Friday, March 30, 2012

Snaps to Legally Blonde: The Musical

Oh my god, oh my god you guys! Last night we went to see Legally Blonde: the Musical at the Lower Ossington Theatre (LOT) and the production was, like, totally awesome!

Now, before you judge us, take a long look at yourself in the mirror and tell us that there hasn’t been a time that you were flipping through the channels and before you knew it, you were suckered into watching Reese Witherspoon in her last season Prada shoes taking on Harvard Law School? Because that’s the power of pink, it comes out of nowhere.

Much like the movie, it’s hard not to love the LOT production of the musical, though we tried to. After the first scene with a gaggle of sorority girls running around screeching Omigod! as they celebrate an anticipated engagement, we wanted nothing but to high-tail it out of there.

But then Anna Hurshman makes her first appearance as Elle Woods and that big bubbly personality whisks all your negativity away. As Elle warms up to the realities of the real world and law school, we warmed up to her positivity and cutesy persona and before long, were rooting for her to kick that no good Warner (Jeff Hookings) to the curb and realize that her true potential is far more than a piece of arm candy.
Legally Blonde: the Musical takes all the classic scenes from the movie and turns them into fun, flirty numbers like the Bend and Snap or the outrageous Gay or European. Not to mention the sexy strut of the UPS guy Kyle (Trevor Williams) and his relationship with the busty Ireland loving Paulette (Heidi Thomas).

Unfortunately, tomorrow night is closing night on this production, so if you don’t already have tickets, you’re out of luck. And sure, you may think that saves face and you can avoid the shame of actually admitting to enjoying a piece of puff production, but we double Delta Nu sister swear that it’s your loss.

Next up at LOT – RENT.

images from Google images / Seanna Kennedy

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Game of Thrones Season 2!

That time is almost upon us and we couldn’t be more excited! We can honestly say that we anxiously waited and watched each and every episode of Season 1. Being the giant nerd that she is Veronica insisted on reading the books prior to watching a single episode. The book will always be better but as a show, HBO did a very good job. Though it helps that GRRM is the co-executive producer, thus ensuring the world he created was not misinterpreted.

Season 2 starts on April 1st on HBO at 9pm (and we assure you this is no April Fool’s joke). Unfortunately for these 2 CityGirls, we’ll have to wait until HBO airs it in completion before we start watching. It is simply too good for us to patiently wait and watch week to week.

Having read all 5 books in the series so far, Veronica is anxiously awaiting the word as to when GRRM will start on book 6. His current obligations to trade shows and PR trips have taken him away from his writing. This is an offer to GRRM; Veronica will gladly ghost write book 6.

We’d also like to bring to your attention that today, GRRM’s Game of Thrones graphic novel is available. Veronica has ordered her copy.

Whatever you decide to do, watch it week to week or wait and watch all 10 episodes in one fell swoop, just make sure you do watch it. Afterall, who doesn’t want to see Daenerys’ dragons?

images from Google images

Friday, March 23, 2012

Let Your Freak Flag Fly! – Shrek: the Musical Review

Sometimes, what every hard working, mortgage paying, responsible adult needs is an opportunity to kick back and be a kid for a night. When our opportunity presented itself in the form of Dancap’s 30Cap tickets to see Shrek: The Musical at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, we decided to make it a full night of light-hearted, childlike fun.

Our first stop was dinner. There is nothing that reminds us of the comfort of childhood like a grilled cheese sandwich. We stopped at the Construction Site at Yonge and Eglinton, a single focused restaurant that specializes in delivering the best grilled cheese possible.

The menu includes classic grilled cheese options along with epic special creations. Last night’s special? The Sheeva - bacon, aged cheddar, Swiss and Asiago Fresca on Parmesan crusted French Bread. The sides – Asian salad and chips – were added to compliment the grilled cheese. The consensus: SO MUCH CHEESEY GOODNESS! (Note: the Construction Site just opened its second location at Sherway Gardens. 

After inhaling our grilled chesses, we attempted to make the ambitious walk up to the Toronto Centre for the Arts, which is just north of Sheppard. Ambitious was an understatement. Our hour long walk got us safely to York Mills station, but we had to rely on the subway to rocket us the rest of the way to actually make it on time. 
Shrek: The Musical promised to bring the “hilarious story of everyone’s favourite ogre to life on stage”, but we were a little bit sceptical about how they could live up to those claims. After all, the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film included a talking donkey, a giant purple dragon, magical transformations and an array of living, breathing fairytale characters. This was either going to be extremely well done or extremely ridiculous. 
The first act laid the foundation of the story – a seven year old ogre is kicked out on his own, a seven year old princess is locked in a tower to wait for her prince charming. Neither are very happy about it, but they make do. A couple of songs later, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre named Shrek – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue the feisty princess Fiona.

Lukas Poost has the honourable role of bringing the gassy, Scottish ogre to life in the Toronto production. As the title character, Poost has some large shoes to fill, which he does with head to toe green-ness and the agitated annoyance the anti-hero Shrek wears proudly as he begrudgingly embarks on the quest that will save the realm and find him true love.

Bring in Andre' Jordan donning an over the top attitude and a full body donkey suit and Liz Shivener with Princess Fiona’s staple emerald green dress and you have your cartoon character list almost identically replicating the animated film. Jordan’s never ending energy dances Donkey around on stage in the same sense that Eddie Murphy’s irritating voice drove the pesky sidekick in the movie. Shivener reminded us a lot of Amy Adams in Enchanted, who seemed to be one of the first to bring a fairytale princess to life with the innocent bubbliness of a cartoon. The three quickly banded together to create a trio that you can’t help but love.

Threatening that love, of course, is Lord Farquaad, the cowardly, spoiled lord who sent Shrek to retrieve Princess Fiona in the first place and return her to him to be wed and thus, make him a king. While you are supposed to hate the arrogant little Lord, it’s hard not to be completely enthralled with him, thanks to an outstanding performance by Merritt David Janes.  

The little Lord is, literally, little, and thus, Janes spent the entire production on his knees with his lower body hidden behind capes and fake puppet legs fastened to his torso to create the illusion of a half pint waist high Lord. With exaggerated hand gestures and complicated shuffling around the stage, you have to have to applaud Janes for how much animated life he put into Farquaad.

The ensemble transformed between various Fairytale characters like Pinnoccio, The Three Bears, The Big Bad Wolf, the Sugar Plum Princess etc. There was even a Gingerbread Man puppet fused to a cookie sheet. The costumes were bright and colourful, the set changed for almost every scene and featured elaborate scenic illustrations, and the production itself was far and over the top. 

And finally, to make up for the disappointment of Potted Potter’s minor budget, we finally got our full sized dragon! Controlled by four people with sticks (think The Lion King stage production), the dragon was puppeteered around the stage with awe inspiring grace and beauty. The massive structure was definitely a sight to see. And she had her own musical number, of course.  

The second act wrapped up the story, but we found that there were a few unnecessary scenes that were included just for pure silliness. While we were reliving our childhood for the night, the silliness just seemed, well, too silly for us and it was as though they were trying a bit too hard to be funny. 
All in all, Shrek: the Musical made for a light hearted night out on the town with plenty of laughs and hysterics that you don’t necessarily see every day.  

Shrek images from google images  
Construction Site images (c) citygirlscapes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fish Stew

First off, we must apologize for our absence and lack of posts lately. We’ve been busy with work and have otherwise been unable to dedicate as much time to this endeavor as we had wanted to.

Every once in a while I get a craving for fish and seafood. And soup. So I decided to recreate a tasty fish stew from a basic base. Best part is, you probably already have a lot of these items in your kitchen and can whip this up for a tasty and filling dinner in no time.

For this recipe you will need:
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 lb fish (I used wild Pollock fillets)
• 1 bunch green onions chopped
• 3 cloves garlic minced
• 2 tsp dried thyme
• 2 tsp chili powder
• 4 carrots chopped
• 1 lb potatoes chopped
• 3 tbsp minced parsley
• ¼ cup flour
• 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 1 tbsp salt
• Dash of cayenne, if you like it spicy

Heat a large soup pot on medium high heat, add the oil, garlic, green onions, thyme and chili powder for 2 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes and half the parsley and stir to coat.

In a separate bowl, whisk the stock and milk with the flour then add to the pot. Reduce heat to medium, stir and cover, simmering for 12 minutes.

Cut your fillets into bite size pieces, add to the pot and stir. Cover and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the salt, the rest of the parsley and cayenne if you dare.

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!!

Hint: You can change this up by substituting the green onions for leeks, and or mixed seafood for the fish. You can also use any type of fish in the stew.

pics (c) CityGirlScapes