I was inspired to create my 20 wish list after reading the book 20 Wishes from the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber. In that book, the characters decide to take the iniative to make 20 of their life's wishes come true. Their wishes do start to come true in surprising and unexpected ways. This blog chronicles my quest to fulfill 20 wishes that I would like to see come true in my life. My wish list is helping me define my individual uniqueness and rediscover the things I want to accomplish in life besides work, work, work. From the ordinary and mundane to the inspiring, odd and unusual, I'm sure both you and I will find my wishes come true in fun and sometimes unexpected ways.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Hills Are Alive...

Wish: participate in a sing-along Messiah,
a sing-along Sound of Music, sing Bach on stage, and sing Karen Carpenter karaoke
all photos copyright original owner

I remember seeing the ad in the paper for the sing-along Sound Of Music (TSOM) before but I dismissed it, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend due to a prior commitment. When I was able to change the date for that commitment, I immediately purchased my ticket online to attend the sing-along TSOM, and I was greatly excited.

You may wonder: why is this a wish of mine in the first place? You will notice it is bundled with other singing wishes I have (that also may or may not make sense to you). Well for one thing TSOM is my favorite movie of all time! I love the scenery, the songs, and Julie Andrews, fresh from her film debut in Disney’s Mary Poppins. About 20 years ago I went to see TSOM on the big screen at a movie theater in NY and was delighted, but it wasn’t a sing-along. When I recently became aware of the sing-along events, I knew I had to be a part of it. And when I found out that you could make your own costume and wear it to the show, I was totally in!

I just had to decide: which character was I going to be? The Captain? No, classy but not colorful enough for me. Rolf? Nope; fun role, but I really don’t remember what he wore. I knew everyone and their mother would be Maria or the nuns, so that was out of the question. No, I had to do something original. Then it dawned on me: I would be one of the Von Trapp children, wearing the playclothes that Maria made from the curtains! Definitely fun, colorful, and just my style!

So I went to the local thrift store to get some cheap curtains to use as my fabric. But when I got there, my eye fell on a bed sheet that had a floral print. Even though it wasn’t from the period of the movie, it just spoke to me. So I bought it and here’s what I made:
As I was sewing it together, I showed it to a friend who was also a big fan of TSOM. He didn’t identify it as something from the movie; though it was playful, it just wasn’t authentic enough. So even though I liked the outfit, I knew I had to go back to the store, get some real curtains and cut them up. While I was out doing errands at the local big box store I found a really nice panel that kinda reminded me of the curtains from the movie. Well, if not the color, at least the pattern was similar. So naturally, the night before the show, I was up late cutting and hand sewing it all together. I had to check the movie to see how the boys’ lederhosen looked, and I based my design on that. Here’s what I came up with:

I’m glad I made a new pair because they look more like the curtains from the movie:
And I was able to make the straps like on the lederhosen outfit.
I lay my outfit out in my room and fell fast asleep on the bed, with visions of TSOM sing-along dancing in my head.

The event took place on a Sunday, so after I wore my new outfit to church to show it off… (just kidding ~ no really, I didn’t wear it to church!) But when the time came for the event, I proudly put on my outfit, snapped a glamour shot of myself
And headed out the door with a big grin on my face. Yay! I was going to see TSOM!! My favorite movie!!!

Finding a parking place made me a little late, so instead of riding the shuttle over from the parking lot to the theater, I hoofed it on the streets of Easton, PA. I began to grow a little anxious as I noticed the lack of costumed people on the street. Hmm, would I be the only one wearing costume there? Not one other costume did I see! To make matters worse, I had to stop and ask for directions to the theater, since I hadn’t been there before, and I walked into a bar to ask the bartender. (Sounds like a bad joke, but it’s true.) No one batted an eyelash, as if it were common to see men in lederhosen asking for directions! So I started to walk towards the theater, with trepidation in every step.
Before I changed my mind and condemned myself for what was sure to be a very embarrassing mistake, I stopped for a moment, held my head erect, and whistled a happy tune, so no one would suspect I was afraid. (Oops, that’s from The King and I, not TSOM!J) No, I stood tall and reminded myself that this was something I really wanted to do. Even if I was the only one in a costume, I was going to strut my stuff like I owned the place. And that is exactly what I did. I stood tall as I walked into the theater and approached the box office, where to my relief I saw… nuns! And from that point, it was on.

Once inside the theater, I was given a goodie bag and escorted to my seat. And what a beautiful theater it is!
The contents of the goodie bag were props that would be used at certain points during the movie. The MC had already begun to give directions regarding the props, and other instructions. We were directed to raise our hands and say certain slogans at key moments in the film. Now, I’d love to tell you about the props and the noises and words we were prompted to yell out during the movie (and part of the fun was having people yell it out when they weren’t supposed to), but I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you decide to go! You will be guaranteed to have a good time and experience TSOM in a whole new way.

I felt my excitement building as the MC (who looked darling in outfit, by the way) made the call for those who were in costume to come on stage for the “fashion show.” I discovered there were a lot more people in costume than I had seen earlier. I felt totally giddy! As each person approached the MC, she greeted them warmly and asked them about their costumes. Then she began to select certain people to stand on stage behind her. Little did I know she was picking people who would be given the chance to win a copy of the movie (with all the lyrics to the songs on screen) based on the creativity of their costume! The general mood in the theater was lively as people laughed, clapped and chatted about the costumes (and giggled at the MC’s witty commentary). When it was finally my turn, she greeted me with a big smile and inquired what character from the movie I was. I said, “I’m one of the children wearing playclothes that Maria made from the curtains.” “Oh, I see! Did you make that costume yourself?” “I sure did!” “”Go stand over there!” she said, as I cheerfully walked over to stand on the stage next to the others! I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

I felt I was sure to win the prize, based on the competition that I saw standing around me! Though I must admit there were some very creative costumes, like the guy who dressed up as “Ray, a drop of golden sun.” But a real crowd pleaser (and my only real competition in my opinion) was a woman who had dressed her children as the “lonely goatherd” and “the girl in the pale pink coat,” and she was Maria at the top of the puppet show. She had strings attached to the kids just like they were puppets.
The audience was enchanted, and I have to admit I was impressed as well. So finally, after the fashion show was done, the MC stood behind each person and held her hand over their head as the audience clapped and yelled for the one they liked the best. When it came to my turn, it was so exciting to hear the audience cheering and yelling for me and my costume! What a thrill! And they yelled and clapped louder for me than they did for anyone else up to that point! But the one to receive the loudest audience approval was Maria and the puppets, so they won the CD, and we all left the stage. When I got back to my seat, the man sitting next to me said, “I cheered really loud for you!” And the lady on the other side said, “You should have won!” I was positively beaming with delight.
And so the movie began! My only disappointment was the size of the screen; I had expected it to be much larger, but that was fine. What fun it was to clap and sing along, with a room full of die hard fans who love TSOM as much as you do! You can tell, because they were singing and harmonizing the songs even while the opening credits rolled. Another nice surprise was to see the Latin words to the song that nuns in the convent were singing during the opening scene (and to hear folks like me giggle while we tried to sing it).

But the moment that truly took my breath away was singing Do-Re-Mi. For some reason during that song, my heart began to soar and I just felt such intense joy hearing everyone sing it around me! By the end of the song, I screamed with delight! No, really. I did!

During intermission I mingled with the crowd, many of whom complimented me on my costume. And I discovered that people came from both near and far away places to attend the show. One fellow I talked to (who was wearing a Nazi officer uniform that drew boos from the audience during the fashion show) said he and his wife attend the TSOM sing-alongs in whatever country they tour in. He was from Holland. I also had a chance to chat with the MC and take my picture with her.
She commented that she really liked my costume. I’m glad I chose to make it instead of simply renting lederhosen and wearing them to the show.

By the time the curtain closed, I was ecstatic. As I walked back to my car, reflecting on the joy of the occasion, passers-by continued to compliment me on my costume. I drove home, absolutely high with delight, glad that my first wish had come true! Now, I wonder if there is a sing-along Mary Poppins

1 comment:

  1. That sounded like such a fun experience! I really appreciate your detailed naration of the experience....it made me.feel i was.right there with you! :) Mary Poppins is awesome...and i agree...it would be great as a sing along!! It came to Anchorage...and our row.. actually sang along anyway!(lol)