Friday, August 08, 2014

Bowery Busters and Little Girls

Started off the day at work. This time, other than a spurt around noon, work was quiet for most of the day. There were no really major problems, other than I was bored stiff. It was absolutely gorgeous again today, breezy and in the lower 80s. Most people probably hurried off to the Shore as soon as they could. I was able to shut down with no relief during rush hour; we had plenty of help.

It was a good thing I did. I had a lot of grocery shopping to do. We're having another big buy six items, get three dollars off sale. I needed sugar and cereal anyway; got Domino's and two boxes of Cinnamon Life. Filled out the sale with two more bags of Goldfish Graham Crackers (s'mores and cookies and cream) and a bottle of Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner (the last one on the shelf). I also needed to restock canned chicken, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, cheese, tea (Bigalow's the cheapest; got their Plantation Mint), and vanilla. I found a lot of great stuff on the clearance racks, too. Picked up chicken stock in liquid and solid form as well as lots of first aid items for more than half-off - gauze pads, band aids. I live alone; I like to make sure I'm well-stocked in case I get hurt.

When I got home, I ran more East Side Kids as I put everything away and changed into regular clothes. They're Block Busters in the only entry of the East Side Kids/Bowery Boys series to not involve any real villains. Instead, Mugs finds himself dealing with a French boy whose grandmother wants him to get to know the neighborhood. Mugs isn't happy with having to deal with this newcomer at first, until he meets his friends...and sees how well Jean plays baseball.

Switched to more New York urchins, these female, as I made ratatouille, Jersey corn, and leftover chicken cutlets for dinner. Annie is one of my favorite childhood movies. The title character is an orphan (Aileen Quinn) who desperately wants to find her parents. Gruff billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) and his secretary Grace Farrell (dancer Ann Renniking) take Annie in for the week, and become so attached to her, they want to adopt her. This doesn't sit well with perpetually drunk Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett), for whom Annie is a thorn in her side. She, her brother Rooster (Tim Curry) and Rooster's girlfriend Lily (Bernadette Peters) come up with a plan to trick Warbucks and get rid of Annie. When the other orphans overhear them, they escape and send Warbucks on their trail.

Critics have always had problems with this adaptation of the 1977 stage musical, mainly because it isn't exactly like the stage version. I can't imagine why. The cast is terrific, the numbers are spirited and well-staged by veteran director John Huston, and the choreography (especially in the ensemble numbers) is awesome. My only major complaint is it goes on for about 20 minutes longer than it should. The entire action sequence with Annie after her "parents" come for her and Warbucks going after her is probably unnecessary. Otherwise, this is highly recommended, especially if you have little girls of your own who love musicals.

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