Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: music, theater

A wonderful night of musical theater at Marriott Lincolnshire…
and yes, I did sing-along the whole time.

Categories: music

Okay, so I’d say that I’m not a huge Adele fan.
Great voice. Incredible voice really…
but they all kinda sound a bit the same after awhile.

However… this video made me love Adele just a bit more.
Talk show host James Corden in the car with Adele driving & crooning.
Shows you the “real” Adele… and not just the wind-blown, sepia-toned, bun-wearing Adele we see in the videos! She’s cute, funny and again… INCREDIBLE VOICE!!!

Click here for the YouTube video – Adele Carpool Karaoke.

And here’s my favorite part…
When James Corden surprise Adele with his harmonizing abilities! So cute.

Categories: music, theater

Okay, so it’s been one of the longest running musicals here in Chicago ever. And after seven-and-a-half year at the Apollo Theater, “Million Dollar Listing” has announced that they will be closing in mid-January. Cue my panic to see the show... so last night we did. Finally.

It’s a fun show filled with wonderful music by four musical legends. Telling the story of one fateful night in December when four recording legends all converged at Sun Records… and musical magic occurred… with Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins as their careers were on the rise before they were superstars.

The show celebrates their music, their story and the times of a struggling Sun Records. Adapted from one magical evening, caught on film by Sun Records owner George Pierce… along with a “mystery girlfriend” of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Evans portrayed in the show as the sympathetic & smooth-voiced “Dyann.”

“Million Dollar Quarter” runs through January 17th, 2016 at the Apollo Theater in Chicago.
Don’t put it off any longer. I put it off for over seven years, and SO GLAD I got to see it before it leaves Chicago. Well worth the wait… Goodness gracious, Great balls of fire!!!

Categories: music, theater

Yes, I love “Les Miserables.”
There I said it. By now you’ve probably already figured it out.
And yes, Eponine is my favorite when she sings “On My Own.”

So to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the musical “Les Miserables”
I’ve decided to share a couple video clips of Frances Ruffelle as Eponine.
Back in 1985 when she originated the role of Eponine, two years later when she was
on “The Tonight Show” and now, thirty years later with her newly updated rendition.

It may have been thirty years… and Eponine is STILL “on her own.”
And we’re still loving it.

Click here for the original version of Eponine – the role she originated on the London stage. Unfortunately, the audio quality is pretty bad, so turn the volume all the way up.

Or click here for her first performance on American TV with Johnny Carson
on the “The Tonight Show.”

Click here for Frances Ruffelle’s new updated version 2015 of “On My Own.”.

Categories: cirque du soleil, creativity, inspiration, music, special events

Just the sight of the big yellow & blue tents make me giddy!
And knowing that we’re going in for another wonderful Cirque du Soleil experience is even better!!! Tonight was my adventure under the Big Top for the latest touring show by Cirque du Soleil… KURIOS : Cabinet des Curiosities.

By now you may have realized that I’m kind of a Cirque du Soleil groupie… or junkie… or stalker?! I love all things Cirque. Can’t get enough. I’ve seen all of the shows that traveled through Chicago. I’ve seen the shows in Las Vegas. I’ve traveled to other cities to see them. I’ve even worked for them for two shows (Varekai & Dralion). So imagine my excitement with a new traveling show here in Chicago… after a far-too-long absence of four years!!!

Inside the tent, the stage is a dark & moody place. Lots of contraptions, inventions and mish-mashes of things & textures. It doesn’t take long before you realize that this is most likely going to take on a “steampunk” vibe. And who doesn’t like steampunk?!!!

The show was wonderful. Lots of amazing feats… and some “usual” circus acts you’ve seen before yet with that whimsical Cirque twist!!

The music for this show is also a lot of fun. Very upbeat & bouncy. Especially the first number where you get to “meet” the cast of characters. I always love seeing how they incorporate all of the athletic performances with the live musicians & singers. Loved the juggler & drummer duo interaction!

Congratulations & Thank You Cirque du Soleil… you’ve done it again!!!
And I’ll be back again next Wednesday evening with my niece Taylor!

Grab yourself some tickets if you can.
They’re scheduled to be in town through September 20th.
And then the tents come down and the “magic” disappears from Chicago!

Categories: music

One of the perks of designing & working at the Firefly Music Festival is that you get to see some pretty great concerts. The top headliner this year was Paul McCartney. A wonderful concert for the birthday boy who just celebrated his 73rd birthday two days ago. Sir Paul puts on a beautiful show. About 2-1/2 hours straight with no breaks. Just a continuous flow of all the songs you love and know the words to. The Beatles. The Wings. This was my second time seeing Paul McCartney in concert. Both times were incredible!!! So wonderful to see a living legend put on such a fantastic show.


Categories: family, music, Taylor

Last night was a fun night with my sister Jen, brother-in-law Scott and niece Taylor.
It was Taylor’s VERY FIRST CONCERT!!! So exciting for her… and fun for me to see!
The concert was at the Gennessee Theater in Waukegan. Beautiful little theater… not so good with the kerning on their marquee!!!

For those who may not know of them, Straight No Chaser is a fun accapella group singing a wide range of songs. Many of which I had to try REALLY hard not to sing outloud with. Tried… not always successful…

Click here for the song that made them “famous”… “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.”
Click here for their hysterical “Broadway Medley.”
Click here for their version of “It’s All About The Bass.”
Click here for their “Lady Gaga Medley.”
Click here for their version of “Sittin’ On The Dock & Proud Mary.”

Here’s a shot of the audience the group took from onstage. Their idea was that they would post it on their Facebook page, and then you “Tag” yourself on your page to spread the word… and with that, this is their marketing plan!!! I love that they’re using Social Media as their plan. A grassroots plan… spread the word. They were also the very first concert that I’ve had tell the audience at the very beginning that they WANTED you to take pictures & videos during the show!!! More videos.. more photos… more “free marketing” for them!!!

And if you look close, there we are… third from the left, second from the back, behind the tall guy, next to the big woman singing with her hands up, beside the lady in red, around the corner from the family of four… behind a COUPLE THOUSAND other concert goers!!! So?… do you see us?!!! Ha.

Categories: kiln firing, music

I’m headed over to the studio soon to see if my second kiln firing attempt was successful or not. While I’m gone, here’s a little video clue of the new Ghouls inside the kiln… and no, she’s NOT my sister!

Click HERE for the video clue.

Click HERE for the video clue.


Categories: friends, music

Tonight we spent the night singing our ABBA favorites from The Eighties.
Yes, those of us old enough to remember know all of the words to all of the ABBA songs. Sure, the original members of ABBA are no longer together, but luckily we have a great cover band “Arrival From Sweden” to fill the void. We had a great night, albeit unusually chilly, at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. A fun night with Pam & Susan snacking, chatting, singing & dancing under the stars. Oh… Mamma Mia… here we go again…

Part of the fun of Ravinia is the “fun in the park” & picnic time prior to the show. And what better way to makeour time a little “brighter” with some special blinking LED bling I brought with for the girls! Pam & Susan never looked so sparkly!!!

Categories: Chicago, music, theater

Last night I went to see “Motown: The Musical.”
It was like spending the night at the best concert ever with all of the musical groups we loved in our childhood. The Supremes. The Four Tops. The Temptations. Diana Ross. Gladys Knight. Jackson Five. Stevie Wonder. Smokey Robinson. Marvin Gaye. Martha Reeves. All of ‘em on one stage!!! Yes, I’m showing my age… and I don’t care.

I may not have known the whole Motown / Berry Gordy story…
but I did know EVERY word. And I was NOT afraid to sing along!!!

Click here for the trailer video for “Motown : The Musical.”

And here’s another fun video… showing Motown Opening Night when the actors were performing in front of the original stars themselves!!! Click here.

Oh yeah… and the theater itself was pretty darn impressive too!!!

Although it was a little bit over the top. In a weird way, it kinda made me feel like I was in Las Vegas?! Not that that’s a bad thing… I LOVE VEGAS!!!