Happy Monday! The temperatures are doing jumping-jacks in North Texas this week–up/down/up/down–and I’m doing my best to stay healthy for performances this coming weekend of KURVES, THE MUSICAL. This is the original show Frank Steele and I wrote and produced last March, back by popular demand October 11, 12, and 13 at the Rialto. Yes, in another life I sing and “act sparkly” for fun and profit *s* and I’ve even included a short video of the awesome actors singing a few of the original songs. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by–you can learn more about the show here.
On the writing front, I’m delighted that my swerves into fiction LOST AND FOUND has struck a chord with readers and already received lots of flattering reviews. You’ve made this writer’s “furry” dreams come true! I’m still discussing the book for another week over at the DogRead virtual book club so I hope you’ll join the conversation–it’s free, come-and-go, and you can even lurk if you wish (and maybe even find out some super-secret background about the book). There’s also still time to get your name in on the drawing for three free autographed copies.
Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. I have bunch more–but the Verizon gremlins are getting on my nerves and won’t let me access my saved email. Color me less-than-impressed and verging on fed-up-entirely! If I can get at the other awesome links later, I’ll update the post as I can.
Cat Writers’ Conference November 1, 2, 3 and it’s our 20th anniversary! Yes, I’ll be speaking. *s* and it’s not just furry writing, it applies to all writers
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Local playwrights Amy Shojai and Frank Steele announce the revival cast of KURVES, THE MUSICAL. This family friendly show returns by popular demand to The Rialto Theater in Denison, Texas in mid-October.
Eight quirky characters, misfits all, become trapped inside MAXINE’S, a woman’s gym in Kurves, Texas. Despite numerous failed attempts to find happiness and true love, they finally succeed—but in unexpected ways.
The ensemble cast remains onstage the entire show. KURVES features laugh out loud dialogue, and twelve original songs—from ballads to blues, gospel to 40s-style numbers—complete with full orchestration.
Frank Steele directs the show and plays the cross-dressing Maxine/Max who owns the women’s gym and sings the title song. He has appeared in many TV and radio commercials, movies and TV shows including DALLAS. He taught drama for twenty-seven years and has appeared in over fifty plays as an actor or professional musician.
Amy Shojai directs the music and plays Celia, the bling-wearing visitor who sings, “Dreams For Sale.” Shojai is a local author with 26 published pet books, and has a performance degree in music and theater. She has appeared in several dozen plays in six states, most recently as Golde in Fiddler On The Roof, and has made countless TV and radio appearances both locally and nationally, including CNN and Animal Planet.
Nikki Silva is cast as the many-times-married Mabel, director of a soup kitchen, and sings the rousing gospel number, “Suck It Up, Sweetheart.” Silva is a theatre director and debate teacher at Denison High School. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a degree in drama, and is currently working on her Master of Arts degree in directing. Nikki has been singing and performing since she was five years old in musical theatre and country music opries, jamborees, and contests around the state. She has directed, co-directed, and/or performed in over 45 productions during her career, co-writing and touring an original musical in 2001. She wishes to thank the KURVES cast for inviting her in to their little family and being so helpful, kind, and encouraging.
Theresa Littlefield is cast as mousy poetry teacher Jane who transforms from plain-to-sparkling in the duet “Poetry & Jazz.” Theresa has performed in numerous college, church, and community productions. She is an active member of the First United Methodist Church choir and handbell choir. She often plays saxophone for high school plays and church programs. She is a counselor at Fairview Elementary in Sherman.
Hilary Gregory-Allen is cast as newlywed Ronnie, and sings about her insecurities in the plaintive song, “The Picture.” Gregory-Allen majored in Theatre at Austin College and attended the Stella Adler Summer Conservatory. She most recently performed as Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, and has appeared in leading and featured roles: as Viola in Twelfth Night, Kolenkhov in You Can’t Take it With You, and Ophelia in Hamlet. She also directed The Zoo Story and stage managed Waiting for Godot. She would like to thank her family and friends for all of their tireless support. She plans to pursue a career in theatre.
Johnny Flowers is the inept but lovable movie-quoting robber Fingers who laments his lack of finesse and brings down the house in the song, “Silver Screen Blues.” Johnny has been active in theater for the past 30 years. Most recently he delighted audiences in productions of The Odd Couple, Arsenic & Old Lace, and Smoke On the Mountain III. Johnny is also involved in the Music Ministry at Parkside Baptist Church in Denison. He is a graduate of Grayson County College and works at the Sherman Kroger’s Store.
Joe Maglio plays ladies’ man Boots and sings, “You’re The Chick For Me.” He was one of the original dancers on American Bandstand and will show off smooth moves in KURVES. He attended Lon Morris School of Drama and worked for eleven years as technical director at Finley Playhouse. He graduated from Southeaster School of Theatre in 1988, moved to Hollywood and was active with Group Repertory Theatre in North Hollywood. Joe is a member of the Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and served on the nominating committee for the SAG awards. Joe most recently booked a role in the feature film Redwing starring Bill Paxton and Glen Powell, in which he plays Bill’s Mexican foreman “Louis.”
Gil Nelson plays Ronnie’s husband, Troy Chadwick Noonan IV, who literally holds the key to MAXINE’S and ties up all loose ends in the song, “Life Happens.” Gil Nelson was a professional radio broadcaster for 25 years and has spent over 25 years acting in leading rolls in Community Theater productions such as The Odd Couple, Moonlight and Magnolias, 12 Angry Men and The Nerd just to name a few. He is also a talented playwright and in 2011 partnered with Gene Lenore to write the musical, The Lone Star Truck Stop, produced in cooperation with the Grayson College Theater Department. He is employed part time with Workforce Solutions Texoma, performing resume, interviewing and resource seminars.
Mickie Martin is stage manager. Rehearsal space is courtesy of Leah, Rachel and Rebekah Martin. The Martin family has lent their considerable talent both onstage and off with the Sherman Community Players and Theatricks for many years.
KURVES, THE MUSICAL returns to The Rialto Theater in Denison, Texas at 8:00 pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday October 11, 12 and 13. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for kids (12 and under). For individual or group reservations call the Rialto at 903-465-SHOW. For reviews, song samples and pictures from the original production and to learn more about KURVES, THE MUSICAL here.
First off, I’ve added audio files to the KURVES, THE MUSICAL page (above) so folks can finally hear some of the songs.
Seren-kitty had her vet visit yesterday. She’s not a youngster any more and I’ve been worried about her health since she’s drinking/urinating more. I’ll have a full recap on Friday but wanted to thank everyone for the good wishes. It is NOT diabetes (whew!). It may be early kidney issues (her tests are ‘borderline’ and not yet in failure). We’re expecting Texas A & M results tomorrow or Thursday to let us know about thyroid function. Paws crossed that’s negative…
Some of y’all know that I’ve long aspired to write thrillers. Last Thursday, just before I headed out for the KWA Scene Conference, I heard from my editor at Who Dares Wins Publishing that they will publish my thriller LOST AND FOUND probably this fall (date tba). SNOOPY-DANCE-O-JOY!
Animal behaviorist September Day has 24 hours to find her autistic nephew and his service dog before he–and hundreds of other children–become victims of a deadly experimental autism treatment. And yes, there is “dog voice” as well as a highly-trained kitty, along with assorted quirky two-legged characters in the book.
To say I’m thrilled is an understatement. But today I also learned that I’ve been accepted as an ITW Debut Author class of 2012/2013. When I got that email I bawled. With happiness, of course. But that really upset the Magical-Dawg. Any tears upset him. And yes, the hero dog in the fiction came about by channeling my inner dog/cat. *s*
Anyway, I had to let y’all know my news. It’s been an “on top of the world” to “worry-icity” to “floating-again” sort of week. Sometimes you reach for, grab, and actually catch the brass ring.
It’s the back-to-school time of year, and that conjures up a mixed bag of memories. I loved being a student–yeah, I was a school nerd, and classes were pretty easy for me maybe cuz I took the “artsy” classes like writing, singing, and suchlike. I had mixed feelings about my parents being teachers, though. And lots of angst when for a short time I actually became a high school teacher. On Facebook my relationship with school would be “it’s complicated.”
Part of that is disappointment, I think. After study of music and acting I had every intention to take Broadway by storm. Ha! Then life happened. I met someone special, we fell in love, got married, and my “dream life” was no longer practical. That empty spot inside begged to be filled up with some kind of creativity. So I “made do” with writing. *snort*
[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”448″ caption=”My in-house editor, Seren, never holds back her opinion.”
Yep, I’m an accidental writer who actually made a career out of making do. I wonder how many of us end up with accidental careers?
The dreams we have early in life evolve as we grow and have obstacles and hard choices thrown in the path. Have you ever regretted a choice you made? Would you go back in time for a “do-over” if you had the chance? Are you satisfied with your life today? All those choices along the way–the doors opened or slammed shut, the “mistakes” that lead to other opportunities–for good or ill, they get us to this spot–HERE, NOW, where we are at this moment. A different choice 10 years ago, or even last week surely could lead to a different reality but who’s to say it would be better?
Today I head back over to the Denison High School–where I taught for that brief wonderful-awful-glorious-crazy period of time–for a rehearsal. I’ve been invited to perform in a fund-raiser “talent show” for the theater department this Saturday night. So what better choice than an original song from the new musical dramedy KURVES written with my co-author Frank Steele. Oh, it’s cast and will be presented in full in early February, stay tuned…
Wait a minute, what happened there? Yes, after all these years that drama-dream resurrected with a detour into accidental script/music writing. That’s some scary crappiocca, I gotta say! And guess what? The 8 characters angst over missed opportunities and whether to risk what they have for a do-over new chance at happiness.
Sort of gotz me a theme going, ya think?
A couple of decades ago I could have turned down that marriage proposal, headed to Noo Yawk and who knows what would have happened? I do know what would NOT have happened: 23 books, pet writing and behavior consults, teaching music, Seren-Kitty and Magical-Dawg, moving to Texas, meeting y’all–none of that would have happened.
So what about you? What do-over would you wish for? If you had a chance for a “do-over” would you take it?
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!