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WaistWatchers The Musical!

WaistWatchers The Musical! is now playing at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. The show will be running for 10 weeks at this historic theatre. WaistWatchers The Musical! is a lighthearted look at four women who are dealing with assorted body issues, including dieting and exercise.

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Picture courtesy of Jean Hangarter

I had the opportunity to interview the show’s director: Matt Silva, and actresses: Krissy Johnson, Stephanie Genovese, Kiley McDonald, Cambridge resident: Lili Klein, and Arlington resident: Meagan Michelson, to learn more about the show. This interview was filled with lots of laughs and jokes – which is the way all interviews should be.

Take a look at my interview below:

Bri | What made you interested in becoming a director?
Matt | I was going to undergraduate school for acting at the time, and I was taking a directing class. It was something I really enjoyed and felt more comfortable doing. The director told me I needed to stop acting and focus on directing. With acting, I was always second guessing myself and wondering if what I was doing was right. As a director, I found I could go with my impulses. If they weren’t right I knew how to fix them.

Who influences / inspires you the most?
Matt | Harold Clurman is my biggest directing inspiration. I get most of my inspiration for each project from the people that I’m working with. I can give them the map, but once they get the map, they need to get there – I can’t get them there. I also find whatever music I’m listening to, I can relate it to whatever project I’m working on and that is what moves me and my choices.

What has been your key to success?
Matt | The key to my success is never taking myself or anything I’m doing too seriously and having fun. If I’m going to claim I’m successful, then what makes me most successful is the spirit of fun, levity and inclusion.

What do you do when you’re not directing?
Matt | I play basketball, go to the gym, play with my puppy Luna, run a company and travel.

What advice would you give to an aspiring director?
Matt | If you win an argument with an actor, you lose.

Why did you want to be involved in WaistWatchers?
Matt | I saw a production of it in Phoenix and I thought it was not being done justice the way that it could be done. The audience was still having a ton of fun. I was excited to take ownership of it.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Matt | One of the challenges is I’m a male. The play is also written by a male and it assumes to know a lot about women. The challenges of the script are honoring what’s on the page, while at the same time, making the people that have to say the words feel good about it and when they can’t feel good about it, they know we’re acknowledging why we’re saying what we’re saying. It’s a story, and it should make women feel emboldened and feel great about themselves, their lives and their bodies.

Who will love this show?
Steph / Kiley / Krissy / Lili / Meagan | Everyone!
Matt
| Anybody that comes to see the show loves it. It’s a date night show, it’s a blast.. it’s just goofy. Although, the material is not for everyone, as there is some that is a little risqué. For women, it’s a great girls night out. They have some wine before hand, have some wine at the play and have a good time. It’s just a good night out.

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Picture courtesy of Jean Hangarter

How is this character like you? Different?
Steph / Cindy | In my experience, I have known to be an emotional eater. I’ve been through some really tough times and unfortunately, food has been my comfort. That is my personal, and my characters, struggle. (Everyone chimed in and collectively agreed that we think this is every woman’s struggle on some level and we all have a personal struggle with our bodies)
Kiley / Carla | Carla and I both have a lot of energy – we’re always on the go, and we’re always striving to do our best. Carla and I have felt the pitfalls of constantly going and not giving yourself a break and not being kind to yourself. Carla sees a support and life through the other women that makes her realize she can relax, take a break and not be so “gungho” about obsessively working out and eating healthy. It’s okay to be kind and find humor.
Lili / Connie | Connie is a big goofball. I find a similar sense of humor to her in many ways. I’m a new mom and since then, I had a different relationship with my body since giving birth. I’ve had less confidence in the way that I look. I’m not used to that, but Connie is used to that. It’s been interesting to approach that in a new way that I really identify with more-so than I ever have before. That’s been really cool.
Krissy / Cheryl | With my character, she’s very much me. There’s this dichotomy that she’s very proper and intelligent, but she’s super silly, odd and quirky. I like her a lot.
Meagan / Understudy for everyone | I like food and I’m odd.
Matt | Meagan also dresses up and plays a Viagra pill, a whole quart of chunky monkey ice cream, and a lunch lady.
Meagan | With a prosthetic butt.

What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Kiley | This is the most exhausting show – both physically and vocally, so we have to take care of ourselves to perform this show seven times a week. It’s very demanding of our bodies, our vocal chords – there are 24 songs packed into an hour and a half. It’s going to be a challenge.. but one we’re welcoming with open arms.

Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle your character?
Lili | We already cast who we thought would be best in our roles: Melissa McCarthy as Connie, Valerie Bertinelli as Cindy, Christy Baranski as Cheryl, Jane Krakowski as Carla.

When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Collective | Eating. Taking a moment to breathe. Organize childcare. Check Facebook. Let my husband know I’m still alive. Sitting and relaxing. Regroup. Text my girlfriend pictures of myself as a Viagra pill.

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Picture courtesy of Jean Hangarter

Why should someone watch WaistWatchers?
Kiley | We make light of topics that can be very heavy and upsetting to women. These are things that weigh them down and can control their life. We do a great job of showing that everyone goes through most of the same problems, and they’re not actually problems. You can laugh, have a good time, continue on with life and enjoy your friends. I think that’s really inspiring and as much fun as we’re having, that’s the ultimate message we’re sending.

What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
Collective | Stretch and take a sip of water or beverage of your choice.

Besides WaistWatchers, what’s your favorite stage show?
Matt | The Love of the Nightingale
Kiley | Cabaret
Lili | A Thousand Clowns
Krissy | Ragtime
Meagan | Gypsy

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Picture courtesy of Jean Hangarter

Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Collective | Come! Enjoy! Give it a chance!

Make sure to see WaistWatchers The Musical! for yourself! Get your tickets here.

Sweet Life Bakery + Café

2243 Dorchester Avenue | Dorchester, Massachusetts | 02124 | Menu

The Sweet Life Bakery + Café is one of my favorite places. I’ve been quite a few times now and love that I can get something different every time. Plus the menu has something for everyone!

I went with my sister, J, while she was visiting. I love that the Sweet Life Bakery + Café is open and has lots of natural lighting. Depending when you go, you may have to wait for a table, but it’s not a very long wait.

Of course, I ordered a mimosa. The mimosas at Sweet Life Bakery + Café are so good. I definitely feel as though you get your money’s worth here. I like that it does not come in a champagne flute – even though I feel classy. The wine style glass they serve the mimosa in is just as classy.

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I have been on a pancake kick lately so I decided to get their sweet stack which is 3 buttermilk pancakes dusted with powdered sugar. I also ordered strawberry compote for the top of my pancakes. It was top notch.

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J ordered the sweet life special with ham. It looked quite delicious. She also ordered a latte. She said everything was delicious and enjoyed her meal.

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Overall, I would recommend going to Sweet Life Bakery + Café. As there is something for everyone.

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I’m always looking for brunch recommendations – let me know if there is someplace I should go!

Mini Easter Cheesecakes

One of my specialties for the holiday is making a cheesecake. I have been wanting to make mini cheesecakes for quite a while. I figured Easter would be the perfect time to try them out. They turned out so well.

These cheesecakes are easy to make within a few hours (only because you have to chill certain ingredients!) to be ready for your Easter feast!

Graham Cracker Crust

Ingredients

  • 10 graham crackers
  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • 5 tbsp. butter / margarine

 

Cheesecake Filling

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. cream cheese
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tub 8 oz. cool whip
  • 1 box food coloring

Optional: Sprinkles

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Mini Easter Cheesecakes:
Makes 8

One | Create mini crusts
Crush the graham crackers until they are finely crushed. There will be some pieces that are a little bigger, but they will work just fine. Combine the crushed graham cracker and sugar until well blended. Melt 5 tbsp. butter. Combine the butter and cracker / sugar mixture until well blended. Once the graham cracker crust mixture has been created, it’s time to create the mini crusts. Take an empty can (ie. olive, soup, chili beans, etc.) and cut the bottom of the can out so both ends are open. Scoop a good portion into the can and flatten with the spoon. Let the crusts chill for one to two hours.

Two | Create the cheesecake filling
Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Gently stir in whipped cream until well blended. After creating the basic cheesecake filling, it’s time to create pastel cream cheese fillings. Separate the filling into four different bowls. I like to scoop out relatively large chunks and then add smaller scoops afterwards until all four bowls look even. Use the red, green, and blue colors to create pink, green, and purple colors. I created pink, green and purple filling. To create the pastel colors, use one drop of red to create a pastel pink, one drop of green to create a pastel green, and two drops of blue and red for a pastel purple. When I created the purple, I originally added one drop of blue and red, but it wasn’t enough, so I added in another drop of blue and red. Use this method if you’re not sure how purple it will be. I wanted one set of filling to remain white, so I set that off to the side after I scooped out the portions so I would not change the color.

Three | Mini Easter cheesecakes
Take the chilled mini crusts out of the fridge. Add the cheesecake filling on top of the crusts. I scooped two scoops of filling onto two crusts then topped off each with the rest of the filling that was left. I did this for each color.

*Side note: If you don’t want to make “thick” cheesecakes, make 16 mini crusts and spread the filling evenly.

Four | Sprinkles
Since these mini cheesecakes are for Easter, I decided to top them off with flower sprinkles. The perfect sprinkle for spring / Easter.

Five | Chill
Chill the mini Easter cheesecakes for one hour before serving.

Six | Enjoy!

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Enjoy these wonderfully delicious mini Easter cheesecakes with your family and friends!

State Street Provisions

255 State Street | Boston, Massachusetts | 02109 | Menu

My sister and I were going to take a tour of Downeast Cider and decided to have brunch before we went. I checked to see if State Street Provisions served brunch and they did! I was not sure if it would be too busy or not, but we happened to get there right before it started getting busy.

I decided to order the blueberry pancakes while J decided to order today’s farm omelet.

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The portions were huge – which we were not complaining about. The pancakes were sweet and savory. The blueberries were a perfect touch. The omelet was tasty and the homestyle bread was delicious. The jam that came with the bread was equally as delicious.

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We definitely left with full stomachs. J even had leftovers with her omelet that we took back home. We were both pleasantly happy with our choices and the restaurant. We would recommend going to brunch at State Street Provisions.


Have a brunch recommendation? Leave me a note!

The Friendly Toast

35 Stanhope Street | Boston, Massachusetts | Menu

I have finally made it to The Friendly Toast. The most popular brunch suggestion I receive is The Friendly Toast. I went to the Back Bay location with my friend, N.

The Friendly Toast is jam packed as the day goes on. We chose to go to brunch at 10 thinking we would miss the major brunch crowd. However, there was a bit of a crowd and we ended up sitting at the bar downstairs. When we left about an hour later, there was a massive crowd. Be prepared to wait. The wait is worth it.

The Friendly Toast has a vast menu. I had a hard time picking out what I wanted to eat. Once I found chicken and waffles it was over. I knew that is what I wanted to get. N decided to get an omelet. The chicken and waffles came with a chorizo-corn gravy. I am not a huge gravy fan, but the bartender convinced me to get it on the side.

The chicken and waffles were fantastic, as was the chorizo-corn gravy. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. I didn’t douse my chicken and waffles in the gravy, but the drizzle was perfection. I would have asked to hold the green onions if I had realized they would be a part of the dish, but lucky, they are easy to pick off and don’t taste too onion-y.

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N liked her omelet. She picked cinnamon raison toast to accompany her dish. It looks like the bread contains chocolate, but it doesn’t. It’s just the way the bread is cooked.

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Overall, I enjoyed The Friendly Toast. I would go back as there were quite a few items I would have loved to try!


Do you have a brunch recommendation? Leave a comment below!