Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Chills! By Guest Blogger: Casey O'Hare

Ahhhhh Summer. Clear skies, refreshing swims in the pool, and MURDER?!?!?! That’s right: it’s Summer Chills from Alley Theatre. Other than The Nutcracker, I had never been to a play before, so Mom decided it was time that she took me to see Wicked, but it was sold out, so we looked to see what else was showing this summer when we stumbled across a play written by an author we both knew, and loved, and bought tickets for Saturday the 24th. Finally the day arrived; we put on the Ritz and headed for Houston. Our show was being performed on the Patricia Peckinpaugh Hubbard stage, which seats a little more than 800 people in elegant, red velvet covered seats which I’m sure will either raise your IQ or your social standings just by sitting in them, or at least that’s what it felt like. So what is this play we decided to go see you ask? It was the Alley Theater’s rendition of the longest continuously running play in London’s West End, since it first opened in 1952: The Mousetrap, from the third ranked bestselling author: (behind The Bible and Shakespeare) Agatha Christie!

The Mousetrap takes place during winter at Monkswell Manor Guest House in the English countryside just outside of London, owned by newlyweds: Mollie and Giles Ralston (played by Elizabeth Bunch and Chris Hutchison). Trouble begins when a woman is murdered in London, with a note left saying that she was only the first of the three blind mice to die. The only other clue is a note book that was left which included only two things, the address where the first murder took place, and the address of Monkswell Manor! Agatha Christie sticks to her usual motive of twists and turns which always keeps the audience guessing to the end. The Mousetrap is running in the Alley Theater till August 8th, and I highly recommend you see it before it’s too late!

Three blind mice, three blind mice. See how they run, see how they run. They’ve all gone after the farmer’s wife. She chopped off their tails with a carving knife. Have you ever seen such a sight in your life as three blind mice?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Disneyworld 2010 By: Connor O'Hare

Hook, Line And Believer welcomes guest blogger, Connor O'Hare, age 9.

Well, the summer of 2010 has been pretty good so far. I got back from Disneyworld three weeks ago. It was only my third plane ride ever. We stayed at the Polynesian Resort. It was beautiful! Our room had two beds and had three sumo belts ordered into Disney Mickey ears. (They were really towels arranged on the bed.)

The first park we went to was the Magic Kingdom. We visited Stitch’s Great Escape and then we headed to our first mountain…SPACE MOUNTAIN! I loved it. They had video games at the 1,000,000,000 mile long line but it was worth the wait. It was very cool and at one point my heart skipped some beats. They had like planets above us and even the Death Star! Then we did the frightening Haunted Mansion ride…it was way too scary. My favorite part is when two paintings of guys with rifles facing opposite directions turned to face each other and shot the rifles at each other.

(Mom note-this morning we went back to MK and rode Thunder Mtn. RR and Splash Mtn.)
The next day, day two we went to Hollywood Studios. First we rode Star Tours. It was pretty cool. It was like you were in a spaceship circling the death star. After that we went and saw Muppet Vision 3D. THEY TRICK YOU BECAUSE IT’S REALLY 4D. But it was very funny. And then we saw Indiana Jones live! The best part was explosives…TNT! I loved the very first thing best which was the old rolling ten ton boulder. After the show, Casey and Dad went on the Aerosmith Rockin Rollercoaster. Me and Mom went to Toy Story Mania 3D. Oh, what’s that? Who won in Toy Story Mania? Moi! By the way, moi means me.) After that we went to the Great Movie Ride. It was pretty cool. It had animatronics to show the movies.

Day three we went to Epcot. We ate lunch first—Chinese, it was yummy! Then we went to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, but it’s not TRRRRUUUUEEEEEE! The entire universe wasn’t created by an explosion, it was created by God!!!! Next we went to the thrilling, the chilling, the amazingly cool Test Track! They tested the cars for ice and then in a totally heated room and the brakes and my favorite, speed…woohoo!!! That was super fun. After that we went to Soarin’. We saw another 1,000,000,000 mile long line, but they had big televisions on the wall so everyone could play games like ‘train ride’, ‘you’re a bird’, and stuff like that. But it was just another movie ride aaahhhhhhh! Then we went to Finding Nemo and got eaten by a clam! (Just kidding that’s what the ride cart was.) Then we stayed Nemo-style by eating at the Nemo CafĂ©. Then, Spaceship Earth, woohoo. It was telling you all these things that happened through time and one was about the Egyptians discovering paper. (They took our picture) At the end I looked funny in my review.

Thursday, day four is the day we went to Animal Kingdom. First we had to take the bus. That’s the only way to get to Animal Kingdom. The first thing we did was It’s Tough To Be A Bug—Scarrrrrryyyyyyyy!!! 4D, woohoo…couldn’t stand it! After that we went to dino-land to ride Dinosaur. Can you believe the fiercest dino you’ll never see is mutated (Mom note-evolved) into the chicken…Mom doesn’t buy it! It had so many dinos, I don’t want to talk about it! After that I took the challenge of Expedition Everest. It was a pretty long line but nothing I couldn’t handle. It had a huge drop going through mines and the mountain of Everest. At one point the rails broke and you go backwards! And when you’re going backwards, in the corner A GIANT YETTI POPS OUT AT YOU!!! And I was the only one who saw it too. Well that’s pretty much what we did at Disneyworld.

Friday, July 2, 2010

It Had To Be You - By: Janice Thompson

Each time my husband or I pass by this book by Janice Thompson we have to sing a couple lines of the catchy Frank Sinatra tune. My nine year old son has even caught on to the act when he hears the song. “Mom, Dad saw the book again!” I write this review with a heavy heart as this is the last in the Weddings by Bella series.

Bella Rossi, wedding planner and owner of Club-Wed, furiously plans the most important wedding in her young career for her precious Uncle Laz and Aunt Rosa. She is anxious to be done with the wedding because she knows the next wedding in line is her own. Family visits from Italy to attend Laz and Rosa’s wedding as well as an ex-mob boss and an overzealous swing band, making for an exciting pre-wedding blitz.

Major conflict for Bella happens when some other family members decide to plan their weddings very close to her own. Bella is stressed even more when she is ousted permanently from her lifelong bedroom for a construction project to house Laz and Rosa. The icing on the cake for Bella comes when she is forced to room with her sister who insists on talking into the night about her own wedding plans. Bella hits a figurative wall and is forced to slow down. During her down time, she is pampered by her loving family and she is able to re-connect with God which is always a good thing.

Thompson outdoes herself, humorously tying up loose ends in the book. She beautifully illustrates how we shouldn’t judge people by how they look and to not lash out at people when they severely get on your nerves…even if they are your sister.

If I had to say something bad about the book the only thing I could say would be the cover art. By the looks of things, the female cover model seems to have unfortunately wrenched her shoulders out of joint. The male model isn’t at all what I would picture to be a Texas cowboy and I would know. He isn’t even wearing cowboy boots. This is of course no fault of the author who wonderfully portrayed the Tex-Italian characters in the book. Kudos to you, Janice Thompson.