Tag Archives: Cirque De Soleil

Billy Crystal Rocks The Oscar’s!!!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrating the movies! While I may by addicted to programs like Modern Family, American Idol and anything on HGTV or the Food Network, my all-time favorite show of the year is The Academy Awards.  Even though Eddie Murphy is awesome, I couldn’t be more excited with the triumphant return of the fantastically fabulous Billy Crystal as host, and he did not disappoint!

Billy always opens with a show stopping video montage; this year included a scene from The Artist, a kiss from George Clooney and a visit from the darling Justin Bieber. The best part, however, is Billy’s signature Best Picture Nominee’s Oscar tribute song; hilarious, clever, irreverent and poignant. We were off to a great start….

The stars were certainly shining tonight. Tom Hanks was dapper and adorable, J Lo and Cameron D were bootylicious and Sandra Bullock was lovely. But the first big award of the night was presented by the very handsome, yet super intense, Christian Bale (while he may be Batman, I lean more towards the delightful camp of a Batman by another name; George Clooney). While Melissa McCarthy was fantastic in Bridesmaids (not just because she is a Chicago girl) and Jessica Chastain was charming in The Help, the night belonged to Octavia Spencer, also from The Help. Her acceptance was emotional, beautiful and sincere.

With Amanda’s life in gymnastics, we are HUGE Cirque Du Soleil fans. Their salute to going to the movies was introduced by my childhood favorites Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and it was incredible. To quote Billy Crystal, “I pulled a hamstring just watching that!”

The Fighter’s Melissa Leo presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. I must admit I only know Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), so I was rooting for one of my all-time favorite’s Nick Nolte (love him in 48 Hours, North Dallas Forty and Down and Out in Beverly Hills), but Christopher Plummer won and, at 82, he was utterly charming. He and Betty White must be drinking the same Kool Aid!

On a side note, I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is a true, classic, Hollywood movie star. She is absolutely mesmerizing (Jennifer Aniston; eat your heart out!)! I’m just saying…..

Nick Charles, his wife Nora and their dog Asta

Michael (Greed is Good) Douglas is AMAZING! He presented the Best Director award to Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist (which was such a wonderful throwback picture, making me think constantly of Nick Charles (my Nick’s namesake) and his faithful companion, his darling dog Asta), though I was a little surprised that Martin Scorsese wasn’t recognized for Hugo.

The lovely Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Actor. While the competition was tough in George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir, Jean DuJardin was the big winner for The Artist. I was half expecting him to give a wacky acceptance speech like Roberto Benigni, but he was far too classy.

Colin Firth was wonderful last year in The Kings Speech. Tonight he presented the award for Best Actress. I adore Meryl Streep, but was really surprised that the statue didn’t go to Viola Davis, who was truly wonderful as Abilene in The Help.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged a day since Risky Business. With nine Best Picture nominees he had the honor of announcing the winner. It was no surprise; the night belonged to The Artist, a truly delightful and entertaining film.

In just over three hours, Billy Crystal was fantastic as the host on the 84th Academy Awards!

More Billy Crystal, more Hollywood, more movie favorites, more Academy Awards…..

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An Afternoon with the Universoul Circus; the Greatest Show on Earth!


When I was a little girl, I fondly remember my parents taking me to the see the spectacle that was the circus; the ringmaster dressed in his shiny red jacket with a black top hat and lapels. There were clowns with their whacky antics, tigers, elephants, acrobats, tightrope walkers and trapeze artists, like the Flying Wallenda’s.


While my pal’s have enjoyed the spectacle of the Ringling Brother’s & Barnum and Bailey Circus, their generation is much more familiar with the music, artistry and daring acts of the likes of Cirque De Soleil.  I was really excited to take Amanda to the Universoul Circus; the perfect blend of old and new.


One of the things I loved the most was that the circus was actually under the big top; a great big tent in the middle of the park. Even though the surroundings were a throw back to yesteryear, the upbeat tempo of the show was anything but. Instead of a boring and staid ring master, the master of ceremonies was the lively and entertaining Tony Tone, who kept the show rolling through costume and set changes with his humor, singing and fabulous dance moves.


We sat in awe (and mock terror) as we watched the tightrope walkers make their way; dancing, bike riding, walking two-men high and then three-men high across the rope. Our hearts were in our mouths as one of the fellas leap frogged over another two, landing perfectly on that wee, little tiny rope. Wow! And we thought the balance beam looked hard.   


This circus has everything, but with soul and style. To the smooth sounds of Luther Vandross, there was Jean Claude who performed stunts of amazing strength, artistry and elegance. In a giant sphere, there were 4 motorcyclists riding round and round (and upside down, rockin’ to the rhythm of the funky sound) and Chinese acrobats on bicycles hand-standing, arabesque-ing, leaping from bike to bike, all whilst the girls were cycling around and around in a fast circle. The circus just wouldn’t be complete without leaping and dancing tigers and beautiful and majestic elephants.   


While the entire show was great fun, my absolute very favorite part was the Zhukau Acrobats; a kind of Michael Flatly, Lord of the Dance, meets strong man tumbling sensations. Swinging from pendulums, these fellas performed heart-pounding, death defying acts; twists, flips, triple backs and triple fronts with a half twist. Fortunately, Amanda knew exactly what they were up to.


What a completely unexpected treat; an afternoon full of funk, soul, daring acts, and entertainment with my favorite gal, all thanks to the Universoul Circus! If you get a chance, you can check them out at  http://www.universoulcircus.com/


More acrobats, more animals, more daring acts, more mother/daughter outings…….


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