Friday, September 23, 2016

Wicked Brings Broadway Magic to PPACRI


Since Zoe Monster was two years-old, I knew I wanted to take her to see Wicked. You see, the show has a special spot in my memory because the first time we really knew Zoe was talking as a baby was when we heard her quietly singing Defying Gravity to herself in the car. The kid loved the show practically in utero as seen in this video evidence.


Lucky for me (and you) Wicked is playing a limited engagement at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Wicked begins performances Wednesday, September 21 and runs through Saturday, October 8, 2016. If you aren't familiar, the show tells the story before the events of the Famous Wizard of Oz. The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in.  Elphaba, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made the show one of the world’s most popular musicals.


So excited!

I caught the show this Thursday and it was unbelievable. Don't let PPAC being local deter you, because the show was every bit as grandiose as seeing it on Broadway. Elphaba, played by Jessica Vosk and Glinda, played by Amanda Jane Cooper brought the house down. The friendship these two talented actresses were able to convey was inspiring. Cooper was especially a breath of fresh air to the production; it is hard to not compare every Glinda to Kristen Chenoweth, but Cooper was amazing. She brought some serious comedy chops to the role and had the audience in stitches, especially during Popular. Clearly, the most spectacular number of the night was the showstopper Defying Gravity. Having never seen the song performed live, I was in awe: actual goosebumps! I have to applaud the ensemble cast and orchestra as well because they really are the heart and soul  of the production. Big musical numbers like No One Mourns the Wicked were wonderful due to their joint efforts. The set was also impressive and Zoe literally gasped when they first showed the emerald city; it was a true spectacle.

The best part of the show was sharing it with Zoe though. Exposing your children to the arts is one of the best things you can do, especially in this day and age where arts and music programs are being slashed in public schools. The twinkle in Zoe's eye throughout the show is a memory I will never forget. Seeing a show at PPAC allows you all the dazzle of Broadway without the stressful hustle and bustle that driving in to see a New York show entails. The theater offers tons of family friendly shows (Lion King is coming soon) and is the perfect way to cultivate your own theater lover.

Mommy daughter dates are the best.

In case you're wondering: she is "Team Glinda"

She HAD to get this shirt


If you are on a budget but are dying to see Wicked, I have great news. PPAC is offering a lottery for the show. A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of orchestra seats will be held and
two and one-half hours prior to each performance, people who present themselves at the PPAC Box Office (220 Weybosset Street in downtown Providence) will have their names placed in a lottery drum; thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of orchestra seats at $25 each, cash only.  This lottery is available only in-person at the Box Office, with a limit of two tickets per person.  Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if chosen, when purchasing tickets. This is an unbelievable way to see the show without breaking the bank. You can also purchase tickets at the link below.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Beauty and the Beast 25th. Anniversary Edition Available Now





Twenty-five years ago, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” broke ground as the first animated feature film to receive an Academy Award® nomination for best picture, and now this tale as old as time joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection on September 6, on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, and on September 20 on Blu-ray™ and DVD.

The beloved animated classic has truly stood the test of time and now a whole new generation of viewers are invited to be our guest and fall in love with this enchanting tale, its captivating characters and unforgettable, award-winning music score and original song, “Beauty and the Beast.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition features four versions of “Beauty and the Beast.” The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the “Human Again” song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version. The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere.

There is also a host of all-new bonus extras including a rare opportunity to gather around the piano with some of Disney’s greatest composers, including Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”), Stephen Schwartz (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Pocahontas”), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”), Robert Lopez (“Frozen,” Disney’s upcoming “Gigantic”) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Disney’s upcoming “Moana”) as they sing and share how they’ve personally been inspired by the film’s award-winning music; a look at how Walt Disney himself sought to adapt this famous fairytale; a nostalgic look back with Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle; behind-the-scenes access into the recording booth with the cast; and a sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming live-action re-telling of “Beauty and the Beast,” arriving in theaters in 2017.


I have 5 digital copies up for grabs in a Facebook only giveaway, so enter today and don't miss out on this tale as old as time!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Screeemfest: Coming Soon to Canobie Lake Park!

The Monsters LOVE Canobie Lake Park and our recent pre-fall trip there was great as usual. We have never had a bad trip to the park and look forward to it every year. As you can see from the video and photos, it was a great day!









I love that the park never feels busy even when it is. Even the most popular roller coasters never have much more than a half hour wait. I also love that there is always a show to check out when the sun gets too hot and you need a break. But now that summer is winding down, is the fun at Canobie over? Heck no! Get ready for Screeemfest, kicking off this month during weekends at the park.



The park remains cheery and kid friendly by day, but then turns into a nightmare at sundown complete with five complete haunted houses! There is no place to celebrate Halloween like New England, and Canobie is sure to be a blast! You can see the hours below...check it out and have a scary good time!


Screeemfest: Coming Soon to Canobie Lake Park!

The Monsters LOVE Canobie Lake Park and our recent pre-fall trip there was great as usual. We have never had a bad trip to the park and look forward to it every year. As you can see from the video and photos, it was a great day!









I love that the park never feels busy even when it is. Even the most popular roller coasters never have much more than a half hour wait. I also love that there is always a show to check out when the sun gets too hot and you need a break. But now that summer is winding down, is the fun at Canobie over? Heck no! Get ready for Screeemfest, kicking off this month during weekends at the park.



The park remains cheery and kid friendly by day, but then turns into a nightmare at sundown complete with five complete haunted houses! There is no place to celebrate Halloween like New England, and Canobie is sure to be a blast! You can see the hours below...check it out and have a scary good time!


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Lake House - Guest Cottages of the Berkshires Travel Video

The Lake House of the Berkshires is the Perfect Luxury Getaway

Every so often as a travel blogger, I stumble upon a true gem. I had this occur this August when we visited the Lake House of the Berkshires in Lanesborough, MA. Even though it is only a few hours away, I had never visited the Berkshires before which makes me sad, because it is truly a little slice of paradise right here in Massachusetts. Picturesque mountain views surround lakes that are perfect to take a lazy summer swim in. It is the exact kind of place you want to bring your kids to unplug from the daily grind and just relax. Well, the Lake House allows you to truly feel at home on your getaway to the Berkshires.


Ready to check in

There are four beautiful cottages that are for rent including the lodge which can sleep up to a family of ten! All of the cottages sit on the Pontoosuc Lake. We had the pleasure of staying in the artist's cottage for the week which boasted two bedrooms and bathrooms.



This beauty sleeps ten!



Everything was gorgeously designed in the cottage and felt still very brand new. Little touches like smart televisions equipped with Hulu and Netflix take this destination a step beyond most. There was also a fully functional kitchen as well as a private grilling area outdoors.





Tough life!


Beyond the accommodations, what you really come to the Lake House for is the surroundings. We had a direct view of Mt. Greylock and we could walk directly from our kitchen right down to the private dock at Pontoosuc Lake. There are a variety of water activities included in your stay including kayaking and peddle boats along with various floats and water toys. You can additionally rent out some of the property's motorized boats for an additional charge. We spent the majority of our stay in the water. The girls had a blast and so did mom and dad!



Unforgettable memories..




Doesn't get any better!

I, with no hesitation, would rank the Lake House a perfect 10. Do yourself a favor and take your family for a little fall getaway at the Lake House; you will not regret it!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Odd Squad Live Giveaway

Do your kids love Odd Squad as much as me and my kids do? If so, you are in luck because Odd Squad Live is coming to Lowell this fall! Attention Odd Squad fans, there is oddness in your town and Ms. O needs YOU to help solve it. Team up with brand new agents Owen and Ophelia in this live, interactive adventure. With help from Ms. O back at headquarters, kids will put their STEM skills to the test and decode, decipher and unravel clues to stop villains like Father Time and Lady Terrible. Featuring an original script by the creators of Odd Squad and new music including songs by Soundcheck, Odd Squad: Live! is a laugh-out-loud, action-packed experience not to be missed.

Odd Squad is an Emmy Award winning series about a spy organization run by kids that investigates anything strange, weird and especially odd. Each episode follows kid agents as they track down villains, stop odd creatures and help people with odd conditions like The Jinx or The Sing-Alongs. Odd Squad is a little Men In Black for kids, mixed with Airplane and elements of Get Smart. Also embedded in each episode is a math lesson aimed at kids 4 to 8, leading to the expression: Odd is the problem, math is the solution.

Sound like fun? Well lucky for you, I have two sets of family four packs up for giveaway! Enter below, and you can also purchase tickets HERE.