Dec 19, 2011

Animals, Animals, Animals!

Siameses Bípedos y Cuadrúpedos (Biped and Quadruped Siamese cats),
xylography, Jessica Freyre-Cuebas

A 15-piece exhibit in the Manley Gallery called “Fantastic Menagerie” by Puerto Rican artist Jessica Freyre-Cuebas draws inspiration from works as varied as Socrates to Carl Jung, Jorge Luis Borges to Victor Hugo to create a world where animals are personified to exhibit human emotions. “Each [animal] disguises expressions of the human temperament; Emotions and frames of mind that are natural parts of the drama or tragicomedy of man/woman’s social coexistence,” said Freye-Cuebas.

Jessica Freyre-Cuebas includes giraffes, cats, pelicans, pigs and other creatures showing excitement, fear, and anger in her black and white wood-cuts and linographs on display now.

The individuality of each animal in "Fantastic Menagerie" is just as unique as the characters in the FAC Theatre's production of A Year with Frog & Toad. Featuring over 8 various animals, each character in A Year with Frog & Toad has a distinct personality trait that is highlighted and brough to life by the actors. Take Snail for example, played by Jesse Havea, who is determined and on a time-sensitive mission, yet he can only move so fast (he is a snail, after all). Then there are the mischievious Squirrels, played by Eryn Carman and Lacey Cannell, who take great joy in making a mess with leaves.

Come over to the FAC to check out Freyre-Cuebas' animals! What do you they seem to be communicating to you?

Dec 14, 2011

Free Family Adventure Day at the Citadel Mall this Sat, Dec 17!

Holiday Family Adventure Day
Sat. Dec 17, 2011 | 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Imagination Space, 2nd floor of Citadel Mall
Free and open to the public

With the official start of winter less than a week away, we are excited to team up again with Imagination Celebration and offer a warm place to spend the afternoon exploring your creativity with winter holiday inspired activities—all for free! Join us in some crafty projects that include constructing a holiday card with a winter landscape and making colorful beads from paper. Our BemisSchool of Art instructors Nancy Fraser-Coco and Sara Rashkin will spend the day leading various art projects, and will be able to provide hands-on help and answer any questions. The Imagination Celebration staff has also planned some special holiday themed activities that are sure to add more fun to the day’s festivities. Imagination Celebration and the FAC are committed to creating artistic and inspiring experiences that strengthen and unite our community, so we hope to see you and your family and friends this weekend!

This Saturday’s Family Adventure Day will take place in the Imagination Space located on the second floor of the Citadel Mall in the Burlington Coat Factory wing from 12 noon to 2 pm.

Dec 5, 2011

Holiday Wine Recommendations from Coaltrain's Jim Little

Jim Little is one of those guys who has lived a charmed life. As co-owner of Coaltrain Wine and Spirits he has traveled to 60 countries, tasting wine in some of the world’s most storied wineries in France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, and all over America. Jim works closely with the FAC to plan the Wine Festival each year, so we asked him for his holiday wine recommendations. Here's Jim's on the best wine picks for the season:
On the heels of last year’s Wine Festival, where we poured 130 different Spanish wines at the Grand Tasting, Spanish wines are still one of the hottest things we sell. They’re reasonably priced; they’re beautiful. They combine the Old World with the New World. They’re wonderful.  
With the holidays coming up, we also love sparkling wines and true champagnes. The true growers champagnes, the ones where you don’t see the Veuve Clicquot name on it, the Mumms name on it. What we love is the true grower champagnes, where they’re raising the fruit, making the wines themselves and the price of the champagnes is about $20-$25 less per bottle than the very expensive Veuve Clicquot, because they’re not spending all their money on advertising dollars and propaganda and promotion. They’re spending their money on putting a great product into a bottle, so that’s a wonderful way to go as well. Around the holidays, how can you go wrong with great sparkling wines.
Save the date for Wine Fest 2012: March 9-10. And, if you like wine events, coming up this Thursday is Coaltrain's annual Christmas Sale Tasting.

This eagerly awaited, annual fete will take place at The Warehouse Restaurant on Thursday, December 8th from 6-8:30pm. The tariff per taster is $35, paid in advance. Designated drivers may attend for $15. There will be scores of wine from all over the world: red, white, sparkling, dessert; and a unique selection of craft beers. The Warehouse will provide hors d’oeuvres to enhance the wine and beer, and the Alan Joseph Trio will entertain us throughout the evening. Don’t miss this fabulous event! Please stop by the store to purchase your tickets or buy them over the phone at 475-9700.

Dec 4, 2011

Live Tweets from A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD talkback

Left to right: Eryn Carman, Jesse Havea, Lacey Connell,
Jason Lythgoe, Drew Frady, and Director Scott RC Levy 
Hi! If you missed the talkback with director Scott RC Levy and the cast, you can catch up here. The cast is: Jason Lythgoe (Frog), Drew Frady (Toad), and the talented threesome of Eryn Carman, Lacey Connell, and Jesse Havea (who play everyone else).

FineArtsCenter4:32pm via HootSuite
#AYearWithFrogAndToad was great! Congrats to the cast and crew on a fabulous opening weekend! #Colorado #theatre
FineArtsCenter4:23pm via HootSuite
Audience comment:#AYearWithFrogAndToadjazz era costuming is great because it leaves so much (of the animal characters) to the imagination!
FineArtsCenter4:18pm via HootSuite
Q. How come the actors aren't dressed as animals? A.@SRCLevy found human friends w rakes and songs more plausible.#AYearWithFrogAndToad
FineArtsCenter4:16pm via HootSuite
Q. Is it easier w a small cast? A. Small cast means ”you can't hide!” Everyone counts.#AYearWithFrogAndToad
FineArtsCenter4:12pm via HootSuite
Drew Frady (Toad) says that#AYearWithFrogAndToad rehearsals really changed for actors when the floor got painted.#setdesign
FineArtsCenter4:10pm via HootSuite
Q. What do you do w set when#AYearWithFrogAndToad is over? A. @SRCLevy: We try to recycle it into other shows
FineArtsCenter4:07pm via HootSuite
About 20 of Arnold Lobel's individual stories represented in #AYearWithFrogAndToad!
FineArtsCenter4:05pm via HootSuite
Q. How did you get into musical there? A. Cast fell in love w performance as young people, took lessons/classes #AYearWithFrogAndToad
FineArtsCenter4:03pm via HootSuite
Q. How was it having the band right on stage? A. #ErynCarman Great! You can always hear them! #AYearWithFrogAndToad
FineArtsCenter4:02pm via HootSuite
Q. How do you deal w all the costume changes? A. Practice! & almost double number of crew members to cast.#AYearWithFrogAndToad
FineArtsCenter4:00pm via HootSuite
Q. Did you study frogs and toads for#AYearWithFrogAndToad ? A. book floating around backstage re: differences between frogs & toads.
FineArtsCenter3:58pm via HootSuite
Q. Are all the actors local? A. Most are regional, but @TokenTong (Jesse Havea) is from #NYC.
FineArtsCenter3:57pm via HootSuite
Kid Q. Is #AYearWithFrogAndToad real? @SRCLevy answers yes, it's a real musical. And the cookies are real too!

Dec 2, 2011

A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD: Opening Night!

Jesse Havea as Snail. Costume and Scenic Design by Lex Liang. Photo by Nathan Willers

Well it's true folks... OPENING NIGHT is here! 

At last nights preview,  while SNAIL (me)  was unhurriedly running off stage after finally delivering the important letter that FROG wrote to TOAD a little boy in the audience yelled, "You can do it! Go faster Snail! Come on!" - I couldn't stop laughing! 

I remember seeing my first show, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA National Tour in the 5th grade at ASU's Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, Arizona. The show changed my life. I remember it like it was yesterday... when the Phantom (Rick Hilsabeck) started singing "Music of the Night" - I knew that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell incredible stories through performing. 

To this day... every time I open a show I think of little 5th grade me. The excitement I had before seeing my first show and how it affected me in a huge way. TONIGHT! I will do the same, but it means a lot more… for a lot of children this will be their first theatrical experience. There will probably be a little me sitting in the audience and he'll most likely get the same feeling that I got when I saw my first show. I look forward to giving back and I can't wait to share the magic of theatre with the audiences of Colorado Springs! 

See you at the theatre! 

-Jesse Havea (the Snail with the mail)