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!

Advertisements

Saturday Night Serenade–Breakfast Date

Last Sunday, Mr. R took me to breakfast at one of my most favorite places on the planet.

Howley’s is a West Palm Beach institution, an establishment that describes itself as “Hip diner slinging comfort chow amid ’50s decor with a pressed-tin ceiling, full bar & jukebox.”  It has had the same motto, “Cooked in sight, must be right,” since the place opened in 1950.  After years of neglect, it was taken over by Subculture, who lovingly restored it into the joint it is today, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7am to 2am, except Friday and Saturday when it’s open until 5am.  I may or may not have rolled in drunk in the wee hours of the morning and ordered a grilled cheese and fries to soak up a little alcohol before heading home.

Howley’s is so much more than just a diner.  The place has an open, funky, creative vibe.  Art on display on most available surfaces is for sale.  I have to confess, I had my eye on a pair of photos on canvas–black and whites of a Creature of the Black Lagoon action figure with a surfboard on the beach and on a pier looking out over the water.

There’s even a fantastic outdoor mural by local artist Amanda Valdes on the south wall.

The staff is young, tattooed and pierced, and gender fluid.  Oh, and by the way, the food is great!

Sunday, shortly after we were seated in a retro-style booth, our server, a thin, much tattooed, delightfully gay man came to take our order.  When I started with a mimosa, he drew a heart on his chest and declared that he and I are soul sisters.  As he left to get our drinks, I couldn’t resist.  “I LOVE this place,” I told Mr. R.

We enjoyed our breakfast to a soundtrack of music in keeping with the vibe of the place.  When Still Feel It by Portugal. The Man came on, our server friend (my soul sister), who was helping a nearby table, broke into a fabulous shimmy.  I LOVE THIS PLACE!

I love it so much, in fact, that when I set my award-winning book, FOR SPARROW, in West Palm Beach, I featured Howley’s.  Yes, the book title is a link, just in case you’re looking for a great read.  😉

I hope you like this song.  Fun Fact: It’s the song in the latest Coppertone ad.  It just feels like summer to me.  And funky diners.  And happiness.

Enjoy this balmy summer evening.  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–Super Bowl Edition

Are you ready for some football?

I’m not remotely a football fan, but I love the Super Bowl.  I love that it’s a uniquely American cultural event, with a tradition all its own.  People throw parties and gather at sports bars,  dressed in their favorite team’s jersey.  There’s a whole category of ‘game day’ snacks, from subs, to chili, to burgers.  Plus, plenty of beer.

I couldn’t care less which teams play, I tune in for the half-time show and the commercials.  This year, I’m cheering for the Eagles, mainly because they’re not the Patriots.  But mostly, I’m looking forward to the spectacle.  Justin Timberlake is the half-time performer, and that should be fun.  Fingers crossed, no ‘wardrobe malfunction’ this time out.

This week’s serenade is from a couple of years ago, one of my favorite Super Bowl performances of all time.  I LOVE Bruno Mars, and this shortened version of Uptown Funk is fantastic.

Remember when you had to wait until the actual game to see the awesome commercials?  Now, a lot of them are already out.  I’ve seen Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) from Game of Thrones in a rap battle with Morgan Freeman.  I’ve seen a rabbi, a priest, an imam, and a monk pile into a truck and head to a football game.  But so far, nothing has made me laugh like Hannibal Lecter pinch-hitting for Amazon’s Alexa.  Creepy fun!

I don’t know about you, but here at Chez R, we’ll be serving ribs and nachos when we sit down to watch.  Tonight is all about preparation.

I hope your pick wins tomorrow.  For now, enjoy laughter with those you love, and be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

 

So THIS Was An Adventure…

A couple of months ago, Mr. R called to me from his man cave/office in the back of the house.

“I bought us tickets to a show at the Kelsey,” he said.

“Great!” I responded.  The Kelsey is a small Indie theatre not far from us in the little town of Lake Park.  The theatre, and the place next door, a funky art space called the Brewhouse Gallery, are owned by a kid (okay, he’s pushing 30) who went to school with my kids.  The last time we were there was to attend Swedefest, a film festival celebrating “Bad films by good people.”

Mr. R handed me the tickets he’d printed, and being the curious soul that I am, I went ahead and Googled the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue.  What I found is the video I posted above.  Mmm-yeah.

But I have learned that the things I regret in life are the things I didn’t do, the chances I didn’t take.

So, all of that to say…
If they come to your town, give’em a whirl.  😉

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Can you believe it’s nearly November?  It’s almost legitimately time for holiday commercials.  Nevermind that I saw my first Christmas commercial on October 10.  And yes, I was keeping track.  Thank you, Hallmark Channel.

Mr. R and I had a blast at last week’s Halloween party.  It was great to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while, and to meet some new people, too.  In spite of the fact that it was a Will Farrell-themed event, I went as a Gothic vampire.  But Mr. R ended up with a unique and theme-appropriate, although perhaps not public-appropriate costume, as Ron Burgundy in the pool party scene.

Yeah, he was sans-a-shirt all night, beneath a little bathrobe .  He wore dark shorts over blue BVDs, and managed to drop trou at one point in the evening, all the while shouting, “Cannonball!”  In his all-in devotion to the moment, he even shaved off his goatee and colored his hair and mustache, only to be outdone in commitment by a guy who came as James Lipton (and yes, he was in Bewitched with Will Farrell, I had to look it up), who shaved the top of his head to emulate the self-important drama guru’s receding hairline.

Tonight, however, is a quiet night at home.  We’ve had a bit of a cool front, so there might be a fire in the fireplace, who knows?  I mean, the evening temperature’s hovering in the high 60s.  Fuzzy socks have made their annual appearance.

For tonight’s two-fer serenade, I’ve picked two of my favorite Halloween songs.  The first is the late, great Warren Zevon with Werewolves of London.  Kid Rock sampled this in his song, All Summer Long, but he called it Sweet Home Alabama.  Nuh-unh, Kid, you can’t fool us.

Okay, the second one isn’t so much a Halloween song as it is a spooky video.  But it’s one of my guilty pleasures, so please bear with me.  Don’t miss Antonio Fargas as the driver of the broken-down bus.

I hope you have a great Halloween.  Save a few of your favorite treats for yourself.  Be sure and hug the ones you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #7

Summer road trip, anyone?  Mr. R and I headed over to Tampa last weekend for an Indie author book convention.  The event featured Indie authors from all over the world, and was held at a party space called Chic Venue.

IMG_20170716_104859_428

It was pretty inside (okay, Mr. R called it gaudy) and as soon as we arrived, we set about putting our half of the table in order.

IMG_20170716_113444_318

I shared the table with a lovely author named Harmony Stalter.  She was super nice, and displayed two books, one of which she called a ‘second-chance romance’, and the other a murder mystery.  Which probably explains the jar with the (fake) heart and the other one filled with eyeballs.

20170716_121053

She later apologized for the gruesome display, but I replied that her jars probably accounted for most of the people who stopped by our table.  The event ran from noon to 6:00, and traffic was slow.  Even so, I had a wonderful time and met a lot of great writers.  I’m even making plans to return next year.

As Mr. R and I headed home, we stopped in Ybor City, my favorite part of Tampa.  It’s the historic Cuban district, and probably where we should have had the author event.  I’ll push for that for next year.

Anyway, we found street parking and strolled toward the loud live music coming from down the street.  It emanated from Gaspar’s Grotto, a place we know well.  It’s where you go when you want the absolute best Cuban sandwich you’ll find anywhere.  So with cocktails on the table and  sandwiches ordered, we relaxed to live music and reflected on our day.

FB_IMG_1500246025677

It was our summer road trip.  Which brings me to tonight’s serenade, Love Shack, the ultimate road trip song.  And it makes me wonder…  We told you about our trip.  Where have you traveled this summer?  I’d love to hear all about it.

In the meantime, hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!