Friday, December 30, 2011


Well readers, while most of the "kids" nowadays have "Swagger" I (as well as everyone else at the Casablanca) believe in the power of Swank.

Swank-  1) Very classy, and/or tasteful.  2) The coolest of cool. smoother than smooth
 Needless to say this Bar I found on Craigslist, was and is Swank.
Found on Craigslist in Prairie Village Kansas for $125, I got it for $100 and met up with the seller Thursday in Kansas City. At first from her three pictures in the ad I thought it was a homemade bar, but when we met up I discovered that it had a makers mark and wooden wheels!
 (Regency Bar Products. New York)
What I love about the fact the maker is "Regency" and it came from New York is that in the last show I worked on White Christmas one of the sets I worked on was "The Regency Room, of the Imperial Hotel in New York" that was a Ballroom and Bar, how coincidental and cool!
Initially  when the seller said "Oh its old"  I thought Yeah provably from the late 1960's or 70's. But much to my surprise and delight this thing is OLD!  Its all solid wood construction, measuring 39 inches high, 37 inches wide, and 18.5 inches deep. its has shelves and doors in it, and its covered in this beautiful red vinyl and detailed on the front with gold tacks. I think it was a STEAL! and It will so be placed in the Lounge of the Casablanca to house all of our new bar-ware.
Now readers, I can't even begin to tell you the slew of questions and opinions my mother gave me over this piece. "Well How much is it? Is that the best you could do? How are we gonna get it home? What do you need a bar for? Couldn't you just make one? I bet it will be tacky as all get out. I cannot believe your gonna pay $100 for THAT...." trust me, if it could be said, it was said.  When We finally meet up with the seller, (my family was in Cabela's Outdoor store shopping)  She put its together, we realize as an added bonus that was not in the Craigslist pictures that the Bar has sliding doors on it! I gladly give her the money and Patricia and I load it into the car. When my family comes back out we are bombarded with smart ass comments about "Oh that just LOOKS tacky, He turns 21 and now he NEEDS a bar, its ugly, I CANNOT believe you made that lady drive here to sell you THAT..." on, and on, and on until we get home.
It's not until we get home, and I have five seconds to myself to put the finished product together. Of course then everyone in the family has to clamber out onto my Aunts front porch to see it, and for the FIRST time Pat and I are met with a reception of...

"Oh how Classy, what a GREAT color, THAT IS NICE! Wow what a bargain you got on that. It will be PERFECT in your lounge. I love the tacks and the piping detail!"

*Sigh* Wouldn't it just be easier it they just trusted me? Haha

 Bottom line- I found it, I scored it, and I think I have the perfect place and set of glasses to go with it!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's A MAD MAD MAD MAD MEN Kind of Week!

(Our new set of  Libby "Gold Leaf" glasses!)
Well readers, hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas/ Holiday break! Im blogging LIVE from Kansas, for the first time ever! The Day after Christmas Patricia and I set out to do some thrifting in the small town where we're staying and BOY did she get a find.
What she found was two sets of the "Libby Gold Leaf" seen in the picture above from a still shot of Mad Men. What neat is this is also the set of glasses Don and Betty use for entertaining in the second season.
(seen here)
(A little bit closer now...)
Yup that's them! Even more A-mazing, is the fact the very next day (Tuesday) on our thrifting adventures in Lawrence KS I found the matching Decanter and "side bowls" tucked away on a bottom shelf. (After almost passing them by).
I could not believe my luck! Neither has a scratch on it, and all the gold leaf is perfect. We're hoping to find the smallest set of glasses to complete the "Don Draper" set, and maybe even a bar for the Lounge to keep all this in. Lets hope the luck we've been having holds out!

*  *  *
Something else all you "Mad Men" fans provably drool over out there, its the coveted "Chip-N-Dip" that shows up in season one. I've seen a few other blog friends find matches or close replica's, well now I'd liek to show you mine!
(This is my Rendition! Of the Actual Show prop below...)
(Actual show prop)
I know comparing the two is like potatoes and pineapples, BUT I like my version. The serving platter on mine is old, like Really old. It was one of my finds in the garage it was a Great Grandmothers. Its light weight and originally had a little fish that sat in the middle that was a toothpick holder (and has been long lost) So I found this little plastic tomato to put in the center, that can hold dip.
I think it will make an excellent veggie plate (seeing as how I received an honest-to-God Pyrex Chip and Dip for Christmas.) I see all of this brewing into a 21 and older "Cocktail Party" much like the  this summer at the Casablanca. Just picture it some classy drinks being mixed in the glasses, chips and dips in the Chip-N-Dip and Rumba and Samba records on the player! 

Now all we need is a Swanky Bar...
(Fingers Crossed!)


Monday, December 26, 2011

There's No Place Like Home...

(Fine food and a festive table!)
Well friends, Friday night a few of us gathered at the Casablanca for one last get together- a reuinion and homecoming of sorts!

(Dear friends Brett & Lydia)
If you recall, Lydia and Brett were married in our living room last summer. Soon after Brett was stationed at Little Rock Arkansas and this is the first trip they've made back, so OF COURSE we had to have dinner at the Casablanca!
(Lydia, Brett, Patricia, Margaret, Caitlin, Kelcie, & Disa)

For dinner we had a cavalcade of delights! I made chicken and dumplings, along with our nearly famous hash-brown casserole. Lydia made a baked potato dish, and everyone else had prepared a bevy of desserts.
(The neat cocktail napkins are a gift from Jamie over at MidCentury Madness )
Whats dessert with out coffee?! We gave the "I love Lucy" coffee Percolator a try, and what a cup of coffee it made- before the evening was over we'd brewed six pots!
(Served in the "I Love Lucy" Franciscan dishes that Missouri Michael gave me for Thanksmass)
(Brett & Lydia, they're kind of a big deal...)
After dessert we settled into the Den for a game of 'Apples to Apples' and we also presented our guests of honor with their Christmas presents!

 For Lydia, we got her a set of the Primary Nesting bowls, (a great starting piece for their vintage pyrex collection.) But we couldn't just give Lydia Pyrex and not Brett! He received his very own Pyrex coffee mug with a gold leaf eagle and stars pattern.

Well Continuing our "Pyrex Christmas" as it were, Patricia and I exchanged gifts-
I gave to Patricia, a 1.5 quart Pink Daisy casserole she is just crazy about pink Pyrex.

(Friends Zack, Myself, Kelcie & Caitlin)
Patricia's gift to me was a 1957 Cast album of "The Pajama Game", the Turquoise Hostess Chip and Dip set. (I need to find a bracket that holds them together!)  and a round chip and dip bracket that turns almost any 404/401, 444/441 into a chip and dip!
(Seen here, holding my Sandalwood 444/441 )

After presents we gathered round the television set for a viewing of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"  and chatted the night away. 
Pretty soon it was midnight, so everyone started saying their good buys, Merry Christmases, and Happy New Years. 
Casablanca put up her crown for the last time in 2011, and we all headed home. 

I hope all of you had a Wonderful Christmas and have the Happiest of New years! Here's to 2012/ 1958!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

Well readers, We've done it!

This is the 10th show in a row and the final show for the year! It seems like only yesterday that I was hired for Cinderella and now here we are a YEAR later.

("We're Dreaming of a White Christmas, Here At Mick's)

I really didn't have a lot for this production, I had a few projects and all the props to take care of but the Team came together and made a nice finished product.
My projects included.

The Set of the 1954 "Ed Sullivan Show"
The guys dressing room
The girls dressing room
Two (period) Train Cars
The Lobby of the Columbia Inn
 And as always a slew of vintage props!

The Ed Sullivan Show-
 (A 1954 Dance Spectacular!)
The set of double doors that look like a giant pink and red present in the background (sporting a tag exclaiming "Merry Christmas from Ed Sullivan!"), is styled from this Firestone Christmas record album.

The Guys dressing room-
We just did basic paint of two tone green stripes.  The colors for the dressing room we stolen from the 1942 movie "Holiday Inn". In one of the early scenes in the movie, the dressing room Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire share sports the same stripes and color scheme and since White Christmas steals bits form lots of other shows and movies I thought it was a fitting touch.

The Girls dressing room
Pretty simple, in 1950's pastel pink. The new novelty at the theatre is working light fixtures on stage, the one I used in Seven Brides for Seven Brother made the Set!

The Train Cars-
  (Speeding towards "Pine Tree Vermont")
I lost my sketches somewhere at the theatre, but these cars originally started out with an all blue color scheme. It wasn't until I found out that in this version the show doesn't start in Florida,  it begins in New York. (TOTALLY DOESN'T FOLLOW THE MOVIE, I know.) So instead of blue for Sunny Florida, at the very last minuet we changed to all green for Vermont. Also the cozy "Snow" number in the movie shared between Crosby, Kaye, Ellen, and Clooney goes from a quartet to an ENTIRE ensemble number. So we expanded the cars and laden them down with Samsonite luggage, vintage magazines and happy Christmas travelers.

The Columbia Inn, Pine Tree Vermont-
 Looking back, I'm mad at myself for going such a "plain" route with the interior of the Inn (But hell in the movie everything was WHITE!)  A tiny touch of irony here, is that is when the get to Vermont expecting snow, its actually a toasty 79 degrees. So I placed a painting of a "barn in white snowy winter" behind the front desk.  My favorite prop of the show has to be the Switchboard that we put together for the hotel. 

 Using and old "secretary desk" gave me the right shape, and then I screwed a board over the desk top. after that friend Joe and I drilled 100+ holes to make the "connections" on the switch board.
I used four long bolts, four shoe strings and some making tape to make the "input connectors" and to finish it off I put my candle stick phone on top. When the Actress who used the prop genuinely looked like an old switchboard operator on her board.
It was hectic, it was crazy, and it all came together in the end. I'd like to thank all of the Set Team, and all the volunteers who got the show up and running.

It has been a crazy/fast/fun/frustrating/demanding/relationship defining/up setting/heartbreaking/faith renewing/awe inspiring/ friendship binding/ impossible things are happening every day/ LOVING/ year at the Wichita Theatre and I look forward to another season in 2012.
"And may ALL Your Christmases be White...."


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Set!

We finished a Set!  I love the more bright and "pastel" colored Pyrex, its cheery and goes well with all summer occasions and this is what we consider a "set" Yellow, Turquoise, Chartreuse, & Flamingo Pink. It's my hope to collect  most of the baking basics in these four colors.
We still need quite a few pieces...
A Pink and a Green loaf pan, and Turquoise and a Yellow long pan. A Turquoise and a yellow 9" Pie plate. a Turquoise and a green 8" round cake pan. All of these pieces are NOT must have right this moment... but this is the stuff we frequently look for and use the most.
Oh Well, until then the Hunt continues...


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So It's 1958...

And all anyone can talk about is this years "Prom"...Well, not Prom-Prom- but the 1958 Casablanca Prom!

(At least I wont shut up about it...)

You see each year in the spring we have started the tradition of throwing a formal dance for our members as the Social Season opener at the Casablanca. Last Spring Break we had the wildly popular Big Band Dance and we plan to kick of this year with a 1958 Prom themed dance. Our possible Theme?

(If Dreams Came True, granted the song didnt come out until July of '58)

We've started preparing SUPER early this year,(as our members have tripled in 2011 and are still on the rise)  we've got the song picked but the jury is still out on the decorations, colors (We are leaning towards pink and Turquoise) and such. None the less the Guys are scouting tux's and the girls are already picking out their formal gowns for the spring event!

So readers, my question to you is- did anyone out there go to Prom in 1958?  Can you remember the colors or theme (if you had a 50's or early 60's prom) Or any pictures?! We would like NEED input!