Saturday, November 26, 2011

it's time to light the lights

Tonight I was transported. I was moved, touched, and inspired. And I was transported to a scratchy theatre seat with little padding. I was swooped up and carried back to 1980, to a small town theatre where I was introduced to one of my first and most lasting heroes.

I was reminded tonight why I so admire my small green hero - his tenacity. His leadership. His willingness to overcome his own limitations and fears and pursue his loves and dreams. He showed me then - and reminded me tonight - that no matter where you start from, and no matter what has happened since then, you really can live your dreams. He reminded me that your dreams don't matter if you have to leave the one you love to pursue them. And he and his friends reminded me that everything is better with music.

As a small town girl who dreamed of singing and dancing and acting and being famous, the story of a singing and dancing frog from a Louisiana swamp who makes it all the way to Hollywood was all I have ever needed to witness to think maybe it could happen to me too. And catching up with Kermit and his friends was the perfect medicine tonight.

I've been over-the-moon excited ever since I first heard a new Muppet movie was coming out, and the more I heard the more excited I got. As high as my expectations were, it did not disappoint. Not in the least. It was new and fresh and 100% loyal to the Muppet tradition of gentle preaching, encouraging songs, campiness, and more cameos than you can shake a stick at (just WAIT 'til you see who all is in this movie!).

The opening/closing 'big' song is a definite winner. Catchy and easy to pick up, witty and very seat-danceable (here's a little snippet): 

I doubt it will ever recreate in me the reaction I have to "The Rainbow Connection" - but that was my song in my generation and 'Life's a Happy Song' may be some young girls song now.

In fact, then new movie revisits The Rainbow Connection - among other beloved favourite Muppet tropes - and from the opening chord I sang along with a tear in my eye. I don't think the other people in the theatre minded. Mine certainly wasn't the only voice in the audience.

It's no secret that my spirit's been a little flat of late, and few things like music boost it. This song in particular - with it's connection not just to that small town theatre of long ago where a frog taught me it's okay to dream, but also of singing my BBs to sleep and hoping they dream to - never fails to remind me to believe. In love, and dreams, and magic and myself.

Please go see The Muppets. You are not too cool, or too grown up, or otherwise immune to its charm & wisdom. We need all the hope we can get these days. At some point in the movie, someone says the Muppets are no longer relevant. That what people want now is bashing each other in the head and cynicism. That statement is sadly recognizable, but the point of the movie - one of many good points - is that people really DO still want the Muppets. We want music and laughter and team work and family and hope.

Oh, and by the way ... mana mana ;-) 

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