Monthly Archives: November 2013

I Can’t Drink You Away

So, I’ll admit it. I’m not the biggest Justin Timberlake fan. I was too old for the whole “boy band” thing. I have enjoyed his movies and his appearances on Saturday Night Live — it is obvious he has a sense of humor and is not afraid to look silly. But his music is not something I have ever paid that much attention to.

Until tonight.

For Peggy’s 50th birthday I took her to see Justin Timberlake at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here in Las Vegas. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. There were all the big showy numbers that you expect and they were great. Dude is a flat out sick dancer. And the effects and sound were incredible.

But what impressed me was a stripped down set that he did with the musicians in his band. He came out and sat down at the piano and sang a song by himself. Then he picked up a guitar and did a couple of more tunes with the other bandmates. It was phenomenal, and it was a level of musicianship I wasn’t expecting from a Mouseketeer.

I said earlier that we weren’t able to get good seats for the show. Then, about halfway through the show, the stage started moving above the crowd, and we actually ended up with fantastic seats for about forty minutes of the concert. It was a great idea and a great way to connect with the audience.

I’m a fan now. I think he is one of those entertainers who can do anything. Kind of a throwback to the entertainers of the past who were all expected to be able to sing, dance, act and relate — you know, entertainers. It will be very interesting to watch him as his career continues and see what he does. How do you choose when you can do anything? Maybe you just keep on doing it all.

It was a perfect way to celebrate Peggy’s milestone birthday. And for a person who married his mirror, my mirror staring back at me, it was perfect for me, too.

Dinner at MGM before the show.
Justin was cool and let me in without my suit and tie.

Big 5-0

Today is Peggy’s birthday!

“Jersey Boys” was incredible on Thursday night, and we saw Bill Cosby last night. He just sat in a chair in his Temple sweatshirt and talked for two hours. And we laughed for two hours. No production quality whatsoever, but still a great show.

This morning we got up and went to breakfast on the Miracle Mile. The weather is cool and perfect, so we ate outside. We got tickled because the couple next to us was obviously still out from last night. And highly flammable judging from the smell.

We will spend the day walking around the Strip and looking at all of the Christmas decorations. That is one of Peggy’s favorite things to do — Vegas hotels do the Christmas decoration thing right. And it makes sense, too. I mean, what says “celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior” better than gambling, drunken debauchery and overeating? Go Vegas!

Tonight is the real birthday present for Peggy, though. We are going to see Justin Timberlake in concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with 17,000 of our closest friends. I told her about it this morning while we were at breakfast and she is very excited. I am excited, too, but I am too cool to show it.

We didn’t get great seats, but just being in the arena and seeing it live will be a great time.

Sorry “Jersey Boys” and Bill Cosby, I got a different reaction when I told her where we were going tonight. Don’t take it personally.

Happy birthday breakfast, Peggy!

 

Celebrating in Las Vegas

Peggy and I try to be in Las Vegas every year, usually as close to her birthday as possible. This year we will be in Vegas on her birthday because we are celebrating her 50th birthday! That’s right — she is joining me as a half-centurian!

I have a big trip planned for her this year. We are scheduled to see a couple of shows and we will add more while we are there depending on what looks good to her. We are starting with “Jersey Boys” tonight at Paris. Paris has built a theater in their hotel to host Broadway plays, and this is the one currently in residence. It is a cool trend in Las Vegas right now with specific hotels opening theaters to host specific shows. “Jersey Boys” is one of our favorites, despite the posted sign outside the theater warning that the show contains “authentic New Jersey language.” It’s an accurate sign. It’s also a great show.

I have another surprise for Peggy while we are there, but I am not going to write about it beforehand so it will remain a surprise. Suffice it to say, this is going to be a fun trip!

We traveled to Las Vegas today on Thanksgiving and will stay through the weekend. It is cold in Las Vegas this week, so it will add some realism to seeing all of the Christmas decorations. Peggy is the wind beneath my wings, but there was actually a little snow beneath our wings as we flew into Vegas today.

I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The view on our way into Las Vegas

 

First Show

I have told you a little bit about Peggy’s “secret life” as a member of the cast of “Minnie Pause and the Hot Flashes.” After the death of one of our cast members earlier this year we were faced with the difficult task of finding a new cast member. Before Bette died she told us she wanted the show to continue, but we didn’t want to just find someone to play the character Bette had created. We wanted to find someone who could create her own character.

Pam and Steve were two of the first people we met when we moved to Katy sixteen years ago. Steve was actually the deacon who visited us after our first time attending the church we eventually joined, and he invited us to the Sunday School class that he taught with Pam. They are both excellent singers. Steve sings tenor with me in a gospel quartet, and Pam has been a soloist with the choir for many years.

We didn’t know if this was something Pam would want to do, but she was the first person we thought of when we started looking. We knew she would be able to handle the musical part of the musical-comedy act. We weren’t so sure she would want to handle the comedy part of the act. Also, she is a good Baptist so we didn’t know how comfortable she would be with all the dancing. Just kidding.

Pam agreed to join us in early October, which meant she had about a month to learn the Christmas show. That is not such a big deal when this is what you do for a living — when it is something you do “on the side” it can be daunting. And, yes, that means she also has to learn the regular show at the same time… 

Peggy is the choreographer, so she has worked a lot individually with Pam. When Peggy was recruiting Pam to join the cast, she told her “Don’t worry about the dancing; I’ll teach you everything. Besides, we’re doing the Christmas show first and it doesn’t have much dancing in it.” Actually, the Christmas show has a lot more dancing in it than the regular show. Peggy wasn’t “selling” Pam — we just hadn’t done the Christmas show for a while and Peggy forgot how much dancing is in it. Plus, when you’re the choreographer nothing seems like a lot of dancing.

We did our first show with the new cast member today, and it was outstanding. Pam did a great job, and Steve wasted no time getting involved as a “roadie” with the rest of the guys. We knew they would be a great fit, and today proved it.

Added bonus, since the show was in the Dallas area Peggy and I were able to go check on her mother again this weekend. Two birds and all that.

  

The cast poses for a pre-show photograph in Arlington, Texas
The roadies — working hard, as usual