know, “How I Met Your Mother” is still on the air producing episodes, and I’m sure if I cared enough, I could Google it and and find out for sure, but in all honesty it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me because I’m not going to be watching it when it broadcasts. I had added the first season of the show to my Netflix rental queue ages ago and it finally made it’s way to the top of the list and it was delivered to me on DVD courtesy of the US Postal Service. While I was a bit reluctant to start a television series, this one actually was a lot of fun so I added all the other available seasons to the top of my list. I made my way through all four of the seasons that are presently available on DVD in about three weeks time. So instead of having to suffer through four years of waiting, I got it all in a very short period of time.

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The Touring Xanadu Stage Show Returns To Southern California

One of the highlights of 2008 for me was the opening of Xanadu at the La Jolla Playhouse. The stage show that became a surprise hit on Broadway and was even nominated for a few Tony Awards, made its debut as a touring show in San Diego. Following San Diego, the show moved to Chicago and then played a brief stint in Tokyo before going on a brief hiatus for a few months, but now the tour is back on the road starting in Costa Mesa, California, just a short drive from San Diego.

I immediately fell in love with the show when I first saw it and then proceeded to see it several more times before it’s run at the La Jolla Playhouse finished it’s two month run. I took several friends to see the show and one of the highlights was when I took my mom to see the show as I was able to get on stage seats for that performance. I didn’t tell my mom until we got there that we’d be sitting on stage, she wasn’t so amused by that, but we had a good time and she enjoyed the show.

With the return to Southern California, I definitely wanted to see the show again, and since my dad was back from doing work in Austin, Texas and my grandfather was in town it seemed like a good opportunity to take them to the show. I asked my mom if she wanted to see the show again, if we did the Christmas Eve matinée show and she said she was interested but had too much to do to prepare for my brother and his wife’s arrival and Christmas to take time out to see the show. But she did like the idea of me taking my father and grandfather to the show so that she could get some things accomplished while they were out of the house. So I booked the tickets for my dad, grandpa, and I to see Xanadu on Christmas Eve at 2 pm.

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Xanadu Is Coming To San Diego One Night Only

XanaduOne of the previews shown during last week’s “Mommie Dearest” screening was that their December movie of the month is their FilmOut monthly film series would be “Xanadu.” While “Xanadu” is considered one of the worst movies ever made, depending on who you ask. I happen to love the movie.

I’ve been an Olivia Newton-John fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve always had a soft spot for the movie. And when the Broadway musical version of “Xanadu” was here in San Diego last year, I had to bust out the movie version a number of times to enjoy it yet again. I’ve never actually seen the movie on the big screen so this will be an exciting night for me. To give you an idea of how much of a fan I am of this movie, I have the movie on VHS, Laserdisc, two different DVD releases, and the original soundtrack on vinyl, as well as three copies of it on CD. (The first was a cheap Australian release, the second was when it was finally released in the US with a really nice job done on the liner notes, and the third copy is because it was included for free with the latest DVD version.) And as for the stage show, I saw it eight times when it was here at the La Jolla Playhouse. And I am looking forward to it coming to Orange County later this year too.

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Losing A Little Weight & Finally It Shows

Ryan in Xanadu Hat - May 2, 2009It’s definitely a great feeling to take a few new photos to replace some of my older profile photos and actually see a little bit of a difference in terms of weight loss.

In the last two weeks I’ve been following a new program designed by Jorge Cruise, and I’ve already lost about 6 inches off my stomach. I’ve also managed to go down a size in both my uniform top and my pants for work. It’s taking a little getting used to the smaller pants and shirt because they don’t feel as roomy as my old ones were getting to be, but I’m liking it. Can’t wait until I’m trading these ones in for smaller ones as well.

The best part is I haven’t really had to buy any new clothes yet, because I’ve actually already got a bunch of relatively new clothing I’ve bought but because I didn’t like how they fit at time, they’ve sat in my closet waiting for the day I lose some weight and I can wear them. Well that day is finally here and it’s been fun feeling like I’ve got a whole new wardrobe that’s already sitting inside my closet.

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Continuous City Brings Virtual Life To The Stage In San Diego

Continuous CityThanks to having attended “Xanadu” at the La Jolla Playhouse, I ended up on their mailing list for future shows. I was sent a mailer inviting me to check out a limited run show as part of their Edge series of plays. The Edge series is designed to bring new and adventurous works to the stage in the hopes of presenting groundbreaking and innovative theatre. This season’s selection is called “Continuous City” produced by The Builder’s Association.

“Continuous City” tells the tale of how modern technology from the likes of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace allow you to connect no matter where you are, as if you’re in one great big continuous city, but yet, even with the technology it’s very isolating. The story gets told through the perspectives of four people. J.V., is the project manager for a fictional social networking site called XUBU. He spends much of the time trying to run the project while juggling video conferencing calls with family and girlfriends. He’s also tasked with keeping existing investors content as the site approaches launch. Finding investors for J.V. to keep happy is Michael. In addition to battling jet lag and finding investors, Michael finds it difficult to connect with his daughter, Samantha, back home when he’s trying to use the technology to stay connected but finds his daughter growing distant without a definitive answer of when he’ll be home to be with her in person. Additionally, Samantha is left in the care of Deb, a video blogger who is out exploring the city she’s in when she’s not taking care of Samantha.

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RENT Gets Paid In San Diego With Anthony Rapp And Adam Pascal

RENT Tour With Adam Pascal & Anthony RappOn March 11th, I caught “The Broadway Tour” of Jonathan Larson’s Epic masterpiece, RENT, hit San Diego’s Civic Theatre. I went with my friend Louie Taylor. Part of the main reason I wanted to go see RENT was because the main draw of the tour is that it has been billed as featuring original cast members, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal who would be reprising their roles as Mark and Roger respectively. An unadvertised bonus is that another original cast member, Gwen Stewart, is also reprising her role in the tour as one of the ensemble players as a variety of characters and featured solo vocalist during “Seasons Of Love.”

As the first tour since RENT closed on Broadway in September 2008, it seems all the more poignant to see such a high profile tour with Original cast members Rapp and Pascal on board. They’re no strangers to coming back to the roles that made them Broadway stars as they both were part of the original workshop shows, transferred the show to Broadway and then later to London, then recreated their roles in the film version of RENT in 2005, and then for a limited engagement in Summer 2007 returned to Broadway according to BroadwayWorld.com. These roles have been a part of their lives off and on for the last 15 years. In the interview in the Playbill handed out at the performance Adam Pascal suspects “when we’re done with this tour, I have a strong suspicion that this will be it for me and RENT. At some point I am going to be too old to do the part.”

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The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Xanadu Works Its Magic In San Diego

Last night I took the opportunity to check out the new stage version of Xanadu that is currently playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. Technically I have a ticket for the show next week, but I got an offer in my e-mail to see the show earlier through Goldstar and at bargain price, so why not take a chance and go.

The seat I ended up with was an on-stage seat. Basically how the set is structured is that it looks a little like a Ancient Greek amphitheatre with a main performance area at the front of the stage and some tiered seating towards the back of the stage where additional audience members get seated and fill out the presence on stage. Sections of the on stage seating are left empty so that the cast members can sit and be part of the background and jump back into the show when appropriately timed. Additionally some props for them are stashed in the seating for use during the show as well.

Unlike regular seats, we had to be given a briefing on what we were expected to do which is basically have fun and stay seated until the orchestra plays its final note. There would be no chances for a bathroom break and if we had to leave, we could but would not be able to return to the stage seats. And we would not be issued our copies of the playbill until after the show. The show runs about ninety minutes so no problem there. We were also issued a glow stick and instructed that we would be told by the cast when it is time to break the glow stick to activate it and wave it around.

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