Of Musicals and Trees

Deb has always wanted to see Movin’ Out, the musical using Billy Joel’s songs with choreography by Twyla Tharp. It got terrific reviews when it opened in 2002 and after Kate saw it twice – and loved it — as part of a class last year, she wanted to see it even more.

In September, I saw the closing notice had gone up for this weekend. I wandered down to the theatre and purchased two tickets for December 9. They were placed in a gift box, wrapped in Holiday paper and presented to Deb during one dinner over Thanksgiving weekend. An early start to the season of giving and sharing.

Yesterday, despite the threat of horrible snow and rain, we made it into Manhattan, and our respective offices, without delay. The streets of New York were clear by the time we found each other around 5:30. Deb had spied a Cuban restaurant on her way over and they were featuring paella, a dish I really enjoy and don’t have very often. We tried it out, sharing an appetizer and dessert along the way. Very good food, quick service and we were ready for the show.

What I was not prepared for was how much I enjoyed it. Ballet bores me to tears and despite heavy dollops of it from beginning to end; I was captivated by how much emotion was conveyed through the movements of the dancers. Anger, rage, jealously, affection, despair and so much more. The story line isn’t overly complex; it can’t be given the lack of dialogue (okay, the lead says, “Yes” at one point but you get the drift), but Tharp found just the right lyrics, excerpts and full songs, to tell her story.

The performers, the entire original cast in the leads, were exceptional. I was also taken with how much trust had to be displayed as people were spun, tossed, hurled, carried, manhandled and more during each exhausting number.

Deb loved it even more than I did but we had a great night and in many ways, it really kick started the holiday spirit in the house.

Today we continued that with the purchase of our Christmas tree. Robbie was really into it and we sampled a variety at the local Home Depot (some years we went to tree farms, some years we patronized the local Boy Scout troop, but this year we wanted simple). We finalized our choice, Robbie named it “Freddie” and we brought it home.

Speaking of trees, we also dug through the snow and found grass and then dirt as we made holes for six trees that need to be planted. Our friends Bob and Laurie gave us the lovely anniversary gift of Apricot trees for our anniversary. They arrived just over a week ago and we had to get them planted now before they came out of torpor. It was a surreal experience.