She Rocks! She Rocks, Indeed!!

World, Tara Vaughan has arrived and she is tearing it up at the Omaha Community Playhouse in her new show, Tara Vaughan’s She Rocks.

Produced under the auspices of Rave On Productions, Tara Vaughan’s She Rocks is a killer revue focusing on the legendary female artists and/or songwriters of the 60s-80s with a splash of the 90s and today thrown in for good measure.  In a thrilling night of rock and roll suitable for people of all ages and presenting artists of all eras, you’ll hear numbers from Linda Ronstadt, Heart, The Go-Gos, Fleetwood Mac, Sandie Shaw, Amy Winehouse, Sheryl Crow, and even an original tune written by Ms Vaughan herself.

Long known as a talented singer/songwriter (and the keyboardist & vocalist for the Rave On Productions), Ms Vaughan’s talent explodes in a stunning tour de force performance for this revue.  Tara Vaughan does not play music. . .she exudes it.  It’s as if the notes just come from the very depths of her soul and she then shares it with the audience with every fiber of her being and her incredible alto voice.

Kicking it off with the sweet, but melancholic “When Will I Be Loved?” by Linda Ronstadt, Ms Vaughan proceeded to demonstrate an unmatched versatility with an extremely diverse set that included the Sandie Shaw version of “Always Something There to Remind Me”, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”, Heart’s “Barracuda”, and Blondie’s “Call Me”.  But she could also slow it down with sensitive and moving songs such as a little Cass Elliot in “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”, and Fifth Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues”.  However, I thought two of her best numbers in a night full of great ones were her take on Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” (a personal favorite song of mine) and her own original number written “in a similar vein of “You’re So Vain’”, “Blame it On My Youth”.

In between numbers, Ms Vaughan shared stories with the audience about the creation of the show, memories of her life, and gentle ribbing of her mother with a soft-spoken, almost shy stage presence that hooked the audience in from the first word.

The arrangement of the numbers gave the night’s music a familiar, but fresh feel and Ms Vaughan was epically supported by a powerful band which included Ryan McGuigan on keyboards, percussion, and backing vocals; Matthew McGuigan on bass and backing vocals (and a solo on The Supremes’ “Can’t Hurry Love”); Jess Errett on electric acoustic guitar and backing vocals (plus a solo with The Go-Gos “Head Over Heels”); Max Meyer, who provided some stellar solos on lead guitar, and Adam Stoltenberg on drums.  The night even included a guest appearance from Billy McGuigan who teamed up with Ms Vaughan to belt out Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

This is just a taste of what those of you lucky enough to have tickets to tonight’s sold out performance have in store for you.  And if you don’t have a ticket, don’t worry.  Tara Vaughan and She Rocks will return to the Omaha Community Playhouse in late June 2019 for a three week engagement.  Tickets go on sale November 20.  I promise you an experience you won’t forget and you will find that Tara Vaughan most.  Definitely.  Rocks!!!

Be Part of OCP’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

The Omaha Community Playhouse is holding auditions for the upcoming production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Saturday, October 27 at 11 a.m. and Sunday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at the Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132.

• Production: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
• Roles: Christopher, Siobhan, Ed, Judy, Ensemble (play multiple roles)
• Show Dates: January 18 – February 10, 2019
• Theatre: Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse
• Rehearsals: Begin December 2, 2018
• Director: Kimberly Faith Hickman

Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Play, and based on the best-selling mystery novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tells the emotional story of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with autism, who sets out to solve the mysterious death of a neighbor’s dog. As he embarks on an incredible adventure to find answers, his perceptions of trust and reality are turned upside-down. With stunning design and innovative staging, this impactful story is a must-see!

• Saturday, October 27 at 11:00 a.m.
• Sunday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Omaha Community Playhouse
6915 Cass Street
Omaha, NE 68132

• Those auditioning should enter through the west “Stage Door” entrance and proceed to the check-in table.
• Actors only need to attend one of the audition dates to be considered for a role.
• Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script provided at auditions.
• If special accommodations are needed, please contact Breanna Carodine prior to auditions at (402) 553-4890 ext. 164 or

• All contact information, personal schedules and a list of rehearsal conflicts with which to fill out an audition form
• To expedite the check-in process, please bring a physical copy of a headshot or recent photo of yourself. Please note, photos will not be returned.

“On Golden Pond” Opening at Maples Repertory Theatre

The fifteenth season of live professional plays at Maples Repertory Theatre continues with Ernest Thompson’s American classic, On Golden Pond, October 24 – November 4. A truly golden gem, On Golden Pond is a play for all ages. It explores with humor and wisdom the struggles of getting old, being the adult child of your parents and being twelve years old. The beauty of On Golden Pond is the empathy and understanding that it evokes for each of those stages of life.

On Golden Pond is the funny, poignant story of Norman and Ethel Thayer, who for 40 years have spent their summers at a lake house on Golden Pond in Maine. We watch as they experience the perilous journey into creaky joints, arthritis, forgetfulness and heart palpitations. This is the unique journey of a long wedded couple whose quiet, routine summer on the lake is disrupted when their daughter drops off her significant other’s teenage son. She asks that they keep this suburban teen so that she and her fiancé can spend quality time together on a European vacation. As most parents do, they agree to help out and so this wonderful coming of age tale begins.

Featured in the Maples Rep production are James Anthony and Judi Mann, a pair of actors who are married in real life. Playing their daughter, Chelsea, is Ashley Pankow, a Kansas City based actor who has been part of the Maples Rep Company several times. These three actors face the daunting challenge of stepping into roles made famous in the 1981 film version by Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Jane Fonda. In the intimate setting of the Royal Theatre, the audience will be able to connect with the characters and their struggles and joys in a unique way.

On Golden Pond is a coming-of-age story in the sense that it explores many stages of life. The “seniors” know their lives are changing and the can look back on experiences of a long life. The “middle-aged” daughter is finding it necessary to connect with her parents in new ways. The young boy finds himself in a completely new environment and making an unexpected connection with the elderly couple. Hopes, dreams, regrets and possibilities all play a role in this special summer On Golden Pond.

Performances and Ticket Information:

Wed. Oct. 24 – 7:30

Fri. Oct. 26 – 2:00, 7:30

Sat. Oct. 27 – 2:00, 7:30

Sun. Oct. 28 – 2:00

Tues. Oct. 30 – 2:00

Wed. Oct. 31 – 2:00

Fri. Nov. 2 – 2:00, 7:30

Sat. Nov. 3 – 2:00, 7:30

Sun. Nov. 4 – 2:00

Tickets: $24-31

Call 660-385-2924 or visit to get your tickets today!

Rated PG for some strong language and adult themes


Maples Repertory Theatre
102 N Rubey St
Macon, MO 63552


James Anthony as Norman

Judi Mann as Ethel

Ashley Pankow as Chelsea

Todd J. Davison as Bill

Andrew Stachurski as Charlie

Henry Kallerud as Billy Ray

Blue Barn Announces Auditions for “Indecent” & “The Woodsman”

BLUEBARN THEATRE announces auditions for Indecent by Paula Vogel

Auditions will be held at The Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 South 10th St

Saturday, Dec. 1st from 12pm-4pm  &  Sunday, Dec. 2nd  from 12pm-4pm

Callbacks, if necessary, will be held on Saturday, December 8th from 12-4pm

Indecent runs March 21st, 2019 through April 14th, 2019. Rehearsals begin February 11th, 2019.

Company Members Needed

 The Stage Manager, Lemml– (M, 30-50).  

A wise fool who sees it all.

The Ingénues- (1F, 1M, 20-35).

All the brides, the grooms, the writers, the socialists, the believers.

The Primes- (1F, 1M, 35-55).

All the vamps, all the vice, the scarred and the schemers in their prime.

The Elders- (1F, 1M, 50+).

All the fathers, mothers, the sages and the fools at any age

The Musicians- (3 any gender, any age).

On violin! On accordion! On clarinet!

Performers who also sing and move and act with the troupe.


Please present a classic or contemporary monologue under 2 minutes.

Be prepared to perform 30-60 sec  of “Ain’t We Got Fun” or a folk song of your choice, a capella.

Auditions will include prepared sides and cold readings. There may also be dance/movement elements at the auditions. Sides will be available on November 12th.

For more information, to request a copy of the script, or to schedule an audition, please contact Barry at .

*Indicate which roles you’d like to be considered for when scheduling your audition.

*If you are auditioning as a musician, please indicate which instrument(s)

you play when scheduling your auditions, and prepare a 32 bar solo.

About the play:

Inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance—a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel. INDECENT charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. A glorious celebration of the power of theatre to harness the very best of the human spirit.


Auditions for The Woodsman by James Ortiz with Music by Edward Hardy and Lyrics by Jen Loring

Auditions will be held at The Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 South 10th St

There will be three sessions:

Session 1:  Monday, Dec 10th from 5pm-7:30pm

Session 2:  Monday, Dec 10th from 7:30-10pm

Session 3:  Tuesday, Dec 11th from 3pm-6pm

Callbacks will be held Tuesday, December 11th from 7:30-10

*Violinists will be auditioned from 6:30-7:30 on Tuesday, Dec 11th, those called back

will join the 7:30-10pm session with the actors immediately following.

The Woodsman runs May 16th, 2019 through June 16th, 2019. Rehearsals begin April 8th, 2019

Schedule your Audition with Barry Carman at


Company Members Needed

7 Actors     1M and 1F (20s-30s), 1 F(20s-40s), 4 others (any age); 1 Violinist

To request a character breakdown with descriptions, possible doubling, and puppets, contact  

Casting note: The Woodsman is a wordless, physical, actor-driven ensemble that incorporates puppetry. All actors must be able to move well and fill physical shape with story, character and intention, and have strength, flexibility, and stamina. All actors are on stage for most of the 75minute show.



Please prepare a one-minute classical monologue (Shakes, Moliere, Ibsen, Strindberg, etc), and 16 bars of a folk song in the style of the show to be sung a capella.

Come prepared to move; most of the audition will consist of an hour of exercises with other actors in ensemble work and imaginative storytelling.


We are looking for a dynamic and intuitive player, who can play the exhilarating passages with bravado but won’t tire from the tedious passages. Should be able to adapt to the ambience of every scene. Must be an experienced team player, adept at their part with a command/ knowledge of all other vocal parts.

To request audition passages, contact

To hear the music, go to . 

About the Play

Based on the forgotten writings of L. Frank Baum, Strangemen Theatre Company’s THE WOODSMAN gives this darkly beautiful, haunting, and heart-breaking story new life through original music, physical storytelling, and innovative puppetry. A re-imagined tale of the origin of Baum’s “The Tin Woodman of Oz.”

It Slays

When she discovers a Dungeons & Dragons module written by her late sister, Tilly, Agnes Smith decides to play through the game in the hopes that it will help her understand the little sister that she never really knew.  This is She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen and currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Nguyen’s script is a refreshing new take on the old idea of a character seeking to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.  The use of a game like D&D is quite inspired as it is a game where a person could easily infuse her or his essence into it and be his or her true self.  Most of the game moments are played up, quite well, for comedy, but a few dramatic revelations are made which then skillfully and smoothly connect with the real world and make Agnes’ growing understanding of her sister quite believable.

Beth Thompson provides a pretty effective piece of direction to this production. Her staging is quite nice making use of the entire stage as well as the aisles of the Howard Drew Theatre.  She demonstrates a thorough understanding of the script by playing up the comedic moments for all they are worth, but knows when to get serious with the more dramatic moments of the story.  The acting of her performers is quite capable with a pair of stirring performances in the form of her two leading characters.

I think this play is one of the friendliest to character actors I’ve ever seen as it provides a lot of fun characters for a performer to sink his or her teeth into.  Some of the night’s most rib-tickling performances come from Kevin Gosford who had the crowd guffawing with his take on Orcus, a lazy and retired overlord of the underworld who’d rather watch TV than take souls and fight heroes; Carrie Beth Stickrod who provides laugh out loud moments as a foul mouthed, ineffective guidance counselor and a malevolent fairy guarding the five headed dragon, Tiamatt; and Will Rodgers as the hapless Steve who routinely gets brutalized in the world of D&D and pushed around by Ms Stickrod’s guidance counselor in the real world.

But this play does rest on the shoulders of the two actors playing Tilly and Agnes and Chloe Irwin and Catie Zaleski are more than up to the task of carrying that burden.  The two performers have a symbiotic chemistry with each other and truly feel like real sisters.

Ms Irwin dominates the show with a compelling performance as Tilly.  Indeed, she has a poise, presence, and naturalness to her acting that many experienced veterans would envy.  She definitely nails the essence of the little sister by being a constant pain to Agnes and even peppering her with the insults one would expect from a younger sibling.  It is clear that D&D is the only place where she ever felt free as her alter-ego of Tillious is brave and confident and is able to indulge in real life fantasies or deal with the difficulties of growing up.  Some of her best moments come when Tilly drops the façade of Tillious to be completely open and honest with Agnes about herself and their relationship.

Catie Zaleski is rock solid as Agnes.  She expertly presents an ordinary person who discovers life as she really learns about her sister through the playing of her module.  Her transformation from a disinterested player to a full blown participant is played out well as she slowly peels off the layers of her resistance to the game and, symbolically, her sister.  It’s also quite humorous how heavily she gets into the game as it is implied she is playing out both sides of the conversation with her sister which makes some of the insults she receives such as having her avatar be called Agnes the Asshatted even funnier.

Ms Zaleski handles the comedy of the piece quite well, especially as she gets raked over the coals in the early playing of the game.  But she also handles the drama equally well as she discovers some of her sister’s secrets and how that begins to affect her real life.

Shannon Smay has composed an awesome score for this show with ominous music well suited for a playing of D&D.  Christopher Dills’ set brilliantly merges the messy bedroom of Tilly (further enhanced by the props of Darin Kuehler and Carrie Velez) with the guidance counselor’s office and a spiral staircase at center stage is a nice touch for introducing characters.  Darren Golden’s lights enhance the piece with atmospheric lighting for bright forests and deep, dank caves and other locales in New Landia.  John Giblilsco provides some A level sounds and Amy Elizabeth Schweid provides some amusing fight choreography for the big battle sequences.  But she also provides some truly realistic blows in quick skirmishes, such as a backhand delivered to Agnes with such ferocity it drew an audible gasp from me.

Extreme praise is due to Amanda Fehlner for an extraordinary piece of costume design for this production.  Her costuming is pitch perfect for the piece including the Xenaesque outfit worn by Tillious, the red, furry, demonic bodysuit for Orcus, and the bugbear outfits, just to name a few.

There were a few minor blips in the show.  Energy seemed a bit low, volume needed stepping up from some actors, and the pace could be quickened, but these did little to dampen an original night of theatre.

It may be a tried and true formula, but this is the most original take on a journey of discovery that you’re ever likely to see.

She Kills Monsters plays at the Omaha Community Playhouse through Nov 4.  Performances are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets begin at $30 for adults and $18 for students.  For tickets visit or call the box office at 402-553-0800.  Due to some strong language and sensitive themes, this play is not recommended for young children.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

“Dracula” is Stalking the Circle Theatre


Count Dracula (Justin Eller) recruits Renfield (David Sindelar) in his quest for victims

An ancient evil from Transylvania concocts a scheme to travel to London, England in search of victims to satisfy his endless hunger for blood.  His pursuit of a young woman leads to an unlikely banding together of five ordinary people led by a wise, if eccentric, professor.  Their goal?  To erase this evil nobleman from the face of the earth before he can claim further victims.

Bram Stoker’s classic gothic tale, Dracula, comes to vivid life at the Circle Theatre in an original adaptation written by Ryle Smith from Oct 19-Nov 3.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm with a special Halloween performance on Oct 31 at 9pm.  Tickets cost $20 ($15 for Seniors/College Students/Military/TAG Members & $12 for high school students).  Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door on performance nights.  The Circle Theatre is located at 4444 Frances St in the Hanscom Park United Methodist Church.

Production:  Dracula

Written By:  Ryle Smith in an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel

Location:  The Circle Theatre (4444 Frances St in Hanscom Park United Methodist Church)

Ticket Prices:  $20 for adults ($15 for Seniors/College Students/Military/TAG Members & $12 for High School Students).  Purchases can be made at or at the door on performance nights.

Directed by:  Angela Dashner


Isaac Reilly as Jonathan Harker

Stephanie Olson as Mina Murray/Harker

Chris Elston as Dr. Jack Seward

Nate Slater as Lord Godalming, Arthur Holmwood

Hunter Ponce as Quincy Morris

Ron Boschult as Professor Abraham Van Helsing

David Sindelar as R.M. Renfield

Kirsty Eden as Lucy Westenra

Kristine Dunbar as Mrs. Westenra


Justin Eller as Count Dracula

Also featuring:  Mylan Coffman, Corie Jacobsen, Emelia Rau, Mary Oliver, Stan Tracey, Patrick Brusnahan, and Brian Bencker


“She Kills Monsters” Opening at OCP

Omaha, Neb.–She Kills Monsters is opening this week at the Omaha Community Playhouse. The show will run in the Howard Drew Theatre from Friday, October 12 through Sunday, November 4, 2018.

Thrilling audiences with equal parts costume and combat, She Kills Monsters is a coming-of-age dramatic comedy play riddled with 90s pop culture and all things Dungeons & Dragons. Agnes Evans finds a notebook left behind by her deceased younger
sister containing a game scenario for the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons. As Agnes delves into the world of D&D, she comes to discover more about the sister she often misunderstood.
Tickets for She Kills Monsters are available at or through the Omaha Community Playhouse box office by calling (402) 553-0800 or visiting 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132. For more information, please visit

Women’s Stage Combat Workshop
The Omaha Community Playhouse will hold a special Women’s Stage Combat Workshop to celebrate the opening of She Kills Monsters. This women-only workshop will be held on Sunday, October 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the Omaha Community Playhouse and will be taught by Amy Elizabeth Schweid—fight choreographer for She Kills Monsters.

Participants are encouraged to stick around after the workshop for the 2 p.m. matinee performance of She Kills Monsters. Cost for the workshop is $15 and includes a drink ticket. Costumes are encouraged, but not required, for this female empowerment
workshop. Register at

Production: She Kills Monsters
Production Dates: October 12 through November 4 in the Howard Drew Theatre
Show Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2:00 p.m. Sundays
Tickets: Tickets starting at $30 for adults and $18 for students; Prices may vary by performance.  Tickets may be purchased at the Omaha Community Playhouse box office at 6915 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68132, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at
Written By: Qui Nguyen
Director: Beth Thompson


Catie Zaleski – Agnes
Chloe Irwin – Tilly
Kaitlin Maher – Narrator
Thomas Gjere – Miles
Riley Perez – Lilly
Jaiden Lindsey – Kaliope
Brendan Brown – Chuck
Kevin Goshorn – Ocrus
Carrie Beth Stickrod – Vera/Farrah
Ava Burk – Evil Tina
Amanda Overfield – Evil Gabbi
Will Rodgers – Steve
Jake Parker – Monster Ensemble
Ben Battafarano – Monster Ensemble


The Great Swiss Outing, Day 8: On the Mountain of Dragons & Auf Wiedersehen


I awoke to an overcast day which was rather fitting for my mood.  I was feeling a little melancholy as today marked the final day of this grand adventure.  I looked back on all the great events of the week and the new friends made and still found it hard to believe that it was already at an end.

The morning started in the usual way though we had a bit of a breather as we didn’t have to get going until 8:45am.  At that time we were on the bus and heading to Mt Pilatus (Dragon Mountain).

We were to reach our destination via cogwheel railway, but this would be no ordinary journey.  The train used to get to the top of Mt Pilatus has to traverse the steepest incline in the world at a jaw dropping 48% meaning that the train is almost traveling up a straight vertical line.

It was quite a pretty view as we came chugging around the mountain.  But nothing compared to the view from the top.  Mt Pilatus contains two peaks and between them lies some of the prettiest scenery this side of Heaven with forests, valleys, distant mountains, and villages.  It is also a popular hiking spot and we saw people hiking up from the very bottom of the mountain.

I climbed both peaks and even found a little side exit that led me to a knoll where I did a little free climbing and just sat in and soaked up the view.


At 11:30am, we began the journey down via gondola, boarded the bus, and headed back to the bus where we were driven back to the hotel.

We had 15 minutes to put our colder gear away before Brane took us on a walking tour of the “old town” of Lucerne.  We walked across the famous Chapel Bridge and stopped into Jesuitenkirche, a Jesuit church.  As our afternoon was going to be free, I thought I might be able to catch a service, but this church did not offer a Saturday night mass.


After our brief walk, we were left to our own devices for the rest of the day.  I walked along the river and wandered about the streets before returning to the hotel.  I spent the afternoon reorganizing my luggage for the trip home, taking a small catnap, filling out my Globus questionnaire, and getting cleaned up for dinner.

We had a farewell dinner in our hotel where we supped on seasoned leaf salad with a homemade dressing, a main course of wild garlic risotto and braised tomatoes, with a dessert of chocolate mousse and cream served over fresh fruit.

Once more it was a pleasant night of conversation as we regaled each other with stories of the week.  As I write this as I once more feel that slight twinge of sadness to be leaving this country and this remarkable group of people whom I may never see again.  Marty & Val.  Mr. & Mrs. James Bond.  Bill & Bonnie.  Carol & Perry.  All the rest.  It was a joy to share this adventure with you.

I have many fond memories of this trip, yet I look forward to the next time my little corner and I visit another country.  But for now, it’s back to the homestead.

The Great Swiss Outing, Day 7: Ain’t No Party Like a Folklore Party


Bern, Switzerland

What an amazing night!  But I seem to be approaching the story from the end.  Let’s go back to the beginning.

The jangling of the telephone woke me up at 6:15am and I went through the normal routine again.  At 8:10am, we were once again on our way.  Today we stopped at the capital city of Bern.  According to legend, the town’s founder named it after the first animal he saw which was a bear.  Hence, Bern.  And the town does have a prevalent bear motif as you see statues and real bears within the town.

We met our guide, Hector, who took us on a bit of a tour of the city.  We began in Bern’s famous Rose Garden which was actually a little threadbare of roses being close to winter, but still had some pretty things to see as well as a stunning view of the only mile long city.


From the garden, we went to the town’s city center where we walked along the streets and Hector pointed out important and interesting sights.  Some of the highlights of the walk was a detailed relief on a church that showed the Last Judgment; fountains of Moses, Samson, and the founder of Bern; the home where Albert Einstein lived and wrote his papers on special relativity and the equation E=MC2; and the Bern Clock Tower.

We actually saw the clock tower strike the hour and that was an interesting little show.  First a rooster crows, then the jester plays a joke on the Lord of Time by ringing the bells too soon, then the rooster crows again, and the Lord of Time turns over his hourglass which sends a signal to the Golden Knight to strike the hour before the rooster crows a final time.  If you haven’t guessed, the three crows of the rooster are inspired by the Gospel story of Jesus telling Peter he would deny him 3 times before the cock crowed.


When the tour was done we were driven into the countryside where we had a lovely little lunch at Zugel Farms.  Nine different farms are present on the property and each farms in a different way.  For lunch we were served salad, a beef roast (not unlike turkey roast) in gravy, and homemade scalloped potatoes.  For dessert there was a variety of items such as mousse, cream, fruit, and cake.  Then we wandered around the time a bit before heading for Lucerne.


Heading inside to lunch at Zugel Farms.

Upon our arrival at Lucerne, we bumped up one of the next day’s activities as the lighting was better and that was a visit to the Lion Monument.  This monument was dedicated to the sole survivor of two intense weeks of fighting.  The monument is a reminder that they “fought like lions”.


The Lion Monument of Lucerne

After admiring the monument, we checked into our final hotel, Hotel Wilden Mann.

The building housing this hotel has existed for over 500 years and it has been a hotel since the 19th century.  My room was comfy, if tiny, but the extra large bathtub was a major plus.  We had a few hours to ourselves so I spent my remaining coins on a Coke and a shot glass, took a long, hot bath, and uploaded some pics before beginning the night’s main event.

Tonight we attended a Swiss folklore party at Stadtkeller.  This restaurant served a fantastic meal of salad, cheese fondue, veal strips in mushroom sauce, grated & fried potatoes, and a dessert of Swiss chalet (a melange of meringue, applesauce, and strawberry ice cream).

Along with the incredible meal was a show where the performers dressed in traditional Swiss costume and sang, yodeled, danced, and played theremin, hammer dulcimer, and alphorns.  There was even audience participation with a yodeling contest, a traditional Swiss dance, and a conga line to close the night.

What an amazing night!

But now it’s too bed.  One final day of adventure awaits.

The Great Swiss Outing, Day 6: What’s the Matter(horn)?


Now this was one of the days I had been looking forward to the most for this trip.  For today, we were going to travel to the top of Kleine Matterhorn.

Our intrepid little group loaded up in several electric taxis which drove us by a glacial river and dropped us off at the gondola stop.  Reaching the top of this mountain requires one to travel on three different gondolas resulting in a total ride time of nearly half an hour.

Then there we were.  Nearly 13,000 feet above sea level and enjoying a view of God’s beautiful world.  Thanks to my new camera, I was able to get some video footage for my parents so they could get the sensation of the climb and view.  This was especially important for my pop as his fear of heights would have kept him far, far away from this trek.  But I love ’em and could have spent hours just marveling at the landscape.


Panoramic view of the top of the Matterhorn.

But there was still more to explore.  The Matterhorn also posts a Glacial Palace.  The glacier had actually been tunneled out and a myriad of ice sculptures peppered the place.  It was gorgeous!


It was actually colder inside the palace than it was outside as the complete and utter lack of humidity makes the cold much more tolerable as it’s the moisture that actually freezes you.

After my journey through the palace and feeling thoroughly chilled, I stopped inside the restaurant to warm up.  I lamented the fact that Switzerland has no cocoa beans as I could use a good cup of hot chocolate.  To my delight, one of my fellow travelers said they did serve hot chocolate!  I immediately grabbed a glass (which was heated) and drew a cup.  Boy, did it hit the spot!

At 11:30am, we made the return trip to Zermatt where the morning’s activity and my very light breakfast had made me feeling a bit peckish.  I just wanted a sandwich so I went to McDonald’s and bought the other regional sandwich which was called the Prime.  It’s a fancy burger with coleslaw, gruyere cheese, and some local sauces.  It wasn’t too bad at all.

As I ate I had another “kindness to animals” experience as a bird wandered down and I tossed it a bit of my bun.  He gobbled it down and then brought his friends.  I picked off pieces of bread and tossed them to the birds, but it was every bird for itself as they played tug of war with the various pieces of bread and showed no willingness to share, though they accidentally did so as their tugs of war pulled the bread into multiple pieces.

At 1:15pm, we took the train back down to Tasch where our driver, Max, awaited us with our bus.  From there we headed to the city of Montreux, passing through the Rhone Valley where we passed some beautiful orchards and vineyards.

About 4pm, we arrived at Eurotel Montreux which is on the shore of Lake Geneva.  This hotel was a real winner.  Not only does every room have a view of Lake Geneva, but I had a room on the 10th floor, another king sized bed, and a private balcony.


I then wandered about the city.  Montreux is good practice for a future visit to France as French is the primary language of the city.  The buildings also have a French flair and the city is known for a very happening music scene.  In fact I wandered through a park that had statues dedicated to great American singers.

I reversed course and walked by the shoreline of Lake Geneva watching people enjoying the day.  I passed a mini-golf course and lamented the fact that my friends, Mat, Carolyn, and Dave weren’t around to enjoy a round.  I was sorely tempted to play a round by myself, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.


Lake Geneva

I did stop at a little Christian kiosk where I bought a Coke Zero for a mere 1 CHF and an Oreo ice cream bar.  After munching my bar, I went back to the hotel to relax.

We had a group dinner in the dining room which served salad, Poultry supreme with tarragon, potatoes, vegetable medley, and pineapple carpaccio with raspberry sorbet for dessert.  It was an excellent meal and even better conversation.


Poultry Supreme with tarragon, potatoes, and vegetable medley

But we had to get our rest for Friday would be another day packed with activities.