here's to 2019!
and doing what we do!
The year 2019 brought lots of change – as years are wont to do! But we also did some traveling, spent time with family and friends, and ate lots of great food!
April was probably our busiest month for a few different reasons. First, Stephen, Elise, and Rebecca headed to Toronto for Passover with the whole Green family including Stephen’s mom Tanya, sister Ellen, nephews and their wonderful families; and also to see a production of THE HOUSE OF MARTIN GUERRE by Elise’s good friend Leslie Arden. We also got to visit with lots of friends from our Toronto days including Ralph Small and Suzanne Bennet, Jim Betts, the Berlin family, Elise’s old cohort in Script Lab – Virginia Reh – and a great afternoon and meal at Leslie’s farm.
We then headed to Kansas City for the long-planned Celebration of the Life of June Dewsberry. It was incredible to have so much family gathered together to remember Mom – and below you will find a link to a full page of pictures and videos from that amazing event. We all continue to miss her very much – and keep her in our hearts always.
Rebecca continues to love her job as Southern California Organizer for Bend the Arc Jewish Action, and to organize many important events – such as a special showing of the new movie JUST MERCY which shines a light on the fight to eliminate the death penalty in this country. During the summer, Rebecca and Carl – after a lot of thought and consideration – decided amicably to part ways, and Rebecca (and Potemkin the cat!) moved back in with Mom and Dad while deciding what the future might hold.
Elise headed back to Kansas City to celebrate Art’s 90th birthday; and Stephen visited Tanya for her 93rd birthday. We are both blessed to have them in our lives!
New Musicals Inc. had a busy year – as always – including lots of greenscreen shoots of short musicals for the internet. Elise started out the year as the “Bad Old Woman in Black” as part of the “Tales from a Darkening Wood” series; and went on to do several episodes of the adorable Edna Fervor singing little known second verses of standard American songs; and shooting a whole bunch of episodes as Ann Reeves Jarvis in “The Learned Ladies” – a series celebrating female writers and composers of the antebellum south. NMI also stormed the Hollywood Fringe Festival again with two full length musicals – THE BULLY PROBLEM and HELL’S KITTY, and then no fewer than EIGHT new 15 minute musicals (Elise directed four of them). Also part of the Fringe, Elise starred in the one-woman four-character new musical MOTHER’S MOTHERS’ DAY – written especially for her by colleague Scott Guy. Elise played the real-life character of Anna Jarvis, the actual founder of Mother’s Day, who spent the rest of her life trying to get it un-founded because she was so unhappy about its commercialization. (And yes, in case you are wondering about the connection, Ann Reeves Jarvis from THE LEARNED LADIES was the real-life mother of Anna Jarvis of MOTHER’S MOTHERS’ DAY – and is also a character in that musical!) We rounded out the summer with our bi-ennial STAGES Festival of New Musicals, for which Elise directed three of the six presentations.
NMI also obtained funding to hire a part-time Administrative Assistant – Troy Barboza – whom we knew well from when he starred in our 2018 Fringe production of MANSON’S GIRLS. Troy has been a great addition to the NMI family – helping with greenscreen shoots, organizing the place, and generally helping Elise and Scott get even more stuff done.
Stephen celled his way through the year with “Sunday In the Park with George”, Disneyland’s Candlelight Concerts, the Long Beach Symphony, the Beverly Hills Music Festival, and so many other performances – as well as coaching with the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and contracting for the Redlands Symphony. Stephen’s quartet even spent a week in Corsicana, Texas doing concerts and master classes for students.
In the late summer, Rebecca headed out on a cross-country trip to visit lots of friends and family – in the Bay Area, Toronto, New York, DC, and Nashville. Potemkin was so glad when she got home!
In the early fall, Elise introduced Rebecca to NMI’s Administrative Assistant, Troy – with the thought that they might both be looking for new living arrangements. They went out a few times to see if they might be compatible roommates – but soon discovered that life had more in store for them than being just roommates. Troy is a lovely, kind, compassionate young man – and he is already starting to feel like one of the family!
In October, Stephen joined Elise on her annual pilgrimmage to New York for the NAMT Festival of New Musicals; and they were able to take in several Broadway shows (Tootsie, Hadestown, Moulin Rouge, Beetlejuice, and To Kill A Mockingbird) and to eat a LOT of great food while staying at an extraordinarily convenient Air BnB in mid-town.
The fall continued with our usual pumpkin carving; attendance at the special Galaxy Quest anniversary retrospective; visiting cousin Deb for dinner while Mark and family were visiting; enjoying a cabaret evening by A Little New Music, and ending the year with NMI’s annual online auction.
In December, NMI got a completely re-designed WEBSITE (well, alright, Elise completely re-designed the website, it didn’t just happen miraculously on its own!); we had a fun family Hannukah (a first for Troy!); and after sharing Chinese food at the Green Apple China Bistro with Rebecca, Troy, and Rebecca’s college roommates Alda and Arpita on Xmas Eve Day – Rebecca and Elise attended the FIDDLER ON THE ROOF SING-ALONG in the evening – what fun!
Elise had a trip planned to Kansas City between Xmas and New Year’s – and it turned out that Art was in rehab at the time, after suffering from low sodium as a side effect of heart medications. Rebecca came along – and even helped Dad do his exercises at rehab. But Dad’s time at rehab was short-lived as he made an amazingly fast and full recovery – and is now back at home – with Bruce and Peg alternating spending time to keep him company.
The new year is already moving swiftly – and the plans for 2020 are coming into place – including Rebecca and Troy on the look-out for an apartment to move into together (with Potemkin!) – and Elise and Stephen busily planning an amazing trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu for the summer.
We wish all of you continued good health and happiness – and we watch anxiously as our country navigates through difficult times that are likely only to get more contentious during this very important year.
Much love to you all!
Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca
Above: Waiting for the sing-along Fiddler on the Roof on Xmas Eve. Below: the Green family at Passover.
Below is a picture of Fred conducting a choir of cousins at June Dewsberry’s Celebration of Life in April in Kansas City. For a whole page about that event (including a video), please visit CELEBRATION OF LIFE.
Above: Art home from the hospital for Xmas breakfast with Bruce and Cara. Below: Stephen, Elise, and Rebecca enjoying a scrumptious Indian buffet on the anniversary of June’s passing – a very fitting way to remember – Mom would definitely approve!
(Above and right) Stephen coaching a young cellist.
ABOVE: Elise in the new musical MOTHER'S MOTHERS' DAY - performed at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. BELOW: The robe that Elise HAND SEWED for that performance!
Above is a short trailer from Elise’s performance in MOTHER’S MOTHERS’ DAY. If you want to see the whole performance (only 33 minutes long!) visit Elise’s PERFORMANCES page.