Everything is Related – It’s a Celebration

 

As you may or may not know, over and above his regular day job/program, DC also volunteers at a local theater. He has been there for four and a half years now. His best friend, BB just recently started volunteering there as well. 

If DC could choose his dream job, it would be one (or all) of three things; Working in a Bookstore, Working at Disney (or anything having to do with Disney), Working at a Theater (plays and musicals) – 4 Years ago today, DC and his Job Coach headed off to his first day of volunteer work at the theater. My Broadway Baby got his wish…. ~ From “His Dream Job” March 2017

 As one might guess, DC is more interested in working the Broadway Productions, but the volunteers are required to mix it up and work a few of each type of production held there. 

Some of these are difficult (or boring) for DC so I always try to come up with something to relate whatever show he is working to something he enjoys – which is usually something that begins with Disney, but not always.

A while back he was scheduled to work “The Phantom of the Opera”. Now don’t get me wrong, DC is the ultimate fan of musicals, but this is more opera than musical. To try to pump up the enthusiasm and interest, I told him that I saw the Phantom of the Opera many years ago in New York City (his favorite place) on Broadway (his second favorite place) when it first opened. 

Me: Do you know who played the Phantom when I saw it? It was the same person who played Cornelius in a movie that you really love.

DC: Walter Matthau (not pronounced quite that way but I knew who he meant)

Me: No, Michael Crawford. He played Cornelius and Walter Matthau was his boss in the store (Hello Dolly).

(Seriously, you have to give DC props for knowing Walter Matthau and knowing which musical just from the name Cornelius)

That was the best I could come up with…

When all of the attendees are seated and the show gets going (pending a 10-minute hold on the door, of course) the volunteers are allowed to go in and watch a good portion of the show. For this particular show, DC and Mrs. H stayed out in the lobby due to the production’s use of strobe lights.

There are screens in the lobby though. Mrs. H reported that as soon as the operatic singing began, DC in his not so “indoor voice” announced – This is ‘ted-a-bull’!

I suppose it was a very good thing that they were not inside the theater at the time.

Moving on to the “celebration”…..

Many years ago, when I got married, I gave the DJ a list of three songs that he was not allowed to play, even if a guest requested them. They were banned – BANNED!

The first was Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration”.

There was not any sort of affair that one could attend without ”Celebration” being the first song that was played, as if it was an original idea and no one had ever thought of it before. 

“A Party? A Celebration? Oh, we should play Kool and the Gang! We are so clever!”

Nothing against Kool and the Gang, I do like many of their other songs, but I am not a fan of this particular song.

Then, like clockwork, the very next musical offering 99.99% of the time would be, Sister Sledge, “We are family”.

No, no no no, just no.

The third was the chicken dance, because…….

Chicken Dance.

(Little did I know that one of DC’s early intervention teachers, Mrs. T (you know who you are) would teach him the chicken dance and he’d be doing it ever since)

Flash Forward to 2012 when DC’s Winter Guard Team chose – you guessed it – “Celebration” as their performance song for that season.

I mentioned my banned wedding song list to TonyaSalli’s mother one night at Winter Guard practice after listening to Celebration in parts and in its entirety all practice long. She laughed so loudly that it got the attention of the director who also had a good chuckle over the torture I was experiencing. 🙂

DC loves Winter Guard but he never really gets attached to any of the songs they have used over the years. If they used something like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Seventy-Six Trombones”, or “The Trolley Song” – that would be a different story. Being a Disney/Broadway/Musical type of a guy, he is not always interested in the popular/top 40 music they use. He does like the songs and knows them when he hears them later, but that’s about it. I thought this would work in my favor with “Celebration”, but noooooooo….

He will randomly search for it on you-tube and listen to it over and over, still. to. this. day which I begrudgingly admit might actually come in handy as the next show that DC is scheduled to work at the theater is none other than – Kool and the Gang…

No prep necessary. I simply reminded him of his beloved “Celebration” and he is ready and seems to be looking forward to this show.

So, I guess you can say that Kool and the Gang came through for me in the end because, Everything is Related.

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The Lights Go Dim in The Chocolate Factory

I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when it first hit the movie theaters in the early 70’s. I think I was about 11 or 12, but even at that age when I was supposed to be way too cool for movies like this –  I loved it. I don’t remember being afraid to admit it either and I loved Gene Wilder.

I remember a few years later going to see Young Frankenstein when it first came out as well. I can still watch that movie and laugh just as hard as I did back then. There were plenty of other movies, but those were the two that made the impression on me. They were the ones that brought Gene Wilder front and center for me.

Willy Wonka has become one of DC’s favorite all-time movies and I am glad I was able to introduce him to something that meant so much to me during my childhood and that he loves it just as much if not more that I did. It is a classic and it is timeless. Willy Wonka and Gene Wilder will live on forever in our hearts.

In honor of my and DC’s love for the great Gene Wilder, I am re-running an “Everything is Related” post from last year.

RIP Gene Wilder…..

Everything is related – Willy Wonka

In a few weeks we will be leaving for our trip to London.

One of the items on our agenda is going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. DC is so very excited. Willy Wonka has been a favorite of DC’s since I can remember.

Wonka through the years

Wonka through the years

In honor of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical – here is the third installment in the “Everything is Related Series” – you can find the first and second here and here.

Among the many other reasons:

  – Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based.

For the first time so far in this series, we do not begin with Disney. DC, for some reason decided that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even though not a Disney Movie was just fine with him. He has been watching it for years. I’m sure I had to bring it to his attention originally but this one he actually liked the first time around (this is not always the case – he hated Shrek – refused to watch it for the longest time. Now he is Shrek’s biggest fan).

Yes I do realize that Willy Wonka does not have much to do with London, but I am going with it anyway.

It is entirely possible that Jack Albertson had something to do with DC green-lighting Willy Wonka. Jack Albertson was “the voice of” Amos Slade in The Fox and The Hound…..

and there it is…..

the Disney connection.

DC knows “the voice of” just about any Disney character you can name. His love of the original Willy Wonka brought him to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and to Johnny ‘Deep” (DC-speak). For quite awhile after that version came out, I did hear quite often that it was “Not ‘Jen Wonder’ (Gene Wilder)”, but I think he just felt the need to tell me that. It did not deter him from watching. Johnny ‘Deep’ opened up a whole new world for him, some Disney based…

DC as the Mad Hatter

DC as the Mad Hatter

..and some not – but he was instrumental in getting him to watch other types of movies. As I said in the first post and above – it is important for him to be open to other movies when he is attending an activity or out with his friends.

When DC was younger he did seem to like the Harry Potter movies. The books were just too much for him at the time. I was always on a hunt for Harry Potter type books that were a little less intimidating for him. I was really never successful, but I did come across the Spiderwick Chronicles Series. I bought him all of the books that were available at the time and I discovered that there was even a movie out on DVD. I tried desperately to read these books with him every night and I tried and tried to get him to watch the movie. He was not having any of it.  So, after years of them sitting on the shelf collecting dust, I finally gave up and got rid of them.

It was only a year or two ago that I was flipping channels in the living room, not really paying attention when DC ran in screaming “Freddie Highmore, Freddie Highmore!!!” – I had no idea who that was or why he was screaming.

“Charlie Bucket! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!!”

The Spiderwick Chronicles was on TV and he was so excited. He watched the entire thing – which is a big deal since it was a weekend and he was giving up some computer time to watch – and yes, we did have to go out and buy  the DVD and the books all over again. This movie that I tried so hard to get him to watch when he was younger is now among his favorites.

The original Willy Wonka is by far his favorite version. Meeting the real Mike-TeeVee saved him from an anxiety attack at NY ComicCon a few years ago.
mtv

But , Johnny ‘Deep” has broadened his horizons.

DC’s latest obsession is the latest version of “Into the Woods” with Johnny ‘Deep’. He does have the original version from the 80’s or 90’s but this new version is without a doubt his new favorite movie.

He randomly will announce to me that ‘Merue Strip’ plays the wicked witch, just in case I have forgotten……

Meryl Streep………yes! I can work with that!

But it all began, long ago with Gene Wilder.

Everything is related – The Paris Edition

Back in May we went on a trip to Paris and London. There are so many things that DC can relate to in London without me having to come up with them for him, that I wasn’t worried. Before London though, there would be a 4 day stop in Paris.

Relating the things that DC loves to anything else just helps to make it more enjoyable for him. DC loves to travel, but if we are not traveling to Disney World I will always try to come up with something to make the trip more interesting and exciting for him.

We were going to be staying in Disneyland Paris for the four days, one of those days would be spent in the city. I knew the day in the city would be very boring for him and I really could not come up with very much that he could relate to in Paris other than Madeline, so I went with that. I was later very surprised at the ‘relations’ he was able to come up with on his own.

So here we have the 5th installment in the “Everything is related” series – The Paris Edition:

Yes, this could possibly all be a ploy to make you look at my vacation pictures (be thankful, not all :), but every picture you see here is relatable to something for DC.

Again, we begin with Disney. There would be no problem here. We arrived at our hotel – New York, what could be better! DC’s very favorite city! This was a “two birds-one stone” kind of relation – Disney and New York City – together!

Paris London 424Paris London 425

There were of course; Princesses!

“Oh my God, it’s Cinderella!” – during this trip he came out with a few lines I had never heard him say before – “Oh my God”, being one of them.

What could be better than a princess? Four princesses, of course…..

….especially when they are willing to spin for you!

The Princess Room in Disneyland Paris is a little bit different from Disney World. In Disney World, you get in line to get into the room where you can meet 3 or 4 princesses one by one. In DLP, we had to make a reservation to see the princess. The reservation gets you in to see one princess (there are two inside, to keep the line moving). You are not told what princesses are in there and you do not know who you will see until it is your turn and you round the corner. The people managing the line are not allowed to tell you which princesses are inside and they change them every half hour. The line manager saw how excited DC was to see a princess and pulled me aside to ask me which one he wanted to see. I told her he would be happy with any princess, but she insisted. We had the choice of “Brave” and “Ariel”. Of course, I chose Ariel. I have spent too many hours standing in line at “Ariel’s Grotto” over the years to let an opportunity to see Ariel pass us by. I wish I got a picture of his face when he turned the corner and saw her!

After he had her dance with him and of course spin, he said: “Please say hello to Prince Eric for me” – another new line; correct grammar, correct pronoun.

Needless to say, Disneyland Paris was a big hit.

Now onto Paris.

DC really loves all of the Madeline books. I am sure he has them all. He especially loves the Madeline movie that encompasses many of the stories from the books into the one movie.  This was really all I had to go on. Knowing full well that sightseeing in Paris was not going to be very exciting for him, I really tried to push the Madeline angle before we arrived. We talked about the Eiffel Tower and the time that Madeline and Pepito became trapped at the top all by themselves.

Paris London 033viewParis London 035

 

We went to the top. It took a while. It was so crowded. It was cold. There was a nice view. He was impressed, but only slightly.

Moving on……

Before we visited the tower, our first stop which happened to be right where the train in let us off was the Arc de Triomphe. Thinking that he would not be at all impressed with this because to him it was an arch, nothing more, I was surprised when he  recognized this arch – from Anastasia. I had forgotten all about that movie. I was kicking myself for not remembering it and looking into more Anastasia references before we left on our trip.

Paris London 187Paris London 185

Thinking I had reached the end of Paris ‘relatables’ for DC, we opted for a Seine River Cruise just to get in a few sights quickly without sending him completely over the edge of boredom. On our way down the river I realized that this was the same river that Madeline fell into and was rescued by a dog they later named “Genevieve” (yes, I have seen this movie more times than I’d care to admit).

Paris London 050

He was impressed for a minute or so.

Continuing down the river, the tour guide announced that we were coming up on Notre-Dame Cathedral. DC chimed in with:

“Chris-mar-a-dull”

What???

“Chris-mar-a-dull”

“Es-mer-eye-da”

“DC, I don’t know what you mean. Can you spell it for me?”

“Mom! Chris-mar-a-dull! Es-mer-eye-da!”

He was getting exasperated with me.

“HUNCHBACK!!”

Another reference that I completely missed – Quasimodo and Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre-Dame! (I did have to write those pronunciations down right then and there so I didn’t forget).

Paris London 046Paris London 047

Our decision to take this tour instead of sightseeing on foot turned out to be a good one. It started to pour! This did not upset DC as much as one would think for some reason, but it would have been the END of the day in Paris had we been out walking around.

Boat = Saving the remainder of the day.
Paris London 053 It was still raining when we got off of the boat at the Louvre. I did remember that one part of the Madeline movie took place inside the Louvre. I mentioned it to DC as we headed in that direction. We had no plans to go inside but it was close to a few restaurants and the metro.

While running through in the rain, DC pointed out the Louvre Pyramid.

“From Madeline!” – I have seen that movie many times but I do not recall ever seeing the Louvre Pyramid at any time during the scenes at the Louvre. He recognized it – so I’ll take it!

 

Paris London 054

It was a long day and with the rain, the Pyramid was our last sight for the day. We stopped for dinner and headed back to Disneyland.

Paris London 074

I definitely dropped the ball relating Paris to DC’s world. I am happy and a little bit impressed that he was able to pick it up and run with it, this time around.

 

Everything is related – Willy Wonka

In a few weeks we will be leaving for our trip to London. One of the items on our agenda, other than Cardiff and the Dr. Who Experience……..

Let’s just pause for a moment……..

YEEE HAAA!

Okay, I’m back.

One of the items on our agenda is going to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. DC is so very excited. Willy Wonka has been a favorite of DC’s since I can remember.

Wonka through the years

Wonka through the years

In honor of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical – here is the third installment in the “Everything is Related Series” – you can find the first and second here and here.

Among the many other reasons:

  – Everything being related, has helped him to move on to a more diverse realm of TV shows and movies (while still loving all of the originals he has loved since he was a baby). When attending an ARC movie activity or even just a movie night with friends, for instance, a Disney or animated movie may not be the choice of the others attending. Relating one movie or actor to another has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based.

For the first time so far in this series, we do not begin with Disney. DC, for some reason decided that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even though not a Disney Movie was just fine with him. He has been watching it for years. I’m sure I had to bring it to his attention originally but this one he actually liked the first time around (this is not always the case – he hated Shrek – refused to watch it for the longest time. Now he is Shrek’s biggest fan).

Yes I do realize that Willy Wonka does not have much to do with London, but I am going with it anyway.

It is entirely possible that Jack Albertson had something to do with DC green-lighting Willy Wonka. Jack Albertson was “the voice of” Amos Slade in The Fox and The Hound…..

and there it is…..

the Disney connection.

DC knows “the voice of” just about any Disney character you can name. His love of the original Willy Wonka brought him to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie and to Johnny ‘Deep” (DC-speak). For quite awhile after that version came out, I did hear quite often that it was “Not ‘Jen Wonder’ (Gene Wilder)”, but I think he just felt the need to tell me that. It did not deter him from watching. Johnny ‘Deep’ opened up a whole new world for him, some Disney based…

DC as the Mad Hatter

DC as the Mad Hatter

..and some not – but he was instrumental in getting him to watch other types of movies. As I said in the first post and above – it is important for him to be open to other movies when he is attending an activity or out with his friends.

When DC was younger he did seem to like the Harry Potter movies. The books were just too much for him at the time. I was always on a hunt for Harry Potter type books that were a little less intimidating for him. I was really never successful, but I did come across the Spiderwick Chronicles Series. I bought him all of the books that were available at the time and I discovered that there was even a movie out on DVD. I tried desperately to read these books with him every night and I tried and tried to get him to watch the movie. He was not having any of it.  So, after years of them sitting on the shelf collecting dust, I finally gave up and got rid of them.

It was only a year or two ago that I was flipping channels in the living room, not really paying attention when DC ran in screaming “Freddie Highmore, Freddie Highmore!!!” – I had no idea who that was or why he was screaming.

“Charlie Bucket! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!!”

The Spiderwick Chronicles was on TV and he was so excited. He watched the entire thing – which is a big deal since it was a weekend and he was giving up some computer time to watch – and yes, we did have to go out and buy  the DVD and the books all over again. This movie that I tried so hard to get him to watch when he was younger is now among his favorites.

The original Willy Wonka is by far his favorite version. Meeting the real Mike-TeeVee saved him from an anxiety attack at NY ComicCon a few years ago.
mtv

But , Johnny ‘Deep” has broadened his horizons.

DC’s latest obsession is the latest version of “Into the Woods” with Johnny ‘Deep’. He does have the original version from the 80’s or 90’s but this new version is without a doubt his new favorite movie.

He randomly will announce to me that ‘Merue Strip’ plays the wicked witch, just in case I have forgotten……

Meryl Streep………yes! I can work with that!