Fringe Fever with Eva Dean Dance

There are many many MANY reasons to love summer time in NYC. One of my most faves is THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL that happens every August.

Ok so one of my lifetime goals was to present a show in the NYC fringe. And years ago… that goal happened when I presented my dance-theatre piece EYE CANDY. It was sold out every night and had the best reviews and my cast was the most ideal and my memories of this work and the whole Fringe experience was beyond anything I could have imagined.

I support the FRiNGE and if YOU want the BEST the very BEST… the very cutting edge.. the very NOW in theatre and dance theatre TODAY…. get thee to THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL my friend!

The Fringe also has a kids section. Fringe Jr. This is all kid shows and all kid friendly theater works.

—–> The NY Fringe is the ONLY curated fringe in the world. for realz. It’s not easy to be accepted into this festival. It’s a big deal! <—-

Eva Dean Dance has been around for a while.  I actually auditioned for her at one point in my career. ( did not make it). But think her work is fun and always a treat to watch.

When her PR team reached out to me … I was over the moon. All I want to do is support art and dance and especially modern dance ON THIS LITTLE BLOG… and here we are!

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances – Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, and free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell.

NY Fringe 2013

I was able to connect with the choreographer/ artistic director Eva Dean and ask her a few questions that I thought you might like :

What was the inspiration for this piece? 

The impetus for Peter Pan and Stardust Dances comes from an interest in magic, joy and wonderment.  Peter Pan & Stardust Dances features original music from composer David Kahne. What I love about David’s music is that it is both cinematic and classical; just by listening to the music you can hear the story of Peter Pan come to life. The other dances on this program feature floating dancers on circus globes, a free-spirited gypsies, and twinkling lights. I love twilight. I have to admit I have a bit of Peter Pan in myself.

Has you created a work for kid specific audiences before? 

Yes, the other dances on the program were premiered at the Children Museum of Manhattan, First Night Boston, and the family-friendly programming of the Prague Fringe Festival.

A quick story about dance when you were a child. 

I come from a family of 12 children, and while I was younger, my family played numerous outdoor games that involved movement. One of my fondest memories of dancing when she was younger: I was about 4 years old, I would go into the backyard, and there was a dog that would follow me around. I would look into the clouds and just spin and spin and spin until I fell over. I would watch the clouds subside, I would let the dog lick my cheek, and I would do it again and again and again. This spinning has forwarded into current choreography of BOUNCE 09 (included in the Peter Pan & Stardust Dances programming), where dancers spin and glide and dance on top of a circus globe.

Don’t you just love it! 

I’m always looking for things that will STICK with Lily. What experiences that I offer will latch on to her creativity and foster her personality and life going forward. Dance… dance is one such memory and experience that will leave a lasting impression on a young mind.

So I say… grab your kidlet…. and your kidlet’s friend and head over to the NY FRINGE jr. this month.

I hope you take advantage of this amazing festival. There are TONS of shows all over the city and lots of times you can catch guerilla marketing skits happening on bridges and parks all over NYC this month!

First stop at FringeJr. –  Eva Dean Dance – Peter Pan and Stardust Dances

 Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang
Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances
Eva Dean Dance
Writer: Choreographed by Eva Dean, Music by David Kahne
Director: Eva Dean
Choreographer: Eva Dean
Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell. Enter their world, illuminated by mystical twirling lights. A wonder for all ages 4 to 104 who believe in twilight magic.
0h 45m   Local   Brooklyn, NY   
FringeJR   Dance   
Discover: Literature   evadeandance   
VENUE #8: The Theater at the 14th Street Y       Share/Bookmark       
SUN 11 @ NOON  MON 12 @ 4:30  WED 14 @ 5:45  SAT 17 @ 4:30  WED 21 @ 4:00  

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Discovery Times Square – SHIPWRECK Pirates and Treasure- GIVEAWAY

Lily and I kicked off our summer vacation with an adventure!

A pirate adventure matey!! arrrrgh!

I worked with the fab Beth Feldman of Beyond PR to help organize a blogger/media promo event at Discovery Times Square in NYC to promote their latest exhibit. So I invited some of my fave NYC bloggers to come hangout with their kidlets for a fun afternoon of piracy on the high seas! {or in times square}

We headed over to Discovery Times Square to check out SHIPWRECK – Pirates & Treasure – an interactive, multi media exhibit with more than 500 artifacts from deep-sea ocean expeditions from all over the world.


Lily had a chance to hold REAL pirates gold that was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Key West.


You will also encounter some of the notorious pirates that terrorized the seas including Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Barbary Corsairs, Privateers and Buccaneers.

This little Lilypie of mine has a thing for adventure and stories. And this pirate exhibit had it all. The exhibit is incredibly interactive with lots of things for the kids to do and touch and learn about.

One of Lily’s favorite parts was the Hurricane Simulator.

20130702-212534.jpgWinds get up to 75MPH in there! After coming out of the chamber Lily decided that she wants to chase hurricanes because they might just lead you to shipwrecks where there is pirate gold to be found.


She was impressed with the pirate skeletons… and again this too sparked her creative story telling and I got to hear lots of pirate skeleton tales on the way back home.


Adventure awaits at Discover Times Square everyone!

One of the exhibit’s most coveted highlights is the wreck of the SS Republic, a Civil War-era side-wheel steamship which sank to the bottom of the ocean in 1865 due to a ferocious storm. The Republic, yielding over 51,000 silver and gold coins and 14,000 artifacts, was discovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. 1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic in 2003 and now provides visitors with a detailed look at life in America in the late 19th century.


The SHIPWRECK – pirates and treasure exhibit is really inspiring and sure to engage and spark some fun adventure in young minds.

So guess what! I have 15 tickets to give away to YOU… yes YOU… to go check out the exhibit yourself!

I’m going to pick a handful of readers to win a few tickets each so you and your kidlets can go be pirates for a day!

To Enter:

Leave me a comment on this post with one of your favorite pirate themed jokes and I’ll pick a few of my faves! Deal! 


What’s a pirates favorite subject? —> arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt.

* you laughed*

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Film Review – After Earth

My friend Kristen McEntyre Ryan attended the premiere of Will Smith’s new summer flick – After Earth and provided this review for you …my readers.

I frequently tell my kids, when my husband does something particularly charming and fatherly, “I picked that daddy for you.” Do you suppose that the gorgeous and talented Jada Pinkett Smith says the same thing as she gazes on her ever-adorable husband and precious kiddos?


We had the opportunity to be in the same room with Will and Jaden Smith, thanks to The Moms’ Mamarazzi event for the Smiths’ new movie, After Earth. We’ve probably all said, “They can’t be that cute in real life.” Sorry, mamas. They are every bit as funny, genuine and, well, family-ish as you imagined.

After Earth is the story of a father and son who end up on earth 1,000 years after humanity fled the planet. The uptight father, played by Will Smith, must loosen his grip and rely on his son to save the day, and the son will do anything to make his dad proud.

Jaden Smith said his father’s best advice is to take big projects one brick at a time. “All you have to do today is lay one perfect brick,” Will Smith said. “Then, when you look back, you’ll have the Great Wall of China.”

This is a terrific movie for Dad and the kids to see together, provided they’re brave enough for PG13-style scary aliens and loud noises. We didn’t try to test our 7-year old’s mettle, and it was the right decision. No mom wants to be up all night with a freaked-out kid after deliberately scaring them half to death. 

See After Earth with the big kids and Dad — or, better yet — give movie tickets for Father’s Day and enjoy that quiet house for a couple of hours. You can catch the movie when it comes out on DVD. We think they’ll want to see it again.


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Kinky Boots on Broadway – REVIEW

Kinky Boots, the hotly anticipated new musical that brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Music & Lyrics), has arrived on Broadway! Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry  Mitchell, Kinky Boots, began performances on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street), with an official opening night set for Thursday, April 4, 2013.

Writer- Heather Curran

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots with score by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein is not high art, and will never be considered groundbreaking in the world of music theater. But after a slow start, it is a hell of a good time, and its weak lyrics are often redeemed by amazing performances and a book that is compassionate and honest. Indeed, it’s a bumpy ride, with a lot of head scratching, but its message is timely and uplifting, and in the end I was smiling, along with the rest of the theater.

Based on true events, Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie, played by Stark Sands, who’s recently inherited factory is close to foreclosure. After a chance meeting with drag queen Lola, played by Billy Porter, a spark of inspiration hits: the transvestite shoe market will save the factory (and the town, too!).


I was excited to see what Cyndi Lauper would deliver for a Broadway score, but I knew not to get my hopes up. The past few years have produced more than a few mediocre scores by pop musicians. Unfortunately, the score of Kinky Boots falls into this same category. Sure, the lyrics are catchy at times and the chorus has a hook, but instead of “if you’re lost you can look and you will find me,” I was stuck with the repetitive and unimaginative “what a man, what a man, what a man, what a man”. I was waiting with baited breath for a truly great song to appear, but unfortunately it never did. There were some heartfelt musical moments, but this was due to the performances of the actors, and not the writing. It is a shame, because Lauper has given us so many wonderful songs over the years. Alas, we have no past, we won’t reach back.

The show opens with Charlie’s father singing to him about “The Most Beautiful Thing.” Which is? Of course: a practical, well built pair of mens shoes. The actors struggle to make this opening work dancing about holding mens shoes. They work hard, but they struggle in vain. Charlie spent the first twenty minutes of the show bemoaning his life stuck in the world of practical shoes, while I bemoaned the possibility that I would be stuck in that theater for the next two hours listening to endless numbers about mens shoes. And then a miracle happened… a miracle in the form of a drag queen named Lola.


Kinky Boots was not on my list for shows to see this season, until my friends started raving about Billy Porter’s performance as Lola. They were right. I am sure he will be nominated for the Tony, and probably win it. Put simply, Porter makes this show worth the price of admission. Porter plays the role of Lola with humanity, humor, and… oh, that voice. In the world of music theater he is regarded as one of the best voices ever, for good reason. I have listened to his recordings over and over again finding something new in his interpretation every time. What I didn’t know was that Porter’s acting is just as powerful as his voice. When he comes on stage it is as if the whole show is lifted out of its mediocre shoe world into a fantastic, vibrant reality.

The book by Harvey Fierstein has some lovely moments that explore what it is to be a drag queen in a world that is not so accepting of differences, a world that includes Lola’s estranged father. Fierstein had already written one of the definitive works that explores this issue (as well as, in this case, homosexuality), Torch Song Trilogy. Kinky Boots does not ring with the same poignancy of that piece, but it gives it a good try, and in Porter’s adept hands, Lola provides a dramatic anchor to a piece that could otherwise be adrift in a sea of cliche.


I learned an important fact in my college club going days: life is better with drag queens. And so it is with Kinky Boots. I imagine that Jerry Mitchell, the show’s Director and Choreographer also realized this important fact when putting together this show. Jerry Mitchell is no stranger to big musical numbers. Hairspray, Legally Blonde, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are just a few of the hit musicals he has been a part of. Just like these hits, Kinky Boots delivers huge dance numbers that propel the show forward. Whenever this show is feeling heavy in its shoefactoriness, the drag queens appear in flashy costumes and give us an energetic number. One number done on treadmills is especially exciting… and might have you on the edge of your seat, it looks so precarious. There is another moment when one queen kicks her leg in the air and falls into a perfect split, followed by another who does handsprings across the stage, both in high heels. Sound glorious? It was.


In most circumstances I would not think of drag queens as family fun, but Mr. Mitchell makes it work and I would take my five year old nephew to see this show in a heartbeat. I would even take my Mormon mother because in the end this show is not about sexy drag queens. It’s about embracing our individuality and accepting people for who they are.

The strongest number of the show is the duet “I’m Not My Father’s Son” sung by Sands and Porter. The book and music finally come together beautifully as Charlie and Lola sing about the thing that connects them, the longing to live up to the expectations of a father and the path to finding individuality, despite those expectations. It is an exquisite moment.


Sadly, the moment ends, and the show again becomes mired in clunky lyrics and shoe factoriness. There were other strong performances, but the actors had a tough job selling the material.

Stark Sands gives a great performance as Charlie, with a strong voice and intense conviction.  It is a shame that his big ten o’clock number “The Soul of a Man” is the worst number in the show. The opening lyrics are almost Dr. Suessian in their rhyming. Sands pours in blood, sweat and tears, but it’s not enough to cover up those bad lyrics. Oh Cyndi, was that good enough? Good enough for you?

Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Lauren, is a pitch perfect comedian with a crystal clear voice. Her big number “The History of the Wrong Guys” is one of the high moments of the show and her presence is a constant breath or fresh air on a stage cluttered with shoes.


Daniel Sherman also gives a solid performance as Don, the bigot who faces a moral upheaval.
The set barely merits mention because there is nothing inspired about it. It’s a shoe factory. A shoe factory that converts to other locations every now and again, but mostly a shoe factory.

If Kinky Boots starts with a whimper, it makes up for it by ending with a bang. The entire cast assembles on stage adorned in kinky boots, singing “Just be who you wanna be, never let ’em tell you who you ought to be. Just be with dignity, celebrate your life triumphantly”. This joyful moment is intoxicating, and is why in the end this show is a success. We are left with a rallying cry sung out loud, of love and acceptance, relevant to the currently evolving political climate, pointing towards a world of diversity. And it’s beautiful, like a rainbow.

Connect with all things Kinky Boots –

Tickets for Kinky Boots ($57 – $137) are available for purchase in person at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office (Monday – Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 12pm – 6 pm), online at, or by calling Telecharge at 800-432-7250 or 212-239-6200. 

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Vampires over the Weekend

I have a love affair with New York City.

Even though I moved to New York after college a decade ago, I feel like I grew up here. Matt and I got married, I went through a gazillion dance gigs, and even gazillioner auditions, I built my dance company, we had many successes, I met some fascinating people who I am so glad to call friends, I ate at the best restaurants and learned all about AMAZING food and farm to table agriculture, we had Lincoln Duncan our Newfoundland, we had Lily,we lost Lily, we got Lily back,  we lost Lincoln Duncan our Newfoundland, we had Jonah our Saint Bernard, we had Thom.

We lived and we grew up and continue to grow.

I feel as if New York City has held my hand through all of this and even though New York can have a bad rep… us New York peeps know that this city is one that holds you up and keeps you inspired even when the going gets ..not going.

I am such a fan of the band Vampire Weekend and their new song STEP has the best music video. It’s how I see New York… in black and white and as a sweet dear friend who’s walking with you in the rain. There’s always a beautiful nostalgic romance to this city.

I hope you enjoy this gorgeous song and music video as much as I do.

I could get lost in this video.

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Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway – Magic is Back.

The MAGIC is back on broadway folks.


Before I dive into this review… a little background info about lil ole me.

I was once on a broadway show called the Titanic. Yes on broadway. I was in the chorus and the understudy for the bell boy. yes the bell boy was a girl. I have had YEARS of experience on stage, film, touring…etc. I still continue to perform in NYC and beyond… So in short I know my stuff when it comes to theatre and dance and art and performance.

That said…

Im sort of jaded with Broadway. Same way i don’t watch any dance related competition shows. It’s a thing.

That said…

I LOOOOVED Cinderella. That Broadway magic that everyone talks about is alive and well and absolutely HERE in this show.


Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella is a stunning visual treat for both the littles and the bigs. The house was packed…and we seemed to have the best seats in the house. orchestra level… 5 rows from the back… dead center. perfect. Little girls dressed up in princess dresses with tiaras filled the theatre.

This Cinderella was not the helpless, sobbing cinderella of our cartoon memories. There is an uprising… fight for democracy. The prince seems to be this aloof type who doesn’t know what’s going on in his kingdom and comes back from University to think everything is OK but is then told in an abrupt moment during the ball…by cinderella that all is NOT well in the land. Say wha!

Then he decides to have the kingdom’s first ever election…. not very fairy tale like is it.

The wicked stepmother, played by Harriet Harris, isn’t very ‘wicked’ toward cinderella. Her zingy one liners delivered in a dry – sarcastic tone,  kept me wanting more of her character. However the classic ‘meanness’ that we want from her doesn’t really ever happen which makes it hard to fully sympathize with Cinderella….Since she’s not being THAT oppressed and all.

Triple threat Laura Onses who plays the title role is an absolute delight to watch. Her voice, her timing and her dancing are just divine.

The costumes seem to magically change right in front of your eyes… garnering ‘oohs’ and “aahs” from the audience.

Choreographer Josh Rhodes does a stellar job with the dancing – athletic numbers and big classic partnering which make the fluffy fancy dresses bounce all about the stage and is wonderful to watch… even for this “downtown modern dance” dancer.


This story is a classic. Everyone from a 7-year-old to a 70-year-old has heard this story which adds to experience.


Lily loved every single moment of the show… from the overture.. yes an actual overture… to the dancing,  the slipper… all of it! After the show we were invited to stick around for a Q&A with the cast. Very exciting for Lily to see the cast without the makeup.

She was blown away by how beautiful Laura Onses- Cinderella- was in real life, the prince was handsome in real life too but the wicked step mother didn’t seem so wicked.. “hmm, she’s a good actor” Lily said.


My favorite moment:

It’s midnight, Cinderella has to run because the whole spell falls apart. So she runs down the cascading stairs in pure princess fashion… shoe falls off… but she runs back and picks it up. GASP! say what.. how will the prince ever find her? Prince decides to have a second banquet because the mysterious princess will certainly come to that… sort of like a bat signal i guess. Of course Cinderella comes to the banquet. Midnight happens again. spell about to end again. she runs down the cascading stairs in pure princess fashion again. No shoe falls off. GASP! what. BUT… she stops, takes her shoe off and hand it to the prince. Let me tell you.. the ENTIRE audience erupted! This was the MOMENT. the ‘money shot”. Magic I tell you.

That moment right there folks makes the whole show MAGIC and absolutely takes  you right back to your childhood when every fairytale and every story came to life in your head in the most vivid of Technicolor.

Then there’s the dresses.. oh the dresses are stunning and that wedding dress at the end of the show… brings the house down!

As the announcement that precedes the show states, kindly turn off your phones and leave your worries and cares at the door, this show did exactly that.

Cinderella has brought that magic of Broadway…well… back to broadway. It’s classic, it’s beautiful, It’s a show! it’s what Broadway should be.

This is sure to sell out during the holiday and summer season, I highly recommend you get your little princess some tickets as soon as possible.

Cinderella is playing at the Broadway Theater, 1681 Broadway, at 53rd Street, (212) 239-6200, Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes.

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New York International Children’s Film Festival

Guess what time it is!

The 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) This event  runs from March 1-24th.


 The nation’s largest festival for kids and teens will present four weeks of ground-breaking and thought-provoking new works for ages 3-18, with 100 new films, opening and closing galas, premieres, six short film programs, filmmaker Q&As, filmmaking workshops, A-list jury, audience voting, and the NYICFF Awards Ceremony. NYICFF is an Oscar®–qualifying festival –recipients of NYICFF’s jury prizes are eligible for Oscar® consideration in the Best Animated and Live Action Short Film categories.

Films are shown at locations all throughout New York City – Asia Society and Museum, DGA Theater, Elinor Bunim Munroe Film Center, French Institute Alliance Française, IFC Center, Scholastic Theater, SVA Theatre

Films usually sell out so I recommend purchasing your tickets soon.

For more information visit or call 212-349-0330

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Are you flourishing?

This week I was asked… ARE YOU FLOURISHING?

What a mind-boggling question!

I mean who says, are you flourishing? The usual is… How are you? How goes it? How now brown cow? You doing ok? You feeling alright? Everything going good these days? Sup?… but… are you flourishing?


So, am I flourishing?

Yes. I can honestly, fully and with every inch of my being say.. YES. I am flourishing. I am flourishing in a way that I have not in years!

photo (4)

I am blessed beyond …beyondsome… with riches in my life. Riches in family, in friends and in love.

I AM flourishing. I’m gaining a sense of self on the daily.  From the simplest of ways – learning to cook… to the complex – patience.

photo (1)

I am owning my ‘stay at home” ness. My “in pj’s until 2pm” ness. My “no social life” ness. and my “no sleep till Brooklyn” ness.

photo (3)

I do…however.. wish I were dancing. But I know I am EXACTLY where I need to be in this time and space in life. And I am OWNING this!

photo (2)

And thanks for asking.

So now I ask you… are YOU flourishing?

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Best In Show

Last night the 2013 Best In Show Trophy was awarded to “GCH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari” a.k.a. “Banana Joe,” an Affenpinscher at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show here in NYC.

Little did they know the REAL DEAL Best in Show was sitting on my couch next to me all along!







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