Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Theatre in Paris, Texas -- alive and LES MIS!

I haven't talked about theatre in a long time so you'll be glad to know that theatre in Lamar County is alive and well.  There are some stellar productions coming to Paris in many venues this fall.   We are dreaming a bit big.  But that is ok.  I mean, check out this video -- it isn't theatre, but is still performing art (in a BIG way!).  It shows why we can dream big.  It starts with just one person with a dream and goes from there.

One person can dream big, and others can follow, and it can be magical and inspiring.
We live in a very artistic, talented area, it's somewhat our niche!  Sometimes, the talent goes away and lives big, and sometimes the talent comes to live here and act with / teach the rest of us (for which we are thankful).  I just got through reading this awesome little book about dreaming big and the performance arts by home grown boy Jay Hunter Morris, a real life opera singer.

I highly recommend it to all you dreamers out there who love a good laugh, too. Congrats on your Opera career Jay, and thank you for writing about your experiences.  [Note for book snobs out there: there is one little editorial issue that is going to make you a bit crazy if you are an elipses purist, but trust me it all works out in the end, don't let that drive you away.  Now Jay, you can feel free to come critique me anytime, I promise I give plenty of opportunity for it].

So, how is Paris dreaming big this fall with theatre?  Well, first comes Paris Junior College, who is going back to the days of incorporating the community into their productions.  On November 14 through 17 -- ONE WEEKEND ONLY, including two matinees, PJC is producing what many believe to be the best musical of our time:

 I can't help it, I love this story and the musical.  I've written a number of times about it if you are interested, (but come right back!!).  

My Year with Les Mis 

Some Things You Need to Know About Les Mis -- Jean Valjean and the Bishop 

More Les Mis Facts -- Fantine 

P.S. Some Real Les Mis, Paris Texas Style

I've loved it for a long time, but am really enjoying seeing the story come alive here at home with a few adults and a crew of "the next generation" at PJC, whether they are singing about life and death rebellion, first love, loss and heartache, or some of the baudier fun songs.  

There is a reason that Les Mis is still popular today, and I think Tolstoy summed it up himself:

So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artifically creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century -- the degredation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack  of light -- are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world -- in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of "Les Miserables" cannot fail to be of use.  


Thank you PJC for dreaming big, so that we can all know and be reminded of this incredible story of grace.  The music -- the story -- belongs to the people, including those of Paris, Texas.  It will be worth your time to go see it, and, don't tell them I said it, but there are some Jay Hunter Morris (Male & Female!) potentials among this crew! 

Here are the details:

November 14-16 at 7.30 pm

November 16 & 17 at 2:30 pm

Tickets are $10.00 general admission & Free to PJC Students, Faculty, and Staff with ID.

Tickets can now be reserved by emailing name, date of show, and number of tickets to  Also, check out the Facebook page link above for fun pics and rehearsal moments.

After that, North Lamar gets a turn with ANYTHING GOES (end of November).  Yes, they have had try outs and are actively rehearsing, and it is going to be fun!  (Contact North Lamar for tickets!)

And then, PCT brings it home with ANNIE (in December).   You can already purchase tickets at plus, you should check out their Facebook page (link above) for fun rehearsal pics and details on more upcoming events, such as the HAUNTED THEATRE this weekend and Halloween, and Auditions for Butterflies are Free.  

Can't wait to see you there.  Thank you to all of these incredible performing arts folks who bring stories alive to us.  Live Theatre changes lives! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Like mother, like daughter

My teen's picks at the bookstore. :) :) She said:  "OMG!  I'm you!"  :) :) 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Revisit a Western Masterpiece -- and the Audio is Pitch Perfect!

Lonesome Dove  (Part 1 of 3)Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even better than before, completely believable, and once you get into it you can't put it down.  This is McMurty's masterpiece, and it a masterpiece of the west, but even bigger than that.  If you haven't read it in a while, pick it up, you'll be surprised.  (The audio version is just tops, you forget that you are being read to and believe you are hearing these folks in real life.)  If you have never read it, read it.  I am fearful that books like these won't ever be written again for two reasons, which really boils down to one reason in the end: pure economics.  First, we -- the readers, are afraid of long books.  We just won't pick them up anymore.  I know it is certainly a struggle for me, but then I am never sorry when I do so I still do it.  Second, due to the first, publishers won't pick them up either.  What a loss!  But at least we have this book.

Lonesome Dove is about men and women that are so believable, wonderful and flawed and normal, good and bad and in between.  Captains Augustus McCray and Woodrow Call own a "ranch" down in South Texas.  Because of their former partner, Jake Spoon, they go on a cattle drive, in order to be the first cowboys to take cattle into Montana.  So many things happen that hinge on Jake Spoon's actions, so many lives changed, but this was life back then, and it is life as I have experienced it.  Lonesome Dove gives you all that you would expect from a cattle drive, but so much more.  You care about the women and the men, and even the animals that are a part of the story.  You laugh and you cry. And you finish it and wonder at the fact that these are the people that you have known and loved in Texas, they are still here and living.

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