Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Day With the Dolls

Started out the morning with oat bran and a half of a grapefruit for breakfast. Ran A Night at the Opera while I ate. The Marx Brothers' most famous film has the trio coming to the aid of a pair of lovers, looking for their big break. Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) wants to hire Lasparri (Walter Woolf King), a fine singer, but also a temperamental jerk who chases the female singer, for her opera company. Groucho tries to hire him, but ends up with Riccardo (Allan Jones), an ambitious chorus member. Riccardo and two of the opera employees (Harpo and Chico) smuggle themselves into the US in Groucho's trunk. Lasparri gets them all into trouble when he finds out. The Brothers finally break into the opera itself, determined to stop it at all costs and get the lovers in.

The most famous Marx Brothers movie (along with Duck Soup) is my personal favorite. The stateroom sequence, with as many people as possible cramming themselves into Groucho's tiny berth, is my favorite scene. Highly recommended and a lot of fun.

Took some photos of the Ever After High dolls as the movie finished. I love my portraits and photo stories for my American Girl dolls. I haven't come up with a story yet; for now, I went with individual shots, along with one of my three Cinderella dolls (Ashlynn, the Disney Animator's Collection Toddler Cindy, and the Effanbee Cinderella) together. I'll post them tomorrow after I get shots of Dexter Charming and Duchess Swan.

I headed out for some short errands around 12:30. My first stop was Capitol Pizza for lunch. I watched the news (including the scary breaking story about the gas explosion that totally destroyed a house in Stafford Township) while eating a slice of cheese, a slice of broccoli, and a can of Diet Pepsi.

My next errands were brief. I hit Dollar Tree for sponges and scrubbing gel. Looked for Ever After High dolls at Tuesday Morning. Nope. In addition to what they had last week, I saw Thronecoming Apple, Legacy Day Raven, and Getting Fairest (pajamas) Maddie in person for the first time. Still nothing I didn't already have at least one version of.

The Haddon Township Library wasn't busy, either. I didn't even have that much to shelve. I guess a lot of people took movies out this week. I only had a hard time fitting a small pile of Scooby Doo titles on the S kids' shelves and some M and T titles on the adult shelves. I wasn't there anywhere near as long as I was last week. I didn't take out any live-action movies (I'm still catching up on ones at home I haven't watched), but I did find new sets for Sofia the First, The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates, plus a Phineas and Ferb Star Wars spoof.

Despite the sunny day and lack of wind, it was still really cold, no more than 25 for the high. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon at home. I decided I'd try a variation on the Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies on the back of the Craisins bag. It became Cranberry Springtime Chocolate Chip Cookies with the addition of a cup of wheat flour with the original white flour and half a bag of those Nestle Springtime Chocolate Chips I bought a while back. Not bad. They were just sweet enough, and the dried cranberries added an unusual tang to them.

Ran The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That as I baked. This set, The Skin That I'm In, revolved around the human body and what it does. All but the last episode featured a goofy physician named Dr. Giggles, who sent the kids and the Cat on a voyage into the bones, the skin, or the stomach to find out what those parts of the body do. The last episode was my favorite, mainly because it covered sneezing and allergies - something I'm prone to. Nick can't stop sneezing, so the Cat takes him to visit a detective friend of his who is also having sneezing attacks. They take the Thing-A-Ma-Jigger into his nose to find out what the problem is.

Moved onto another MacDonald/Eddy movie while making poached chicken legs with escarole and potatoes for dinner. Bitter Sweet was their second movie in color, and their second romance to end in tragedy. Carl Linden (Eddy) falls for sweet, naive British girl Sarah (MacDonald) and elopes with her to his native Vienna. They're happy there for a time, despite their poverty...until they get jobs working at a cafe frequented by an amorous baron (George Saunders). The Baron chases Sarah, but she refuses him. It's Carl, however, who may not survive his attempt to defend his wife's honor...

Basically, it's Maytime moved to the early 20th century, with the leads married for most of the film instead of having one blissful day together. It doesn't work. MacDonald and Eddy were both far too old for their roles by this point, and some of the score's best numbers were cut. It's original author, Noel Coward, reportedly hated it, and MacDonald and Eddy weren't overly happy either.

There are some nice comic touches, especially the hilarious scene where poor Eddy has to haul his new bride up several very steep sets up stairs and into an empty threshold. Otherwise, though this is available on the Warner Archives, I only recommend it for fans of these two, Coward, or musical romances.

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