The White Snake: Baltimore Center Stage Announces Cast and Artistic Team

Baltimore Center Stage is pleased to announce the cast and artistic team for The White Snake. Opening Night of The White Snake, March 3, will mark the grand reopening of the theater after its $28 million renovation. The White Snake will be the debut production in Baltimore Center Stage’s completely redesigned Head Theater.

“We are so excited to open our doors and welcome the community as they experience our remarkable transformation,” said Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. “We chose Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of The White Snake as the first production in our completely redesigned Head Theater because it is a visually stunning piece. I know our audiences will be swept away with delight.”

Mystery and magic intertwine in this fantastical tale brought to life in grand spectacle in the newly renovated Head Theater. Originating from an ancient Chinese fable, The White Snake tells the story of animal spirits White Snake and Green Snake, who take human form as a beautiful woman and her sly servant. White Snake soon falls passionately in love with a poor fisherman, but their relationship is reviled by a conservative monk and tragedy lurks behind their newfound happiness.

Adapted by the award-winning playwright Mary Zimmerman—known for her stage adaptions of Metamorphoses, The Odysseyand The Jungle Book, and for Metropolitan Opera productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Armida, La Sonnambula and the this year’s Rusalka—this production of The White Snake will be directed by Natsu Onoda Power, a Washington, DC-based author, playwright, director, designer and professor.

Power’s recent directing credits include Wind Me Up, Maria! A Go-Go Musical at Georgetown University; The T Party (which she also wrote) at Forum Theatre and Company One Theater Boston; A Trip to the Moon (which she wrote and illustrated) at Synetic Theatre; and the Elliot Norton Award-winning Astro Boy and the God of Comics (which she wrote) at Studio Theatre and Company One Theatre. She is also an associate professor in Georgetown’s Theater and Performance Studies program and the author of God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post World War II Manga.

“The power of this story is that it transcends everything that divides us, culturally, historically, politically,” said Power. “It is important to me, however, that we do not simply call the story ‘universal’— because that sounds like a move to ignore all cultural specificity and differences. It is the opposite: the characters clearly see their differences, and still make the commitment to love the other person, whatever it entails.”

The cast includes Aimé Donn Kelly* (White Snake), Eileen Rivera* (Green Snake), Joe Ngo* (Xu Xian), Peter Van Wagner*(Fa Hai),  Caitlin Cisco* (Ensemble), Samy el-Noury (Ensemble),Lucy Lavely* (Ensemble), Brett Messiora (Ensemble), Pooya Mohseni* (Ensemble), Linden Tailor* (Ensemble), Damian Thompson* (Ensemble), Jason Kao Hwang (Actor-Musician/Composer – violin/viola), Joshua Ziemann (Actor-Musician/Composer – marimba, percussion), Yukio Tsuji (Actor-Musician/Composer – shakuhachi, percussion).

The artistic team includes Mary Zimmerman (Playwright), Natsu Onoda Power (Director), Jeff Song (Actor-Musician/Musician/Music Director/Composer), Hana S. Kim (Scenic and Projection Designer), Nicole Wee (Costume Designer), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer), Alex Hawthorn (Sound Designer), Andrea “Dre” Moore (Puppet Designer and Constructor), Tommy Kurzman(Hair, Wig & Makeup Design), Rick Sordelet (Fight Director),Deanie Vallone (Production Dramaturg), Stephanie Klapper(Casting Director), Larry Smiglewski* (Stage Manager) andAlison Kochman* (Assistant Stage Manager).

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

The White Snake opens Friday, March 3, with previews Feb. 24 to March 2, and closes Sunday, March 26. For more information, visit www.centerstage.org or call the box office at 410.332.0033. Press night is Friday, March 3.

The White Snake is made possible by Miles & Stockbridge PC and T. Rowe Price. The White Snake media partner is Maryland Public Television. Baltimore Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business and Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. Center Stage’s 2016/17 Season is made possible by The Shubert Foundation and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences.

About Baltimore Center Stage

Baltimore Center Stage is a professional, nonprofit institution committed to entertaining, engaging and enriching audiences through bold, innovative and thought-provoking classical and contemporary theater.

Named the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage has steadily grown as a leader in the national regional theater scene. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Managing Director Michael Ross, Baltimore Center Stage is committed to creating and presenting a diverse array of world premieres and exhilarating interpretations of established works.

Baltimore Center Stage believes in access for all—creating a welcoming environment for everyone who enters its theater doors and, at the same time, striving to meet audiences where they are. In addition to its Mainstage, Off Center and Family Series productions in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, Baltimore Center Stage ignites conversations among a global audience through digital initiatives, which explore how technology and the arts intersect. The theater also nurtures the next generation of artists and theater-goers through the Young Playwrights Festival, Student Matinee Series and many other educational programs for students, families and professionals.

Disney Cruise Line Returning to New York, California and Texas in Fall 2017

Disney Cruise Line returns to New York City in fall 2017 with a mix of voyages to the Canada coast and the Bahamas, which includes a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. (Chloe Rice, photographer).

In the fall of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York with sailings to the Bahamas and the Canadian coast – including a new seven-night Canada cruise. San Diego will serve as a home port with cruises to Mexico, and Galveston will again be a homeport with sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Bookings open to the public May 26, 2016. More details on the itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2017 page of disneycruise.com.

[Read more…]

Southwest Airlines Teams With Lyft On Rapid Rewards Rideshare Program

Southwest Airlines opens service in Liberia, Costa Rica. Stephen M. Keller

Southwest Airlines Co. today announced a collaboration with Lyft that will offer first-time Lyft Customers who are also Rapid Rewards Members a one-time reward of 1,100 Rapid Rewards points for their first ride. The offer is available for a ride anywhere in the following 11 Southwest® markets where Lyft has an operating agreement in place through the end of 2016:

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Chicago Midway International Airport
  • Dallas Love Field
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Louisville International Airport
  • McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
  • Nashville International Airport
  • Oakland International Airport
  • Reagan National Airport (Washington, D.C.)
  • San Antonio International Airport
  • San Diego International Airport

A separate offer is currently available to Southwest Customers who are not Rapid Rewards Members in the markets listed above, offering $15 off a first-time ride with Lyft. The offer took effect on Mar. 22 and runs through the end of 2016. The two offers cannot be combined.

“At Southwest, we’re known for low fares and great Hospitality—whether on the ground or in the air. Rideshare is a natural extension to air travel,” said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Southwest Airlines. “It offers an easy, hassle-free way to get to the airport and saves time and money on short- and long-term parking. Lyft makes sense for Southwest as a rideshare partner. Like Southwest, Lyft is Customer-focused and seeks to offer delightful and seamless travel experiences.”

Lyft, an app that can be used on iOS or Android, was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to reconnect people and communities through better transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S.and is available in more than 200 cities. Preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, Lyft is committed to affecting positive change for cities. This promotion is part of a larger effort as Southwest explores increasing rideshare options.

“Partnering with Southwest, the country’s largest domestic air carrier is incredibly exciting, especially given our companies’ shared commitment to treating people better,” said John Zimmer, co-founder and President of Lyft. “We look forward to Southwest Customers enjoying affordable and delightful door-to-door rides through the Lyft app.”

For more information about Lyft visit Lyft.com.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Two New Ships

The Walt Disney Company announced plans on March 3, 2016 to build two additional cruise ships, each showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver. The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, and the schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023. Each ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. Design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development.

The Walt Disney Company announced plans today to build two additional cruise ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver.

The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023.

“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

Each new ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. While design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development, the Walt Disney Imagineering team is already dreaming up exciting new ways to create the world’s most magical oceangoing adventures.

Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided a quintessential family cruise vacation experience that combines the magic of Disney with the thrill of exploring different parts of the world. Guests step aboard majestic and beautiful ocean liners to enjoy legendary Disney entertainment, exquisite dining, spacious and well-appointed staterooms and magnificent public spaces.

Following The Walt Disney Company announcement to build two additional cruise ships earlier today, Disney Cruise Line celebrated with guests onboard the Disney Magic during a very special Sail Away Party. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023. Each ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms. (Chloe Rice, photographer)

The company also has been an industry leader in innovation and game-changing creativity. With the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012, the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters.

Plans for the expansion of Disney Cruise Line come during a period of momentous growth and innovation for Disney properties around the globe.

“The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

More details about the Disney Cruise Line fleet expansion and onboard offerings will be announced at a later date.

How Not To Break Your Fitness Schedule When Traveling

Travel_gear-Travel-Fitness-

Kimatni D. Rawlins

The majority of my health blogs and topics manifest from running usually while I’m on the road traveling. For instance, I recently went on a peaceful 3-mile run along San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk on a clear and sunny day and wondered how many fellow fitness companions were local in comparison to visitors on business or pleasure. I was in town for work but certainly wasn’t going to let that stop me from energizing my physique and strengthening my heart. With that in mind, here are a few ideas or pointers to keep you focused on the go whether it’s a pleasuring vacation or hectic work project.

If you already have an adoration for burning calories, staying trim and glorifying euphoria then exercising on the road is already a part of your daily regimen. For those who find it challenging commingling both, you will simply need to put a bit more thought and energy into the task at hand. Nevertheless, even the most dedicated fitness buff can let go too much and leave home without it. Yes, “it” represents your gear!

First things first, when you begin packing go for the running shoes, fitness shorts, socks and a shirt first. Some may also need their phone sleeve, headband, spandex shorts and gloves like myself. Pack two sets of apparel if you are away for two to three days. Include an additional set if your stay is longer than three days. Make sure to choose dry sweat clothes such as Nike’s Dry-Fit line so you can either wash and dry quickly in the bathroom sink or re-pack them dry opposed to damp. Who wants their dress shirts smelling like a sweaty 5-mile run? Afterwards, pick out your work outfits and dress shoes.

Vacation Fitness

If you are like me and never check in luggage, but simply flow with a rolling carry on, then there may be some concerns regarding room. Well, try the rolling technique for the sports gear which compacts your clothes so more can fit. Also, stuff the socks and briefs in your shoes. I also wear one of my fitness outfits on the plane. This not only offers the ability to travel with additional items, but also keeps me comfortable and psychologically ready to hit the ground running. Literally! I may land at 2pm and have a scheduled 5pm meet-n-greet to attend before a 7pm dinner. After settling down at the hotel I am left with a whopping two hours to run, swim, bike or hit the gym. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes your body and mind will thank you for the activity. Meanwhile, various ideas and strategies are being produced for your time with company executives and colleagues. Some of my most brilliant and sensational concepts and solutions have arisen while I was out running. Plus, your associates will be envious when they ask what you did that afternoon. “Oh, nothing much. I just went for an hour bike ride around the lake.” Trust me, I’ve been in this position hundreds of times!

The other advantages of wearing New Balance, Brooks, Saucony or Asics athletic kicks in the airport is so you can move quicker from terminal to terminal and choose the stairs over escalators. Both Washington Dulles and Las Vegas airports have an impeccable set of steps that are sure to speed up your heart rate, which equates to caloric burn. Sometimes I’m so energized that I sprint to the top with my suitcase in hand. It feels so good and you never know who you may influence. There were many times when I was about to skip the hard work until I saw another traveller taking my prescribed route. So of course that kept me inspired to follow my own guidelines. How about that!

Travel_gear-Travel-Fitness

The next habit you want to strengthen is putting your workout sessions on the itinerary or calendar. This way your plan becomes fail proof. Let’s say breakfast is at 8am, meetings begin at 9:30am, lunch is at 12pm and the event concludes at 4pm. Then you have a 6pm happy hour and 7:30pm dinner. Well, you can either schedule the workout at 6am or at 4:30pm. Either way you are prepping your mind to be on time for physical engagement. At the end of the day it is just as important (more so in my book) than any work assignment. What’s the point in accumulating all that wealth if you do not have perfect health and longevity to enjoy it?

If the travel is for leisure then of course there are no excuses. This is the time to actually put in more fitness work because you have the spare hours. For example, I may be heading to Jamaica, Miami or London with friends, but best believe every day of that trip I’m going to rise with the sun and hit it hard. As I always say, vacation is to relax the mind, not the body.

Travel-Fitness-Fit-Fathers-Jump-Rope-Bose

Lastly, organize a group of work buddies to assemble for a workout opposed to meeting at the bar. Each person will certainly hold themself accountable and surely will not want to be the reason for any team jokes. Remember, stay fit, eat clean and continue to energize your life.

Princess Cruises Onboard Health and Fitness Amenities

Princess Cruises Onboard Health and Fitness Amenities

Indulgence can be guilt-free onboard cruise ships. Savor fresh, nutritious cuisine, try the latest fitness trends, and relax your body and mind. With all of the healthy options onboard, wellness is a breeze.

Healthy Dining

Nutritious choices are plenty in a Princess Cruises onboard restaurant. There’s no need to skimp on taste to stay fit as you enjoy regional specialties made with fresh local ingredients. Start your day with a granola parfait in the International Café, enjoy a flavorful salad for lunch in the Horizon Court, and savor delicious meals in one of the dining rooms for dinner. For those with special dietary needs, their ships offer vegetarian, low-fat and gluten-free choices.

The Sanctuary

Wellness is more than tough workouts and a healthy diet. Relax your mind and spirit with a day of tranquility in The Sanctuary. Melt your cares away on plush furniture and deluxe chaise lounges with chilled face towels, relaxing music and al fresco massages. You’ll stay energized with light smoothies, refreshing fruit skewers, lettuce-wrapped spring rolls and other healthy treats.

Lotus Fitness Center

Even while traveling, you can still hit the gym. The  offers a wide range of classes, including popular options like TRX Suspension Training, cycling, Pilates, yoga, stretch, abs and Body Sculpt Boot Camp. If you prefer to work out independently, feel the burn on treadmills, recumbent bicycles, elliptical machines, strength equipment and free weights.

Walking and Running

Looking for a workout with a view? Take in the ocean views while you walk or run around the jogging track. You can even support breast cancer research while keeping fit by participating in the On Deck for the Cure 5K walks, which benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Zumba

Pack your dancing shoes! Complimentary Zumba classes offer an exhilarating, Latin-inspired dance fitness party. The time will fly by as you torch calories while listening to your favorite international jams.

The Los Angeles Athletic Club: Ultra Fit on the Road

The-Los -Angeles-Athletic-Club-basketball-court

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s pretty official and clear as morning light. After a two-day experience at the most fitness focused hotel I’ve ever enjoyed, the Fit Fathers team will be lodging at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) every time we visit The City of Angels henceforth. I’m actually upset that I just discovered this historic hotel and club located in downtown LA just two blocks from the new Whole Foods. [Read more…]

Historic San Marcos Golf Resort to host 2015 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Awards

San_Marco_Resort_Arizona_Crowne-Plaza-Courtyard

An exciting, luxurious and historic Arizona resort venue will be home for the twelfth annual Carspondent.com Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards program. Raising the profile and provenance of the two-day test drive and awards event October 16-17, home base will be the historic San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona.

Built in 1912, the architecturally rich resort was home to the very first grass links in Arizona and now sits in the very heart of historic old-town Chandler. Restored with authentic charm, it has been the playground for many known celebrities and dignitaries during its 103 year history.

Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year has previously been held at Local Motors in Chandler, Arizona. The company has been a key partner for many years and has contributed to the event’s success. “For the past three years Local Motors has been a wonderful host to our program. But as both organizations have grown significantly, we chose a new venue which offers us the space and ancillary services we need to keep ALV moving forward.”, says event Co-Founder Nina Russin.

The new venue adds a vibrant atmosphere to the event and provides a home base for out-of-town quests with event festivities, dining, and room accommodations all in one location. Several restaurants, shops and local attractions are also found within walking distance.

Launching from the San Marcos Golf Resort also brings new and improved drive routes that will provide an enhanced experience for jury panel members. The new routes provide for a genuine mix of city and freeway driving in a warm and colorful home town atmosphere. It all starts on Friday October 16th with a full press-day for local media including members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association to drive and judge the palette of vehicles. Saturday hosts the big event where elite and recreational athletes test dozens of crossovers, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles catering to active lifestyles.

San_Marco_Resort_Arizona_Crowne-Plaza_Pool

Judged by the very group of consumers they’re marketed to, vehicles awarded gain a seal of approval that goes above and beyond just that of the automotive journalists and experts who help lead the evaluation process. The jury will award top-picks in eight categories with a new electronic judging system which will be faster scoring and provide more in-depth detail. An awards ceremony will be held at the San Marcos Golf Resort on Saturday afternoon at end of festivities.

Participants planning to stay at the San Marcos Golf Resort during the event must reserve online by September 15th by using the group block link: Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort

About the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards

A Phoenix based event, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards has consistently grown in size and prestige since its inception in 2004. The event brings the perspectives and opinions of over 100 consumers who live the active lifestyles automakers market their products to, culminating into top awards in multiple categories.

The group of athletes, celebrities and active lifestyle enthusiasts act as a valuable focus group for automakers and industry experts alike. With this year’s event moving to a new data rich electronic scoring system, the outcome of consumer perspective metrics for manufacturers will be more comprehensive than ever.

Southwest Airlines Offers Fares Starting As Low As $49 One-Way To Select Destinations!

Southwest Airlines Max 7 - 737 Artwork K65810-02

Southwest Airlines is launching a three-day sale offering extra low fares for fall travel.  Customers can take advantage of low fares starting at $49, $99, $129, and $149 one-way to select destinations today through Thursday, June 4, 2015, 11:59 p.m. for the respective time zone of the originating city.  Fares are available for travel on nonstop flights except Fridays and Sundays beginning Aug. 24 through Dec. 16, 2015 (check fare rules for restrictions and exclusions). Blackout dates include Sept. 3-5, Sept. 7, and Nov. 20 through Dec. 1, 2015.  Seats are limited. Travel/to from Florida or Nevada is valid only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico is valid only Mondays through Thursdays.

To see the list of available cities, prices, and to take advantage of Southwest’s special fares, visit www.Southwest.com.

Examples of Southwest Airlines’ low fares include (see fare rules below):

  • As low as $49 one-way nonstop between Las Vegas and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • As low as $49 one-way nonstop between Baltimore/Washington and Boston
  • As low as $99 one-way nonstop between Dallas (Love Field) and Washington (Reagan)
  • As low as $99 one-way nonstop between Atlanta and New York (LaGuardia)
  • As low as $129 one-way nonstop between Austin and Newark
  • As low as $149 one-way nonstop between Nashville and Seattle

Eating Healthy on the Run: United Airlines Elevates its Food Game

United_Airline_MealsExperienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

A million miles flown affords you many supplementary amenities when traveling by air, especially when your brand of choice is United Airlines (UA). I am a member of the exclusive Global Services fellowship for example. My dedication and revenue commitment to their bottom line is honored in return through time-saving and convenience perks such as complimentary upgrades into First Class, reduced membership costs for programs like the United Club, early boarding, automatic backups for disrupted flights and much more. But one thing it previously didn’t achieve was a decent meal mile-high in the friendly skies.

As a business owner of three companies including Automotive Rhythms and Fit Fathers, time is precious. I travel the globe test-driving and evaluating the latest vehicles that come to market and educate car-buyers with my findings. Equally, I host Social Workouts, health conferences and events around the world. Flying over 225,000 base miles annually require a copious amount of time in the clouds, which translates to a profuse amount of meals whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. Typically I brown bag it with a few pieces of fruit, nuts and either a hummus sandwich on whole grain bread, brown rice and lentils or a black bean burrito. For years I’ve watched meals reminiscent of those in elementary school cafeterias served to elite businessmen and woman in First Class and packaged coach grub distributed to the larger group of flyers. If you were hungry and didn’t bring your own food then nutrition became very limited. Aged cheeseburgers in plastic bags, greasy sausage links, dry, enriched pastas, lettuce based salads (I need actual greens like kale and spinach) and blood sugar raising pastries were some of the typical staples. No thank you; no, I will not be eating today; thanks, however I brought along my own food, were typical responses to congenial flight attendants. They would always rave about me being one of the easiest Global Services members to please. Yet finally, United has made specific culinary moves appealing to health-conscious jetsetters like myself. [Read more…]