Posted on Dec 25th, 2012 by Allison (Bali, Family/Friends, Music / Entertainment, Travel)

Spending the holidays in Bali with all my progeny… we wrote this little ditty on our drive home from White Sands Beach yesterday (our Christmas day). Enjoy!

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Posted on May 27th, 2012 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Reviews/Recommendations)

Normally a crime drama girl (NCIS, Criminal Minds, the Mentalist, In Plain Sight) with a little humor thrown in (Psych) or SciFi (waiting for a new Dr. Who season…) I have a new favorite TV show… a musical drama called SMASH!

I know I’m a bit late to the game here, since the season ended a couple of weeks ago. But I recorded it on my dvr and just finished watching the last episode and wow – love this show!

Premise is about the writing, producing, casting and creating of a new Broadway musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. Fantastic cast, interesting characters, fabulous music – heroes, villains, starlets… it’s got it all. I can’t wait til next season to begin as they take the new show to Broadway.

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Posted on Apr 28th, 2012 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Reminiscing, Reviews/Recommendations)

My friend, Paul, wrote a blog post recently of how he wastes spends his time playing games on his iPad.

It got me thinking… Growing up, I loved our family game nights: Sorry, Pit, Uno and, of course, Nertz. We played Nertz pretty fast at our house, but Nertz at Michelle’s was a serious, frenzied, “take no prisoners” affair.

Then came Scrabble, Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary. And eventually computer games like the classic Kings Quest.

Loved them all…
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Posted on Dec 7th, 2011 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Reminiscing, Reviews/Recommendations)

My first crush...  Jonny QuestI’ve had a few (sometimes inexplicable) celebrity crushes over the course of my life…. mostly in my youth.

Jonny Quest (yes, the cartoon) was the first. He was followed by a string of mostly musicians… teen heart throbs like Davy Jones, Donny Osmond and David Cassidy, etc.
My 3 crushes

Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing – but admit it… you loved them too, or someone just like them in your own music era. (FYI, I fell for musicians in real-life, too…)

Anyway, during the 80s I developed a celebrity crush on Richard Page, lead singer/songwriter from the band Mr. Mister.
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Posted on Jul 13th, 2011 by Allison (Music / Entertainment)

Virtually every morning for the past 2 weeks, I have awakened with one (or more) of the songs from Book of Mormon, the musical, playing in my head. Brandon had purchased the cd, and we listened to it over and over again while I was in Costa Rica.

The songs are so catchy that they just stick in your head and won’t go away. But that’s ok, because I simply love the soundtrack.

Since it was written by the brilliantly funny South Park boys (who refer to this musical as their love-letter to Mormonism), and the musical genius Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) I expected some profanity and crudeness. They have built their career on crudeness and pushing the envelope, and I can handle most of what they throw out on South Park. But three of these numbers are a bit too much for me and I have them “unchecked” in iTunes so they don’t play. Most songs, however, are simply delightful – catchy, fun, clever, brilliant or just plain silly.

If you love musicals you really need to listen to a few of these songs. Even if… no, especially if you’re Mormon (with a sense of humor), since you’ll get all the inside jokes. Some of the best musical theater music I’ve ever heard.

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Posted on May 6th, 2011 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Whatever)

I’m really and truly almost finished with my final Costa Rica post. Just so many photos to go through (don’t worry, I won’t post them all).

But in the meantime, I have a question.

Who the hell are the Kardashians and why should I care???

I keep hearing and reading about “The Kardashians” and see them on tv advertisements.

Can someone please fill me on just who they are and why I (or anyone) should care? Why they are the recipients of so much attention?

And are there other “celebrities” or current public figures out there that have you as befuddled as the Kardashians have me?

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Each year, for the past several years, Kristin has hosted/put on an interactive murder mystery for her kids and their friends.

This weekend was the 2010 Murder Mystery – Til Death Do Us Part…set at a Medieval wedding event.

Something you should know about Kristin is when she puts on an event, she goes all the way. It’s not just a party – it’s a production!

And these are no murder mysteries you can buy in a box – no, those don’t meet her standards. Instead, she writes them from scratch.

I am a “creative consultant” on the projects, suggesting ideas for plot lines, characters, twists and turns, etc. I help with some editing/proof-reading and occasionally assist with a bit of writing.

But Kristin does all the heavy lifting – writing each character’s story, organizing, making sure each character has enough to do and have all the items they need to accomplish their goals – and that all the different plot lines fit together.

I don’t know how many spreadsheets and other documents she has to create to keep track of it all. I’m a bit in awe of all that goes into putting one of these things together. I think Kristin has a special gift for it.

It’s a huge job. HUGE.

And takes a particularly creative and organized mind to pull it off – not to mention a bit of a budget. I think she said she printed over 506 index cards for this particular mystery (the biggest one she’s done yet) in addition to other documents and necessary items.

She’s very clever. I was particularly fond of the Bible (a main theme of this mystery – lots of bibles with things hidden inside) which contained scripture from the Book of Armaments. Lots of clever bits like that.

“…And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats…”

She has spent the last 8+ weeks on the most recent murder mystery – literally, a full time (unpaid) job.

Although I have helped in the development of previous mysteries, this is the first event I have actually been able to attend (since she now lives only 90 minutes away). And even though I know she goes full out on anything she does, I was not prepared for what I discovered upon my arrival.

I was completely blown away.

  • All major main-floor furniture was being moved out of the house and into the garage. This includes all the tables, office desks, giant big screen tv, etc. With 28 kids in the house, every square foot was needed.
  • Her house was transformed into a castle! The white walls now appeared to be made of stone, doorways became staircases, torches and stained glass windows on the walls. The backyard was now a graveyard.
  • All 28 characters (plus two ‘oracles’ – Kristin and I) each had their own professional packets of information – including their character sheets, abilities, goals, secrets, trivia, and items in their possession.
  • Craig spent an entire day cooking to create a delicious feast for the Medieval wedding, and the entire night serving it.

Friday and Saturday were spent in these preparations, and the kids began arriving Saturday evening. And what an awesome group they were. Most took their costuming very seriously – they looked fabulous.

Even though most of them had never attended an interactive murder mystery (and were, therefore, completely confused for the first hour) – got into their characters and had a great time. They are not scripted – each character can do what they want with their part, so we never know how the evening will end. Makes for great fun.

Jousting while riding the stick ponies was a big hit, there were several attempted murders, three deaths, two coronations and five weddings!

So fun to see the creative ways the kids played their characters and created alliances and plotted against each other.

My character was Mirela the gypsy. I had a fabulous costume and spoke with a convincing Romanian accent.

My job was to help Kristin manage things, share my “visions” – and photograph the event… “capture their images with my magical contraption, provided to me the wizard”.

Anyway, it was an impressive and exciting evening…. and exhausting. We all slept til nearly noon today!

And then started brainstorming on the plot for the 2011 mystery – it’s going to be good! 🙂

If you ever get an opportunity to attend one of Kristin’s murder mysteries – BE THERE!

It’s an experience you’ll not forget.

I really think she should sell these… or perhaps even put them on as a paid organizer/hostess. So hire her for your next party! (and offer her a lot of money)

All hail Kristin – the Mistress of Murder!

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Posted on Feb 5th, 2010 by Allison (Family/Friends, Music / Entertainment)

Ashley RaeMy daughter can sing.

No, I mean she can REALLY sing.

She performed in musicals in Jr. & High School – but since getting married hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to do so.

Her husband, Justin, is very passionate about music – plays bass and has been in several bands. He and Austin (along with other players who seem to come and go) are talented musicians who formed a band named Vicious Starfish a couple of years ago.  **They have recently renamed themselves The Black Arrows

Last summer they were listening to their recordings and realized they needed a new vocalist if they were going to take their music to the next level – leaving Austin to focus on songwriting rather than singing.

Ashley had done a little back up singing on some of their recordings in the past, so they asked her to audition… and were blown away, of course. (I’m her mother, I can brag)

So Ashley Rae is the new frontwoman for The Black Arrows.

Justin, Ashley & Austin - Viscious StarfishThey’ve been rehearsing and in the studio for months – and finally have a couple of tracks for their new album ready to be heard.

I think Austin is a very talented songwriter and I’m really enjoying their music.

Their first gig with Ashley as vocalist will be April 23rd at Liquid Joe’s in Salt Lake City. I wish I could be there!


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You can also listen and follow Vicious Starfish (now The Black Arrows) on FaceBook and MySpace

So what do you think?

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Posted on Jan 8th, 2010 by Allison (Music / Entertainment)

Even if you’re not a fan of opera, operetta or classical singing, I hope you’ll enjoy this hysterical (and beautiful) rendition of Glitter and Be Gay from the operetta “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein. It’s a very difficult piece to sing, and is performed by the adorable Kristin Chenoweth, who originated the role of Glinda the Good witch in Wicked. She is an amazing coloratura soprano with a gift for comedy. This has to be one of my all time favorite musical theatre/operetta performances. Watch it while you can (before it gets removed from YouTube again).

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Posted on Nov 26th, 2009 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Reviews/Recommendations)

Today I went to see the movie The Blindside with Sandra Bullock. Here is my brief review:

It’s very, very good – even if you’re not a fan of football.

Go see it.

The end.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

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