1. Nora attempting a handstand. She carefully positions her body, arms overhead, one foot out, then flops to the ground.
2. Mia shows a trick she learned from Madagascar 2. Make a sad expression, then move your hand slowly past your face to reveal a happy grin. Repeat in reverse order. Do it faster.
4. Kris "Under the Radar" Allen takes the second place spot with Adam Glambert on the American Idol finale! I've never been a fan of Allen, but I've got new respect after his Wow! acoustic version of Kanye's "Heartless." Add that confident and cool surprise to his versions of "Falling Softly" and "The Way You Look Tonight," and he has earned the votes. Not the win, mind you, but he and Adam should make a great show. But my favorite show that week won't be their faceoff, even with the zingy suspense Allen's underdog status adds - the real fun is the results show. All your voted-off favorites come back and they're rested and well-rehearsed, with songs that suit them perfectly. An hour (two this year?) of awesome filler before Seacrest reads the name.
5. Let's say, hypothetically, that you were a huge musical theater fan and that you placed the winning bid for going out for a show and drinks with the Tribune theater critic whose reviews you faithfully read and whose opinion you trust. Which of these upcoming plays would you choose?
-"The Piano Lesson" at Court Theater
-"La Cage Aux Folles" at the Bohemian
-"Arabian Nights" at the Lookingglass, directed by Mary Zimmerman (of course you would jump at this choice, but you are hosting a brunch the next morning and anticipate a lot of pre-event cooking and freaking)
-Rebecca Gilman's "The Crowd You're In" at the Goodman
-"The Minister's Wife," a new musical at the Writer's Theater
-Topol in "Fiddler
-"A Tribute to the Black Crooners" at Black Ensemble Theater (think Nat King Cole)
-"Up" at Steppenwolf
-"Blackbird" with William Peterson at Victory Gardens
-"The Light in the Piazza" in the round, directed by Joe Leonardo at the Marriot
Is your mouth watering? What riches.
6. And this.
7. Ice Cream Truck! I wish I could describe the lightness in the way Mia jumped in the air, waving her arms and screaming with joy as the truck came near. She wasn't wearing any shoes but the grass is so soft in the neighbor's yard where she leapt, as close to the end of our block as I would allow. "Wave him down, but don't go in the street," I had warned and she complies, all her energy and excitement bound by this border, a curb that extends around the block and holds her close to me.