Sunday, April 27, 2008


My magnets
Originally uploaded by Michael_L
Whenever I go see a "Broadway" Show I always buy a magnet.

The shows will sell all kinds of things - t-Shirts, Bookbags, shopping bags, programs, CD's to fleece you out of more money. Considering that tickets cost upwards of $50+ for mediocre seats, you'd think you'd get something more than a Playbill for your efforts.

I'm not into all of that other stuff (as I've already typically purchased the CD) and I can't see myself wearing an "Annie" T-shirt in public (I may be gay, but I have my limits) but I do buy a Magnet of the show so I can place on my fridge and remember those great times anytime I walk by the fridge.

Click on the photo to go over to Flickr and look at it big...and labeled!

Friday, April 25, 2008

***HONK*** Hey, watch what ya doin' man, I'm singing here

Last night was Step II in the Four Step Program of getting my continuing education credits in being a big homo.

At the last minute, tickets for the current open run of Jersey Boys made their way into my sweaty little palms and I headed downtown to watch those cute little boys sing for me.

I was supposed to see Jersey Boys last year as part of the Broadway in Chicago Series, but unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to do so. And up until last evening, there hadn't really been that compelling of a reason to go see it.

Also, I went to the show by myself last night - my sister would have a heart attack if she knew that. Unlike some people, I actually enjoy doing things by myself - going to dinner, to a coffee shop, vacationing alone. When I tell people that they always say "OMG, I would never be able to do xyz alone."

Well think about it this way, you've got one schedule and that's YOUR schedule, you get to do what YOU want to do and only what you want to do. You don't have to trapse through musty museums or used record stores only because your partner wants to (and vice versa). If you want to spend the day sleeping in the park and feeding the pigeons - guess what - you can!

Ok, back on track. So I jumped on the bus and after completly missing my stop and going about 8 blocks out of my way I finally made my way to the theater and grabbed my ticket from the Will Call window. I winnowed my way through all of the old people that were there, bought my magnet (I MUST buy a magnet for every show that I go to) and started climbing the stairs. And climbing the Stairs. And climbing the Stairs. I had almost the best seat in the house - the very last row in the center of the mezzanine (the area sandwiched between the orchestra seating and the balcony - you know - the area where you only get a slice of the view, you don't get to see the floor and you don't get to see the ceiling, it's like watching a live production in Cinema-Scope).

There was a whole lot of drama in my seating area, because apparently I was part of a much larger group (ergo the reason that I got my ticket) and who ever had organized it apparently didn't do a very good job of making sure that parties sat together. The girl sitting next to me kept whining that "OMG, my Mom is sitting all the way over there and the usher won't let her sit over her."

After about 15 minutes of this, I leaned over and said "Is it just your Mother? It is, well you know what, she can sit here and I'll sit in her seat, I really don't care." "OMG, would you do that, you'd do that, omg, that is so cool that you would do that." I then told her, "I don't know any of you people. I've just met the woman sitting next to me who told me that her knit pants were stretching in the rain and that's about the extent of my relationship with anyone here, so yes, I'll be glad to switch with your Mom."

By this point in time I would have sat on the toilet to get away from this girl, so I shoveled up my coat, my program and my newly purchased magnet and went and sat in Mom's seat (which by the way was better than where i was sitting) and proceeded to enjoy the show without anyone sitting on either side of me, in front of me or in back of me, I could have thrown my feet up on the seat in front of me if I wanted to.

Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, I was very surprised at the number of songs I actually knew. I think there were only two songs that I wasn't familiar with.

It's a very peppy show with singing and dancing from beginning to end, there were only a few spaces where there was just dialog. Overall, I was very impressed with the show and the amount of energy that they produced. It's no Wicked, that's for sure, but it's a great show overall.

I even caught one of the ushers dancing - he got all embarrassed when he looked at me, but I just smiled (he was cute).

So go see Jersey Boys....or just go see a Boy in Jersey if you have the chance.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wicked is over in Chicago

I got my renewal for the Broadway in Chicago Series today.....which I'm not going to renew.

The shows next year sorta suck:

Xanadu - I have NO interest in seeing this, at all!
Grease - The movie was enough for me.
A Bronx Tale - Uhm, yeah, thanks, no.
A Chorus Line - I've seen this show many times and we had fabulous seats in NYC so no reason to taint the memory of that movie
Mary Poppins - We just missed the opening of this show in London when we went in 2004, so I was a little upset. But we did get to see The Woman in White with Maria Friedman and Michael Crawford so that sort of made up for it.

The only show that I really want to see is Mary Poppins and I can buy single seat tickets for that.

But there is an interesting note, on the renewal notice it lists where my seats will be in all of the theaters.....and the Oriental Theater is listed.

The Oriental is where Wicked is currently playing and has set the record for the longest running Broadway style show in does that mean that Wicked is going to close? I bet it does!

And thus The Big Gay Marathon begins

4 Shows in 6 Days!

Starting last night and proceeding through Tuesday of next week I will be going to 4 shows.....someone has to do it.

I've been practicing the last few weeks, listening to only showtunes on my iPod, tap dancing while I'm waiting for the elevator (I had to stop that as my co-workers thought I just had to pee really badly), I've been working on my breathing so I can hold the long notes as long as the best Diva on stage, and I've stocked up on candies that don't make noises when they're unwrapped during the quiet romantic song at the end of Act I!

I just hope that all of my training will pay off, as I'll need it to get through this difficult time!

To kick off this hugely gay event, last evening I went to see Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and before you ask - NO, Johnny Depp was not there. This was the live version of the show that was recently on Broadway.

The great thing about this show is that it was staged by John Doyle and the actors are the orchestra. You may remember that back in November 2006 I went to New York and The Boyfriend and I went to see Company where I ended up starting a round of applause for a fabulously delivered line. Company was also directed by John Doyle (and it also happens to be a Sondheim) and it was on the same theme where the actors were the orchestra.

Sweeney was a great show, the actors were strong and after a few minutes the mysticism of them playing instruments while onstage faded away. I enjoyed the show a lot, but unfortunately my friend that joined me didn't enjoy it and actually left during intermission. He said that his knees were bothering him from being cramped in our seats at a high altitude, but I think he just didn't like the show!

Part II of TBGM (The Big Gay Marathon) is a viewing of Jersey Boys. This was part of the Broadway Series last year, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see it. Through a set of bizarre circumstances a friend of a friend of a friend had some extra tickets to this evenings performance - and so I pounced!

Part III of TBGM occurs on Saturday Evening when I'll be having a discrete conversation with Margaret Cho. Well I'm sure it won't be just me, there will probably be some other homo's there as well. I'll be interested to see how many Straight Boys show up at that concert as Maggie is pretty much a Gay Icon!

The Final Event of TBGM will be three more days in the making when we go see Yelle. Now this will probably be a more one-on-one type of show because she's not a huge artist (although her music is very cool) and the space she's performing in was basically someone's house a hundred years ago....hmmmm

So I'm finishing up my training today and getting my stockpile of protien shakes made so that I can have the strength to finish this Big Gay Marathon.

Hold on, cuz it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A New Lip Dub

I am, well not really proud, how about I am excited to share my latest Lip Dub with you.

I am proud though to be presenting a directors premiere film. We'll be holding a gala opening night with red carpets and celebrities next month when it has it's worldwide debut at the Gene Siskel Auditorium.

I am proud to present "Sing a Song - A VeryValdivia Film"

Friday, April 11, 2008


What the hell?
Originally uploaded by pryancub
In just a little over a year a rather large group of us (10+) will be going to Amsterdam to help celebrate my 40th birthday.

This would be an hilarious thing to do while we're there!

I'm hoping that this trip will give me an opportunity to see some old friends (Ms. Mac, Mr. & Mrs. TBF) and maybe meet some new friends (Antipo)

Do you want to hang out with us while we're there, we're gonna be there for 10 days!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Something is out there

Something is out there
Originally uploaded by Michael_L

Champagne makes me drowsy

Last night was Show #2 in the Broadway in Chicago Series, it was the exciting show Drowsy Chaperone

I had the distinct pleasure of taking a friend with me who had never been to a Broadway Musical before. The Drowsy Chaperone was a great first musical for anyone to see, it's flashy, there's lots of singing, jokes, laughing, dancing and even tap dancing.

I wish that I could tap dance, but I'm so uncoordinated, my left foot barely knows what it's doing let alone know what the right foot is doing, but a girl can dream can't he?

The premise behind TDC is pretty unique, it starts out with a guy sitting in his apartment listening to records, specifically a recording of the 1928 smash hit - The Drowsy Chaperone. As he's listening to the record the action unfolds in his apartment as the show is recreated.

It was one of the cleverest shows I've seen in a long time. It played up all of the stereotypes of the old style musical, but at the same time making fun of it with current context.

It recently closed in NYC after 674 performances and 13 Tony Nominations. Even though this was the first time I saw the show, several of the original actors are with the touring company, including Georgia Engel (you may know her better as Georgette from The Mary Tyler Moore Show or Everyone Loves Raymond), she recreated the role that she originated on Broadway and she was hilarious; Jonathan Crombie, who was "the man in the chair" didn't originate that part on Broadway but did perform it for a little while; Andrea Chamberlain (the female lead) was an understudy on broadway but was amazing in this performance.

If you want to see a funny, hilarious, campy show go see this one.

Thank goodness I took my friend to this one because the next show in a few weeks is Sweeney Todd and goodness knows there's nothing soft, fluffy and pretty about that show at all. Although I am excited about that show because it is the John Doyle version, and a few years ago when I was in NYC we saw the John Doyle versioin of Company.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is going on....

With the children in America?!? I can't figure it out. It makes no sense to me what is going on with the children in America. Are parents that out of touch that they don't even have the time (or effort) to teach their children the basics of life and how to live with one another?

Since the start of the School Year (Sept 2007) there have been 20 Chicago Public School students killed.

20 Children

Twenty Children

What is our world coming to?

The youngest was 10 years old, a decade old. 10 freaking years old! I can't imagine, I can't relate.

When I was 10 years old, I never had to worry about being shot or chased by gangs, skipping school or trying drugs. I know I grew up in a totally different environment, but this just seems so ludicrous to me, the things that these children need to "cope" with.

One of the last children killed was shot by a fellow student who just walked up and shot him in the head. WHO does that? Who does that and thinks they can get away with it?

Who's to blame? Violence on TV? Violent videogames? Sex in the movies? Uninterested parents?

I have finally reached that glorious age where I can say, without a doubt, "Back in my day....."

Then this morning on the news there's a story about a group of Third Graders who plotted to attack, handcuff and stab their teacher


Third Graders, 8 to 10 years old. What is the world coming to.

I remember Third Grade, I loved it, I loved my teacher, I loved my classmates, third grade was that "middle of the way" grade between Kindergarten and Sixth Grade. We went to Hawaii for vacation when I was in Third Grade, I remember wearing my "Hawaii 78" t-shirt, I remember being excited about the world.

Who's to blame?

***Sorry for the downer post today***