Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Broadway Tuesday

Today for Broadway Tuesday I am going to review one of my favorite musicals I have ever seen: Phantom of the Opera.  I have seen it live three times.  I have watched it on youtube more than I can count.  I have pretty much every lyric memorized by heart and I have watched the movie many times.  
For those of you who don't know, Phantom was written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.  It is based on the 1911 novel written by Gaston Leroux.  The title character is a musical genius who has a horribly disfigured face.  he wears a mask and hides from the world underneath the Paris Opera house.
Christine Daae is a young woman who works at the Opera house as a ballet and chorus girl.   She is vocally trained by the Phantom, whom she calls her "Angel of Music," but she never sees him.
When the opera's diva, Carlotta, resigns after an "accident" caused by the "Opera Ghost", Christine takes over her role.
The phantom becomes jealous when Christine starts spending time with her childhood sweetheart, Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny and the two begin to fall in love.  Driven insane by jealously, the phantom kidnaps Christine Daae  and takes her to his underground lair, hoping she will chose him over the handsome Raoul.  He is not aware that Raoul is willing to go to great lengths to rescue his new fiancee from this "Opera Ghost."  

I loved the songs in this musical from all the way from the dramatic "The Phantom of the Opera" to the sweet "All I Ask of You" to the haunting "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again."
My favorite performers in this were John Cudia as the phantom (But I also liked Hugh Panaro, Ramin Karimloo, and Gerard Butler).  I liked Sierra Boggess as Christine and Sean McLaughlin and Hadley Frasier as Raoul.
Have you seen Phantom of the Opera?  Would you like to?  If you have seen it, who were your favorite performers?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review Monday

Hi everyone, I want to apologize for posting this a little late. My review for today is about Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Here is what the back of the book says to give you an idea about what it is about: "When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery." Here is what I thought of it:

I have to say that I have not read many books like this before, but I certainly enjoyed it. It was refreshingly unique.Cora Diehl has returned to Montana after her first year of training to be a teacher. When she finds that no one from her family has come to pick her up, she ventures out to her family farm only to discover that her father has suffered from a stroke. They are about to lose their farm when a wealthy, unexpected visitor appears at their door. He informs her that he is her father, making her the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy copper-mining baron.
He sweeps her away on a Grand Tour of Europe along with her newly found siblings and William McGabe, their tour guide, or "bear" as they were called. This book is full of suspense, intrigue, romance, and tears, and I would recommend it for anyone to read. The only thing I would complain about would be that it has an abrupt ending. I understand this is part of a series, but I would have preferred more closure since the final two books will be released in 2013, which seems ages away. It looks as if the series has one main character that it follows throughout three different books rather than three different yet connected characters. Because of this, I might recommend that readers wait until the next two installments are published before reading this one so as to not be left hanging. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to read "Grave Consequences" and "Glittering Promises", the next two in this series.
Thanks to the publisher, David C. Cook and Net Galley for providing a free ebook for me to review.

So, would you read this? Does it look interesting? What are you reading?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bible Verse Sunday

                                                                                   1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


In case you guys have not noticed, I have set up a schedule for my blog that I plan to follow every week.  Here it is.

Sunday: Bible Verse Sunday

  • where I post a Bible verse for you to read

Monday:  Book Review Monday

  • where I review a book that I am reading or finished recently.

Tuesday:  Broadway Tuesday

  • where I review a Broadway musical or share some information about Broadway/musical theatre

Wednesday:  Bible Verse Wednesday

  • where I share a Bible verse for you to read

Thursday:  Music Thursday

  • where I share the songs that have been stuck in my head lately or just performances that I enjoyed.

Friday:  Book Review Friday

  • where I review a book or share what I am currently reading and what I think of it.

Saturday:  Nothing!

  • The one day where I take a break...unless there is something fun or interesting or that doesn't fit with any other categories that I really want to post. :D
So, what do you think of my schedule?  Any new ideas?  Suggestions?  Should I change anything?  I'm open to your thoughts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review Friday

Recently I read this book by  Vickie McDonough which is part of a series called the Texas Trails Series.  Here is what I thought about it: I enjoyed reading this book. The main character is Brooks Morgan,a man who ran away from home at a young age because he thought his family was being unfair to him. Ten years later, having never returned home because of his pride, he meets an old, ailing man named Will Langston who he takes care of. The man gives him his ranch Raven Creek in a game of cards. Brooks tries to return it to him, but the man insists, and also asks that when he is gone, Brooks takes care of Keri. Brooks assumes she is a beloved dog or horse.
Meanwhile, Keri Langston looks forward to leaving her female college and returning home to her uncle's Raven Creek Ranch. On her way home, she discovers a man being strung up with a noose around his neck. She rescues him, then continues home on her own. Later she finds out that the man she rescued is Brooks, who now owns what she thought would be her ranch. He lets her remain in what she still believes is her home and the two begin to fall in love. However, a man who wants to marry Keri also wants her land and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
I did not read the other books in this series about the Morgan family, but I plan to now after reading this book that I loved reading. The other books are written by several different authors and are called: Captive Trail, Cowgirl Trail, Ranger's Trail, The Lone Star's Trail and The Long Trail Home. I did not think that I missed anything important by not reading these because it could probably stand alone. Nonetheless, I will make sure that I read the others in the series.
Thanks to the publishers and netgalley for a free ebook in exchange for my honest opinion in a review.
I would give it four out of five stars.  So, do you think you would read this book?  What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Music Thursday

Okay I think every Thursday I will share with you a song or performance that I really like.  I think I will share two today, both from the musical Aida.  (one of my favorites!)  It was written by Elton John and Tim Rice.  Here are the two songs I liked best from it:
1. "Easy as Life" performed by the lovely Heather Headley

2. "Written in the Stars" performed by Heather Headley and the amazing Adam Pascal

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bible Verse Wednesday

The verse of the day for today is: Ephesians 2:8-9.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God--not by works, so that no one can boast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Broadway Tuesday

A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to see the Broadway show called Memphis the Musical.  It was written by Joe DiPetro and David Bryan and the cast was amazing.  Memphis is loosely based on the life of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.  I thoroughly enjoyed the music in this play and the plot kept me guessing from the opening number of "Underground" to the end of Act 1 "Say a Prayer" all the way to the closing performance of "Steal your Rock And Roll".  It is hard not to love the characters.  Huey Calhoun is the lovable white DJ who is...well, different, in a comical way.  He invents his own amusing words like "Hockadoo" and "Fantastical".  He hard time finding and keeping a job.
Felicia Farrell, on the other hand, is an African American woman who sings in her brother Delray's club on Beale Street.  Her dream is to become a singer, but she is held back by lack of money.  When Huey meets her, he promises to get her on the radio.

Another noteworthy character was Gator, a sweet man who works at Delray's club.  He has not spoken a word since he witnessed his father being lynched when he was a young child.

The only thing I did not love about this musical was the ending, but I will not say any more to spoil it for you.  All in all, however, I enjoyed seeing this show.  Hurry up, however, because it closes on Broadway in early August!  There is also a national tour running. So, have you seen Memphis?  If so, what did you think about it?  If not, do you think that you would like to?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review Monday

   I have decided that I will post a review of a book or what book I am currently reading every Monday.  I recently read Veil of Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall and I enjoyed it very much.  Here's what it is about: "Be swept away to Charleston of 1811, a city bustling with immigrants like Adalia, who is a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?" (Taken from the back of the book)
     Here's what I thought about it: This may be my favorite of MaryLu's books.  I enjoyed everything about the main character, Adalia, and I thought Morgan was charming.  I kept turning the page, excited to see just what would happen next, but when it was over, I was sad because I wanted more of the beautiful setting and intriguing characters.   I was very happy to see that MaryLu added some sailing into the plot because I love stories set out at the sea.  She also did a wonderful job of describing the lavishness of Charleston before the War of 1812.  I would recommend this book to all of my friends and family. 
     So, what have you been reading?  Would you read Veil of Pearls?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bible Verse Sunday

Hi everyone I hope you're having a good Sunday.  I have decided to post a Bible verse every Sunday so here is my first one:
‎1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My First Post

Hello everyone..this is a test post!  Just so you know a little about me:  I love to read, write, and act.   I enjoy historic fiction and Christian fiction and I also love Broadway musicals.  Some of my favorite authors are MaryLu Tyndall, Deeanne Gist, Lisa Bergren, Colleen Coble and Mary Coneally.  Some of my favorite plays are The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Wicked, and Memphis.  Who are some of your favorite authors?