Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Creator of Motherhood (The Musical, that is!)

Who is Sue Fabisch?! She didn't invent motherhood, but she certainly experienced every detail of it. Her hilarious perils are accounted for throughout the musical as she wrote about mothers protesting vaccuming and being royal Costco Warehouse queens! Sue is the creator of Motherhood the Musical, and she will be visiting Huntsville, AL this Friday, February 3 for a full day of media appearances! You are invited to submit questions for Sue to answer. Post them on our Facebook page or on our blog! We'll video blog her answers next week! Let us know what you're curious to discover about Sue Fabisch.

Get your tickets for Motherhood the Musical today! Call the Merrimack Hall Box Office at 256.534.6455.

The Merrimack Mommy Chronicles: "Between the Sheets"

For those of us who are blessed to be parents, we understand that parenting comes with some tremendous perks, which are accompanied by some tremendous inconveniences.  Your whole entire schedule changes, and for some parents, it can be really difficult trying to find a balance between finding moments of intimacy with one another, or spending time doing things you enjoy doing: especially in the early years. 

Well, my husband and I were really trying to adjust to finding times of intimate moments after we had our first baby.  I was breastfeeding for the first time, and to be quite honest, you don’t even think about being intimate – it’s the furthest from your mind!  You’re tired, sleepy, hungry, irritable, and you don’t feel pretty by any stretch of the term, and here comes your beloved husband, wanting to spend intimate time with you. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but it took my husband and I quite some time to get back into a rhythm of intimacy.  For months we would tip-toe around, waiting for my daughter to go to sleep.  It became a “game” of sorts in our house, that the moment she would go down for a nap, my husband and I would scramble up, each get in separate showers, and ready ourselves for one another.  It was quite the event. 

Well, this particular time, my husband didn’t quite feel like waiting for our daughter, now 11 months, to go to sleep.  “She’s a baby.  She’s only a year old.  She has no idea what’s going on”, he said so assuredly.  “Let’s just put her in her playpen at the end of our bed, and put some toys in there, and she will be fine.  She will have no idea what’s going on.”  “Okay,” I say hesitantly. 

So, here we go!  We attempt to seize the moment.  We put her in her playpen, with toys everywhere.  She’s sitting playing so nicely, and I feel less hesitant, and more confident that we can truly enjoy one another.  We begin our intimate adventure, when all of a sudden, I scream: “Ahhhh!!!”  My husband jumps up and screams back at me:  “What?  What is it?”  I point to my daughter who has moved from playing with her toys, to standing straight up watching us. 

Word to the wise:  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever (get my drift?) seize an intimate moment, while your children are awake; no matter how “distracted” you think they are.  You will always get caught between the sheets! But nevertheless, you will naturally get a great laugh! 

P.S. Get your Motherhood the Musical tickets today by visiting www.merrimackhall.com or calling (256) 534-6455 and tell them Kristen sent you from the Merrimack Mommy Chronicles.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hang Loose with The Surfer Boys

The Beach Boys

Remember these handsome fellows from the days of surfin' U.S.A. in the 1950s? Take a cruise with Barbara Ann back in time in your '30 Ford Wagon also called a "Woody" as The Unexpected Surfer Boys sing out some good vibrations!

This weekend at Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center, the boys from The Unexpected Boys Does Broadway and Forever Plaid  will have some fun, fun, fun on-stage as they perform the favorite hits of the Beach Boys.

The Unexpected Surfer Boys

If you have ever visited Merrimack Hall before, you know that our bartender will assist with your selection of beer and wine for the show. Just say, "Help Me, Rhonda!" Our marketing director and California girl, Ashley Dinges, will be in the Cotton Club hanging out with some of our member patrons while Claire Lindsay, the program coordinator, will be getting around the theatre as she assists our volunteers. Wouldn't it be nice if our managing director, Kim Simari, would be able to take a vacation down to Kokomo after this the 3-day production of four shows?

Whether you're a hero, villian or even Sloop John B, the staff at Merrimack Hall along with The Unexpected Surfer Boys hope to see you Friday, Saturday or Sunday for evening and matinee performances!

Adults: $40
Seniors: $37
Groups (10+): $35
Purchase your tickets at http://www.merrimackhall.com/ or call in, 256.534.6455.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Merrimack Mommy Chronicles: "Baby Roses," or Kids Say The Darndest Things!

Remember the show "Kids Say the Darndest Things?" Bill Cosby hosted the second version of the show which portrayed all of the funny and sometimes embarrassing moments where kids say what their little imaginations perceive. It was absolutely hilarious!

As a kid, I remember me and my grandmother watching it together. She would just laugh and laugh as she remembered when I was younger and all of the funny things I would say. She said one time my dad was putting one of our toys together that we got as a Christmas gift. My grandmother, laughing as she remembered the story, said that my mom would kindly go over to my dad and encourage him to read the directions. And he, of course never picked them up.

After a few times of mom doing this, my grandmother said I picked up the directions, walked over to my dad confidently and yelled, "Daddy, read the constructions paper!" Everyone exploded into laughter! She said I couldn't have been more than three.

Well our daughter has had her share of funny moments, and in following in Mommy's footsteps, here's one of many. My husband and I were thrilled to enroll her in a Christian pre-K program where she would learn her shapes, numbers and letters, but also Bible verses and Books from the Bible. Every day when we picked her up from school, we would ask her what she learned that day. This particular day we asked her what she learned.

She replied very assured of herself: "We learned about a mommy who pushed her baby down the river." My husband and I looked at each other very confused, and I said, "No, really what did youn learn at school today?" She said again, more deliberate, wondering why she was repeating herself: "We learned about a mommy who pushed her baby down the river!" "Ok, ok. Well, what was the baby's name?"

My daughter says: "Baby Roses". My husband asking chuckling, "Do you mean Baby Moses?" My daughter said, "Yeah that's him!" We all laughed all the way home about the baby named Roses who got pushed down the river by his mommy!Kids definitely still say the darndest things!

And you can share your funny mommy story by emailing motherhood@merrimackhall.com.

P.S. Get your Motherhood the Musical tickets today by visiting www.merrimackhall.com or calling (256) 534-6455 and tell them Kristen sent you from the Merrimack Mommy Chronicles!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Annual Patron Survey

Each year, as we begin booking for our next season, we ask our patrons to tell us what matters most to them. What was your favorite Merrimack Hall show? How about your least favorite? What would you like to see in next year's season?

Go here to participate in the survey: http://svy.mk/merrimackhall

We'll select one winner from all survey participants, who will win a 2012-13 Patron-level membership and $50 gift certificate!

Help us make 2012-13 our FIFTH and BEST season so far!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Fifth and BEST Evening of Dance

Merrimack Hall proudly put on its Fifth Annual Evening of Dance this year! It was a huge success full of dancers from around the Huntsville community and North Alabama. The production featured two nights of performances from studios, solo choreographers, dancers, and collaborations of dancers. There was even a toetouch competition between two local dancers and Andre Fuentes, one of our guest choreographers from Los Angeles. This year's Evening of Dance was more than just an evening, it was an event!

Tony Selznick, Nick Gonzales and Andre Fuentes were three of our guests who attended the Evening of Dance as well as the audition, Q&A session and masterclasses. Tony Selznick, the founder of McDonald Selznick Associate(http://www.msaagency.com/staff/tselznick/), is a monumental figure in the dance and talent community worldwide. He was one of the most kind and genuine individuals that Merrimack has ever hosted.

Celebrity choreographers, Nick Gonzales and Andre Fuentes, shared their incomparable inspiration with dancers in the masterclasses on Saturday and Sunday. They not only challenged each dancer through eccentric and expert choreography, but they also tapped into the dancers' first love of dance. They encouraged everyone that dancing starts from within which then flows out from the soul. 

With toe taps, feathers, stage make-up, flashing light shows, back flips and pirouettes, the 2012 Fifth Evening of Dance was a beautiful weekend of classic and contemporary choreography. Merrimack Hall is honored to have had the dance community from North Alabama as well as from Los Angeles here in our dance studio and on our stage.

Thank you to everyone who attended, participated and supported this year's performances. Merrimack Hall looks forward to next season's Sixth Annual Evening of Dance 2013!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Merrimack Mommy Chronicles - "Poop Escapades"

So, if I were to poll 100 mothers, I’m almost certain that 90 of them would have a classic “poop” (excuse my forward use of the word) story for at least one if not all of their children.  I mean, who knew that “poop” would become such a normal part of our daily rituals as a beloved mother?  What used to make us gag now has established normalcy in our lives. 

Let me give you an example.  Before I had kids, if I were to spill the slightest thing on my shirt, I would soak it in water for 24 hours, have it dry cleaned and pressed so that it could look “like new” again.  After I had kids, if I get the slightest thing on my shirt (i.e. food, spit up, and yes, even poop), I put some Shout on it and throw it in the washer with all of the rest of the clothes, cloaking the stains as “marks of mommyhood”.  Because who really has time to soak one single shirt for 24 hours until the stain is perfectly lifted? Exactly my point. Now, that we are all on the same page, here’s one of my dreaded poop escapades. 

One morning, I woke up, as usual to the sounds of my daughter pleasantly playing by herself through the baby monitor.  She was no more than 12 or 13 months old and she was singing away and laughing all by herself.  As this is one of every mommy’s greatest things to hear (their children being self-entertained), I smiled to myself, and then thought how nice it was going to be to take a shower by myself without having to have baby songs playing in the bathroom to entertain her.  So, I take a long, deliberate shower, thankful for a moment to myself and to get refreshed.  I rush out of the shower, throw some clothes on, chuckling to myself as I still hear my wonderful child playing, cooing, singing, and laughing on the baby monitor.  I’m preparing myself to go in and play with her, excited about our day together. 

I open my door to our bedroom, and start walking down the hallway, when I get my first whiff of “poop”.  I think to myself how strong it smells for me to be so far away from the door, but keep walking.  The smell of “poop” is getting greater and greater, the closer I approach the door, and I’m contemplating what she ate last night that would make her “poop” smell that strong.  I then place my hand gently on the door to her room, hesitating as I turn the knob to open the door.  As I open the door, to my surprise, my happy daughter has taken off her diaper and spread “poop” everywhere! 

Everywhere is not an exaggeration.  She spread it on the crib, which formally was white and was now brown and white speckled.  She spread it on the walls, which previously white were now brown.  She spread it on her legs, her arms, her face, and yes even her mouth.  She threw the poop across the room, even, adorning her pretend playmates and stuffed animals.  Yes, the whole entire room was “pooped”.  So now, what once gagged me is indeed gagging me again. I reluctantly and with only two fingers, pull her out of her crib, toss her in the tub, dousing her with water and soap – more water, then more soap, and repeating this process again and again, trying to figure out how this happened? I went to her room, cleaning again wondering how this happened and most importantly how this happened without my husband being home. 

I finally got everything cleaned up, I’m frustrated, I’ve taken my third shower of the day, trying to rid myself of the stench of “poop” everywhere when I get a call from my husband.  “Hey sweetness (he affectionately calls me), what are you doing?”  I respond even toned, yet very sarcastic, “I’m potty-training our daughter, what do you think I’m doing?”  He responds, “Potty training?  Don’t you think that’s a bit early?”  I reply, calmly yelling, “I just cleaned up poop everywhere!  It was in her mouth…in her mouth!  On me!  It was on her crib!  It was on me! You just don’t understand!”  He replies, “Oh (long pause)…Glad I wasn’t there, I probably would have thrown up everywhere!”  We both laugh hysterically.  Could you imagine this story if it was daddy cleaning up poop and not mommy?  You do the math. 

Happy “poop” trails!


P.S. Don't forget to reserve your tickets to Motherhood the Musical to hear more mommy tales! Visit http://www.merrimackhall.com/motherhood.html for more info.

The Merrimack Mommy Chronicles

Greetings, Merrimack Hall patrons!

In honor of our upcoming month-long run of the smash-hit Motherhood the Musical (from the producers of the legendary Menopause the Musical), we're launching a new blog series every Tuesday called "The Merrimack Mommy Chronicles."

You'll hear from the mothers on our staff. They'll tell you their favorite, most embarassing, hilarious and frustrating stories about motherhood.

Love what you read? Share your stories with us too! E-mail motherhood@merrimackhall.com to share your favorite photos and memories.

And don't forget to reserve your tickets to Motherhood the Musical at www.merrimackhall.com. The show is perfect for mothers of all ages - pregnant moms, new moms, grandmothers. Don't forget to bring your husbands too!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alabama Gives Day

Minnesota, Colorado, Pittsburg, Seattle and now Alabama are all a part of it, and no, it has nothing to do with football or the election polls. On February 2, 2012, the state of Alabama will dedicate an entire day to a 24-hour online fundraiser called Alabama Gives Day (AGD). However, it is a bit bigger than your average fundraising event, and the day is catching on throughout the nation.

The Alabama Association of Nonprofits is orchestrating the statewide fundraiser for all nonprofits across Alabama, and Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is one of the participants. AGD will be an online website that will allow anyone to browse all the listed nonprofits and donate any amount they feel compelled to give. Nonprofits will all have their own profiles that display photos, videos, links, and details about their organizations.
Check out our site, and don't forget to participate in the largest fundraising event for nonprofits 2.2.2012!http://www.razoo.com/story/Merrimackhall?referral_code=share


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Year of the Events

The holidays have passed and the clock has turned. The weather has changed and the doors have opened again. The patrons are stopping in to purchase their tickets for our Spring shows and our Johnny Stallings Arts Program students are swarming the dance studio. After closing for two weeks, Merrimack Hall is excited to welcome in the 2012 year.

The second-half of our season is garnering momentum as the staff plans and prepares for the first production of the new year this January, Fifth Annual Evening of Dance. This month is also packed with laughs with comedian Jon Reep and cherished 50s tunes from The Unexpected Surfer Boys. February and March will feature the one-of-a-kind performances of Dixie's Tupperware Party, The Blues Brothers Revue, and Motherhood the Musical. April is showered with the voice of musician Abigal Washburn and the beloved locals of Huntsville, Greg Screws and Ron Harris.
May will welcome our Dream Big! Recital that our students perform every year.

As the days pass and Merrimack accomplishes its fifth season since it opened in 2007, this year of 2012 could be the best the hall has ever seen. Merrimack Hall looks to the future of more shows, students, grants and even patrons!

Happy New Year and thank you for supporting Merrimack Hall!

For more information, please visit our website, www.merrimackhall.com