Welcome to the second installment of Festival Faves. Every month we will be sharing our Faves, which can be anything from books to websites to movies to recipes to restaurants, to quotes, to just about anything you can think of. So, check them out each month. It’s another way to get to know the Festival Family.
1. Our Development Director, Seth Kaltwasser says, “My recommendation is Something Wonderful: Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution. The musicals and songs created by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein have had such an impact on our culture that it can be easy to take them for granted. From The Sound of Music to Oklahoma!, these artists revolutionized musical theatre and provided a seemingly endless soundtrack for twentieth-century American lives. This book by Todd S. Purdum offers a decades-spanning tour of the two men’s careers and collaborations: the big hits, the big failures, the personal struggles. Along the way, the reader enjoys cameos from other giants of the industry (Julie Andrews, Mary Martin, Stephen Sondheim, and Edna Ferber) and is introduced to some behind-the-scenes heroes who wouldn’t receive their due until decades later. I enjoyed picking up this book each evening and taking a time warp to a different era in theatre history.”
2. Box Office Manager, DeeAnn Naegelen says, “Admittedly, I would rather be inside watching a play or sitting by the fire reading one of my co-workers book suggestions, but there is one event that will pull me out on a cold February evening - enjoying the beauty of Interstate Park by candlelight. Every year around Valentines, Friends of Interstate Park host this event. I usually hike it, but this year I'm going to double my efforts and add free snowshoeing. It's conducive to a quiet walk alone, a romantic date or a family outing. I lost an energetic competition with a friend once, so will skip that option! Between the luminaries, music and refreshments, the best part is, I can still end the night warming near a (bon)fire.” Follow this link for more info…
3. Marketing Director, Isaac Bont recommends the movie JoJo Rabbit. “It's very difficult to describe how this movie works. When I first heard the plot summary, my initial thought was this is going to be very offensive. It turns out that it wasn't offensive at all, but equal parts hilarious and devastating! JoJo Rabbit follows JoJo, a fanatic 10-year-old member of the Hitler Youth in 1945 Germany who has an imaginary friend version of Adolf Hitler who is both a silly imaginary friend, but also the infamous, terrible icon of the Nazi Regime. It's hard to get satire right, and very unusual for it to have the emotional highs and lows that this film hits. Even if the plot summary turns you away, the film is utterly unique from an up and coming filmmaker (Taika Waititi) who approaches some difficult material with great humor while also capturing the devastating reality of Nazi Germany in its final days. There are masterful child performances, and the adults do tremendous work too. It's rare for a film to have such a unique voice and story, and worth giving it a chance. Also, it's a very strange but fitting companion piece to The Diary of Anne Frank. Check it out!”
4. Executive Artistic Director Jason Richards says, “A very useful and interesting website is haveibeenpwned.com. Yes, the spelling is correct. It is a website dedicated to helping you find out if your email address or personal information has been compromised in a data breach. HIBP creator, Tony Hunt says ‘This site came about after what was, at the time, the largest ever single breach of customer accounts — Adobe. I often did post-breach analysis of user credentials and kept finding the same accounts exposed over and over again, often with the same passwords which then put the victims at further risk of their other accounts being compromised.’ Even if you don’t want to use the website, just reading their FAQs will shed a lot of light on online security.”
5. Box Office Assistant and actor Megan Hanks says, “I’ve started reading the The Dark Tower (series), by Stephen King, and I’m almost finished with the first book, The Gunslinger. It is such a fun read! As expected, King delivers an incredibly vivid landscape, filled with danger and peculiar characters; you never know who you can trust, including the main character who can be unpredictable. The story is centered on Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger, who has been chasing his adversary, “the man in black,” for many years. The novel fuses Western fiction with fantasy, science fiction, and horror. We follow Roland’s trek through a vast desert and beyond, in search of the man in black. The pacing clicks along so quickly, and I love how this story functions forwards and backwards simultaneously. We constantly encounter distant memories, and then blink forward into whatever crazy, eerie “present-day” situation Roland has found himself in. This careful layering of information makes for delicious character development. This story is like, John Wayne meets Voldemort meets Frodo meets Jafar... There is so much happening! There’s sex-appeal, philosophy, violence, dark magic, adventure, and mystically shrouded pop-culture references; a world that’s familiar to us, but also set in obscure and forgotten time zone. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves adventure and fantasy novels!”