A Bittersweet Wicked Performance

Monday, 31 Dec 2007 | Entertainment, Family, Photography

I took Toni to see the last performance of Eden Espinosa as Elphaba in Wicked last night at the Pantages Theatre. This was a Christmas present for her. It was a very special performance because the emotions among the cast were very intense, especially for the two lead cast members, Eden Espinosa (Elphaba) and Megan Hilty (Glinda). There were several times Eden and Megan became visibly emotional, at times to tears, because as Megan Hilty said, this was a bittersweet performance for her and the cast. This was the last performance for Eden Espinosa as Elphaba, Carol Kane as Madame Morrible and Adam Wylie as Boq. Megan spoke for a few moments after the curtain call and conveyed how they would miss the departing cast members. This performance was the best we had seen; one which live fondly in our memories forever.

Eden Espinosa's boyfriend and JoAnne Worley, who will replace Carol Kane as Madame Morrible beginning January 9, 2008 were seated in the row in front of us.

After the show, Toni and I waited in line to see Megan and Eden outside the stage door exit. The line was all the way around to the front of the theater. I had come the previous Sunday to take pictures of the cast members. I brought framed 8x10 photographs to present to Megan and Eden. I also brought copies of the same 8x10s to be autographed.

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When I asked Megan to sign my photograph, she said, "Oh, that's me!" After she graciously signed it for me, Toni handed her the framed photograph for Megan to keep. Her eyes lit up when she saw it. She seemed very pleased and commented how her hair looked like it had just been done. Then Megan thanked us and gave us both big hugs.

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When I asked Eden to sign the photograph of her and her dog Owen, she asked me a couple of times, "You want to me to sign it?" When I said yes, she hesitated for a moment ambivalently, before autographing it. I suspect she was torn because she wanted to keep the photograph, but she wanted to sign it for me to keep as well. When Toni gave her the framed photo, she was so happy. Eden grabbed the photo and hugged it to her chest and thanked us. Apparently, she was very touched since Owen is so dear to her. Later, I saw a gentleman holding Eden's photograph as she signed more autographs. I asked if he was a relative and he told us yes, I am her grandfather. We told him he must be proud of Eden and he said of course, he was very proud of her. He said he knew she would love the picture because Owen means the world to her. Eden's grandfather was the nicest man. I fell in love with his kind and gentle demeanor right away. He was an absolute sweetie.

It was so gratifying to see how much Megan and Eden loved the pictures I took for them. I was hoping they would like my photographs, but I could see they genuinely were pleased. That was such a great feeling. I love to make people happy. I guess in that respect, I am kind of like the Wizard. Thank you so much Megan and Eden for your kindness. I can't tell you how much it meant to both of us.

I consider Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty to be the definitive Elphaba and Glinda. I am certainly blessed to have seen them perform their roles together twice in Los Angeles.

It was a wonderful night for Toni and I and we couldn't be happier.

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Christmas Light Bokeh

Sunday, 16 Dec 2007 | Flickr, Photography

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I've noticed a trend to shoot photographs out of focus to show off lights as orbs on Flickr. It's not uncommon to see these unfocused lights in the background of photographs taken with fast lenses wide open, but recently people have been taking photos with no focused subject. In other words, the subject is simply the bokeh. It's interesting to see how a trend can spread so quickly on Flickr. And since it's the holiday season, Christmas lights are a popular subject used to create bokeh photographs.

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A Wicked Evening with Toni

Sunday, 2 Dec 2007 | Entertainment, Family, Food

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Toni and I went to Hollywood last night to see the musical, Wicked. We had both heard great things about this play. Every person Toni and I had talked to about this play really liked it. We have been to quite a few Broadway quality plays, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera among our favorites, so we were hopeful we would like Wicked.

Wicked is currently playing in Los Angeles as the Pantages Theatre. Every time I go to the Pantages, I am awestruck by the beauty of the interior. It's simple a gorgeous venue. I would love to take some photographs of the interior.

Well, let me tell you, Toni and I loved Wicked. It was truly a funny, interesting and moving performance. Eden Espinoza steals the show as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. She'll surely win you over by the end of the performance just like she did us. I am definitely going to have to take Erin to see this show. I know she will love it.

Before the show, we stopped at Earthen Restaurant in Hacienda Heights for Beef Noodle Soup and Sweet & Sour Beef. Afterwards, we shared a dessert at RJ Patisserie a couple of doors down. Toni had the Earl Grey Tea and I had a cup of coffee. They serve the hot drinks with a rock sugar swizzle stick and pair of dainty biscotti cookies. I love how pampered they make you feel there.

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