Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great Places to Shop in Lancaster County – (Eighth in a Series)

Here’s how an innocent mug led to a new dining room at The Artist’s Inn.

I’m always searching for something new for our bed and breakfast. When I attended a recent innkeeping conference, I ordered new mugs from Deneen – they are hand-thrown and made in the USA and our guests love them. I picked out a navy blue with a white glaze top.

I saw this as the perfect opportunity to change the color of the walls in the dining room (after all, the color of the dining room should serve only one purpose – to show off our new mugs in the best light). Bruce wasn’t too keen on the idea, but I was tired of the Williamsburg blue and wanted navy and so whining ensued.

Of course, the chair covers had to be changed to match – lucky for me our inn is about 15 minutes away from The Interior Alternative, tucked away in the Manufacturers Outlet Mall in Morgantown.

They offer a dizzying array of designer and home decorating fabrics, ready-made chair pads, window treatments and trim. I picked out enough material for six chairs (and little extra) and paid my bill of only $30. (They have terrific deals here as some of the bolts are seconds due mostly to color dye  – watch carefully when you buy but I’ve never had a problem and Waverly is very particular).  Unfortunately Interior Alternative doesn’t have a website, but their Google Places page gives some basic information.

The chairs only took about half an hour to cover,

and I had lots of help from the cats.

Bruce painted the walls below the chair-rail in about two hours.
We’re pretty darn pleased with the change, even though the blue doesn't quite match. 

So the next time you get the urge to redesign a room, you may want to check out the collection of stoneware at Deneen Pottery.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Falling In Love at The American Music Theatre

Bruce and I recently saw Music of the Night (The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber) at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster. It was a tribute to the many musicals that Weber has produced. Like many of the shows we’ve seen at AMT over the years, this one was terrific and we fell in love.
But it wasn’t with the singing - although there are many incredibly talented voices singing some well-loved but very difficult songs.

And it wasn’t with the production – although the sets went from fun and fast for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to mournful with Phantom.

And we certainly enjoyed the trip down memory lane – having seen most of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s classic shows when they first played on Broadway.

What we fell in love with was the emcee for the evening, Jeremy Beveridge. This ten-year old performer stole our hearts from the moment he appeared on stage in his top hat and cane. He wound his way through every one of Weber’s shows, sometimes on skates, sometimes running up and down the steps and once jumping right through the bottom of the stage floor.

This original production features a youth ensemble that energizes the entire show. What a terrific way to introduce kids to the theater – whether they are in the show or audience, they will forever appreciate all the work that takes place both on and off stage. And, for all we know, we witnessed the future stars of Broadway!

One of the things that we’ve always loved about American Music Theatre is that the cast comes out after every show and, if you work your way down to the front, you’ll have a chance to chat with them.

We talked with some of our favorites and got a chance to meet Jeremy’s mom. When I asked Jeremy if this was his first show, he informed me that it was, in fact, his eighth! Wow, that’s impressive for a ten-year old.

In fact, the whole show is impressive. Catch it while you can....on stage until July 1. Stay with us at The Artist's Inn and we'll order your tickets at a discount.

You just might fall in love.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jonah – it sounds like a whale of a good time in Lancaster County

Two weeks ago I attended a preview of the 2012 show at Sight and Sound...Jonah.  It promises to be the most interactive show the theater has ever produced – and these folks have been in the business for 35 years.

Jonah is one of the shortest stories in the Bible, and Sight and Sound admits they took some liberty with this story, expounding on the personality of the character of Jonah. They’ll use lots of symbolism and humor during the play. From what I saw, Jonah is a bit like his house – rigid and straight and strictly adhering to the laws, and God would like him to be just a bit more forgiving. Ah, the lessons this show will hold for all of us.

We met an absolutely adorable skunk – just one of the animals being trained for the show opening in March. We met the donkey as well – one that Jonah thought was a bit, ah, stubborn. As I said, lots of symbolism on this set.

And what a set it is. If you’ve never been to this Lancaster County theater, the stage is all around you – and this show promises to bring you underwater AND inside the whale. Just how they will do that is a secret that won’t be revealed until showtime. What isn’t a secret, but is just as amazing, is that the sets are controlled by GPS!

Kids are especially going to love Jonah...there are bubbles that float out and over the audience and cute little crab puppets for sale.

It’s going to be a great show...we can’t wait to see it. If you can’t wait, call us – The Artist’s Inn  is a participant in their hotel program, so we can purchase tickets at a discount to any Sight and Sound show.