All posts by Tony

Hello! I'm Tony. I'm a Husband, Father, Friend, Blogger, Country Radio DJ, and proud Dance Dad. Faith, Family, and Technology...this is what matters to me and it's what I write about here.

Review: Love Never Dies At Des Moines Performing Arts

I hesitated when I first got the invite to attend the opening night of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies at Des Moines Performing Arts. It’s the sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera.

I hesitated because I hadn’t seen the original, didn’t know the story, and was only familiar with a few songs from The Phantom that we sang in high school chorus.

Having never seen a bad show at Des Moines Performing Arts I pushed the hesitation aside and planned a date night for my wife and me.   I’m glad I did. We both had a great time!

Love, loss, frustration, and jealousy are all themes touched on in Love Never Dies. They’re packed nicely in this 2.5-hour show set in New York’s Coney Island in the early 1900’s.

The music was as amazing as you’d expect from anything with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s attached to it.  All of the performers were exceptional… but there were two standouts; Rachael Anne Moore in the role of Christine Daae and Jake Heston Miller in the role of the young child, Gustave.

Miller’s voice was flawless and at times almost angelic. This kid has the start to what I’m sure will be an impressive theatre career.

Moore’s soaring, solo performance in the second act is among one of the best I’ve ever seen on the Des Moines Civic Center stage.

Speaking of the stage, I was impressed by the way it was turned into a large turntable like surface. This made for some cool and unique stage movement and seamless scene changes.

There were also some pretty unique and colorful costumes that really added to the performance.

Even though Love Never Dies is the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera it can stand alone on its’ own. Phantom fans will love it… and Phantom newbies can enjoy it too. My wife and I did!

Love Never Dies, part of the Willis Broadway Series at Des Moines Performing Arts runs October 16 through October 21, 2018. You can learn more about the show and get tickets here.

Are you a Phantom fan?

***I was provided with press night tickets for the show to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.***

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Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

I’ve written about grilling cauliflower before… but I’m back trying a new way to do it; in large steak-like slices.

You get the largest head of cauliflower you can find and trim the leaves. When removing them don’t cut too deep into the stem.  I think that might have been the reason a few of mine fell apart in the video below.

Slice it in half, then working from the middle out cut into 1″ slices. Depending on the size of the cauliflower, you should get about 4 good slices.  You can save the pieces that fall off to grill in a basket… or eat them as a snack with dip.

Drizzle with olive oil or your favorite oil-based salad dressing, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, and then grill over medium heat… five to ten minutes per side depending on how firm you like your grilled veggies.

Have you grilled cauliflower steaks before?

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Electrical Tape & Twine

Over the weekend I had some time to climb up on our roof and get a few little things done.  I had neglected our gutters so it was good to get them cleaned out. The other thing I was able to do was to fix our antenna.

When it comes to television… we cut the cord before cord cutting became cool. It’s been over a decade since we’ve had cable or satellite. Our watching comes from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and over the air channels.  That’s the reason we have a rooftop antenna.

I’m not sure when it happened, maybe a few months ago, but the cable that connects to the antenna broke off and was laying on our roof. Most of our channels still came in so I didn’t bother fixing it right away.

With plenty of time and a nice day on my hands, I grabbed some tools, my ladder, and took to the roof.  The problem was obvious once I got up there. The wind had worked the cable loose and with it rocking in the breeze the wires eventually broke.

I had a replacement part on hand and installed it quickly. Then it was time to seal it up and attach the cable to the antenna to prevent the same thing from happening again.  The tool for the job was electrical tape.

I pulled the roll of tape from my pocket. Standing on our roof seeing that black tape in my hand reminded me of my Grandpa. He seemed to always have a roll nearby… whether it was in his pocket, the seat of his truck, or on the kitchen desk by the phone.

Black electrical tape was one of his go-to’s to fix things. It reminded me of his other quick-fix item…  baling twine. Twine and twine scraps were all over his farm too!

I didn’t need twine to fix our antenna but I used plenty of electrical tape.  I thought about my grandpa while I worked and knew he’d approve of the job I did.

Previously, I have written about memories of my Grandpa’s pocket knife… guess you can add electrical tape and twine to the other top things that will easily bring his memory back.

What 3 things would you say bring back memories of your Grandpa?

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