The King and I: Not your old Yul Brynner


We attended the final performance at Kansas City’s Starlight of the King and I this past Sunday. And it was definitely a good show.

One of the things that makes continuing a long-running show difficult is if it has had iconic stars with iconic performances that made/created the original roles.  Both the rolls of Anna and the King are afflicted by this malady.

Yet you couldn’t tell that by the performances of the stars at Starlight. The portrayal of the characters was spot on. But there wasn’t a sense of Yul Brynner or any iconic star in attendance.

I noted that the actress playing Anna used some sort of inserted 16th note catch of lift in several of the songs to create the emphasis she wanted. This was not something I had seen in previous performances, yet worked quite well to provide the phrasing she wanted.  the “Your Servant” song was phrased so well that I suddenly saw social commentary that had always been in the song, but which previous performances had not made stand out to me.

“A puzzlement” gave the King actor a place to mark his difference, which he did well, and the kid’s when they sang theirs, really created a resonant moment.

It just shows that the material can stay true to the composer’s and writer’s script and vision, and yet stay fresh and new, if you have a cast willing to look at them with new eyes, while still being aware of the contributions of the great performances of the past.


A Blast of the Past: Church Picnic


Our Friends the Proctors — missionaries at the Black Forest Academy in Germany — visited our church picnic back in 2012.


A Look Ahead … Sister Act


Trying to put together the list of upcoming events. It is currently skewed to very few things immediate and more things further out. Also most of the events come from a very small set of sources.  Any suggestions to broaden the list is appreciated.

Through July 8 — Sister Act at New Theatre Restaurant

When disco diva Deloris witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in a convent! Using her unique singing talent, Deloris breathes new life into the community but blows her cover in the process. Soon, the gang gives chase. From the composer of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE LITTLE MERMAID and more, SISTER ACT was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Musical.


June 24— Rehearsals continue for Madrigalia Bar Nonne.

This isn’t an open to the public thing, but interested singers are always welcome to come and join rehearsals, and see if they might want to try out for this select group of period a capella musical performers. Rehearsals continue most Sundays through August, and then the group sings daily at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival at its grounds in Bonner Springs. Anyone interested in joining a rehearsal or the group, drop me a line and I will get you the necessary contact information.  I have been singing with this group since 1999.

June 29-July 1 — LibertyCon

This small and size-limited annual sciene fiction/fantasy convention in Chattanooga, TN is known for being a fun, open, yet family-feeling affair, one that is intensely interested in the art craft, and future of the genre, but also believes in not taking itself too seriously. The limit of 750 memberships is already sold out, and two of them belong to my wife and I. So there will be reports from and after the con on the blog for sure.

June 29-July 1 Starlight Theatre Kansas City MO

Show Time: 8 p.m.

Gates Time: 7 p.m.

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes, with intermission

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love – the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and more – plus some surprising new twists!

Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” This hilarious and romantic Broadway experience is for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.

Suitable for all audiences.

July 4 — American Independence Day

More items than I could hope to list belong to this day.  I am listing here the events in Kansas City, actually just the ones at Worlds of Fun:

Worlds of Fun wants to thank the men and women who have served and who are currently serving in our country’s military. Veterans of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard receive complimentary admission to Worlds of Fun on the following holidays:

Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 19, 2018)
Memorial Day (Monday, May 28, 2018)
Independence Day (Wednesday, July 4, 2018)
Labor Day (Monday, September 3, 2018)

Complimentary tickets are available for active duty, reserve, or retired military (with honorable or medical discharge) and government issued ID.

Veterans or active military members only will receive complimentary admission to Worlds of Fun, with the option to purchase up to six (6) discounted tickets for immediate family members.

Please present valid government issued ID at any ticket sales window located at the Worlds of Fun or Oceans of Fun main entrance in order to receive your free tickets for military service, and to purchase military discount tickets for immediate family.

July 14 — Avondale United Methodist Church Book Club

The club meets at 10 a.m. in the Church Library, and is open to anyone that wants to come and discuss, or listen to the discussion of the book slated for the month.  For July it is Truman by David McCullough. Well, the second half of the book; being such a monumentally large biography, we have chosen to split our discussion – and the book – into two parts. Since McCullough divides the book into six parts, we discussed his parts 1 to 3 last month, with parts 4 to 6 in July.

July 21 — The Harlem Globetrotter Experience

July 21 & 22 at 5pm & 7pm

As the official juice drink of the Harlem Globetrotters, TUM-e YUMMIES is excited to bring you the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Keep the fun going with the delicious fruity flavors of TUM-e YUMMIES available for purchase throughout the park.

During a 20-minute show performed twice each day near International Plaza, guests of all ages will be entertained by the Globetrotters ball-handling and shooting skills, crowd interaction, and unique brand of comedy.

Throughout their history that spans over nine decades, the Globetrotters have entertained more than 150 million guests, showcasing their vast array of talents in 122 countries on six continents.

The Globetrotters shows are included with Worlds of Fun admission.

#282: Hiding in Thee


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly,
So sinful, so weary — Thine, Thine would I be:
Thou blest “Rock of Ages”, I’m hiding in thee.
Hiding in Thee,
Hiding in THeee,
Thou blest “”Rock of Ages”,
I’m hiding in Thee.

In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o’er me its pow’r
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest “Rock of Ages”, I’m Hiding in Thee.

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like seabillows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul,

Sabbatical Update: Lost and Found


All the sweeping and searching doesn’t always seem to find the lost Talent — at least sometimes not for a long time. I have two items, one still in transit, one that was just found — to illustrate this, either well or not.

I had bicycle goals and tracked all the miles daily with an online spreadsheet this year. Then on April 29 I posted my last to the spreadsheet. I had somehow lost the mobile portion of the odometer that I moved back and forth from the computer to the bike and back. Since it wasn’t on the bicycle for the past  month and a half, I have no idea how much cycling I have done.

Once I lost the tracking it changed how and what I did with the cycling.  I have been using it to steadily walk the dog in the morning, and I have used routes laid out on MapMyWalk to know where to go, which gave some mileage, but haven’t wrapped it back into my spreadsheet or a general plan.

Today I found that missing part, while pulling something out of my computer bag while upon a return from an external excursion with my laptop.  Now I can start tracking again, if I want to.  Trying to decide what to do.

I have a different item that I have lost more recently, yet to be found, my glasses. They are photo grays, both my regular and sun glasses.  Had ridden the bicycle with them last week and couldn’t find them after coming  back inside the house and taking them off.  Somehow I did not set them down in my prescribed places to locate later, and our scouring of various spots in the house has not located them.

Scour is actually the wrong word, since no one has actually cleaned anything during the search.  But they have to show up sooner or later. In the meantime I have gone back to wearing my old glasses with the earpiece that has fallen off on the left side, thus making it easy for them to slide off my ears.

The other piece for today’s blog is the below, start lisening about minute 8 to the end.  Perhaps the job I am looking for hasn’t been created yet, or is so new that few are aware of it to help me find it?

Fitness Update: Heat


We have  been having some hot weather here is the Kansas City area, not enough yet to make us think the rest of the summer will be hot, but enough to expect this to be one of several spells of heat we are likely to get.

In non-fitness posts I have mentioned starting gardening again this year, and our unique corn growing method. I’m not going to discuss the growing method here. I’m going to make an observation about corn, and then, make it fit into fitness.

My dad told me that corn grew to maturity in a certain number of “degree days”. Corn grows when the temperature gets to a certain point, I think around 60, and then grows until the temperature is too hot, after 90. The number of growinh days where the temperature stay in that range are the degree days, and a certain number of them is required for maturity.

So a day can be either too hot or  too cold for the corn to grow. On a hot Illinois day, when it creeps to night, you might walk into a corn field and hear it crackling from the growth. All the pent up energy collected during the day, when it was too hot to grow, is being made up during the night, when it is finally cool enough.

My fitness for people note is that heat, or cold, should affect our ability to make the gains, or the performance we expect from workouts. I have noticed that I need to wear a sweat band virtually any time I am outside doing anything anymore. The performance of my body does well keeping up with the heat, but it does so by a VERY efficient and prodigious use of my eccrine glands to perspire.

Make sure you adjust appropriately for the temperature, and that you don’t get stressed when system like the eccrine glands are doing their duty to regulate your body’s temperature. Getting nervous about this natural and beneficial process makes you both physically and psychologically more stressed and less productive.

So I have, for example, been taking jogs, interspersed with short runs and walks, that keep me working out but put the heat level where I want it. It determines my pace of the day. And thus endurance is better.


#281: Never Alone


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


I’ve seen the lightning flashing And heard the thunder roll,

I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, Which tried to conquer my soul;

I’v heard the voice of my Savior, He bid me still fight on —

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.


No, never alone, no, never alone —

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone;

No, never alone, No, never alone —

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.


The world’s fierce winds are blowing — temptation’s sharp and keen;

I have a peace in knowing My Saviorstands between;

He stands to shield me from danger When all my friends are gone —

He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.



When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care,

My Savior helps me carry The cross so heavy to bear;

Tho all around me is  darkness And earthly joys are flown

My Savior whispers His promise — Never to leave me alone.



He died on Calv’ry’s mountain, For  me they pierced His side,

For me He opened that fountain, The crimson, cleansing tide;

For me  He’s waiting in glory Upon His heav’nly throne —

He promised never to leave me , Never to leave me alone.