Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Plowmans Invade Oklahoma

It was essentially "The Plowman Show" last Saturday night at the Murray City Amphitheater, as three members of the family starred in Oklahoma! together. Ben and Steve headlined the production as Curly and Will Parker, respectively, and Summer gave support (and made her acting debut, to boot) as Gertie Cummings.

Prior to the beginning of the show, however, Ben joined his bluegrass band, Bluegrass Thunder, on stage to perform a number of tunes, including "The Orange Blossom Special" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," to get the crowd warmed up.

That was only the start of Ben's marathon evening, as the main event then followed. He and his castmates poured their hearts and souls into the performance. My brothers did their share of solo/duet singing and stage kissing, and I may be somewhat biased when I report that they did a great job. We were kept well entertained throughout the evening.

In particular, I enjoyed Steve's improvised moment when a very loud helicopter passed over the stage and amphitheater, as well as Summer's giddily amusing laugh as Gertie.

Good times were had by all.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Improvables at the Davis County Fair

One of the head honchos with this year's Davis County Fair asked the Improvables to perform an hour-long show not once but twice, on both Wednesday and Thursday nights, at the fair, and we were more than happy to oblige. We were, in fact, given a spot on the main stage, which was near the center of all of the many activities going on, such as carnival rides, a petting zoo, tasty junk food, etc.

Here, Parker assists Brianne in figuring out why she's "Late for Work," with both Keenan and Lorin also lending a hand:

It was good to get a chance for us to get our name out there in the community in a different venue, and hopefully we were able to make some new fans in the process.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shakespearean Festival 2013

A couple of weeks ago, many of the members of the family and I made our annual trek down to Cedar City for the Shakespearean Festival. For more than a decade now, it has been an important family tradition.

This year, Mom and Dad; Dave and Jessica; Ben, Adi, and baby Christian; Steve and Summer; Biz and Jeff; and Jeff's brother, Dave, and sister-in-law Ginny made the trip. At the matinee, half of us went to see Twelve Angry Men, while the other half, myself included caught Love's Labours Lost, which was very comedic and entertaining but nonetheless had a somewhat ambiguous or abrupt ending to it that confused more than a few in our audience.

Well, you can't win 'em all, Mr. Shakespeare.

Between shows, Ben snapped this photo with me sitting next to the statue of the Bard:

At night, we together caught the evening show, Peter and the Star Catcher - which was based on a book co-authored by Dave Barry no less! It was very imaginatively carried out and amounted to a sort of prequel to the ever-popular Peter Pan story and movie.

Good times were had by all, and we are looking forward to the shows in 2014.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weasel Stomping Day 2013

In years past, my friends and I have assembled to watch one of our favorite all-time movies, UHF, starring comedic geniuses "Weird Al" Yankovic, Michael Richards (of "Seinfeld" fame), and many others. Typically, these shindigs have been held during the summer. Since August really has no major holidays, this year we decided to hold this year's party on August 10 and to call the holiday "Weasel Stomping Day," based on the "Weird Al" song of the same name.

One of the traditions involved in Weasel Stomping day is to "put your Viking helmet on; spread that mayonnaise on the lawn," which I demonstrated in the following photo:

Well, why not?

There were only a handful of us involved this time around, but still we had a good time together watching the film. Another important tradition is the eating of Twinkie-wiener sandwiches, which consist of a hot dog on a Twinkie bun (Twinkies are rather hard to find these days, since they just went back on supermarket shelves, so we had to improvise with the generic brand), covered in Cheese Whiz.

Erica was both a first-time UHF watcher and Twinkie-wiener sandwich eater:

I think it would be safe to say that she enjoyed the film much more than she enjoyed the sandwich, which is definitely an acquired taste.

Good times were had by all!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whose Line Is It, Layton?

A dream was realized and an important item checked off of the Bucket List last night when I got to see "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" veteran improviser Wayne Brady perform live at the Ed Kenley Amphitheater in what he termed "the hip-hop center of North America," Layton, Utah.

Amie and I arrived an hour prior to the start of the show to pick up our will call tickets and to find the best possible seats we could. We were seated a ways back, on the grass, but still we had a decent view of the stage.

For those familiar with improv and with "Whose Line?": Wayne's performance did not disappoint and was (for the most part) family friendly, as he put together a long rap song filled with lengthy words suggested by audience members. He also performed several improvised scenes with the assistance of audience volunteers, including preparing for a prom at the prison in "Sound Effects" and acting as a drill sergeant, introducing the latest military vehicle ("The Porcupine"), in "Living Scenery." He then took and answered a series of questions from the audience and then finally capped off the evening by singing a handful of songs, the titles of which were chosen by those in the crowd beforehand. My favorite was "Are You My Daddy?", sung in the style of the rock band Creed and to the tune of "With Arms Wide Open."

My suggestion for a song, "The Brine Shrimp Boogie," was not accepted, but then again, he had dozens if not hundreds of song titles from which to choose. I honestly can't complain.

All told, it was a very funny evening and one well worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Little Monsters

There are times when words simply fail me.

This is one of those times. I love this photo of Jackson, taken next to a cardboard cutout of Mike Wazowski during a recent family trip to the local movie theater.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

These Yahoos

 I get to perform improv with these yahoos on a weekly basis.

All in all, I'd say I'm pretty lucky indeed.