Puccini’s Tosca

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Ah, yes there is nothing quite like the opera. At the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut the classic opera Tosca by Puccini came to life. Performed by the Connecticut Lyric Opera, Tosca came to life like no other.

After the ushers were given their instructions and the doors opened to the public the Garde Arts Center became the perfect place for the show. With violin music being played in the lobby as several people got their food and drink. Before the doors opened, many patrons were admiring posters for upcoming shows like Donovan, David Crosby, Michael McDonald, and Garrison Keiler. Many of them talked of interest in the upcoming shows.

Some parents were admiring the posts for the Summer Theater program held at the Garde. Called Summer on Stage 2017, there was much interest among the parents as well as the children who came to view the show. With performances of Beauty Lou and the Country Beast, Cinderella, and Jack and the Beanstalk I could tell that there was a high interest in participating in these shows. For several children in New London County, Summer on Stage is a must for many.

When the doors opened many people were reading their programs after they got into their seats. The orchestra is warming up with some applause after they finish a song. The stage just has a red curtain down with a light on it giving the theater more of a feel for the opera.

When the lights dimmed the audience clapped. A representative from the Connecticut Lyric Opera came one stage announcing that a CD’s will be sold in honor of the 20th Anniversary. After thanking sponsors: Frank Lewis Palmer, Fader Founding, and Giving of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the show began.

The audience was treated to English supertitles as the show is in Italian above the stage. There were some laughs at jokes that members caught by reading them. Several patrons had clapped when the lights dimmed and intermission began. During intermission several people were talking about the show and how much they were enjoying themselves. When the lights dimmed again the show started up.

When the show ended, the cast was given a standing ovation by the audience. Afterwards, many people headed into the lobby for a reception that was hosted. Members of the cast came out to greet their new fans who were taking photos and asking for autographs. Many patrons grabbed some cheese and crackers as well as a glass of wine before heading out for the evening. After a fantastic performance, Puccini’s Tosca at the Garde Arts Center performed by the Connecticut Lyric Opera is one that many will remember for the rest of their days.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man

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I don’t think I will ever see a show at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut like I did on Friday May 19th, 2017. Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man was quite the comedy that had everyone’s sides splitting at the end. With audience participation for several parts of the show, there was nothing short of slowing this comedic show down.

However, the show was definitely not for everyone, especially young children. From walking in the door you could see some unusual items being sold as souvenirs. Among the T-shirts and book, there were paddles and lipstick vibrators. As several audience members trickled in, it became apparent that the lipstick vibrator was a hit among the patrons.

With the show ready to start at eight o’clock the doors to the theater opened with a stage set with two chairs and a table with a copy of the book “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” on a stand. Following the doors opening many members were reading the program about the three actors that were going to participate in the show.

When the lights dimmed a member of the cast who was portraying Stephan, the sexy lighting tech, came on stage to ask for cell phones to be turned off and to point out the exits. Then the X-Rated show began. As a book discussion gone wrong, Robyn finds herself in more than she bargained for when she receives a promotion at the sudden death of her boss. When the lights start flashing with a variety of music playing, in enters Dan who turns it right upside down.

With audience participation, Dan turns the show into a bit of a game that the audience enjoys. Robyn struggles to get into the feel of the show. Yet, she learns to play along with Dan and Stephan at her side. Not that she really has a choice, Robyn does learn a thing or two from Dan as his exuberant style starts to grow on her. With quite the name game and some interesting cards to read off of, Dan works his way right into the heart of Robyn while keeping the audience entertained through laughter.

In the end, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man was quite the show to watch. With nothing short of laughter and sex jokes, The Garde Arts Center managed to make this comedy memorable. Although the show was not suitable for many, this is one show that kept people laughing from start to finish.

Photo Friday

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Ah yes! The warm days of summer are finally here. After a cold week with temperatures in  fifties with rain and wind, it finally feels like summer is here at last.

Theater Thursday: Fiddler on the Roof

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Fiddler on the Roof is an iconic musical that most people do not recognize. Following the story of hard working farmer Tevye as he tries to find matches for his five daughters. However, in Russia at the time antisemitism is high heavily affecting the Jewish population in his hometown. Tevye works to find a way to achieve his dreams while holding his faith, family, and friends near with new seasons of life starting.

Read-It Wednesday: The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

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Last summer I bought The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. Little did I know that when I bought this book I would read it twice in one year. The enchanting story about Maika who is abandoned by her family after she is crippled in an accident. The young immigrant is taken in by the family who caused this from there her she becomes Lillian Dunkle. Using her new name, over coming her accident, and never giving up on her dreams, Malka grows on to become an entrepreneur as an ice cream tycoon. Malka’s story is far from over after she marries she faces events in history, like McCarthyism that transform the way that she looks at life.

TV Tuesday: Band of Brothers

On June 6, 1944 the Invasion of Normandy happened, a turning point in World War II. In the HBO series Band of Brothers we encounter this event from June 6th and the following days. From the eyes of Easy Company, part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101th Airborne Division, as they train in the army, jump from an airplane, and bravely put themselves in harms way for the world. Each one comes from a different background where they look to Major Dick Winters who’s leadership gives them hope. Through tears, tragedy, and fear all of them truly become a Band of Brothers.

Music Monday: Katy Perry

Katy's new cover #TheCompleteConfection:

I don’t think anyone can go to a news stand today without seeing a photo of Katy Perry. The singer who is known for her talent, style, and business ventures is one name to stay around. Even though there have been some ups and downs about her in the news, I still plan on listening to Katy Perry for a long time coming. Her style is truly one of a kind!

Community Involvement at the Garde

A man and a woman dancing at sunset; a city view stretches out behind them. The woman is wearing a bright yellow dress; her partner is wearing a white colored shirt and tie with dark trousers.On April 2, 2017 several residents in New London County Connecticut came to the Garde Arts Center to see the hit movie La La Land. The beloved movie that is already being called a classic did not disappoint the audience. However, this time there was an extra touch as patrons were let in for a reception upstairs.

Image result for TVCCA Meals on WheelsHosted  and catered by TVCCA’s Meals on Wheels program with Charlie Secor Subaru Share the Love campaign, there was a fantastic reception. With an arrangement of food from shrimp cocktail to beef brisket patrons happily headed up to the mezzanine to enjoy the food. “This is a thank you reception for Secor Subaru for Share the Love Campaign for Meals on Wheels,” Maraiah Popelski the coordinator for the Meals on Wheels Program with TVCCA.

Image result for Subaru Share the LoveActively being involved in community projects is one of the things that is the utmost importance, not only to the Garde but to Charlie Secor Subaru. As part of their Share the Love campaign that is actively involved with local charity organizations such as Make A Wish and the Humane Society where they host events to donate pet food. Part of their campaign is where they ask customers at their dealership in New London if they would like $250 to be donated to a local charity in the months of November. “I asked Subaru if some of the money can go to a local charity with TVCCA being the recipient. National being a local program with Meals on Wheels being the recipient we are having an event to say thank you,” Paul Holden General Sales Manager at Secor Subaru informs me.

On top of the event going on photographers from the Southeastern Connecticut Photo Club are present as well. After starting out initially as a small photography group from amateur to enthusiast they have evolved into a prominent group in New London that enjoys donating time to charity organizations. “We’re trying to tie the group into charity work. We’re still the same group,” Phil Medbury head of the photography club tells me. While all of this community involvement is going on there are patrons who are steadily streaming in as the time towards the movie is about to begin.

Once the lights flicker the audience heads inside the theater to wait for the movie to start. Steve Sigel takes to the stage to announce future shows of Annie on April 23 and The Magic Box April 7th before welcoming Charlie Secor onto the stage. Once on stage Charlie reveals that they are a proud sponsor of the Garde Arts Center before welcoming Paul Holden and members of the TVCCA onstage. Upon walking onstage TVCCA is presented a check of about $30,000 from the Share the Love Campaign. With the campaign going strong for four years now, they have managed to raise over $100,000 for Share the Love. After thanking the community for keeping their donations to the local charity, Meals on Wheels, the lights dim.

After an advertisement for Secor Subaru plays, which is followed by applause La La Land begins. The fast paced musical keeps the audience glued to the screen as they watch the hit play out in front of them. Once the movie is over the audience gives applause before heading out to the mezzanine for a social hosted by Atlantic Broadband. Many of the audience members are munching on cookies as they start to leave, but not before looking at advertisements for upcoming shows that are coming to the Garde like Donovan on June 3rd.

At the Garde Arts Center community involvement became a main priority for local organizations with Secor Subaru and TVCCA. “Subaru as a company is very involved in the community with volunteer work,” Paul Holden says. With many other organizations who come to Garde, volunteer work and promoting a good community just comes with one what the Garde Arts Center stands for and represents throughout time.

 

 

Photo Friday

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Just as steady and relaxed as this thirsty antelope is just how I feel today. With the sun shining, warm weather, and the weekend ahead there is no greater feeling than being relaxed. This antelope made me think of the way that I felt today getting home from work with a couple of days off.