Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Glee-ful Adventure Wednesday

OK.  I'll admit it.  I'm the kind of person who likes musical theater.

And musical TV.  And singing.  And sing-alongs.  Yep, that's me.  In fact, I used to sing a lot more often, in plays, in choirs, in cars...  It's not a particular gift of mine, but it's something I really enjoy doing.  There's just something about lifting your voice that lifts your spirits.

So when I found out about The Music Center's free Friday Night Sing-Alongs, I was in.  And when they announced a Glee Sing-Along, I was all in.

Tom and I have watched Glee together since the beginning.  As former musical theater performers (and current musical theater nerds) we hoped it would be as fun as our own drama club experiences.  And auto-tune aside, it is.  It may be the T.V. equivalent of eating Planter's Cheese Balls, but there's no denying that it's infectious.  (Plus, we have a Glee spec script in the works for our writing portfolio... so we have to watch it.  We tune in because it's a professional thing, and not because we're waiting to hear the next strange thing to tumble out of Brittany S. Pierce's mouth.  Like, "did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?"  Riiight.  Professional.  That's what we keep telling ourselves.)

The Sing-Alongs are sponsored by Active Arts, the Music Center organization which encourages Angelenos to express themselves creatively.  (They also sponsor, among other things, Dance Downtown.  You may recall from previous Adventure Wednesdays that we've attended the Cumbia and Bollywood nights.)  Each sing-along takes place at the Keck Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Music Hall.

Have you seen (or been to) Disney Hall yet?  It's a gorgeous space designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, and it has really spiced up the look of downtown LA since it opened in 2003.  In fact, I had just moved to LA when it was being finished, and on my commute home from a job downtown, I happened to see it the first day the shiny facade was up.  It was before they dampened the patina, so I felt nearly blinded by the reflection of the sun!  Fortunately, it's not so shiny and blinding anymore... but it IS damn beautiful.

Photo by Carol McKinney Highsmith

It's incredibly beautiful inside, too - but that's for another adventure.  For the Glee Sing-Along, we were outside, in the Keck Amphitheater.  Before that night, I didn't even know it existed!  You certainly can't see it from below.  But if you were flying over the building, you'd see it's tucked into the roof on the side.

See it there? The little circular amphitheater?
Photo is not by me, but I could not find a credit.

So we headed downtown, parked at the Music Center, and then climbed the several flights of stairs leading to the amphitheatre.  (Thank goodness I've been exercising... that's the kind of thing I wouldn't have been able to do a year ago!  Hurrah for non-scale victories.)  It was a lovely, breezy space... and filled with fellow nerds ready to get their Gleek on.

The amphitheatre was pretty full!  Singers are holding their lyric sheets, which were distributed before the music started.

The event is designed for non-professionals to sing to their out-of-tune hearts' content, so it didn't matter if people messed up, or didn't sound perfect.  It was just a bunch of like-minded folks, coming together in song. 

Singers were accompanied by a live band with a songleader - they were terrific.


We joined in for tunes like "Defying Gravity," "Jesse's Girl," and "Firework" - and it was a total blast. Most fun for me, I think, was hearing Tom sing.  He does it so rarely!

Tom, waiting for the boys' part to come up.

There's one sing-along left for the summer, so if you're local and like to belt out swanky songs, you should think about going to the Rat Pack Night, on August 19.  Sammy, Frank, Dean... how can you go wrong?  All you need to do is line up at the amphitheater in advance (we got there about 45 minutes before the Glee sing-along, and that worked out perfectly.)  They'll give you your free ticket and lyrics, and it's up to you, ladies and tramps, to do it your way.

After the Glee sing-along, we stopped by an Echo Park vegan restaurant called Sage  - which we'd heard serves jackfruit.  And since we've been on a jackfruit kick lately, we thought we'd try it out.

I had jackfruit tacos, with purple cabbage slaw and black beans.

Tom had barbecue jackfruit, with kale and potato chips.  I have to say... I thought ours was better.


One particularly nice thing about the restaurant is that they also make their own vegan ice cream, called Kind Kreme.

I tried the carrot-coconut-ginger... very flavorful.


Since Tom can't have much dairy, he'd never been able to try a date shake in Palm Springs, but Kind Kreme offered their vegan version of a date shake!  No pictures of that, alas... it was gone before I had a chance to snap a picture.   

Outings like this... all of our Adventure Wednesdays, really... remind us that there is so much out there, that is wonderful and fun.  That we have absolutely no excuses to be bored.  And since boredom can sometimes lead to bored-eating, it's important that we keep ourselves engaged in our lives.  How are you keeping yourselves entertained?  What new things are you trying?  Because, really, trying new things is just another great way to take care of yourself.


  1. OMG, I wish I'd known about (or perhaps remembered) the Glee-along. Definitely will do the Rat Pack one (though I would have known more Glee songs). Ugh, getting downtown on a Friday evening won't be fun - but, haha, checking which day of the week on my office wall calender revealed a typo - there is NO AUGUST 19. (If that were true, attending would be even harder!)

  2. In the 50's and early 60's there were acouple of singalong TV shows that I used to watch, I can't remember the names off hand but they were kind of fun even though I have to carry a tune in a bushel basket. As a TV theme they did not last long. Great pictures and it looks fun

  3. That looked like so much fun!! :) Hopefully they do it next year!

  4. How fun! Once in a while the Castro Theatre in San Fran holds sing-alongs, but since that's about an hour's drive away, I've never gone. Maybe I will next time I see one that I think I'd be able to belt out a few tunes with.