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Let Me Go Crazy On You

Nope. Not me. But I do so appreciate this old Heart tune showing up in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Movie. For those of you who haven't ventured forth to see Guardians 3 - stop what you're doing and get out there. It's the kind of Summer movie we need. The gang is back together with a few twists and new characters and it's all still amazing, big fun.

As a playwright you soon learn to appreciate that the audience is something special, a part of the craft, a part of the finished THING. And, for every play rehearsal and performance the audience is different, made up with different people who all bring their 'stuff' to the theater that night. Fights, passions, problems, intellect. Every night someone laughs at different parts of the play. Someone cries, sighs, breathes differently than the night before. In this way, the experience is different every night and the actors incorporate that into the energy of the performance. And it is never, ever, never the same.

With the worldwide shut down of everything (almost) movie theaters were one of the first things to take a hit. A Big, Bad hit. A we may never come back from this one kind of hit. And I couldn't be more thankful for the streaming services that served up movies and shows for us (and the creators who continued creating during lock-down and restrictions. Yeah, you go Tom Cruise - I don't care if you are (or are not) crazy. Thank you for supporting this thing I love. A lot.

On a recent quick blast of a trip to Nashville one of the highlights of those few days was going with Sister, Son and three of the wild, wolf pack I call the charming to see Guardians 3. Color me all kinds of happy. People show up finding their seats and they are obviously in a happy mood, chatting, popcorn and drinks in hand. And, I'm thinking, OH please don't let them be THOSE people who text and talk during movies. The lights go down, the previews come on, and the screen is filled with images of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. I lean forward and look at my sister on the other end of the row and yes, she is leaning over looking at me and both of us are nodding, yes, we are in! We had gone together to see the very, first Indie in the theaters years ago and it may be all warm feels and nostalgia but we DON'T CARE. We are here for it.

Then Guardians begins and from the first scene and song the magic is back. NO SPOILERS HERE. It's enough to say the gang is indeed back together in new and interesting ways. I had heard from some film podcasts that the movie was melancholy and as such I was a little concerned it wouldn't hit home with the youngest among us. Nothing to fear there. Half way through the movie the 11 yrs old leaned in and whispered to me - BEST MOVIE EVER. Towards the end of the movie he leaned in and whispered again - BEST MOVIE EVER. Now, critically in the history of film I can't say that Guardians will land in my top five films of all time but since we were celebrating this kids birthday it was like hitting the perfect bullseye. Thanks to the entire Guardians cast, total crew and WRITER and DIRECTOR James Gunn for bringing the story home. All the way home. And a special shout out to the acting chops of Bradley Cooper rocking and embodying the character of Rocket like nobody else could have pulled off.

Gardians plays in theaters all SUMMER long. Put it on your dance card now. Get popcorn and be a kid again. Trust me, the other audience members need to hear the sound of your laughter. Your presence brings more joy than you realize. It just ain't the same without you. As the reflective 9 year old pointed out after the movie, I thought the audience was really good, too! Now, that's a boy after my own heart (never mind he already possesses a huge part of it.) Yes, they were. We all laughed and sighed (and maybe cried just a little) at the same places.

So, at some point this summer I'll be returning to watch Guardians 3 in the movie theater where it belongs. Join me.

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