Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Kentucky Theatre and Flying Monkeys

So, last night I took MichaelB and Rachel to the Kentucky Theatre to see the 1939 film classic, The Wizard of Oz.

I don't often get to sit in the Kentucky as a fan. I'm usually onstage or working with either WoodSongs or the Troubadour Concert Series. And I must say, it was very nice to be in such a beautiful, old-school room for this classic film. The grand Theater was build only a few years before the film came out, so the setting and sound was perfect.

The audience was awesome. Over 800 people crammed into the theatre at 7PM on a Wednesday night to see Dorothy duke it out with that creepy Wicked Witch of the West. They booed when the nasty woman appeared on her bike to take Toto away, they cheered when the Lollipop Guild sang, they cried when Dorothy clicked her heels and repeated, "There's no place like home ..."

Another surprise was how funny that old movie was. It never really clicked until you are in a big audience and hearing the laughter from lines you've heard a hundred times but always took for granted. And for being made in 1938, this was a very adventurous and high-tech film. Of course, it never got it's due, as it was beat out at the Academy Awards for Best Picture by some flick called Gone With The Wind. I don't know, Clarke Gable didn't have anything over on the Tin Man. I guess that simply proves the old show biz rule: Timing is EVERYTHING.

I guess the best thing was seeing my kids enjoy something like this in a setting that most folks don't often get to enjoy anymore. Life sorta slowed down and moved backwards in the Kentucky Theatre last night. MichaelB turned into the same nine year old boy who watched the film back in 1939, all wide eyed and happy. There was no remote controls, no wide screen TV or DVD player, no cell phone ringing, no election, no global warming, no war, no recession, no terrorism. Just a good movie and a big bucket of the best popcorn made anywhere in Kentucky.

We got home as the sun set beyond the woods and took a walk down to the lower meadow where our big garden was, all tall and healthy and already yielding some of it's bounties. We picked a big ole cucumber and had ourselves a little snack as we talked about flying monkeys and how water can melt a mean old witch.

Later, Rachel clicked her sneakers together as she ascended the stairs to bed. All in all, a great evening ...