In addition to it being the first full weekend of shows for me at the theatre, I had a jam-packed weekend of activities planned, making for a very busy couple of days this past weekend!
After a decent performance on Friday night of "Sunday In The Park With George" I opted to head home early so that I could have a clean start on Saturday's activities. For those of you who don't know this Sondheim musical, it's a fictional telling of the life of the French painter Georges Seurat who created the masterpiece "Sunday on the Island of La Grande Jatte" that hangs in our very own Art Institute in Chicago. The play is all about "Color & Light" as Seurat started the Pointillist movement that uses coloured dots side by side to create a larger colour palette. The eye optically fuses the coloured dots together to make a new colour in the brain. This is exactly how televisions, computers and digital cameras work today. Seurat was ahead of his time and essentially set up the artistic science that drives our pixellated world today. I really like this show. Not something I can say about every show that I work on, but something about this one is special. Unfortunately, the critics trashed us this week, so that makes for a poorly attended run, which is really sad because I think this play needs to be seen. Alas - you can't please everyone. I'm proud of the work we've done on this one and so we'll plod on and play to small houses until the end of October. Here's a picture of our fantastic cast recreating the painting in a real-life still:
Up early on Saturday and out to help with Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation's Annual "Mutt Strutt". I love this event every year - lots of time with the puppies and puppy-parents. CCRF is a no-kill shelter and I love the work they do. I try to swing by when I can with supplies and will walk dogs if I have the time. I don't get over there often enough - trying to figure out how I might be able to work dog-walking into my running schedule. But anyway - for now I sign up to do these big annual events when they come up. I was scheduled to work the kid's area this year, replete with face painters, midway-type games and a huge air castle shaped like a big dog. I was excited!
So I showed up and met our volunteer coordinator at 9:30am. She greeted me and another girl and immediately said "so we actually need two people to dress up as Blue's Clues and Clifford The Big Red Dog - would you girls be willing?" WHY NOT? Since I was the shorter one of the two of us, I opted for Blue while she jumped into the Clifford costume. And then I started to panic. I have charactered in the past. I played Dino (the other big, purple dinosaur) a couple of times when I used to work at Canada's Wonderland. But Dino was the only character I COULD play because the other costumes were too small for me to fit into. I remember being so upset about it at the time because charactering is so fun - especially when the kids come running up to you to give you huge hugs and high fives. What if I didn't fit in the Blue costume? Well - only one way to find out. One leg at a time, then the foam body piece, and the big giant head - and TADA! It fit!
It wasn't the most comfortable thing in the word for sure. When I charactered in the past, you'd wear a sweat-wicking body suit under the costume that we changed out of every 30 minutes, and a bandanna to stop the sweat from getting in your eyes (nothing more terrifying for young children than to see a headless character while you try to wipe the seat off your face!). On Saturday I arrived in jeans and a t-shirt, which is what I ended up wearing under the costume. They didn't have bandannas, so I ended up wearing my CCRF hat backwards under the head to keep my hair out of my face and a handle on the sweat. Those costumes are bloody hot. But it was worth it for sure - having children call out "Blue!" from 15ft away and then come running at you for hugs and pictures is priceless. I even got to pose with a couple of doggies. One doggie mom said - "This is totally going to be my Christmas picture this year!" - haha, awesome.
But not one hour later, it started teaming down rain and the event got called early. We were supposed to walk in the doggie parade, but it never happened. I was so disappointed. There is a scheduled rain date of October 24th now, but I can't make it that weekend as my parents are in town. Too bad - I could have been better prepared the next go round and would have rocked that costume big time! I just hope that it doesn't rain on that day too. These guys need and deserve the money that they raise from this event - so I hope the next go round is a success!
Yesterday started early again with a company meeting for the theatre, followed by another show (our best yet) and then a quick change into my workout clothes and a cab ride back to my hood for the "Party In Pink" Zumbathon for Breast Cancer at DanceSPA! I was exhausted, but really excited about this event. I had plans to meet Kathy (LOTUSFLOWER) and her sister and cousin, who all live close-by in the suburbs. I got out of the cab and walked down the street (pretty early still for the event) and saw Kathy right away with her cousin parking their car. I ran up to the vehicle like a crazy-person waving. It was so cool to see a fellow Sparkie in person. I recognized her immediately. She looks so wonderful! We exchanged hugs and introductions before heading inside. My Zumba instructor Christa was so excited that I had brought people with me - the studio was already packed with tons of people and other Zumba instructors from the area. There was definitely a buzz in the air. Here's Kathy and I pre-sweat:
I've never done a class that big before. Normally I'm up at the front (cause I'm short) but we had to settle for spots at the back. Christa lead most of the class, but 3 other instructors got to strut their stuff as well and each lead for a song. Christa is definitely hard core I figured out as Kathy said her class in the burbs is a lot more tame than this one was. We were SWEATING by about the third song in - so many people in the room that the A/C was having a tough time keeping up! But we propped open the doors and kept rocking it anyway. So much fun! At the end of the hour, names were drawn for door prizes, silent auction gifts and the 50/50 draw. We had fruit and veggies and punch and just hung out to chat for a bit and cool off. A couple of after-shots of Kathy and myself:
I am so excited to run the Hot Chocolate 5K in November with this awesome group of women. I have figured out that meeting Sparkies is such a great experience and I am SO grateful to have someone so wonderful so close to home. She has been such an inspiration for me and she is so supportive of everything I do. Thanks Kathy!!! You rock!
I ended the night last night with a nice hot shower, a delivery of Peapod groceries for the week and a dinner of tilapia, baked potato, sugar snap peas and a glass of wine. YUM! I deserved it! I crashed half-way through a movie and just dragged my butt to bed. Slept like a baby last night (slept a little too long this morning...whoops - but it felt great). New week today. Looking forward to my run tomorrow morning and my swim on Wednesday.
I love that my life is so full of colour. Colourful friends, colourful activities - it's going to be a colourful fall! My favorite time of year.