Roadtirement’s 2019 revisited

My gosh has this year gone fast, or what?  We started the year traveling from Indiana to Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Park Place RV Resort was our home for two months.  Some pure tourist type stuff was of course a requirement in the new to us area. The border with Mexico, those daunting US Border Patrol SUV’s and the fence/wall were eye openers for us. We enjoyed the sights of Port Isabel and the beaches of South Padre Island. That 55+ RV resort living helped us realize that we liked being “Winter Texans”!

Nice concrete patio at our site in Harlingen.

One day we went to the border wall in Brownsville.

The Port Isabel lighthouse

We spent some time in March with family in Austin, then back to Indiana. It took a bit to get back into being in the Midwest again, but there was lots we did over the summer. We try to go to as many musicals as we can at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. An excellent buffet and even better show make for a great evening out. In May we also set up at the US Highway 40 Yard sale in Dunreith, a small town  between Greenfield and Richmond, Indiana. For four days folks travel the highway looking for treasures and bargains.

Musical “Hairspray” at Beef and Boards

Our set up for the Highway 40 Yard Sale

 

 

 

 

 

Camping with kids and grand kids became a fun past time this summer. We took our RV and our kids brought their tent(s) for themselves and any of the grand kids that could come along. An Ohio State Park, US Forest Service Recreation Area, and a Jellystone Park RV resort served us well. Never a dull moment when camping, especially in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest after a toad strangler of a rain which flooded a tent. Yes, we were able to sleep 6 fairly comfortably in our 24′ Class C Four Winds. We had to use an alternate route to leave the area as the main road was washed out.

Spacious campsite in the Monongahela National Forest

West Virginia’s Horseshoe Rec Area

Our campsite, tent is out of site on the left

Entrance to the Ohio State park, lake in the background

Gorgeous end to the day at Ohio’s Kaiser Lake State Park

Another summer highlight was our trip to Niagara Falls. The guided tour was definitely worth the cost. The small Gray Line tour bus picked us up at our RV campground. The tour was all inclusive, including of course the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride taking you into the soaking up close view of the falls. If you have not been to Niagara Falls, go!

Here we are after our Maid of the Mist adventure. That is the American Falls barely visible between us.

Restaurant view of the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls. The food was good, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I were pretty busy during the summer, including some additional selling at several town festivals. By the time the end of October came around we were ready to head back out on the road and head south once again. We had talked before about visiting the Diamond Mine State Park in Arkansas. The weather had been rather wet, but we decided that it would be a great time to check this place out on our way back to Texas. We went and had a ball. No diamonds found, and the muddy ground was hard to traverse. But, we have a bucket of neat rocks for our rock garden.

Getting ready to head to the muddy field and begin our search for diamonds

Here I am shovel ready to find one of those huge diamonds shown in the picture next to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to Texas with a quick stop in Texarkana. There the courthouse is positioned literally on the Arkansas/Texas State line. Interesting to say the least. We stopped at our family’s place in Austin for a couple of days before we went to our spot at the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin. The La Hacienda is a Sun Resort property, complete with all the expected facilities. We have been here since the first of November. The past two months have given us a chance to explore the Austin area. The Hill Country is filled with wineries, breweries and distilleries. Yep, we have enjoyed more than one of these establishments.

A beautiful Saturday at the Bull Creek Park in Austin

Los Pinos restaurant is only 1/4 mile from our RV Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 has been quite the adventure for Roadtirement! We can’t list everything, but know that we have had a great year. In figuring up where were have been, we discovered that in 2019 we actually lived 5 out of 12 months as Winter Texans. This could get to be habit forming! We are going to start 2020 by going to Seattle to visit our daughter and her family in January. Stay tuned, we’ll fill you in!

Wishing you and yours and all our friends a safe and prosperous New Years!

Maj and Sher

Little Shop of Horrors is at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Prepare yourself, Indianapolis, for the off-beat, dark musical comedy that is Little Shop  of Horrors! The show’s premier was in May of 1982. The Off-Broadway run was a great success, and during that run a star studded film was also produced.

Picture a skid row flower shop struggling to stay in business. Assistant Seymour Krelborn comes into possession of a strange plant. Named Audrey II after the girl of his dreams, Seymour discovers that the strange plant talks, sings R&B, promises fame and fortune, and needs human blood to survive and grow. Starting  in a flower pot, the blood thirsty creature soon is a monstrous size.

Seymour Krelborn (Joey Boos), center, introduces Mr. Mushnik (Douglas E. Stark) and Audrey (Jenny Reber) to his strange and unidentified plant

Mayhem breaks out as Seymour tries his best to keep feeding Audrey II the human blood that the creature demands. “Feed Me!” becomes the mantra for the monster, and the terror for Seymour! Side story lines keep the show rolling along as Seymour keeps loving Audrey, who is stuck in a violent relationship with dentist Orin Scrivello. How does Seymour keep Audrey II alive and well? Let’s say that people start to disappear. Laced throughout the show are some wonderful songs and dance routines.

The B&B production is filled with stage favorites. Joey Boos returns to the Beef & Boards stage in the role of Seymour. Also returning are Jenny Reber as Audrey,  and Logan Moore  as Orin Scrivello, DDS. Douglas E. Stark plays the role of Mr. Mushnik, the hapless owner of the skid row flower shop where Audrey II lives. It is interesting to note that the voice of Audrey II comes from Josiah R McCruiston and Josh Maldonado is the talented puppeteer of the creature. You never see either on stage!

Seymour (Joey Boos) is horrified by the demands of Audrey II

 

It is easy to see why Little Shop of Horrors has a nearly cult status.  The sci-fi hit about a carnivorous plant with world domination on its mind is just too much fun. Rated PG-13, the production does present some violence and graphic references and a touch of sexual innuendo.

Little Shop of Horrors is rated PG-13 and is on stage through Nov. 17. Tickets  include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea, and lemonade. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website here.

Award winning Hairspray on stage at Beef & Boards

The turbulent 60’s come to life on stage at Indy’s beloved Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre with the presentation of the Broadway musical Hairspray. This Tony Award winning show lights up the B&B stage with a large and very talented cast telling the story of a Baltimore teen who gets a spot on the local TV dance show.

Tracy Turnblad (Adee David) falls for teen idol Link Larkin (Nate Willey) and wants to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. Standing in her way is the spiteful and prejudiced Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) who is using Link as her way to fame. The plot thickens and results in jail time after a protest against the segregation policy of the TV show.

The drama aside, the highlight of the production of course is the toe-tapping songs including “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Big, Blonde and Beautiful,” “You Can’t Stop The Beat” and “Welcome to the ‘60s.” Motormouth Maybelle (Tarra Conner Jones) brings down the house with her powerful and poignant version of “I Know Where I’ve Been.” Amber Von Tussle (Sarah Daniels) directs a humorous “Cooties”  at rival Tracy.

A highlight for me was the dance and song duet by Wilbur Turnblad (Eddie Curry) and Edna Turnblad (Daniel Klingler). Their rendition of “You’re Timeless To Me” was one of the funniest and most cleverly choreographed numbers I have seen in a long time. Eddie Curry, by the way, is also the Director of the show.

Every song will have you smiling. The characters will have you rooting for them or loving to hate! The B&B orchestra once again will amaze you with the quality and depth of music it produces. The sets and lighting seamlessly support the production. The costumes are fabulous. Have you figured it out yet? Do not miss Hairspray.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Hairspray is now on stage through Oct. 6. Tickets include the dinner buffet and are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

 

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story rocks Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Everyone received a pair of Holly’s signature glasses in their program. Group photos followed

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story received a standing ovation after last night’s show. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre audiences rarely give a standing ovation.  I could stop my review right now. However the show is so great that I want to share more details. This musical is filled with over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits as well as other numbers from Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The show tells the true story of Holly’s phenomenal rise to fame after his first hit “That’ll Be The Day” hit radio in 1957.

Holly is played by Kyle Jurassic, making his debut at Indy’s immensely popular dinner theater venue. Jurassic is no stranger to this role as he has held the title role prior to this production. He has devoted much time to learning about what kind of man Holly was, and this ads a flavor of authenticity to his portrayal of the man with the glasses.

Among  Holly’s greatest hits featured were  “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” “Not Fade Away,” “Rave On,” and “Raining In My Heart”.  In addition  Ritchie Valens’ signature song “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s trademark song “Chantilly Lace” are also included in the show.

Chuck Caruso plays the Big Bopper and Edward LaCardo is Richie Valens. Both do a great job portraying the characteristics of these iconic performers. Josh McLemore is outstanding as drummer Joe Maudlin. James Daley shows you things you never thought were possible when playing the bass as Jerry Allison. Beef and Boards favorite Sarah Hund shows off not only her voice but her fiddle playing as well. All supporting actors and musicians add to the incredible talent offered to the audience in the show.

Kyle Jurassic plays the iconic title role in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story Photo courtesy B&B Media

Of special note is the immensely powerful voice of Tara Conner Jones as Mama Pearl, lead signer at the Apollo Theater in New York. Her electrifying version of “Shout” brings the house down.

There is of course a touch of grief as you know what happens. Holly, the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and pilot Roger Peterson were killed  in a tragic plane crash shortly after the Iowa concert. The news is given on stage with gravity and sadness. However, more music follows leading to a grand grand finale.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is on stage at B&B through August 18th. For tickets, which include the dinner buffet, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For show details, including performance schedule, visit Beef & Boards website here.

 

Love the dancing of 42nd Street at Beef & Boards

If you love classic musicals live on stage get to Beef & Boards during the current run of 42nd Street. This Tony Award winning show has all of the elements that make Broadway musicals so entertaining: song, dance, romance, and did I say dance?

“We’re In The Money” is one of the highlights of the show

This production features newcomers to B&B as well as some of your favorites from past shows. Dan Bob Higgins plays Billy Lawlor along side of Mark Epperson playing the show manager. Sarah Hund is Dorthy Brock, an egotistical veteran actress. Kaylee Verble makes her B&B debut as the lead part of Peggy Sawyer, an aspiring gal from Allentown, Pennsylvania hoping to make it on Broadway.

You will recognize several of the songs in 42nd Street. “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” and “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” will get your feet tapping to the tunes. The dancing can be described as superb. The precision tap dances are some of the best I’ve seen.  “We’re In The Money” brought down the house. It was the best number I have  seen during years of enjoying Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

Ron Morgan’s choreography brings out the best in his dancers. Jill Kelly Howe’s costumes are stunning to see and Kristy Templet continues to amaze with the marvelous music from the small live orchestra. Hats off to the direction of Eddie Curry that brings it all together. 42nd Street is a joyful toe tapping treat!

42nd Street is on stage for through May 19. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

Elf, The Musical at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre

Santa gives Buddy a snow globe

We had a delightful evening at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre with Elf, the Musical on stage. This is the first time in years for the popular Indy theater to not have a Christmas variety show. The choice of Elf, The Musical, however, gives patrons a wonderful celebration of the season.

Elf, The Musical is of course the story of a human raised by Santa’s North Pole Elves.  Buddy thinks he is an elf. But, when Buddy hears that he is human, Santa decides to send him to New York City to meet his human father. Thus the chaos begins. Dan Bob Higgins gave a remarkably energetic performance as Buddy. His character gushes with joy and happiness.  Higgins’ performance carries the show.

We enjoyed young Aiden Shurr, a 5th grader, who plays Michael Hobbs, Buddy’s younger brother. This young man did an admirable job both in song and line deliverance. Doug Stark both directs and fulfills his favorite role: Santa Claus. Christmas time at B&B would be incomplete without Stark’s Santa!

Jill Kelly Howe has again done an outstanding job on the costumes. She has successfully made gown actors become short elves. Clever, indeed. The lighting and set design works to enhance the production. Kristy Templet’s orchestra shines.

The show is filled with some great humor. We got a kick out of some great lines both traditional and contemporary. The Ron Morgan choreography gave the entire cast the chance to show off their dance talents.

Elf, The Musical runs  through December 31st. For reservations, you can call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For a complete show schedule, including information about the New Year’s Eve party, visit the Beef & Boards website.

 

Million Dollar Quartet rocks the Beef & Boards stage

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is presenting the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet . We were able to catch this show recently, and boy were we glad we did! The story tells how Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash ended up together in the studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee in December, 1956.

Jamming in Sun Records Studio Photo courtesy B&B Media

We were absolutely amazed at the amount of talent on stage. Each cast member gives an amazing and energetic performance. I wanted to dance in the aisles! Get ready to enjoy  “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk the Line,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and other classic hits.

We thought that Edward La Cardo nailed Elvis both in voice and in the gyrations of his presentation. Justin Figueroa is near perfect Johnny Cash when he “Walks the Line”. Brian Michael Henry, as Jerry Lee Lewis, redefines the phrase “tickle the ivories”.  His fingers just fly across the keys.  And I am sure that Carl Perkins is looking down on Christopher Wren and taps his feet in approval of Wren’s handling of the guitar. Yep, he’s that good. Dave Perry (Brother Jay) is a superb bass player, and Nathan Shew (Fluke) is outstanding on the drums. Rounding out the cast are Beef & Boards regulars Eddie Curry as Sam Phillips and Jill Kelly Howe as Dyanne.

We had a  very special evening at Million Dollar Quartet at Beef  & Boards Dinner Theatre. The music was iconic and professionally performed. We even got a history lesson as well. The sometimes dirty dealings of the record industry back then are shown. And in addition to the show, Chef Odell Ward’s buffet even adds  Southern inspiration to his scrumptious food. If you are in the Indy area we highly recommend MDQ. This is one not to miss.  For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information or complete show schedule through August 26th, visit Beef & Boards website.

 

“Singin in the Rain” gave us an enjoyable evening at Beef & Boards in Indianapolis

A live version of the MGM movie Singin in the Rain is on stage now at the Indianapolis Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Sher and I enjoyed the first Saturday evening performance of this classic romantic comedy.

Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), doesn’t mind the downpour as he’s “Singin’ in the Rain” (photo courtesy B&B media)

Singin in the Rain is based on the 1952 MGM feature starring Gene Kelly. The B&B version has a dynamic and talented cast that recreates the famous numbers from the movie. An outstanding performance is given by Hoosier native Buddy Reeder  as Cosmo Brown. Timothy Ford has the lead as Don Lockwood, Kimberly Dorren Burns is cast oppposite him in the role of Kathy Selden. We laughed out loud at B&B favorite Sarah Hund as she nailed the character of Lina Lamont, a ditsy blonde with an amazingly obnoxious voice. Eddie Curry has great comedic timing as the movie director, and Beef & Boards Executive Director Doug Stark once again enjoys being on stage, this time as the movie studio producer.

Cosmo Brown (Buddy Reeder), left, and Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), right, tap dance while singing “Moses Supposes” to the diction teacher (Michael Shelton) Photo courtesy B&B media

The orchestra is excellent as usual, conducted by Terry Woods who also plays keyboard. Additional musicians included Rick Hajduk on trumpet, Dorthy McDonald on woodwinds, Kristy Templet on keyboard and Cameron Bailey on percussion. You can’t believe how much sound this orchestra can deliver!

Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns), center front, pops out of a cake and sings “All I Do is Dream of You” with more dancers during a celebration for Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont at Monumental Picture

We are always impressed with the quality of the lighting and sets at this intimate theater. A couple of technical problems at the beginning of Act 1 were handled with true professionalism. It is fun to see the wide variety of stage effects they can get out of this rather small but very versatile stage.

Ron Morgan’s choreography is true to the flavor of the original. Reeder and Ford display tap dancing perfection in the hilarious number “Moses Supposes”. Those two guys really know how to make those tap shoes talk. And yes, Ford’s rendition of the title song takes place during a real rain shower on stage! Front row tables may even get a few drops of rain during the number.

Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns), onstage center in white, performs during the lavish “Beautiful Girl” number on the Monumental Pictures soundstage

Speaking of songs, get ready to hear the songs that made the original movie such a hit. Listen for “Good Morning”, “All I Do is Dream of You”, “You are My Lucky Star” and of course “Singin in the Rain”. I got nostalgic when Reeder sang “Make ‘Em Laugh”. I’ve always liked that song from the first time I heard it at the movie.

Our evening at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre gave us an opportunity to have a relaxing evening of great food and professional entertainment. Our evening began when we were escorted to our table. Drinks are ordered, and then you are invited to the all you care to eat buffet. I always go back for a second slice of the signature roast beef.  Our waiter made sure our drink glasses were always filled. Get a cup of coffee after supper. The coffee is terrific. Deserts are available and Sher and I always  choose to enjoy ours at intermission. (Even though we are supposed to watch our sugar intake, we both went for the Chicago cheesecake with blueberry and strawberry toppings.)

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Singin’ in the Rain is on stage through May 26th.  For tickets, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

“Singin in the Rain” will make a splash at Beef and Boards

In 1952 famed movie company MGM produced a musical directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. “Singin in the Rain” took the industry and movie goers by storm. Indy’s beloved Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre brings the stage version to its intimate facility for 50 performances through May 26th. Sher and I are really looking forward to seeing this production!

Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), doesn’t mind the downpour as he’s “Singin’ in the Rain” (photo courtesy B&B media)

The title song made Kelly famous for his dancing in the rain. Somehow the B&B technical crew is going to make it rain on stage during that famous number. Can’t wait to see that inside rain storm. We’ll report on what we thought of the show after we’ve seen it. Get ticket info at Beef & Boards website.

 

Mamma Mia! takes down the house at Beef and Boards

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is celebrating its 45th Anniversary Season. Headlining the season is the beloved Indy venue’s premier of Mamma Mia!  Set on a Greek Island, the musical tells the story of Sophie, who wants her father at her upcoming wedding. The rub is she doesn’t know who he is, leading to three potential dads being invited to the event. The chaos you  might expect soon follows.

The Dynamos, Donna (Amy Bodnar), center, Tanya (Jalynn Steele), left, and Rosie (Lanene Charters) sing “Super Trouper” during a party for the bride-to-be Sophie

All of the 20 + numbers are from the famed Swedish group ABBA. You will love enjoying your favorite ABBA songs as they come to life on stage. You will delight when you hear the intro and realize that Donna, Rosie and Tanya are going to perform their version of the adored “Dancing Queen”. Especially of note is Sam and Donna’s rendition of “SOS”, and just wait for the hilarious presentation of “Take a Chance on Me” by Bill and Rosie.

Rosie (Lanene Charters) implores Bill Austin (Jeff Stockberger) to “Take a Chance on Me”

The energy displayed by this performance is remarkable. Each number showcases the exquisite talent, both in voice and dance, of all of the cast. Hats off to Ron Morgan for the choreography (and the Direction). Costumes, sets, lighting and all other support aspects of the production have reached perfection. The B&B orchestra has proven without a doubt that they are one of, if not the best, live theater orchestra.

Pepper (Leonard D. Harris Jr.), center, shows off with his friends (Gideon Chickos, left, and Ike Wellhausen) demonstrate the incredible energy of this show!

Several actors make their B&B debut during Mamma Mia! They include Amy Bodnar as Donna, mother of the bride. Also making their B&B debuts are Rachelle Rose Clark as Sophie, and Mark Epperson as Sam Carmichael, Will Leonard as Sky, and Jalynn Steele as Tanya. Several B&B regulars also star in the show.

Reuniting after many years, the Dynamos (from left) Tanya (Jalynn Steele), Rosie (Lanene Charters), and Donna (Amy Bodnar) sing “Dancing Queen” together using hair implements as microphones

Mamma Mia! is a production that deserves attending more than one time. This is one you have to see. The ABBA tunes will take you back in time or introduce you to a super group if you have not heard them before. Mamma Mia! runs through April 8th. Go to the Beef & Board website for show schedules, ticket pricing and any other information. But by all means go enjoy this fabulous performance.