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The Twilight Saga Book Review

7 Mar

The Twilight phenomenon, I have to admit that I started off being very skeptical about the whole thing.  First, I’m not into romance novels.  Second, I don’t have a thing for Vampires.  Third, I’m not a fan of non-fiction books.  However, as the book hit the theaters, movie banners were plastered all over the internet, elaborate book displays were in every Barnes & Noble, character figurines and Twilight memorabilias hit the shelves, the popularity soon became a whole phenomenon that I could not stay away from.

While at a book store one day, as a poster size carboard cut out of the book stared me in the face, I finally yet still reluctantly gave into the pressure, and curiosity led me into reading a few pages.  To my surprise, I could not put the book down.  Before I knew it, I had already finished the first couple of chapters while standing over the book display.  At this point, I had no choice but to buy the book to finish reading it later.  To my surprise, I had read the book in less than 2 days, the whole saga in a week.  Before I knew it, I had the whole box set:  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse & Breaking Dawn sitting on my shelf in my room.  I thought to myself,  “How can this be?  Just a week ago, I rolled my eyes at the sight of Twilight posters on store windows.”

It definitely was a page turner, as people have said it would be.  Throughout the book, I hated and loved it.  As I read, I complained and thought the story oozed with cheese, yet I couldn’t put the book down.  Immersed in the plot, I turned every page with angst and enthusiasm.  Even though at times I felt like I was reading a soap opera, I secretly loved all the “teeny bopper” drama that was unfolding.  I critiqued every event I read and had an opinion, good and bad, chapter after chapter.  I developed a relationship with each character within the first few pages of their introduction to the story – a feeling of pity, sadness, happiness, confusion, or even hatred with each.

To have all these feelings evoked from a book explained the intrigue and even obsession that many have developed towards the Twilight saga.  I know this book is geared towards teens, which I’m not. I am also not into Vampires nor romance novels, yet somehow, I fell in love with the Twilight saga. I give credit and much appreciation to Stephenie Meyer because it is her writing technique that really captures you. Her talent to woo and indulge you into the story, even when it’s not your “cup of tea” is amazing.

I recommend this saga to anyone, whether you have doubts or even annoyed with the whole phenomenon. You never know, you might just get sucked into it, like the rest of us.

Saga Side Note – As far as the movie portrayal, I recommend to read the books BEFORE watching the movies.  The movie version, by it self, does not deliver so it’s difficult to appreciate it unless you have already immersed yourself in the book’s story.  As mentioned in the review, it is Stephanie Meyer’s writing delivery that brings the magic in the story.  Though it is great to see a book come to life, many would agree that the images that we had all imagined in our own head while reading the book, will be unique to everyone else’s interpretation, including the movie’s portrayal.  I view the movies as merely a supplement to the saga.

XOXO, Chic Chick

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Pirate Dinner Adventure Show Review

4 Feb

The Pirate Dinner Adventure is an interactive show geared towards playful kids and adults who wanted to be pirates once — located in 2 opposite areas of the U.S., Buena Park, California and Orlando, Florida.   It’s an adventure that has potential but lacks the “Argh” that is expected from anything pirate related.

The outside of the place doesn’t do the theater justice since it simply looks like an old building, especially when it’s located next to the Medieval Times Castle, which is an adventure with a similar concept but different theme.  However, the entrance is festively decorated as a type of saloon where adults can enjoy drinks from the bar while pirate-looking ladies and lads walk around with appetizers such as various cheeses, fruits, and meats.

The cocktails and beers are available in pirate plastic mugs, which make great souvenirs for tourists, but are over priced.  People are also greeted with flags, bandanas, jewelry, and other pirate must-haves at the door, available for purchase of course.   Though this isn’t the beginning of the play, it is the intro to the show, which is why it’s important to arrive an hour early before showtime, as stated on their program.  After a few drinks, appetizer, and laughs from cheesy jokes, a pirate then leads you and your party to your seats.

Though it is an amusing experience, do not expect an award-winning theatrical play.   The entire show is built upon audience participation, as the circular arena is divided into different colors, while each section represents a pirate, whom you are to root for through out its entirety.  The acting is mediocre, since there’s not much acting involved – more play fighting as the actors, a cast of about 10 people, jump, climb, slide, tumble, and swing around the set, which you might have already guessed, is a pirate ship.

The main attraction of the show is a lady’s performance on the trapeze, along with aerial acrobatics.  However, since the “pirate adventure” lacks a story line, towards the end, the pretend fighting between pirates and constant request of cheering from the crowd become redundant.  Especially when 30 minutes into the show, most people have already finished their “pirate food,” which literally tastes like how you’d imagine pirate food to taste like.  The dry chicken, tasteless shrimp, and decent salad is basically a notch up to a TV dinner.  Most people would agree that the best part of the show is when kids from the audience are invited on board the pirate ship in costume to be part of the show.

All in all, if you’re looking for a  fun time for your kid’s 10th birthday, this will be a fun experience for the whole party as the kids spend a day as pirates.  However, if you’re looking for a theatrical dinner show with a plot and good food, then this isn’t the “adventure” for you.  You’d be better off watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” at home with delivered pizza.

XOXO, Chic Chick

How the Grinch Stole Xmas Musical Review

30 Nov

How the Grinch stole Christmas Musical at the Pantages Theater is a great show for all to enjoy, kids and adults alike.  The 90 minute musical with no intermission is perfectly timed.  It is not too short nor too long (keeping in mind the attention span of 10 year olds in the audience).

The cast is as diverse in age as the audience and features a 5 time Emmy Award winner, John Larroquette, as Old Max, the narrator of the show.  Issadora Tulalian who plays little Cindy Lou Who, will steal your heart with her charismatic character and make you wonder how that strong voice is coming from such a tiny young girl.  The Grinch is wonderfully portrayed by Stefan Karl —  you’ll hate him for his devious thoughts from his heart “that’s 2 sizes too small”, understand his anger from his loneliness, and grow to love him, all within an hour and 30 minutes.

The amazing orchestra, conducted by Ron Colvard sets the tone throughout the whole show.  The songs however, though appropriate for the story, are not as memorable as most musicals with the exception of two:  Cindy Lou Who’s ballad, which is a tear-jerker for most, and the infamous Mr. Grinch song that encourages crowd participation, which is surely a treat for all.  The whimsical set with its fun colorful atmosphere really places you in the pages of the original Dr. Seuss book, along with its vivid hues and vibrant outlandish costumes.  All in all, the musical truly brings the classic book to life.

Though geared towards a young audience, it will still capture adults that are young at heart and set the mood for the holiday season.  This heart warming adaptation will have you leave the theater (as said by Dr. Seuss himself) with your heart “3 sizes larger” than before.

Show Sidenote — If you are planning to bring a child who gets frightened easily, I advice you not to sit in the first 2 rows as I did, for the Grinch’s grinchiness might frighten a young one.  Nonetheless, I prefer sitting close since I like being able to see the facial expressions of the actors and actresses.

XOXO, Chic Chick