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Neptune Theatres Sweeney Todd

17 Sep

Until Wednesday, my knowledge of Sweeney Todd was limited to the movie “Jersey Girl” where Ben Affleck’s daughter plays Sweeney Todd in a school play, and that hilarious opening scene in “The Office” where Andy comes in singing the theme song, with the cast of the play from Scranton.

So obviously I knew nothing about Sweeney Todd, which is disgraceful considering I love the theatre, but alas it’s the truth. So I was thrilled to have the chance to see Sweeney Todd at Neptune Theatre last week.

I was hooked from the moment it started. The vocal talent was incredible – I kid you not, their singing instilled my fear of Sweeney from the get go.

Without giving too much away, Sweeney Todd is “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” who kills many poor souls who visit his barber shop as he tries to seek revenge on the lawyer who raped his wife and forced his daughter to live with him – all while he was serving time in jail on false charges.

The story of Sweeney Todd is incredibly dark, yet the way it’s portrayed has you laughing all the way through. Mrs. Lovett, who becomes Sweeney’s partner in crime stole the show for me. She was the perfect balance of sweetness, optimism and naivety for Sweeney’s dark, disturbed nature.

To date, Neptune has never let me down with their sets. Sweeney Todd was no different. The dreary mood was set from the moment you walked in and you left thinking you just spent hours in 1846.

My favourite piece of the set was the barbers chair, so please do keep your eyes  on the victims who are thrown into the basement from Sweeney’s chair. I lost it every single time someone took the plunge. Like I mentioned, you laugh even at the darkest moments.

I absolutely loved Neptune Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd. A must see this season!

Some Hockey Humour For The Kids

4 Sep

A source close to Jared Keeso claims he was a hockey lover long before he starred as Don Cherry in CBC’s Keep Your Head Up Kid, The Don Cherry Story.

If that source is wrong, this YouTube gem should confirm things. Jared has written and produced his first YouTube short “Three Flames Fans On: The Offseason”. So check it out, share it with your friends.

If I could make this YouTube into a Pop Up Video, I would point out the the dog in his logo “Play Fun Games” is Gus. If you don’t know Gus you’re missing out.

Celebrity Spotting – Honeymoon Edition

26 Jul

I was lucky enough to just wrap up the best month of my life hands down. Had friends visiting from near and far, got married and went on a kick ass honeymoon.

Our honeymoon destination was a bit untraditional but we like to shake things up so we went to California.

While we weren’t on a star-seeking adventure, California is just spewing famous people that we happened to come across. So I figured I would share some of those with you!

Our first stop was Catalina Island. Yes. Home of the CATALINA WINE MIXER. I’m fairly certain that Step Brothers was not actually filmed on Catalina Island but an episode of The Bachelor was so there’s that.

Catalina Island is UNREAL. Super small, incredibly gorgeous and super relaxing. The seafood is fresh and the California wine was delectable.

One night after an incredible dinner we headed to the local karaoke bar (as you do) and took in some of the wonderful talent Catalina has to offer… Ok there was only one talent and his name was Troy. And he sang EVERY SONG. Except for when two guys rapped Candy Shop. You get the picture.

Anyway as we sit there I turn around to see a guy who looked famous but he also looked like every other surfer dude in California so I didn’t say anything. Next thing you know Troy is singing a Foo Fighters song and The Husband realizes it was Taylor Hawkins, former Alanis Morrisette drummer and current Foo Fighters rock star.

This is as close to Kurt Cobain as The Husband is ever getting so this was a big thing. The next morning bright and early we spot Taylor shirts off getting his day started off right. As The Husband was being respectful of Taylor’s family vacay he chose to shoot creepy paparazzo pics of his back instead….

We made our way back to the mainland where Whitney Port was having a sample sale. I scored the jackpot in the husband department because the second we plugged the GPS into our rental we were off to the Fashion District of LA. I did not expect Whitney Port to be there but sure enough there she was.

Scrap everything you think about ditzy reality stars  when it comes to her because Whitney Port is getting it done. Her office is huge and beautiful, she’s got quite a handful of employees and a crap load of gorgeous clothes. She was chatting with girls shopping and both of her sisters were working with her and she was anything but caught up in the fact that she also moonlights as a TV personality and seriously concerned about the well being of her business. I was incredibly impressed.

So now I’m only 2 degrees of separation from Lauren Conrad and 1 from Whitney Port. Sweeet.

We skipped down to San Diego and stumbled upon Comic-Con. Stumbled being a term I use loosely as it’s hard not to notice flocks of people dressed as Storm Troopers. Anywhoo we cruised around to find that the Vampire Diaries Panel had just wrapped and tons of teeny boppers were loosing their beans over the cast coming out.

Nina Dobrev gave the fans no love, but Ian Somerhalder was all about them. He took pics and when he got on the bus smooched the window and hammed it up. Kudos to him. I get that in public doing your thing you don’t want to be bugged, but Nina wouldn’t BE on TV if it weren’t for these kids ( Especially one Tara Wilcox) loving her. Give the kids a smile Nina!

Anyway check out The Husbands pics. He was pretty tickled that he was tall enough to get to take them.

Anyone remember How to Make it in America? We’ve got Lake Bell her hugging it out with the fans.

And lasty Emmy Rosum. I always think she’s Anne Hathaway…but alas.

While dining in San Diego we also saw David Hasselhoff but the camera was not ready. Sadly the Hoff is significantly skinnier in real life than one would expect. The age of the girl he was with however, was exactly what you’d expect.

The Husband and I next took in Disneyland. Would you get at that Winnie The Pooh trying to be all coy? That willy nilly silly old bear never got close enough for a hug. Oh bother.

The fun continued with a trip to The Price is Right. We couldn’t bring our camera’s in but we were seated in the front row and Drew Carey did not disappoint. He looks better than he ever has and he is a comedic genius. We didn’t get to “Come On Down” but we did get this sweet pic. Don’t mind the quality folks.

So that wraps up Celebrity-Spotting Honeymoon edition!

Sylvia and Jordan’s big day

6 Jul

We have documented a number of milestone moments over the past few years. We have had birthdays, engagements, new jobs and the birth of the best baby I know. Tomorrow will mark another of these with Sylvia’s wedding. We couldn’t be more excited to get dressed in our finest and celebrate this very special occasion but first we want to send Sylvia off in true This Needs to Stop fashion – with a list.

As Sylvia and Jordan get ready to enter into the wonderful world of newlyweds we wanted to offer some words of wisdom – and since Amy is the only one of us that is married, we felt it was only right that she provide you with some tips

1. Do go to bed angry. Whoever came up with the advice about not going to bed angry is a fool. I do my best sleeping when I’m embroiled in a festering rage. When you decide not to go to bed angry, you end up “talking” about your “feelings” and the next thing you know it’s 4:30 AM and you just found out WAY too much about your significant other’s preteen summer camp experiences and fear of seahorses. Then everyone’s tired and the cranky cycle continues. Go to bed pissed off, sleep on it and chances are you’ll wake up and A) not be able to remember why you were mad or B) realize the solution to your problem came to you in a dream.

2. Do not go on Oprah and jump on the furniture and profess your love for your husband or wife, no matter how great they are. It will not end well.

3. Do consume a lot of cupcakes on your wedding night. Like, four cupcakes (each) is a good amount. You don’t need to fit into a fancy suit or dress anymore. In fact, #3 should just be, “Do let yourself go”. Throw all but the most basic of personal hygiene to the wind.

4. Do have a response baked for the “So when are you having kids?” questions. Because you WILL be asked. Probably beginning during your wedding reception. Our answer was that Peter wasn’t allowed within 50 metres of any children but once his sentence was up we’d consider it.

5. Do create a joint Facebook account so you can keep tabs on each other’s online activity. Plus, when SylviaNJordan Beirnes comments on a post, nobody will actually know who’s leaving the comment and it doesn’t matter because YOU ARE NOW ONE! If you really want to have a solid relationship, do the same with your email address.

Congratulations to you both, we couldn’t be more excited for you. This world needs more love, love that is simple and lasting and this is exactly what you have. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness.

(Ps We are sorry in advance for crying at the wedding)

The Bee’s Knees – Lauren Oostveen – Joel Plasket Video Contest

20 Jun

So we all know that I love cats, cat videos, cat sweaters…. ok I’ll stop myself. But a fellow Haligonian Lauren Oostveen shares my love for cats so much so, that when the opportunity came up to make a music video for the Joel Plasket Video Contest she did hers with cats of all shapes and sizes.

It’s not only the fur balls that I love about this video –  but how she timed their hilarious behaviour with the lyrics of the song. And although Freddie Thumbcat is not in this video be sure to check out his doppleganger Toby.

That being said  – check out this video and like it on YouTube to help Lauren win a concert for her and 25 of her friends by the oh so talented Joel Plasket. Kitties and music. Doesn’t get much better than that.

The Bees Knees – The Bluenose II

15 Nov

When I was 10 we moved across the country and one of the first places my Dad insisted on taking us was to Lunenburg. We became fascinated with the Bluenose II and went on it so many times that summer that we were honored with “crew” pins. (Yes, I realize that likely every kid got pins but we earned those suckers!!)

Anyway, since then Lunenburg has become one of my favourite places to day trip to. In just under an hours drive you are in a place that feels far away from the bustle of every day life.

Over the summer we stumbled upon a hidden gem of Lunenburg. The place where the Bluenose II is being rebuilt. Yes this may not seem like breaking news but we had no idea you could go in and watch this piece of history get rejuvenated.

Visiting this site is completely free and there are always staff members willing to talk to you about every aspect of the boat – old and new. While very little of the original Bluenose II remains, the fact that you can watch a boat of this size, built with this amazing craftsmanship is an opportunity that most don’t get in their lifetime.

Once you’ve been hooked on watching it’s progress in person, you can check out the build live on Nova Scotia Webcams.

The restored Bluenose II will be back in action in the Spring of 2012 just in time for Tall Ships!

Welcome Eli “Mini Wheats” Fraser

10 Nov

We have had an exciting few months here at This Needs to Stop. Our very own Amy Wheaton announced that she and her husband Peter were expecting their first baby. The lovely Ms. Creamer had recently become engaged. And in other news, Joel and I have been banned from two more Michael’s craft stores.

Today marks a very special day for us, as we welcome Amy and Peter’s baby boy, Eli, to the world. This is the first baby for us at TNTS and we couldn’t be more excited. And in honour of this very important day, we wanted to share some words of wisdom with Eli. We want to make sure he gets started on the right foot.

1. You have really great parents, and that makes your pretty damn lucky (p.s.: it’s ok that I said damn, your mom told me that I can swear in front of you for at least the first year).

2. Sometimes you are going to fall down, but that’s ok, because there are going to be a lot of people here cheering for you, and we will always make sure you get back up.

3. Owls are cool, you will understand this one when you get home.

4. Your mom is going to write about you on her blog, and so are we. But don’t worry, we will try to save the really embarrassing stuff for your birthday parties and other public events.

5. Friends are the best thing on this planet, so make lots, early and often.

6. Your father will teach you all you need to know about video games, so have fun!

7. As soon as you’re old enough to think about it, you’re going to think adults are really old and really weird. But here’s something you should know: adults, even your parents, feel like they’re still kids. True story.

First night of Pop Explosion! Pepper Rabbit and Ohbijou

20 Oct

Halifax Pop Explosion is finally here. We headed down to Reflections Cabaret Tuesday night to take in Pepper Rabbit and Ohbijou.

I’d like to pause for a moment, though, to discuss Reflections during Happy Hour: Like me, you may have only been to Reflections late, late at night, having missed the happy hour that ends at 1:00 am. You should be aware, then, that between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am the prices are straight up fantastic (we’re talking $3.25 for domestic bottles, and $2.75 for well shots).


We arrived in time for the beginning of Pepper Rabbit. After a hilariously long soundcheck, they started in, playing what seemed like a wonderful fusion of Wolf Parade and My Morning Jacket. It was my first time hearing them, so maybe my assessment is way off, but I quite liked what I heard. I’m really happy with this find so far, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of their stuff.

My only real negative about their set was that they were wearing jackets the whole time. It was roughly a million degrees in there, so it was surprisingly distracting to be imagining just how grotesquely hot they must have been.

After they wrapped up, we waited through another lengthy soundcheck (there seemed to be a series of miscommunications between the band and the guy on the board), and Ohbijou took the stage.

I was already a  little familiar with them, and they didn’t disappoint. They couple vocals with really, really great music (I love bands with violins or other stringed instruments).

Pop Explosion is off to a great start, so we’re pumped to check out more shows during the week. Stay tuned here, as we’re going to have posts up every day (we hope!).

Things that go Pop – it’s Halifax Pop Explosion time

17 Oct

HPX is the Halifax Pop Explosion, an international music festival and conference that presents 150 bands in 18 venues over 5-days to over 17,000 fans and industry delegates from around the world. And we at This Needs to Stop are thrilled to be taking in as many shows as possible during this year’s festival. We will be posting all week on the shows we are attending and keeping everyone looped in on all the great talent that will be here in Halifax.

Here are a few HPX tips to help fans make the most of this week –

HPX iPhone App – Download it , because  it’s free and it lets you share your HPX festival pics directly, tweet to HPX and send the link to your friends so they can join the fun with you. You can find it here

Follow them on Twitter – @halifaxpopx

Picking up your pass/wristband – You’ve got your pass purchased now where to pick it up?  Come to the festival HQ at the Citadel Halifax Hotel to pick up your pass/wristband from Oct 18-22 11am – 8pm.  The Citadel Halifax Hotel is located at 1960 Brunswick Street and is our official host hotel.

Capacity and getting into the venues –   Some advice from a pro: Come out early and you’ll get more from the experience, show up late for the party and risk being left out.

The Bees Knees – Theme Songs

6 Oct

One of the first things I thought of when I woke up this morning was – I forgot we have a theme song! After watching the first couple of episodes of New Girl I fell in love with the idea of having a theme song and was a little bit bummed that I didn’t have one. (Lucky for me my memory re-gifted me with ours this morning).

When you’ve got a theme song the world is your oyster and even on the toughest days it can bring a smile to your face – so long as you choose the right one. If you’ve never had a theme song before you might ask – well how does one go about choosing the appropriate song? We’re here to help you out.

Never pick your theme song when you’re mad.

If you are having an off-day and pick the wrong song chances are you’ve effed yourself for some time to come. For example. You’re down in the dumps and you decide hey – I’m going to go all Ally McBeal on myself, start smile therapy and give myself a theme song. Because you’re a bit down in the dumps you pick “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit. Now you’re stuck with negativity oozing through your veins as you walk down the street, not to mention a horrible mental picture of Fred Durst.

If you can’t get it out of your head – chances are it’s the right song.

Rebecca Black has earned her way into our heads for life because she sang a song about a day of the week that everyone is obsessed with. Every Friday for the rest of our lives we will wake up singing “Gotta get down on Friday”. And admit it, secretly you love it.

Pick a song you know all of the words to.

Often times people THINK they know the words to a song but it turns out they are horribly wrong. Let’s take “Battlefield” by Jordan Sparks. For the longest time I thought the line in the chorus went “You better go get your own love”. I heard this song over and over again on the radio busting out the lyrics as if I had written them. Then one day at the gym I ran into a friend who thought the lyrics were “You better go get your mama.” This got me thinking. Could I have the words horribly wrong? Is Jordan Sparks ready to throw down with her ex’s mama rather than telling him to beat it? I turned to Google only to find out the lyrics actually were “You better go get your armour”. So she’s still ready for a fight but at least it’s not with someone’s mom. So don’t make this mistake. Google your words. The last thing I want happening to you is to end up with a theme song with a chorus that you think is “Shamu, the mysterious whale” when it’s really “She moves in mysterious ways.” Got it?

Pick a song that you can choreograph sweet dance moves to.

Seriously. Why would you even consider having a theme song if you couldn’t burst into spontaneous dance while walking down the street? People live for those moments when everything is going so well they just start bopping around and next thing they know they’re part of some impromptu number from Grease in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon.

If you’re still feeling uninspired you can borrow ours for now!