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Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Every little step.

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm

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Part of my plan for my alone weekend was to see a movie, preferably three. Luckily it’s summer, which means the movies out right now tend toward action and/or juvenile humor, so my list of three was pretty easy to make: Adventureland, Goodbye Solo, and Every Little Step. Alas, my other weekend activities—the dinner out, pedicure, hike in the Marin Headlands, the lunch out—meant that all I had time for was one movie, so I had to put more thought than usual into the selection. Since I had just been telling my husband about how I volunteered as an usher at Memphis’s Orpheum Theater (where all the Broadway touring shows came) while in high school and how seeing A Chorus Line was kind of lifechanging, I decided that Every Little Step had to be my pick. (I also thought it was the one my husband would have the least interest in.)

Not even a minute into the film, I got all goosebumpy hearing the music, just as I had when I was 16 and sitting on the aisle stairs watching the live performance at The Orpheum. The documentary is wonderful, even if you care not a whit about musical theater (for me what distinguishes A Chorus Line from other musicals is that it’s a musical about musical theater, so it’s not jarring when people break into song and dance). Marvin Hamlisch is adorable, and the original producers (who are putting on the revival in 2006) are still as passionate about the show as they were when it debuted in 1976. And the documentary is unusual in that it has two frames: 1) a loving recollection of/tribute to the origins of the show and its original creator and director Michael Bennett; and 2) closely following the producers and performers as the revival is cast.

The crowd erupted into applause when it was over and I left the cinema inspired, singing “One” at the top of my lungs all the way home in the car.

48 hours.

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm

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My husband did a great and wonderful thing last weekend: he took my daughter away from me. It wasn’t very far (just to his parents’ house in Orange County) and it wasn’t very long (48 hours almost exactly), but the psychic break it provided was beyond measure. Our daughter goes to daycare 4 days a week, but there’s something very different about having that many hours together all at once. The brain space normally reserved for parenting—and the things that go with parenting: cleaning, grocery shopping, working, etc.—are freed up for thoughts, ideas, feelings, conversations that are edited out of the busy life of a working parent. I missed my daughter and my husband, to be sure. And I was very happy to greet them at the bottom of the escalator by the Southwest Airlines baggage claim when they returned home. But for those 48 hours, I wasn’t a parent or a wife. It was lovely. I hope to return the favor sometime soon for my husband. And hope that we can give each other more frequent mini-versions of this break in the meantime, and beyond.