Alexis' Birthday. Monday was Alexis Cole's big day and she had big plans for a Girls' Night Out at a Korean spa in Fort Lee, NJ. But the weather didn't cooperate. By planned departure time, it was sleeting and roads were slick. Reluctantly, Alexis canceled her gathering.
She still wanted to do something, so she started last-minute recruiting for a movie excursion to Cortlandt Town Center to see the 4:10pm showing of Les Miserables. Although a hastily-planned Peekskill gathering was put together for later in the evening, nobody else was able to make the movie but me.
It's not the film I would've chosen, Having played in the orchestra of the original Broadway production of Les Miz hundreds of times, I wasn't sure I needed to hear it yet again. But it was Alexis' birthday, so of course I cheerfully said yes.
The short drive wasn't too scary, but when we got out of her car, we held onto each other as we skidded and slipped across the icy parking lot. We were the only ones crazy enough to be out that afternoon, and we had the entire movie theater completely to ourselves.
"Great!," Alexis said, "We can sing along!!!"
For a while we didn't. Anne Hathaway's spellbinding performance of I Dreamed a Dream was enough to make the whole thing worth it. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean was miscast vocally, but he played the character well. Mostly the visually beautiful rendition of the musical lumbered along OK.
But then Russell Crowe (as the police chief Javert) began to sing. Javert is the villain, powerful and scary, and Russell Crowe was OK when he was talking. But his singing was just so incredible wimpy. He scooped up to every note, and he had no idea how to sing this kind of music. It was a really good thing we were alone in the theater, because Alexis and I started howling laughing.
I said, "He sounds like a braying donkey." That set Alexis off, and she - soon joined by me - started singing along, very loudly, while making braying donkey sounds. If anyone else had been there we would've been the biggest jerks in the world - two grown women, screaming laughing and howling at the movie screen.
It certainly livened up the movie. We were still pretty well-behaved for the rest of the film - until Russell Crowe sang again, and all hell broke loose - again.
The Korean spa would've been great fun, but staying near home and misbehaving at the movies was fun, too. We came back to Peekskill and again slipped and slid over to Lana's, for a lovely, intimate, impromptu party - Alexis' birthday rescued.