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Monday, January 30, 2012

Creative Troupe

I am now reviewing books for C & T Publishing.  
Check out their buttons on my blog.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

All Necessary Force-A Book Review

Brad Taylor
© Lydia Lowe 1/29/2012

All Necessary Force . . . The crew from "One Rough Man" are back.  Pike, Jennifer, and the rest of the special forces gang.  What a great read!  I love a book with a lot of action and adventure.  Covert forces working behind the scenes to promote good and defeat evil, even better. 

What really drew me into this book was the fact that there is a strong female lead character and she shows up at the beginning and there's a bit of a mystery as to what is going on with her.  I like a strong female character who can go toe to toe with the guys.  She's expected to hold her own and she does, and more.  There's a relationship budding between Pike and Jennifer which I think adds so much to the story.  Women tend not to read books like this because it's usually a book about a group of guys doing guy things.  There usually aren't any women in the book, forget about relationships or well-developed characters.  It's all about the action.  This book, however, is far from that stereotype.  Women will enjoy this book and if they pass it by because of the marketing of the front cover, they will be missing out on a special book.

I especially like the way that the book is written.  For the most part it is written in third person, except when Pike is talking, where it switches to first person.  I have never seen this device used before and I'll have to say that this form lends itself well to this book.  As a reader, I felt like I was one of the characters on the mission.  Being able to identify with a female lead character helped that feeling along, as well.

I haven't had a chance to read the first book, although I have seen it out on the bookstore shelves in paperback.  This second book in the series, "All Necessary Force" can stand on it's own, if you haven't had a chance to read the first book, "One Rough Man".  I imagine though that the story is richer, if you read them both.  So now I'm going to have to backtrack and read the first one.

Check this book out if you're looking for something fast paced, a little bit different, and full of action.  It's a great read.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dwight Yoakam

The Stiefel Theatre
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  1/26/2012

Dwight Yoakam . . . I had the pleasure to see Dwight Yoakam in concert last night and he was terrific.  When you enter a concert and they hand you earplugs at the door, you know this is going to be wild and loud.  Once he hit the stage, the crowd let out a hollar and the show was on.

Dwight played his set clear through without a break.  He sang, he did a few little jigs across the stage, and told a few jokes.  Early on in his set he sang "Streets of Bakersfield" and inserted Kansas towns in place of San Francisco.  He began with Hutchinson, then switched to Lawrence, then Manhattan and finally, Salina.  The crowd roared when he finally got to Salina.  It was pretty funny.

Later on he sang his remake of "Little Sister", an Elvis song.  I know that the Elvis fans out there are going to hate me for saying this, but I believe Yaokam's remake is really more how the song should have been sung in the first place.  Sorry Elvis.

Then there was Yoakam's remake of a Johnny Cash song, "Ring of Fire".  I think it's a toss up there.  I like both versions.  Metal Mom attended the show with me and said she preferred Yoakam's rendition. 

This is a flashy show with lots of shiny stage costumes, jeans, and stage lighting.  There were typical country western melodies (Guitars, and Cadillacs) as well as tunes to rock out too.  The ladies behind us were clearly there for the lead guitar player, Eddie Perez.  They were doing shout outs to him throughout the concert. 

This was nothing like what I expected.  Not your typical country show.  I went to a Clint Black show a while back and everyone there was dressed in typical country western gear and were what you'd think of as typical country western fans.  Not so with this show.  Dwight Yoakam appeals to a broader audience and it's unexpected.   It was very refreshing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Late Night Catechism with Sister

Featuring "Sister"
(Diana Carl Alioto)
McPherson Opera House
McPherson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 1/21/2012

Late Night Catechism with Sister . . .This is a really delightful show.  I don't think that the audience realized that the show is very loosely scripted and the actress: Diana Carl Alioto, is ad libbing most of the show based on crowd reaction and participation.  

No matter what your religious preferences, Catholic or some other denomination, you'll love this show.  Religious instruction is somewhat universal across all faiths.  Most of the examples and remarks that "Sister" makes during the show regarding Catholics are fairly well known examples, so the audience gets it.  Diana is a practicing Catholic and she makes sure to inform the audience up front about this fact.  I don't think that those of us watching the show would have felt that same way about what she talked about had she been of another faith.  When you are part of a group, it's is much easier to explain and point out the humorousness within that culture, than it is when you are on the outside looking in. 

The crowd was really involved in the show and crowd reaction afterward was upbeat.  Everyone had a great time.  There are several incarnations of this show that are touring at the same time, all with different actresses.  I'll have to say that I was very impressed with Diana Carl Alioto and I'm glad that she's the actress that brought the show to us. "Sister" and her ever present ruler will not soon be forgotten.

If you get a chance to see this show, by any actress, make sure that you do.  To get the maximum benefit of the show and to be able to participate, buy your tickets early.  This is not a show where you want to be in the balcony.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chalk Outlines

If you like ReVue-check out my Chalk Outlines blog.
I've added a link under "Venues" on ReVue, so you can do just that.
Chalk Outlines: features my photo's, my original poetry, and quotes that speak to me.
Leave me a comment.  Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mrs. Hughes

The Fox Theatre
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe  1/14/2012

Mrs. Hughes . . . What a funny lady!  This is one of the best comedians I've seen in a long while.  Definitely an adult show, and so very funny.

Mrs. Hughes covered everything from aging to body size issues to the battle of the sexes, and just individual everyday topics that we all face.   All of it done in a humorous fashion.  She had the crowd laughing for a full hour, non-stop.  She did tell a few jokes, but her act consisted primarily of off the cuff remarks about the issues of the day that required a bit of thought.  It sounded funny when she said it and then if you thought about it for just a minute your realized that there was a whole other dimension to what she had just said and you started laughing all over again.

The theatre was packed.  She had an amazing turn out.  Each of those attending left the theatre this night with lots of sore ribs from all the laughing.  This would include Mrs. Hughes.  At one point she related an experience she had at the doctor and the sound engineer provided an echo.  It was done so superbly that Mrs. Hughes started laughing and couldn't stop.  It was fun to watch.  Laughter is the universal language!

Ever the gracious hostess, Mrs. Hughes met everyone in the lobby afterward for a meet and greet.  She provided photos of herself and she signed them individually to each person by name.  What a refreshing change from the usual meet and greets.  She also posed for photos, shook hands and stayed around to talk to all her fans.  Mrs. Hughes is definitely a class act!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Maisie Dobbs-a book discussion

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Jacqueline Winspear)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  1/9/2012

Maisie Dobbs . . .I enjoyed this book and it seemed that everyone in the group enjoyed it, too.  The book is billed as a mystery and I think that is an exaggeration.  This was far from a mystery book.  The book was also billed as being similar to "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" and I felt their was no comparision to that series either.

If you are looking for a historical novel about a time period that few people are familiar with, World War I, than this is a terrific book to find out more about that time.  If you are looking for well developed characters, this book will satisfy that need.  If you want to know more about the in's and out's of British society, I recommend that you read this book.  But if you're looking for mystery and intrigue?  I would pass this one by and read something else.

With that being said, though, this is still a great read.  It's easy to read and moves swiftly.  I wouldn't say that it's a book you can't put down, but it's a unique book.  It's not like anything I've ever read before.  I think it will appeal to women the most but men can get a lot out of it, too.  There are two men in the group and they both enjoyed the book as well.  The story makes you think, not only about the actual story but about the time period.  It expands your mind.  I would say that's the mark of a great book.

Maisie Dobbs is a series and there are nine books out now.  They are:
  1.  Maisie Dobbs
  2.  Birds of a Feather
  3. Pardonable Lies
  4.  Messenger of Truth
  5.  An Incomplete Revenge
  6.  Among the Mad
  7.  The Mapping of Love and Death
  8.  A Lesson in Secrets
  9.  Elegy for Eddie

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ryan Coon

Metro Coffee
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe  1/7/2012
Ryan Coon . . .I got the chance to check out Ryan Coon in concert at Metropolitan Coffee in Hutch on Saturday night.  What a terrific concert!  I loved the soulful way that Ryan played the guitar.  

Ryan played two sets which took the concert until nearly 10:00 p.m.  Generally, concerts at The Metro last about an hour and a half.  So, this was a rare treat.  Ryan's set consisted of mellow tunes, fast toe tappers, dreamy instrumentals, a few knee slappers, and slow thoughtful ballads.  I found myself humming along, unable to sit still as I kept time to the music. 

Throughout Ryan's set, he took time to explain his musical influences and where his songs come from, how he develops his tunes.  He spends a lot of time playing his guitar and figuring out what he wants to say musically and then writes the actual music.  Everyone has their own way of creating their art and this is working well for Ryan.

A funny, strange thing happened during Ryan's concert that I have never seen happen anywhere before.  Ryan had taken a break and was well into his second set, when a fan came up into the stage area and asked to purchase a CD.  I have no idea why this happened, why the fella didn't make his purchase during the break or wait until after Ryan's concert was over.  Ryan was very accommodating and seemed to think nothing of it.  Without missing a beat, he sold the fella the CD and went right back into finishing his set.

Ryan's concert was truly an amazing journey through his music, his art, and how his mind works.  Check out Ryan Coon's music on ITunes.  If you get a chance to hear Ryan in concert, make sure to do so.  You are definitely in for a treat! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birds In Art

First Thursday Art Rush
Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure
(Museum and Zoo)
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  1/5/2012

Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure . . .has never before been part of First Thursday Art Rush in Salina.  So, when it was announced that they would be featuring their current exhibit "Birds In Art" for free to patrons of Art Rush, I beat a fast track to the Hedville exit, west of town, to view the exhibit.  The gallery is halfway through the museum, so it was a double treat.  I got to view the museum and the exhibit.  Check out my photo's from the museum and the event.

These Animatronic figures come alive as you walk past them and they tell you about their area's.

Simon Gudgeon   "Geranos"   England

Dominique Paulees   "Communications"   France
Robert Bateman   "Birdwatcher"   Canada
Thomas Hill   "Dark Running Bird With Blue Head"   England  
Karl Taylor   "Amma's Chandelier"   England
Paula Waterman   "Gulf Surf"   U.S.
Peter Gray   "Symphony"   Zimbabwe
Andrea Rich   "Mixed Flock"   U.S.
Krysti Melaine   "Ibisoseismic"   Austrailia
Jenny Hyde-Johnson   "Family Tree"   South Africa
Lorri Davis   "Preening"   U.S.
John Busby   "Notes On A Bird Feeder"   England  
Anne Senechal Faust   "Follow The Leader"   U.S.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome 2012!  
I'm so glad that 2011 is finally over and behind me.   
The coming year will be full of more reviews, photo's, quotes, and lots of surprises.
Stay tuned to "ReVue", you won't want to miss a minute.