Monday, July 12, 2010

Boomer Saturday

You couldn’t ask for a more baby-boomer-centric day than the one we had Saturday: first a Disney movie from our childhood and then a Beatles concert. Who says we aren’t as young as we used to be?

Swiss Family Robinson

As if hanging out with my sister and uncle weren’t enough nostalgia for one week (see below), Tim and I got Saturday matinee tickets for the 1960 movie Swiss Family Robinson. The screening—on the Disney lot!—was part of the D23 fanclub’s celebration of Disney films made 50 years ago.

As a Disney employee, Tim can pretty much get onto the lot any time he wants; but it’s always a big thrill for me to go behind the studio’s gates, which were opened wide for D23 members (me!) on Saturday. We were among 10 cars on line when the gates opened at 1PM. After parking and checking in, we followed the other early birds to the inner sanctums of the lot.

The theater was beautiful. A gorgeous Fantasia mural greeted us above the entrance, while matching light sculptures illuminated the lobby. I was in my glory just walking in!

Much of the audience was our age—adults like us who had probably seen Swiss Family Robinson in a theater when it was first released in 1960. Since this was a D23 event, most wore their Disney “colors”—e.g., Mickey t-shirts or jewelry—or carried some sort of Mickey-related handbag. I immediately lusted after the purse of the woman sitting next to Tim, prompting a detailed conversation about where to shop in Disneyland. I predict a trip to Anaheim in the near future!

Although a tad slow by today’s standards, the movie held-up pretty well after all these years. As a kid, I was thoroughly captivated by the ingeniousness of the Robinsons’ treehouse, which was still amazing to my much older eyes. The eldest son, played by James MacArthur, didn’t fare quite as well, looking far less hunky than I remembered.

After the movie, we all piled into the studio store (opened just for us). I was tempted by lots of shiny things, but ended up getting something for my sister instead. We then hopped into the car and headed toward the Hollywood Bowl, just over the hill.

Beatles Celebration

Like we do most summers, we have mini-season (five concerts) tickets for the Hollywood Bowl this year. Our first event was Saturday: a tribute to the Beatles, who famously appeared at the Bowl 45 years ago. Now I’m not a big fan of other people singing Beatles tunes, but this was the Hollywood Bowl so I relented. We purposely drove rather than taking the bus, just in case we were forced to leave early by: (1) undue mangling of the music and/or (2) anyone singing “Hey Jude” or “Let It Be,” two of our least favorite Beatles songs. As Tim says, “Even if John Lennon himself rose from the dead, I would cover my ears if he started to sing ‘Hey Jude!’”

Happily, the concert was good, with most of the artists doing justice to the music. Soul singer Bettye Lavette, especially, was a revelation with her bluesy rendition of Lennon’s “Come Together,” which she prefaced by saying, “Please send me a note if you know what this song means!” But then the last act, rocker Todd Rundgren, came out and started to sing “Let It Be.” That was our cue to gather our stuff and leave before he encored with “Hey Jude” (ack!).

It was a long but very fun day.

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