Seize the Day

Musical Theater.  It is the absolute best.  They take a story and tell it through song, and it goes from good to great.  I think it is because songs tap into a deep emotional side of us. Add in some drama and dance and you are good to go.

Last night, I went to see Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of Disney’s Newsies.  I had never seen Newsies before, neither on stage or the film. I know – I’m behind the times.  It was excellent, like every musical I’ve seen at TBR is. There is something extra special about community theatre.  Seeing all that amazing talent and knowing that these are the kids, doctors, teachers, etc. who reside and work right here in Baton Rouge.  

The singing, dancing, acting, and production were all great.  It is an inspirational tale of the Newsboys strike of 1899. If you haven’t seen it yet, they added two dates next week that still have tickets.  I guess I need to get around to watching the movie now.

I’m not a toy!

My daughter and I went to the first showing of Toy Story 4 this morning. Like everyone else, I’ve been a fan of Toy Story since the release of the first film 24 years ago. Each of the films has been great, including this one. I think that spacing them out this much really ups the nostalgia factor, but they are each great movies on their own. (The trailer for Frozen’s sequel, however, is looking a bit intense.)

The movie is funny and full of all of our old loveable favorite characters. Several new characters are also introduced, including Duke Kaboom and of course, the loveable Forky! I thought Forky was just going to be a funny side character, but he actually turns out to be a major part of the movie.

Ultimately, this movie is about Woody, Andy’s original favorite toy. If you are emotionally attached to Disney movies (as I am), the ending is bittersweet. You may even cry.

I was the only person in the theater who stayed all the way until the end of the credits for the final post-credit scene. The four teenage movie theater employees stood by and waited for me to leave so that they could start their clean-up of the theater. There are several different scenes during the credits. The one at the very end is cute, but not worth staying for if you’re not really into that sort of a thing. It’s just an extra joke. But I like to get the full experience.

Now to just save my money for a trip to Disney World, so that I can experience Toy Story Land!

Aladdin (2019) Film Review

I went to see the new live action remake of Disney’s Aladdin yesterday, on opening night.  I love Disney movies, and appreciate the new interpretations and added storylines that come with the new live action films.  Aladdin was not my favorite of the recent remakes.  That honor would probably go to Maleficent or Beauty and the Beast.  Aladdin was, however, an enjoyable ride (on a magic carpet).

Will Smith’s Genie was not as funny as the character made famous by Robin Williams, but it was still fun to see his take on the all-powerful master of the lamp.  I love when the remakes give us a literal live-action interpretation of the original, but I also appreciate the added storyline elements and new songs. One of the main additions to Aladdin was a heightened focus on Princess Jasmine’s wish to rule her father’s kingdom after him.  The new original song in the film is entitled Speechless.  It is a feminist anthem about the power of a woman’s voice. It might have been interesting to have the film have an even larger focus on Jasmine and her storyline.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the movie, but not quite as much as the recent Broadway musical production of Disney’s Aladdin.  That performance took my breath away.  It was so beautiful, funny, and entertaining.  If you ever get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it.  As for the new live action film, I highly recommend it for fans of Disney, musicals, and remakes.  I’m all three, so for me, it was an enjoyable night.