Featured post

“Jammin’ with Jamie” 200th Show

Hi, everyone!

On Saturday, November 2, Jammin’ with Jamie celebrated its landmark 200th show on 89.3 WNUR FM!

Since this show’s so special (and because there’s no copyrighted music in it), I posted it on my YouTube channel, along with bonus content.

So let’s get started!

Continue reading

Featured post

Come See “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)”!

Hi, everyone!

I’m an actor, writer, singer, director, DJ, and so many other things. I’ve also produced films. However, I’ve never produced a play.

… Until now.

I’ve long loved the show The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). So, in January, I started pursuing putting on an independent production of it.

Long story short: one Indiegogo campaign and many rehearsals at strange times later, we’re here! We have one show left at Terminus Theatre on July 19! From there… who knows?

Between July 5 and July 6, our audience nearly doubled. We’ve had audience members who’ve seen other productions who made sure to tell us how much they love ours. Get tickets in advance on Eventbrite to guarantee yourself a seat; otherwise, any remaining tickets will be available at the door.

 

“Oh, I am slain!” … And so are our audiences!

Come see us!

And may the Bard be with you!

Thank you for reading,
Jamie Lee

Featured post

Thoughts On: “The Man Who Invented Christmas”

Hi, everyone!

Whew, what a year I’ve been having! But more on that in a post I’ll put up just before the new year…

Anyway, without further ado, last Sunday, December 17, I saw a film that inspired me to pen another installment in my series on holiday/Christmas/winter movies and specials.

What film was so special that it woke me out of my writing reverie (in terms of this blog, anyway)?

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

No, Mr. Dickens, I wasn’t trying to read over your shoulder! Don’t mind me!

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)
Plot: Charles Dickens, after a rush of inspiration, tussles with writer’s block, deadlines, and personal struggles as he strives to crack his latest work… A Christmas Carol.

There have been nigh countless adaptations of A Christmas Carol, from film, to TV, to stage––– from verbatim, to musical, to modernized, to gender-flipped––– from live action, to animation, to The Muppets! If you like A Christmas Carol at all, you have your favorite version or versions. You have your favorite ghost, your favorite scenes, your favorite lines… this story touches the hearts and souls of so many. Some may say such nearly-universal appeal cheapens it: I say, it enriches it. How special to be able to take a singular story about one person’s extremely personal journey and make it accessible and even relatable to so many.

Full disclosure: I’ve loved A Christmas Carol and so many of its adaptations for as long as I can remember. In fact, my very first acting role was as The Ghost of Christmas Present (my favorite ghost in the story)! Even though I was twelve at the time, I still remember so many of my lines, and would love to be involved in another adaptation of the tale someday.

Since The Man Who Invented Christmas is still in theaters as of this writing, and I do highly recommend it, I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers of surprise moments. However, everyone has different definitions of what counts as a “spoiler,” so I shall still include my traditional warning…

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Featured post

Christmas/Holiday Movies: “It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”

Hi, everyone!

I had a pretty hectic Halloween season this year, so I wasn’t able to continue my series about Halloween movies. However, I know that my subsequent series on holiday/Christmas/winter movies (and specials) only had half the amount of entries… that is, only two. Yikes.

So, I’m going to rectify that this year, starting…

now!

For those of you who are new (or just don’t remember), this is how this series works…

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the holiday/Christmas/winter season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

First up, a TV movie that I believe is ridiculously underrated…

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s ALWAYS a merry Christmas with The Muppets!

It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
Plot: The Muppets are putting on a big Christmas show to save their theater, but when everything goes wrong and Kermit the Frog’s spirit seems broken, an angel comes to show him what the world––– and his friends––– would be like if he’d never been born.

I also have a very personal connection to this movie, which you’ll have to read on to find out about!

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Featured post

Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday”

Before we get started, follow Pee-wee Herman’s adventures on his official website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his new YouTube channel, and join his FREE Premium Diamond Platinum Fan Club!

I’ve written about Pee-wee Herman twice before. Both times, I predicted I’d end up writing about Pee-wee’s Big Holiday when it was released on Netflix.

… I’m psychic!

I was so excited for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday that I stayed up until 12:00 am PT––– 2:00 am my time––– to watch it the second it premiered!

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

This was how I looked just before 2:00 am on March 18.

Thank goodness I was on a different floor with the door closed… otherwise, my constant laughter would’ve woken everybody up!

All of the following images, videos, and GIFs belong to their respective owners!

Here’s the poster…

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

That’s about how high I jumped every time I heard news about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.”

Here’s the trailer…

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is written by Paul Reubens and Paul Rust, directed by John Lee, and produced by Judd Apatow. (You all know how much it means to me to see someone who’s both a writer and a performer!)

Let’s do this!

“Ha ha!”

Featured post

Christmas/Holiday Movies: “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

I had so much fun writing about Halloween movies, I decided to extend the series and write about films perfect for Christmas/the holiday season! Most will probably be about Christmas, but I’m leaving myself wiggle room for other holidays and general winter movies.

Remember, these are not reviews: I’m writing about films and TV specials that I love and recommend.

My favorite Christmas movies generally have a nice mix of humor, fun, wackiness, and heart––– and some good music doesn’t hurt, either.

This first film has all of that, and more. Warm up your voices, because it’s time for…

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)!

By the way, if you like the Muppets, make sure you check out The Muppets on ABC!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer:

I’m not sure why there’s music from Beetlejuice in the trailer, but it works.

I'm smiling already!

I’m smiling already!

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Plot: Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, bitter businessman, despises Christmas and all forms of kindness and charity; but this Christmas, he just might get a chance to redeem himself…

Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Featured post

Halloween Movies: “The Monster Squad”

This month, I’m going to watch (and, in some cases, re-watch) some movies that are perfect for the Halloween season. These are not reviews, because I’ll only be writing about films I love and recommend. There’s no plan, method, or scientific algorithm to what movies I’m going to watch or how I’m going to structure these entries. I’m just going to have fun with it, and I hope you will, too!

The one promise I’ll make is that I’ll only include spoilers after the jump.

For this inaugural entry, I’m going to write about a movie I just saw for the first time––– well, all the way through, anyway…

The Monster Squad (1987)!

I do not own any of the following images or videos!

Here’s the trailer…

I’ve known about The Monster Squad for a while, though I don’t know exactly how long. When you love the Universal Monsters as much as I do (and I’m sure many of you do), you read a lot about them and other films that reference or utilize them. I was bound to come across The Monster Squad at some point. And I did. I read about the plot, found out some trivia, and watched some clips. All signs pointed to this being a film I’d love.

So recently, I finally ordered the twentieth anniversary DVD online. I watched it with my family, who had never even heard of it until I told them about it. Luckily for all of us, my gut instinct turned out to be a bullseye: we loved every minute of it––– and if you love monster movies, you will, too!

Here’s the basic, spoiler-free rundown…

The Monster Squad (1987)
Plot: Some young friends obsessed with monsters suddenly find themselves face-to-face with the Universal Monsters and must stop Dracula’s plan before it’s too late.
Monsters: Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, the Gillman, and the Mummy
Scare Factor: It may be scary to kids about five years old or younger, but it all depends on the kid. If this kid has already seen some monster movies, especially ones with the Universal Monsters, he or she will probably be fine. For everyone else, watch it and have fun!
Gore Factor: The gore’s pretty minimal.
Family-Friendly Factor: There’s some scattered swearing and some suggestive comments. Some people may find a couple of words offensive.

Look out! Behind you!

Look out! Behind you!

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Spoilers lurk beyond this point!

Continue reading

Featured post

Thoughts On: “Frozen”

Hi, everyone!

This is the first of what I hope to make a series of posts in which I write down and share my thoughts on various films. Some will be new releases you can experience in theaters, while others will be films you can check out on DVD. No matter which film I’m writing about, I will always take great care in regard to spoilers: if I feel compelled to write about one or more spoilers, I will mark them very clearly so you can choose to skip them and come back to read them later. (You’re welcome.)

I’m starting this series because I saw a film entitled, Frozen, and felt so strongly about it that I wanted to share it and my thoughts on it with anyone and everyone I could. This is why these posts are not intended to be “reviews” or summaries, as well as why I will neither be going out to see every single new release so I can post about it here, nor writing about every movie I do end up seeing. None of those prospects is why I started this series.

When the credits began rolling on Frozen when I saw it for the very first time, I had an overwhelming feeling (one of many, actually) that I just couldn’t shake, and didn’t want to, anyway: I have to tell everyone I can about this film. That feeling inspired not only this post, but this entire new series of posts, and I want to stay true to it.

All images belong to Walt Disney Pictures.

All images belong to Walt Disney Pictures.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to our inaugural “Thoughts On” post! The film: Frozen, from Walt Disney Animation Studios, originally released on Wednesday, November 27, 2013: Thanksgiving weekend. (You can check out Frozen‘s very “cool”––– pun intended––– official website here!) To start off, let’s get one thing straight…

Should I see “Frozen”?

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Friendship Follies (2020) (Part 1)”!

Hi, everyone!

Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it’s time to shift the focus to a type of relationship that, in my opinion, is often overlooked in media.

Through the romance roller coaster, who’s there to cheer you on and cheer you up? When you’re struggling at work, with health, or with anything else in life, who’s there to offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on? And when you just feel like having some fun, who’s there to share in the laughter and fun?

It’s time for them to get their due with this week’s flock of fabulous…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Leap Day Lyrics”!

Hi, everyone!

Donate to WNUR’s annual Phoneathon through March 2 and get some neat merchandise with this special link: https://catalyzer.northwestern.edu/amb/JamieLee!

It is a rare and special day… Jammin’ with Jamie Day! And it’s also… Saturday!

… Oh, and it’s also Leap Day.

A Leap Day on a Jammin’ with Jamie day? Well, that calls for a list of…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Sidesplitting Serenades (2020) (Part 2)”!

Hi, everyone!

I hope we’re all still enjoying our discount candy we hoarded after the dreaded Valentine’s Day had come and gone!

Donate to WNUR’s annual Phoneathon through March 2 and get some neat merchandise with this special link: https://catalyzer.northwestern.edu/amb/JamieLee!

This week, while we’re swimming in that discount candy, we’ll also be swimming in…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Sidesplitting Serenades (2020) (Part 1)”!

Hi, everyone!

This week, it’s time to put up a shield to protect us from all of Cupid’s arrows, hunker down, and chow down on our reserves of Halloween and Christmas candy, because we’re about to replace it with discount candy leftover from the dreaded… Valentine’s Day.

Yes, regardless of how you feel about the holiday… it’s unavoidable.

But whether you love Valentine’s Day with all your beating heart or loathe it with every burning fiber of your being, consider Jammin’ with Jamie your safe haven. We’re going to continue a grand and beloved… by me… Jammin’ with Jamie tradition… pun intended!

We have a whole chocolate box full of…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Crowd Choruses”!

Hi, everyone!

This week, we’re going to we’re going to take a look at a very specific type of song that pops up a lot on both screen and stage. And that is… the huge group number! And not just any group number: the one where the whole cast comes together to sing and, oftentimes, dance.

And because this is Jammin’ with Jamie, we have ensemble numbers that even reference the fact that they’re ensemble numbers!

Try not to get lost in the crowd as we jam to a mob of…

<!–more–>

… “Crowd Choruses”!

This week, we’ll be raising our voices with a cast of… however many singers are featured in this overcrowded jam session! Just try not to get lost in the crowd!

The tunes we’ll be jammin’ to this week come courtesy of artists such as Rachel Bloom, The Muppets, Nikki Blonsky, and more! Certain selections come from films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Pocahontas (1995), and Beauty and the Beast (1991), and TV shows such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Galavant! Check out the categories and tags below for more!

I hope you consider jammin’ with us this Saturday at 7 am ET/6 am CT on 89.3 WNUR FM! If you like what you hear, let me know: I record every show and will happily send it to you! For more information about Jammin’ with Jamie, go here!

Thank you for reading, listening, and “jammin’,”
Jamie Lee

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Beginning Beats and Ending Ditties”!

Hi, everyone!

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and a new decade! It’s a time of new beginnings, both formal and informal. However, it’s also a time of both formal and informal endings.

On the formal side, certain seasonal jobs have ended, certain legal or work-related matters have met their deadline, and the wall and desk calendars have reached their expiration dates.

On the informal side, well, is everything else. New Year’s resolutions, personal and professional goals, a renewed spirit, and so much more.

The ending of one chapter is often the beginning of another, but there’s still a through line of story, characters, and/or settings to tie them together.

So in this “in between” space, let’s end one year and begin another with a batch of…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Seasonal Celebration Songs (2019)”!

Hi, everyone!

There are so many holidays still happening, and so many sales in the stores, so why cut things short? We’re done with the preparation: let’s celebrate with a sleigh full of…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Dark Holiday Ditties (2019)”!

Hi, everyone!

Last week, we got into the spirit of the holiday season here on Jammin’ with Jamie!

But I understand: the holidays aren’t all constant strings of twinkling holiday lights, warm gatherings of loving families and friends, and 24/7 holiday cheer. There are things that annoy us, things that stress out and overwhelm us, and, of course, there are those grumps who will groan, growl, grunt, and grumble their way all the way through January 2.

So let’s get all those frustrations out! Once we vent, we can keep these songs in our back pockets for when things get strained this season. We’re diving deep into a den of…

Continue reading

“Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “Christmas (and Holiday) Kickoff Choruses (2019)”!

Hi, everyone!

It… is… time. For Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/St. Nicholas Day/winter/many other holidays!

But I understand: while the snow gives some people a magical feeling, it leaves others cold. And while the holiday season is a joyous time for many, it can also be overwhelming, stressful, and even isolating.

But not to worry! Jammin’ with Jamie is here for you, and we’ve brought a sack full of…

Continue reading