Monday Smiles – 7/21/2014
Music!!! Is there anything better? What’s that? How about family? How about friends? How about Date Night with the woman you love? OK. You got me (Don’t let it happen again). Let me start over. A musical weekend. With a Saturday Date Night with the woman you love and … music! And a Sunday evening out with friends for theater and dinner … and music !!! What? You can still think of better things? Yeah, so can I. But the official blogging bylaws say that hyperbole is acceptable as a means drawing a readers attention to a post. Consider yourself drawn.
The movie pickings have been pretty slim lately and since movies and dinner is one of our favorite dates, we’ve seen some pretty miserable films. The Amazing Spider Man (believe it or not, boring) and Twenty-Two Jump Street (truly dumb), to mention two. Of course, cinema bottom-feeding occasionally leads to a pleasant surprise, for example, Tammy, which looked dumb in previews but was actually decent. Saturday Night we went to see Begin Again, the new release from John Carney who penned the Tony winning Broadway hit musical, Once. Hmmm, I said. Music, good. Musical, maybe not. Begin Again brings together Kiera Knightly as Gretta, a singer songwriter who’s recently been dumped by the love of her life and Mark Ruffulo as Dan, a down and out music producer who hears Gretta perform in a bar and decides he wants to produce her. In a nearly but never quite romantic relationship, they produce an indie-music album of her songs recorded at different locations around New York (hence the music for the musical). The way the album … and the performers … come together is nicely done, as is the way the project rekindles Dan’s relationship with his estranged daughter, played perfectly by Hailee Steinfeld. The music was very good and Kiera Knightly was was quite good in her first singing role. Very worth seeing.
Sunday afternoon, we went with our friends Ron and Linda to see the musical, The Buddy Holly Story, at the Laguna Playhouse. I had no reservation about this being musical … this was Buddy Holly, for Pete’s sake. The play wrapped the story of Holly’s brief career around live performances of his hits by Todd Meredith as Holly and a talented group of actors and musicians who provided the live band and back-up singers. Hits by the Big Bopper (Chantilly Lace!!) and Richie Valens (La Bamba) were also included with Mike Brennen playing the Big Bopper and Emilio Ramos playing Richie Valens. As you might expect for a show about an artist who’s career ended in a plane crash nearly sixty years ago, the audience was largely gray-hairs and by the final number, an ensemble performance of Holly’s hit, Oh Boy, they were on their feet, clapping and rocking out (senior version). I suppose that depending on your age, that’s either a scary or joyful sight. We chose joyful.
Date Night. Friends. Music. Peggy Sue!!!! It’s Monday … I’m smiling.