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Thanksgiving & the Muppets | Muppet Monday

Somehow it is this time of year again. Time for stuffing, chats around a dining room table, your dad snoring in the living room as he “watches” football with your husband. With all the traditions I do look forward to on Turkey Day (my husband’s homemade apple pie!), I realized there are quite of few related to the Muppets (and I haven’t even done this on purpose). Here’s the honest truth:

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and missing Kermit.

I’m positive I jinxed the Kermit balloon ever since I visited the pre-parade walk through in 2012. Since then, Kermit has been taking a sabbatical from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. It’s true he’s taken off some time before, so who knows, maybe in a few years he’ll return bright and shiny and lovely as always. But until then, I’ll miss him flying in the air (but not so much I won’t watch until Santa appears on my television).

Listening to Christmas carols sung by the Muppets.

We have this unofficial (depending on who you talk to) rule about listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving so I’m more than pumped to switch playlists and let all the carols warm my heart in just a few days. This include the Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrack, and a few other fun albums featuring my favorite guys. Guys, Gonzo can sing a beautiful holiday song.

Reminiscing about the 3-year anniversary of The Muppets film.

Where would we be without “Life’s a Happy Song”? It may not be the Muppet movie that changed our lives (though, it could be for some people) but I have fond memories of our family retreat to the movies, where I cried and cried through the whole thing and acted like a tiny psychopath, er, I mean Muppet fangirl. It was the EVENT of the holiday season, and this just might mean, I have to give it another watch. Who’s with me?

Forget all about that horrific Lady Gaga holiday special from last Thanksgiving.

Um, well. At least the Muppets were on TV? But it could have been SO MUCH BETTER. (Lady Gaga needed to wear an ugly holiday sweater, that is for sure.) I still can’t get Walter dancing out of my head though. He was the star.

Last but not least… hanging out with my version of The Muppets

Let’s be real. Holidays are not easy, especially when you are hanging out with family you haven’t seen in awhile. There’s food, there’s chatting, there is wine, and then sometimes… there are mini-arguments. But like the Muppets (and almost all their movie conflicts) they persevere and come together, perhaps with a song and dance. I can’t promise there will be singing and dancing in my household but I do know we’ll be happy to be together again.

On behalf of my Muppet friends and me (duh!), here’s wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

(Even if it’s significantly less Muppet-y than my own.)

V No PrivacyNovember 24, 2014 - 5:54 pm

It is not the holidays unless I have watched the Muppet Family Christmas tv special from 1987. It’s my favorite! :)

Happy Reads + Recap: 11/21

Why, hello there! It’s been a little quiet around here, I know. Vacation, post-vacation, and a whole lot of tired. No fear… I have a lot of super fun content coming up from my trip, for the holidays, and beyond. In the meantime, I’m trying not to get too sad about MuppetVision closing at Disneyland for good (okay I’m devastated) while I’m rejoicing that paperwork has been filed to remove the Sorcerer’s Hat. A mix of emotions, as always. Hope all of you are well and pumped to enjoy some great posts this week:

In the meantime, around here:

Thanks for stopping in & happy weekend!:)

Hooray for Hunchback | TheatEAR Newsflash

While I was away last week, The Hunchback of Notre Dame had the nerve to open at La Jolla Playhouse in California. While I get over this, I think it’s the perfect time to share some info about the East-coast aimed production, set to make a home at Paper Mill Playhouse in March of 2015 (before heading to Broadway, I hope!).

This is one of the only animated films that I’ve been dying to see on stage, so I am thrilled it’s finally becoming a possibility. I especially like that this story is darker than most of the screen to stage adaptations; I want to see Disney Theatrical grow in a different direction. This could do the trick.

Short and sweet preview but I love the powerful music and how the character interpretations are not cartoon-y. So important to a story that is so serious and heartbreaking and very grown up.

Here’s some of the recent feedback:

  • “Someone, probably helmer Scott Schwartz, has clearly been studying “Peter and the Starcatcher” (and why not? It too kicked off in La Jolla), for “Hunchback” is right out of that hit’s playbook in merging sumptuous visuals with bare-bones platform staging conventions.” – Variety
  • Very tough but thoughtful review from L.A Weekly. Pretty show but not original enough. (Sounds like the general problem with musical theatre lately.)
  • Charles McNulty hits so many of the problems I’ve felt with recent Disney Theatrical productions in his Los Angeles Times review: “Filled with action, suspense and romantic fantasies that don’t have a chance in hell of being realized, the tale of the misshapen cathedral drone has built-in popular appeal. But this latest incarnation of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” has a horrible identity crisis on its hands.”
  • “Okay, #HunchbackofNotreDame was legit good, save a shakey start to Act Two. FINALLY, DISNEY.” — Lance+Jeff (@LanceAndJeff) November 16, 2014

Not exactly a slam dunk but the bright spot is that a show like Hunchback has the time (and resources) to go through some alterations before the Broadway announcement is made. Can they balance the kid-friendly with the adult storyline? Could they possibly make this classic story feel fresh and not just another Disney production? It’s certainly not an impossibility and I hope it happens. Since Disney jumped into Broadway, it took a lot of them to be taken seriously and though they have had a ton of successes nothing has affected theater-goers like The Lion King, a show that has been gracing Broadway for 17 years.

Sure, that kind of success is rare. It was the first Broadway show to make over one billion dollars. THE FIRST SHOW. With anything else, producers and directors and fans and all those involved open on the big stage and hope for success but I doubt they think about something as momentous as 17 years on Broadway and hitting the billion dollar mark. Part of this drought is the reason why I want Hunchback to blow us all away. Healthy competition is a good thing plus at some point you have to prove you are still in the running and not depending on past successes all the time.

Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse

Playbill | Photo by Kevin Berne

No matter what — it will be exciting to see what happens next!

Caitie FNovember 19, 2014 - 10:47 am

We saw these reviews, but are still thinking of getting tickets to the Papermill – the movie score is just so good!

[…] sharing the haps on The Hunchback of Notre Dame […]

45 Years of Sunny Days | Muppet Monday

Good morning! Hope you guys are doing well!

Muppet Monday is back in action, and I’m excited to share a few pictures from the Sesame Street exhibit currently going strong at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts. They’re celebrating the 45th anniversary of the groundbreaking children’s show in a big way — sharing artifacts, history, Muppets, music, and more in a free event. It’s around until January 31, 2015 so I sincerely hope you take a few hours to check it out.

Somebody Come and Play at New York Public Library: Sesame Street Exhibit

Since Jim Henson played an integral part in the birth of Sesame Street, there were a ton of mentions of him. (Some great pictures and video footage too.) But I thought since it’s Monday and we’re all tired, I would share some of the highlights of the entire exhibit: actual Muppets. All three of these were created from Jim’s designs, and you probably know them very well.

As my husband said: “Big Bird is really BIG.” Yes, yes he is. There’s also a fantastic little part of the exhibit where you can touch the different materials used to make the Muppets and Big Bird is also very, very soft. I wouldn’t mind a hug from that guy.

It’s great to see Bert and Ernie looking so happy and the detail of their space was great with Bert’s bottle cap collection and some pigeon-themed journals. I had forgotten all about the bottle caps! (My husband: “He is such a geek!” Ahem. So are we, honey.)

Aren’t those fun?

Stay turned from more exhibit goodies in the coming weeks as we continue to celebrate 45 years of Sesame Street!

Steve BurnsNovember 17, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Even when you get older, things like Big Bird, Bert, and Ernie still bring out the kid in us! Or at least in me. Cool to see, even if just in your photos!

Weekly Round Up: November 18November 18, 2014 - 5:01 am

[…] celebrates 45 years of Sesame Street on This Happy Place […]

Frightful or Delightful?

This weekend marks the fourth time I’ve been to Walt Disney World during the second weekend of November. You would think I have inside knowledge about what to expect weather wise, right? As I was packing this weekend, clothes thrown all over the place, I realized I have absolutely no idea. Last November, my makeup melted off every single day and the other two November visits were warm during the day and super cool at night. (We went back to our hotel and changed into jeans and hoodies for our evening festivities.)

Maybe last year’s crazy humidity and summer weather was only a novelty?

Here’s what I’m up against this weekend:

November Walt Disney World Weather

The nights look chilly! Last year, I got away with forgetting a jacket and wearing a sundress when we closed Magic Kingdom one night. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case this time.

So what’s my plan? This is not fool proof BUT:

  • Pack the jeans. It’s less painful this way. Just do it.
  • Layer up. T-shirts, hoodies, and my trusty jean jacket to wear over the cute dresses I am still bringing.
  • Sandals? Yes. But slip on canvas sneakers too.
  • Keep checking the weather. In the past 3 days, it’s changed so significantly. I can’t keep up.
  • Remind yourself that Florida will feel warmer than wherever you are coming from.
  • Pack the bathing suit anyway. I need to swim in the Nemo pool!

I think the real problem when it becomes to fluctuating fall weather is the possibility of overpacking. No one wants to over-pack when they are hanging out in an airport alone and have to lug all their belongings with them anywhere they stop. My trip is relatively short — four days — and I don’t like to check luggage for these long weekend trips. I tend to make a huge mess of my bedroom, try on everything I own, and fit it all in a tiny little bag. So far, so good.

It doesn’t seem to matter the time of year, I always find a way to overthink when it comes to traveling. I’m actually not even sure if any of this is good advice. I haaaate not knowing what to expect exactly, and mostly, the thought of leaving something necessary at home drives me up a wall. (Good news: unlike last year, I already have my contacts case packed.)