DIY Wood Chargers

DIY Wood Chargers

12 Days of Christmas DIYs // A Well Crafted Party

This post is the forth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “DIY Copper Dinnerware”)


Easy, DIY Wood Chargers for your Holiday Tables // A Well Crafted Party

When working on the tablescape for the natural holiday collaboration with fellow Portland Blogger Suzannah of Create/Enjoy I really wanted to bring in more natural elements to the table that I hadn’t seen everywhere before. We discussed creating a natural linen table cloth or place mats. But, I wanted the pretty dark wood of Suzannah’s table to show through with the greenery, so I didn’t like either of those ideas. Then, suddenly, it came to me in one fell swoop while walking the aisles of Orchard Supply Hardware in Tigard, Oregon…. WOOD.

We had already used a big tree round as a stand for candles in the party. And, had I the right saw I might have taken the time to cut thin rounds from the tree to use for these chargers. Never to make things too hard on myself I decided to get a 1/4 inch thick piece of wood from Orchard and cut them into 12X12 squares. I liked the difference in shapes on the table, the wood had a darker side and lighter side so I could choice what looked best for the table, and they could double as platters for decor, food or drinks!

After a quick sanding, lacquer and copper edging these made for simple and beautiful holiday chargers. Plus, they’ll look fabulous on the table all year long!

DIY Wood Charger Supplies // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Wood Chargers:

Supplies: (affiliate links below)

  • Latex Gloves
  • 12X12 Wood “squares” cut from your choice of wood that is 1/4 of an inch thick*
  • Fast-Drying Polyurethane – I used MiniWax in Clear Satin, but a nice glossy one would look good too! I got a brush on style of polyurethane rather than a wipe on style. If you choose a different poly than I just follow the directions on the can rather than my instructions below!
  • Copper Leafing Pen
  • Sponge Paint Brush
  • Sanding tool of your choice (You can use paper or a small sander. You don’t need much to get this job done. I used a 180 Sanding Sponge.)

*Wood cutting tip: We got a large sheet of wood for less than $10 at Orchard Supply Hardware. The wood can then be cut down into the 12X12 squares. To cut, measure your wood and draw your lines using a straight edge and pencil. This will make cutting the wood MUCH easier. Cut on the side you’d prefer to have up because the other side may splinter a bit. Follow all safety instructions from your cutting tool of choice. You may also be able to find wood pre-cut at crafting stores. The cost will be more however!

DIY Wood Chargers // A Well Crafted Party

Directions: 

  1. Take your wood squares and sand them lightly. Pay extra attention to any splinters that may be poking out and the edges of the boards.
  2. Wipe down the boards to get all dust off.
  3. Edge the boards with your copper leafing pen or a paint color of your choice. I used copper to go with the copper dinnerware I made for the tablescape.
  4. Put on your latex gloves and use the sponge paint brush to brush on a layer of the polyurethane to the top of your chargers in a well-ventilated space. The smell is CRAZY. Go ahead and get the sides while you are at it. Follow the directions to the polyurethane to dry your chargers. Mine took about an hour before I could touch them and get the other side. Once dry, brush on a layer of poly to the other side. Repeat these steps until you feel like your chargers are to the sheen/protectability that you’d like. I did 3 coats.

NOTE: These are not food safe. Do not put food directly on these boards. Do not cut food on these boards. These are merely a decorative item for a table. I like the idea of using these as a tray for a buffet table by setting a pretty platter or plate of food right on top!

DIY Wood Chargers // A Well Crafted Party

Do you want to see more from this Holiday Styled Shoot?

Photos from this project was from a recent Holiday Styled Shoot collaboration between myself and Suzannah of Create/Enjoy and Macey from Motormouth Studio. Check out my main post with links to DIY projects & recipes: “Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables”. A big thank you to Orchard Supply Hardware for supplying the tools and supplies to make this craft. Check them out on Facebook!

DIY Copper Dinnerware

DIY Copper Dinnerware

12 Days of Christmas DIYs // A Well Crafted Party

This post is the third in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Festive Holiday Drink Garnish”)


DIY Copper Flatware // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Copper Flatware Knock-Offs

I’m obsessed with all the beautiful mixed metal, copper, rose gold and gold dinneware I’ve seen becoming more and more popular. Someday I hope to own some of these beauties from West Elm, but until then, I wanted something to give a similar feel at a fraction of the cost. These mixed metal DIY dinnerware ended up costing around $3 per set buying all supplies needed (I got enough for 8 sets)!

Now, I’ve seen a few different posts on spraypainting silverware. They are all GREAT! I wanted to share my process and what I did differently. One, I used copper instead of gold! I know that this isn’t a huge difference, but I’ve seen this done in gold before and wanted to give it my own small spin. I love gold, but the copper flatware gives the look a little bit of depth. Second, I used a silverware that was already two-tone. The two piece flatware from Ikea had a plastic handle that set it apart and when painted looked purposeful and helped keep it safer for eating.

A big thank you to the Tigrad, Oregon Orchard Supply Hardware store for the the painting supplies!

DIY Copper Flatware Step One // A Well Crafted Party

Copper Flatware DIY Supplies:

(Affiliate Links Below)

DIY Copper Flatware Step Two // A Well Crafted Party

Copper Flatware DIY Directions:

  1. Make sure your flatware is clean and dry. Do this with your gloves on to prevent the oils from your fingers messing up your paint.
  2. Cover the eating utensil part of the flatware with painters tape. Make sure this is completely covered— spray paint is not food-safe.
  3. Put the dinnerware on a flat surface and spray according to the directions on the spary paint can. This may take a couple of coats, do so with 15 seconds in between coats.
  4. Turn the dinnerware using the paint-tape covered part of the flatware. Continue spraying and turning until the flatware is completely covered.
  5. Let flatware dry completely. Use your paint directions for drying times. The Krylon Premium paint was dry within 15 minutes, could recoat at anytime, and can be handled after 2 hours. This is not common for many spraypaints.
  6. After the flatware has dried completely and is completly covered in the copper color, cover in a clear coat according to the directions on the spraypaint.

I don’t have a dishwasher so I have not tested the flatware in the dishwasher. I hand wash carefully trying not to scratch the paint!

DIY Copper Silverware // A Well Crafted Party

Do you want to see more from this Holiday Styled Shoot?

Photos from this project was from a recent Holiday Styled Shoot collaboration between myself and Suzannah of Create/Enjoy and Macey from Motormouth Studio. Check out my main post with links to DIY projects & recipes: “Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables”

Festive Holiday Drink Garnish

Festive Holiday Drink Garnish

12 Days of Christmas DIYs // A Well Crafted Party

This post is the second in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Natural Green & White Holiday Party + Free Printables“)


Festive Holiday Drink Garnish // A Well Crafted Party

A good garnish will take a simple boring beverage (take, water for instance) and make it something special. I like most of my garnishes to be simple to make, because who has time to spend on creating intricate and fussy drink garnishes? Not me!

Festive Holiday Drink Garnish with Cranberries

To make your water glass pop or to give a festive twist to a Vodka and Soda on the rocks, try adding cranberries to your ice-cube tray and making cranberry ice.

Cranberry Ice Instructions // A Well Crafted Party

There is actually one or two steps in this ultra-easy DIY because cranberries will float the the top of your ice cubes and look pretty silly in your drink unless you take the time to freeze in steps. Why not just throw cranberries in a pitcher? They’ll all float to the top! The ice cubes will float as well, but it will look more evenly distributed throughout the pitcher.

Cranberry Ice Cube DIY // A Well Crafted Party

Directions for making cranberry filled ice cubes:

  1. Using distilled water or previously boiled water (freezes more clearly than tap water) fill your ice cube tray about 1/4 of the way full.
  2. Drop in a handful of cranberries in each cube area.
  3. Freeze (you don’t need to freeze overnight, but you do want the ice cubes to be solid before adding more water or partial cubes will float up.)
  4. After freezing add more water (fill until the cubes are 3/4 full, leaving a little space for more water) and cranberries. Freeze again.
  5. Finally, fill with just water so that the cranberries are entirely covered.

This doesn’t need to be perfect. I had a few cubes where I didn’t layer quite right and the berries poked out of the bottom a bit. It still looked festive in the water pitcher!

Cranberry Drink Garnish DIY // A Well Crafted Party

Need an ice-cube tray?

(affiliate links)

When discussing this DIY project with someone else I found out that not everyone has ice cube trays! Some people have super cool machines that will MAKE ice for them! (AMAZING.) But, you will need ice cube trays to make this project work. I like the idea of trying out the large cube trays (like the ones in the above picture) or a spherical tray to make a festive ice ball!

Do you want to see more from this Holiday Styled Shoot?

Photos from this project was from a recent Holiday Styled Shoot collaboration between myself and Suzannah of Create/Enjoy and Macey from Motormouth Studio. Check out my main post with links to DIY projects & recipes: “Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables”

 

Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables

Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables

12 Days of Christmas DIYs // A Well Crafted Party

This post is the first in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! 


Natural Holiday Party with DIY Elements // A Well Crafted Party

Natural Green & White Holiday Party Styled Photoshoot

Each holiday I like to mix it up when it comes to decorations. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the type of person that has a set of decorations that I’ll use year after year. Don’t get me wrong… I keep all my decorations and I try to utilize many of them each year. I do however like to change color schemes, decor placement and gift wrap ideas throughout the year.

My good friend Suzannah from Create/Enjoy came to me with the idea of creating a very simple and natural holiday scene for a collaboration between our two blogs and the hardware and gardening store Orchard Supply Hardware. I was beyond thrilled to work on a new-to-me holiday style. Macey from Motormouth Studio was kind enough to photograph our styled shoot and her photos show how beautiful this simple dinner party showcases natural holiday elements.

Natural Holiday Party with DIY Elements // A Well Crafted Party Natural Holiday Party with DIY Elements // A Well Crafted Party Natural Holiday Party with DIY Elements // A Well Crafted Party

We stuck to a general colorscheme of black and white with the natural elements of green, red and brown woods to create this look. One of the best parts of using natural elments in your holiday decor is that you can incorporate a variety of colors and textures into your event. Orchard Supply in Tigard, Oregon helped us find just the right natural elements to create this look including gorgeous 15 foot natural garlands, small potted trees and a beautiful rosemary bush shaped into a christmas tree and in a clay pot. They also helped us create many of the DIYs that I’ll be featuring this with some painting & hardware supplies!

Suzannah even created a festive array of party appetizers just for this event! She’ll be sharing the paleo-approved, dairy & grain free appetizers on her blog soon. I’ll be sure to link to her recipes on this post as they go live!

Check out Suzannah’s post about this party here:

Free Printable Holiday Appetizer Menu // A Well Crafted Party Free Printable Holiday Menus // A Well Crafted Party

Natural Hand-Drawn Holiday Party Printables + DIY

I’ve really been into hand drawn elements in many of my parties lately. So, when we decided to go with a very natural look, I kept imagining hand-drawn pinecones on the menus. I created a printable set for this party and am offering it free to readers!

Free Printable Holiday Party // A Well Crafted Party

Directions: To use the printables click on the downloadable item and save to your computer. Print on white cardstock and cut out for use! I’ve uploaded both a PDF version with two items per page for you to print and hand write your menus/invitation information. I’ve also uploaded JPG version that you can open up in a photo editing program (such as Photoshop or PicMonkey.Com) and add your text in digitally.

Bookmark or Pin this post because I’ll be coming back to add in all of the fun DIY posts that came out of this photoshoot!

(Cool arrows on photos via Freepik)

ClassPass has launched in Portland!

ClassPass has launched in Portland!

ClassPass Portland Review // A Well Crafted Party

ClassPass in Portland—My First ClassPass Class:

(Say that ten times fast!)

ClassPass is a fitness membership program that allows members to try several different types of classes and studios in the area. The ClassPass in Portland just launched mid-November and I was asked to try out the membership this month. Just when I was trying to push myself to work on my fitness more this opportunity landed in my inbox… I couldn’t say no even if I wanted to!

I’ve not been thrilled about group fitness classes in the past and was very nervous reserving my first class. But, the experience was awesome and I can’t wait to go again. My goal this month testing out ClassPass is to try as many different studios as I can fit into my schedule both to see how the process goes and to try out new-to-me fitness styles.

Candlelight Yoga at The Art of Movement // A Well Crafted Party

 

I signed up for Candlelight Yoga at The Art of Movement on SE Divsion in Portland. The later start time was perfect for my work schedule and the idea of doing yoga surrounded by candlelight sounded incredibly relaxing. It was an all-levels class which worried me at first because I am most definetely a beginner. I had nothing at all to worry about. The instructor was fabulous about suggesting (and showing) different moves that might be better for beginners and then working her way up for the class members who needed more of a challenge. She also took care in suggesting different moves to avoid back pain, wrist pain, knee pain… etc.

Checking in was a breeze. Since it was my first time at that location I had to sign a standard release, but my name was on the list and I didn’t have to explain that I was part of ClassPass.

About ClassPass:

  • ClassPass membership costs $99 a month.
  • ClassPass is currently located in NYC, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, and San Diego.
  • You can workout in ANY city on ClassPass.  We just announced ClassPass Flex (read more here!).
  • It is an alternative to a gym membership.
  • Allows you UNLIMITED classes at participating studios. You are limited to 3 classes per studio per month.  However, once the next month starts, you can visit that favorite studio again for 3 times!
  • Allows you to build a workout routine full of variety visiting studios of all types (barre, yoga, pilates, indoor cycling, bootcamps, martial arts, strength training and more!).
  • Provides studios with a marketing platform to get their name and classes out there to a group of fitness enthusiasts actively looking for new classes in their area.
  • Helps studios focus on what they love to do–teach–while ClassPass helps them grow their business!

More About ClassPass:

  • The ClassPass website is beautiful and allows for you to schedule your classes pretty instanaeously. I did have problems trying to schedule my first class, but switched from my Google Chrome browser to Firefox and it worked great. It was likely a small glitch, but if you have problems signing up for a class I’d just suggest switching browsers.
  • Like many local classes, cancelling without enough notice comes with a fee.
  • Going on vacation? You can put your membership on hold. You’ll be charged a $19 hold fee to hold for the month, but you’ll be able to take 1 class that month as well.
  • There is no commitment for the membership. However, if you do deactivate your account and then want to reactivate there is a $79 reactivation fee.
  • Read even more at the ClassPass FAQ page!

A big thank you goes out to ClassPass for giving me the opportunity to try out their services. I will try some more classes and post again about my experience near the end of my month!

Dealing with Change

Dealing with Change

Thoughts on Change // A Well Crafted Party

Change… it happens whether we want it to or not. How we handle change says a lot about how successful we will be in life.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

If I were to take a test about how well I handle change then I’d pass with flying colors.

[Tweet “If I were to take a test about how well I handle change then I’d pass with flying colors.”]

In most cases, I’d say I embrace change. Nothing in my home is placed permanently; everything has to be easy to move on a whim because I enjoying changing the way things look often.  I seriously have never had the same hairstyle twice since I have been able to enjoy choosing my own hair styles. Heck, I don’t even like eating the same meal two weeks in a row, much less as leftovers the next day. Thank goodness my husband likes leftovers.

See, you might even say I like change. I should be a total success at this whole life thing, right?

[Tweet ” I like change. I should be a total success at this whole life thing, right?”]

Thoughts on Change // A Well Crafted Party

The one thing that all of the changes that I like have in common is the fact that I have control over these changes. I like change that I have control over. I will even CHOOSE change to exert some control when all of life’s changes fly at me. (See the impromptu new hair-do for example!)

Thoughts on Change // A Well Crafted Party

This year has been awesome. It has been challenging. It has been incredibly sad and it has been deliriously happy. But, holy crap, it has been a year of change.

I’m working through the changes one moment at a time. Afterall…

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

I’m also trying to encourage myself to be open to becoming the change because…

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

And…

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Tell me, how do you deal with change? Do you feel you are open to change?

 

 

Saturday Spirits: Bloody Mary Bar with Powell & Mahoney

Saturday Spirits: Bloody Mary Bar with Powell & Mahoney

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

Disclosure: Powell & Mahoney shared a  complimentary bottle of their Limited Bloody Mary mix for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Links may be affiliate links. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog. Thanks for reading! 

Anyone else have the realization that this is the last weekend before the crazy hits? Just me? Couldn’t be.

This weekend is my prep weekend to make it through the next two months. On my calendar I’ve got 3 parties, two photoshoots, 1 fun holiday blog series (with 12 free printables!), holiday visitors, holiday gifts to buy… well, you get the idea. Today is all about prepping the house, the blog, and my holiday gift/card lists. Bring on the bloody marys!

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

Make a Quick Bloody Mary Bar for Busy Holiday Prep Days

Sometimes I like to take the time to make my own bloody mary mix. I enjoy trying different spices and ingredients. However, I’m a big believer in making life as easy as possible while preserving the tastiness… so, when I find a good bloody mary mix I stock up to bring out as needed. This Siracha Bloody Mary Mix by Powell & Mahoney is exactly what I’d make for myself…. without all the work!

The holiays are surrounded by days where a quick bloody mary bar will be welcome to all involved. Having the family over for a day of cooking for Thanksgiving? Set up the bloody mary bar and a coffee bar for a fun way to start Thanksgiving. Lots of adults trying to stay awake on Christmas morning? Make the early morning wake up easier by setting out your favorite bloody mary mix, some Vodka and/or Tequila and some easy garnishes. DONE.

Easy Bloody Maria // A Well Crafted Party

Lately I’ve really been digging Bloody Marias instead of my normal bloody mary. What’s the difference? Tequila!

Easy Bloody Maria or Easy Bloody Mary

Ingredients: 

  • Glass with Ice
  • Rimming Salt (optional)
  • 1 1/4 oz Tequila (for Bloody Maria) OR 1 1/4 oz Vodka (for Bloody Mary)
  • 4 oz Bloody Mary Mix (I used Powell & Mahooney Limited Sriracha Bloody Mary Mix)
  • Garnishes of choice! I used Bacon, pickled carrots, jalapeno olives, salami, lemons & limes. Other garnishes that would be great include celery, pickles, pickled green beans… the list goes on and on.

Directions: 

  1. Rim glass with salt (optional) by rubbing a lemon around the edge and dipping into rimming salt
  2. Pour Bloody Mary Mix & Liquor of choice over ice
  3. Stir mixture
  4. Top with Garnish & Enjoy!

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

 

Okay, now I’m off to work on that to-do list!

What are your plans for this weekend before the holiday business begins?

 

 

 

Snapshots: Howloween at the Oregon Zoo

Snapshots: Howloween at the Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo at Halloween // A Well Crafted Party

Oregon Zoo at Halloween // A Well Crafted Party

 

Halloween at the Oregon Zoo is “Howloween”

You thought I spelled it wrong in the title, didn’t you? “How”loween was the Oregon Zoo’s costumed, Halloween themed educational scavenger hunt. We visited different areas of the zoo to learn about many of the animals and get stickers and treats! Kiddo dressed as a crab and had a lot of fun roaming the zoo as one of the animals!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to bring my little guy, my visiting mom, and husband to participate in Howloween at the Zoo. The educational scavenger hunt was fun for the kid and kept us moving along throughout the zoo. It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Oregon Zoo. So, I won’t wax poetic.

I will say that it gets my vote as a fabulous way to spend the day with the family. I’d highly suggest renting one of their strollers if you have a little one. It saved us from having to schlep our stroller in and out, the kid thought it was fun, and it made the whole experience much better than the times we’ve gone and tried to walk around with a toddler.

Did you miss out on Howloween? Well, here is some more zoo fun:

Trick or Meat: See an Amur tiger get fed pumpkins at 10:31 AM on 10/31!

Zooliner: The Zooliner is BACK! Well, almost… the Zoo just announced that the Zooliner Locomotive is “on track” to be ready to be back in November. I’m excited that it will be back just in time for Zoo Lights!

Oregon Zoo at Halloween // A Well Crafted Party Oregon Zoo at Halloween // A Well Crafted Party

Oregon Zoo at Halloween // A Well Crafted Party

Free Printable Vampire Portraits

Free Printable Vampire Portraits

Free Vampire Portraits from A Well Crafted Party

It is almost Halloween… can you believe it? I’ve been prepping for our annual Halloween party and have been so swamped with preparations that I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit down in front of my computer for any extended period of time. If you are feeling just as swamped as I am then you might need a few last minute Halloween decoration ideas! Hey, you may even appreciate getting some for free.

Using vintage images, I created a few Vampire Portraits that you can print off and put in frames around your home. How do I know what a vampire looks like in a portrait? Well that is easy! Vampires don’t show up in mirrors or film of course. These vampires sit in front of the camera to produce eery images of people without descernable bodies.

Free Vampire Portraits from A Well Crafted Party Free Vampire Portraits from A Well Crafted Party

Vampire Portrait Free Printables

Directions:

  1. Download the image of your choice (see below)
  2. Print – You can print these off on your home computer and cut out or you can print at any photo processing source.
  3. Frame!

Downloads:

  1. Male Vampire 1
  2. Male Vampire 2
  3. Woman Vampire 1
  4. Woman Vampire 2

Vintage Portrait of a Lady via Tony Alter’s Flickr the rest are Public Domain images via Wikipedia

Portland Center Stage presents Dreamgirls

Portland Center Stage presents Dreamgirls
Art by Julia McNamara

Art by Julia McNamara

Disclaimer: I was provided with complementary tickets by Portland Center Stage so that I may experience Dreamgirls before sharing my experience with you here on the blog. All opinions are my own. Keep reading for a discount so that you can see the show as well! 

Dreamgirls at Portland Center Stage in town until November 2!

A little tidbit about me that you might not of known… I’ve ALWAYS been interested in theater. I love watching the lights go down, hearing the hush of a crowd, and being delighted with the talents of people that have prepped and worked all towards that performance. There is just nothing like watching live theater. I’ve never really been someone to act in a play. I auditioned once in college… let me tell you, an Irish accent is NOT easy. Though I was never really quite right for the onstage talent, I loved participating in the creation of a show and watching how everyone worked together to change reality for the course of a show. So, when Portland Center Stage asked if I wanted to check out their production of Dreamgirls I jumped at the opportunity. I’m so glad I did!

I had never seen Dreamgirls before, either on stage or in movie form. I knew that it was a musical about a trio of women loosely based on The Supremes. But, that is about it! Now I want to see the movie and any and all productions of this show going forward. It was such a treat, and not for the reasons I originally assumed it would be! If you are in the Portland area, and like musicals, then I’d highly recommend this production! But, don’t let your location stop you from reading on… you can always watch Dreamgirls the movie!

Dreamgirls at Portland Center Stage // A Well Crafted Party

L-R: Lexi Rhoades (Lorrell Robinson), Mary Patton (Deena Jones) and Antoinette Comer (Michelle Morris) in “Dreamgirls” at Portland Center Stage. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.
“Dreamgirls” Music by Henry Krieger, Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen, Directed by Chris Coleman

It is more than just three women singing…

I expected to go into the show and be wow’d by some spectacular female voices. And, while I was wow’d by some pretty talented women (get to that later) I was unexpectedly blown away by some beautiful and FUN male-led songs! The beginning of the show the ladies didn’t quite have their voices yet. (Little did I know, because remember I had never seen this before, that was part of the plan!) I enjoyed the first number with the women being introduced to the stage. But, when Calvin Scott Roberts playing C.C. (Claridge Conrad) White and Rodney Hicks playing Curtis Taylor, Jr. began to sing Cadillac Car with David Jennings playing Jimmy (James Thunder) Early– WOW. I loved each and every song that these three men sang together. Each had great stage presence and really sold their characters all while hitting their songs out of the theater.

Dreamgirls from Portland Center Stage // A Well Crafted Party

The cast of “Dreamgirls” at Portland Center Stage. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.
“Dreamgirls” Music by Henry Krieger Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen Directed by Chris Coleman

Then you really hear the women sing…

In the beginning I wasn’t entirely impressed with the songs that the women were singing. Little did I know… that was part of the play! As the show goes on the women really start singing. While they clearly had talent in the beginning, they just hadn’t hit their groove as a group! They had me hoodwink perfectly. At the end of the first act when Nattalyee Randall playing Effie Melody White belts out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” I had tears in my eyes. All the women brought it on stage and I wasn’t disappointed by a single performance. The most exciting performance, for me, was by Mary Patton playing Deena Jones. (I don’t want to give much of the story away just in case you, like me, had never seen anything about the show. I want you to be as surprised as I was!)  When Deena, one of the background singers of the trio is given the opportunity to step up as a lead there is a lot to discover. Patton plays demure, quiet and sweet Deena Jones so well in the beginning and hides her powerhouse of a voice during her first song as lead so well that I honestly didn’t see how this fictional group would ever be convincing as a popular musical trio. As she starts to take hold of her inner diva (just a bit) her voice suddenly takes over the entire room. It is gorgeous and powerful.

See a sneak peek of the show  below:

Dreamgirls: the trailer from Portland Center Stage on Vimeo.

More about Dreamgirls:

  • Fun facts about the PCS production learn how the production included- “49 IKEA mixing bowls, 125 costume looks, 406 pairs of fake eye lashes, 550 lighting units …
    and 1,000 condoms!?!?!”
  • Dreamgirls Review from Jane of In The Pink & Green- “I ended up being really blown away by the talented cast for this show! Seriously, every single person had such an incredible voice and I was extremely impressed by the casting!”

Get a Discount to the Show!

Portland Center Stage is offering my Portland area readers a chance to see Dreamgirls with a discount! Use the code “PDXBLOGS” to get $5 off any showing. Or, select a Tuesday show or the Halloween showing to receive your ticket for just $20! Click here to buy your ticket today!

More from Portland Center Stage:

The Typographers Dream is showing in the Ellen Bye Studio from Oct. 4 to November 16.

The Typographer’s Dream follows the story of a stenographer, a geographer and a typographer. During a career-oriented presentation, it becomes hilariously clear that their personal issues just so happen to correspond with their jobs. As with his hit play The Receptionist, playwright Bock tackles the everyday environment of the workplace from a completely unique, and very witty, perspective.  ”

Tell me, have you ever seen Dreamgirls? What did you think? Comment below.