Last Sunday, Kate and I went to see the Charles Phoenix Moonlight Rollerway Jubilee and, oh my god, it was awesome. I thought it would be a kick to go roller skating again and a slide show? Fun bonus. Turns out that I didn't read the fine print and so I had no idea what we were in for. And it the best kind of surprise there ever could be. I also was able to break out the new ROLLER SKATE earrings that I bought for Kate and myself from Laurina.Pastina (via etsy).
First came the slide show. The chairs were set up on the rink, and out comes Charles Phoenix replete with his gold sparkle suit, band leader hat, and ostrich plumes galore! He circled the crowd a few times and then started his presentation, which included a very dear tribute to Dominic Cangelosi, the world's greatest roller rink organist. What? Yes. Yes, that's right. The Moonlight Rollerway has an ORGANIST. As Charles would say I know.
photo by jamesandtim
After giving us a brief tour of the history of roller skating, all in slide show format, the audience took a short break for ice cream and punch (!). When we came back onto the rink floor, the chairs had been moved around the perimeter of the floor. It suddenly dawned on me that there would be a skating performance. Great, I thought. The first skaters to take the floor came out to the Green Acres theme song and included overalls with sequins and girls in square dancing garb, in addition to the Eddie Albert/Eva Gabor characters. After which came the skating CHICKENS and TURKEY. And then when my cheeks were already hurting from laughing so much, out came the COWS [check out this video, courtesy of MiniJen]. No, for serious. The guy next to me said "I'm dead. I have died. Died and gone to roller skate heaven" and I heartily agreed.
From life on the farm, we made our way through the decades. The twenties were represented by this DARLING young girl who skate-danced to "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (which I haven't been able to stop singing since. Watch the opening to the movie here. Dang, I love me some Julie Andrews.) and she was fantastic. A national champion, don't you know? The thirties and fourties were covered by a sailor/pinup girl double feature and then another solo (by a male sailor). The fifties were covered by this ADORABLE group of little girls called the Poodle Skirt Girls. The sixties was another ensemble group that skated to a sixties medley with a little dash of Austin Powers for good measure. [Videos of the sixties, courtesy of jamesandtim]
Just for fun, there was a set of fat ballerinas and a re-enactment of Swan Lake in drag.
Video of Swan Lake, courtesy of jamesandtim
There was a quick decade skip to give another national champion his opportunity to perform his solo. Which was crazy. It incorporated a chair on caster wheels and a lot of fancy footwork. [Video of James Johnson's solo, courtesy of jamesandtim] You really just have to watch it. And after that, a special performance of the title song from "Starlight Express" by some of the cast of the show. VERY roller retro.
Then we leaped back a decade - why not? - for the big finale, which was a seventies roller disco that was really super amazingly fantastic. Check out these moves! [video of Disco Inferno, courtesy of jamesandtim] Check out those costumes!
The entire show was really fun and I wish I had a whole thesaurus full of synonyms for "awesome". It was way more than I expected - more than I KNEW to expect - and made me want to strap on my skates again. Which I could actually do! After the show, there was free skate for everyone. Unfortunately, Kate and I couldn't stay to skate (she was off to wow Hollywood and I was off to... um, read a book on my couch). BUT we're planning a slumber party/skate party and I am this close to talking Ryan into skating this weekend. Roller boogie!! And also, I severely covet the skate covers that look like high heels.
Of course, I have hundreds more pictures over on Flickr and have started a group pool for the Moonlight Jubilee pictures as well.