Category Archives: Music

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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What I’m Into Right Now – July 2018

Wow! It’s hard to believe another month has gone by since I’ve checked in with a “favorites for the moment” list… but here we are. See what’s keeping my interest these days and then feel free to leave a comment with some of your own.

Bing Cherries – There’s usually only a few week window where this Summertime fruit is at it’s best and at a lower price. We’re in that window now so we’ve been enjoying these while we can.

Pokemon Go – Yes, this mobile game is still a thing and yes, I still play it. Gives me something fun to do during downtimes. While I never stopped playing over the past two years, others have but are now returning because of some recent in-game improvements. Some of these would include friends lists, field research, and community days.

Live Free Or Die – Another in a long list of survival shows that I enjoy. This one follows the lives of several different people who choose to live a less materialist lifestyle in different environments.

New Cody Jinks Music – Cody Jinks has shown up in my monthly lists before and now makes a return appearance. He has a new album, Lifers, coming out July 26, 2018, and there are three songs from it available to listen to now. I’ve been listening to them on repeat whenever I get the chance.

What are you into right now?

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What I’m Into Right Now – June 2018

June… it’s a month for changes! My kids lose the rigid structure of their school, sports, and dance schedules… and that means our family schedule loosens up a bit too.

It gives all a chance to slow down and relax a little bit… and it gave me a little time to think about the following list of things that I’m currently into.

What I’m Into Right Now – June 2018

Alone – I just got through the first two seasons of this History Channel television show on Hulu and love it. It puts 10 survivalists into the wilds of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They each are on their own… literally. There’s no film crew. They each document their struggle to survive and thrive.  The last one standing wins 500K.

I’d like to think that my survival skills could get me by for a couple of days… but I don’t know that I’d last that long by myself. I need social interaction.

The Waitress Original Broadway Soundtrack – I loved this show when my wife and I got to see it last year. You can read my review here. Now, my daughter is thinking about doing a dance solo to one of the songs from it next dance season. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack thinking about how I might edit the music for her.

Strawberry Shortcake – This one’s a family favorite! Strawberries are plentiful… and a great bargain right now making this a great treat. In case you missed it, my oldest and I created a video showing how we make strawberry shortcake.

Ice Cream – Soft serve, scooped, ice cream sandwich… doesn’t matter. I love’em all and warmer weather means the perfect opportunity to enjoy them all.

Cargo Shorts – Yeah, that’s right. I said it. I love cargo shorts. Makes sense. I’m a Dad. So glad that you don’t have to dress up to be on the radio.

What are you into right now?

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