The Macy’s “Christmas Parade” which eventually was renamed the “Thanksgiving Parade” has been held since 1924. In 1927, Tony Sarg was an illustrator who was hired by Macy’s to “come up” with new ideas for the parade. Tony’s idea was BALLOONS!!
The first balloons did not fly because they were inflated with air not helium. They were held up with poles. In 1929, helium let the balloons fly. It was a tradition to release them after the parade with Macy’s offering a $100 reward for their safe return. The release was ended in 1932 when a balloon wrapped around the wing of an airplane causing it to crash.
Snoopy will mark 2013 as his 37th appearance in the parade, the most of any of the balloons in the history of the parade. Snoopy appeared in seven incarnations.
Nobody has a monopoly on the event. Though NBC partners with Macy’s and has official broadcast rights, CBS fires up the cameras and broadcasts its bootleg The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS because the parade passes by its studio space anyway and it has nothing better to do.
A while back my niece posted a cool avatar on her Facebook. I asked where she got and she said “Wicked”…duh. Well little did I know it was a smash Broadway musical and a really cool book (s). I watched a couple of YouTube videos and was enthralled. Hey, I live in Vegas. Surely I can go see it. Maybe it’s on DVD. Fat chance. We had to wait TWO YEARS while they BUILT a place to host it.
Hey? Let’s get some tickets.
Yeah right. At first we were struck with Sticker Shock. Or is that Ticket Shock? So we wouldn’t be there for opening night. By the time we saved the fundage, tickets were scarce. Tried to get four tickets. No way. Tried to get three tickets. Nope, Rosie wasn’t going. Which pissed me off. She said, “Make it a Date Night”. She was cool about it. Okay, there’s got to be two tickets. Sure but not on Saturday. But then Jamie scored some for last night. HUZZAH!!!
Wicked was playing at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Just punch it into the GPS. Did I mention they just built it? The address doesn’t exist. Jamie’s co worker went and told us to park across the street at the Outlet Mall. Cool, I punch in the Mall and off we go. On the way we discussed why the GPS was taking us to an odd exit of the highway. I knew where we were going and the exit didn’t make sense. No way were we going to get there in 20 minutes. The GPS had to be wrong. We rolled the dice and decided to take the exit and trust the GPS.
Off the exit, two turns and BAM we there. Parked and we’re off to find the Smith. It wasn’t “just across the street”. We went a block and I began to wonder where we were going. I’m looking at the map off the internet but it doesn’t show enough streets. Uh oh. Jamie said, “Try your cell phone.” Google Maps, HUZZAH! So there we were, Urban Campers on a hike. I felt like Sulu with the tricorder. “It should be up there on the right”.
Then we noticed the cars being directed at the corner. Cutting across the parking lot that was really across the street and we were there.
The Smith Center
No kidding. the place is beautiful. On the outside it felt like walking through a movie set. I had to touch the flowers to make sure they were real. The fire hose attachments were chrome and I wondered if human hand had ever touched them. This was the feeling they had on the Titanic.
A door man welcomed us to the Smith and of course, opened the door. A crowd was milling around the lobby in Cocktail Formation. A quick stop to get a fridge magnet at the swag tables and it was off to find the little boys room. Finding the bathroom was when I figured that somebody really smart designed the place. Two Women’s room for every Men’s. No waiting ladies.
Then we took the elevator to the fifth floor. When we got off we still had to hike from A to our seats on H row. We were in the Nose Bleeds but the view was great and the seats comfy. Foot room was tiny. But hey, we were in the Nose Bleeds. As bonus points, the women in the Little Black Dresses had to squeeze by us. Oh darn.
My Single-Serving Wicked Friend was Craig and his lovely wife Diana.
Waiting for the show to start was an opportunity for me to People Watch. Many folks were dressed like us. Off the street casual. Dressy, but casual. The fashion show went up from there. Not a few couples were in evening gowns and Black Tie. I even spotted a tux. It’s Wicked, so there were about a dozen girls sporting ruby slippers. In one case, Ruby Sneakers. A few women were in Ruby heels and I stopped counting red heels.
Speaking of heels. As the audience settled in a lot of women stopped suffering for fashion and kicked off said heels. The lady next to us put on white socks to be comfy AND toasty.
No Spoiler Alert
Copy-write laws prevent me from going into the plot. The ushers were very cool and polite when they mentioned I should stop taking pictures. Suffice to say that the music is great. The story was great. The homages to OZ were witty and spot on. Surprisingly, parts were really funny and some parts were really scary. During a really tense scene……..my cell phone alarm decides to go off. On vibrate, no sweat. I had turned it on during intermission to take pictures. I reached in my pocket and turned it off. Goes off again. Turned it off again. Um….no. Third time. Now the alarm is sounding off. “Submarine Dive Alarm”. The buttons aren’t working. It’s getting louder and louder. Craig’s laughing now. So I disassembled it and put the parts in my pocket. Craig whispers, “Nice Job”. He’s been having Adult Beverages. I’m not sure it was a complement or a joke.
Go see “Wicked” when it comes to a theater near you.