Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Stranded in Texas, My Heart is in New York #Hurricane Sandy

It's been rough couple of days - the mom guilt is kicking in full force. I think I've cried all over Texas. I want to be with The Boy right now. And I can't. I am stranded in Houston, TX. My flights have been cancelled...

And I'm glued to CNN watching the news.

There is so much I want to say about the excitement of LATISM'12. How happy I am to have won an award. How grateful I am for everyone's inspired I feel by being surrounded by so many amazing Latinos.

But right now - I just can't. I'm thinking of my family and friends in New York and all over the east coast. Stay safe. I'm praying for you and love you. If it's one thing I love about my city is how resilient we are. How we have the ability to come together in moments of crisis. We will be okay. We can get through this.

Please STAY SAFE. Stay where you are. Stay off the roads. Listen to the instructions of the Mayor and Governor.

Hopefully I will be home soon.

Thank you to all my friends in the blogging community - especially, Juan and Ariana (my new Houston friends) - your hospitality and generosity will never be forgotten.

There are a few I want to thank personally but I know you do not want to be thanked publicly. Please know, I am extremely moved by your words and support.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm at Speaking at #LATISM12 Today - Blogging 101

Want to start a blog but don't know how? 

Are you new to the world of social media and trying to navigate?  

Today at Latism please join us at the Blogging 101 Q&A session. 

I'll be on the panel with Ruby Wright of Growing Up Blaxican, Monique Frausto of Blogs By Latinas and Curves and Chaos, and Uchi Davidson of Latin Foodie. 

And look! I even made a powerpoint presentation...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#LATISM12 - I'm Going. I'm Speaking. I'm Nominated! And I'm Rubbing Elbows with the Authors

(top to bottom/left to right) Mariela Dabbah, Deborah Deras, Ana Flores, Sujeiry Gonzalez, Jeannette Kaplun, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Alberto Sardinas, Sabrina Vourvoulias

By this time tomorrow, I'll be on my way to Houston, TX for the LATISM'12 conference.

I am bursting with excitement! 

I am excited to see my friends. 

I'm excited about working with Johnson & Johnson and sharing their 'global motherhood' initiatives! You can read about that HERE.

I'm excited to be speaking on Blogging 101 panel/workshop on Friday at 2pm. The agenda is HERE.

I am SUPER EXCITED to be nominated for a LATISM Award! I am nominated for the Best Latin@ Health Blogger Award. You can vote for me by just clicking HERE

And I'm excited to be rubbing elbows with published authors. As a grad student who is THIS CLOSE to an almost to graduating. I'm thinking thesis. I'm thinking I want to be published. And I am eager to learn from those who are willing to share their knowledge. They will be selling and signing their books during the Friday and Saturday lunchtime - about 12:30.

So who are the published authors of LATISM?  
Author, speaker, and founder of The Red Shoe Movement, an initiative to invite women to wear red shoes to work on Tuesdays to show their support for women career advancement, Mariela has authored several award winning, best-selling books to help Latinos navigate the American system, including Poder de Mujer. As an international speaker, Mariela has presented at General Electric, Citigroup, AIG, Exxon/Mobil, HBO, Goldman Sachs, Verizon, JPMorganChase, McDonald’s,Harvard, Yale and Columbia, Multicultural Women Conference, among others. As the National Spokesperson for McDonald’s Latino Education program for several years, Mariela presented workshops for parents and students across the country. Also, in 2009, Mariela created Latinos in College, the first all encompassing platform to help Latino student succeed in college (

Deborah Deras is the Principal of Synergy Unlimited LLC, a professional training and development company providing motivationals speakers, trainers and life coaches to organizations and Universities. She is committed to empowering Latinos to develop leadership skills to thrive in their careers, live on purpose and be powerful contributors in their communities. A sought after international speaker, author and leadership trainer, her book, Confessions of an Adrenaline Addict, has transformed lives worldwide to empower, Type A personality types to achieve success with ease and grace. Deras has also served as an expert/guest writer for Latina, Catalina and Immigrant
magazines. She is currently the West Coast technology expert for Verizon Wireless touring the nation empowering Latinos to transform their business, career and life through technology.

Founder of Latina Bloggers Connect, a boutique social media agency where she creates strategic digital campaigns connecting brands and bloggers, Ana L. Flores has over 15 years of experience as a content creator and television producer, with a specialty in the U.S. Hispanic industry. After becoming a mom, she co-founded SpanglishBaby, the go-to online community for parents raising bilingual and bicultural kids, which was chosen as a Must Read Mom’s Blog by Parenting Magazine, as well as Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs of 2011 and Babble’s list of Top 50 Twitter Moms of 2011. Her most recent honors include being named one of “6 Bloggers to Watch” by USA Today’s Hispanic Living and Best Latin@ Social Network Leader at LATISM 11 Awards. SpanglishBaby’s success led Ana to co-author her first book, “Bilingual is Better.” Ana is now also a regular blogger on Babble Voices.

Sujeiry Gonzalez, often referred to as “The Latina Carrie Bradshaw,” is a funny and vibrant relationship expert and writer that tells it like it is – with just a little more sass and ton of laughs. Rocking the relationship market since 2006, she’s been featured on Galtime, Cupid’s Pulse, YourTango, VOXXI, Divine Caroline, Yahoo Shine, Latina Magazine, Mamiverse, and JDate, among others. Her comedic personality, unique voice and irrefutable talent have also granted her the opportunity to share her relationship highs and lows with a number of media channels, including:  PIX Morning News, The Kari Adams Show, and Mega 97.9FM. Sujeiry’s newest coup is SY PLay Things – an online lingerie store that values women and the power of self-first. There’s also the launch of Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles - a poignant and witty collection of personal essays, in which she chronicles her relationship stumbles, serving as the ultimate what-not-to-do relationship book for women. 

An award-winning journalist, internationally recognized parenting writer, and leading Latina blogger, Jeannette Kaplun has over 17 years of experience on TV, radio, online media and as a published author. She also provides insights into the Hispanic market and helps leading brands reach Latinas in the US. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Chile, Jeannette is truly bilingual and bicultural. Currently she is busy launching her newest project for Hispanic women, HispanaGlobal.  In 1999, she cofounded Todobebé, and co-hosted the Emmy-nominated network TV show ¡Viva la Familia! de Todobebé for four seasons on Univision. Before that, she hosted the Todobebé show on Telemundo. She is also the author of Todobebé: Todo lo que necesitas saber para el primer año de tu bebé (Rayo, 2006) and blogs for Babble Voices. Most recently, she was named a Social Media Fellow by the UN Foundation. 

Mother, wife, cookbook author, graphic designer, blogger, and food enthusiast from Denver, Colorado, Yvette was raised in El Paso, Texas and has developed a deep passion for promoting her grandmothers old-world northern Mexican recipes and mothers comforting south of the border home-style dishes. Her blog and published cookbook, Muy Bueno, blossomed into much more than a place to file her family recipes. She now works as a recipe developer with IMUSA and Avocados from Mexico.
Besides her blog, Yvette has also been featured in Latina Magazine, and the websites of Paula Deen, The Pioneer Woman, SAVEUR, and Gourmet.

“So what’s your story and what did you learn from it?” is Alberto Sardiñas’ most important question to people everywhere he goes. Each night, this Univisión Radio host takes calls from listeners who look to him as a friend with whom to share their life experiences of uncertainty, sorrow, hope, or happiness on his nighttime show, “Íntimo.” Thousands of people listen to him nightly and watch him as a contributor on network television shows (Despierta America, Tu Desayuno Alegre and others), and his articles are frequently published in leading magazines and blogs. As the author of the book “The Power of Your Story,” Alberto shares 40 of the most powerful, real-life, short stories told to him by his listeners, in addition to personal experiences he had never shared before. Each anecdote is followed by a conclusion that emphasizes the lesson learned. Alberto has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications from the Catholic University Andrés Bello in Caracas.

Born in Bangkok, Thailand and the daughter of a Mexican-Guatemalan artist and an American businessman, Sabrina grew up in Guatemala and moved to the United States when she was fifteen. She is the managing editor of Al Día News, Philadelphia’s leading Spanish-language newspaper and writes for in Spanish and English. Along with her blog, Following the Lede (, which was was nominated for a Latinos in Social Media award in 2011, Sabrina writes speculative poetry and short and long-form fiction. Her writing has appeared in Dappled Things, Graham House Review, Scheherezade's Bequest at Cabinet des Fées, La Bloga's Floricanto, Poets Respond to SB 1070, Crossed Genres Issue 24, among others. Her novel, Ink, was published by Crossed Genres Publications Oct. 15, 2012.

My Mom. My Inspiration. #InspireCare

Growing up, my mom and I didn't always agree. I didn't understand her. She didn't understand me. She was old school. I was not. There were times I cringed when we were compared. And I spent most of my teenage years trying not to be like my mother.  

Then I grew up. Got a job. Moved out on my own. I got married...had a baby. I don't think I truly understood my mother, until I became a mother. Becoming a mother,  made me look back on my childhood in a completely different way. 

I looked at my mother in a completely different way.  

I realized that if I wanted to be a good mother to The Boy, I needed to be more like my mother.

My mother went without so that I could have. Growing up, I may not have had everything I wanted but I had everything I needed: a clean home, clean clothes, a hot meal. 

My mother was always more than willing to do everything for me, so long as I went to school and got good grades. She spoiled me in ways I could not understand, she did so much for me and expected nothing in return. Not even a thank you.

Over the last decade, I have watched my mother become the primary caregiver to my grandparents. And whenever anyone in our family needs help, she's always the first to offer. She gives so selflessly and she leaves me often in awe.  

During my pregnancy, I read countless of parenting books. Books on feeding, sleeping and parenting. But my first lesson on being a good mother, a good all around person came from my mother. 

I am not one of those people who longs to relive their younger years. But I wish I could go back in time and appreciate my mother a little more and to say thank you more often.

My mother and I still don't always agree. She is old school and I am not. We do not have the same taste in clothes, furniture or politics. She will still criticize the way I cook and clean. I'm okay with our differences. And I thank her every chance I get.  

But when it comes to being a mom, her advice is the one I'll always seek out first. For me, she is the measure of motherhood I want to live up to. She inspires me to the best mom I can be.  

For more than 125 years, Johnson & Johnson has been committed to serving the health care needs of others - especially mothers and children. Their history as a brand is pretty fascinating. Many of the products we take for granted, the products that are simply part of our every day lives - are because of Johnson & Johnson.   

It is estimated that Johnson & Johnson and its partners touch more than one billion people’s lives each day through health care products, services and various programs. 

This year at the LATISM 2012 conference, Johnson & Johnson will be showcasing some of these initiatives under the theme “global motherhood.” And I am so honored to be chosen to help raise awareness about important issues and some solutions that make a difference.

Johnson & Johnson has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. My mom always purchased Johnson & Johnson products. Now that I'm a mom, it's the brand I trust for my own family. And as a company, Johnson & Johnson's share many of the values my mother tried to instill in me. They are the same values I want to pass along to my son.

Johnson & Johnson is a company who is committed to:
If you are attending LATISM, I would love for you to stop by the Arboretum II Suite to talk with Johnson & Johnson and their partners about the work they do. I'll be there too! 

Together we can help them spread the word through social media about the challenges that mothers face around the world. 

You can inspire mothers like you to join them in helping other mothers by raising awareness about important issues and some of the solutions that make a difference.

BUT - You don't have to attend LATISM to learn more about Johnson & Johnson's endeavors to make the world a better place for mothers and children around the globe.

If you're on Twitter follow them @JNJStories and their #InspireCare hashtag.
I'll be tweeting throughout the conference.

Visit them on Facebook - Johnson's Baby. Or go directly to the website by clicking HERE

Note: These photos represent a few of the many programs supported by Johnson & Johnson and its partner organizations to serve the health and well-being needs of communities and people around the world. To read more about these programs and others that help us care for those in need, please visit our website: 

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions shared are my own.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Elephant in the Playground [Sundays in my City]

I love taking The Boy to the playground early on Sunday mornings. 

This morning, we were the only ones there. I was able to sit on the bench, relax and just let The Boy have the run of the place.  I didn't have to worry about him hurting anyone or anyone hurting him.

And I got to practice my photo skillz. 

Unknown Mami

Friday, October 19, 2012

NYC Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2012

with Della Senior Year - 93

I met Della freshman year of high school. She was one of those girls that I admired: smart, pretty, popular. She was the kind of friend who could make you laugh and have your back. We remained friends until senior year. (In fact, she introduced me to one of my first boyfriends.) And after high school, we simply fell out of touch.

Facebook has reunited me with so many friends from high school, amazing, talented, successful women - including Della. And it's been great to connect and be a part of their lives. I feel lucky that Facebook has given me a second chance at friendship with the girls I grew up with.

They've been there for me when I've walked for autism. They've provided support, words or encouragement or simply a joke when I needed it. I hope I've been able to do the same.

But back to Della.

Over the last few years, I've read Della's status updates. On her good days, she shares something about her beautiful daughter Jazzy. Or she's enjoying her time with family friends. On her bad days, she's on her way to chemo or heading to the ER. And on those days, my heart aches because all I can provide are words of encouragement, love and support.

Rosa & Della
But words can't cure cancer. And Dellahas been fighting breast cancer for years. And it doesn't seem fair that someone so young, so beautiful, so smart should have to suffer so much.

On Sunday, October 21, there will be several walks all over New York for an organization called Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. And a group of high school friends are walking for Della. (Della's Dream Catchers are walking in Flushing Meadow Park - see below for details)

Nearly 20 years after high school, Della is still someone I admire. Not only for her beauty but for her courage, her will to keep fighting and her passion for life. She reminds every day that life is a gift. And I want to keep celebrating it with her for years to come.

To join Della's Dream Catchers Team please click - HERE

Sunday October 21
Registration opens at 8 am
Opening ceremonies begin at 9 am

Walk begins at 10 amFlushing Meadows Corona Park
111th Street between 54th & 55th Avenue, Queens, NY 11368
If you can't make the walk - PLEASE donate what you can. Every dollar counts.   

For walk information & to donate:

Queens Flushing Meadow Park - HERE
The Bronx - Orchard Beach click - HERE

Manhattan Central Park - HERE

Brooklyn Prospect Park - HERE

Making Strides Events page - click HERE
High School Girlfriends - Feb 2012

For more information about breast cancer, how to find it early, and how to join the fight to end the disease, visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 anytime, day or night.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What The Heck Do I Pack for LATISM? ¡Ayúdame!

By this time next week I'll be en route to Houston, Texas for the LATISM 2012 Conference. I am beyond excited.

And I am extremely honored to be fully sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. My mom always purchased J&J products. And now that I'm a mom, it's the brand I trust for my own family. But it's only since I've started blogging that I've learned that Johnson & Johnson really is a company who cares. They care about their employees, their costumers and the global community. I'm looking forward to learning more about their give back initiatives and sharing with you.

But before I can do that...I need to pack. And while I'm excited to be going, I'm not so excited about trying to figure out what to wear. It's Houston, so it's warm. And it's only for a few days...

But there's the LATISM Gala Awards and the Pijama Party. And that's where I'm stumped.

I mean...have you been to a Latino party? We are a people - especially the ladies - who like to Dress to the Nines.*

I'm not really a fancy girl (though, I can fake it pretty well).

The last thing I want to be is underdressed is for the Awards. But I also need to be practical. It can't be anything that needs ironing (I don't do ironing). And it needs to be something pretty that I will feel comfortable in (i.e. something that hides the bulge around my belly). I've pretty much described absolutely nothing in my closet right about now. I refuse to spend money on something that I will most likely not wear again. I'm also determined to lose weight and refuse to go up another size (which is why I am squeezing into my clothes and spending most of my day sucking in my gut).

As for the Pijama Party...WTH? I don't think I own a pair of pj's that I would or could wear out in public. I may need to buy pj's. But at least I'll know I'll wear the pj's again.

Then of course J&J offered me a polo shirt to wear for one of the days. Which is fine but this probably means, I'll need to wear jeans. And did I mention I put on weight and that I'm having trouble fitting into my pants? So whenever I wear pants I usually wear a shirt that hides the muffin top. I'm crossing my fingers that the polo is super stretchy. 

Sure there's other stuff that goes into prepping for a blog conference other than what to wear. But I'll let my amiga Ruby of Growing Up Blaxican tell you how best to prep - click HERE

* just a little trivia: the term "dress to the nines" comes from England when sailing ships were used. As the ship would come into the harbor all sails would be flying, all nine of them. And all the sailors would be dressed in dress uniforms lined up on either side of the ship. The modern connotation is to have put on your finest clothing and jewelry, almost as if you were being visited by royalty.          

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Survived NY Comic Con 2012

This was our very first New York Comic Con Convention. And it experience. I knew it would be crowded. 

But really, I had no clue. It was. INSANE.
It was so crazy in there I could not even tweet. I couldn't Instagram. There was no time for a quick FB status update. 

I never let go of The Boy's wrist while weaving our way through the aisles. My hand was sore by the time we left. That's how hard I was clutching onto him. The thought of losing him in that crowd...

(At one point, The Boy took off his name tag and threw it on the ground. Someone found it and called us. We were able to meet up with them to get it back. Nerds are so nice.)

The Boy had a good time. It was loud. He spent a lot of time covering his ears. But there were some things he liked. And that made The Husband feel good. And we picked up some cool things for Christmas. (We start early.) 

I am really disappointed I didn't get my picture taken with Adam West. But as much as I have a school girl crush on him, I could not justify paying $60 for his autograph and photo.  I'm nerdy but I have to draw the line somewhere. (And I'm cheap.)

The Husband was totally in his element and was snapping photos like a mad man. It's nice to see him with that geek twinkle in his eye.

I have a feeling Comic Con will be an annual outing for us.

Note to self: Next year, we're pulling him out of school and we'll go on Thursday or Friday when the crowds aren't as extreme.  
He wanted to take a picture with these guys. (They sort of freaked me out.)

I think this was his favorite!
My little scoundrel - this is the money shot right here. 
Was so proud of The Boy. He said "Oh hello there," with NO prompting.

You KNOW I had to buy this poster by Ex-Boyfriend Collection. I cannot wait to frame it and hang it up. It's perfect for us. Check them out, they have really cool stuff. 

Unknown Mami

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Going To #LATISM12 and 5 Reasons Why You Should Too

Ever since I met the lovely ladies of LATISM back in May for the Top Bloguera Retreat and briefly reunited with them at BlogHer I have been trying to figure out a way to make it to the LATISM conference in Houston, Texas. 

Unlike BlogHer, the conference where it's easy to get lost in a crowd of 5000+ people, I knew LATISM would be the conference for me: intimate, familiar, inspiring. 

I may have also wanted to go because a conference means I get to sleep in a hotel room without a six year old foot in my face but I digress...

And now I am so excited to say that I'M GOING! Thanks to LATISM and the wonderful folks at Johnson & Johnson, I get to go to LATISM12. I am so grateful and honored for this opportunity to be a representative for Johnson & Johnson's philanthropic mother-orientated initiatives. And I cannot wait to share more in the weeks to come.


Here are 5 reasons why attending LATISM12 is important to me. And they may be important to you too.   

5. To Learn. This may seem obvious but whether you're an experienced blogger or a novice  there is always something to learn. Maybe you haven't quite embraced Pinterest or Google+ plus freaks you out. Maybe you haven't discovered that 'oh yeah, there's an app for that.' Maybe you want to hone your photography skills or improve your writing or grow your audience. Or maybe you're thinking about turning your blog into a book.  

Check out the agenda.  LATISM focuses on Education, Health, Technology and Business. And there are some pretty amazing sessions going on with something for everyone regardless of your niche. 

4. Connect with Brands. It's only in this last year, that I've connected with brands. It can be intimidating to approach a brand blindly but LATISM attracts major brands. And they're there for one reason - to connect with bloggers and social media influencers. 

3. To Meet Your Blog Buddies IRL. One of the best parts about attending conferences is that you get to meet your favorite bloggers and tweeps in real life. Over the last year, I've got to meet some pretty fabulous and inspiring men and women of social media. So for me, LATISM is more like a family reunion - with hashtags and instagram filters.  

2. To Network.  The sessions are great, the parties are fabulous but it's those one on one moments that will make the difference. LATISM is the place to talk about new ideas, to brainstorm, to meet, greet and smile, to make new connections. A social media conference like LATISM are where projects are born and inspiration can be found. 

I will be taking serious notes during the Pitch 101 session. I'm friendly and nice but pitching  and networking is a challenge for me. I'm shy, I get nervous - I need to work on that. I know LATISM will make a difference. And what I learn about networking at LATISM, I can take with me where ever I go.      

1. To Be InspiredThe opportunity to attend LATISM is inspiring. I mean do you know who will be speaking at LATISM? It's pretty impressive.

One of the key note speakers is Sandra CisnerosSANDRA CISNEROS! Do you know what that means? For me? 

I grew up in a home filled with books (my father worked in a book factory) but not a single one was written by or about a Latino. 

I've worked in Corporate America for almost 20 years, I am always the minority. 

I have spent the last few years in graduate school, hearing how difficult it will be for me to become published because I'm Latina. 

The opportunity to meet an award winning, internationally known Latina author at a Latinos In Social Media conference is something I could have never even dreamed about as a little girl. And while I may not be a little girl, it's never too late to stop dreaming.  

So I hope that you can make it to LATISM this year, because if we haven't met - I would love to. And if we've already met, I would love to see you again.  But even if you can't make it this year...follow us on twitter #LATISM12. Hopefully it will inspire you to join us next year. 

To learn more about the LATISM conference click HERE

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Review: FALLING (a new Off Broadway Play at the Minetta Lane Theatre)

image source
FALLING boldly explores the dynamic and complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for them. The play bravely speaks a truth about love and family and about hopes and dreams. It asks “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?” 

FALLING is a new play written by Deanna Jent and directed by Lori AdamsThe stellar cast features Daniel Everidge, Daniel Pearce, Celia Howard, Jacey Powers and Julia Murney.


The stage was immediately familiar to me. A wall calender covered with scribble and post its, toy trains scattered around the living room floor. Then 18 year old Josh (Daniel Everidge) walked on stage, his self stimulatory behaviors and speech reminded me so much of The Boy. Much of the dialogue between Josh's parents, Tami (Julia Murney) and Bill (Daniel Pearce) - a disconnected couple, struggling to work together as a team - was also painfully familiar. 

I felt like I was thrust into my future.

Twenty minutes into FALLING I was in tears. There were moments throughout FALLING that were so intimate, it felt almost intrusive. And there were parts of the play that made me feel less alone in my thoughts.

You don't need to be a parent or educator or have a connection to autism, FALLING is a must see for everyone. Beautifully written and brutally honest, for parents of children with autism Deanna Jent's new play epitomizes the meaning of unconditional love, acceptance and all the complex feelings of parenting a special needs child. And for everyone else, FALLING begs the question: how can we be taught to help.

The reality of FALLING will kick you in the gut and haunt your thoughts long after you've left the theatre. FALLING sparks a conversation that is long overdue.

After the play, the audience was invited to stay for a talkback with the playwright, director and actors. Deanna Jent shared that she drew from her own personal experience to write FALLING. I especially appreciated that she stated that her portrayal of autism in FALLING is not the reality for all parents and families.

When I asked if she felt compelled to write a happy ending, she admitted it was a struggle. Deanna wanted to write a play that was honest, she wanted to create characters that were real and that it was important for Tami to find peace. And I guess, peace is just as necessary as happiness. 

FALLING is about as real and raw as it gets.


FALLING is playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre 

To purchase tickets click HERE and use the code MARK for discount.

Show Dates:
Performances from 27 Sep 2012
Opening 15 Oct 2012
Closing Open-Ended

Performance Schedule:
Tuesday, 7PM
Wednesday & Saturday, 2PM & 8PM
Thursday - Friday, 8PM
Sunday, 3PM

800.982.2787 (mention code MARK for discount)
Pricing: $39.50 - $68.50

Show Run Time:
75 minutes, no intermission

Disclaimer: I was provided with 2 tickets for the play.  All opinions are my own.