“City of Angels” Opens at OCP on March 4

City of Angels

Book by:  Larry Gelbart

Music by:  Cy Coleman

Lyrics by:  David Zippel

Director:  Jeff Horger

Dates:  March 4 – April 3, 2016
Location:  Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass St) in the Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Summary
Sexy, sizzling and smart, City of Angels is a film noir-style musical that pays homage to glamorous 1940s Hollywood. Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this clever show has two plots running simultaneously (the real world and the “reel” world) as a man writes a screenplay that mirrors his own life. Intrigue, mystery and incredible music make City of Angels a must-see production.

Contains adult themes.

Curtain Times:
7:30pm – Wednesday – Saturday
2pm – Sunday

Ticket Prices:
Wednesday: $30 for adults, $20 for students
Thursday-Sunday: $40 for adults, $25 for students

Twilight (half-priced) tickets will be sold each performance day beginning at noon, cash or check only at the Box Office window. Seating is subject to availability. Mention you are a TAG member for a $10 discount; membership card must be shown when picking up your ticket.

Box Office:
(402) 553-0800

Cast

STINE – John Jones
STONE – Isaac Reilly
BUDDY FIDLER/IRWIN S. IRVING – Steve Krambeck
ALAURA/CARLA – Jodi Vaccaro
GABBY/BOBBI – Angela Jenson Frey
OOLIE/DONNA – Samantha Quintana
MUñOZ/PANCHO – Shomari Huggins
MALLORY/AVRIL – Aubrey Fleming
JIMMY POWERS – John Ryan
ANGEL CITY QUARTET – Melissa King, Kathy McKain, Joey Galda, Sean Johnson
DR. MANDRIL/BIG SIX – Patrick Kilcoyne
PETER/SONNY – Matt Karasek
LUTHER/WERNER – Kent Stork
MARGIE – Eastin Yates
PASCO – Michael Castillo
DEL DACOSTA – David Leitch
BOOTSIE – Elizabeth Liebermann
DIXIE – JaChaun Laravie
TRIXIE – Megan Ingram
JERRY – Noah Jeffrey
BERNADETTE – Emma Johnson

Advertisements

OCP Holding Auditions for Season Finale “The Producers”

THE PRODUCERS
Production Dates: May 27-June 26, 2016
Performs in: Hawks Mainstage Theatre
Director: Jeff Horger
Synopsis: Winner of 12 Tony Awards, The Producers is the hilarious, lively and absurd Mel Brooks comedy that follows Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom on their quest to become filthy rich on Broadway. They have created the perfect formula for wealth on the Great White Way —produce an utter and complete theatrical failure. Packed full of dancing Nazis, storm troopers and showgirls, their musical Springtime for Hitler is a sure bet to bomb. Now they just need to sit back and let the dough roll in…

Audition Dates: Monday, March 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM and Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Location:  Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE)

Character Descriptions:

MAX BIALYSTOCK (Late 30s to mid 60s) A Broadway producer who has fallen from grace. He either intimidates others with sarcasm and a fiery temper or placates them with seductive or confusing “mile a minute” wordplay. If that doesn’t work, he has carnal relations with them. Although he is far from athletic looking, he is a pure ball of energy from the moment the curtain goes up until he takes his final bow. He is the kind of person you would hate to meet in real life but love to watch on stage. BARITONE/TENOR.

LEO BLOOM (Mid 20s to early 40s) A mousy, nervous, and generally pathetic accountant who wants to be a Broadway producer. Introducing him to anyone and anything new or unusual sends him into a full-blown panic attack. He’s the underdog of the show we all root for. If you look beyond his wretched demeanor and lack of presence, he’s actually kind of a good-looking. TENOR.

ULLA (Mid 20s to late 30s) A Swedish actor hoping to make her big break. She is strikingly tall, conventionally beautiful, and unapologetically sexual. She speaks with a distinct Swedish accent, which occasionally affects her ability to communicate with others, but she is not stupid. She knows exactly what she wants and she is going to get it. She is frank in her discussion of sexuality, but she is not perverse. She’s European. MEZZO-SOPRANO.

FRANZ LIEBKIND (60s +) An active member of the Nazi party in Germany during World War II. While that is a pretty terrible character trait, it is doubtful that he was allowed to participate in anything important, or that he had the intellectual prowess to fully understand anything beyond the basic jingoism of the movement. He has an absurd romantic view of the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler, which forms the basis for his stage play Springtime for Hitler. It’s hard to take him seriously, a fact which is completely lost on him. Others regard him as unstable and dangerous, but it has a lot more to do with his being a loon than with his being a Nazi. BARITONE/BASS.

ROGER DE BRIS (late 20s to mid 50s) The worst working director in New York. Everything about him is over the top – think young Liza Minelli trapped in current Patton Oswalt’s body. He is openly gay and proud of it. As a narcissist, he’s proud of everything he does. The comedy of playing Roger doesn’t come from his sexuality, but rather from his ludicrousness. Although his career path has led him down the road of directing, he subconsciously longs for the spotlight and drama of being the leading lady. He has absolutely no idea how ridiculous he is. BARITONE/TENOR.

CARMEN GHIA (late 20s to mid 40s) Roger’s significant other. In addition to being Roger’s partner, he is also his personal assistant. He is prissy, squeaky, effervescent, and just as bizarre as Roger. The two of them have a tumultuous relationship made up of equal parts Bugs & Daffy, George & Martha, and Laverne & Shirley. TENOR.

NAZI SOLOIST (Early 20s to early 40s) A good looking Nazi soldier who sings the main theme song from Springtime for Hitler. He looks like a formal army officer, but he has charisma and strong stage presence.

ENSEMBLE  The casting team is currently looking at an ensemble of 8 to 10 women and 4 to 6 men. All members of the ensemble will play multiple roles, including but not limited to: accountants, ushers, Nazis, old ladies, prisoners, police officers, and Broadway actors/dancers. Several members of the ensemble will perform in drag. There are roles available for actors of any gender and race. Strong singing and dancing skills required. All ensemble members must be 18 years old before June 1st, 2016.

NOTES ABOUT THE SHOW
The Producers is a silly show. It is funny, but more so…it is absurd. There are traditional jokes written with a set-up and punchline. There are witty characters who play with language. There are clever lyrics that make you both chuckle and think. There is outrageous physical slapstick. There are unlikely circumstances that make characters squirm uncomfortably, to the point that we can’t help but laugh at them.
This is not a show about Nazis. It is a show about taste, and how there is no accounting for it. It is both an homage to and parody of Broadway musicals. It is a show about greed and what it makes us do, and how the pursuit of fortune and fame leads us blindly into ridiculous circumstances that could have been easily prevented.
This show contains mild language, cartoonish violence, and scatological humor. It pokes fun at musicals, New York, celebrities, the legal system, foreigners, homophobia, antisemitism, the elderly, sex, and the Nazi party.
This show requires triple threats who understand and can execute a specific style of comedy. The characters in this show exist in a reality similar to our own, and most of them don’t realize just how funny their situation is. The show doesn’t work if the actors lay the comedy on thick, trying to squeeze laughs out of the audience. They need to live truthfully and simply inhabit this bizarre world created by Mel Brooks.

What to Bring:
• Please come prepared with 16 bars of music prepared to sing. An accompanist will be provided.

• There will be a dance audition, please come dressed ready to move. No boots, sandals, flip-flops, slick shoes, etc.

• You will be asked to fill out an audition form, please have all necessary contact information and personal schedules handy in order to complete the form.

• A recent photo if you have one available. Please note, photos will not be returned.

Auditions for Mary Poppins at Chanticleer

Auditions for Mary Poppins

Chanticleer Theatre
830 Franklin Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

When: March 13 & 14 (callbacks March 15th)
Time: 7:00 pm
Production Dates: Weekends May 13-22
Rehearsals beginning on Monday, March 21st

Stage Director: Meganne Storm
Music Director: Peggy Holloway
Choreographer: Kerri Jo Richardson

Audition guidelines:
1. Bring your calendar with all possible rehearsal conflicts.
2. Please prepare one verse or chorus of a song (around 32 bars) in the style of the show. Bring music for the provided accompanist – no a cappella, please.
3. All should be prepared to learn a short dance combination – dress comfortably and bring appropriate shoes.
4. You may be asked to do cold readings from the script.

Character Descriptions:
Mary Poppins – Michael and Jane Banks’s new nanny, who is practically perfect in every way. A mezzo-soprano with strong top notes and a traditional soprano sound; precision and diction are required.
Bert – The narrator of the story, and an “everyman” jack-of-all-trades. Requires a strong song-and-dance man with a baritone range.
George Banks – The father to Jane and Michael Banks, is a banker to the very fiber of his being who demands “precision and order” in his household. Baritone.
Winifred Banks – George’s wife and Jane and Michael’s mother. Mezzo-soprano
Jane Banks – The high-spirited daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Mezzo-soprano or strong child soprano
Michael Banks – The cute and cheeky son of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Child soprano.
Ensemble– Multi-talented team players of all ages. A wide variety of roles will come from the ensemble and there are many opportunities for solos and small speaking parts. Ensemble members must have strong voices and good musicianship and move well. We are also seeking a small corps of featured dancers comfortable with all musical theatre styles, including tap. Smaller roles include: Katie Nanna, Policeman, Miss Lark, Admiral Boom, *Mrs. Brill, *Robertson Ay, Park Keeper, **Neleus, Queen Victoria, **Bank Chairman, **Miss Smythe, **Von Hussler, **John Northbrook, *Bird Woman, **Mrs. Corry, *Miss Andrew, Annie, Fannie, **Valentine, **Teddy Bear, **Mr. Punch, **Doll, Chimney Sweeps, Toys, Parkgoers. (*denotes significant singing role; **some solo lines or featured dancer)

Please email mrhstorm@gmail.com or peggy.holloway5@gmail.com with questions

Lethargic Farce Needs a Jolt

Renowned author and philanderer, Archer Connaught, is feared dead in a plane crash.  However he not only returns not dead, but with a new young love that he wishes to marry.  When Archer asks his wife, Josie, for a divorce, she reveals that they were never really married to begin with.  Instead of making things easier, things actually become more difficult since the world believes Connaught to be married.  The unwinding of this knotty problem is the story of James Elward’s Best of Friends, currently playing at the Bellevue Little Theatre.

Elward’s script actually begins with quite a bit of promise.  The plot is ideal for a good farce and the play does have some zippy wordplay and pointed zingers.  Unfortunately, the script runs out of gas by the end of the play with an unsatisfactory ending and non-endings to the story arcs of several characters.

The secret to a good farce is energy and I fear I may have caught this cast on an off night as the energy was sorely lacking in tonight’s production.  The pace had the consistency of glue and the cast really needed to tighten up their cues.  Volume was also an issue as a number of the performers did not project enough.

Emma Rasmussen makes her directing debut at the BLT with this production.  A rather new face on the directing scene, Ms Rasmussen demonstrates great potential with this show as there are several moments that truly sing.  However, some potentially humorous bits got overlooked and some beats needed to be dug into more deeply.  I also thought there were a couple of bland performances that needed some work as well as some distracting pieces of business that needed to be eliminated as it drew focus away from speaking actors.

Brian Witcher was quite an impressive find as he makes his BLT debut in the role of Archer Connaught.  He expertly walked that fine line of keeping Connaught unlikable, but still charming.  Connaught was an unhappy teacher who managed to hit it big with a novel.  Once he got money, he abandoned his family and nursed an addiction to women.  An addiction he seemed to be quite proud of.  Witcher is a highly animated performer with a knack of finding just the right turn of phrase and appropriate gestures at all of the right times.  As oily as this character was, Witcher managed to make me feel a little pity for him as he tried to fix his numerous broken relationships.

Janet Macklin does a solid job in the role of Josie Connaught, Archer’s maybe wife.  Ms Macklin has a grand gift for underplaying which worked very well for the most part.  Ms Macklin’s Josie comes off extremely loyal, at first, sticking by a husband who is at home very rarely and tolerating his infidelities.  That all changes once she reveals the lack of marriage.  That revelation also changes the tone of her underplaying as now everything she says is tinged with uncertainty leaving one wondering where the truth starts and ends.

Despite the overall good work, Ms Macklin does need to keep her projection up as it waxed and waned.  I also thought her confrontations with Archer’s lover needed to have a bit more edge to them.

Catherine Deluca’s turn as Kate Connaught seemed a bit listless and wooden.  She internalized a lot of the anger towards her father, Archer, due to his shabby treatment of the family.  That was not necessarily a bad choice, but I didn’t hear any variance in her delivery.  Ms Deluca also needed to react more when others were talking and speak up when she spoke.

Likewise, I considered Marcus Benzel’s portrayal of Archer’s son, Merrill, to be a bit one note in nature.  Benzel’s Merrill was a whiny, entitled lout, but he needed to nuance his delivery.  I do applaud him for bringing great energy to the role.  He actually seems a bit over the top which is not a bad thing for a farce.  But since he was the only performer doing so, he either needs to tone his performance down somewhat or the rest of the cast needs to raise their energy level to match his.

Melissa Jarecke brought a welcome jolt of juice with her rendition of the sardonic literary agent, Hazel Dunn.  She had some of the strongest scenes in the show and her dialogues with Archer and Josie sparked with vitality.  Alexander Hamilton is splendid in the small role of the hapless attorney, Felix Heckaday, who gets caught up in the lunacy of the Connaught family.  Tom Steffes brings terrific comedy relief as the drunken juggler/Justice of the Peace, Mr. Bledsoe.

This show did have quite a few strong technical aspects.  Joey Lorincz continues to impress as one of the best set designers in the city with a gorgeous study complete with rich green hues, a crackling fireplace, and well appointed library.  I loved Pam Matney’s sound design as it consisted of some of my favorite classic rock numbers.  The actors were also well costumed by Leah Skorupa-Mezger.

At the end of the night, I felt there was a truly great ensemble performance trying to break out of this show.  With a much needed dose of energy and some fine tuning of performances, I believe this cast can overcome the slight weaknesses of the script and have a great laugher on their hands.

Best of Friends continues at Bellevue Little Theatre through Feb 28.  Performances are at 7:30pm Fri-Sat and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $10 for students with proper ID.  Reservations can be made by calling 402-291-1554 between the hours of 10am-4:30pm Mon-Sat.  This show does deal with some adult subject matter and is not recommended for children.  Bellevue Little Theatre is located at 203 E Mission Ave in Bellevue, NE.

A Well Acted Puzzler

A man mourns the loss of his family and friends.  This is the plot of The Designated Mourner by Wallace Shawn and currently playing at the Circle Theatre.

This play is much, much more than my simple one sentence summary.  This is the most perplexing play I have ever watched.  There is a narrative thread, but due to the disjointed and fragmented nature of Shawn’s writing, it takes the focus of a Sherlock Holmes to locate and grasp it.  The play was about ¾ of the way over before I had enough clues to put things together.

The play takes place in a totalitarian society where being an intellectual is a crime.  The play is presented as a triologue between the characters of Jack, Judy, and Howard as they share their broken and unconnected memories with the audience.  Pay very close attention to what each character says as their stories and thoughts weave in and out from the present and the past, leading the audience on a very convoluted path to the endgame of this story.

Ryle Smith plays the role of Jack and directs the play.  As director, he has chosen to present the play as a reader’s theatre production.  I found this to be a very wise choice as this is a very static play.  It is completely dialogue driven with zero action and presenting it as a narration gives this play the best possible chance for success.  He has also guided himself and his other two thespians to strong performances which is absolutely vital to holding the audience’s interest in this talky production.

As Jack, Smith serves as the chief narrator of the story and is the designated mourner.  Smith does a good job of presenting Jack as a wannabe intellectual.  He is intelligent and has an appreciation for fine literature, but cannot converse about it on the same level as his wife, Judy, and father-in-law, Howard.

Though Jack has the veneer of a laid-back personality, it covers a much darker side.  Jack is a coward, has utter contempt for his father-in-law due to his being highbrow while Jack is lowbrow, cheats on Judy, and runs with his tail tucked between his legs when the government begins to threaten Judy and Howard.  As unlikable as Jack is, Smith’s interpretation does permit an understanding of, if not sympathy for, Jack.  He is somewhat pitiable as he loses his sense of identity for the sake of his survival and there is a gleam of hope for him as he recognizes the poetry of beauty in the simple things of life at the play’s end.

I found the character of Judy to be the most baffling of the play and that is not a negative criticism.  Due to the esoteric nature of Wallace’s writing, I simply had trouble getting a grip on Judy’s function in the story as her stories and memories are the most ethereal of the three characters.  Luckily the acting of Laura Marr makes up for the rather ghostly nature of Judy.

Ms Marr always remained fully engaged in the action and I was enthralled as I watched her reactions to the stories told by Howard and Jack as her expressions told a story all their own.  She was also a master of the beats as she altered tone, expression, and body language with each shift of the story.  Most compelling was her storytelling when Judy was dying of an unknown illness as her body seemed to deteriorate before my eyes to coincide with the sickliness of Judy.

David Sindelar once again proves himself to be one of the city’s underrated talents with a rare, and excellent, dramatic turn as Howard.  As Howard, Sindelar breathes a rather lofty air into his performance.  He is the intellectual’s intellectual.  Howard is a master of prose and wrote several political essays which may play into the woes he eventually suffers during the course of the show.  He truly enjoys a good debate and comes off as a bit of a snob.  This trait was most telling during a conversation with Jack about a mutual friend.

When Jack says he would have done things differently than this friend about a certain event, Sindelar’s Howard persuasively argues that if Jack had been the friend he would have been motivated by the same thoughts and reactions as that of the friend and, therefore, have done exactly the same thing.  Sindelar did this with a wonderful superior attitude that made me wonder if the contempt between Jack and Howard were equal on both sides.  Sindelar could also give lessons on projection and voice control as his powerful speaking voice filled the theatre space.

While the acting was quite strong, I felt that the pace could have been picked up quite a bit.  Ms Marr and Smith also need to project a little bit more into the microphones as they were a little quiet at the start of the show.

It’s hard to write a proper conclusion to this review due to the mysterious nature of the show.  I believe this play will be quite polarizing.  You will either love it or you will hate it.  Buckle yourself in for a long ride as a lot will be thrown at you in a short period of time, but the performing abilities of the trio of actors will go a long way in bolstering the peculiarities of the script.

The Designated Mourner plays for the Circle Theatre through February 27.  Showtimes are 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and this production is playing at the Urban Abbey located at 1026 Jackson St in the Old Market district of Omaha, NE.  For reservations, contact the Circle at 402-553-4715 or via e-mail at dlmarr@cox.net.  Tickets cost $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for students, active military, and T.A.G. members.  This play contains strong language and mature themes and is not suitable for children.

Cotton Patch Redux, Day 5: Serenity Bed and Breakfast Inn is Serene, Indeed

013

Serenity Bed and Breakfast Inn

One thing I’ve always liked about traveling on Sunday is that it’s (usually) peaceful and quiet.  This one was no exception and the traffic was so light through the construction that it was as if no work was being done.

For this final leg of the journey I would be stopping in Wichita, KS where I would be staying at the Serenity Bed & Breakfast Inn.  I was more than ready to stop for the night after a long day of driving and sketchy sleep over the two previous evenings.

This was actually a bit of a milestone as Serenity Inn was the 30th B & B I have visited and I must say that I really hit the jackpot with this one.  Serenity Inn, owned and operated by Ken Elliott, has all of those features of interest that make for a fine B & B.  It’s an older, elegant home with a lot of interesting history as Ken gave me a brief walking tour of the estate.  It’s also famed for its murder mystery dinners.

After the tour, Ken led me to Jordan’s Suite which served as my final home away from home for this little jaunt.  It was perfect.  From the four poster, canopy bed to the Jacuzzi bathtub, it just radiated comfort and peace.  In short, it was just what I needed.

I was so weary that I was unable to engage in any sort of exploration of the area.  Heck, I was so exhausted that I didn’t even eat that night.  I just arranged my things and had just enough juice to watch the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl and, more likely than not, send Peyton Manning into the sunset as a champion.

I slept like a baby that night.  My lights went out and didn’t relight until the next morning.  I awoke, fully refreshed, and enjoyed a nice long bath in the morning.

I was starving after having nothing to eat, aside from a small snack, since the previous morning.  The Serenity Inn is famed for its LARGE breakfasts and that is a truthful claim.  I opted for room service and goggled at the huge meal Ken brought to my room.  A massive Mexican omelet, a full banana, a cinnamon roll, grapefruit, salsa, water, coffee, orange juice, and tortillas.

014

A breakfast fit for a king. Several, actually.

The cinnamon roll was piping hot and one of the best I had ever eaten.  The Mexican omelet was light and fluffy and stuffed with black beans, cheese, and corn.  Under ordinary circumstances, I would not have been able to eat very much.  Hungry as I was, I still didn’t do much damage to the meal, but more than I would have thought possible.  I would recommend that the portions be trimmed down to at least half their size, but there are certainly no gripes about the quality of the food.

After breakfast, I said my good-byes to Ken and drove the final leg to Omaha.  If you want to enjoy a classic B & B and you find yourself in Wichita, do yourself a favor and get a room at Serenity Inn where you will enjoy a fabulous house and a fine, filling meal.

And on a final note, don’t feel too bad for me because I missed out on the play.  Outside of a mild disappointment, it did nothing to damper the trip.  I enjoyed some great inns, met some great people, and had a great adventure.  I’ll get another shot at Cotton Patch Gospel as either actor, reviewer, or both.  Hopefully, it will be showing somewhere in or around my homestead in the not too distant future.

Cotton Patch Redux, Days 3 & 4: Cotton Patchless

023

Thornton Inn

I imagine you saw the title and thought, “Huh?”  Unfortunately, it is true.  Have you ever had one of those days where fate seemed to conspire against you?  Well, I had that day on Friday and that conspiracy caused me to miss Cotton Patch Gospel. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The drive to Arlington was a shorter trip though somewhat marred by bumpy roads, construction, and heavy Friday traffic.  After weeding through the obstacles, I finally found myself in the town of Arlington where I would be staying at the Thornton Inn owned and operated by Sunny and Terry Graham.

Thornton Inn is quite unique in the sense that it is actually a renovated fraternity house.  The house is actually one of the oldest homes in Arlington being built in the early 1900s.  Eventually it became a frat house until a ruling by the University of Texas-Arlington decreed that all fraternity and sorority houses had to be located on campus.  The home was bought by the Grahams to be used as an office for Sunny’s real estate brokerage.  A suggestion that the home would make a good B & B inspired the Grahams to restore the house to its former scholarly glory and open it to guests in 2013.

Sunny and Terry are very kind hosts and great conversationalists.  Terry, in particular, is full of many incredible tales.  Terry led me to my room, the Remington, which housed a massive king bed which has been one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in and a beautiful modern bathroom with a shower that reminded me of the “Car Wash” in the now defunct Quill and Quilt of Cannon Falls, MN.

After settling in, Terry was kind enough to print out better directions for the Repertory Company Theatre.  After dressing for the play, I briefly toyed with the idea of arranging for a taxi to take me as I was tired after several days of driving.  In hindsight, I wish I had gone with the idea.

Under the best of circumstances, the drive from Thornton Inn to Repertory Company Theatre is about 40 minutes.  What I had to deal with was anything but the best of circumstances.

The journey must be experienced as it is very difficult to describe the roads used to travel from Arlington to Richardson.  One must use the LBJ Freeway and the George Bush Turnpike which consists of a maze of roads and exits which could easily baffle much better drivers than myself.

I was actually doing pretty well and wasn’t too far from my exit point when I saw an electronic sign flash the message that an accident had occurred right where I needed to exit and traffic ground to a halt.  I managed to get around the accident, breathing a sigh of relief that I had given myself 90 minutes just in case.  Then I faced my second problem.

My directions said one had to stay to the left in order to make the necessary turn.  Well, I followed those instructions to the letter. . .and it put me back on the freeway.  Not a problem, I got off at the next exit and got turned back around as precious minutes ticked away.

I found my road and thought I would make it in time to the show, but then I glanced at the road signs where, to my mounting horror, I suddenly saw I was somehow on a different street.  It turns out that the roads in Richardson are not unlike the roads in Flagstaff, AZ.  In Flagstaff if you turn left, the road is Apple Street.  But if you turn left, it’s Blueberry Street.  In Richardson, you need to be in just the right lane or you may find yourself on a road other than the one you want.

I desperately tried to find my road again, getting directions from a gas station.  I finally got back to my road and found the area where the theatre was located, but knew it was an exercise in futility as the show had already started.  I heaved a frustrated sigh and headed back to the inn.

I debated about whether or not I wanted to try again the next night, but there were problems with that.  I knew that each performance had less than 3 rows of seats still available before starting the trip so I wasn’t sure if I could still get a ticket.  You also cannot buy tickets online once it its 24 hours before showtime.  You can call the theatre for a ticket, but the box office doesn’t open until an hour before curtain.  Assuming I could still get a ticket, I still would have had the 40+ minute journey to re-endure.  It was too much of a gamble.  I wrote a letter to the theatre thanking them for Friday’s ticket and explaining why I was unable to make it.

The stress of the failed trip took a toll on my sleep as I woke up during the night with my body going through symptoms similar to a panic attack.  A few deep breaths brought my twitching body back under control and the comfort of the bed helped me fall back asleep.

Terry and Sunny were very sympathetic about my plight.  Terry felt guilty as he had printed out directions for me, but I assured him he could have done nothing more.  The bad luck was completely beyond his control.  But the delicious breakfast of breakfast tacos, fruit, bacon, and a hash brown helped perk me up.

018

Breakfast tacos

Luckily I had a relaxing activity planned for the day.  I had arranged for a 90 minute massage at the Sanford House Bed and Breakfast and Spa.  Under Margo’s ministrations I felt my body loosen up and unwind and some cheese and water afterwards helped complete the treatment.  The Sanford Spa is definitely worth a visit if you want some pampering.

Afterwards, I headed to the Parks at Arlington mall where I wandered around briefly before returning to the inn where I watched some Elementary, finished a video game, and caught a nap.

I attended worship services at St Maria Goretti Catholic Church.  This was a beautiful church and the people were so welcoming.  It was a nice service with a good sermon from Father.

When worship had ended and under the suggestion from Sunny, I had dinner at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House.  Sunny had raved about their food and the crowd that met me certainly testified to the quality of the meal as it was packed to the rafters.  Even as the dynamic uno, I had to wait 30 minutes for a table.

But it was worth the wait.  Babe’s is better as a group as it is family style dining.  You get your choice of one of 5 meats and sides of corn, biscuits, salad, green beans, gravy, and mashed potatoes are brought on.  I opted for chicken fried steak which I managed to eat half of and helped myself to a little of each of the sides.  The mashed potatoes are the best I’ve ever tasted.  Price is about $15 per person, so it is very reasonable for the quality and quantity of food.

When dinner was done, I did a little work posting photos, but found myself uninspired to write.  I decided to go to bed.

The next morning I had a filling breakfast of French toast, fruit, bacon, and sausage to strengthen me for the drive home.

I truly did enjoy my time at Thornton Inn and you cannot find better hosts than Sunny and Terry.  If you find yourself in Arlington, do yourself a favor and book a room here.