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February 5, 2009

From Grease to Life’s Challenges

Patricia A. Kelly

Tuesday night at the Hippodrome, I became 12 again, ever so briefly, doing the Twist in my seat and singing along with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Why is it that silly song lyrics you learned at that age stay in your head forever, but you can’t remember why you just walked into the laundry room?


The show that opened Tuesday in Baltimore was Grease, and even if you’ve seen it before, I recommend a repeat. The D.J. opens the show just before curtain time for a delightful warm up with the audience.


The cast is very talented and energetic. The show brings back the whole rock and roll, leather jacket, greasy pompadour, saddle-shoe and poodle-skirt life. Not only that, but, for the first week only, Taylor Hicks descends, singing, from heaven, in a magical ice cream cone. What more could a girl want?


Oh, I know. You could ask him to return right after the curtain call, which, by the way, included the best song and dance sequence of the evening, to sing his latest hit. Get your tickets while they’re hot!  Take your daughter.


(GREASE plays at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre until February 15 and Taylor Hicks will be there until the run closes a week from Sunday.)


* * * * * * * * * *

Back from age 12 to an early morning at the computer, sleepy and rumpled, wearing men’s pajama bottoms, an old, too-short tee shirt, and my late dad’s sweater, I find myself contemplating the meaning of life, yet again.


What I come up with today is what could be called a resolution list, but let’s not.


1. Move it! That could mean dancing in your living room in the afore-mentioned outfit, preferably with a long scarf added. Close your eyes and be 12, or even 6 years old. Remember the promise that each moment of life holds.


2. “Eat real food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” This one’s borrowed from Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food.”


3. Cliché or not, look on the bright side. It’s only one job you’re seeking, and one employer. You only need one buyer for your house. It’s only your own business, or job, that you need to make succeed, not the whole economy.


Borrowed from Mary Louise Riser, the amazing owner of New York New York Salon and Spa, who spent almost three hours Tuesday attempting to make me beautiful. “People come in here talking about how bad things are, but I don’t buy into it. Business is good.”


4. Put your dreams into action. If you don’t, you’ll still have them next year, and they’ll remain unfulfilled.


5. Stop whining. Things could be even worse next year, and you will have wasted a good year whining!


Here’s wishing everyone a remarkable Chinese New Year.


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