Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happiness is...a road trip!

New York, New York, a wonderful town!

Once upon a time there was a young girl who fell in love with a singin' and hoofin' Christian Bale.  So much so that she watched his movie nearly 100 times (in the theater), joined the fan club, wrote to the Disney studios, followed the careers of his fellow troubadours, and has every song and many of the dance moves memorized to this day.

So, when said girl finds out that there is a stage production of her beloved Newsies, she does the only thing she can do...ropes a group of friends into taking a road trip with her to New Jersey (nope, it doesn't quite rate Broadway yet) to see it.

We spent Saturday in the city visiting the Tenement Museum (highly educational, enjoyable and worth every penny), devouring the heavenly chocolate at Max Brenner's, perusing the 18 miles of books at The Strand, indulging in tasty fries and sandwiches at Schnipper's and driving past The Highline before heading back to NJ and trying our luck at Carlos' Bakery (but the line was wayyyyy too long!)

Then it was off to Millburn and the Papermill Playhouse where we found out that we'd bought tickets for the wrong day! There was a bit of panic and disappointment and trying to appease the person who'd been in charge of ticket buying while cajoling the agent at the window to exchange our tickets...success! We now had tickets for the Sunday matinee but we were also in NJ, all dressed up with no place to go.

So we made the only logical choice; drove to a neighboring small town, found a tiny movie theater and watched the remake of Footloose. We all had very low expectations and thus were highly entertained. It went a long way to soothing the disappointments of missing our intended show.

Sunday we found a random church building in Jersey City where we crashed a sacrament meeting and then tried Carlos' Bakery again  (man, that guy is popular!) We voted to find some lunch instead of standing in line in the hopes of getting a baked good. So we found a charming little Italian restaurant, seated ourselves at a sidewalk table in the gorgeous fall sunshine and ate some mighty delicious food while listening to Frank Sinatra over the speakers. Sinatra, Italian, Hoboken, it was all very apropos and a lovely way to spend a morning.

As a wise person once said, it's Frank's world we just live in it.  Amen to that. (Long live the Chairman of the Board!)

Following our tasty lunch we ventured back to Millburn where we were finally treated to the musical amazingness of the story of the newsboys strike.  There were some adjustments and changes made from the movie but they stayed true to the spirit of the material and it was all just plain old fun. There are few pleasures in life greater than watching a bunch of guys sing and dance. The choreography leaned heavily on the athletic ballet that Gene Kelly made famous, looking masculine, graceful and effortless all at the same time.

Here's a little taste of the show complete with some dancing and the fabulous set/scenery.

Not too shabby, eh?

And for all you die-hard purists out there here's a snippet of the original. 

*sigh* I'm still hoping one of these days Christian Bale will convert and decide to marry me. My 15 year old self would be the happiest girl alive!

Do you have any childhood obsessions you'd care to confess? Anything that has stayed with you through to adulthood in some form or other? Any obsessions you've acquired since growing up? What is it that can make you smile or feel like a kid again no matter how many times you've seen it/done it/heard it? I'd love to know!

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