Showing posts with label Culture Mom Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture Mom Media. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17, 2013

{#Theatre Review} Have you made your appointment for the @SoulDoctor yet? If not, you definitely should! #Broadway

Soul Doctor Playbill signed by Eric Anderson who portrays Shlomo (signature on bottom right) and Amber Iman who plays Nina Simone (signature on top left)
Soul Doctor Playbill signed by Eric Anderson who portrays Shlomo Carlebach (signature on bottom right) and Amber Iman who plays Nina Simone (signature on top left)

So after spending a year and a half in the hospital I wasn't totally convinced I wanted to watch anything that had 'Doctor' in the title, but some of my most magical memories have come from nights on Broadway with family and friends. It's the one thing that most lifelong New Yorkers can agree is one the best perks of living in this insane city. The city that never sleeps is always 'Go, Go, Go!' but when you go to the Theatre, the City slows down and when the lights go down you just somehow surrender and allow yourself to be transported.

While I am not Jewish, a little known Ascending Butterfly fact is that I worked for a Jewish Theological Seminary here in New York City for a Rabbi who taught me so much about the Jewish Faith, that when I learned that this was in fact based on the true story of the life and the music of Shlomo Carlebach I was very much intrigued.

About Soul Doctor:

Soul Doctor tells the fascinating story of the father of popular Jewish Music, Shlomo Carlebach, and his unlikely friendship with Nina Simone. A modern-day troubadour, Shlomo ignited the spirit of millions around the world with his soul-stirring melodies, transformative storytelling and boundless love.

After his escape from Nazi Germany, the young Rabbi befriended the legendary jazz singer Nina Simone who introduced him to soul and gospel music. With the "High Priestess of Soul" as his inspiration, Shlomo created a joyous new sound with melodies that fused his roots with American Popular Music. His meteoric rise as a "Rock Star Rabbi" as he struggled to harmonize his traditional beliefs with the "free love" generation of the 1960's features his timeless hits in a rocking score woven together by the orchestrator of The Who's Tommy and Elton John's Aida.

Soul Doctor Cast in Alphabetical Order Theatre Signage Watermarked
Soul Doctor Cast in Alphabetical Order Theatre Signage for our early August Performance at Circle in the Square Theatre


Visit Soul Doctor's website for the Full Cast and Crew list HERE.

Eric Anderson stars as Shlomo, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Shlomo in the NYTW production of Soul Doctor. His Broadway credits include: Kinky Boots (which you guys know is my personal pick of my favorite Broadway Show for 2013), and South Pacific.

Amber Iman plays Nina Simone in  her SPECTACULAR Broadway Debut! (she was fantastic) Off Broadway, she has appeared in Rent, and A Civil War.

I was lucky enough to get both Eric Anderson and Amber Iman (pictured above) to sign my playbill after the performance, and she posed for a picture too and was genuine, warm and open to all the fans who approached her! Team Butterfly was being silly and goofing around saying 'Just one more baby it's the flash, yeah, it's the flash', and our cheesy Eddie Murphy impression made her crack up! I will never forget this shot, so her autograph of my playbill will make that moment and that show so much more meaningful for me!
Get Social:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - "Like" Soul Doctor on Facebook

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @SoulDoctor on Twitter

My Take:

I enjoyed Soul Doctor, it was well-cast, and while the subject matter isn't always light-hearted, you are drawn into the performance and the journey as the character's develop. Eric delivers a strong performance as Schlomo Carlebach, and Amber Iman also delivers a strong and dynamic debut performance in her role as Nina Simone. They both had big shoes to fill that's for sure, and they both delivered, they had an ease and comfort with each other and there was so much electricity in their scenes together as well.

As a fab frugalista in a super expensive city, I'm the first to tell you that Broadway is NOT cheap, so the biggest compliment that I can give a show is that if I weren't press, would I have paid to see it and still been happy? YES. I would definitely have left just as happy if I had paid full price. I found myself truly swept up in the emotions and roller coaster ride of Shlomo's story. Good entertainment has a tendency to play on universal themes to be relevant to everyone, Shlomo's struggle to not only find his inner voice, but to buck everything he knew, as well as his parents wishes of what they felt was best for him, to find his inner voice and share that with the world is in essence every man and woman's story!

When a show can make you laugh and cry it has defintely transported you, and Soul Doctor is one appointment you WON'T want to put off!

Team Butterfly holding up signed Soul Doctor Playbill in front of Circle in the Square Theatre in New York City
Team Butterfly, Left: Mama Butterfly and Right: ME! Ascending Butterfly holding up my signed playbill outside Circle in the Square Theatre! Sign reads: Destined to Become a hit on Broadway for Years to Come! May it be so!
Yes Indeed Lovelies, The Doctor is IN!

Will you be going to see Soul Doctor Butterflies? If so, don't forget to come back and sound off here about it! We would love to know what you think! What is your favorite Broadway Show this year Butterflies?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a Sponsored Post! No monetary compensation has been received to post pictures or our review of Soul Doctor. Ascending Butterfly editors received complimentary tickets to a performance of Soul Doctor to facilitate our Theatre Review. As life long New Yorkers, our editorial team greatly enjoy Broadway Theatre and enjoy sharing our experiences with our readers. Special Thanks to Culture Mom Media LLC.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ann (@AnnRichardsPlay) starring @HollandTaylor is a one woman tour de force!

Ann, Ann Richards, Holland Taylor, VIVIAN BEAUMONT THEATER, Lincoln Center,

Last week I got to see the new Broadway Musical,  Kinky Boots still in previews. which I reviewed HERE, and I also got the chance to see a one woman show called Ann that is currently running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City.


ANN is a no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary governor of Texas. This inspiring and hilarious new play brings us face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Written and performed by Emmy® Award winner Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men"), ANN takes a revealing look at the impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family.

After playing throughout Texas to sold-out audiences, ANN went on to win critical acclaim both in Chicago and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. And now this extraordinary play comes to Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in a production directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein (resident director of War Horse).

En Espanol:

ANN es un retrato sin tapujos de Ann Richards, el legendario gobernador de Texas. Esta nueva obra inspiradora y divertida nos trae cara a cara con un personaje complejo, colorido y fascinante más grande que el estado de la cual ella aclamado. Escrita e interpretada por el ganador del Premio Emmy ® Holland Taylor (de la serie de television "Two and a Half Men"), ANN toma una mirada reveladora a la mujer apasionada que enriquece la vida de sus seguidores, amigos y familiares.

Después de jugar a lo largo de Texas para el público agotado, ANN se encendió para ganar elogios de la crítica en Chicago y en el Kennedy Center en Washington, DC. Y ahora esta extraordinaria obra viene a Lincoln Center Vivian Beaumont Theater en una producción había dirigida por Benjamin Endsley Klein (director residente de caballo de guerra).


Holland Taylor stars as Ann Richards and she is also the Playwright! I'm sure those who know Holland's backstory and credits, including her portrayal of Denise Cavanaugh on the long running Soap Opera, The Edge of Night where she played a character who killed herself, just to frame her husband, aren't surprised she could pull off the role of Ann Richards. I'm sure her role as Evelyn Harper in CBS's Two and a Half Men helped her to prepare, Holland certainly knows a thing or two about 'tough broads'.

She began researching, writing and producing a one-woman play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards in 2009.  The two-act play, which was originally titled Money, Marbles and Chalk, was first work-shopped in May 2010 at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas. It was later re-named Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards and opened in Chicago November 16, 2011, being billed as a "pre-Broadway" engagement.

The Real Ann Richards:

Texas Governor Ann Richards in 1992 - Photo Credit: @Wikimedia Commons

The Texas Governer Ann Richards (who was born Dorothy Ann Willis), attended Baylor University on a Debate scholarship and after earning her bachelor's degree she married her High School Sweetheart David Richards and moved to Austin where she pursued her teaching certificate from the University of Texas. She taught Social Studies and History. She campaigned for Texas liberals and progressives, and by the 1970's she was an accomplished Political Worker. She worked to elect Liberal Democrat Sarah Weddington and presented training sessions throughout the state on campaign techniques for women candidates and managers. She became the Travis County Commissioner, followed by Texas State Treasurer and then Richards famously became the 45th Governor of Texas.

My Take:

It takes an incredible amount of energy to pull off a one-woman/one-man show, I had amazing seats, and from my vantage point I was truly amazed to see the way Holland Taylor maintains such a powerful and strong energy throughout the entire performance.

This is an incredible labor of love and it shows in every scene. Whether you liked Ann Richards views as a politician or not, she was a pioneer and an amazingly strong woman who overcame incredible odds to succeed and to also help shatter that Glass Ceiling so that the women coming after her trying to build a Political Career had less hurdles to overcome. What Holland Taylor does is give us a very even-handed look into her life not just the politician, but the woman, the wife, the mother, the grand-mother, it's intimate, personal and holds nothing back. It would take a very strong woman to pull off that role and Holland Taylor succeeds on every level!

This play is raw and powerful and sometimes quite intense, but I can tell you as a Life Coach this is a goldmine of treasure, Ann Richards let NOTHING stop her, not even her own demons. She overcomes the obstacles, the odds and the naysayers and made change not just in her community but the world at large, she leaves an incredible legacy with the Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders, and whether your aspirations and goals are leading you toward a political career or a career in any field for that matter, just know that any effort you put your energy, passion and dedication to, WILL lead you to success!

I could relate to Ann on so many levels, many career counselors and school guidance counselors tried to urge me toward debate teams, law and later possibly politics, so learning about her career accomplishments were of great interest to me, but despite my academic advisors who were urging me toward Law/Politics and my original wishes toward Medicine, the universe ended up always pushing me into something that had to with writing, so Holland Taylor being the playwright for this in addition to the star has also given me powerful inspiration and incentive to pursue new facets of my writing! (Although I will say after watching Ann, I spent my birthday week away by the Beach briefly entertaining the notion that I should run for my local City Council seat, who knows, this play may have planted a more powerful seed in me than I know!)

Get Social:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Get the latest updates by following @AnnRichardsPlay via Twitter

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - You can also check out the latest news on their Facebook page (and you can press the video trailer above to go straight to the YouTube page).

Ascending Butterfly poses by the Ann signage!

Guess what else I have in common with Governor Ann Richards? If you guessed the same middle name, you get a gold star!

Joke: There was a terrier, Great Dane and a want to find out why the entire audience laughs out loud at this joke? Then go see Ann! :-)

Favorite Quotes: 'When You Rest, You Rust!" + "Trust that your wings will catch the wind"

After leaving the performance I had to catch this shot:

Lincoln Center Fountain at night! Check out the sign for Ann in the upper right hand  of the shot!

I definitely say 'Ticket' butterflies (Do NOT Miss this one!), and when you see it, please come back here and share your thoughts! 

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received by Ascending Butterfly, we were provided only with our seats for editorial consideration. All Opinions are always 100% my own. Special thanks to Culture Mom Media, I LOVED THIS SHOW!