OBAMA IS IN THE HOUSE by Elizabeth Searle & her Friend on the Faculty
My son and I were happy to get to watch our Presdent Barack Obama speak at Worcester Technical High School’s graduation June 11th. Even in a crowd of 5000, we felt he was speaking just to us.
Our friend on the faculty (who kindly got us our tickets) files this ‘insider’ report on the big day:
** “The Secret Servicemen were not only nice, but surprisingly handsome. Watching them walk back and forth helped the female teachers pass the time backstage.”
**”Watching my junior student Lois Dwira sing the National Anthem and then get hugged by the President was a major highlight for me. She is such a lovely young woman. I’m thrilled that she was part of such an incredible event.”
Obama bonds with the student who introduced him.
**”All of the graduates were beyond excited to shake the President’s hand after receiving their diplomas. Many of the students hugged him. Several students cried. From my seat, it was clear that this touched the President. He gave those students an extra big squeeze, which made me think, You truly *get* kids. That’s great to see in a president.”
Cheers to Worcester Technical High! In the ‘disgrace’ that is our underfunded public education system, this school stands out as a success. Obama captured that can-do spirit at the lively graduation. As a voice shouted from the crowd: “OBAMA IS IN THE HOUSE!” We were thrilled to be in the house with him.
(Photos shared by our teacher on the scene to Elizabeth Searle)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Barack Obama at Worcester Technical High School, Barack Obama inspiration to kids, Obama speaking, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester Technical High School graduation 2014 | Leave a Comment »
As the Boston Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens in game seven of the semi-finals on the road to the Stanley Cup, Suzanne Strempek Shea consoled herself with memories of better Bruin days, including those she knew as a kid, when she fell in love with hockey during the reign of Bobby Orr. Here’s one of those memories.
Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of ten books, including the newly released “This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both.” www.suzannestrempekshea.com
Love on ice … at age 13
by Suzanne Strempek Shea
My mother flung out her arm and knocked me back to the sidewalk. The big blue car that I’d almost stepped in front of rolled smoothly past us and down Causeway Street.
We’d traveled so far and I’d waited so long for this day, my mother reminded me. We were almost in the door of the Boston Garden and now I was going to get myself killed.
“But that was Bobby Orr!”
I was 13 years old an absolute nut for the Boston Bruins.
This was 1972, two years after the team had won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1941, and one year after its unsuccessful defense of it. But I was no fair-weather fan. I’d long before caught the bug from my father, who grew up playing hockey on the Chicopee River that marked the end of his dead-end Chicopee Falls street. He dated my mother at Springfield Indians games in the Coliseum, where team owner and former Bruin great Eddie
Shore regularly stalked around, shining a flashlight in the face of fans brazen enough to put their feet up on the chairs in front of them.
Winter nights, I’d fall asleep listening to our radio fuzzily picking up the Bruins games on Boston’s WBZ. In time, we purchased and hooked up in our attic a huge television antenna that was shaped like an arrow and pointed in the general direction of the other end of the state, and Boston. With the dawn of cable, we got our first clear and regular pictures of the Boston Bruins in action. My passion shifted into full gear. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Bruins, Crush on Bobby Orr, Love on Ice, Suzanne Strempek Shea | 1 Comment »
Now updated to include pictures from our recent sold-out performances in LA, our new website tells the ongoing story of our show. Two Girls Go for the Gold– keep updated on forthcoming 2014/2015 performances and watch our Highlights reel.
READ REVIEW QUOTES ABOUT THE ROCK OPERA:
Read more on our Press & Reviews page!
“Brilliant …one of the most exciting spectacles I have ever seen …Remarkable“
Steve Almond, WGBH Boston
“Absurdly FUNNY… surprisingly POIGNANT moments amidst the comedy and a ROUSING SOUNDTRACK“
Boston Phoenix (also printed in Weekly Digg)
“Glitter, spandex and rock anthems… Searle and Director Janet Roston don’t just play the story for laughs; both Tonya and Nancy are portrayed as somewhat sympathetic… Kristen Lee Sergent is the spitting image of Kerrigan, and petite Darcie Champagne comes pretty close to Harding… Sergeant boasts a sweet, operatic soprano with a lot of power up top, and Champagne, also a fine singer, belts out Tonya’s music with accuracy and energy.”
IceNetwork.com (national figure skating website)
“Knee whacking as opera; this is irresistible“
Bill Littlefield, NPR
“SEX AND SPORTS AND ROCK N’ ROLL… About the only thing that could have mae the 1994 Olympics any more tailor-made for the media would have been a classic rock soundtrack. Now it has one.”
“An explosive cabaret of over-the-top rock tunes sung with operatic glass-shattering intensity and accompanied by off-the-wall dance numbers. Not to mention, a storyline so melodramatic, duplicitous, and droll, It’s downright Shakespearean. I’ll never look at rock ‘n’ roll, theatre, or figure skating the same way again.”
-Will Barry, The Noise
(photo: Barry Weiss)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Elizabeth Searle, Michael Teoli, Tonya & Nancy rock opera, Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera, Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera performances, Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera reviews, Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera website, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan | 1 Comment »
Are we about to start Hatha-hating Jennifer Lawrence? a canny new article on Huffpost asks.
I hope not. ‘Hatha-hating’ has prompted many a head-scratching think-piece, including on this blog. The fierceness of the phenom puzzled me. As the hate spotlight possibly swings toward J-Law, I wonder: is it a coincidence that she, like Anne Hathaway the year of her own Oscar win, recently cut her famous hair?
Even before J-Law was named in the hate-fray, I wondered if somehow Anne Hathaway’s short haircut had something to do with why the lovely and talented– if occasionally disingenuous and overemotional– Hathaway has inspired such Tweet-fueled hatred that her name has now been blended with the h-word– and not just as a hashtag.
Hathaway is often knocked for being stagey in her displays of emotion– and her short haircut emphasizes her ultra-expressive face with its generous actressy features. A striking look, and one that bucks the look-a-like trend of long silky extension-enhanced locks.
So why IS hate-talk starting up about the famously likable and relatable J-Law– who this past year did have her own long locks sheared? Think about it. Anne Hathaway was popular star for years, and even seemed to survive her Oscar-host mis-fire whilst she sported flowing brown locks. But when she chopped her hair, initially for her Oscar-winning Les Miz. star turn, her star-power began short-circuiting. By her Oscar night, Hatha-haters were in full-throated attack. Hathaway has chosen to keep her dark hair clipped in gamin-style.
Now as the first whispers begin that J-Law herself may be stumbling– or fake-stumbling, as some detractors would have it– into Hatha-hate-land, is her new short ‘do’ a factor? J-Law’s pixie hairstyle looks fetching to me. But does it make any difference whether short hair is flattering or not? Or whether the ‘long locks’ favored by Hollywood starlets are so often blatantly fake extensions?
Jennifer Aniston recently dared to bob her blonde hair but the backlash and deliberately unflattering photos were so intense she quickly back-pedaled and appeared more recently with mira-grown lavish hair. Should Jen-Law follow the older Jennifer’s lead and grow back her mane ASAP? Are these stars or their ‘haters’ the ones who should have their heads examined?
(photos: dailyhit.com, eonline.com, wiki.com, GoogleImages)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Anne Hathaway, Hatha-hating & hair, Hathahaters & short hair, Hathahating J-Law, Hathaway hair, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence short hair | 1 Comment »
An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has written two feature films: WONDER DRUG, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation script at the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab; and RESISTANCE, a script accepted into the exclusive Squaw Valley Screenwriters Program. Caitlin is also partnering on writing/creating the TV series PASS/FAIL with Jim Forbes, a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent and narrator; and writing/creating the TV series FREE SKATE with choreographer Michael Masionis attached. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school.
For more information, please visit her IMDb profile, official Facebook page, and officialTwitter page.
At the news that NIKKI SIXX’s Motley Crue is retiring following their 2014 tour, we salute an immortal Rocker by reprinting this tribute:
“Nikki Sixx: From Bad Boy to Good Man” by Caitlin McCarthy
With so much focus on cads these days, I thought it was time to highlight the bad boys who became good men.
My favorite example is Nikki Sixx. As many of you know from my previous blog posts here, I attended numerous concerts at the Worcester Centrum growing up.
I made a point of seeing all my favorite bands in the ‘80s, with only one excep exception: Motley Crue.
It takes a lot to intimidate me, but in the ‘80s, Motley Crue did just that. Like Lord Byron, they were mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Sex, drugs, and violence followed them wherever they went. Just read the group’s autobiography “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band” and Nikki’s memoir “The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star.”
Motley Crue attracted a “motley” crowd to their concerts back then. As a preppy, my bob and clothing got the stink eye from Poison fans. I feared Motley fans wouldn’t limit themselves to just dirty looks. I honestly believed they’d do much worse to me, egged on by the wild energy of the show.
So I settled for watching Motley Crue on MTV, zeroing in on Nikki Sixx. Whenever he was interviewed by a VJ (remember them?), I paid attention. Even though Nikki was in the throes of a horrific drug addiction at the time, and living the life of a rock star in the worst possible sense, he struck me as a decent guy at heart. His lifestyle choices didn’t diminish his musical ability. (Nikki is Motley Crue’s bassist and main songwriter.) He also came across as a smart businessman. He was (and still is) a natural, a true star.
Once Nikki freed himself from drugs around the 21st Century, he became an author, fashion designer, photographer, and founder of additional bands (58 and Sixx:AM). Nikki made history as the first rock star ever to testify on Capital Hill before members of Congress on addiction. Nikki even branched out into charity. He’s not someone who throws money at problems. He’s hands-on with his efforts. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Caitlin McCarthy, Motley Crue, Motley Crue retiring, Nikki Sixx, Nikki Sixx Good Man, Nikki Sixx retiring Motley Crue | Leave a Comment »
The Best Moment of Ellen Degeneres’s genial but uneven Oscar Host turn was her celebrated Celebrity Selfie shot.
And big congrats to our own blog fave Caitlin McCarthy for appearing in a Tweet shot of her own onscreen at the Oscar’s.
But antic Tweet-crashing aside, many of Ellen D’s playful ‘talk show’ techniques fell flat. The Oscar’s aren’t a Pizza Party and aren’t even a Golden Globe style cocktail party (which may be why Golden Girls Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have allegedly refused to take on the more staid Oscar).
Ellen’s Pizza prank went on too long and needed more napkins. Matthew McConaughey’s wife visibly stiffened as a greasy drippy pizza slice neared her lovely pale-pink designer gown. Harrison Ford lifted his slice with the game bewilderment of a Dad at a kiddie party.
Ellen D’s style works perfectly for the loose relaxed anything-goes atmosphere of a Daytime Talk Show. Similarly, David Letterman– who famously flopped at hosting the Oscars– found his Late Nite style monologue floundering with the uptight Oscar crowd. The Oscar’s producers need to embrace the formal white-tie affair that Oscar really is and stop trying to turn it into Comedy Central.
Having been privileged to attend the last two Tony Awards shows in person, cheering on the producing group Broadway Consortium, my Nominee for next year’s Oscar Host would be the multi-talented comic yet classy Neil Patrick Harris. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Caitlin McCarthy, Ellen Degeneres as Oscar Host, Neil Patrick Harris, Neil Patrick Harris should host Oscars in 2015, Oscar 2014 review, Oscar selfie shot | Leave a Comment »