30 December 2007

My Top Ten Entertainment Experiences of 2007

I did this for 2006 and 2005. It's a tradition! Here are the rules, if you want to play at home:

Instead of my list of top ten movies or t.v. shows or books or whatever, I am opting for something far more personal: A peek into what moves me as a person. This is about the whole experience, not just the favorites.

For instance, a runner-up for this list is my "August Rush" experience. The movie flat-out sucked, and I wish I hadn't wasted the money. However, Pamela and I met our friend Phil Kelly at the Arclight, had lunch there before the movie, and suffered through the movie together, laughing and quipping our way through it. So bad movie, good experience. Capice?

Here we go, in no particular order:

1) Pamela's debut at Stiletto 2.5 -- The entire day spent in San Bernardino was fantastic. I camped out in a Starbucks reading the last Harry Potter, had dinner with Pam and Gabrielle, and then scurried back to watch Pam's big debut (with tassles!)

2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- There's not much I can add to my original blog. This was the first time I ever stood in line and waited for the ball to drop, so to speak, at midnight. That was fun. The book itself was simply amazing.

3) The Police (and DAVE GROHL!) at Dodger Stadium -- It's been a long time desire of mine to see The Police in concert. I have very fond memories of spending a sunburned summer listening to "Every Breath You Take: The Singles" over and over and over. I've been rather disappointed with Sting's output over the past few years (adult contemporary rock. Ugh.) and it was good to see him as A ROCK GOD once again.

The bonus was seeing Foo Fighters in concert for the first time. What can I say? Dave Grohl IS Rock and Roll!

4) John Mayer at the Hollywood Bowl -- I had just a great time with Pammy, doing what we enjoy most, and making a day of it. The Bowl is an incredible venue, and since it's in Hollywood, we got to do a bit of "star gazing" (James Cameron has excellent taste in music, by the way.)

5) Victory Variety Hour with Jim and Lisa and Pamela at the El Cid -- In the midst of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jim Blanchette (who played -- nay, owned -- Bottom) e-mailed the cast and crew with an invite to join him and his wife at the El Cid for an evening of burly-q fun.

So not only did we get to enjoy an evening of top-notch burlesque (the very lovely Penny Starr, Jr. puts on one hell of show,) we got to enjoy it in the company of fellow actors. It felt like the 1940s.

6) Grindhouse at the Vista Theater -- Sure, the seats were damned painful after three-plus hours. The fact remains, I had an extraordinary experience at a classic Hollywood movie house. ( And Eli Roth is seriously disturbed. Yikes.)

7) The Gospel Brunch at House of Blues -- This was the birthday party for Pam's pole teacher, Gabrielle. The music was hopping, the food was down-home ... just a fantastic way to spend a Sunday morning! (I know you're reading this Mom. When you come out to visit, we're taking you!)

8) Pammy Dance, Burlesque, and Rock and Roll at The Scene -- I really need a bar buddy. Scratch that. I need a bar buddy who doesn't live in Boston. So it was a lonely evening, but the bands and burlesque acts kept me occupied between Pam's go-go sets. Great bands, fantastic burlesque!

9) Holiday Shake 2007: A Night of Debauchery -- Pam gave full coverage of the event (you can basically browse the December 2007 entries.) It seems strange saying this, but I've really come to appreciate the artistry involved in exotic dance. And 'exotic dance' casts a wide net, covering everything from belly dance to pole dance to burlesque.

I was in on the set-up and tear-down (Me man. Me have muscles.) and I was impressed by how we managed to turn a workout room into a performance space. The ladies put on a wonderful show (Gabrielle's choreography continues to amaze and impress me.) And of course, I never get tired of seeing Pam shake what momma gave her.

What really capped the evening off (aside from finding out Janna and her hubby Mark are beer aficionados -- Go Team Beer!) was seeing so many familiar faces in the audience: friends, former cast mates and collaborators. It makes L.A. a warmer place, to be supported by the folks you know, and to support them in return. Which brings me to ...

10) Ridin' High with Sierra Rein -- I love supporting my fellow artists when I can. Sierra's show was an absolute blast, and she is so talented. The evening flew past, and I hope I get to see her perform again before she heads off to Broadway!

So that's it for 2007! Let's see what 2008 has on tap!

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