Sunday, October 13, 2019

MINDing My Health at 92Y


As Mental Health Awareness week kicked off last week, I enjoyed a day of panel discussions and break out sessions at MIND Your Health at 92Y. The day included an array of speakers such as Bob Roth, Cheryl Strayed, and Cynthia Germanotta, as well as doctors and experts such as Dr. Alka Gupta from Weill Cornell Medicine. MIND Your Health was designed to help us take a holistic approach to improving the quality of our lives.

Some notes from the day (in no particular order):
  • Talk about mental health. Eliminate the stigma. Mental health is just as important as physical health! Treat mental disorders as they emerge; if not, they will worsen...
  • Minimum of 7 - 8 hours sleep --> necessary (make your environment peaceful - put down the phone - dim the lights - set the right temperature - NO WINE!
  • Social connections and relationships --> critical
  • Find things in your life that release endorphins naturally
  • Practice gratitude and journaling. Create mantras
  • Practice mindfulness through meditation (those with untreated trauma - beware)
  • Talk to your kids - make time for family time!
  • Practice vulnerability - struggle is universal. you are not alone
  • Look into alternative therapies - cannabis, slime anyone?
  • Feed your brain. Mediterranean diet linked to good health and less depression. Eat more plant-based foods - eat fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel and sardines) 2-3x per week - limit added sugars - take in 25-30g fiber daily. Eat slowly and enjoy your food
  • Reduce cognitive decline - avoid chronic stress and exposure to toxins and embrace physical fitness and social networks

Monday, September 30, 2019

Natasha Yvette Williams - Rescue, Relief, and Redemption!


I haven't been following Natasha Yvette Williams' career as closely as the gentleman I had the opportunity to sit next to at the elegant and cozy Feinstein's / 54 Below room on Wednesday night, but I'm sure pleased that I fixed my cabaret craving by attending her show. 

Mrs Williams, whose Broadway credits include Chicago and Waitress, is talented, funny, vulnerable and supportive. She charmed her friends and audience with musical theater, soul and gospel tunes and readily shared her stage with young talent she has met at the stage door, her Waitress cast mates, and the talented Saint Aubyn, who recently wowed me in Ain't Too Proud and blew me away with his Try a Little Tenderness on Wednesday. 

Mrs Williams cabaret show was an absolute blast and exactly what my spirit needed to get through the work week. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ogresse - C├ęcile McLorin Salvant with L'Orchestre L'Ogresse



Maybe we could dance all night 
Under clouds of violet
Moving to melodies long-forgotten
Maybe if you held me tight enough, my love
Neither one of us would fly or fall

Friday, August 16, 2019

Quote by Aretha Franklin

Quote by Aretha Franklin in NY Post article - Beautiful little girl had it all:
No matter how successful you are, one day the applause is going to die down. The amens and the hallelujahs will be silent and even the money will stop flowing. When that happens, you’ve got to know who you are and what you’re going to do.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pose - "Love's In Need Of Love Today" Episode

Really enjoyed the awesome Billy Porter and the performances on the recent Pose episode. Here is the cast performing "Love's In Need Of Love Today." Enjoy!!!






Harriet Tubman Biopic

The Harriet biopic trailer dropped this week. Harriet Tubman is one of (if not) the most important black women in American history. Featuring this American story on the big screen is WAY overdue.The film features some of my favorite artists today - Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monae. However, the week has been bittersweet as there has been renewed online backlash regarding a British actress being cast as Harriet. And if you recall, David Oyelowo, a British actor, played MLK Jr. (another iconic black American) several years back. There was even more online outrage when a few of Erivo's old social media postings were unearthed and viewed as disparaging to black Americans. Despite this, I will go to the theater in November, buy a ticket, and support this important film about my sheroe (just like I supported the film Selma). But it is NOT lost on me that true art is political and decisions made matter. And no one in 2019 should act like America's history has been a fair and level playing field for all...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quote from Lanford Wilson's "Burn This"

Burton in Lanford Wilson's Burn This:
Make it as personal as you can. Believe me, you can't imagine a feeling everyone hasn't had. Make it personal, tell the truth, and then write 'Burn this' on it.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

Quote from Will Eno's "Thom Pain (based on nothing)"

Thom Pain in Thom Pain (based on nothing):
What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? That's easy. You'd be brave and true and reckless. You would love life and people with wild and new abandon. If you only had a day. What if you only had forty years? What would you do? If you're like me, and - no offense, but - you probably are, you wouldn't do anything. It's sad, isn't it? 

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Quest to See August Wilson's American Century Cycle Continues

I've read August Wilson's 10 play American Century Cycle. However, I haven't seen them all. Several years ago at Signature, I was chitchatting with a fellow theatergoer (from Pittsburgh) who had seen the cycle and was even familiar with the Hill District where 9 of the 10 plays take place. After that conversation, I began a quest to: 

Read the cycle (I did it! Thanks, Julliard), 
Visit the Hill District (I did it! Thanks, Road Dawg),
And see the cycle (I'm working on it!). 

Lucky for me, several theaters have been mounting the cycle with Red Bank's Two River Theater even committing to mount all 10 plays.To cross another play off my list, I recently traveled down to Philly's Arden Theatre Company to see my 7th play of the cycle - Gem of the Ocean. And what can I say - Bravo to Zuhairah for literally bringing Aunt Ester to life before my admiring eyes and inviting me into 839 Wylie Ave. And then thank you for taking me on an uncomfortable painful journey on a slave ship (I honor every African who lost their life during the Middle Passage). 

What an evening...what a quest...



August Wilson's 10 Play American Century Cycle
1900s Gem of the Ocean*
1910s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
1920s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom*
1930s The Piano Lesson*
1940s Seven Guitars
1950s Fences*
1960s Two Trains Running*
1970s Jitney*
1980s King Hedley II*
1990s Radio Golf

* Plays seen

Thursday, April 18, 2019

TimesTalks x T Magazine: Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally joined by Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon at TimesTalk.



Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, which begins previews on May 4th, was not on my Broadway "must see" list this season. However, after the TimesTalk, I may have to add it to the list. Interesting bit of trivia -- Frankie and Johnny is the first Broadway production to use an Intimacy Director.