Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Business Like It

"There's no people like show people -
They smile when they are low.
Even with a turkey that you know will fold,
You may be stranded out in the cold.
Still you wouldn't trade it for a sack o' gold ...  
Let's go on with the show!"
Irving Berlin

DAY 142:  We had our tech rehearsal for Our Leading Lady tonight and it took ONLY TWO HOURS!  Without a doubt, that's the shortest tech rehearsal I've ever had and I'm hoping the rest of this Production Week goes as smoothly!  First preview audience on Thursday, Opening Night on Friday ...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Deadly Sin

"And I call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of degrada - 
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle!"
Meredith Willson

DAY 141A deadly sin?  If so, a most welcome one today.  Production Week (also known, "in the biz," as Hell Week) looms ... tech and dress rehearsals all week until Our Leading Lady opens on Friday.  I slept obscenely late today and, with the exception of running out to get some groceries (and maybe a DVD or two), I intend to "hang around" and do NOTHING of any practical value today.  I'm definitely grateful for the rest and relaxation before the busy week begins tomorrow.  Hello, recliner.  Hello, comfort food.  Hello, movies and TV.  Hello, Saturday ... my favorite day of the week!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Good and Crazy People

"And that's what it's all about, isn't it?
That's what it's really about ... really about!"
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 140:  Those good and crazy people, my friends ... those good and crazy people, my theatre friends.  When I spend an evening with these wonderful, nutty, outrageous, nonjudgmental, joyful, over-the-top, life-affirming folks who let me be exactly who I am, I realize one of the things for which I am most grateful.  An amazing evening at the Theatre Jacksonville 90th Birthday Bash, followed up by more fun at Layla's.  Oh what a night ... thanks, gang, you're the best.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Change Change Change

"You've changed.
You're daring.
You're different in the woods."
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 139:  I'm not a risk-taker ... but I am considering a fairly major (though not earth-shattering) change in my "situation."  It will definitely take me out of my "comfort zone," and weighing the pros and cons, I think it could be a really good decision for me.  My major hesitation is that I made a similar decision many years ago and it did not work out well ... fortunately, these current circumstances are VERY different from the last time.

There are still a lot to factors to take into account, but I am getting a strong positive response from my best friends who seem to feel that it could be a good move.  The actual "moment of truth" may not be for a little while and the choice isn't even officially available yet, so I have plenty of time to think about it.  I can't really be more specific than that at the moment, though the cat is kind of "out of the bag" where it counts.

So why am I grateful?  I'm grateful because I can make this decision from a place of complete security and relative contentment.  Even if I don't make the change, there's really nothing terribly wrong with the status quo.  Though they're not ideal, I'd be JUST FINE sticking with things the way they are.  It's a really great "place" to be ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Art of Making Art

"It's time to play the music,
It's time to light the lights ..."
The Muppets

DAY 138:  The last show I directed ... the musical Into the Woods ... was a technical NIGHTMARE.  Rotating trees, hundreds of light cues, sound effects, offstage microphones, special visual effects, costuming issues, you name it.  Our Leading Lady is a DREAM compared to that show.  Because of a big 90th birthday celebration at the theatre this coming weekend, we had to "tech" our show during the day today (that job is normally reserved for the weekend prior to opening). 

I'm grateful to report that there were a total of only 34 light cues (that's a VERY VERY VERY small number for any stage production) and we were also able to set all the sound levels for between-scene music and ONE sound effect.  Setting cues for Into the Woods took about 9 hours, if I remember correctly.  Setting the light and sound cues for this show took only TWO ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


"Annette comes in to make your bed ...
The silk, no, the satin sheets, I think.
I think I'm gonna like it here!"
Martin Charnin

DAY 137:  My old fitted bed sheets were ripping at the corners, so I decided it was time for some new bedding.  Thanks to my current debt-free existence, I thought it would be nice to treat myself to some more "upscale" sheets ... so, say hello to 1200 thread count!  I slept in them for the first time last night and what a difference ... not quite like "sleeping in lotion," as a Facebook friend suggested, but softer than I would've ever expected!  Who knew thread count would make that kind of a difference ... well worth the extra cash.  (PS ... that's not a picture of my bed ...)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Slow Down

"You gotta slow down,
Slow down, sweet talkin' woman,
You got me runnin',
Run run,
You got me searchin' ..."
Electric Light Orchestra

DAY 136:  I'm grateful that my job affords me the opportunity to STOP and take a day if I need it, and BOY, do I need it.  I'm feeling a little like the "Energeezer Bunny" above ... I remember the days that I could do show after show after show and "keep on goin'."  Those days are sadly gone and the old bod gives me very clear signals when it's time to SLOW DOWN.

It was a very busy weekend with very little time to do those things that I had planned to do for ME (seeing a play, going to a movie or two, doing some writing), and with the show opening in less than two weeks, it's going to get worse before it gets better.  I did get the chance to take an hour-long walk last night and it felt really good to grab some time for myself for a change.  SO ... I'm taking the FULL day today before I make myself sick.  Time to relax, take a walk, sit back a bit, and maybe do a few things that I've wanted to do (along with only a FEW errands) that I haven't been able to do and won't have time to do for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Free Again

"Free again, independent me, free again ... 
Time to call up all the crowd,
Raise the roof and shout out loud,
Time to have a party, a party!"
Robert Colby

DAY 135:  I received my tax return of over $3600 a couple of days ago ... and my credit card balance now reads NEGATIVE $4.63!  It's wonderful to have all my debt paid off, particularly when I still have thousands of dollars from theatre directing jobs and a National Board bonus yet to come this year.  I'll have ready spending cash for my New York City trip in April (airline and show tickets already paid for) and I might even be able to pay off my monthly Home Owner's Association dues for the rest of 2010 early.  Of course, there's also my planned summer trip to Ireland and I'm thinkin' this may be the year for a new computer ... hmmmm ...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I'm Calm

"I'm calm,
I'm cool,
A gibbering fool
Is something I never become.
When thunder is rumbling
And others are crumbling,
I hum."
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 134:  Well ... the plan for today was to be lazy and relax a bit.  After all, it's my ONLY day off for the next two weeks due to rehearsal and the Theatre Jacksonville 90th Birthday weekend festivities. 

Let's see ... groceries, dishes, trash, and laundry - CHECK!  Director's Notes for the program and recording the music and sound cues - CHECK!  Catching up on my DVR-ed TV shows - CHECK!  E-mail and Facebook publicity for Our Leading Lady - CHECK!  Bills paid - CHECK!  Catching up on three days worth of blog - CHECK! 

So much for that relaxing Saturday, huh?  Well, at least all those jobs are out of the way and I think this week is going to be a pretty easy one ... and that's something to be grateful for!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Story Goes On

"I want to return to my beautiful dream of the theatre.
I want to remain always in the dressing room or the wings
or above all, the stage; the stage,
where for a few hours life is as we wish it were
and not unfortunately as it is."
Charles Busch

DAY 133:  My eleventh production at Theatre Jacksonville, Our Leading Lady, opens two weeks from tonight, and I'm pleased to report that the show is in TERRIFIC shape!  I am particularly grateful because tonight marks the beginning of two weeks of rehearsal with the FULL cast running the show IN ORDER. 

Until now, we have been rehearsing in "French scenes," small rehearsal segments defined by the entrances and exits of characters.  The cast seemed thrilled tonight to be able to see "the whole show," since many of them have only seen the scenes in which they are involved.  We begin "tech-ing" the show (adding lights and sounds) the middle of next week and add some wonderful costumes the week leading up to Opening Night.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Jerry Springer Moment

"(expletive deleted)"
Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas

DAY 132:  One my newest cast recordings is Jerry Springer the Opera - yup, you didn't misread that.  It was a HUGE hit in Europe and I'm not sure if it's ever been staged in America.  Wildly offensive (there are virtually no lyrics I thought would be appropriate to post here), but also astoundingly funny, it is a three-act opera about Jerry Springer and his television show. 

The first act is a Jerry Springer taping, complete with transvestites, fetishists, pole dancers, dueling foursomes, and Jerry's own "inner Valkyrie."  The segments are interspersed with equally ribald "adverts."  At the end of the first act, Jerry is accidentally shot by a member of the KKK.  The second and third act concern Jerry's trip through Purgatory and Hell, where he is forced to "tape" a show (in order to save his soul) and mediate the dispute between Satan and Jesus, with a panoply of guests including God, Adam, Eve, Mary, and the Archangels Gabriel and Michael.  It is certainly NOT for the easily offended or faint-of-heart!!

I am always grateful for theatre (and particularly musical theatre) that challenges audiences and pushes boundaries ... this one not only pushes them, but knocks them down and stamps all over them.  What GREAT fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Favorite Thing

"But tell me how can I sleep,
Tell me who could,
When you see your whole life tangled up good?
I could drink, I could weep,
But tell me how can I sleep?
Go to sleep! Go to sleep!"
Alan Jay Lerner

DAY 131:  My favorite thing?  SLEEPING!  I have many friends that have trouble sleeping.  I'm grateful to report that I've NEVER been one of those people.  I can sleep pretty much anytime anywhere.  There's nothing like crawlin' into bed, hunkerin' down under the covers, and turnin' off the busy day.  Ahhhhh ...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And So It Goes

"In every heart there is a room,
A sanctuary safe and strong,
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along ..."
Billy Joel

DAY 130:  2010 has been a much better year for me so far ... I resolved to stay out of "pity party" mode and have succeeded for the most part.  Sunday was Valentine's Day - a day that would typically send me into a funk - and I barely even noticed it (though I did manage a few sarcastically pointed jabs at the "holiday" on Facebook ;-).  I had a lunch date then a movie date with two (single female) friends and had a MARVELOUS time with both. 

Yesterday I was listening to my "Favorites" mix on my computer while grading papers and posted lyrics to "And So It Goes" and "Someone to Fall Back On" on Facebook (and wrote a blog entry on the latter!).  Both of those lyrics could CERTAINLY be read as being back in the "lonely place," but it really wasn't about that - just lyrics that struck me while I was working on other things.  What I'm grateful for is a BEAUTIFUL message I received from a friend on Facebook ... a Valentine like no other ... and I hope she won't mind if I share it with you (edited just a little to remove the more personal stuff about HER ...) -

"Michael. I've been wanting to send you a heart-to-heart for a while now. To begin with, I've been married for 32 years. I know that he truly would die for me and can't imagine what my life would have been without him.

That said, there are times, reading your posts, that I am SOOO envious of you! You are talented, and kind and SMART. You have smart friends who DO things with you and enjoy your company. You do fun things and are well-respected in a community of people who love you dearly.

I know that you crave that "one special someone" and honestly, as special as you are, I don't know why that hasn't happened for you yet. But there ARE trade-offs. When you make plans, there is always someone else to consider. When you want to do something, or try something or just be left-alone for a while -- there is another person's plans to take into account.

Please don't look too longingly at what you think you're missing. Because you are pretty wonderful where you are!

You're a great friend, a talented and contributing part of the community and a VERY complicated guy! By being an individual, rather than a pair, you have the ability to touch others' lives in a unique and special way!

Happy Valentines Day --- you are a valentine to the world!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Someone To Fall Back On

"I’ll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a kamikaze fighter;
Don’t count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You’ll never see
Any scars or wounds -
I don’t walk on coals,
I won’t walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone’s wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You’re bruised and beaten down
And I’m the one
Who’s looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don’t believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don’t make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that’s what you believe you need,
You’re wrong - you don’t need much,
You need someone to fall back on...

And I’ll be that:
I’ll take your side.
If I’m the only one,
I’m used to that.
I’ve been alone,
I’d rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.
And I will be
Your prince,
I’ll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I’ll be someone to fall back on!
I’ll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you’ll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I’ll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I’ll be - I’ll be
Someone to fall back on."
Jason Robert Brown

DAY 129:  Just these lyrics today ... one my favorite songs with words that speak to me at an incredibly personal level ... penned by Jason Robert Brown, an amazing songwriter whose shows include The Last Five Years and Parade, that I will be directing in just a matter of months.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fill In the Words

"Feel how it quivers,
On the brink …
Gives you the shivers,
Makes you think
There's so much stuff to sing!
And you and me,
We'll be singing it like the birds,
Me with music and you the words,
Tell 'em things they don't know!
Up to us, pal, to show 'em ..."
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 128:  I've been itching to write a musical for MANY MANY years, but the trouble is that I can't compose music ... heck, I can barely play the piano with a sad one-finger hunt-and-peck method.  So, I recently put out a call on Facebook for a composer and collaborator to help me make this dream a reality and my friend, Aaron, was one of a few people who answered the call.  I had thought about Aaron a number of times ... she is a VERY talented songwriter and performer who has also music directed local shows and has even arranged the music for a couple of original musicals that have been recently staged in town.  In addition, she's definitely an "off-the-beaten-track" kind of artist (and I mean that it the VERY BEST way) who has a unique style which will force me away from a conventional musical theatre product.  We met for lunch today and had a WONDERFUL time batting around ideas we've both had.  I can't give details, but we hit upon an idea (based on one I had been tossing around in my head for years) that gave us both chills.  We are REALLY excited about the concept and the project and CAN'T WAIT to get to work ... I'm grateful that Aaron and I "found" each other as a writing team! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Night's Alright

"The moon's like a million-watt electric sign
It shines up the city as it climbs.
And I've gotta spend another Saturday night
At home with the Sunday Times!"
Stephen Sondheim

DAY 127:  I'm grateful for Saturdays ... it's the first day you get to sleep in on the weekend, particularly wonderful when you've had a week like I've had this past week.  I'm typically really productive on Saturdays - groceries, laundry, errands, school work, theatre stuff - but today I was obscenely lazy and it was terrific.  I did have a meeting at the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre about the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee that I'll be directing later this summer, stopped by to see my Mom, and got some groceries for the week.  Other than that, though, I sat around the house (something I haven't been able to do all week) and caught up on my full DVR's worth of TV shows taped from this week - Biggest Loser, Project Runway, Millionaire Matchmaker, 24, Smallville.  The other great thing about Saturdays is that the weekend is only half over ... and this weekend boasts an EXTRA day of relaxation on Monday!!  Tomorrow, I'm having lunch with my friend Aaron, a date she and I planned to talk about the possibility of collaborating on writing a musical!  Then, later in the day, I'm meeting Marcia for dinner and the movie A Single Man.  Great times with some of my favorite people ...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Warm All Over

"Warm all over -
Every time you smile, you get me warm all over.
Sometimes I feel kind of out in the cold.
But when I touch your hand and I'm home,
Home again, and warm all over ..."
Frank Loesser

DAY 126:  It's an ugly, wet, cold day in Jacksonville, Florida ... the forecast is for rain ALL day and temperatures no higher than the low 40's.  Going out into the "yuck" this morning was far from enjoyable.  I like the cold, but I'm not really fond of cold combined with WET.  So, I'm grateful that our PTA at school is throwing a Soup Luncheon for the teachers today!  I'm not a huge soup fan, but it's going to go down awfully nice on a day like today.  It's actually in honor of Valentine's Day, but could they have POSSIBLY picked a BETTER day for it?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Ain't Got Time

"I ain't got time for nothin' but love,
So don't be wastin' none of mine.
Oh, I ain't got time for nothin' but love,
'Cuz you know life ain't got enough of time
To be wastin' time on anything but love."
Tim Acito

DAY 125:  It's been one of those "running-on-all-cylinders" weeks ... I've been juggling everything, keeping all of those balls in the air, and I fortunately haven't dropped any.  I've had a meeting or obligation after school just about every day and a rehearsal every single night.  This means that each weekday I've been home for a total of about an hour between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  I'm extraordinarily grateful that tomorrow brings a welcome end to this long, tiring week, and the beginning of a hopefully much more relaxing THREE-DAY WEEKEND.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Easy Street

"Easy Street,
Where you sleep till noon ...
Easy Street,
Better get there soon ...
Easy Street,
Where the rich folks play ...
Easy Street,
When you get there stay."
Martin Charnin

DAY 124:  Over $3600 in my tax refund for 2009 ... buh-bye credit card balance!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This Is Only a Test

"School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
Readin' and writin' and 'rithmetic ..."
Will Cobb and Gus Edwards

DAY 123:  For the next couple of months, our teaching lives are consumed with the FCAT (the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), one of those ludicrously high-stake State standardized tests that seem to be the be-all-and-end-all of EVERYTHING that's done in a school these days.  This morning, I was a "back-up proctor" for the first testing - the Writing portion.  Last night, I got a message from our Test Coordinator saying that one of the regular proctors was sick and I would need to fill in for her.  Yippee ...

I got to school this morning and discovered to my delight that the regular proctor made it to work after all and that I wouldn't have to sub for her.  So, instead of proctoring a full class of testing 10th graders in someone else's classroom, I got to test a SINGLE student in MY room (an ESOL student who had accommodations to test on her own).  You BET I was grateful! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Super Sunday

"Couldn't spell a lick,
Couldn't do arithmetic;
One and one made three,
Thought that dog was 'C-A-T,'
But I could pass that football
Like nothin' you have ever seen."
Betty Comden and Adolph Green

DAY 122: I'm afraid I make no secret about my disdain for football in all its various forms - college, professional, you name it.  I frankly find the fanaticism and bad behavior associated with it incredibly silly.  But this is a POSITIVE blog, so why am I calling yesterday's Super Bowl Sunday "A Super Sunday"?  My neighbors who live directly above me ARE football fans ... rather loud, obnoxious, twenty-somethings who occasionally make football evenings very unpleasant for me in the unit below them.  Although they seem to enjoy college football than professional, I worried most of the day yesterday that I wouldn't have a quiet evening once I got home from my errands for the day.  I couldn't be more grateful that there was SILENCE from above duing the game last night and I had an amazingly peaceful evening followed by a good night's sleep.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Side by Side by Side

"New York, New York, a helluva town -
The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down.
The people ride in a hole in the ground.
New York, New York, it's a helluva town!"
Betty Comden and Adolph Green

DAY 121:  My annual Spring show-trip to New York City with my friend, Carole, has become one of the most exciting and anticipated highlights each year for me.  Tonight, Carole and I bought our airline and show tickets for our long weekend in THE City!  This year's itinerary includes FIVE shows, three of which feature a score by my favorite composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim.  In addition, we'll be meeting up with about twenty online friends who also post on the bulletin board.  We met up with a number of them a couple of years ago before a production of Sunday in the Park with George and had a terrific time meeting people from all over the country (and from across the Atlantic!).

The line up for this year ... Julie Taymor's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Met (if you're not familiar with her work, she created the acclaimed Broadway production of The Lion King), the revival of A Little Night Music (with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury), Next Fall (starring our dear friend, Paddy Heusinger), Anyone Can Whistle (as part of the City Center's Encores! series and starring Sutton Foster), and Sondheim on Sondheim (a new Sondheim revue starring one of my favorite performers of all time, Barbara Cook, along with another favorite, Norm Lewis, plus Vanessa Williams and Taboo's lead, Euan Morton)!  WOW!

Our trip typically lasts from Thursday until Monday.  We usually buy tickets for SIX shows - one Thursday night, one Friday night, matinee and evening Saturday, and matinee and evening Sunday - but couldn't find a show we wanted to see with a performance on Sunday night this year.  So ... we're going to do something we haven't done before and that's WING IT for Sunday night and see what comes up.

It's going to be a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let the Sunshine

"Grab your coat and get your hat.
Leave your worries on the doorstep.
Life can be so sweet -
On the sunny side of the street."
Dorothy Fields

DAY 120:  GLORIOUS day ... brilliant cloudless sunshine, sixty degrees, and a refreshing cool wind ... bee-yoo-tee-ful!

Friday, February 5, 2010


"Late nights in my studio ...
Playing with sound and sonic vision.
Plugging into the rhythm
Of the dissonance I felt inside -
Each minor chord a major test,
A backbeat playing in my chest.
Your smile, your face,
The empty space I call my room.
But I was always one step off my best,
When I was without you.
I was always one step to the left,
Within me without you."
Paul Scott Goodman

DAY 119:  I'm officially in love ... head-over-heels ... with a new musical.  Rooms: A Rock Romance was an off-Broadway hit in 2009, and featured a book and score by Paul Scott Goodman, who created another favorite of mine, Bright Lights, Big City.  The story takes place in the 1970's and concerns the creative and romantic partnership of two Scottish musicians, Monica, an ambitious singer-songwriter, and Ian, a reclusive rocker.  Their musical journey takes them from Glasgow to London to New York City, through love, loss, and reconciliation.  This wonderful two-person musical has a terrific score of songs that range from quietly touching love songs, to heart-wrenching power ballads, to exciting punk rock-inspired tunes.  This is a cast recording I'll be listening to a LOT!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A New Brain

"And without a doubt, we'll make it so we can say
What's going on inside his brain -
Why something is amiss.
What's going on inside his brain ..."
William Finn

DAY 118:  For the second time in less than a year, a friend of mine has had brain surgery.  The first for the repair of his life-threatening aneurisms and the second, last night, for the removal of a metastasized tumor from her right temple.  I'm grateful that both surgeries went well ... Evan, of "aneurism fame," has completely recovered and is back in full health, and doctors think they got all of Tiffany's tumor.  Great news!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Look to the Rainbow

"Look, look,
Look to the rainbow.
Follow it over the hill
And the stream.
Look, look,
Look to the rainbow.
Follow the fellow
Who follows a dream."
E.Y. Harburg 

DAY 117:  The next to the last of the sixteen CDs I ordered last week, the recent Broadway revival of Finian's Rainbow, arrived today.  By today's standards, it's a troublesome musical, rife with offensive stereotypes (racial and otherwise) and terribly non-PC humor.  But, OH, that score!  I'm certainly grateful for having the opportunity to listen to new recordings of these wonderful tunes ... "Look to the Rainbow," "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?," "Old Devil Moon," "If This Isn't Love," "Something Sort of Grandish," and, a song I've performed and used for auditions, "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Under the Weather

"Hangin' around,
Nothing to do but frown ...
Rainy days and Mondays
Always get me down."
Paul Williams

DAY 116:  I woke up this gray, rainy morning and felt rather "yucky."  I have my prime suspect - a Larry's chicken salad sub that I ate for dinner last night.  Fortunately, after a few hours of extra sleep, I felt much better.

So, what am I grateful for?  A job that allows me to go ONLINE at the last minute (a couple of hours before work) and get a substitute to "fill in" for me ... with no questions asked.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Music

"Just like that tune,
Simple and clear,
I've come to hear
New music ...
Breaking my heart,
Op'ning a door,
Changing the world -
New music!
I'll hear it forevermore!"
Lynn Ahrens
DAY 115: Every few months when I have some "spare change" after exhausting my paycheck on bills, I try to make a VERY small dent in my very lengthy Wish Lists on  I'll pick up a CD or a DVD or a book that I've been wanting, but not necessarily dying, to own.  With this past check, I discovered I was WAY ahead of my bill paying and had quite a nice chunk of change that I was able to spend on some fun stuff.  So ... I decided to really treat myself - I ordered SIXTEEN new CDs and they started arriving TODAY (and will continue to arrive over the next couple of days).

They're mostly showtunes, of course.  A number of them are CDs to replace a LARGE collection of LPs and a few cassette tapes that I still own ... the original cast of Snoopy!!! (starring the inimitable Pam Myers, who I had the honor of sharing the stage with almost exactly one year ago in a concert version of Hello, Dolly!), the film soundtracks of Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a musical version of Wuthering Heights.  Some of them are recent revivals - like South Pacific, Hair, and Finian's Rainbow - along with some other newer productions like Young Frankenstein and the stage version of The Little Mermaid.  But the REALLY exciting ones are the cast recordings of relatively "obscure" and Off-Broadway productions - Jerry Springer the Opera (yes, you read that right), Blackbeard (aye, matey ... about the pirate), Miss Gulch Returns (a one-man show about the famous Wizard of Oz character), Repo! the Genetic Opera (a sci-fi rock opera that claims to be a cross between Rocky Horror and Blade Runner),  Five Course Love (five different love stories told in five very different restaurants), Glory Days (about four high school friends reuniting a year after graduation), and Rooms: A Rock Romance (about the relationship between a songwriter and a reclusive rock star in the punk rock world of the 1970's).

I've got a LOT of new music to listen to over the next week or so and it's gonna be FUN!!  I'm definitely grateful for having a little spending money to add some old favorites to my collection and hopefully find some new favorites along the way, too!