Saturday Night Serenade–Christmas Favorites

Everybody has a favorite Christmas song.  Maybe you even have more than one.  I think my favorite is All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.  And the one with Jimmy Fallon and TheRoots playing classroom instruments is my absolute favorite version.  Be sure to watch for the pop-up kids–they crack me up!

The song features prominently in my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually.  Here at Chez R, we always make sure we watch it some time during the Christmas season.  It’s one of our traditions.

Another tradition is heading to downtown West Palm Beach to see the Sandi Tree, a HUGE Christmas tree built entirely out of sand, down on the waterfront.  Every half-hour or so they do a whole program with music and lights.  It’s lots of fun.

What are your own traditions?  How about the ones in your area?

I hope you’re having a wonderful evening surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

And just because I love you, I’m leaving you with Billy Mack (actor Bill Nighy in Love Actually) with his holiday hit, Christmas Is All Around.  If you haven’t seen the movie, seriously!  Do.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again

I’m so excited!  Ten years ago, Mamma Mia, the Broadway musical based on the songs of 70s group ABBA, was made into a movie.  It’s not Shakespeare, okay.  But if you ever wanted to see a movie that just makes you feel happy, this is the one.

A decade later, the entire cast is back for a sequel, and with a few additions, most notably Cher, as Donna’s (Meryl Streep) mother.  Mr. R is imminently glad that my best girl Mo and I have plans to go see it this week.  I suppose it’s a chick flick, but don’t say it like it’s a bad thing.   I added a sneak peek from the new movie below.

The world has become a very scary place.  Up is down, right is wrong, and you never know from one day to the next what the hell is going on.  So let me go sit in a cool, dark theatre for a couple of hours with a bucket of popcorn and a vat of Sprite while I may or may not sing along to songs that make me happy.  Feel free to join me on the next recliner–not going to one of those moldie-oldie theatres, no thank you.  I know there are those who are avoiding this movie, angered by something or other Meryl Streep said a while back.  To that, I say, Good!  More room for me and Mo.  😉

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend doing things that make you happy.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Something New

Date night in has a certain appeal to it, don’t you think?
I mean, it’s more economical, for one thing.  And you don’t have to get all dressed up, deal with traffic, fight for parking spaces, or put up with annoying crowds.

It can be nice to curl up on the couch and relax.  With cable television and subscription services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, you can always find something that appeals.

Mr. R and I have probably watched Breaking Bad, in its entirety, about four times.  We’re slowly working our way through Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Sort of savoring it, really, although it’s intense enough, you really wouldn’t want to binge-watch it.  We finished the first season of Lost in Space on Netflix, and that was lots of fun.  I’ll be up for Season 2 when it comes out.

Last night, we decided to try something new on Netflix, a strange suspenseful series called Safe, created by mystery and thriller author Harlan Coben.  It stars Michael C. Hall (the creepy yet lovable serial killer star of Dexter) as a widower whose teenage daughter goes missing in a British suburban neighborhood where everyone has a shit-ton of secrets.  We’ve seen three episodes so far, and I’m game to see where the story goes.

BUT, it’s the mesmerizing opening theme song, Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney, that really drew me in.  Gosh, don’t you love when you discover something cool?  I’m also including his song, Fire.  See if you aren’t as impressed as I am.

So for this July weekend, try to stay cool.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Tell Me About It, Stud!

I’m finding it hard to believe that the movie Grease came out FORTY YEARS AGO today.  How is that even possible?

I was in junior high (remember when that was a thing?) and I went to see the movie with my cousin, who was a year older than I.  Before that, my understanding of  movie musicals was based on my parents’ collection of LPs (remember when that was a thing?)–South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The King and I.

All of those are great shows, but I was blown away by the idea that an entire musical could be based on rock and roll.  And I loved it.  I marched right out and spent my allowance on the album, and to this day, I can sing every song by heart.

Now, there’s Rock of Ages, based on 80s music (and simply rocks) and American Idiot, a punk opera from Green Day’s album of the same name (which is outstanding), among others.

Here in the context of the ‘enlightened’ 21st century, I don’t want to delve into the socio-political issues of whether a Good Girl should have to change to keep her Bad Boy boyfriend.  Or vice-versa.  Because that’s crap.

What I know is that Grease is a fun, nostalgic trip to the 50s full of songs that are just enjoyable, both to listen to and sing along with.  A couple of years ago, Fox aired a live production of the show.  At the end of this article, I’ve posted Greased Lightning from that performance.  Just because I can, LOL.  (By the way, NBC is planning a live production of Hair in 2019.  Just saying…)

If you’re curious, here’s a Time article that talks about where the stars of Grease are today.

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Thinking Out Loud

Ready or not, it’s the holiday season.  Seems like as soon as the Trick or Treaters trotted home with their sugar-inducing haul, retailers shifted into holiday mode.  Like aging rocker Billy Mack says, “Christmas is all around us, and so the feeling grows.”

But first, here in the States, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving this Thursday.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the way the aroma of turkey roasting in the oven permeates the whole house.  I love to watch the Macy’s parade on television, especially the Broadway performances on the street right in front of the store.  I love the roll-out of classic holiday movies, like Love Actually.

More than that, though, I appreciate having a reminder to be thankful for all the ways I’m blessed.  And I am.  I’m a lucky girl.  I’m healthy, I have a great home, this year I walked away from a job I hated to live the dream of being a full-time writer.

On the domestic front, having survived a season in hell, I’m living my happily-ever-after with a man who loves me more than life itself.  When I first heard Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, I thought of us, and how thankful I am that we found each other.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics.

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

Our lives aren’t perfect.  We worry about finances.  We have two out of three collective adult children who currently aren’t speaking to us (gotta love millennials).  But we have each other, and we’re a great team.  And so I’m thankful.

Just thinking out loud.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be sure and hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Oh, and as a bonus, here’s your old Uncle Billy.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia

I’m so excited!  Next Saturday, my best girl Mo and I are headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to see the farewell tour of Mamma Mia at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  Mr. R has graciously offered to drive us down, mainly because the thought of driving further south than West Palm Beach really makes me nervous.  And he has no interest in going to the show.  I can’t understand why, LOL!

I’m old enough to remember ABBA, although admittedly I was not that much of a fan back in the day.  But when they put the songs into the context of a romance, I was hooked.  I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and it just makes me happy.  The songs are catchy and fun, and I’m all about the ‘happily ever after’ ending.

For tonight’s serenade, I’ve chosen one of my favorite sequences from the movie.  It starts out silly, but toward the end, it’s a delightful street ballet that feels feminist and empowering.  I just love it, and I can’t wait to see it live on stage.

And it seems fitting to post a song from Mamma Mia right here at Mother’s Day.  Be sure to hug your loved ones tonight, especially your mom, who loves you more than she can say.  I know, because I’m a mom, too.  To all the moms, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.

And happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–All I Want For Christmas

One week from tonight is Christmas Eve!  I’m so excited.  I only have four work days before a two-week holiday.  The last of my out-of-town gifts went out today, guaranteed to arrive before Friday.  I used Amazon Prime to order a little Christmas surprise for Mr. R., to be delivered by Tuesday.

I know, we agreed to say the new Christmas tree, in addition to the new kitchen, bathrooms, and wood flooring happening just after New Years would be our gifts to each other.  But, you know…

All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey is one of my favorite holiday songs, and this is my favorite version, featuring Jimmy Fallon and The Roots playing classroom instruments.  I especially love the pop-up kids in the foreground.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

You’re getting a two-fer this week, though.  Christmas at our house comes with some required viewing.  We always have to watch Christmas Vacation at some point, and then Christmas Eve is not the same without A Christmas Story.

But tonight, we’re watching Love Actually.  It’s one of my all-time favorite movies, with all of its random but intersecting story lines.  Your second serenade features brilliant British actor Bill Nighy performing as Billy Mack, aging rocker trying to make a comeback with a holiday song that’s a play on one of his earlier hits.  It’s heartfelt comedy gold and I couldn’t resist it.

So as we get closer to the holiday, I hope you feel it in your fingers.  And in your to-oes. 🙂 Happy Saturday night!