Charles Troy, Broadway historian and graphic designer
There is the well-known thrill of the Broadway musical and the lesser-known thrill of what went into producing that show, the backstory, the history, the personalities. The acclaimed Broadway historian with a background in graphic design, Charles Troy brings the details of Broadway shows into focus rather literally through over fifty of his cleverly fashioned and well-researched multimedia presentations.
To hear his story in his own voice is a lovely introduction not only to this very charming man but to his style and wealth of knowledge. He recently opened Noah Griffin’s SF Bay Area production of Cole Porter in Paris: the Lost Songs, furnishing the audience with a little-known history of Cole Porter’s Paris years that shed a new light on old favorites of the Great American Song Book.
Sometimes a mother, quite by accident, does something life-changing for her daughter’s love life. Here one thing led to another with the regularity of the knee bone connected to the thigh bone. She had fallen on some cobblestones in Mexico and injured her leg badly enough to throw off her immediate plans which was to meet her daughter who was living in Europe. Well, she finally got there and had to wait for her daughter to finish a yoga class, but she did need to sit down. Chose the nearest restaurant, which was closed but threw herself on the kindness of the manager who did let her come in to sit down with the caveat that when they opened she would have to leave because the restaurant was booked. Good enough. She sat down. Just listen to this loving and respectful mother tell the rest of this adventure and see if you don’t want to throw yourself right into the hands of Cupid and let that golden arrow fall where it may. It does require faith in humanity and a welcoming nature. Thank you to this graceful mother.
Faith Fancher was an award winning journalist, an exceptionally beautiful and accomplished woman, and an innovator who took her private battle with cancer public in order to raise awareness about breast cancer, the disease that did claim her life.
Faith documented every aspect of her surgery and treatment, a powerful collection of moments that aired on KTVU, channel 2 as “Faith’s Story”. Although Faith died in 2003, she is not gone from our midst as she has left, in her wake, a team of devoted illustrious friends who are carrying on what she began- approaching the challenge of diagnosis and treatment with enough strength and knowledge to let fear recede into the background so attention can be focused on treatment.
Friends of Faith are at work all year long to help low-income women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need a variety of services, the kind that are meant to soften the thud of the diagnosis. In answer to, “What do I do now?” “ How do I pay my rent when I have to take time off for surgery,” and “What is the doctor talking about?” it is the Friends of Faith who have some answers and compassionate practical solutions. Friday October 3rd , from 5 – 9 is Weather and Wine, an evening with a variety of options involving an inclusive tour of ABC channel 7, meeting anchors and learning about technical aspects. All this with elegant food prepared by Chef Ivan Giansante and presented by Il Fornaio restaurant as well as wines from the cellar of Spencer Christian.
For other opportunities to celebrate the joys of life in Faith Fancher’s memory, take a look at http://www.faithfancher.org/volunteer.html and choose for yourself.
As soon as you hear the, “Hi, everybody, I’m Reverend Shawn,” you know you are in for a good, candid and emotionally educational time. His mother was not happy finding out he was gay back in the 70s. Understatement. She was furious.
He had girlfriends and knew he was supposed to get married and have children. Shawn’s truth is that prior to his first and inappropriate relationship with a man, he had no inkling. He was 14 and suddenly knew who he was and where to go for love. Gay bars. Did his mother know? No, she was not great at supervision, but he invited her to come with him as a way to tell his mother. He succeeded informing and infuriating her in one fell swoop. His family’s journey from abysmal ignorance to their eventual love and friendship is quite a story. Short version is that eventually she saw he was happy.
Unity minister Reverend Shawn Moninger of Norwalk Connecticut
Shawn Moninger was, years ago, an award winning lighting director for the NYC nightclub Don’t Tell Mama. Yes, he used to light people from without. Until he decided he had a far greater power to light people from within, and following that call he became an ordained minister for Unity Center for Practical Spirituality. He was nominated for an MAC award as a stand-up comedian.
And as laughter is often the most direct route to serious, Reverend Shawn is a brilliant guide on the difficult road to healing and recognition of one’s own innate goodness. He is smart, patient, easy to follow and easy to trust. The most defeated soul seems safe in Shawn Moninger’s spiritual hands.
Todd Lieman is an imaginative, conscious, creative man who understands what makes a day well lived and the benefits of specific gratitude expressed. He began by encouraging his young son Kolby to express each night three things for which he is grateful. And, because from the mouths of babes come some of our best insights, Todd took the challenge when Kolby asked him to “do some gratefuls”, which is what they called this practice.
Todd tweeted his gratitude and felt immediately better, and out of that grew a world of snowballing thankfulness. To listen to Todd talk about what is important in life, his Aha project and his own life lived in gratitude and honesty lets us know that a day does not have to be perfect to be well-lived. A day in which we can be present, do our best in the face of challenges, express gratitude and sometimes bring the darkness into the light without fear of negative reaction is a day well lived.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently published Sam Whiting’s story of Mica Jarmel-Schneider who decided, as his bar mitzvah project, to collect baseball gear to send to kids in Cuba. The start of this adventure was, of course, his generosity. The plot thickened with an astonishing adventure all because Mica never got a thank you note.
Noah Griffin born and raised in San Francisco, California has a national reach through his elegant musical performances and The Cole Porter Society he started
Noah Griffin wanted to join a Cole Porter Society. Simple like that, really. He is, after all, a singer drawn to the boundless elegance of Cole Porter music and lyrics. Noah and Cole share history and flair. Each is a Harvard Law School graduate, each has an easy elegance, a feel for euphony and subtle rhythms, winds an audience around their little fingers, and the list goes on. If you know Noah, you know that a Cole Porter Society is meant for him, and look for one he did.
Alas, not so simple after all. There was no Cole Porter Society. Give up? Turn away? Do something else? Not like Noah, a socially fearless fellow, to walk away from a chosen destination so he stared a Cole Porter Society. Simple like that, really. Not just “a” Cole Porter Society, but “The” Cole Porter Society, which has leapt from San Francisco, California through Cole Porter’s birthplace of Peru Indiana to New York. To listen to Noah talk about how The Cole Porter Society took off in what seems to be pretty much a flash from San Francisco to New York is a lesson in pursuing a goal and creating what you know has value just for the joy of the potential.
Prepare to be moved, surprised, and inspired as host Janet Gallin helps guests from all walks of life express themselves in letters that support, thank, or set things straight. Always enlightening, often cathartic, these are conversations you won’t want to miss. More...