Saturday, November 26, 2011

Practically perfect afternoon

Someone is about to confiscate the tambourines.
I don't mean to suggest by this title that there were flaws in the afternoon.  If there was anything less-than-perfect, it was that I had to end it so early, due to living so far out and needing so much to do before returning to my routine life.  I certainly could have extended.

Some things you do just to blog about them.  Some things you do for the officially sanctioned freedom of singing "Sister Suffragette" at the top of your voice in a public place.  This was the latter.

Sing-along Mary Poppins at Arlington's beautiful Regent Theatre has one more showing this weekend, and you need to get down there to help skew the average age to those who can actually read the lyrics... and BOO the Bankers when they chant "Think of the Foreclosures!!"

It is a damn shame we did not have this theatre event in my youth, because I would have been there every weekend, in an era where you certainly could afford to go to the movies every weekend (and a horror flick screamer was 94 cents).  What is also a damn shame is that kids today have to be so disaffected so young, because this is best enjoyed by a 7th or 8th grader (what we would have done with Grease!) who would be Too Cool for The Musicool these days.  The audience at our showing was mostly under 10, mostly girls, mostly unable to sing-along.

But boy howdee, could they bang a tambourine. 

The owner of the Regent -- an exurbent Boomer with a fleece jacket featuring the dogs' poker table -- provided each participant with a bag of supplies:  tambourine, glo-sticks (for the rooftop fireworks), spoon (for sugar), tiny mug (for tea party on the ceiling), and tuppence (for choking on).  The film comes with a few instructions, but the tambourines caught on right away.

Props missing were cannon (for chiming the hour on a film that runs 139 minutes), rotten eggs for throwing at the Prime Minister, the Time Warp, and rum punch (hic).  But the kids held up fine.  There was one meltdown as Mary Poppins prepared to leave (after the longest week in cinema history).  Or maybe the poor tyke finally figured out what suffrage was. 

Best synopsis ever, from imdb:  "A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family."
(Do not confuse with "A failed novice comes to work for a bitter captain's unhappy family."  That opens in December) .

At the earlier showing, the 2nd grader in full Jolly Holiday get-up no doubt won the costume contest.  At our showing were 2 boys who made knickers by shoving their pants into their socks, and 20 other kids who just took the owner up on his offer to walk across the stage.

He read us several interesting trivia points, which 8th graders (ok, Dodie and I) would have enjoyed -- then we would have stayed after and begged him to screen Oliver! next.  The little ones weren't listening, but we adults enjoyed the tip of looking for men in drag in the Nanny Applicants' line.

If it has been a while since you watched this film straight through, particularly with 20 5 year-olds, you'll want to prepare them for the long talky bits of insufferable Mr Banks.  You'll want to prepare yourself for how LONG the Jolly Holiday is.  I chose "I Love to Laugh" as my bathroom break.  You'll want to be fully refreshed for the Dance of the Chimney Sweeps. 

On this Small Business Saturday, this is the event we chose - and you can still get in on Rolf and Lisl's turn in the gazebo.  The Regent is a fantastic independent venue of music, theatre, comedy, and film in the heart of Arlington, MA. If you can't get here, activate the closed captions on your own home theatre and dream up your own props for any of the films mentioned above, or perhaps Wizard of Oz,  Newsies, or Hello Dolly.  The kids love Dolly Levi.

This is my favorite Mary Poppins bit on the Internet.  It has been around a while, but still delivers.

Hope you're enjoying National Blogpost Month.
Here's another NaBloPoMo participant for you to enjoy.

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