Good Luck

May 28th, 2023

avengers endgame spotlight pageCaptain America and victims of Thanos’ “Avengers: Infinity War” snap return for battle in the final act of “Avengers: Endgame,” which was released earlier this year. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


2019 was a great year in entertainment for me in terms of both what I’ve seen on Netflix and at the movies and with the live shows I’ve been able to see this year. So with it being basically the end of 2019, I thought it would be fun to recap some of my favorite entertaining moments from this year. This list will include favorite moments from TV shows, movies and live shows/performances I’ve been to see this year. 

So let’s take a look back!


Broadway fun

As those who read my column know, I’m a big Broadway and musical theater fan and there are so many shows on my list to see if I ever actually make it to New York. I actually got to see a couple Broadway-caliber shows this year, starting in January when I traveled to Oklahoma City to see “Phantom of the Opera.” I had a great time seeing this show and I was mesmerized by nearly every aspect of the show from the music to the set design and everything else in between. My favorite moment from the show was the “Music of the Night” number, it was very well performed and I loved it. 

My Broadway journey continued in August when I traveled to Oklahoma City again with my mom to see “Hamilton.” I had a great time seeing this show also and my mom and I were both absolutely blown away by the vocal performances and the choreography and everything else in the show. I can honestly say this was the coolest live musical I’ve seen, with my favorite moment in the show being the “My Shot” number near the beginning of the show. If everything ends up right, I’ll consider seeing it again if another tour comes nearby. So overall, not a bad year for musical theater for me. 

klaus spotlight pageJesper (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) and Klaus (voiced by J.K. Simmons) prepare to deliver some toys in this scene from Netflix’s “Klaus.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Not very many letters are mailed nowadays through the post office, but there’s one letter everyone remembers sending from when they were young, the most important letter of the year – the wish list of Christmas presents from Santa Claus. Oddly enough, however, it’s rather unsure how the tradition of writing to Santa got started. 

A recent entry into the Netflix movie lineup, however, might just help answer that question. The recently released animated movie “Klaus” follows postman Jesper Johansson (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) stationed in a town in the North who befriends a reclusive toymaker named Klaus (voiced by J.K. Simmons) and together, they start many traditions associated with the Christmas season, including the use of reindeer and the mailing of Christmas gift lists to Santa Claus, all while making life in the community of Smeerensberg better. I’d had the movie suggested to me by Netflix back in November and was able to get around to watching it only recently, and I’m very glad I did. 

One of the main things I liked about the movie is the animation, and it is stunning. It’s a great  blend of hand-drawn 2D animation and more modern computer animation techniques that have been more prevalent in modern animated movies. The textures and colors and lighting used are so well done and all the characters and scenery truly pop and come to life onscreen. Overall, the animation is very well done and while I was watching it, I couldn’t help but compare it to some parts of last year’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (another animated movie that had mind-bogglingly amazing animation) because in some ways the animation techniques were kind of similar. 

trans siberian orchestra spotlight bob careyThe Trans-Siberian Orchestra recently brought its tour to Oklahoma City to great success. Photo by Bob CareyELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Many people would probably balk at a total 8-hour round trip to see a 2.5-hour concert. This weekend, however, I did just that when I made the trek to Oklahoma City to see one of my favorite musical groups, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as they brought their annual tour through. My friend Robyn had gotten us tickets back in November as an early Christmas present and Sunday, I undertook the voyage on U.S. Hwy 83 to get there. 

I’ve been a fan of the group for a long time now and was made an even bigger fan when I saw them in Wichita when I was in high school, so the chance to see them again this time around was an opportunity I was not going to pass up. And ultimately, I’m extremely glad I didn’t. 

For those who haven’t heard of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the group is based out of Tampa, Fla. and are known for their very elaborate concerts, which include a string section, special lighting effects, laser shows and very elaborate pyrotechnics, all while merging classical music with rock music, to an awesome result. They’ve sold millions of albums and have toured all around the world. 

The first thing I’ve got to give praise to from Sunday’s show is the vocal performances, because every single person who stepped on that stage oozed talent and just overall put on great performances. The narrator for the first part of the show, Phillip Brandon, had a very nice narrating voice and like the gentleman who was at the show I went to back in high school, I feel like he could have read the phone book and it would have sounded incredible. Another vocal performance I particularly enjoyed came from the gentleman who sang my two favorite TSO songs, “An Angel Came Down” and “An Angel Returned” – I unfortunately didn’t catch his name during the show when all the group members were being introduced, so I don’t know who he was, but he had a fantastic, deep singing voice and I’ve already watched the video I took of his rendition of “An Angel Returned” a ridiculous amount of times because I liked his performance so much.