From Dust to Dreams

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Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Did you see “From Dust to Dreams” on PBS on Friday night? What an outstanding program; made for a fulfilling and fun evening. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been at the opening evening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. http://www.thesmithcenter.com   A stunning arena!

The 2,050 seats in the auditorium were filled to capacity reminding us as they pointed out in the show that “if you build it, people will come.” Like other top performing arts centers in the country, this creative space will stay booked and busy. It is in the city of Las Vegas, long known for its outstanding entertainment.

The show could not have been better orchestrated. Stars like Martina McBride, John Fogerty, Willy Nelson, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King, violinist Joshua Bell and many others ushered in the opening season and nearly brought down the house of this much heralded new venue that opened on March 10, 2012.

For me, however, the crème de la crème, were the artists trained in musical theatre; they sing so succinctly and clearly. Musical theatre is my favorite form of art, bar none. The range of tunes, from some of the most notable musicals in history, really carried the night. The audience heard songs from West Side Story, Ragtime,Man of LaMancha, Rent, Life of the Party, Sweet Charity and The King and I.  Some of my favorites.

The cost to build this facility was $470 million dollars and construction took 33 months to complete it. The finale was so appropriate to the evening. “Take Care of this House,” sung by Jennifer Hudson was performed with panache.

If you missed this show, there is a DVD of “From Dust to Dreams” available to the public, thanks to PBS. It is well worth buying and it would bring personal fulfillment as a Christmas present to the fan of performing arts in your family. Here is the link.From Dust to Dreams.

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Spring Poetry

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It is always the simple things that change our lives. This is how God does things.” ~ Donald Miller 

Although warm weather has not yet arrived here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, http://bit.ly/O9KMI there was a renewal of spirit, on Saturday evening, inside the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  . The Yampa Valley Singers presented an event that was the very definition of poetry “an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.” 

The beautifully poetic production, Spring Awakening, was produced and directed by the talented, Marie Carmichael. It was an orchestration of all things fulfilling  –  a multi-media production of art through the compilation of inspiring photographic images, magnificent music and even a little dance between flames up and down the center aisle of the church. Although indoors, the lovers light and lively interplay was interpreted in my mind, to a dance in a garden-like setting between flowering blossoms of spring. 

The musical arrangement of Time to Say Goodbye brought a little tear to my eye but it was quickly forgotten as the Yampa Valley Singers launched into tunes from my favorite form of art – musical theatre. A lively Broadway Medley of some of the most well-known songs of stage productions, such as Oklahoma, the Sound of Music, Carousel, the King and I, State Fair and South Pacific brought a huge smile to my face.  I was delighted and charmed by two precious little children singing Do-Ri- Me,  too!

There are so many ways people can bring light into their own lives during this season of rebirth. The most celebrated writers in history have put their interpretation of this season into the literary form of poetry. To read a collection of 114 poems about spring from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, Katherine Mansfield, Henry Van Dyke, Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickinson and more, please visit http://bit.ly/li8miV

Thank you, Marie Carmichael and the Yampa Valley Singers http://bit.ly/jph2do for ushering in spring. My spirit has been rejuvenated, in earnest, by your inspirational interpretation of art and culture. As for the warm weather, bring it on Lord, bring it on. We are ready and prepared for the arrival and we will be extremely grateful, too!

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Fair Trade

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Of all things,  Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Dulcinea, How I Love You!”  Remember that song from “The Man of La Mancha?” For almost 25 years I was fulfilling my love for musical theatre by ushering, voluntarily, at the Weston Playhouse www.westonplayhouse.org in charming Weston, Vermont. Over those years, “The Man of La Mancha” graced the stage once or twice and I was able to hear this memorable song sung live, by actors from the guild. My first introduction to “Dulcinea” was as a teen when I went to the Paper Mill Summer Theatre in Owings Mills, MD www.papermill.org  and saw the play there too.  Oh, how I adored it! 

I know you all are thinking I have lost my marbles.” How in the world did she get on this subject?” our readers must be asking.  I happened to open the Sunday paper and saw a story about the Dulcimer Shop in Mountain View, Arkansas.  For more information on this company and the history of this instrument, which produces exquisite, ethereal sounds, please visit http://www.mcspaddendulcimers.com.

It was the commonality of the root of the words, dulcinea and dulcimer, that triggered my recall of this memorable song. I’ve about worn out my favorite search engines, so I don’t dare inquire through those channels about the meaning of the root dulci. Next time I see, my friend Vesna, from Macedonia, I’ll ask her, she’ll know! She has her PhD, ABD, in linguistics and perhaps she can help me out. 

They say (whoever they is) you should write down what you want out of life, not just think about it. In this present moment, I would love someone to send me the name of an artist with beautiful rendition of “Dulcinea” being played on a dulcimer. It would be such a beautiful pairing of  instrument and song. Perhaps I could listen to a  little bit of heaven right here in my office, as I work.

Since I have been bemoaning the fact that I have neglected the independent recording artists on this website, I’d like to engage in a little fair trade.  For the first person, from anywhere in the world, to contact me through a kind blogsite comment,  with the name of a dulcimer-playing independent artist whose repertoire includes “Dulcinea,” I will write a blog on the  musician.

This could be alot of fun! I’ll let you know how it all turns out! “Dulcinea…….”

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