Monday, June 29, 2015

A World of Pure Imagination

The Music Center is not having any summer sing-alongs this year. Naturally, I am outraged and have already sent a strongly worded letter informing them that they have ruined summer. I live for those sing-alongs! When I took the Art Society on our LA adventure a few weeks ago we went to the Disney Concert Hall and while the kids ran around like hooligans banging sticks on handrails I sat in the outdoor amphitheater where so many summer nights were spent singing and dancing and watching Mock Turtleneck Guy really get into it. Woe to lost summer fun!

But, on the cheerier side, the city is full of fun things to do. Namely: a viewing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the Orpheum Theater in downtown LA, which the sisters and I attended last week. You guys, this theater is a stunner. A real show-stopper. It is so grand inside. It's like the Julie Andrews of theaters. And they have the original Wurlitzer organ from 1926. You know I really love a Wurlitzer. The lobby was amazing, the ceilings and chandeliers were gorgeous. There is a lounge downstairs with dark wood paneling and cushy chairs and a fireplace and you can totally imagine the swanky folks coming down for a smoke at intermission. There was also an elevator that had to be manually run. History, right?

Do you know what's great about watching a movie like that in a beautiful place? Everyone is thrilled to be there. They laugh loudly at all the great lines and clap when Charlie finds the golden ticket. I mean, it's like we didn't even know he was going to get it. "You did it Charlie! What absolute luck." "Did Grandpa Joe just get out of bed? It's a miracle!" "I can't believe Augustus fell into the chocolate! What a doofus." "Why did they drink that fizzy lifting drink?! Why?!" That's how excited we were. All that velvet kind of gets to you.

But there was one person not thrilled to be there. The kid sitting in front of me. That kid was bored out of his mind. He could not sit still. In fact, at one point he leaned over to his sister (okay, like every 3 minutes) and said, "I can't sit still!" And then I leaned over to my sister and said, "These kids are driving me crazy." Violet turning into a blueberry couldn't even distract him from his quest to be the Most Fidgety Boy in All the Land. So a lot of my view was obstructed by his moppy head. I felt bad for the kid. Clearly his mom misjudged the event. Although, what exactly about an old, weird film from the 70s in a regal old theater preceded by a discussion with the director's adult children moderated by an NPR host beginning at 8:30 pm with tickets costing $20 each screams your 8 year old ADD son? Don't subject your kid to such a thing! And don't subject the freakishly short woman sitting behind him to such a thing either! (Parents, don't get cranky with me. Remember that I'm a childless spinster with Opinions. Also, I am not wrong about this.)

But, regardless of the poor monkey in front of me, it was a blast. Can you believe that Charlie got the whole factory? 


Lindsay said...

The Julie Andrews of theaters. The perfect description!

Rach said...

I agree 100% with you about the kid at the theater. I'm all for taking my kids to cool stuff that's aimed at KIDS. That starts at 4pm and includes otter pops. But I would know better than to take my already-tired kid to an event that starts after bedtime and is at a place I would be slightly nervous about messing up. My kids love that movie, but we watch it in the privacy of our already-trashed house.

Also, NO SING-ALONGS???? That's ridiculous.