Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at The Collins Center for the Arts from The Met

MadamaButterflyThumb   A naval officer determined to marry a Japanese girl whom he has never met is determined to make such an event work in his favor. However, not everyone is in a true accord with such a premise. A trail of broken hearts as wide as the sea assaults the senses in this masterful opera by Puccini. There is a stroke of imperialism within the boundaries if one may read between the lines making this piece almost controversial in its time and even somewhat in present day. The lyrics are especially impressive, delving deeply into the human heart and the situation at hand. Love appears as an idiosyncratic illusion in this mighty tale almost devoid of love as one would think. But the nature of opera either balances the scales of love or replicates its own justice.

Big G’s Deli (home of the Godzilla sandwich)

FSCN0038_088  Forget about getting less and paying more. When you walk through the doors at Big G’s Deli in Waterville Maine prepare yourself for a time travel back in time. Not only is the food amazing, but the sandwiches are so gargantuan you’ll need to pause before finishing the last bite. FSCN0051_096These dinosaur size hand held monsters will make you happy you skipped breakfast (which they provide heartily as well).  FSCN0042_091Choose celebrity named cold cuts bountifully placed onto fresh baked bread, or throw yourself into a delectably spiced massive burrito or a whole host of other possibilities.FSCN0035_086 Order a night of Italian food with your choice of pastas served with bread (of course). Have a salad on the side or make it a meal. There are so many finds on the menu, you’ll just have to take your time and choose wisely. Then again…you could always just come back and bring home a whopper of a whoopie pie.FSCN0064_100

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents “George Bernard’s Manon Lescaut” from the Met

opera   A woman who’s seeded passion for love, life, and luxury in the setting of France is bursting at the seams as her deception destroyed by her inner conflicts with attaining love and the opposing wealth and power tipping the scales of her judgement becomes a raging obsession. Leaving the simple life she once held as a country girl, her escalation into power overshadows her in a tyrannous journey to taking on the role of a Parisian temptress. The climb to her goal inflicts a deep rooted passion engaged by an onslaught between true happiness and the quest for position. George Bernard’s highly acclaimed masterpiece has been readily compared to the works of Verdi and still holds its valor in this complex and chivalrous tale of adoration and the devil’s gain.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents from the Met Georges Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles

les pecheurs   As two men vow an eternal friendship, their solemn oath is threatened by the love for the same woman, Leila. She is faced with usurping her sacred promise as a priestess through a dilemma in which she must choose between secular love and breaking her pious consecration. The pearl divers who compete for her affections and marriage become involved in a wildly oceanic world in which unbridled passion, longing, and ultimately vengeance leads to betrayal intertwining romance with hatred. Come see as our story unfolds itself casting pearls before swine at the Collins Center for the Arts.

Danny Harper: It’s Who I Am (unconditional honesty no matter what)

danny harper     I waited to feature this amazing album until now so that it would ring fresh for the rest of the coming year. It has certainly been a long time in any genre where truth and honesty in words and music has taken a front seat before the glitz, glam, and gunk which has been filling up the airwaves for far too long has been ousted. A most refreshing collection of country music the way it ought to be has arrived in the form of one Danny Harper. Having seen him in concert has only strengthened this sentiment. His open hearted commentary about his life, his experiences (good or bad), and definite appreciation of our country and all that once made it great is exemplified deep within the doldrums of his songs. Whether they rock you, lull you. or bring you a smile, this man has captured the essence that makes us truly fulfilled, the love of God, true patriotism, and good old fashioned country music unadulterated by commercialism. The title speaks for itself, as does the man.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents Mozart’s, The Magic Flute from the Met

download   A tale to be told throughout the ages to children and adults alike will fill the immense screen at the Collins Center for the Arts on Saturday, January 9th at 1 P.M. This story is enchanting, humorous, and even ostentatious at times. It’s whimsical puppetry and elaborate costumes color the world with its magical childlike innocence in which Prince Tamino must undergo a series of tests in order to marry the Princess Pamina. He is led down a broken path in which he must search unrelentingly for the power of wisdom and reason. An overwhelming solemn atmosphere shrouds Mozart’s fable, though some twinges of comic relief arrives in time to save some tears from falling. Truth is sought at any cost in this allegorical myth. Come and help Tamino solve this question at the Collins Center, after all, anything can happen with the word magic in it.

A Heartwarming Afternoon with Danu at the Collins Center for the Arts

danu   An afternoon of splendor and music extravaganza filled the Collins Center on Sunday afternoon. It had been a time of peace, joy, and Irish tradition in the truest sense, not to mention a few comical anecdotes pertaining to the sometimes dreaded family gatherings and the expected shenanigans that go along with the challenging territory. Their talent is beyond evident, surrounded by honest words and personal stories interpolating towns from whence they came and the characters that dwell in them. It is within those circles that townsfolk radiate the inspiration for the long standing tales portrayed in the songs that have been told for centuries. Hand clapping and foot stomping followed many of Danu’s numbers as audience participation rambles its way about the arena. This action from the start had been an involuntary reflex keeping up with the speed and agility of their Irish tunes. The range of the songs stemmed from flamboyant lightening to the caressing of the heart and its many strings. A true contrast blended ever so divinely. The ancient pieces forever hold their richness and their originals are indeed astounding in their sound. All of the vocals flowed with precision and perused their way over the many melodic instruments. A profound moment in time overflowing with dancing from the most gifted of dancers and tales of folklore ever to be told.