Tag Archives: travel

International Thespian Festival

I am once again in Lincoln, Nebraska for a week of student engagement at the International Thespian Festival.

We started the journey on Sunday morning, arriving in Lincoln less than 8 hours later.

And then the crew from Webster enjoyed a steak dinner at Misty’s, across the street from our Embassy Suites hotel.

I’ll have photos and updates throughout the week!

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NYC18: The Tony Awards

Thanks to Ball State University Singers alum Luke Meyer, who has over ten years remained a constant and dear one of my ‘kids,’ I attended the 72nd annual Tony Awards on Sunday.

Luke knew one of the cast members of Carousel who had over-purchased his block of tickets, so we had seats four rows from the top of Radio City Music Hall.  And except for distance from stage, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

I’ll add some photos at the end of this post, but will share a few thoughts first:

  • The emotional high point of the evening was the appearance on stage of students from Florida, singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent.
  • For me, the first big “I’m so glad I’m in this room moment” was witnessing Ari’el Stachel’s acceptance speech.  The room was in rapt attention as he spoke of no more being ashamed to be of Middle Eastern descent.
  • DeNiro stopped the show.  And got bleeped on television.  Twice.  He appeared on stage without any big announcement.  In fact, we were still focused on stage left and the end of the previous acceptance speech, and suddenly he was there, using the F word, and exalting in his moment.  The room was electric.
  • Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera both accepted their honorary Tony Awards prior to live air-time, and both delivered lovely speeches.  They were each perfect in their own way.  But that strange tribute montage during the broadcast was, well, a disaster.
  • And The Band’s Visit?  I’m surprised it cleaned up, but the Tony voters seem to be voting against the commercialization so apparent in the other three nominated new musicals, and they certainly seemed to celebrate this lovely, beautiful, perfect little show.
  • Springsteen.  Wow.  Just wow.

My holiday ended in wonderful fashion, and I’m so grateful to Luke for procuring tickets!

And here’s the New York Times review of the broadcast:

NYC18: my kids

I didn’t catch up with nearly everyone I wished this trip.

Some of my kids were out of town.  Others were occupied.

But every NYC trip brings me such joy as I reconnect with students from across the years.  This tribe is active and vital and energetic and living/striving the dream.

From Greenwich Village to Lincoln Center and at points in between, here are some shots with my kids this trip:

NYC18: things to do

I attended a wine & cheese tasting class today at Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village.  I learned some things, and enjoyed a delightful 90 minutes of noshing.  That my old student Luke Meyer was with me made the class even more fun!


Today’s panhandler was so polite that I gladly gave the $3 to him.

I was sitting in Union Square Park, enjoying the last few pages of a book.  The breeze was cool, and the long park benches just invited people to sit down.  My coffee was at my side.  I kept hearing acoustic guitar music, and finally realized that a 20-something guy was noodling on his beat-up old guitar, further down the bench.

The sound was enchanting, but I was engrossed in my book.

I didn’t realize he was getting ready to leave until he said “Sir, I’ve not had any coffee today and sure could use some.”

My Dunkin Donuts coffee had cost me less than $3, so I handed him that same amount.  Then we talked music theory for ten minutes.


NYC is bedecked in rainbow decals. Store windows have posted broad swaths of rainbow flag stripes.


Union Square market on a Saturday is a lovely place to people-watch, sample food and drink, and (were I to live here) gather foodstuffs for a week.

Photos from this morning:


Get out of Midtown, and suddenly prices do drop a bit.

Kurt and I were in Williamsburg yesterday, and stopped at a bakery.  Two pastries and two iced teas were less than $10.


Time now for a nap before seeing another show this evening!

NYC18: street cleaner

I just heard the rumble, and then saw with my own eyes, a street cleaning truck making its way west on 47th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

That the truck was cleaning the middle of the street, and not the gutters, and that it was moving perhaps too rapidly to be effective . . . well, that’s just New York City!

Fair weather, temperate days, and sunny skies.  Hello, Wednesday in Manhattan!

And now to find some coffee.

Forthcoming travel

Travel plans for the next year are shaping up.

March 2018 — Moscow, Vienna, London

May 2018 — Kansas City, Boston

June 2018 — NYC

July 2018 — Vienna, with a one-day stop in Stockholm

August 2018 — Helena, Montana

November 2018 — Washington DC

January 2019 — Hong Kong, Bangkok, Saigon

I’ll have a few more short trips in there too, but these are the big ones!