When we think of ballet at its best, The Nutcracker almost always dances through our heads. Children across the world have been delighted by this fanciful Christmas ballet, and countless ballet companies have performed the work. Of course, what child doesn’t dream of toys that come to life, and wouldn’t be thrilled at the thought […]Read more "T: Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker,” and Holiday Magic"
You know things are bad when your own film crew tells you a movie is going to be a disaster… yet George Lucas persisted with his Star Wars project. The first film was released on May 25, 1977, and the galaxy has never been the same. All six of the Star Wars films were nominated […]Read more "S: “Star Wars” – A Glance and a Giveaway!"
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.” William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet We all grow up hearing the tale of Romeo and Juliet, and laughing at caricatures of Bugs Bunny calling for his “Romeo” […]Read more "R: “Romeo and Juliet” – An Honest Glimpse of True Love"
Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed Agatha Christie’s mystery novels so much that she made the author a Dame of the British Empire. It’s hard to believe that in the beginning, Christie was a hardworking World War I nurse and military wife who was originally unsuccessful at getting her first book published! In 1920, however, a small […]Read more "Q: What Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime,” Reveals About the Human Heart"
“In his eyes, all the sadness of the world.” Christine – Phantom of the Opera “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God, give me courage to show you. you are not alone!” Christine – Phantom of the Opera In its day, French Grand Opera was the single greatest […]Read more "P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder"
“Now and then, for no good reason, life will haul off and knock a man flat.” Jim Coates – Old Yeller (1957) “You crazy, wonderful dog!” Katie Coates – Old Yeller (1957) Okay – confession time. I stand among the ranks of those who were absolutely traumatized by Old Yeller as […]Read more "O: “Old Yeller” – Why It’s Okay to Cry Your Eyes Out"
Novels and films across all genres have described man’s quest to find an elusive source of eternal youth. Whether it is the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, or an inventive medical procedure, we’ve made it pretty clear that we’d do just about anything to stay forever young. One of the most beautiful and imaginative […]Read more "N: “Neverland” and the Beauty of Growing Up"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) has gone down in musical history as a master composer, an art that he took up at the tender age of five. His greatest claim to fame, however, is that he was a “Master of Melody.” His melodies are simple, clear, and stunningly beautiful. Mozart knew better than to overcomplicate his […]Read more "M: Mozart and the Beauty of Simple Things"
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” During college, I volunteered to earn extra money by working in the library during Christmas break. No one was on campus, and the entire building was absolutely deserted. To pass the […]Read more "L: Three Powerful Symbols in “The Lord of the Rings”"
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Frida Kahlo While strolling through a modern art museum one afternoon, I suddenly stopped and cried, “Why are all the paintings in this room of this crazy lady with the unibrow?” Laughing, my wife took me by […]Read more "K: Frida Kahlo – The Beauty and Danger of Self-Examination"