Les Miserables opened in Boston on Tuesday night, and I was there. Holy cow. I knew I'd like it a lot, because, well, it's Les Mis; but I hadn't done my homework beforehand, and was therefore completely unprepared for this stellar, stunning cast. This production didn't start on Broadway; the tour is its only USA presence. Therefore, we had the likes of J. Mark McVey as Jean Valjean (he was AMAZING). Andrew Varela, Chasten Harmon, Jeremy Hays, Betsy Morgan, Julie Benko, Max Quinlan, Richard Vida, Shawna Hamic, the ensemble singing their hearts out, the beautiful design, the beautiful orchestra -- the performance was better than some of the best I've seen on Broadway. Here are photos of the national tour.
Thank you, you wonderful, dear people, for coming to my backyard.
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
Jane, Unlimited is my fourth release, a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices. It's also about umbrellas and umbrella-making :o). It comes out on September 19, 2017. I hope to have more stuff up about it soon, including reviews and foreign release info! For now --
Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions. Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintan…
So, I went to a lovely performance of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by the Russian National Ballet Theatre this weekend. (In case you don't know the story: the Evil Dude Rotbart has turned a bunch of Lovely Girls into swans. One night Prince Siegfried goes hunting with his buddies, sees the swans, falls for the Most Beautiful Swan, and professes his undying love. His promise of eternal love breaks Evil Dude Rotbart's spell and the Most Beautiful Swan and her friends are free to be girls again. But shortly thereafter in a moment of male forgetfulness Prince Siegfried swears his love to Random Girl [who, in his defense, does look an awful lot like the Most Beautiful Swan]. M.B. Swan's heart is broken and Evil Dude Rotbart's spell descends back upon her. Then the Prince realizes what he's done! He fights Evil Dude Rotbart! He wins, killing E.D. Rotbart and freeing M.B. Swan forever! They all live happily ever after!)
First disclaimer: I was not sexually assaulted by a priest. That is not the story I'm about to tell.
Second: If you were raised Catholic and your experience was not like mine, I am relieved for you and glad. I respect your different story. I only ask that you respect my story, realize that I am not an isolated example, and believe me.
I grew up in Pennsylvania. My kindergarten, my grade school, my high school, and the high school to which most of my friends matriculated are all represented on that list of predator priests. The bishop who confirmed me, James Timlin of the Diocese of Scranton, a man I …