Best. Day. Ever

Sunday, October 02, 2011

When I went to bed Friday night, I’d planned on getting up early to go for an easy run, coming home and making apple donuts and coffee. The lows were in the 40s and we were going to spend the day watching football, have friends over for the Nebraska game, and pull out the fire pit.

That’s what I thought when I went to bed on Friday night… When I was woken up on Saturday morning, it was clear this was not going to happen.

After I posted yesterday, the day only grew more mysterious.  After we bypassed the turn-off for Philly, we {Jamie and I} were sure we were headed to the Big Apple.  But then Michael pulled off of the interstate and Tyler began directing him from a page of printed Mapquest directions.  We were heading west in New Jersey and Jamie and I were completely clueless.

“Maybe we’re going on a picnic?”

Honestly, I started to grow a little bit disappointed because there’s not one single thing I could think of that I wanted to do in New Jersey.  Then we pulled into a public library parking lot in Millburn, New Jersey, adjacent to a small Amtrak train station.  We parked and got out, and were told we wouldn’t be back to the car for several hours.


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Maybe driving to New Jersey was meant to throw us off and we’re taking the train to Penn Station?  Jamie and I at this point had given up all hope of figuring this day out.  We got out of the car and started walking….away from the train station.  We walked by signs and advertisements along the platform and next to the train station sign, there was a small sign that read “Home of the Paper Mill Playhouse.” I barely took notice of it, but then it all started to register… It looked something like this:10 01 11_718410 01 11_718510 01 11_718710 01 11_718810 01 11_718910 01 11_7190Me and Jamie and our big cheesy grins.

Now, for most people, I wouldn’t expect you to know what on earth the Paper Mill Playhouse is.  I wouldn’t have EXCEPT for the fact my favorite movie on the planet was finally being turned into a Broadway musical.  Tracking the latest news on its progress, I knew that the musical was being previewed for one month to see if it would be picked up for Broadway.  And it was being previewed where else but the Paper. Mill. Playhouse.


For those of you not familiar {blasphemy}, Newsies is a movie musical that came out in 1992 starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, Bill Pullman, and Robert Duvall.  It is absolutely one of my favorite movies of all time, I know every word to every song, and if I were a dancer I’d know all of those too.  For years and years I’ve hoped this thing would be produced on Broadway.

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Jamie and I share an equal love of this musical so we were giddy and squealing and flipping out the whole walk to the theater.  After such a confusing morning, to realize we were about to go see Newsies…on stage… in one hour.  There just weren’t enough words to express how excited we were {clearly, if you saw those pictures}.  We were calling our moms {who completely understood our reactions}, texting our friends, and updating our FB statuses.

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So, to speed up this story and spare you a full review, the musical was fantastic.  It was so fun to see everything played out on stage, listen to all of our favorite songs, and see how they adapted the movie for the stage.  It did not disappoint, though it was clear early on that we had to turn down our expectations because they made a lot of big changes to the lyrics and characters, though the storyline is essentially just the same.  In the end, there were a few things I didn’t love, changes I’d make, but that’s exactly what this month in preview is for.  The dances were phenomenal, the music outstanding, and the set was really, really cool.  It was so, so good. If this thing doesn’t make it to Broadway…

{Just in case you love Newsies like I do, you can go here to watch sneak peek videos of the production.}

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So, after the show we happily walked back to the car, content with our surprise, Jamie and I singing and Michael trying to swing around lamp posts.  It was only 4:00 and the big Nebraska game that Tyler’s been waiting for all week was on at 8:00, so I assumed we were hopping back in the car to drive south on I-95.

Instead, we drove east to Manhattan for dinner!  We walked around the Flatiron District for a bit, down to Union Square, Jamie and I window shopped in fabric stores where the fabric was $150 a yard, and our husbands {as if they hadn’t earned enough points with us} walked around ABC Carpet & Décor with us.  All six floors of it. {It was pretty close to heaven…}

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Then we headed to Bar Almond for dinner which was outstanding.  Tyler ordered this macaroni and cheese with truffle oil and prosciutto that I could have eaten for days and Michael ordered a grilled cheese to end all grilled cheeses and required a steak knife. 

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Jamie & Michael were celebrating their 2nd anniversary so we spent the night dissecting our highs and lows, sharing how we’d each grown and changed in our marriages.  It was a great night.  After dinner, we headed to Maxie’s to watch the Nebraska game for a few hours and once it was clear that was not going well, we decided we should be getting back to DC.  Our last surprise of the night was a stop at Magnolia’s for cupcakes and banana pudding.  Sadly, they were all out of banana pudding but we happily settled for half a dozen cupcakes as we finally headed home.

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Bleary eyed, we were home by 3am and I crawled into bed with a tired, happy smile.

Best. Day. Ever.

Mad props to Michael and Tyler for putting this thing together and pulling it off without a single hitch.  I hope you had as much fun surprising us as we had being surprised.  You’re truly the best and we’re lucky to have such thoughtful, fun husbands.

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