Falsettos - Acting Up Stage

On Tuesday I saw the first preview of Acting Up Stage's Falsettos and was blown away.

William Finn Falsettos Falsettoland
via Acting Up Stage
It's been in the last year that I've become more familiar with William Finn's music through Tracy's classes and Tara's show in December. He writes songs for real, gritty, flawed, intriguing characters with unique perspectives on the world which makes them so great to sing.


The characters in Falsettos are just that, and the actors portraying them in this production are absolutely incredible. The show tells the story of Marvin, who in 1979, leaves his wife and son to be with another man. What follows is the story of a non-traditional family in a huge era of change and uncertainty in the late 70s and early 80s. The themes of AIDS, sexuality and family dynamics are still so relevant today.

An interesting detail about this production is that it is actually two shows, written separately, that have been combined to form the complete show. Finn wrote the first act, March of the Falsettos, in the late 70s and then returned to the characters in the late 80s to write Falsettoland. This production has combined the two original texts from these productions, rather than the version that was used on Broadway in 1992.  There is a contrast in the writing and storytelling in each act, but I think it works really well and gives you a great sense of the character's development and progression over the two years that passes between the two acts.

I was sitting in the front row for last night's preview and I was enthralled by the company's performances, especially Eric Morin, Glynis Ranney and Michael Levinson, who is just 11 years old. The emotion, convincing relationships, beautiful musicianship and fantastic storytelling were compelling and inspiring. As an actor, I sometimes love being that close for smaller shows because you get to see the nuances in the performances and details that are sometimes missed when you're sitting further back. It was captivating. Just beautiful, brave work.

"Life is never what you planned. Life is moments you can't understand"

Falsettos is on now and runs until May 12. Acting Up Stage also has some neat post-show talks and art making workshops happening throughout the run, all taking place in the lovely Daniels Spectrum building. Tickets range from $35-$55 and Students are Art Workers can receive 20%

Why I Pin + Amazing Weeknight Din

"What's the point?"

This is a question I was asked twice last week about Pinterest and I found myself launching into a diatribe about my affinity for the social media tool I use to collect and organize all sorts of fun things.

I was introduced to Pinterest by my awesome friend Amanda. She was an early adopter (and beta tester I'm pretty sure) for Pinterest and I remember glancing over at her desk in the spring of 2011 and seeing this scrapbook-like page with all sorts of pretty things. I soon got myself an account and started pinning up a storm.

I started with pretty things and snazzy things since as we all know, I love all things pink, sparkly and dress-related. It gave me an opportunity to organize all the things I saw that I loved and sometimes coveted, and in some ways helped me to define my style. I started following some of my favourite bloggers and brands and loved feeling inspired by their pins.

I loved being able to pin photos of recipes I found while perusing blogs. No longer was I bookmarking random recipes in google reader and then going back to try and find a recipe based on its title, I now had an awesome visual to associate with each delectable looking recipe and started to create new boards with varying categories and silly names (like 'where are the boys I have a milkshake' filled with popsicle and ice cream recipes and inspiration)

Using Pinterest with my blog designer helped me define exactly what I was looking for when my blog got overhauled last year. I don't think I could have been as cohesive with my colour choices and look/feel without it.

It's also ideal for the quote lover in me.

Most recently I've been pinning up a storm with wedding and bridesmaid ideas as we approach sweet Lindsay's wedding. It's been a blast to collaborate with Linz and the other bridesmaids on our dresses and accessories and hair and everything girly. We've collected a lot of awesome ideas and it has made wedding planning even more fun.

Right now I'm feeling a whole lot of Pinterest love thanks to last night's dinner:

gluten free vegan easy dinner

A roasted sweet potato stuffed with kale, white beans, shallots and garlic, thanks to something I pinned months ago. It was easy and delicious; the perfect weeknight dinner with leftovers for lunchy. Thanks Pinterest. 

Pinterest has become one of my favourite corners of the internet and all of the above are reasons why. It's a happy place. Even my sweet potato can attest :)

If you don't already, take a minute to follow me on Pinterest so you can keep up with all the fun!

Do you pin?
Who do you love to follow?
What are some of your favourite uses for Pinterest?


Twenty Nine Years and Five Hundred Posts

It's April 8th, which means that it's time for me to celebrate the day of my birth! It's also the fifth time I've written about my birthday on the bloggy. Here's 25, 26, 27, and 28

happy birthday ashley

I often find birthdays to be a time for reflecting (as I've written about before) but this feeling was amplified this weekend with questions like "how have things changed for you since last year?" and "what do you think you've learned each year since you were born?". Well, in 29 years I've learned and grown a lot and even in just the last year so much has changed, but in lots of positive ways. 

I'm trying not to obsess about being in the last year of my 20's. Age is just a number and my life so far has been quite a gift; I don't expect that to change when I head into a new decade. I'm continuing to embrace this year as the year of 'serendipity' and plan to continue laughing lots, smiling widely (and sometimes loudly I'm told), wearing dresses, frolicking in the sunshine and living the life of my dreams. 

Bunner's bake shop gluten free vegan birthday cake

All the while making room for delicious gluten free, vegan lemon cake sometimes. (Thanks Bunner's!)

ashley gibson bunner's bake shop toronto

This entry also marks my 500th post on this blog, which is a little unbelievable to me. I'm not sure I expected to write this much when I started this little corner of the internet for me to share my thoughts, yet here we are! I look forward to continuing to write and share and grow as a result of this space. Thank you for continuing to read and engage - I appreciate you. 

I had a wonderful weekend celebrating my special day with sweet friends, an awesome pot luck, delicious treats, dresses and dancing. I will continue to celebrate with more cake and wine this evening as I embark on the next 364 days with the same effervescence, zeal, determination and joy. Here we go... 

I'm ready for spring

I posted a photo on Instagram last night and my awesome photographer friend Chris Luckhardt commented that we need to do another shoot again soon. I then found myself going through photos that we shot last June and it made me long for spring and summer.
ashley gibson photo by Chris Luckhardt  
I guess I can't really complain, it's only April 4, but a big part of me just wants to ditch the heavier coat and hat and get back to walking home a few times a week and do more frolicking in the sunshine. I'm craving asparagus and berries and cherries and fiddleheads and peaches.

ashley gibson photo by Chris Luckhardt

My birthday is around the corner and I distinctly remember there being a year where my birthday fell on Easter and there was actually a snowstorm. (please don't get any ideas Mother Nature, snow is not cool)

ashley gibson photo by Chris Luckhardt

I'm happy that it's April. It's a good month. One of the best things about this month so far has been the launch of Meghan Telpner's new book, Undiet especially after it reached #1 on the Amazon chart!! So unbelievably proud of Meghan. We're going to be doing an interview this month as part of her virtual book tour to be posted in May. Reading the book has been a good reminder to twinkle, sparkle and shine!

ashley gibson photo by Chris Luckhardt 
I'm going to be channeling spring this weekend with some popsicle making for my girlfriends, a sweet lemon cake from Bunner's, an adorable new party frock and some awesome tunes from one of my favourite Toronto bands.

What are you doing to make it feel like spring?

Dresses & green cardigan - Gap 
Yellow cardigan - Banana Republic
Necklace - Tabula Rasa

All photos by Chris Luckhardt