I began the morning with a Broadway cast album and Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes. Considering I also like the movie, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the stage version of Mary Poppins when I found the CD at a yard sale a few years ago. The basic idea is still the same. Mr. and Mrs. Banks, residents of Cherry Tree Lane in Edwardian England, are at their wits end trying to find a nanny for their children Jane and Michael. The one who eventually arrives isn't anything like the parents expect. Pretty, sensible Mary Poppins turns the household upside-down with her songs and games and magical ability to make the impossible possible. She ultimately succeeds in teaching Mr. Banks a lesson - childhood is an equally magical time, and it only comes once. He needs to spend more time with his children, and find the child in himself.
What I like is how several numbers that were only loosely tied into the movie, like "Jolly Holiday," are now a little more connected to the plot. There's also a more traditional villain, Miss Andrews, who had been Mr. Banks' nanny as a child. Though he speaks fondly of how she reared him, she turns out to be a nasty old crone who is more interested in forcing the children to behave than allowing them to be themselves. Even die-hard fans of the movie may want to give this a listen, if only to see what made it in and what didn't.
I'm so wiped out. I spent the most of the rest of the afternoon outside, helping other baggers push carts. Normally, I rather enjoy rounding up carts. First of all, though, it's Sunday. We're crazy on Sundays. The carts perpetually needed to be gathered. Second, it was hot, sunny, and humid as heck today. While a nice breeze did help, my knees and feet hurt like heck, and I have a tremendous headache from the glare. I'm just not used to pushing carts for five and a half hours in 80 degree weather.
When I got home, I made leftovers for dinner and put on another Disney cast album. Beauty and the Beast was Disney's first theatrical venture, and one of their most successful. This one is more-or-less the same as the movie - an intelligent, well-read young woman finds herself prisoner in the home of an enchanted beast and the moving objects who are his servants. She ultimately comes to love him, but after she sees that her father is ill, he lets her go. But she has a jealous suitor who wants to rid himself of anyone who could want such a beauty...even a beast.
My favorite of the additional material is an intense ballad added to deepen the character of the Beast, "If I Can't Love Her." Otherwise, this one more-or-less follows the movie, with only a few additional songs and no really major plot changes. If you love the movie, you'll probably enjoy the show, too.
And I'm hoping to work up towards the finale of my very long epic fanfiction tonight. Betty went alone to the Governor's Mansion after Pavla told them about Pruitt buying Scott. Pruitt does have Scott there...but he's bait to force her into a wedding. He makes Scott tell her his real identity - that of a former pirate who fled Pruitt's grasp after he killed his parents and burned their home. Betty says she'll duel for Scott's life and hers...but what Betty lacks in actual fencing ability, she makes up for in cunning and common sense...