Ring of Fire opens at Beef & Boards

Johnny CashThe iconic songs of Johnny Cash will provide a unique entertainment opportunity starting this week at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre on Indy’s northwest side. Ring of Fire is not your typical musical. According to a Beef and Boards press release:

“An icon of American music history, Johnny Cash’s contributions as a singer songwriter are legendary. Ring of Fire brings his story of love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family to the stage. More than two dozen of his hits, from “I Walk the Line,” to “A Boy Named Sue,” to “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the famous title tune are performed by a multi-talented cast.”

Johnny Cash’s amazing story is told through his music, making Ring of Fire an exhilarating salute to the Man in Black. Of interest is the fact that Cash is never impersonated in the show. Sher and I are really looking forward to attending a performance soon. We will have a full review posted after we go!

There will be 44 performances of Ring of Fire in the intimate atmosphere of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet. 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.

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat thrills the crowds at Beef & Boards

The cast sings “Go, Go, Go Joseph” Courtesy B&B Media

The cast sings “Go, Go, Go Joseph” Courtesy B&B Media

Beef & Boards is offering the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice production of  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as its first musical of the 2017 season. Prepare to put a smile on your face as you enjoy this delightful presentation at Indy’s beloved dinner theatre that runs through March 26th.

Tim Wessel has the title role. Having been the understudy for the character in the recent National Tour, Wessel brings a life long love of the production to his performance. Based on the Old Testament story of Joseph and his life in Egypt, the show was nominated for seven Tony Awards during its Broadway run. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features a wide variety of music including country, rock, pop and even calypso.

All aspects of the production reveal the professionalism and expertise of the Beef & Boards theatre. The costumes designed by Jill Kelly are a visual treat. The stage set is both dynamic and stunning. The orchestra, directed by Kristy Templet, brings an amazing variety of music to the stage. Doug King both directs and choreographs with an eye for an exciting show. The dancing is superb. Hats off to the talented kids in the Children’s Ensembles who show remarkable on stage poise and talent.

Andrea Fleming makes her B&B debut as the Narrator. Douglas E. Stark in his 45th year in the business is delightful in his portrayal of Jacob and Potiphar. Look for hilarious anachronisms that pop up all through the show including Disco, country swing, and of course Elvis.

Andrea Fleming as the Narrator Courtesy B&B Media

Andrea Fleming as the Narrator Courtesy B&B Media

Ryan Neal Green is incredible in his number that has Pharaoh turning into an Egyptian version of Elvis, complete with the hair and gyrating hips. Prepare to tap your feet, smile and think “are they really doing this?” Once again the elaborate costumes add to the splendor of the number. Green’s kibitzing with the crowd adds yet another dimension to the scene.

This production has gone to the top of the list for our favorite shows we have enjoyed at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Every aspect of the show is exciting and surprising. The finale of the show has the entire Company in the “Joseph Megamix” featuring a wildly energetic number that acts a a wrap up. You’ll love it. Don’t miss this show.

Check the Beef & Boards website for information. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664 between 10 a.m. & 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. Tickets include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, and select beverages. Plenty of free parking is available.

The Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky

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The Museum building

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The working carousel

Early "Armored Horse"

Early “Armored Horse”

Sandusky, Ohio is home to a fascinating museum devoted to the history of the carousel and merry-go-round. You will be amazed at the history of the different styles of animals used throughout the years. There are so many subtle variations within the different styles.

Another feature is a full sized and working carousel within the building. Go ahead, enjoy a ride on this marvelous piece of history. It was purchased in the 1990’s. No animals came with the ride, and museum staff lovingly added animals from the onsite collection as well as loaned animals from private collections.

The museum is in the old Post Office building and there have even been some paranormal activity reported within the museum! Here is the museum website with all information including open hours, etc.

“The Lost Colony” brings history to the outdoor stage

1st contact between Indians and English

1st contact between Indians and English

The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island has been the subject of study by historians for centuries. For the past 79 years the Roanoke Island Historical Association has put on a play that gives the history of the lost settlement and one version of what happened to the missing settlers.

This production is a wonderful play. The costumes and sets are fantastic and the actors are professionals who give great performances. The outdoor theatre is very comfortable and all seats provide good views of the stage. The show has all the elements of a top notch production including a seamless narration given by a “National Park Ranger”.

The story line traces the history of the early English explorations in the New World. The interaction between the Indians and the English is portrayed with drama and in a couple of cases violence. The scenes shift back and forth between Roanoke Island and Queen Elizabeth and the English Royal Court and the docks in London.

Lavish costume for "Queen Elizabeth"

Lavish costume for “Queen Elizabeth” (Emily Asbury)

Actor Christian Muller

Actor Christian Muller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to chat with one of the cast members prior to the show. Christian Durand Muller was a delight to talk with and, as part of the Choir, added greatly to the production.

The Waterside Theatre is located within the grounds of the Fort Raleigh National historic Site. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a popular travel destination. When you visit be sure to get tickets for “The Lost Colony”. Here is the website.

Old Tom (Robert Hooghkirk)

Old Tom (Robert Hooghkirk)

Sure looks like a ship sailing off to the New World!

Sure looks like a ship sailing off to the New World!

Don Bridge portrays NPS Historian (narrator)

Don Bridge portrays NPS Historian (narrator)

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus Ohio

One of the beautiful butterflies

One of the beautiful butterflies

The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio is a most remarkable facility. Nestled in the beauty of the Franklin Park, the Conservatory houses a wide varitey of fauna from all over the world. Different ecosystems are represented in different “rooms” within the massive structure.

Himalayan Mountain fauna is found in one of the rooms. You can move from the Himalayan Mountains through a door and enjoy desert plants in yet another room, Man made stone outcroppings set the foundation for all of the plants on display. Waterfalls and other water features add to the ambience of the displays.

 

Of special interest is the tropical rain forest room that also serves as a home to hundreds of butterflies. Bred on site, the different species of butterflies are released several times during the week by staff members. During these informative release shows the staff discusses the life cycles and traits of each butterfly.

Strange cacti in the desert hall

Strange cacti in the desert hall

Brilliant color and striking bloom

Brilliant color and striking bloom

Parts of the facility was under renovation when we visitied with our granddaughter, however the construction did not interfere with our enjoyment of the many plants and ecosystems represented.

Make sure to plan a visit to the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus. All pertainent information is on their website here.

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Erick Oklahoma on historic Route 66

When traveling east on I-40 into Oklahoma from Texas you should take Exit 7 and head south into the town of Erick. This former boom town was founded in 1901 but fell into trouble after WW II. The main street is filled with several nice old brick buildings that unforunately are mostly empty.

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IMG_3999Of special interest in Erick is the relic adorned “City Meat Market” building. This brick is covered in old signs the likes of which would make any antique picker green with envy. This is the current home to the Sand Hill Curiosity Shop. We did not hit Erick on a day that the shop was open. A local shared that the shop is owned and operated by a pair of characters named Annabelle and Harley, AKA the Mediocre Musicians. They will play and sing for you if you catch them there.

 

 

 

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Erick was the birthplace of Roger Miller who fittingly was the writer and performer of the hit song “King of the Road”. Another native son is Sheb Wooley, an actor on the TV series “Rawhide” and the artist who wrote and sang that unique hit “Purple People Eater”. If you know any of these references you are dating yourself!

A detour off of I-40 to see Erick,Oklahma is worth your effort and time.

Sunset over the Sonoran desert

We took a drive to the Tucson Mountain District of the Saguaro National Park one evening. It was a visual delight to watch the desert turn from the bright sunlight of the day into the subdued lighting of dusk followed by yet another night.

One by one the cacti lose the sun's warmth

One by one the cacti lose the sun’s warmth

Shadows begin to lengthen

Shadows begin to lengthen

A beautiful blaze of the day's last light

A beautiful blaze of the day’s last light

Dusk arrives

Dusk arrives

Tucson’s fabulous Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show

Cut and polished, packed and ready to go

Cut and polished, packed and ready to go

Every year the city of Tucson hosts the premier showcase for dealers displaying and selling gems, minerals, fossils and jewelry. The 2016 show has 43 different locations around town. Over 4000 different vendors ship in specimens from literally every continent on earth. You will find acres of huge temporary buildings, tents, canopies and awnings set up in set areas around town. Free shuttles provide transportation from park and go lots.

If it has to do with minerals, gems, fossils or jewelry you will find it. Towering six foot tall amethyst filled geodes are found everywhere. Slabs of limestone the size of sheets of plywood are seen filled with amazing trilobite fossils. Any mineral crystal known to man is available for purchase.

Sher and I have been out several times this past week.We have not yet seen a quarter of the vendors or sites. While some dealers only sell wholesale to other businesses, most of the vendors will sell retail to the public. Bring some cash because you will find something you can’t live without!

Tons of jewelry, beads and other neat stuff

Tons of jewelry, beads and other neat stuff

From India, solid naturally shaped river rocks

From India, solid naturally shaped river rocks

Discovering the Coronado National Forest

Sher and I were driving in our motorhome on the far east side of Tucson, following Tanque Verde Road, one of the main east-west routes. As we approached the foothills of the Rincon Montains the road became Reddington Road. We kept on driving enjoying looking at the houses, horse ranches and the scenery.

The dirt road at its widest

The dirt road at its widest

The road narrowed but I kept on, and soon there was a sign for curves, one of which was a 5MPH curve warning. This curve led to a steep, steep climb. At this point turning around was not an option.

The next thing we saw was a sign for the Coronado National Forest and the change from paved road to dirt/gravel road. No way to turn around, and no idea what was ahead. When a small truck came down the road towards us I flagged the vehicle down. The lady inside informed me that less than a mile up the road was a parking area where we could trun around. Whew!

We got turned around and stopped to get out and admire the view. Hundreds of Saguaro cacti covered the landscape. What an impressive sight they were! We were in but a small portion of the 1.78 million acres of the Coronado National Forest which covers portions of Arizona and New Mexico.

Oh, and by the way, I won’t head out on a road leading into the mountains again without doing some research!

Lots of Saguaro

Lots of Saguaro

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