NYC

  • Waitress Serves Pie and Hilarity on Broadway

    For as long as I can remember I have never been a fan of Broadway. I mean ever. There was just something about the idea of actors talking then randomly busting out in song and jazz hands. That always freaked me out. I wanted no parts of their jazzy spirit fingers.

    Although I will admit I was utterly enthralled with the CATS and Milford Plaza commercials in the 80’s. But that was as far as my excitement would take me. And when my 7th grade teacher made us listen to the CATS soundtrack in an effort to get us cultured. It confirmed how unmoved I truly was by it. I used that time to nap.

    The next time in my life where I would feel a twinge of curiosity toward Broadway was when Lion King debuted. That twinge still hasn’t been enough to get me to the box office. Years later Hamilton exploded on the scene, and because I need both of my arms and legs I could not fork them over for tickets.

    By this time, I had to pretty much be honest with myself and admit that deep down I knew while there was excitement I knew I would never make it to see either one of those shows. Why? Because if I really wanted to see them I’d put in the effort to plan a day, save the money, grab a friend and go. I decided right then there would never be a Broadway show to get me hyper than Beyonce coming to town.

    That is, until a friend post a picture from Waitress the Musical on Facebook. I replied, “oh, there’s a movie with that name. It’s my favorite!” She said, “Yeah, Val, same thing.

    That was really my gut first reaction.

    You don’t understand how much I love Waitress. I mean LOVE it! If you’ve never seen the movie (written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly) then you’re missing out. It’s a sweet but sad rom-com about a woman named Jenna at her wits trying to get out of her terrible marriage and leave her small town to make a better life for herself. She planned to do this by entering and winning a nearby pie baking  competition. The prize money would be her escape. Only she finds out she’s pregnant and events that surround her pregnancy threaten to keep her from making that dream a reality, and the outta this world original pies she creates are a way of expressing her happiness and frustrations. The movie stars Kerri Russell, who I’ve loved since the 90’s – I mean, helloooo Felicity. (Oh, you can relive your youth and watch it on ABC. And don’t get me started on The Americans), Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto and Adrienne Shelly.

    My sudden hatred for musicals and avoidance of Broadway vanished quicker than an the last Entenmann’s Apple Pie I bought.  I went on a mission to snag tickets, and when I got them I was hype! Who would have thought, me, excited to get to Broadway.

    waitress the musical

    When I arrived at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on a Wednesday night it was packed. I didn’t know what to expect when I got inside. In my mind I thought it would be very uptight, or maybe I’m thinking of the opera. But I’ll tell you I was shocked and excited to see they sold snacks and drinks to enjoy during the performance. This night was going to be better than I expected.

    And I was right!

    From the time the curtain went up from the time it went down Waitress the Musical was everything and then some. I am seriously having a hard time trying to decide which I enjoyed more, the movie or the musical. It was that GREAT!

    The cast of Waitress the Musical was fantastic, and their voices were out of this world. They sang in a way that I could only dream of, and not a single person was out of breath. It was effortless. Tony Award Winner Jessie Mueller plays the lead made the role of Jenna Hunterson and absolutely made it her own. I completely forgot about Kerri Russell. Jessie had me captivated. Co-Stars Keala Settle as Becky, Kimiko Glenn as Dawn, Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter and Nick Cordero and Earl were all stellar! Their one-liners, sarcasm and antics captivated the entire audience, especially Dr. Pomatter’s quirky personality and seductive bedside manner.

    waitress the musical
    Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller and Kimiko Glenn (Photo: Joan Marcus)
    waitress the musical
    Charity Angél Dawson, Drew Gheling and Jessie Mueller (Photo: Joan Marcus)
    waitress the muscial
    Jeremy Morse, Molly Hager, Jessie Mueller, Aisha Jackson and Stephanie Torns (Photo: Joan Marcus)

    Now I can’t talk about Broadway without talking about the music. Sara Bareilles, with her original music and lyrics earned her a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for “Waitress.” Her songs combined with the script is what really brings everything about Waitress the Musical together.

    The show runs over two hours with a 15 minutes intermission. It seemed long but I honestly didn’t want it to end. For someone who really didn’t care for anything about Broadway prior to going I found myself loving every moment of it.  I’m glad that my first introduction to Broadway was Waitress the Muscial and that it was so great that it left me looking into other shows.

    Get your tickets today for Waitress the Musical, who knows you might even see me there cause I know I’m going back!

    Watch the preview for Waitress the Musical below.


    FYI: I was provided 2 complementary tickets to the show for the purpose of this review. Thoughts and opinions are always my own. 

  • CHELSEA WATERSIDE PARK

    Solitude In The City is a series in which I locate places in the city where moms can go for a little R+R.

    Last Thursday I found myself with a lot of free time while attending a conference in Chelsea, and it was during this free time that my new friend Diane from philZENdia and I discovered Chelsea Waterside Park. And despite the rising blistering NYC heat we decided to take a stroll in the hopes of finding a shady bench to rest our feet. I told her about my plan to locate places for moms in the city to retreat to and we both agreed this would be a perfect location for a new Solitude in the City.

    mommyrandr

    I had just met Diane that morning, as we were attending the same conference. So unlike my Solitude in SOHO where I was alone to enjoy quietness of the city, this time I would do it with a new friend.

    I have to say there is nothing better than discovering something new and great with a new friend. The trees, flowers and peaceful flow of the Hudson River gave us the peace our minds and bodies so desperately needed after such a long grueling day, and it also allowed us to connect and swap stories about ourselves and our families.

    solitude

    When we weren’t laughing we sat in silence taking in everything around us. Sometimes the best thing two people can do together is enjoy quiet time. It allows each person to reflect on things going on in their lives or to just organize their mind, and I pretty sure that I can speak for her when I say, that is exactly what each of us needed at the moment. And even though I am a big talker, it felt great to just chill and reflect while our skin slowly melted off our bones into puddles of chocolate beneath our bench. Yes, it was that hot.

    I also noticed sitting there that despite being so close to the West Side Highway you really couldn’t hear the sounds coming from the highway. I don’t know if it was because the trees served as a sound proof bubble or maybe I was so deep in thought I was actually able to tuned out the sounds of NYC without the use of a headset. Either way its a perfect place to get lost in thought.

    So on a not so hot day, unless you love 90+ degree weather I recommended Chelsea Waterside Park for a little solitude in the city. I don’t know how far this park stretches but I entered at 23rd street right next to Chelsea Piers. But this is a must if you’re looking for an escape. And there’s grass so bring a blanket and picnic basket, and prepare for a quiet day at the park.

  • AN AFTERNOON OF VIP DRESS-UP AT KATE SPADE NYC

    If anyone tells you that playing dress up has to end at six years old they’ve clearly never gotten the VIP treatment at Kate Spade, because that’s exactly how I spent last Saturday. Playing dress up, sipping champagne and eating cake.

    kate spade valerie pierre mommyrandr

    I first became aware of the Kate Spade brand back in the early 90’s. Her signature purses were everywhere! As a teen, I saved up my meager part-time CVS paychecks and got one. Which makes me sad thinking back on it since my most treasured handbag has become lost over the years. I’m sure it’s no doubt a collector’s item. Today Kate Spade is more than just purses. Over the years it has become a tour de force in the fashion world, branching out into clothing, shoes, jewelry, fragrances and home decor. They are a full-fledged global lifestyle brand that still encompasses its commitment to providing women with vibrant, hip and trendy fashions.

    The flagship store located on Madison Avenue at 67th Street doesn’t look like a store at all but more like a luxury townhouse. It’s four floors of class and sophistication. The event took place on the top floor in a private room that could only be described as an uber luxe walk-in closet. There was a velvety soft couch and chairs, a table covered in champagne and desserts. Two of the walls hung the latest spring fashions, the third wall contained large cottage windows that looked out onto Madison Avenue, the fourth wall contained a large heavy wooden door that would separate us from the rest of the store and to complete the entire space is a dressing room large enough to accommodate three people.

    kate spade valerie pierre mommyrandr

    kate spade valerie pierre mommyrandr

     

    Once all the bloggers got acquainted the fun began. The store associates informed us that we could roam the store and select anything we wished to try on. We went in groups and as each attendee emerged from the fitting room she was met with, wow’s and cheers. When it was my turn to select an outfit I felt overwhelmed as there were so many pieces to try on. I didn’t want to select something someone had already tried and as I was about to give up I saw it, a red dress with a black and white neckline. I grabbed it and headed to the shoes. A pair of ankle strap heels, which they thankfully had in my size called my name. My clothes were handed off to an associate (you don’t carry anything here) and I would meet them back at the 4th floor. Like magic, my items were already waiting for me in the fitting room. I closed the curtain and hoped for the best. When I stepped out…

    kate spade valerie pierre mommyrandr

    I looked and felt like a million bucks! The moment I saw myself in the mirror I knew I had a to have this entire outfit. I chose the Wendy dress due to the color. They had all black but I’m trying to veer away from that. I think color agrees with me. This dress is also completely multifunctional. Worn day or night, with a special someone or out with the girls. I also loved that it hugged me in all the right places. I’m a mother of two and my midsection isn’t as flat as it used to be. And the heels…I haven’t worn a heel like this in years. But these are BETTER than the dozens of pairs I used to own. It was like walking on air. I could have walked to Brooklyn in them if you let me. Both of these items are available in store but only the dress is online.

    Now the only question I had was, how would I explain a $600+ purchase to my husband? He’s a frugal man and two items for that much money would leave him asking me…

    To which I say, yes. Yes, I am insane. Insane for these clothes!

     

    Thankfully they’re having a sale so my total won’t be too high. Or will it? Because I also saw accessories and home decor products. And let’s not talk about if you’re getting married or know someone who is, their bridal section made me wanna plan my wedding all over again.

    kate spade valerie pierre mommyrandr

    As the afternoon started to wind down and it was time to return the clothing, our hostess and event organizer Evelyn Amick of Indialynrose.com gave us cute gift bags that included items from Carmex, Chantilly Dallas and Vive Mejor who provided DOVE products.

    Playing dress up in high fashion clothes is how I expect to spend every weekend. Thank you, Evelyn, as you have now spoiled me. Looking forward to the next VIP dress up party.

    Have you shopped at Kate Spade? If so, what did you purchase? Share in the comments below.

    Photo Credit: Jcsmooth

    Update: June 5, 2018 – I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Kate Spade. My thoughts are with her family during this most difficult time.