Category Archives: Thoughts On….

Thoughts On the 25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast on Broadway.

You never forget that first Broadway show that leaves a mark on you.

For me, that show is the stage adaptation of the 1991 animated Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast.

Stepping (both literally and physically) into titular roles of Beauty and the Beast were Susan Egan and Terrence Mann.  Last week, the show celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The production value was faultless. It was amazing how one stage could be transformed from an ordinary village to a mysterious castle in a matter of moments. The costumes were stunning and the cast were absolutely marvelous. Both Egan and Mann brought their characters to life in a way that felt like an ordinary couple falling in love, not a cursed prince and a bookish woman who are brought together by fate in a world that can only be defined as surreal.

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. I’ve seen quite a few Broadway shows over the years, but a piece of my heart will always belong to the tale as old as time.

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Thoughts On The Attack in Sri Lanka

I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems like terrorist attacks are unfortunately just another blip on the news cycle.

Across Sri Lanka, bombs went off in Churches and hotels that are known to be frequented by foreign visitors. As of this post, 207 people are dead.

The fact that today is Easter Sunday points to someone who wanted to send a very specific message.

My heart breaks for those who were killed. We should all have the ability to live a long, happy live. Unfortunately, some people are of the mind that unless we all agree to live by their rules, those of us who live differently have a mark on our backs.

May the memory of those killed be a blessing and may the justice system in Sri Lanka prosecute those involved in the attacks to the fullest extent of the law.

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Thoughts On the New Disturbed Song “A Reason To Fight”

Mental health disorders have a way of isolating those who suffer. Logically, they know that they have a solid support system of family, friends and partners/spouses. But mental illness and depression specifically says otherwise. It makes that person feel alone, that everyone around them is lying. The only thing that is honest is their depression.

Recently, the rock band Disturbed released their latest song and accompanying video, “A Time To Fight“.

The thing that strikes me about this song and the video is that it negates the idea that those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses suffer are alone. There are millions of us who wake up everyday with this weight on our emotional shoulders.

Knowing that we are not alone, that there are many out there who suffer from this disease is important not just for those who live with mental illness, but for those who love them. That knowledge, from my perspective, is the most important aspect of not just treatment, but living a full life.

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Thoughts On Passover

Tonight is the first night of Passover.

Around the world, millions of Jews will sit down to the Seder and remember the exodus from Egypt.

Though the story is about one specific group of people are led to freedom, it speaks to everyone who has felt put down, pushed aside or made to feel like the other.

For me personally, this holiday coincides with the fact that there will soon be a change in my career. I will be walking through the desert of unemployment, with my creator walking silently by my side and praying for the professional manna that will support me until I am again employed.

I have to believe that something good is coming. G-d is not sending me to the proverbial professional desert for kicks and giggles. I believe that I will reach the professional promised land.

In this time of professional uncertainty and being that Passover starts tonight, I can’t think of a better song that “When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt.

Happy Passover!

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Thoughts On the 20th Anniversary of the Columbine School Shooting

20 years ago today, millions of high school students around the country (myself included) walked through the front doors of their high school as they did every school day. By the time the school day ended, 12 students and one teacher were dead in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

It was America’s first school shooting in what was then recent memory. Sadly, as we all know, it would not be the last.

Looking back, I can’t help but feel anger. One mass school shooting should have been enough to galvanize the nation and our leadership to change our gun laws. If New Zealand can change their gun laws after the Mosque shooting last month, why can’t America do the same? If we had, we might have prevented the shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland.

May the memories of the students and the teacher killed be a blessing and may we finally learn from the past.

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Thoughts On the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

Iconic is a label that is often used lightly without considering the context of what or whom is considered to be iconic. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building that is automatically labelled iconic, for good reason.

Construction on the cathedral initially began in 1163. It ended after nearly 200 years of work in 1345. An untold number of generations of parishioners and visitors have marveled at the beauty of the architecture of this building. It is one of the finest creations that mankind has ever built. Yesterday, it was nearly destroyed by fire. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished before the cathedral could be completely destroyed along with the priceless historical and religious objects that it houses.

I’ve never been there, but I can imagine how awe inspiring this marvel of human ingenuity is.

I feel for the people of Paris and the worshipers who consider Notre Dame to be their church. Regardless of faith, this church belongs not only to the people of Paris, but to the whole country. It is theirs to love, cherish and worship under, if that is their prerogative. Ask any religious person and they will likely tell you that their specific house of worship is akin to their second home. I feel the same way about the synagogue that my family attends. I don’t attend very often, but when I do, it’s like snuggling under a warm blanket with a hot drink on a cold winter night.

It will take time to rebuild, there is no question. But this ancient and beloved house of worship will return to her former glory, that I know is certain.

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Thoughts On the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer

After months of anticipation and speculation, the teaser trailer for the new Star Wars film was released today. The name of the 9th film in the series is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

My mind is blown. Like any teaser trailer, there is just enough information to tempt the audience to want more without giving away too much detail.

With most of the cast from the last two films (the late Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Adam Driver) returning to a galaxy far far away, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will hopefully be the closing chapter that this narrative deserves. Among the cast, there is also a familiar face: Billy Dee Williams will be returning as Lando Calrissian, linking the past with the present.

I could watch this trailer multiple times and nitpick, looking for clues as to the overall story, but I don’t want to. I just want to enjoy the trailer and wait until the film premieres in December.

P.S. Did anyone else get the chill when they heard the unnerving laugh of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid)? I cannot fathom how they have brought him back from the dead, but it will be from my perspective, one of the highlights of Episode 9.

 

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Thoughts On the Results of the Israeli Election

Democracy is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. But it is the only form of government that gives the average man or woman a voice in the leadership and direction of their country.

After a tense election season, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for a fifth term as Israeli Prime Minister. His opponent, former Chief of General Staff for the IDF Benny Gantz put up a good fight. But in the end, the Israeli voters chose to continue the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the results of the election. As the face of Israelis and Jews all over the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu has from my perspective has done an excellent job. But he has also been accused of corruption and many are wary that he is turning to the political right. Neither of those sit well with me.

One of the things that I have been reminded of over the past two years is that just because the election is over, that does not mean that the voice of the average citizen is now silent and will remain so until the next election. We still have the right to protest if we do not agree with our leaders.  I’m sure that the Israeli voters will have a thing or two to say to their elected officials in the coming years.

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Thoughts On the 20th Anniversary of The Lost World

Like all good things, our favorite television shows must come to an end. After they end, they fall into one of two categories. In the first category, the show fades into memory as a relic of that time in your life. In the second category, you are still emotionally tied to the show years after it has left the air.

For me, The Lost World, falls into the second category. This year, the small but committed fandom (of which I am a part of) is celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary.

Loosely based (and I mean very loosely based) on the novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World is about a group of explorers who find a world populated by creatures and characters that had only been thought to exist in the imagination.

To celebrate the show’s anniversary, a new Instagram account has been setup to excite the fan base and encourage new viewers to discover the show via Amazon Prime.

For me, The Lost World is and will always be one of my favorite television shows.  The writing was amazing, the acting was pure perfection and it was just one of those programs that I will always love.

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Thoughts On the Kirstjen Nielsen Resignation

Over the course of a politician’s time in office, a certain amount of turnover, as there is in any job, is normal. In this current Presidential administration, the amount of turnover seems higher than past Presidential administrations.

The most recent resignation came yesterday from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

It is staggering and mind blowing how much pain and heartache Ms. Nielsen and you know who have caused. 99.9% of those who are coming to our Southern borders are not looking for trouble; they are looking for a better life. Instead of being treated as human beings, they were treated as less than human. As if it is a capital offense to be brown skinned and wanting a better life for themselves and the families.

Today the news reported that it will take 2 years to reunite all of the children who were separated from their parents. From my perspective, this a massive waste of resources. But then again, this current administration is not known for thinking things through.

This is just another reason why you know who is taking the country down a path that I fear we may never get out of.

 

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