Kikita, the Luckiest Girl in the World, Sees Ruben Blades in Concert

I very well may be the luckiest girl in the world.

I'm sure there are other girls that think that, but I bet I can make a pretty good case for being the luckiest.

(This is Kikita, by the way, Marta's eldest daughter. <-- That alone makes me pretty lucky, but that's not important right now ;-D)

A little over a week ago, my timbales teacher told me to look up an Eddie Palmieri song and listen to it as much as I could stand because he was going to teach it to me. Of course, in my hunt for the song in question, I remembered a whole bunch of OTHER Eddie Palmieri songs I love.

A few days after my Palmieri moment, Mami sent me a text message. The nice people at Al Punto had offered her two free tickets to see Ruben Blades the following Wednesday, but she was going to be on vacation and would I like to go? And, if I DID want to go, did I have someone I could take with me?


What you might not know is how much I LOOOOVVVEEE Ruben Blades.

I think his voice is like a fine summer wine. Light, sweet, smooth and delicious. (No, I don't drink a lot of wine, but if Ruben Blades' voice WAS a wine, I'd drink it every day.)

I immediately called my OTHER timbales teacher (the one who is just showing me what he knows because he's nice) and, like me, there was no way he'd say no to an invitation to see one of best in the business.

Ruben Blades was playing at the Hollywood Bowl. I'd never been to the Hollywood Bowl, but was instructed to take a picnic and that every seat is an experience.

There could be no sounder advice.

I stopped to get pan con lechón from my favorite Orange County Cuban restaurant, Bella Cuba and we arrived at the Hollywood Bowl with enough time to find our seats (they were AWESOME! Thanks, Al Punto!) and enjoy our sandwiches. It was perfect. 

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I was so excited on Ruben Blades, I had completely forgotten about the band that would be opening for him... The EDDIE PALMIERI Orchestra!!


See what I'm saying about luck? 

Eddie started by saying, "Whether you stand up and dance or just dance in your seat: if you don't move or get involved with this band, you are not well." 

I could barely contain my excitement. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, Eddie asked for requests and joked that he would play all those requests "next time." I was secretly hoping he would play my favorite song of his, "La Malanga" when he announced that the next song had been written by a Cuban singer/songwriter named Rudy Calzado and was called "La Malanga."

Could a girl get any luckier?!?

Yes. A girl could run in to her favorite local salsa star by the name of Chino Espinoza (of Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños Del Son) with his son Jake.

Kikita con Chino y Jake Espinoza

After each song, I would turn to my friend and say "We could leave now and I'd be so happy," and Ruben Blades had not even started yet! It was THAT GOOD.

Of course, it took Ruben Blades all of 10 seconds to leave me speechless. He was incredible. His voice was everything I knew it would be.

He introduced his song "Decisiones" by saying, "In 1984, this song was banned by the dictatorship in Panama. Today the dictatorship is gone, but the song remains."

As if I needed any more reasons to love him? My Cuban-American side was cheering "Yes! Dictatorships CAN be overthrown!"

Of my top three favorite Ruben Blades songs, Ruben played "Muevete" which is my second favorite and ended with his classic (and my third favorite)  "Pedro Navaja" which he started with a little bit of "Mack the Knife."

I was so happy. What a wonderful experience. What a wonderful concert. What a lucky girl I was... and, wait, what? He was going to do ONE. MORE. SONG.

Being the Luckiest Girl in the World, I knew he would play my favorite song of his, "Patria."

I couldn't stop the tears of joy and disbelief from rolling down my cheeks.

Not that I want to push my luck, but I am so looking forward to "next time." If last night was any indication of some of the upcoming events at the beautiful Walt Disney Concert Hall, then I might have to become a Professional Attender of Wonderful Music Things. I'm told this next season is going to be "Limitless" and full of surprises a la Gilberto Gil, Bobby McFerrin, and Holiday Sing-Along with Julie Andrews!

I know, right?

I am one lucky (and oh-so-happy) girl! =D

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On the stage of the Hollywood Bowl (Pinch me.)

I'm going to write about the Hollywood Bowl today.

Just as a warning - this post may get all emotional and gushy (<--is that a word?) because I LOVE the Hollywood Bowl. I love it so much I want to marry it. There's going to be gushing. And photos. And videos. And more gushing. Yes. It's uber-nerd heaven.

The Bowl is just so thoroughly So-Cal-Iconic. And I am totally enthralled and in love with its rich history. I'm pretty sure my first exposure to the Bowl came from Bugs Bunny in Long-Haired Hare, where he plays Leopold Stokowski. (Yes, I'm nerdy enough to know this stuff, but that's not important right now.)

Bugs bunny at the Hollywood Bowl

In case you've never seen it, here you go. Watch. And love.

I happen to agree with Bugs: The Bowl is "acoustically poifect." You're welcome.

Of course, one of the most magical Hollywood Bowl Moments happened in August 1964.

The beatles onstage at the hollywood bowl

The Beatles came to Southern California and performed in this iconic venue. *insert teenage girl scream here*

*sigh* That's history right there. 

I'll also never forget the magical night I saw Tito Puente and Celia Cruz there. I was massively pregnant with Lucy at the time and thought my child might be a few weeks early because I started having contractions during the concert, and then I was conflicted because it was CELIA and would I really have to leave if I was having a baby? (That last factoid might have been an over-share. Or it falls under their tag line: There's a story in every seat.)

All that to say this: I love the Hollywood Bowl. It is unparalled as a concert venue and during a show you can even see the Hollywood sign peeking out from the next ridge over. It's quite magical.

So you can imagine my excitement when I was cordially invited to "the Hollywood bowl stage for a cocktail party to celebrate the upcoming summer season" by my friends at the LA Philharmonic.


Wait! Did that say "to the Hollywood Bowl STAGE??"

The evening was beautiful in that perfect Spring-evening-in-Southern-California way.

It's always surprising to me that the Hollywood Bowl is in such an accessible spot. "Yay! We're here!"

Hollywood Bowl sign

And to my everlasting delight, the party was ON. THE. HOLLYWOOD. BOWL. STAGE!

Someone pinch me.

Reception at Hollywood Bowl

So, I start hyperventilating just a little as we walked on to the stage.

Marta Hollywood Bowl

The restaurants in the Bowl venue were all beautifully represented. My particular favorite is the Rooftop Grill. Of course, when you go to an event at the Hollywood Bowl, you must plan on arriving early and either bringing or pre-ordering a picnic. The picnic is  a mandatory part of the magic of the experience.

Rooftop grill

So it was that I found myself with Lucy. Having a picnic. At the Hollywood Bowl. ON THE STAGE. (I may just have to frame this one.)

Sitting on stage of Hollywood Bowl

Wait! Is that Gustavo Dudamel? The conductor of the LA Philharmonic? I may or may not have knocked over a few people to get to him. (My nerdiness knows no bounds.)

Gustavo Dudamel & Marta

He is from Venezuela, and I briefly spoke to him in Spanish (of course) and told him I was Cuban, at that exact same moment a musical piece was playing written by a Cuban. Full disclosure: He was the one who pointed that out. I was in Star-struck Super Fan mode.

"Hola, Maestro! You are my biggest fan!"

Okay, maybe I didn't say exactly that, but I was excited and tongue tied and thrilled to be in the presence of such greatness. By the way, if you live in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas and want to experience classical music in the most engaging way, do yourself a favor and go see Gustavo Dudamel conduct the LA Phil. Seriously.

Let me take a moment from documenting my craziness to tell you about the awesomeness that can be found at the Hollywood Bowl over the summer.

They have THE BEST program for kids called Summer Sounds. I have a friend who religiously takes her kids every summer and swears it's the best thing in town. Watch this:

You can thank me later.

There's way too much fabulousness for me to list here in this one post (please click here for more information) but let me just tell you that we are already looking forward to John Williams (right?!), Ruben Blades (yes, please!), and Placido Domingo, and perhaps even the Grease Sing-a-long. (I have very ecclectic taste in music, okay?)

Did I mention we were standing on THE SAME STAGE where all this amazingness will take place?

Lucy & me Hollywood bowl

I was completely giddy thinking of all the times I had been here and all the amazing acts that have stood on this very stage. So I gushed to Lucy (much like I'm doing to you now) and sighed and laughed out loud. And I pointed to the different seats I had occupied and of course, I told her once again the story of when I thought she might be born prematurely in this same spot because I just couldn't bear the thought of leaving this magical place in the middle of a show.

And then she turned to me and said, "I didn't get it until just now."

Lucy on stage at Hollywood Bowl

Summer can't get here soon enough.

{A special thank you to the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Philharmonic, and alPunto Advertising for a magical evening.}

Southern California Cuban Festival 2011 in San Dimas

The following post was written by Kikita.

It's that time of year again!

Time for the Cuban Festival!

It's been a few years since I've been, but I'll definitely be there this year!



(Seriously, if you're a blog reader and you decide to go to the festival and you do see me, please come up and say hello.)

P.S. Despite the fact that I am not going to Miami for Cuba Nostalgia this year which would finally give me the chance to head out to the Cuban Festival in Echo Park, that festival was canceled this year due to lack of funds and the park not being available. Which means the San Dimas Cuban Festival is the only one in the L.A. area this year ... and that is SO important right now! ;-)

When is a Pitbull NOT a pitbull?

It seems that lately I've been getting invited to all kinds of  "events"- apparently bloggers are the new press. Who knew?

Iwas invited by a fellow Latina blogger, Ana Flores from Spanglish Baby (Thanks again, Ana!) to come to the launch of the new Victoria's Secret perfume called Bombshell. It turns out that one of Ana's close friends, the lovely Susan Stipcianos from the Dream Team Agency was spearheading this event.

So I took Amy to L.A. with me, of course. The event was held at the enormous Victoria's Secret store at The Grove and there were all these gorgeous skinny semi-famous VS supermodels that we were supposed to interview. (I'm the new press, after all...)

But I got a little distracted because of all the fun we were having (but that's not important right now).

We got the Royal V.I.P. treatment. We had makeovers done by professional makeup artists

Makeup me 

Amy makeover

...and they had us do a glamour photo shoot...

Amy shoot 

Amy bombshell 1005

...and they gave us swag bags with beautiful umm....things....

...and, of course, the new perfume, Bombshell.

Bomb perfume
In the middle of the craziness, I notice a handsome young man having his photo taken with the supermodels (whom we have yet to interview.....because....Hey! Is it my turn for the photo?)

So Amy says, "Mami, that's Pitbull." He's getting his photo taken with the supermodels and then he leaves.

In slow-motion, I went Wait! (or more like W-A-A-I-I-T-T!) I'm the CUBAN BLOGGER here!

So I grabbed Amy and we head towards where Pitbull was last seen and he is now exiting the building - *sigh* We missed him. (Sad faces.)

Right at that moment, the very-on-top-of-it PR gal, Susan (that I told you about earlier, who was in charge"OMG! Come on!" And she proceeded to run down the internal alley of the mall, in her stilettos, yelling, "Wait! Pit!"

And here come Amy and Marta chasing Susan who is chasing Pitbull through the bowels of the Grove. (Talk about a surreal moment.)

When she finally caught him, she said to him, "This is the Most Important Person At This Event!" (If you look at the photo, you can tell we were far away from people and totally in the bowels of the mall.) And Pitbull was treating me like I was, well... The Most Important Person At This Event.

Of course, I spoke to him in Spanish, and I may or may not have called him a muñecon.

I think because of that awesome introduction he was very charming. (Amy was upset that he barely looked at her and paid me so much attention. I quickly reminded her of my Most Important Person Status. =D)

We chatted briefly, took our photos and he was delightful and charming and funny and when he turned to leave, he left behind a small puddle of what was formerly The Most Important Person There and Her First Born.

We regrouped beautifully and made the executive decision to skip the supermodel interviews. After all, we just had makeovers and got to meet Pitbull. (Which proves the existence of God.) Our evening was pretty complete with the added plus of the Pitbull meeting. I had my story. I came strutting back into the store and showed the photos on my camera to the swooning, skinny girls. They were staring at me with a total "WHO ARE YOU?" vibe. I loved it.

I decided it would be wisest to skip the supermodel interviews and focus my story on meeting Pitbull. Yeah, I'm shallow that way. =D

I do have a comment giveaway today, but you'll have to travel.

I want you to go over the TikiTikiBlog and follow this link to the Pitbull story post.

To be entered in the drawing for the new VS Bombshell perfume, (I promise want this!) go over to the Tiki Tiki and leave a comment on that post. Instructions and deadlines are over there.

Also, be sure to watch the video I put together. Then come back and tell me your opinion of how I'm handling my mid-life crisis. Or how jealous you're feeling right now. Bring it. =D

Demanding Equal Time

I have four offspring. And although they don't come right out and say it, there's still a fair amount of sibling-rivalry-mom-always-liked-you-best moments.

So, my son, Jonathan was complaining. Not too loudly, but still...

The last few months have been all about Lucy and Russian Jews and Fiddling on the Roof.

"Mom," he protested, "you wrote about me in just one number of my production and you showed me dancing in a red, sparkly dress. I think I deserve at least a blog post where I'm looking more like a manly-man." (Yes, he did use the term "manly-man," but that's not important right now.)

I can't argue with that logic.

So let me present Jonathan dressed to the nines, along with his friend, Andrew, in their show-stopping number: Puttin' on the Ritz from Young Frankenstein (The Musical, of course). Jon plays....the Monster. Not at all surprising, right? 

Andrew & Jon

For me, Jon is always such a delight to watch on stage. He gives himself so completely to his character. He becomes The Monster. (Reminds me a lot of the Terrible Twos. =D)


(Sorry, Jon! You know you're my favorite. Shh! I tell them all the same thing, but that's not important right now. =D)

Jon as Frankenstein monster

Las Terrazas

This is another Kikita post about her trip to Cuba.

Several years ago a cousin I had never met before was visiting from Cuba. Since he had never been to Las Vegas, Mami, Luza, my tia Helen, and I drove out there to meet him and then bring him back to California. It was a whirlwind adventure riddled with cucufates, but that is another story.

On the drive home from Las Vegas, this cousin asked us to play one of the cds he had brought from Cuba of a new up and coming singer called Polo Montañez. At the time, my spanish was nowhere near what it is today. Regardless, I was happy to oblige our guest and played the cd filled with classic Cuban sounds and words I did not fully comprehend. The drive from Vegas to my house on that Saturday night was about 4 to 5 hours so we listened to the cd several times over. There was one song inparticular that I found exceptionally moving despite not knowing all the words.

Beyond the classic sounds of Trío Matamoros and Celia Cruz, this song was the first new Cuban song I had heard from the island. The song was called "Un Montón de Estrellas" and it fast became one of my favorites. I remember the first time I heard it played at a salsa club a few years later, I couldn't stop the tears from rolling. 

The song remained close to my heart, but got pushed around by other songs and experiences and was soon forgotten (so to speak).

I had no idea what was in store for me as I was on my way to Pinar del Rio and my cousin took a turn towards a place called Las Terrazas.

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It was breathtaking. I was speechless. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life.

Wednesday through Saturday morning 040

My cousin kept going deeper and deeper into this jungle and I was beginning to wonder if we had arrived at Viñales because I really wasn't sure what I was looking for . . . and then I saw where we where headed.

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Wednesday through Saturday morning 063 

I could not help but marvel at the small size of the home and tears came to my eyes when I looked and saw the sun shining on the unused instruments.

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The moment I first walked inside "Un Montón de Estrellas" began playing as if to welcome my presence. It was one of those magical moments that brought tears to my eyes. I felt so lucky. So blessed. So in awe. I sent up a prayer of thanks and then let the music and the view wash over me.

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"Que orgullo para el poeta
que viva en un pueblecito
el más aseado y bonito
que existe en este planeta
por eso hago esta letras
con ortografía escasa,
mientras más ligero pasa
el tiempo que va corriendo
más lindo se va poniendo
el pueblo de las Terrazas"

~ Polo Montañez

The EPIC Mr. Don't Touch the Banana

The following post was written by Kikita, whose appreciation for bananas has led to endless laughter and entertainment.

I can't tell you where or how it all started, but it started. I can only guess it happened on facebook because that's where most things happen these days.
Let me be clear about something . . . I am not particularly fond of the taste of bananas. Ok, that's not entirely true. There have been several years where I absolutely loathed bananas, but now that I'm an immature adult, I have accepted them for the goodness that they can be.

It IS possible that the banana thing started shortly after the monkey thing. (I LOVE monkeys. I have several monkey stuffed animals and I can do a FABULOUS monkey sound, but that's not important right now.)

For all intents and purposes, I'm not sure that it really matters where the banana thing started. What IS important is that it DID start and was kept alive.

Potato face banana

Typically, I will start working on the family Christmas video in late August or early September. As it just so happens, late August found me at a Willy Chirino concert.

It was there that I met my inspiration.

Every year I struggle with making sure the video is relevant to our Cuban-American family NOW while not forgetting and celebrating that we are still Cuban. But now the majority of the family prefers speaking in English, so they relate to a Cuban song in Spanish less and less. No, that doesn't make things easy.
But I had found my answer.

I started story-boarding and planning and ran into a few hiccups such as "what about the family that will NOT be at Thanksgiving?"
But I did what I could with what resources I had.

I am so grateful that my big, fat, Cuban family will do what I ask of them without question and will go for it. Participation was key in pulling this one off. And I knew it would be EPIC.

After Thanksgiving, I got to work. And, thanks to the help and support of some "real, live" editors (Thank you Mr. Simpson, Mr. Young, & Mr. De Castro), my plan was coming to fruition in ways that were even better than I could have expected.

Final cut banana 

This has to be one of my most favorite pieces that I have ever cut together. I love it because it's wholly Cuban (every good Cuban-American knows this song), it's fun, it's Spanglish, and it's . . . well, it's EPIC (even if I do say so myself).

It even inspired the title for this year's video: "ORO PARECE"

That is the beginning of a Cuban riddle that goes:

It's a play on words. "Oro" is gold. "Plata" is silver, but "platano" is banana.

So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado . . .

All Desi. All the time.

So we went to Vegas and Boulder City the week before Thanksgiving to see the fabulous Tormé Sings Tormé show. It was absolutely delicious and satisfying in every way. 


First of all Steve March Tormé's tribute to his incredibly talented dad (Mel Tormé) was both exhilarating to watch and yet tugged at the heartstrings as he sang while showing video of him with his dad.

For the sake of full disclosure, when he sang a medley of I'm Wishing (the Snow White song) and When You Wish Upon a Star, (with the family photos projecting in the background) the tears were flowing freely. What a gift!

Slide show

Of course, my favorite part of the show was when Desi got up and took to the Conga drums.(See him right there behind Steve? *sigh*)

Desi on drums 

I love that they knew each other as kids and are still friends today.

On stage 

After the amazing show, there was a lovely reception for the band at the Dam Hotel, (=D) where we were staying.

It was there that I got to give the lovely Miss Amy (Mrs. Arnaz) her MBFCF mug.

Mbfcf mug 

And also got to visit with her husband, My Friend, Desi Arnaz, Jr. (*blushes*)

Desi & me

The last time we visited I had taken Desi some of my famous pastelitos de guayaba. He enjoyed them so much he thought that maybe we'd be interested in buying the newly vacated restaurant space across the street from their theater. 


He's quite the convincing salesman, too. "Just think! I could walk across the street whenever I got hungry and have Cuban food!"

Okay, so maybe I was tempted, a little.

(Actually, my mind started racing forward in total I Love Lucy fashion in which Lucy and Ethel come up with some harebrained scheme to start a business - how apropos, right? - and I began to think that maybe living in Boulder City and opening a Cuban restaurant there wouldn't be so bad, and since we homeschool and Eric works at home, we could live wherever we wanted and we do so love Desi and Amy, and I'd get to see him... All. The. Time. But that's not important right now.)

So Eric and I talked about it and fantasized a little....

Marta's kitchen 

Until we remembered that it gets to be 120 degrees in the summer in Boulder City The Dam City.

So sorry, Desi, mi amor. =(  

But thanks again, Desi and Amy for a fabulous weekend. We'll definitely be visiting again! (And yes, I'll bring you some more pastelitos. MUAH! <--Cuban kiss.)

He Danced With Me

The following post has been brought to you by the lovely and talented (and oh-so-humble) Kikita.

About 10 years ago, when I was an adorable teenager who didn't remember much of the Spanish she'd spoken as a child, I saw the movie "Dance with Me."

It was magical. There was a beautiful Puerto Rican guy (Chayanne) who was playing the part of a beautiful Cuban. He went to a dance studio and taught a "professional Latin dancer" how to "feel the music."

He took her dancing and they ordered mojitos.
That was the moment I decided that: "one day, I want to try a mojito."
At this nightclub they went to, there was a live band that I just loved.
I remember thinking, "I would love to see that guy in concert."

Later in the movie, they go back to the same club.
It's a longer scene and there is a different singer.

When I saw it I thought, "I would love to dance with people like that. Ooh, that guy in the vest is cute! I would love to dance with him."
And I thought, "She's awesome. I would love to see her perform live too."

Secret wishes, hopes, and dreams that I never dared to tell anyone. I just kept them deep inside and they would bubble up every time I watched the movie.

As I got older, I moved some of those secret wishes to the "it's never gonna happen" shelf. Yes, when I turned 21 the first drink I ordered was a mojito.

Dancing at the conga room

Yes, I HAVE been dancing in places where I felt like I was in that scene in that movie, but most of the time I don't feel that way. Most of the time, I'm just happy to be dancing.

And then it happened.
The guy singing in the first nightclub scene is Ricardo Lemvo and I got the chance to meet him when he played at the Conga Room. I couldn't believe my luck!

About a week later, I got an email from my dear friend Ziva. Having had so much fun at the Andy Garcia concert last year, she took me up on my offer to join her and Henry at another concert . . . This time, it was Albita.

Who is Albita? Aside from a fabulous and fun Cuban singer, she also happens to be the lady who was singing my favorite dance scene from "Dance with Me."


So, tonight is the night. Tonight yet another of my secret wishes is coming to life. Tonight is a dream come true.

Does it stop there? OF COURSE NOT!

Earlier this week, I decided at the last minute to go out dancing "just for an hour or two." While I was there basking in the music, someone taps me on the shoulder and says, "May I have this dance?"

This "tipo" looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place him. Regardless, I wanted to dance so I accepted.
"I'm Rudy."
"Hi Rudy, I'm Kikita."

As soon as we started dancing I knew this guy was good and was just hoping I could keep up. I did. He looked a little surprised that I did (and I don't blame him, I was a little surprised too, but I'm not the one who got thrown off by the blond hair).
We thanked each other for the dance and got on with our lives.


(For the record: This is NOT Rudy. Rudy is beautiful. This is just a representative photo of me dancing. This person couldn't really dance, but I could! Look at my lovely arm extension. But, as Mami would say, that's not important right now.)

What's your point, Kikita?

It turns out that this "Rudy" guy was one of the dancers in my favorite scene, the scene with Albita singing . . . he was the guy in the vest.

It's official. Dreams CAN come true!

Up and to the right castle

At least that's what Disney always says.

Magical Summer Moments

Sunday, September 6, 1970. My very first concert.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Their opening act was Little Stevie Wonder who had just had a big hit with "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

This was my very first concert. I found the ticket tucked away in my high school photo album. Thirty-nine years ago today.

Greek theater ticket005  

I remember being a little salty still from the beach (Playa del Rey) earlier in the day.

I remember it was a double-date. My date, Terry, who was sixteen at the time (I was fifteen) had only had his driver's license for two months and drove an ancient red station wagon. Seatbelts? What?? =D

SBHS prom 1971054  

We drove up through the Hollywood Hills. You have to drive through a neighborhood of palatial homes to get there. I remember being shocked and surprised by this as only a wide-eyed fifteen-year-old can be.

But, ah... once we got into the Greek and found our seats...

The music was classic Motown. The air smelled clean and fresh as only outdoor concerts can. There's that roar and rush as the performers take the stage.

The lights! The sounds! The oh-my-gosh-they're-RIGHT-THERE-onstage amazement! Our favorite songs being performed live. They have never sounded better.

It was a magical night for me and one of my very fondest memories. My first live show. Notice the ticket price - $5.00. Wow.

I love that I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with live shows. There was nothing like it. NOTHING. The music seriously came alive in a way that couldn't be captured over the radio or through vinyl.

It was live. And I was alive. And I was THERE.

That feeling has never left me. I have been to dozens of live shows since. And am never disappointed.

I recently took a Facebook quiz and was able to list over 50 acts that I had seen live, not counting stage, plays, and musicals.

The first two will always be Smokey and Stevie. It was one of those definining moments in my life. Who knew?

1. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. *
2. Stevie Wonder.
3. Chicago.
4. The Beach Boys. *
5. Glady Knight and the Pips.
6. The Temptations.
7. The Four Tops.
8. The Grateful Dead. *
9. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. *
10. The Moody Blues. *
11. Fleetwood Mac.
12. Rod Stewart.
13. Linda Rondstat.
14. Carole King.
15. James Taylor.
16. Barbra Streisand.
17. Tito Puente.
18. Oscar de Leon.
19. Celia Cruz. *
20. Willy Chirino. *
21. Marc Anthony.
22. The Tubes.
23. Elvis Costello.
24. KC & the Sunshine Band.
25. The Monkees.
26. Tower of Power.
27. Johnny and Edgar Winter.
28. Bruce Springstein. *
29. J. Geils Band. *
30. Peter Frampton.
31. Boz Scags.
32. Michael Jackson.
33. U2. *
34. Chayanne.
35. Alejandro Fernandez.
36. Jethro Tull.
37. Huey Lewis and the News.
38. The Doobie Brothers.
39. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. *
40. Van Morrison.
41 The Allman Bros.
42. The Rolling Stones.
44. Brian Wilson.
45. Paul McCartney.
46. Peter Gabriel.
47. Loggins & Messina. *
48. Julio Yglesias.
49. The Go-Go's.
50. Jimmy Buffett.
51. Andy Garcia.
52. Gloria Estefan. *
53. The Marshall Tucker Band.
54. Lynrd Skynrd.
55. Charlie Daniels Band.
56. The Who.
57. Stephen Stills.
58. Warren Zevon.
59. Junior Walker and the All-Stars.
60. The Rascals.

(NOTE: There are many more. I keep remembering a few more each day...)

Even now, the excitement and fun of a live concert or show still calls to me. Of all the fun things we do now, going to shows is still high up there on the list.


These are programs and tickets from just this summer.

Amy and I saw Dirty Dancing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

Dirty dancing poster 

We have season tickets to the Orange County Performing Arts Center. This was for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


And of course, here we are in New York, on Broadway, waititng to see Wicked.

Wickedmay 2009 101

Las Vegas at the Wayne Brady Show.


Andy Garcia at the Conga Room.


David Copperfield at the Long Beach Arena.

Fam at david copperfield 

Dana Carvey at the Orleans in Vegas.

Dana carvey 

We collected our favorite friends to accompany us to see Fiddler on the Roof (which coincidentally happened to fall on Lucy's birthday, but that's not important right now.) Go figure!

Fiddler people

And of course, Disney's Electrical Parade.

Electrical parade 

We usually take the cheesy "I-was-there" photo. And even if it's blurry, we call it good. This was at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater where we saw the Pacific Symphony on their Rodgers and Hammerstein movie night.

Pacific symphony  

That's us in all our Uber-Geeky glory.

We have passed on the love of the theater and live entertainment to our kids. In fact, we've taken to scouring ticket sales at the beginning of the summer to find the best deals.  (I know. Uber-geeks.)

But I was reminded that this is a love that started thirty nine years ago (today) in what was for me, a magical moment in time. And even though the ticket prices are way higher than $5.00(!) live theater and concert-going is still very much a part of my life and of my family's life.

And I have the ticket stubs and cheesy pictures to prove it. =D

Do you have a favorite concert or show? Do you remember your first one? Tell me about it. I want to know.