Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Music of "The Book of Mormon" in Chicago


My husband got me the CD of "The Book of Mormon." Now I studied it very carefully and enjoy it more even though I said  that “The Book of Mormon” was a huge disappointment for the music in my musical review.

When I saw the musical, one thing really surprised me was the size of orchestra in the theater. It was a really tiny space compering other musical orchestra boxes. In the teather, the conductor had the first piano, and there was the second piano in front of the conductor, some brass instruments, wind instruments, (I waved at a flute player during the intermission) and very simple electronic equipment. At first I guessed that the musicians used both the recording piece and live orchestra.

Today, the Book of Mormon's homepage posted interesting Youtube video clips of music episodes. The composers created music to play only nine musicians to sound like a full orchestra. I love their Eco-quality-concept! And I really understand that how important it is to create a great and smart score with minimum players. The minimum in this case can create something greater.

I thought that it was not original enough for the music when I was watching the musical; however, I might change my mind after I listen to their CD more. 

Because the story line was very contemporary and wild in a way, the composer might choose familiar sounds and harmonies to reflect everyone's favorite classic musicals. Therefore, the story line needed the conservative, already existing tones. If the music was too contemporary like the story line, the audience may not accept the musical well.

My current favorite musics are "Hello!" and "Turn it Off."  They are very original pieces in the musical. And of course, I love to say, “Hasa Diga Eebowai.” (My husband likes "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" the most.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Alessandra Simmons' Blog - "Filed Study"

Alessandra Simmons, a former editor of Indiana Review, interviews poets and writers who live and work outside academia. She interviewed me last week and posted the article in her blog.

Past interviewees are:
Abdel Shakur: fiction writer and ninth grade english teacher.
Angela Narciso Torres: poet, mother, ditor of RHINO.
Ellis Felker: poet and greeting card company owner.

"Naoko Fujimoto: poet, artist and the Japanese machine industry"
By Alessandra Simmons

"I met Naoko at a poetry reading in an Irish pub in South Bend, IN. After the reading, we learned that we both lived in Chicago and decided we should meet in Chicago next time and save ourselves the two hour drive. She is a dazzling poet and in this interview shares a lot of insight into a writer’s life. You can find out more about Naoko and her writing and art on her blog..."

Read more: *Click*

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chicago French Market - Best Falafel at Presto


One of my favorite places to have a lunch is the French Market at Ogilvie Transportation Center. My husband and I try a new lunch spot every time we stop by the market. I had Medeterranian lunch at Cafe & Grill Presto. They fried falafel when they got my order, So the falafel were so fresh and crispy along with the fluff inside. Their cucumber salad and rice were perfectly flavorful side dishes.     





Saturday, February 23, 2013

Musical Review "The Book of Mormon" in Chicago


My birthday surprise gift from my lovely husband was two tickets to “The Book of Mormon.” The musical was created by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. They are famously known for creating the TV show, “South Park.”

The story was about two young Mormon missionaries being sent to a village in Uganda from Salt Lake City. Elder Price wanted to go Orlando, FL— he thinks that Orlando is the most wonderful place, like an Earthly version of Paradise—and does not like his clumsy partner, Elder Cunningham. When they joined a team in Uganda, they found out that the team had not baptized any single local villager yet. While Elder Price got frustrated and tried to leave, Elder Cunningham got nervous and made up some of his own passages to relate the book to the locals (who believe having sex with a virgin cures AIDS), like “Do not fuck babies, fuck frogs instead”. Meanwhile, Elder Price has a nightmare with Hitler and the Devil dancing while Jeffrey Dahmer fucks his father. Without giving away the ending, the conflict involves following a Church’s rules to the letter versus the universal message of helping people be happy and living well with each other.

“Hello!” that is the point! 

The musical was funny. All of the jokes are contemporary and witty, working with ethnic stereotypes, sexual innuendo, and religious values and their place in an organized institution. I especially loved the actors’ voices and rhythmical tap dancing. Camille Eanga-Senenge, who played Nabulungi, a.k.a. Neosporin, Necrophilia, Nala Nala, etc…, was very fresh and charming. She was so pretty in her green dress. (I wanted to see her with a bit more sparkles on her dress at the end of Act 1, though) Ben Platt, Elder Cunningham, was smooth and comical just like Jonah Hill. His voice was unforgettable. I personally liked Pierce Cassedy who played Elder McKinley, as a super cute gay guy with his pretty pink suitcase. I cannot turn it off  (thinking of those actors). My husband especially enjoyed the Ugandan villagers and militia general in the yellow boots (General Butt Fucking Naked) as colorful characters with the most shocking lines.

However, I could not concentrate too much in the beginning because of the music. The music was like “Wicked” meets “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Little Mermaid.” The plot and story is so unique and original, but I felt like I already heard the music phrases and harmonies before. Maybe my brain had a problem; however, I could imagine that Elphaba flew in front of me several times. I read that the directors spent seven years creating this musical. The lyrics were composed as super funny like “Hello, I’m Jesus!” and “Hasa Diga Eebowai.” But I would like to ask why they allowed their music to not be as contemporary as their writing.

I love musicals. Always musicals inspire me to be a better artist; however, I am really, really sad to say, “The Book of Mormon” was a huge disappointment for the music. Maybe it is the director’s sense of humor to use “Wicked” like music, but we spent a fortune to see the most exciting new entertainment in the 21th century. How can my brain process the funny lyrics when I’m reminded of a serious Wicked theme?

I am thinking to see “The Book of Mormon” again because I love the actors, orchestra, and story. Also the tickets are available until September in Chicago. After the evil cups of Starbucks walking into a Spooky Mormon Hell Dream, I may be able to enjoy the musical more. I just hope not to worship it enough to later find a Book of Mormon in my ass.

Buy Tickets *Click* 

Friday, February 22, 2013

How to Sell Successfully on Etsy

I am learning how to sell my art successfully on Etsy. The following two articles are my favorite.

"How to Sell Successfully Using Etsy.com" by Walker Evans
"The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Successfully on Etsy" by Cath Young.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NEW ART - Spring Floral Spatula


"Spring Floral Spatula"

Size: 7 x 5'' (17.7 x 12.7 cm) Postcard size 
Paper: Bristol's acid free, heavy weight for finished artwork
Medium: Rembrant's soft pastels, color pencils, and pens
Fixative: Winsor & Newton's protection for pastels & pencils

Frame: Not included
The frame is not included; however, you will have the opportunity to match a frame with your house's decorative theme.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Alessandra Simmons' Blog - "Filed Study"

Alessandra Simmons, a former editor of Indiana Review, interviews poets and writers who live and work outside academia in her blog. Currently she has three poets to interview:

Abdel Shakur: Fiction writer, and ninth grade English teacher.
Angela Narciso Torres: Poet, mother, and editor of RHINO.
Ellis Felker: Poet and greeting card company owner.

The interviews are interesting. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Naoko's Art Shop on Etsy

Celebrating on February 13th, 2013, I opened my little art shop on Etsy. Etsy is a website for artists to sell their original, handmade, or vintage products. There are so many beautiful and interesting shops by respectful artists. So far, I posted only one piece; however, eventually I am going to list several more. I am still accepting orders and requests through email like I have been for a while. 




"Spring Has Come!"

Size: 7 x 5'' (17.7 x 12.7 cm) Postcard size 
Paper: Bristol's acid free, heavy weight for finished artwork
Medium: Rembrant's soft pastels, color pencils, and pens
Fixative: Winsor & Newton's protection for pastels & pencils

Frame: Not included
The frame is not included; however, you will have the opportunity to match a frame with your house's decorative theme. 




"Love You"

Size: 7 x 5'' (17.7 x 12.7 cm) Postcard size
Paper: Bristol's acid free, heavy weight for finished artwork
Medium: Rembrant's soft pastels, color pencils, and pens
Fixative: Winsor & Newton's protection for pastels & pencils


Frame: Not included
The frame is not included; however, you will have the opportunity to match a frame with your house's decorative theme. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Did you have a good Valentin's day?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


Size: 7 x 5'' (17.7 x 12.7 cm)Postcard size
Paper: Bristol's acid free, heavy weight for finished artwork
Medium: Rembrant's soft pastels, color pencils, and pens
Fixative: Winsor & Newton's protection for pastels & pencils


Frame: Not included
The frame is not included; however, you will have the opportunity to match a frame with your house's decorative theme. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NEW ART - Spring Has Come!



Size: 7 x 5'' (17.7 x 12.7 cm)Postcard size 
Paper: Bristol's acid free, heavy weight for finished artwork
Medium: Rembrant's soft pastels, color pencils, and pens
Fixative: Winsor & Newton's protection for pastels & pencils

Frame: Not included
The frame is not included; however, you will have the opportunity to match a frame with your house's decorative theme.