Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Over the past two days, I was blessed with having multiple hours of free time. During this free period, I took in two wonderful documentary films on youtube. God bless youtube for supplying us with free, good quality movies at out fingertips (literally). The first movie that I watched was called "Every Little Step". This was an entertaining film that followed the audition process for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. First of all, A Chorus Line is a superb musical that I have had the pleasure to watch multiple times. It is such an intimate look into the unique lives of aspiring dancers and performers. The show captivates its audience right from the start and doesn't let go of your attention till about a week after the show ends. The documentary touches on many aspects of the creation process of the musical as well. The very first step in creating the musical was when Michael Bennett gathered a group of dancers in his living room and recorded hours of them talking about their lives. I found this very interesting and inspiring. What an original way to gain inspiration for writing. The film itself is very entertaining. I truly felt the emotions and conflicts that all of the auditionees felt. Watching this documentary was a moving experience that as an aspiring performer myself, I took away a very valuable lesson. The film itself is ironically much like the story of A Chorus Line: The struggles and successes of everyday people who just want a chance to shine.

The second film that I watched was called "First Position". This film followed seven young ballet dancers as they compete in the Youth America Grand Prix: A world wide prestigious ballet competition that awards dancers scholarships and contracts with renowned dance schools and ballet companies. Every one of these dancers are very special and gifted in ballet. They are the future stars of the ballet stage. The film documented their struggles, successes, and experiences as they prepare for the Grand Prix finals. Not all will succeed. This movie proves that you need to work insanely hard to reach your goals and sometimes you will ultimately fail. As a past ballet dancer myself, I can relate to the lives of these young dancers. I understand why they put them selves through the pain, stress, and exhaustion of training at such a young age. They do it because they can't imagine doing anything else with their lives. A person knows at a very young age whether or not they want to be a dancer.

Both of the films that I watched touch on similar themes. They both convey the message that in everything there is failure and only a few will reach the top. This is an important lesson that can be applied to all aspects of life. I learned a lot from these films and I would highly suggest that you watch them. Anyone, not just performers, can get something out of these films. There are real life lessons hidden inside.

Monday, 1 April 2013

A City On Seven Hills (Not Rome)

San Francisco was great! I had a wonderful time experiencing all of the necessary tourist attractions as well as some cool activities that are more out of the way. Probably my favourite thing that I did was visiting Alcatraz. It was really cool to wander through the jail cells. I even got to experience being locked away in isolation in the dark and small cell appropriately called "The Hole". San Francisco is completely different in every way from the city that I live in. First of all, the fact that it is built on a number of steep hills was very surprising and took a little bit of getting used to. I did not expect the taxi ride from the airport to feel like a roller coaster. The overall atmosphere of the city was very different and it was a nice change from regular life. It is hard to explain exactly what felt different, but it just did.

First things first: the food. Well, the food was incredible! My breakfasts were very american and they were very big which caused us to skip lunch. Of course, the breakfasts were delicious. Probably the best breakfast place the I could recommend, is Rose's Cafe on Union Street. For dinner we mostly ate Italian food. We ate at some very authentic, yet affordable restaurants. My favourite restaurant would have to be Scala's in Union Square. When we drove to Berkley, we ate at this really cool joint called Cheese Board Pizza Collective which serves one type of pizza per day. The one they were serving the day I was there was roasted potato with key limes. It was FANTASTIC! One of the best pizza's that I've had. If you are visiting Berkley, you should definitely go there! So, I ate very well on my vacation.

I did end up catching a show while on vacation. It was in this little studio theatre that was in the basement of some building. I didn't expect much looking around and at the stage. Boy was I wrong! I saw Foodies The Musical. It was a hilarious song cycle about everything to do with eating. My Favourite song was about using Groupons to eat at restaurants. The singing was very professional and the show has been running for six months. It is definitely a hidden gem in San Francisco. Foodies was a good laugh and a wonderfully written show!

Overall, I had a very nice time exploring San Francisco. I don't have enough space or time to write about everything that I did because I did basically everything! I like the city a lot and I will definitely have to go back some day. San Francisco treated me very well!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

San Francisco...Here I Come!

Well, for spring break, my family and I will be travelling to San Francisco. We will be seeing some of the top tourist attractions like Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's going to be packed with activities. I am really looking forward to taking in some arts and culture and maybe even a shows! I am most excited to taste the food there. I have heard from many people that San Francisco has some of the best restaurants. So, when I get back from my trip, I will be blogging about my experiences and adventures that I had. Hopefully I'll come back with some great stories. Bon Voyage!

Life Is a Cabaret

Wow! Cabaret was AMAZING! I was very moved by the story and very entertained by the powerful voices of Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. I especially thought that Joel Grey's character was expertly developed. His portrayal of the MC had the perfect balance of mystery, flamboyancy, quirkiness, and truth. However, the real standout was Liza. She made me laugh and cry with everything that she did. Her character Sally Bowles inspires me to make sure that I enjoy life as it is. Sally Bowles represents the young and free part of society. I think that her character teaches us an important lesson: Life is short, so we need to enjoy it while it lasts. As the Beatles say: "Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend".

The most powerful part of the film was the scene at the picnic. A young adult begins to sing a beautiful melody. I was rather enjoying the song. As the camera panned out, we can see that this singer is wearing a swastika. The tone of the song immediately changed for me. The message was the same: Tomorrow belongs to me. But, the meaning was different. Soon, more and more people join in to the singing of the nazi anthem. Eventually, everyone is chanting the words as though they have just been brought in to the nazi movement.

My favourite song in this musical was the finale song "Life Is a Cabaret," sung by Liza Minnelli. The reason I found this song so great was because of how true the message was. Life really is like a cabaret. You never know who is going to enter your life and you never know what is going to happen in your life. A cabaret club is a very rough place where anything can happen. Liza sings the lyrics to this song so stunningly and surprisingly cheerfully. She takes the excitement and mystery of life and turns them into positive energy. That is why her performance is so perfect. Her performance is one of the most treasured performances in musical history. Her final song really caps off her expert performance on a good note (literally). Her performance was filled with so much truth and power that it was impossible not to realize what she meant.

Overall, I give this film two thumbs up. Liza Minnelli definitely deserved that academy award. The message that this movie conveys is a lesson that I will take to heart. I will try my best to convey that message to the rest of the world by always following it. This film is a classic that will always be a gem in the world of musicals.

Monday, 18 March 2013


This week is the first week of spring break! I have a lot of time on my hands so I have decided to watch as many movie musicals as I can in the next two weeks. I love movie musicals and there are so many popular ones that I have never seen so I am really looking forward to this challenge!

The first one that I will watch is Cabaret. This Oscar winning movie stars Joel Grey and Liza Minneli. The film is largely set in a nightclub with a larger than life MC brilliantly portrayed by Joel Grey. The movie expertly symbolizes the conflicts in Germany and the rest of the world in the 1930's with the growing Nazi Party.

From what I have heard, this movie is superb and very thought provoking. It is masterfully scored by Kander and Ebb (Tony Award winning composers and lyricists for Chicago) and directed by the great Bob Fosse. I am really excited to watch this film and I will report back my thoughts and feelings of the film next week. Wish me luck!

What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Put down the knitting,
The book and the broom.
Time for a holiday.
Life is Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band.
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating;
Right this way,
Your table's waiting

No use permitting
soem prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

I used to have a girlfriend
known as Elsie
With whom I shared
Four sordid rooms in Chelsea

She wasn't what you'd call
A blushing flower...
As a matter of fact
She rented by the hour.

The day she died the neighbors
came to snicker:
"Well, thats what comes 
from to much pills and liquor."

But when I saw her laid out like a Queen
She was the happiest...corpse...
I'd ever seen.

I think of Elsie to this very day.
I'd remember how'd she turn to me and say:
"What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret."

And as for me,
I made up my mind back in Chelsea,
When I go, I'm going like Elsie.

Start by admitting
From cradle to tomb
Isn't that long a stay.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Only a Cabaret, old chum,
And I love a Cabaret!

Monday, 11 March 2013


So another component of the PLE project is that we must create our own personal dashboard. A dashboard is basically a conglomerate of website streams and links that is central to you PLN. I used a program called Symbaloo to make my dashboard. Symbaloo uses a button interface to set up links that take you to certain websites. I find Symbaloo to be very useful. I have made my home page of Safari set to Symbaloo because it makes internet surfing a lot more efficient. I use Symbaloo every day. I think that a dashboard is very important in a PLN because it ties everything together. I strongly suggest using Symbaloo or other dashboard systems if you visit many websites on the internet. Symbaloo made my life so much simpler!

Here is the link to Symbaloo:

Happy Spring!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Final Favourite!

Okay everyone, here it is! This is the final blog of my favourite five. It's about item that I finish this. Other people that are participating in this project finished this step almost a month ago. Finally, I am caught up.

This blog has everything: reviews, trivia, and funny articles about Broadway and what-not. This blog is the ultimate guide to all things Broadway. I hope you find it as interesting as I did!