Do YOU Want to Be Part of the Largest Lady and the Tramp Viewing Party Ever?!?!

…well we’ve got all the information on how to do just that! With the D23 Expo coming up, D23’s got plenty of events popping up all over and here at the Second Blog to the Right, we’ll be keeping you … Continue reading

Farewell Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Well, now that Pandora’s construction is well under way, we say goodbye to another one of our Walt Disney World attractions. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade has run since October 2001.  While it is not one of my favorites, I felt the need to attend the final performance and am completely guilty of shedding a few tears.  This parade contained some high energy performances, unique costumes and characters, and some fun music.  I won’t say a whole lot about it, but please enjoy some photos and if you missed it, click here.

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Review: Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

“If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

Michael Jackson

All the feels.  ALL. THE. FEELS.

I could try to write an unbiased post about this show, but my love for Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil won’t allow me to do so.

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MJ Super Fans! @Cirque du Soleil

 

Just like any other Cirque show, from the very moment it begins, it encompasses your attention like no other.  The show begins with a highly energetic dance performance by five MJ super fans along with some amazing video graphics.  Cirque’s brilliance in telling a story is incredible.  From here, the story transitions to the beginning of Michael’s life and career… 

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Childhood @Cirque du Soleil

…with a scene accompanied by “Childhood.”  (Personally, this brought me to tears.)  In the style of Cirque, the mime plays the comic relief part in between highly energetic numbers.  The mime, played by Mansour Abdessadok, has moves that can’t be reenacted by just anyone.  It’s incredible to see him act in the form of Michael throughout the show.  

As always, a Cirque show includes acrobatic ballet…

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…pole dancing…

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…contortionists…

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…& tumbling.

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The show includes some of Michael’s biggest hits.  The choreography is made up of some of Michael’s most popular dance moves.  The message is Michael’s message.  You can’t help but feel all the “L. O. V. E. Love.”  

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Mega Mix @Cirque du Soleil

While I loved each and every performer in this show, I feel the need to highlight Jean “Bboy Hourth” Sok.  What makes him special?  He’s been performing in this show since it opened in 2011.  What I haven’t mentioned is that Jean performs with only one leg.  I am in awe of his abilities and talent as a dancer.  You truly have to see it to believe it, but with a huge heart for those blessed with life’s challenges, I am determined to learn more about him.    

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Dancing Machine Jean “Bboy Hourth” Sok @Cirque du Soleil

What I will say is this, if this is your first Cirque show, please don’t let it establish your opinion of the magic that is Cirque.  This show makes you feel like at any given moment Michael could walk out on stage and join right in without missing a beat.  As much as I loved it (and I LOVED it), it was not the caliber of a Cirque performance that I am used to.  Above all, it is essentially what Michael wanted This Is It to be with the only missing piece being the King himself.   

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They Don’t Care About Us @Cirque du Soleil

Good news Tampa Bay, you still have one more chance for this!  Tonight at 8pm at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to see one of the top ten top-grossing shows of all time!   

For information and tickets, visit Ticketmaster.

For more information about all things Cirque du Soleil, click here.

“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to HOPE.  

In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to COMFORT.  

In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to DREAM.  

And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to BELIEVE.”

                                                                                                  ~ Michael Jackson

That night Jo Koy and I…

…met.  That night Jo Koy & I met.  Geez, where was your mind headed?!

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See! We met!

Looking for a good time?  Well look no further.

When I was growing up, my parents never gave my brother and I any kind of restrictions on what we were exposed to.  Some might consider it bad parenting, but considering we were good kids who graduated high school & never got caught doing anything illegal (I can’t speak for my brother, but there’s probably a few things I could plead the fifth about.), I’d say they didn’t do too bad of a job.  Aside from R-rated movies (My movie of choice at 5 years old was Boyz N The Hood, scout’s honor.  Isn’t that what little girls are supposed to watch?!), my dad LOVED comedy.  Some of my fondest childhood memories were made with my dad & uncle sitting around a campfire listening to all the great comedians.  We’d listen to George Carlin and his seven dirty words (I’ll choose to filter my blog this time & not include ####, ####, ####, ####, ##########, ############, and ####.  Although, that last one is not that bad.  You can click on the link and discover them yourself).  I’d giggle away knowing full well I’d get in trouble for most of those words if they’d come out of my mouth.  Then of course Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Red Peters, and the list goes on and on.  To this day, my dad will share new comedians with me along with his own brand of humor & jokes (“Have you heard the one about the 12 inch pianist?” “Yes, dad. I’ve been able to recite it back since I was 7.”).  Naturally, I have continued to carry my interest in comedy well into my adulthood.  From my own quirky, quick-witted, sarcastic sense of humor, you can easily see that I love to laugh, often at the most innappropriate times, & find enjoyment in making others laugh.

One thing I had always wanted to do was see stand up at the Improv.  If you’re a fan of comedy, you watch Comedy Central over and over and see all these great comedians performing there.  Back home (in Massachusetts), there weren’t many places to catch comedy acts aside from the Hukelau (woooooo, Chicopee!).  I did get to see Jim Breuer there once. While it was good, it’s not the Improv.  I’ve also seen Dane Cook at Boston Garden 3 times and while it was fun & I was a huge fan at the time, it’s not the Improv.

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a lil artsy shot

I had lived in Tampa for over 4 years & finally one day I did a search to see who was on the schedule at the Tampa Improv in Ybor City.  Much to my surprise, one of my favorite comedians was scheduled to be there in a few months, so I immediately recruited one of my girlfriends who had never done the Improv or even knew of the comedian.  That comedian was Jo Koy.

[For a little taste of Jo’s comedy, click here.]

I can’t remember where I had seen him first (his first Comedy Central special or on Chelsea Lately), but I have always loved his comedy.  Jo’s style of comedy is very easy to get into, because his jokes are based on real life events which makes it relatable.  He is also extremely animated which makes it difficult not to get into his jokes.  The Improv’s atmosphere is amazing.  It’s very intimate, while it still holds quite a few people.  We did have the VIP package tickets (hairflip, just kidding), because I splurged with it being my first time and all.  Our table was right up against the stage and we went to the first of 5 shows.

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obligatory “tickets on the stage” shot

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First off, the music that was playing while everyone was being seated was off the hook.  Classic 90’s hip hop & R&B (I won’t deny the fact that I grew up a hood rat.  Do we remember Boyz N The Hood?!)   I later discovered that the music was arranged by DJ Ryan Live.  The opening act was a comedian by the name of James Ponce.  I had only known of James from listening to The Michael Yo and Jo Koy Show podcast [available on iTunes: download & subscribe].  He was great. He got the crowd pumped up with his original material and definitely made me a fan with that single performance.  Then, it was time for Jo.  My biggest worry (due to previous comedy experiences) was that he would have material that would repeat and I’d know most of the jokes.  This was definitely not the case.  He came out and killed it.  He performed for well over 2 hours.  I won’t give away too many details, because I think people should certainly experience it for themselves.  That night will remain in my memory bank for a long time to come.

If you’re in the Orlando area, Jo Koy will be back in town for a 5 show engagement, May 29 thru June 1, at the Orlando Improv.  For ticket information, visit http://www.orlandoimprov.com.  I’m sure Jo will be bringing the rest of his friends along as well (James Ponce, Beau Bowker, & DJ Ryan Live).   You can find more about Jo Koy here and also on Twitter & Instagram @jokoy.

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