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

A wonderful night kicking off the holidays with a movie double-feature holiday sing-a-long at the Music Box Theater. Two Christmas movie classics, buttery popcorn, plenty of caroling, ugly sweaters (not me) and even Santa leading the sing-a-long!!!

Oh yeah…. “White Christmas” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” in case you were wondering!


Categories: music, theater

Another wonderful evening of musical theater last night at The Cadillac Palace Theatre. One of my all-time favorite shows with two of my favorite friends. Thanks for a magical night. Hard to believe that “MISS SAIGON” has been around for over twenty-five years now!!!

Sure, it might not be the most up-beat of shows…
but I’ve now seen it a couple times now and I love it more every time!
Even this revival with a few changes of lyrics & new songs.

The evening in the theater starts with this dramatic image on the the stage curtain to set the mood for the amazing show to come.



Categories: movies, music, special events

Sure, I know I “should” be home setting up for tomorrow’s HOLIDAY HOME SHOW.

But how could I be expected to miss the midnight show at The Music Box Theater.
Especially when it’s a sing-along interactive version of “Little Shop Of Horrors”?!!!

Categories: friends, music, special events

After pulling an “all-nighter” firing the kiln, and a quickie one-hour nap, last night we were off to Ravinia for a fun concert under the stars… err, clouds… err, umbrellas!!!

We started with some amazing clouds blowing in and great friends with great snacks. They brought wine for themselves, and OREO Handi-Snacks for me!!! They know me so well.

And then it started to rain, and then rain even MORE, but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We “sufffered through” The Thompson Twins who needed a little tune-up, and then the B-52’s rocked the place!!! Only to be topped off with Boy George and Culture Club. He was AMAZING!!! He did all of their hits and sounded perfect – like it hasn’t been over 30 years from when he was popular the first time! He even ended the show with tribute cover songs from Aretha Franklin & Prince. Great show. Great fun… and now to dry out!!! Ironic the night ended with Purple Rain, huh?!

Categories: music, theater

After years of hype, I finally made it to WICKED last night… and it did NOT disappoint. The production was amazing, and the story & songs were so much better developed than I expected. It’s not just a kids show. Quite a few clever twists along the way as you learn so much more about the Witches of Oz!!! Loved it… so why did I wait so long???

The show was amazing. The staging, the lights, the proscenium, and the voices were spectacular… chills… and hairs standing up on my arms!!! Everything was just mesmerizing!!!

Categories: holiday, music

And for those who missed their chance to “sing & win” a FREE MUG
at yesterday’s Holiday Home Show… here’s a fun rendition of
“Mele Kalikimaka” by The Puppini Sisters!

Click here for the YouTube video.

Categories: music, theater

Tonight at the Cadillac Palace Theater… a wonderful night in Agrabah!!!

Sure, it was a magical night… and the Cadillac Palace Theater is a great venue!
The architectural details and amazing craftsmanship. The moldings. The ceilings. The chandeliers. They don’t make theaters like they used to!!!

After gawking at the theater’s architecture… it was finally time for the show!

And apparently, there is more than one Magic Lamp…
or maybe just a great display board of Aladdin holiday ornaments at the souvenir stand!!!

The show itself is AMAZING!!!
They did a wonderful job of adapting the Disney animated classic to a live theater show. The colors, the settings, the dancing  the singing. ALl amazing!!! Sure, there are a few changes along the way. A few new characters, a few missing. Some new songs, some favorite classics. All in all, a WONDERFUL noght of musical theater!!!

And then there’s the Magic Carpet ride… Jasmine & Price Ali flying out over the Agrabah sky!

I swear I have no idea how this darn carpet flies!!! I watched intently when they took off and flew out of Jasmine’s bedroom window. I tried my best to figure out how it was happening. No visible cables. No signs of a crane. I tried… and I “assumed’ they were doing a great job of hiding them with the nighttime sky & star-filled setting. But when the carpet showed up again during Curtain Call in full lighting… I strained my eyes to see the trick. And STILL… no idea how this happens!!! They do a wonderful job here.

So when I got home, I had to do a little research… and everywhere online, any article I could find says that it’s just “Disney Magic.” And that all of the cast members are sworn to secrecy. So much for figuring it out… but isn’t this part of the fun?!!!








Categories: creativity, inspiration, music, special events, theater

Tonight was a wonderful night under the White Big Top.
Located down in the south parking lot of Soldier Field is a temporary white tent..
and it’s HUGE!!! Much larger than the tent they had a few years back when CAVALIA
first came to Chicago. I saw the show then and was instantly mesmerized. I sadly assumed it was a one-time show… so imaging my surprise & excitement when I saw they were returning to Chicago with a new show!!!

And it’s got to be that big to house a show this HUGE!!!
You should know by now that I’m a card-carrying Cirque du Soleil geek.
And while this is NOT a Cirque show, it is definitely very reminiscent of their splendor.
Think of it as Cirque du Soleil with a herd of horses running free!!!

Click here to see the official trailer for CAVALIA’s ODYSSEO.

It’s an amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing evening. The live band and singer were captivating while each of the acts were amazing. The colors, the costumes, the complete package. The horses are amazing in all their regal glory. Somehow they “perform” just as much as the human performers. They dance, prance and turn on cue. Somehow these “wild” horses storm the stage racing at full speed… and then a moment later are gentle, clam & graceful. It’s amazing to watch how well trained the horses are. And even more touching that you can actually see how much the trainers love their horses… and even better, that you can literally see how much the horses LOVE their trainers. Seriously. You can see the bond, the trust and the love of working together among the entire cast… human and equine!!!

Sure, there are acrobatic acts much like a more traditional Cirque du Soleil show…

But then there’s also horse galloping and trick riders flying all over the place.
Oh wait, and did I mention the water?!!!

For a bit more insight about the creator and the show from behind the scenes, click here for a very insightful CAVALIA video on YouTube.

And while the show is AMAZING!!!
They also host a wide collection of horse sculptures and paintings.
A veritable art gallery… like the CAVALIA theatrical spectacle weren’t enough!!!

And you know how I LOVE rusty metal….

In addition to the metal sculpture horses,they also had a wide collection of incredible horse paintings. I loved the gestural line quality of these beauties by Sebastien Larochelle…

And my favorite painting by Lea Riviere…

Overall, an amazing night of equine beauty.
It’s all of the spectacle drama and beauty of Cirque du Soleil AND horses!!!
If you EVER have a chance to see CAVALIA live under the Big Top… by all means do!!!






Categories: music

Started a revolution, ended up a King.
Happy Birthday to the one and only Elvis Presley!
Just imagine what he could have done if he was taken from us so soon.

… also my late Grandma Kitty’s birthday, but I digress.


Categories: music

Listening to iHeart Radio as they run down the “Top 100 Songs of The Eighties.”
Singing along in the car with every one… and let me just say, I sound fantastic!!!
So glad my personal favorite just came in at #20.
“Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

So what’s YOUR favorite song from The 80’s???

So then… another personal favorite at Number 11…
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by George Michael & Wham.

As I was driving down to Central Illinois for the holiday, we got down to the Top Ten. We passed through Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Prince… and THEN…

The radio reception went out somewhere in the middle of Illinois!!!
What?!!!… AAARGHHHH!!!! I screamed out loud.
I can’t believe that I missed the last three or four songs!!! Say it isn’t so!!!

It was killing me!!! So we did a little online research.

Turns out the Number One Song from The Eighties was…
drum roll please…

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.

Good song…. but I beg to differ…
So what’s YOUR favorite song from The Eighties???