spring BREAK!

so we are headed to NYC in the morning... early morning.

our flight is out of atlanta mid morning (frequent flyer miles for all 5 tickets. ka. boom.) so we have to drive to the ATL to fly to the NYC.

i will have reviews of three broadway shows for you upon my return...

once. which i am not seeing. maxx, millie, and adam are seeing that show....


matilda. rosie and i are partaking in this show. still in previews. rumored to be the top tony contender (which i already predicted last may on my blog. i am such a prophet. and i like to see a musical BEFORE it wins a tony just to prove that i can pick a winner.)

and newsies. which we will all see. and which some of us may sing along to since it has been one of our family favorite movies. introduced to us by jojo. a few short years ago when she lived with us... it would only be more perfect if she was going with us. 


i am so excited. i need to start packing though. it might snow. and i am not sure where my winter coat is... i haven't really needed it much this winter in florida. so i am off to search for it. and some thermal underwear. catch all of you cool cats when i return. full of broadway songs... and snowflakes in my hair.

the last big thing...

it is the LAST day of may AND the LAST day of school! i love the beginnings of things. and i love the ending of things. it is the murky middle that sometimes gets to me. so i do so love the last day of school...


so one more musical moment to leave you with this may...

and i saved THE BEST for last. i had this moment in mind from the beginning. my blog stalker/now a friend, eva, sent this to me when she heard of my love for the musical les mis. she is a musical lover (no wonder she was a blog stalker and now she is a friend.)

i saved it for last because i had to convince you all of my deep love of musicals. and introduce you (or reacquaint you with some old friends) so that you would be in the right frame of mind for this last clip. 

because one day in the near future i will be turning 50. in a scant 5 and 1/2 years. which sounds like a long time. but i think it is just enough time for some of you to begin putting together a broadway number flash mob in honor of my birthday. some of you may need those 5 years to take singing lessons and/or dancing lessons. but you can’t say that i didn’t give you ample heads up. 

and you also can’t say that i didn’t give you some suggestions...

one day more from les miserables (without nick jonas. maxx would be so much better.)

and i’m telling you from dreamgirls. because i am not going anywhere. and you can’t make me.

we bessech thee from gospell. perform this on mini trampolines. thanks.

any song at all from carrie the musical. just because that would be fun to watch you all perform. pyrotechnics please.

astonishing from little women the musical. i just need to make friends with sutton foster.

practically perfect from mary poppins. a song that they must have based on my life. because i do wear shoes of the sensible kind...

nobody does it like me from seesaw (start it at about 35 seconds into the song). which i always sing as “nobody does it like lea.” another song they must have written with me in mind.

for good from wicked. because let’s hope that someone’s life has been made a tiny bit better because they knew me. “so now whatever way our stories end, know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.”

i hope that you have enjoyed this month of EVERY day in may salute to musical theater. it has been fun for me. i have listened to a TON of great (and some not-so-great) broadway songs this month. it has kept me singing all the way through may and into summer...

the next big thing...

look at how excited my brother is about the next big thing. though i know that you are all wondering what you are going to do without your musical moments every day from me... aren’t you? why do i hear crickets chirping? and my brother snoring?


well, you are going to watch the teaser for the les miserables movie, for one. 

love this talking point from “the week” magazine (b.t.w. a magazine that we subscribe to and i LOVE reading the news the way that they present it. just enough news and views for my taste)...

When the trailers for The Avengers or Christopher Nolan's Batman reboot first went online, they "sent chills down  spines" of comic book fans who had waited years for that footage, says Matt Patches at Hollywood. "That's how I imagine musical theater buffs must feel" now. 

yes, that is how i feel. exactly.

the teaser looks amazing. first of all, how does anne hathaway get to sing also? isn’t it enough that she is so super pretty? really God, singing talent too? we will chat about this more in heaven when i am a bit more sanctified than i am now and can talk with You about it without being bitter.

upon first glance it looks gritty, raw, and and yet there appear to be some great costuming and setting choices. and i like that her voice seems so raw and real. not faked or too perfect. she isn’t a leading lady voice but i think i will be okay with it once it is in the midst of the whole experience. who is in for the midnight movie with me in december?

so what else do i have for you today? i am late blogging today because i have a fever and a summer cold. ugh.

today i have for you THE NEXT BIG BROADWAY HIT of 2013...

now keep in mind that this is coming from someone who saw the bloody awful musical carrie and thought, “hey, cats is a long running musical. i bet this will work too.”  (b.t.w. the use of “bloody awful” to describe the musical i saw in london is so profoundly brilliant on many levels that it has to be the fever talking.)

remember this is coming also from someone with a summer cold. so don’t hold me to this prediction. but if it is a HUGE HIT then by all means say that you read it on my blog a year before the musical even began on broadway...

and the next big thing is....

MATILDA the musical. based on roald dahl’s children’s novel. it is a big hit in london. swept the 2012 olivier awards (the british tony awards). it garnered an award nomination in EVERY category it was eligible for. it features a lot of children. which is tough for a broadway musical. four adorable little girls take turns playing the lead. and it looks like a stage spectacular feast for the eyes and ears. which is how the RSC does things. i should know. i studied there. i am 110% more spectacular than i would have been had i never studied there. and you all wondered where all the spectacularness came from. now you know my secret. 

so now you have a musical movie to look forward to AND a hot new broadway show that none of your friends have even heard of yet. and all this from a feverish lea. the things i do for you all...

day at the beach...


look at those faces! my two little nieces. all that cuteness comes directly from their aunt lealea (or as they refer to me “click click” because all they know about me is that i have a large black protrusion from my face that makes the sound “click click whenever i am around.) rosie and i went to the beach to hang out with those gals. maxx and millie and adam went to get scuba certified (maxx is doing the boy scout seabase scuba camp this summer for a week and needed his scuba certification. millie just wanted one in case she is called upon to yarn bomb anything underwater.)

and i will be heading back to the beach in a few hours. those of you in florida reading this today may wonder why since the weather is HORRIBLE today due to a tropical storm that is moving slowly through this area. but millie doesn’t have any exams today and neither do any of her friends. and so a dozen or so of them wanted to go to the beach. and a dozen or so teenagers at the beach house means one “grown up” with them at the beach house. which wasn’t really millie’s plan. but as long as i disguise myself as a giant crab and don’t speak, it will all be fine. anyone have a giant crab costume that i could borrow?

your musical moment today comes from a musical that i had NO desire to go and see on broadway until i heard this one song last week (i have been listening to the broadway xm station a lot this month. blogging prep you know.) remember the movie “ghost” with demi moore, whoopi goldberg, and patrick swayze? i didn’t really love that movie. and now it is a musical? it just opened on broadway this spring. but i have fallen in love with some of the songs from the musical. 

i especially love this one... nothing stops another day.

I see the sunrise from my window
It must have risen everyday
But I couldn’t see at all, the shadows were too tall, but I am seeing it today
I could see the people speaking; I couldn’t hear a word they say
Just the echo of it all, passing through an empty hall, I’m hearing it today
Because the world keeps turning and I guess it always will
I can choose to turn around, or I can choose to just stand still, either way,
nothing stops another day.
I know I have to let go
Of the life I’ll never know, hard as it may be
I’m trying to understand instead there’s another life ahead
Because the tallest mountain cannot stop the smallest stream, 
winter can’t hold back the spring, 
no matter how dark it may seem,
Come what may, nothing stops another day
Come what may
Nothing stops another day

i love that tim keller says that as when the sun rises in the morning it is God saying, “I am faithful to my promises. i’ve got this. I have always had this. from the rising of the sun to the Rising of the Sun.” it is a sign to us that He is still turning darkness into light. everyday. nothing stops another day.

sometimes i am thrilled that nothing stops another day. and sometimes the passing of these days so quickly makes me queazy and dizzy.

but come what may... nothing stops another day. it seems a fitting song for someone who is studying the book of ecclesiastes...

 ecclesiastes 3:14-15 (the message)

I've also concluded that whatever God does, 

that's the way it's going to be, always. 

No addition, no subtraction. 

God's done it and that's it. 

That's so we'll quit asking questions 

and simply worship in holy fear. 
Whatever was, is. 
   Whatever will be, is. 
   That's how it always is with God.

so since nothing stops another day and nothing stops a group of teenagers who want to be at the beach (even a weather forecast for NO SUN) i am off to the beach with them. if you are down at the shore today look for a giant silent crab.

waitin' for the light to shine...

in the middle of numerous thunderstorm warnings yesterday we had a moment of sunshine and i was able to take this photo as a mother’s day present for 4 generations of camp women. the gal in the middle is mrs. camp or “gran” as we call her now. her daughter was my best friend growing up. i spent many afternoons and dinner times at her house. she makes a killer navy bean soup. and her “better than sex” cake... well, the name kind of says it all. she used to whisper that name when she made it. wouldn’t say it out loud to two high school girls. wasn’t proper.


her daughter (on the right) is mary jane’s sister, molly. molly and i taught preschool together. molly taught me so many things. i helped her open her wedding gifts (i was in middle school.) and she taught me how to catalog the gifts on index cards. but most importantly she taught me (long before i was a mother) that motherhood means that weeping may endure for a night. or many many many many nights. but joy will come one morning. molly lived through the worst that a mother can live through. the death of her son, wilson. and she kept getting up in the morning. she keeps getting up in the morning. and she keeps living, loving, and laughing. don’t get me wrong... sometimes i saw her cry. the day he would have turned 16. the day he would have graduated from high school. but i mostly saw her laugh, and love, and live. and i saw her trust God. i saw her raise three fabulous children. as she said last night to me when we were talking about teenagers, “not perfect teenagers. no one has a perfect teenager.” but she has some great kids. here on earth. and one waiting for her in heaven. 

merritt is the gal on the left. the newest mother of the bunch. i watched her grow up. i took her engagement photos. took photos at her wedding. and now am taking photos of precious molly cate. look at that sweet face. 4 generations of women standing in the late afternoon light. i think that it might have been overcast but these women bring their own sunshine wherever they go... and it showed up yesterday.

so where were we before my photography gig stepped in...

oh, another broadway musical that i wish i could have seen live and in person...

the 2003 revival of “big river: the adventures of huckleberry finn” on broadway. 

because the entire show was sung AND signed in ASL (american sign language). everyone on stage signed the songs. i saw a number from the show performed on the tony awards. it was back when i was actually taking sign language. it was beautiful. like the most wonderfully choreographed ballet. but choreographed with sign language so expertly and seamlessly woven into the play that it seemed like it had always been there. like it completed the play in a way that was musical perfection. a feast for the eyes and the ears.

i am studying the book of ecclesiastes right now. so now even i realize this blog is meaningless. ha. i am listening to these sermons by matt chandler of the village church along with my reading. as solomon says, “there is nothing new under the sun” and i agree with him... that big river reinterpretation with sign language was something done in a really creative and new way on broadway. broadway musicals usually have a show every week that is interpreted by an interpreter over to the side. but this was interpreted by EVERYone on stage. it was a part of the show. 

from what i read and saw, everyone was very affected by the addition of the sign language and felt it communicated on a whole different level. to all different kinds of audience members. i wish i could have seen it. i wish i could have sat by someone who was able to “see” a broadway show for the first time ever. “see” it sung out in front of them. that would have been a great experience. talk about waiting for the light to shine (which is one of the big numbers from the musical)... the lights of broadway shining and signing in a way that had never happened before.

there is nothing new under the sun. but sometimes the sun hits on something bright and it sparkles and shines out so blindingly that you see it like you are seeing it for the first time. i think that is what the signed and sang version of big river was back in 2004. 

there aren’t any youtube clips from that production. which is kind of a shame. but it also kind of right because i think it truly was something you would have to “be there” to really “be there.” and even though deafness won’t be a reality in heaven, i think that the heavenly big river production (if i have anything to say about it) will still be performed in song and sign...

because God is all about speaking in SIGN language.

Daniel 6:27

He rescues and He saves; 

He performs signs and wonders 

in the heavens and on the earth.