First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spectacular Spectacular

We took the kids to the Radio City Music Hall Spectacular starring the World famous Rockettes. I wasn't sure about it at first. That's a lot of sparkly, conformist feminine sexuality. Felt like it might be inappropriate for the kids with the unnecessary revealing holiday themed outfits.  "Kids look! Christmas Tits!"

But it was really much tamer than that. There was a lot of sparkly, conformist, femininity about, but the Peanut didn't seem that interested.

The show was pretty enjoyable. It was sort of like MGM musical porn. Like an old fashioned MGM movie musical, but with all the bothersome plot and talking mostly removed.  The dancing was very good and the Rockettes were so in sync I asked my wife if she thought they used an electric cattle prod on'em during rehearsal. She replied, "they probably make them digest their food." Love my wife.

The kids' favorite part was a kind of cartoonish snippet of The Nutcracker done with one young ballerina and then a bunch of dancers in cartoon bear costumes. They must have been sweating off whatever genitalia they possessed under those costumes. The Peanut was very taken with the ballet. As some of you night know, we take that stuff pretty seriously around here.

There was this odd scene where everyone in the show dressed up in silver sparkly stuff and walked up and down a lighted glass staircase toward a shimmering computer animated background. We think it was supposed to be like heaven. Which makes sense because everyone knows heaven is a filled with Christmas and white people and sparkles and leggy 1950's sex symbols. 

There was a large number of old people at the show. People who remembered what it was like when the Rockettes counted as serious masturbation material. It kind of creeps me out, now that I think about it.

The big finale was the Nativity scene, with real animals. Two sheep, a donkey, and a camel who managed to communicate gravitas. Not what you get from a camel up close. If you've met one you know they exude disdain and stench. Maybe the stench is heavy with gravitas, but that's about it.

There were real animals and a disembodied voice reading bible passages and a manger and Inn and all the wise men and everything. These people were serious about it being a Christmas show. No "happy holidays" here. I got pretty swept up in it. Never felt more gentile. Odd, considering that myself and the baby Jesus were most likely the only two Jews in the entire theatre. Not including the agents.

Anyway, bible passages, animals, wise men, manger, Inn, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, a searingly bright projection of the Star of Wonder, and then the big finish.  You can't have a finale at a Rockettes show without showing off those famous moves.  This was my favorite part. The last big number: The dancing virgin Marys. Naked legged, pregnant, virgins dancing in perfect time. Robes coming a couple inches short of their knees so we could all get a glimpse of that oh so immaculate thigh. Kicks high, heels pointed toward the Lord. Merry Christmas Everyone!

That last part didn't happen, but I truly wish--prayed even--it had. Would've been the best show ever.

As it was, it was pretty enjoyable. Especially considering the tickets were free through a friend. I'll never forget those smiling, white-toothed, long legged dancing wonders. Made me want to sing Christmas carols while rushing right out to buy a box of Crest white strips. Psshh. Gentiles


Also, I've got a new piece up over at Insert Eyeroll wherein I reveal the dream every modern father has for his daughter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Polar Excess

So this friday, at the Peanut's school, everyone gets to show up at school in their PJ's, drink hot chocolate, and watch Polar Express. What a pant load.

This is such a creepy, lousy movie. Cold, soulless, and commercial. Tom Hanks should get kicked right in his Forrest Gumps for making that piece of shit. And the Peanut is about to watch it. Again. See, they do this every year. Show this sneakily cynical mall Christmas suckfest. Which incidentally is the title of my new Christmas album. Look for it on Spotify.

There are so many other Christmas movies I'd rather the Peanut watch. I'd rather she watch Bad Santa than watch this movie. I'd rather she watch Ernest Saves Christmas. Jingle All The Way. Die Hard. The Bad Lieutenant. Which technically isn't a Christmas movie but does include a scene with a nun and and a crucifix that is particularly of the Christmas spirit.

This is her school though. They try to something nice for the kids, but in the worst way possible. They have school spirit days where in they send notes home encouraging the kids to dress in the colors of either the Bruins, Patriots, or Red Sox.

I've got nothing (or at least very little) against sports or sports fandom, but what does that have to do with school spirit? This is why I don't follow those teams as much as I might. The cult-like level of sports indoctrination in this region kind of turns me off to the whole thing. Then again, it might just be because I'm a Celtics fan.

It's a microcosm of our city. This is the kind of place that'll start a revolutionary new recycling program, concurrently purchase a bunch of those solar powered trash compacting trash cans, then place those cans two to a corner, leaving chunks of the city a half mile long with no trash cans. Jesus, I sound fucking old.

It's the kind of place that advertises a big tree lighting ceremony and has carolers that can't sing, runs out of the promised--Promised!-- hot chocolate a twenty minutes in, and is generally run with all the organization and professionalism of a cheap bachelor party strip show.

They mean well. the citizens of my city, but they're morons. Big, well-meaning, puddin'-headed, Lennys  cuddling the city to jelly while losing their credibility. Which incidentally is why they should vote for me I as I make my run for city council. That's my campaign slogan. "Big, well-meaning, puddin-headed Lennys cuddling the city to jelly: Vote Homemaker Man! There'll be cake! And puppies! Easy on those puppies." Look for it, Nov. 2012.


P.S. I don't actually think anyone under the age of 25 should see the Bad Lieutenant. I feel the same way about Polar Express. Also, a blurb written about Polar Express by inter-friend and Babble top 50 Dadblogger, TwoBusy, you can find here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Digital Peter Pan

Sunday night we went to a play. Peter Pan. But not just any Peter Pan. We went to J.M. Barre's Peter Pan by 360 productions. Clever stage craft, deft and loyal-to-the-original-story-telling, and crazy CGI animation sets. This show . . .

First off, the kids actually sat and watched the whole thing. That's how fantastic it was. Sure, the Pman tried several times to talk to anyone around him at a level that while for him might be conversational, for everyone else was probably "a little to fucking loud."

When the stage cleared: "WHERE'D THEY ALL GO?"

When there was ever any slight lull in the action (of which there were few): "WHERE'S THE CROCODILE? I WANT TO SEE THE CROCODILE!"

And my favorite one during a scene when the pirates were capturing the Lost Boys: "ARE THE PIRATES GONNA EAT THOSE PEOPLE?"

He's got a dark vision, the Pumpkin Man.

In the interest of integrity and whatnot, you should know that 360 productions comped us the tickets as part of a contingent of mommy bloggers. I hope you folks know me well enough by now to know that if I didn't like the show, you'd know it.

The think was held in a huge tent like structure that had been set up in the middle of Boston's City Hall Plaza. Looked like a huge soft serve vanilla icecream or a turret on the Kremlin or as the Peanut put it, "A giant sand castle."

The production was an amazing combination of minimalist setting, clever stagecraft--mad trap doors and hidey holes, y'all--and crazy cgi animation projected onto a 360 degree screen that was about 25 feet above the stage. So that when the characters flew, it seemed as if they were flying over 19th century London.  They fought on Hook's ship. There were mermaids performing aerial ballet high over the stage while simultaneously being deep under the computer generated sea.

Both kids loved the show. They sat rapt. When the stars shone overhead and Peter beseeched us to tell TinkerBell we believed, you could see the starlight in the Peanut's eyes. She believed.

The actress who played TinkerBell was terrific. A growling, angry, feisty steam punk TinkerBell with lights in her hair and menace in her heart.  A fierce, jealous. loving, chaotic, magical id in a puffy pink skirt and little brown boots.

We also got a special treat. At the end we got to go back stage and meet the puppeteer who controlled Nana the dog and who was part of controlling the great Crocodile puppet. The Crocodile was ten feet long, took two people to drive it, and was made mostly of materials one might find in a closet. Wooden hangar ribs and spine, clothespin teeth etc. Just great. Felt really lucky to be able to go. I did share a magnanimous wink with my wife when our guide, the puppeteer, thanked all of "you mommy bloggers for coming to the show and blogging about it."

Great show. I'l put all the info down at the bottom.

The story of Peter Pan itself, that was a little surprising if by surprising you mean chocker block full of oedipal issues and not so latent sexuality. Basically, every girl in the play was looking to get a serving from Peter's Pan, if you get my drift.

Right away, Wendy wants to kiss him. She asks him if he knows what a kiss is and he replies, "I'll know what a kiss is if you give me one." Pretty fucking slick, right there.

The whole thing pivots on the fact that Wendy wants to "be with him" and Peter sees her more as a mother type. The Indian character Tiger Lilly rewards him for saving her life with a dance so sensual I thought about covering the kids' eyes, and TinkerBell is practically a clitoris. I mean, the whole thing is basically saying "pubery will ruin you." Which, you know, I can't argue with that.

I can sum it up like this: In the final scene--which was the only downer for the Peanut, because Peter cried--Peter comes to Wendy again, but she's grown. She can't go with him anymore. She leaves him in her sleeping daughter's room, and Peter slumps to the floor sobbing. That's when her daughter wakes up and echoes the words her mother had uttered so many years ago. "Boy, why are you crying?" And Peter rises, does the same little dance he did for Wendy, and offers her daughter his hand. That's when my wife leaned over to me and whispered, "I'll tell you, if I were Wendy, I sure as hell wouldn't be leaving him alone with my daughter."

The End

Great show. Whole-heartedly recommend it. There is some light violence and talk of death, but nothing graphic. You really should go and take your little ones, if you have the chance.

The website for the show is here. You can follow them on twitter @PeterPanTheShow.

Truly a terrific experience for the whole family. Thanks again to 360 Productions for sending us.


Also, I've got a new post up over at DadCentric. wherein I beat my breast and rend my flesh over the conundrum of my kids' education. It's light-hearted, like.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Pumpkin Man Illuminates

It was just before bedtime. I was carrying the Pumpkin Man, his head on my chest,  and we were heading into the book room to do our reading and I said something that ended with, "my son. Maybe it was, "do two Hail Marys and three Our Fathers." Probably not though. 

He said back, "You're my son."

I said, "No. You're my son."

He said, "You're my son."

I said "No. I'm you're daddy, you're my son."

He said, "No. You're my son."

I said, "Do you mean son like son and daddy or sun like the sun that shines outside."

He leaned back and looked at me and said, "The sun goes up. The sun goes down. You're my sun."

I can't even express in words how much that makes me the winner. Big winner. Right Here. 


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