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Meet the Tony Winners: Stephanie J. Block of ‘The Cher Show’

Stephanie J. Block won her first Tony Award for playing Cher in The Cher Show on Broadway. The show chronicles six decades of Cher’s extraordinary life and career. It’s an uplifting story of enduring passion and fierce commitment despite when all odds were against her. Plus, The Cher Show is chock full of Cher’s hit songs and a whole bunch of eye-popping, glittering Bob Mackie costumes. Prior to The Cher Show, Block had been nominated for two Tony Awards. Her other theater credits includes Falsettos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes, 9 to 5: The Musical, The Pirate Queen, Wicked and playing Liza Minnelli in her Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz.

Did you get a text message from Cher before the Tony Awards?
Stephanie J. Block: She’s not Cher on my phone, as you can imagine. Because if you lose your phone, that is information that shouldn’t get out. But every time my phone goes “ding, ding, ding, ding,” when I get seven or eight dings, I pretty much know it’s going to be sweet Cher on the other side. So she was wishing love. She’s really proud of the show. She said that it is bringing so much joy in a time where some of us have heavy hearts. She was delicious in the sense that she said, “Good luck tonight. I mean tomorrow. I mean tonight, no, I mean Sunday. I know, Sunday. I love you doll, Sunday.” And then the kiss emoji. It’s all very Cher. She is so authentically herself, whether it’s an email or text message or in person. She translates the same, and it’s just so beautifully authentic.

Where you always a Cher fan?
SJB: I was a fan of her movies before I was a fan of her music. My parents watched Sonny and Cher, so I can vaguely remember what that meant to our household. But to me, I’ll be honest, it was the Barbie. It was seeing this sleek, long, dark-haired figure in a Barbie box in a gorgeous Bob Mackie gown. And I thought, “Oh, you know what? I feel I resemble her much more than the other Barbies.” And that’s what really drew my attention first. Then the movies. Then the music and now, as odd as it sounds, she is a friend.

When you gave your Tony speech, you talked about your journal entry when you were 12 or 13. What would that child say about you growing up and playing Cher?
SJB: I think she would probably say, “absolutely not.” Growing up in southern California, my life and the beginning part of my career were all with the light roles…doing regional theater. That is one of the reasons I moved to New York. And the idea of bringing someone like Cher to life certainly wasn’t on my radar in any way, shape or form. Making my debut as Liza Minnelli wasn’t on the radar in any way, shape or form. I went from playing Liza 15 years ago to then saying “yes” again to playing another icon. I may be a masochist, but here I am. So I think it was a good decision.

How does it feel to have won a Tony Award?
SJB: Well, when I go to my therapist, we will talk about that. It’s really amazing. You don’t work for the award. But it is always that hope, that wish, a dream, that goal. I mean that little paper from my journal was from 1984. So to stand up there, 30 some years later, and to know that actually happened, really brings me to my knees. There were so many times I thought, “New York is just too much. It’s all too much.” I quit this business at least two, three times a year. And yet I still stand here, because of the people who love me. I know it all takes some endurance and tenacity. Not to bring it back to Cher, but that was one of the reasons why I said “yes” to playing her. It was her tenacity, resilience and never giving up, no matter whatever life threw at her. That has brought me here. I’m so grateful.

By Jeryl Brunner

The Countdown Begins! 5 Reasons We Can’t Wait for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Open at Walt Disney World

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Following its massive grand opening in May at Disneyland, the new Star Wars land known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to make its debut at Walt Disney World Resort on August 29, 2019. At the opening, the land will include dining, shopping and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

The Disneyland debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been a rousing success, and we’re excited that later this summer Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open its doors to the incredible, immersive new attraction.

Here are five reasons we’re looking forward to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World:

The Attractions
Live out your Han Solo fantasy and take control of the fastest ship in the galaxy! Embark on the thrilling interactive mission Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Ride in the famous cockpit of the Millennium Falcon on a daring flight — and whether you’re a pilot, engineer or gunner, every role is crucial. A second ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, will open later this year and place guests into a battle against the First Order.

The Toys
Browse handcrafted toys and collectibles at the whimsical Toydarian Toymaker. Guests will find all types of artisanal playthings and collectibles, perfect for gifts and special keepsakes of your experience.

The Food
The Star Wars-themed land will feature a variety of dining options, from quick bites and treats, to restaurants. One stop should be Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, an eatery housed in a working hangar bay. Sit inside the spacious hangar, or grab a table in the rustic outdoor seating area surrounded by the crumbling walls of the old marketplace.

The Shops
Outfit yourself for galactic adventures at the Black Spire Outfitters. At this local shop, you can browse through an eclectic selection of stylish, functional clothing suitable for a variety of occasions and far away worlds.

The Lightsaber
Customize your own legendary lightsaber and become one with the Force. Visit a covert workshop packed with unusual parts, whimsical pieces and miscellaneous memorabilia collected from the far reaches of the galaxy.

Prepare to discover a galaxy far, far away… at Walt Disney World when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debuts on August 29.

TicketsatWork.com has great Walt Disney World Resort deals, including special savings for gate prices!

By Jeff Hyatt

8 Weekend Getaways to Book this Summer

Miami Weekend Getaway with TicketsatWork

Summertime has become synonymous with weekend getaways! TicketsatWork.com has rounded up eight ideas from coast to coast to help you relax, have fun and enjoy the sights and sounds of a quick trip. Whether it’s a special escape for couples or a family trip with the kids, don’t miss these special weekend getaways that are perfect for summer.

Little Havana Food Tour
Food lovers in Miami can savor the best Cuban cuisine in town. The guided narrated food tour crisscrosses through one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, where you’ll visit family-owned restaurants, meet local artists and watch cigar rollers. Learn about traditional, rustic Cuban cuisine by tasting and walking your way through the must-visit street in the area: Calle Ocho. Save over 20%

Dierks Bentley Live in Concert – Kansas City, MO
A weekend getaway – country music style! The talented, singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley brings his popular Burning Man Tour to the Starlight Theatre on August 22. It’s going to be a fun, boogie-woogie time in KC! Save up to 30%

Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Located outside Seattle, WA, here you’ll find kid-friendly indoor activities, a range of dining options, shopping, and more – all under one roof. The huge, indoor waterpark features a 4-story tree house water fort, 8 water slides for guests of all ages, 4 splash and play pools, and 1 giant tipping bucket. Exclusive Access – Great Wolf Water Park Day Pass

Crazy Dash Digital Adventure Game
Jazz up your San Diego, CA, getaway with Crazy Dash, a digital adventure walking tour that takes you around the city to do silly tasks and see the sights using just an app on your smartphone. These sites could range from monuments and historical markers to sculptures and other important landmarks of the city. Save 65%

Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay
In lovely Louisville, KY, enjoy a theme park/water park with thrills to suit every member of the family. There are 70+ rides and attractions, including a huge water park with two wave pools, two rivers, water slides and two water play areas designed for children, as well as five world-class roller coasters, lots of thrill rides, many classic family favorites like the Giant Wheel and a large selection of children’s rides. Save 45%

Dallas CityPASS
If your getaway takes you to Big D, get to know all the best attractions for one great price. Your CityPASS covers admission to four top attractions, including the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Reunion Tower GeO-Deck and the Dallas Zoo. Each ticket book contains helpful information, an attraction location map, directions, and money-saving coupons. Save up to 45%

Dolphin Discovery Encounter By Thomas More Travel
Who says you have to drive to your weekend getaway? Hop a flight to Cancun for some fun including a swim with dolphins. You’ll have the chance to kiss them and shake their fins during the Encounter program, which is suitable for all ages. Save up to 30%

Three Hour Chicago Segway Tour
Packing up for a fun weekend in Chi-Town? Hop aboard a Segway tour to see virtually all the best sites. The fun tour of the Windy City features a tour guide, bike and helmet. Highlights include Adler Planetarium, Grant Park, Lake Michigan Lakefront & Monroe Harbor, Soldier Field and Chicago’s World Class Skyline. Save on tickets!

International Spy Museum
During a visit to Washington D.C., dive into the fascinating world of spy games at the only public museum in the world to provide a global perspective on the vital role of intelligence. The Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts, and visitors are invited to step into the shoes of a spy and receive an undercover mission while they test their skills through state-of-the-art interactives and immersive RFID technology. Save up to 20%

By Jeff Hyatt

5 Key Takeaways from SHRM 2019 in Las Vegas

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We’re back after a successful SHRM 2019 in Vegas! TicketsatWork connected with thousands of HR professionals from around the world, sharing all the ways TicketsatWork can support a healthy and fun work-life balance via our corporate benefits platform. We networked, met new HR folks from across the country and attended engaging sessions that focused on the theme Creating Better Workplaces. As a team, we left the conference inspired, motivated and prepared for the future. Previously, we covered the 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your SHRM 2019 Experience. And now, we’re sharing our top SHRM takeaways that you can start practicing in the workplace today.

Be actively engaged in setting the culture.
A vibrant, supportive, innovative office culture is the first step to workplace success. And, the more engaged an employee is with this culture, the better work they’ll put forth. This is the same for HR professionals. Actively participating, remaining positive and sharing an emotional connection with employees are all ways you can be both a leader and a team player in your organization – not just a bystander. In turn, employees will more likely do the same.

Create workplaces where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and grow.
Every single person – regardless of their challenges – deserves a chance to grow personally and professionally. Top performers deliver their best work when they’re aligned with and enthusiastic about the company’s mission. Make actionable plans today to help every employee feel empowered, appreciated and part of the team.

Benefits have consistently shown to be the key factor to success.
Today’s employee marketplace is competitive – very competitive. To recruit and retain top talent, you must offer quality, unique benefits that set your company apart. Companies are continuously trying to diversify their benefits based on current laws, regulations and demographic and societal trends, in order to maintain a competitive edge. A key learning from SHRM was this: Make benefits a priority, and remain flexible and open to changes as the workforce changes.

Learn one thing at a time and focus your energy on that before moving on to the next.
Do you have team members who multitask? They may want to change their approach. Studies have shown that multitasking decreases performance, because the brain doesn’t have the latitude to simultaneously perform multiple tasks effectively. This insight can be applied to roles across the company. Focus on fully mastering a specific skill before moving on to the next. Not only does this instill a profound sense of accomplishment, but work performance will vastly improve.

Practice the art of appreciation: You will receive more than you give.
We can all learn something from each other. Every employee provides a different perspective and brings unique talents and skillsets to the table. It’s important to acknowledge this, and to show your employees that you notice their work, commitment and successes, small or big. Expressing your appreciation – whether in words, gift cards, special awards or more – go a long way!

Want to stay updated on TicketsatWork offers, deals and news? Follow us at @TicketsatWork. See you next year at SHRM 2020 sunny San Diego.

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