Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Shaw Festival

Boy Meets Girl — In an enchanted Scottish village. 
On a  Saturday evening while in Burlington Ontario, last month, I had the immense pleasure of attending the Shaw Festival's production of Learner and Lowe's, Brigadoon, in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario.  

The original production or Brigadoon opened at the Ziegfeld Theater on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. A movie version of Brigadoon, directed by Vincente Minnelli, was released by MGM in 1954 with Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse in leading roles. . 

It is a musical that chronicles two post World War II veterans' escape and effort to find solace from a world gone mad. The two stumble upon Brigadoon, a mythical Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years. Tommy, one of the men, falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from Brigadoon.  (Wikipedia) 

Brigadoon's on stage cast numbers 26. The sets are first class with state of the art silk screens, video projection, and moving scenes. The music is all so familiar, with "Almost Like Being in Love" at its center. A first class Broadway production. 

Brigadoon - Shaw Festival 2019

Wow - what a meaningful play in a beautiful packed theater. What a lovely evening!  Below is a little history on the "Shaw". I really hope to be able to attend this wonderful Festival again.


In 1962, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, lawyer and playwright Brian Doherty parlayed his love for the work of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw into a summer theater festival, producing eight performances of Don Juan in Hell and Candida in the Court House auditorium.  In this singular act of passion for theater and culture, the Shaw Festival was born.

Today, with 10 or more productions each year performed in three theaters for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival has grown to become a major Canadian cultural icon, a gem in this country’s rich cultural heritage. Inspired by the wit and passion of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival is a contemporary theater that features a smart, provocative, potent and diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by our celebrated repertory theater Ensemble.

The result is theater that is challenging, surprising, often funny and always entertaining. These plays are lovingly and artfully brought to the stage each year by a talented team of actors, directors, and designers, showcasing the incredible tapestry of talent that this country contributes to the world.

Helmed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll (TC), this 58th Season offers 13 productions from April 6 to December 22, including the musical Brigadoon, C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy, The Ladykillers, two Holiday Season shows – A Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn – and  more "Secret Theater".

Recipient of Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence”, the Shaw Festival is … the perfect intermission from life. More from the The Wall Street Journal:

Directly comparable in scope and quality to such ambitious south-of-the-border classical festivals as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If you’re up for a weekend—or a whole week—of first-class theater, you should give very serious thought to going there.  

Saturday Evening at the Shaw Festival

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Shakespeare at the Rock - Twelfth Night

Shakespeare at the Rock - Burlington’s Tottering Biped Theater.

At The Play
While in Burlington, Ontario last month, I had many wonderful experiences which will be shared over the next few days. One was attending an outdoor presentation of William Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. The play presented by The Tottering Biped Theater at Burlington's Royal Botanical Gardens, was fascinating. The historic Rock Garden provides the perfect atmosphere for a night of inspiring theater under the stars - a delicious, only slightly cool, summer evening. 

The site Shmoop offered this play description:  

Gender is a biggie in Twelfth Night, and the play brilliantly demonstrates how gender, a socially constructed identity, can be "performed" and impersonated with the use of voice, costume, and mannerisms. The theme is largely explored in relation to Shakespeare's profession as an actor and writer for a transvestite stage (in Elizabethan times, all-male acting companies performed the roles of women). The relationship between gender and performance is particularly complex in Twelfth Night because the part of Viola is played by a boy actor, who is cross-dressed as a female character, who disguises herself as a young man. Of course, the text also meditates on the relationship between gender and desire as it explores the erotics of androgyny.

Viola (Cesario) and Olivia 

The Shakespeare at the Rock rendition of the play took liberties with the original time period and setting while still staying true to the old English dialogue. The play’s time was moved forward to the 1980s, place Miami. The court jester, Feste, is now an over the top drag queen. This is a space where young people - not unlike the ones Shakespeare was writing about - are taking chances, experimenting with self-expression, and show a side of themselves they may not reveal in the light of day. We’ve all been there - or are there- so why not put Shakespeare’s characters there too?

Spoiler alert - "The girl gets the girl. Or was it the boy gets the girl?"


What a fun, interesting and beautiful evening. 

Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON Canada

Monday, September 16, 2019

Time's A Wastin'

Over the years I have spent many hours shopping and putting together outfits. Matching, making sure the shoes are just so, and then spending hours getting the makeup perfect. Some of this time was spent procrastinating because I feared going out the door. "Oh, I think these shoes will look better." 

There is a simple elegance that can be seen every day by just looking around; be it at an airport, the mall or market. Confidence and the art of blending with feminine simplicity and elegance.   
Tall? - Own it!

The classic v-neck tee/sweater is a perfect example of simplicity when worn with jeans.  Almost any style of shoes will work with a tee/jeans outfit - you dress up the outfit, depending on the situation, with different styles of shoes. If the weather is cool, choose instead a v-neck *sweater in place of the tee.  The beauty of either of these combinations. It can work with almost any shape (or lack of). Waist issue - blouse it out. Hips issue - opt for a tunic/longer style. If you are tall - own it.

Have you ever wondered why this universal piece of clothing is called jeans?  Here is what "Today I Found Out" has to say:  

Jeans are easily one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing on Earth with millions of pairs being made, sold and wrapped around the butts of style conscious individuals every single day. But why are jeans so popular and for what purpose were they first made?

Before we answer that it’s important for us to first define exactly what we mean when we say “jeans” because the word has changed in context over the last few hundred years. As detailed by the Fashion Encyclopedia, the term “jeans” has existed since the 1600's, where it was used as a catch-all term to describe the “rough clothing worn by working men”. Since the fabric used to make these clothes often came from the Genoa region in Italy, it was commonly referred to as “jean”. Weavers from the Nimes area of France tried to replicate this fabric and it eventually came to be known as “denim” a bastardization of the words “de Nimes” (from Nimes). Cool, huh?

Pick your outfit (simple is always better), do your makeup and get out and go. Make a hasty escape, while you can! 

Time's A Wastin'.

June Carter Cash & Carl Smith - Time's A Wastin'   


*Fashion Item note: Venus - TIE SLEEVE CHENILLE SWEATER $49. This is really a neat looking sweater and it will get a lot of use this fall and winter. The fit is nice with enough feminine details to dress up your day.  

"This long sleeved, V-neck sweater features wide-ribbed fabric styling. This relaxed fit piece features crisscross lace up details on both sleeves, shoulder to elbow." (Venus)

Sizes: XS (2) to 3X 

Long sleeves with lace up detail at upper arms

V-neck style with ribbed texture

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Political Cartoons 9-15

The fact that this product was not banned as of yesterday proves that "Big Tobacco" is involved. The same model - hook them young and be sure to always have replacement customers. The problem is they are killing their new customers too soon. Back to the drawing boards (chemistry lab). See my 2018 post on big tobacco and the inside information I was privy to. 


Friday, September 13, 2019

Catch Of The Day - Friday the 13th

I actually found the top above on  LAURIE BRONZE's "Vanity and Me Style" fashion blog. She has wonderful taste in fashion.

Her link for the  top (Linen Blend Square Neck Top) is on the Next (UK) shopping site. I am not sure they ship to the US, however I just love the look and feminine versatility. Paired with skinny jeans or even dress pants, it is a great look.

I will keep a lookout and let you know if I find a US site that has it. It looks like something Venus or Boston Proper might have. Also, Ann Taylor Eyelet Off The Shoulder Top in White is similar.  

Happy Friday the 13th.

Fashion Illustration 1

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Teddy Geiger

Teddy Geiger

Teddy Geiger burst onto the scene in the mid-2000s with the hit song "Confidence (For You I Will)," before suddenly disappearing. But Geiger is back in a big way now - and in an honest way. This is what the world never knew about Teddy Geiger.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hairspray: The Politics of A Transgender Performance from 1988-2007+

The character Edna Turnblad
Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, performing Hairspray

My June cruise featured the "Broadway" show Hairspray. It was wonderfully done with many costumes and breathless performers competing for stage time. Performers dropped from the theater ceiling on to the stage and dancing away. They all sang/danced their hearts out. A good time was had by all. 

Hairspray is a touching story about an overweight teen finding her way and love in the 60's. Likely most have either seen the John Waters 1988 cult movie favorite, the 2007 John Travolta movie or the current Broadway version.     

Here is Sugarbeat describes the three version and discussed its Transgender connection:

Diviner in the original 1988 Hairspray 
A romantic, American musical set in Baltimore in the early 1960s, Hairspray follows the life of Tracey Turnblad, an overweight teenager whose ambition it is to dance on a local TV station, [think American Bandstand] but she is held back from achieving her goals and securing the man she loves due to her size. However, over the duration of the film Tracey overcomes these obstacles to secure her ambitions, whilst simultaneously helping to fight  racial perfidious on the show. 

Transgender performances are used to evoke an array of feelings in the viewer ranging from the absurd and humorous to the sinister and uncomfortable. In both John Waters 1988 hairspray and Adam Shankman’s 2007 remake transgender peoples are used to play the role of Edna Turnblad, Tracey’s mother. The way in which Edna is portrayed varies greatly between the two films and in many ways her characterization is essential in emphasizing crucial motifs on which the film is underpinned. In exploring the use of transgender peoples to play the role of Edna I will compare the use of formal aspects in the opening scenes where she is ironing, analyzing how they are engineered in such a fashion as to give a very different reading of Edna and how the use of transgender peoples varies between the two....
Waters was out to shock and entertain and his inclusion of a cult transgender person was designed to add an uncomfortable edge to the film. Shankman’s 2007 version was a more comfortable and sanitized performance designed for mainstream consumption. It is hard to overlook the fact that the audience that Travolta was not transgender. In having an actor who was so easy to recognize and laugh at, the serious issues in the film were somewhat overlooked and the more serious narrative and edginess was removed which in the first film was present due to the inclusion of Divine.     

I immensely enjoyed the production and its PG representation of the Edna Turnblad character played by a male actor. Maybe another short step in the general acceptance of transgender community.  Certainly a mainstream production.  


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Relish - Five Teens "Escape"

A transgender teen bonds with four other adolescent outsiders in Justin Ward’s “Relish,” which utilizes a classic Hollywood plot device ― the road trip ― to deliver a powerful message about inclusion. 

“Relish” debuts Sept. 6 at the Burbank International Film Festival.  Watch the trailer above. I can't wait to see it.  

Justin Ward’s coming-of-age road trip drama, “Relish,”

Monday, September 9, 2019

Feminine Differential - Denim Trends '19

Colored jeans, High Rise and Button Fly

There is no one who loves getting dressed up in a beautiful elegant dress more than I. However, practicality rules. And nothing is more practical than denim jeans. All of the fashion writers for fall and winter are stating; "They are back!"  I never knew they went anywhere.  

The problem with just any pair of jeans is that with no thought to style, they can look like you are starting a project in the garage or going for a ride on the Harley. Not that there is anything wrong with those activities - For me feminine rules.  

Colored jeans are a new item for me and I really like the look of the jeans on the left; LEE Monroe Straight Jeans. My go-to everyday jeans are in the center and yes, they are the same style. The color on left jeans is Antler, and the center jeans is Seattle. Don't like these two colors - there are 27 other colors.   

Here are the wonderful sweet spots that hit for me: Relaxed fit yet snug fitting in the back to give some rear definition. Slim through the legs but easy on-off. "High Rise / High Waisted", so no muffin top and feminine cut.  

Here is the Amazon linkLEE Women’s Instantly Slims Classic Relaxed Fit Monroe Straight Leg Jean

The third trend that I adore is "button fly"; again in high rise. I have not seen too many of these in years past, however this fall they are everywhere. They tend to have a form fitting front and back, thus definitely not "your father's jeans".  These require a little effort to get the right fit but worth it as to the feminine differential.  

Here is the Amazon link for these JeansJag Jeans Women's Gwen Button Fly Straight Jean. Levi jeans have always had a selection of "button fly", so do check there as well.  

The one other trend that I just love that is a consistent fashion Feminine Differential - Heels with Jeans.  Here is what the fashion blog "Refinery29" stated:

Glam and Glitter - Jeans and Heels 

It's Look Like A Fashion Person 101: Wear a pair of single-soled pumps with a pair of well-loved jeans, and you're set. It almost doesn't matter what you have on top; with a ratty T-shirt or a couture blouse, the combination of jeans and pumps gives your outfit a 'on my way to a fashion show' verve.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Political Cartoons 9-8

Why do people care if Donald Trump stated that Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama?

Because publishing a doctored weather map and making false weather forecasts are both federal crimes, and doing so on national television while also being the President of the United States, especially when doing so falsely informs citizens in a hundreds-of-square-miles-wide radius that they need to be making preparations for an impending hurricane is, in addition to being illegal, deeply irresponsible.

The real question is why more people don’t care if Donald Trump said Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama.  Read More... 


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Julia Roberts' Support

Julia Roberts Supports Students Fighting for LGBT Rights

Julia Roberts
May 1, 2017 at 11:24 am EDT | by Mariah Cooper

Julia Roberts announced she is standing with students fighting for LGBT rights under the Trump administration.

In a statement for PEOPLE, Roberts explained her show of public support for Miguel Johnson, a 16-year-old GLSEN student ambassador in St. Joseph, Mo., at the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards where she stood behind Johnson on stage.

“I had the pleasure of presenting with Miguel at last year’s GLSEN Respect Awards, and Miguel, like all the students I meet there, is smart, kind and incredibly brave to live their life openly and honestly at such a young age,” Roberts said in a statement to PEOPLE. “As a parent, I want all students to feel safe and protected at school, and I stand with Miguel and trans students across the country. You are loved.”

Johnson, who identifies as gender-fluid, was hopeful at the time of the GLSEN Respect Award which took place weeks before the election. In February, President Donald Trump rescinded Obama-era federal protections for transgender students.

“Before Trump got elected, he always said he was totally for LGBTQ students, because they’re people too and they deserve an education,” Johnson tells PEOPLE. “And then after he got elected, he was basically like, ‘Just kidding, I lied.'”

“We need to be progressive. People don’t realize that these things affect people they know and care about. So I’m hoping that the more people come out and speak up, the more people will start realize this affects them too,” Johnson continued.


Thank You!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

This Is F*cked Up

(CNN) A series of new firearm laws go into effect in Texas on Sunday (September 1), just hours after a shooting left seven people dead in the western part of the state.

The laws will further loosen gun restrictions in a state that's had four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history, including the El Paso shooting last month, when a gunman stormed a Walmart and killed 22 people.

The new measures were all passed during the 2019 legislative session, which ended in June. Here are the sweeping firearm laws going into effectBelow is an abridged list of the changes (likely approved, written and pushed into law by the NRA). 

  • Weapons on school grounds
  • Marshals at schools
  • Guns in foster homes
  • Weapons in apartments
  • Handguns during a disaster
  • Firearms in places of worship

Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the NRA convention in Dallas
According to Cristina Cabrera at Talking Points Monitor, after the deadly shooting in El Paso in early August, Abbott and other Texas Republicans refused to engage with the topic of gun control and blamed the massacre on mental health and video games instead.

When you get 10 pro-2nd Amendment bills to the governor and he signs them all, I would rank it up there with one of the most successful sessions we’ve had. TARA MICA, NRA TEXAS LOBBYIST


Simple - We need to let politicians know that if they take NRA money, we will not vote for them. If they support the NRA gun lobby they are not representing your will. Voting them out is the only fix. Don't expect any politician to get a conscience when money is involved. Vote in someone who will promise to make a change and not take NRA MONEY.    

Let's have a sane understanding of the Second Amendment. Using an assault weapon on people is not sport hunting. IT IS WAR. - It is condoning, supporting, and giving license to mass murder. 

Consider this: Polls have consistently shown about 90% of Americans support requiring universal background checks on gun sales, including those at gun shows or across the internet. That figure includes nearly 90% of Republicans and gun owners. A ban on assault weapons remains more controversial, but amid the relentless pulse of mass shootings over the past few years, about three-fifths of Americans are now expressing support for such a prohibition.Yet congress does nothing.  

Even if Democrats in 2020 hold the House, retake the White House and regain a Senate majority, this regional dynamic virtually guarantees Republicans could still block any legislation because of the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to advance legislation in the Senate.

I am not sure that Beto O'Rourke is the most dynamic candidate in the current Democrat field. However, he sure nailed it this Sunday on CNN's State Of The Union:


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tropical Summer Shopping

I was in Palm Beach a few weeks ago and got caught in one of our typical afternoon/tropical thunderstorms. I waited out the worst of it in the car (listening to satellite radio) and at the first break darted into a nearby store to browse. It just happened to be the Lilly Pulitzer boutique - oh darn.

There was one other couple shopping on this very quiet summer afternoon. In season, because of all the out-of-town shoppers, one can barely get a parking place on Worth Avenue or changing room in a store. I took my time and enjoyed the feminine atmosphere and the overload of uniquely Lilly / Palm Beach colors.  

Lilly Pulitzer Store - Palm Beach 

On the last cruise I saw an absolutely gorgeous off-the-shoulder dress and inquired if they had it still available. I just can't get enough of the off-the-shoulder look. Based on my description - I was told that was "last season" and it sold out very quickly. No surprise there. They did have available in a very similar pattern the off-the-shoulder top shown above. If I remembered the dress correctly, that was the exact same print.  Maybe it is my feminine nature - I do remember stuff like that.  

I tried it on over my white Chico's "So Slimming Girlfriend Jeans" and even the other couple shopping commented how nice it looked with the skinny jeans. Of course the sales girls "oohed and awed".  At home I already have the white Lilly scallop shorts so that base is covered. (Sorry for the sports analogy.)  

Had I had the right shoes (take your pick from the above collection), I would have worn it to my "evening meetup" at the Colony, Palm Beach. Double darn!! For another night. Lilly, not just for a cruise.  

Left photo taken by the sales girl and the other a selfie taken in the changing room mirror.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Would You Wear - Shorts?

I have girl friends that avoid shorts. When I mention that I still/do wear shorts, I get an eye roll that says "sure?" then a big shark. Many women over 40 avoid shorts because they simply don’t know how to choose (or style) a pair in a chic and flattering way. Some avoid shorts because their legs are too white, or unattractive with leg veins or cellulite. There are good reasons to not wear shorts, but do not limit your style option when you can make shorts work. And be attractive.           

According to 40+Style, take into account these three things:  Body Shape; Height; Legs.  

Body Shape: Most women are one (or sometimes a combination) of 5 different body shapes: apple, pear, rectangle, inverted triangle and hourglass. Certain shorts will work better on one shape over another. Keep your shape in mind when looking at the styles.

Height: Height can also add to the variable of how to choose the best shorts for your body shape. Petite women should be more careful of how much fabric the shorts have in the form of bows, pleats and other details, which can overwhelm the frame. Regardless of height, always consider if the shorts you’re trying on are the right length for your height. If they’re too long, hem them. Too short? Choose another pair.

Legs: Legs are probably the top reason most women won’t wear shorts. Being self conscious about cellulite, veins, scars or other issues are valid but there are solutions. Choose longer short styles to hide imperfections that may make you self-conscious like cellulite. Why not wear a pair of lightweight stocking under a shorter pair of shorts like below? It’s a fashion-forward look and some tights or stockings like the ones Spanx makes will also conceal veins or scars and smooth the body fat in your legs. Give this look a try for Spring or Fall.

Read more at 40+ Style - The Best Women’s Shorts That Fit And Flatter Women Over 40 Of Any Shape.

Because many mornings I like to walk on the beach, I enjoy shorts and have several pairs or jeans shorts. My favorites are "Banana Republic White Denim Roll Cuff shorts" or my "Levi's Women's 501 High Rise Shorts". 


My favorite is the "shortie" if I must select from the list above. Would you wear shorts - Do you?  What style?  What have you found to be the best shorts for you? 

Cozumel Mexico - June '19