Sunday, January 16, 2011
A Jolly Holiday
Tonight I was transformed from an old, cranky 53 year old lady with sore knees back to a skinny lanky 9 year old who was still trying to get used to wearing glasses mesmerized by the magic of Mary Poppins.
I remember watching that movie for the first time like it was yesterday. What I didn't know that magical afternoon in 1965, was that I would remember it vividly more than 40 years later.
What I also didn't know was that the following week, my favorite afternoon pass time, sitting in the Arsenal Theater on Butler Street in Lawrenceville would become something I could only enjoy in my memory.
Mary Poppins was the last movie to play at the Arsenal Theater. A few weeks later, they tore it down to make a parking lot for PNC bank. Sigh, a parking lot.
It's hard to say whether my love for Mary Poppins came about because it was the last movie at the Arsenal. Or was it the perfect movie for a nine year old girl to escape into.
Probably a little of both I suppose.
That Christmas I can remember getting two things. A Mary Poppins doll. And the movie soundtrack. I still have the doll. The album? I'm assuming it got too scratched up from playing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious over and over on my parents blue hi-fi. Either that, or it was replaced in importance by 45's such as Stone Soul Picnic, Sealed With A Kiss, and Hey There Little Red Riding Hood.
Anyway, I mention all this because tonight my best friend Ski, who I have known since childhood, took me to see the live version of Mary Poppins.
Let me tell you, with out a doubt, it was the best show I've ever seen live. Ever.
First there were the seats. FIRST ROW, CENTER, yes, front and center. Mary Poppins was singing to me. And I was singing back to her, (not so sure the person next to me appreciated that) And the Bird Lady. Ahh, the Bird Lady. She was looking right into my 9 year old eyes when she sang Feed The Birds. And after all these years, it still made me cry.
Tonight was a truly magical night made extra special by that fact that as I watched one of my favorite childhood memories actually come to life, I did so with someone who I've been friends with since the days when I saw the magic of the movie for the first time. Ski. My non-lesbian life partner.
What a joy both her and Mary Poppins are.