Monday, November 18, 2013

Broadway Babes In Toyland

Started off the morning with The Adventures of Holly Hobbie, then moved on to Muppet Family Christmas while I had cereal and a grapefruit half for breakfast. The Muppets are getting ready to celebrate Christmas Eve at Fozzie's mom's farm. Mom's not happy - she was originally going to go away and rent out her farm to Doc and Sprocket (of Fraggle Rock). Ultimately, the Muppets and their brand of craziness win them over. The arrival of the Sesame Street Muppets and a detour into the Fraggles' caves add to the confusion. And meanwhile, Miss Piggy is stranded in a snowstorm and Kermit is awfully worried about her. I love this special, but due to three different companies owning the different Muppets, it's not easy to find today. Try You Tube or similar online sharing sites.

Headed to the laundromat after the Muppets ended. It was a gorgeous day for a walk. While slightly cooler than yesterday and very windy, it was still warm above average for this time of year. It was sunny and bright, showing off all that glorious fall color to good advantage. Needless to say, quite a few people were out and about, raking or blowing leaves off their lawns and preparing for next week's visitors.

The laundromat also reflected the beautiful weather. It was surprisingly quiet for 11AM on a Monday morning. Most people were probably trying to get outdoor chores done before the weather changes again. A few college students and older men were in and out, but it was mostly me and a couple of repair men fixing the doors. I ready Holly Hobbie and listened to The Price Is Right and the news show that came after and had no problems getting a washer and drier.

I had a couple of surprises when I got home, including a sweet Thanksgiving card from my friend Linda Young and the DVD I ordered on Amazon a while ago, Babes In Toyland. Vintage operettas were common on early television; a version of Toyland that appeared in 1954 was so popular, it was restaged a year later, with most of the same cast but the ingenue. Most shows in the 50s were filmed live, like the big version of The Sound of Music that's coming out later this month, and couldn't be rebroadcast.

Once again, we have the same plot of Barnaby coming between two Toyland lovers, in this case Jane Piper (Jo Sullivan in the first show) and Tommy Tucker (Dennis Day). As in the Disney version, Jane's siblings are lost in the woods, and Jane and Tommy go after them, only to fall into Barnaby's clutches. Interestingly, there's also some relation to the 1986 version. The framework that bookends each "act" has a Macy's Santa telling the story to a lost little girl who proves to be quite modern for her age.

For all the fuzzy picture, archaic clown vaudeville routines, and dated production, I found this to be quite charming...but I also like old-fashioned operetta. Only come here if you really like the cast or 50s TV musicals.

The weather also kept the Acme's customers at bay. Work was mildly steady for most of the afternoon. We were only busy during rush hour, but some of the customers were so cranky, I got fed up. Thankfully, it died so quickly afterwards that I was able to spend the last hour or so doing returns.

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