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Three Shrieks for Shrek!



Kids Night Tonight!!! Wednesday . . .  April 27

Opening night of the award-winning Broadway show, Shrek the Musical and my family couldn’t be happier! It was in fact my daughter’s 8th birthday and thanks to Broadway Across America Atlanta, we were all there front and center to enjoy the show!

I was uncertain as to what we were all in for, but knowing that my kids loved all the Shrek movies and they love live performances, I hoped it would go well.

From the opening sequence, I was just as mesmerized as my children!  Starting with a song by Shrek’s parents sending him on his way, I knew we were truly in for a Broadway quality show.  The song was “Great Big Wonderful World” starring the vocal talents of Brian Gonzales(Shrek’s Dad) and Carrie Compere(Shrek’s Mom) and child Shrek, played by Danielle Soibelman.

The show itself was based on the first Shrek movie.  Eric Petersen made for a great Shrek.  Eric had the Shrek accent down!  His singing ability and range was amazing! When Shrek meets Donkey, played by Alan Mingo, Jr., the fun really starts.  Alan nailed the role of Donkey and provided way too many laughs to count.

One of my favorite roles, for comedy’s sake, was that of Lord Farquaad.  He is played by the surprisingly tall David F.M. Vaughn.  Vaughn’s talents as an actor and singer were overshadowed by his ability to do it all on his knees!!! Yes, he is an actual replica of Lord Farquaad, size and all! :)

Haven Burton joins the cast as Princess Fiona.  Before she really becomes a prominent role, there is a beautiful piece featuring the young princess, Hayley Feinstein and the teen princess, Sarah Peak along with Burton.  All three singers were powerful and I was very impressed with young Hayley’s voice!  I will be interested to see what she does in her career, being only nine years old!

Our favorite moment of the night was when the Dragon was introduced.  The song the dragon sings gave me chills! Not for the words, but for the amazing range that Carrie Compere had.  Her voice induced cheers and clapping from the audience so I know I was not alone.

The show went flawlessly and the message was clear. Let your freak flag fly!!! Be yourself and love yourself, you are special just the way you are!

This is The Backstage Beat’s favorite show this year! It is here until May 1st, so get to The Fabulous Fox Theatre and see this show!

Tonight is Kids Night!

On Wednesday, April 27, families can also take advantage of a special BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE ticket deal for that evening’s performance of SHREK THE
MUSICAL (using code KIDS, valid on tickets in price level 1). Little Ogres and Princesses can also attend a FREE “Kids Night on Broadway” celebration
in the Fox Theatre’s Grand Salon from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. The fun-filled family event will include a variety of activities like cookie decorating, arts and
crafts, games, coloring sheets, a prize wheel, Shrek-themed treats from Morelli’s Ice Cream. As a special treat, Kid’s Night participants can meet
the two little girls who play ‘Young Shrek’ and ‘Young Fiona’ in the musical; the actresses will be available to sign autographs from 6:30 –


Rain and Fire in Sedona



Ange Alex

A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography. 

What to do, what to do.

Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!

The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.

When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold. 

We were about to become glass blowers! 

Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.

Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”

Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.

Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.

Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.

Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.

They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like  we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor. 

Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing! 

Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.

If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!

How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!

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Family Fun

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends!



Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show – – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and the mysterious visions that have only existed in your imagination and now materialize before your eyes: the Unicorn, Pegasus and a Woolly the Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS SM, playing Amway Center January 14-18, 2016. Save $4 off tickets using promo code 4MOM. Live tweet to us while you are there! @RinglingBros #BestGiftEver  @BackstageBeat



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Family Fun

NEW Children’s Museum of Atlanta Re-opens December 12!



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Families will soon experience more STEAM-style activities and exhibits when visiting the newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which re-opens to the public on Saturday, December 12. This iconic downtown attraction, which has been busy renovating since August of this year, now features targeted science, technology, engineering, arts and math education programming woven through almost every aspect of the enhanced space. Whether children build and shoot their own rocket launcher in the new “Gateway to the World” exhibit or design their dream home in the enhanced “Tools for Solutions” exhibit, the increased focus on STEAM learning enables the Museum to further prepare young children to be problem solvers and lifelong learners.

We got a sneak preview this week and I can honestly say it was the most fun my kids have had in a long time! They amount of things there are to do is mind boggling!

One of our favorite areas was Tools for Solutions – This enhanced, multi-layered zone reaches all ages and explores the science of building through four learning environments: the giant ball machine, Built-It Lab, Construction House and City Blocks. Using six simple machines, visitors can move balls through the Museum’s beloved giant ball machine. Children can also learn how to use real tools and materials in the new Build-It Lab, which will feature building workshops and more. This lab will also house a “Maker Space” to empower young children to harness their own ideas to build inventions and artistic creations. The Construction House, designed to showcase what is “behind the walls,” features a solar panel and incorporates activities on how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes and insulate walls. City Blocks enables children to create skyscrapers and design the city of the future. Through this revitalized exhibit space, children can hone early and more complex math skills, as they learn the importance of processes and sequencing. They also utilize creativity, social emotional and gross and fine motor skills, while discovering that even the most intricate problems can be solved step-by-step with a solid strategy and through the use of tools.

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