I knew that the Castro Theatre sometimes does sing-alongs, but the times I've checked before it was always something I wasn't terribly passionate about, like The Sound of Music, or R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet (which actually would be really amusing to witness), so I waited. And then. I happened to check the schedule the week after Christmas and discovered that one of my favorite Disney movies of ALL TIME with pretty much the best music of ALL TIME would be playing for a week. Omg.
Immediately upon learning of this, I invited a group of girlfriends to join me on this amazing adventure on opening night, a Sunday. (I hurt a few boys' feelings in the meantime. Next time, guys.) Understandably most of the friends who signed on were excited, but skeptical. Would this be lame? Are we too old to dress up like Ariel? Would we be the only adults there? The answer to all of the above was 100% NO.
I woke up Sunday morning hungover. That's putting it mildly - I was in a real world of hurt. Things did not get better as the day went on. Being a 30 year old mermaid singing her heart out wasn't exactly something that sounded terribly appealing to me, but I knew I had to work through it. I owed this to my blog readers - I owed this to myself.
They were not messing around for this event. Upon entering, we were handed goody bags. In those goody bags you found: a King Triton Crown, a plastic dinglehopper, bubbles, a glow stick on a strand of pearls (like Ariel's voice), and a celebratory popper for the wedding at the end.
I cannot express to you how much this whole event made me love San Francisco. I realized recently that one thing we love in this city is shared experiences. We love Fleet Week, because everyone is on a roof deck somewhere, and you can look across the city and see the other roof decks filled with people. We love when our sports teams make the playoffs or the World Series because everyone wears orange and black, or the city monuments light up in the team's colors, and when we win, the whole city goes out and parties. We love Halloween, and Santa Con, and Bay to Breakers, because they involve the whole community getting together to celebrate - and to party. Give us an excuse to celebrate, and SF, we're on it. So this wacky event, a Disney Sing-Along where you are encouraged to dress up, encouraged to sing at the top of your lungs, encouraged to sneak in alcohol - come on, where else in the world would something like this exist?
In most cities, you might expect this kind of event to be mostly composed of females. Not so in San Francisco - it was pretty much an even ratio. There were plenty of guys who accompanied their girlfriends here, but mostly there were groups of guys - sure, they were probably all "from the Castro" - who sang louder and knew the lines better than most of the crowd. And as I mentioned before, when I told Dave and another guy friend, Robby, it was a "girls only night" they both were incredibly disappointed. The good news is that all of the girls who came to this cannot wait to go again, and this time boys will be invited - we are keeping our fingers crossed for an Aladdin, a Beauty and the Beast, or a Lion King sing-along. And next time - I don't think it will be just me who dresses up.
This visit to the Castro also highlighted one of the reasons I am so glad I decided to embark on this bucket list adventure. I tend to get pretty stuck in my part of the city - mostly limited to North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Financial District, and the Marina, and there are so many amazing neighborhoods in this city. I love the Castro, it is a beautiful and vibrant neighborhood, but it is a 20+ minute cab ride from my place in North Beach. My bucket list takes place all over the city, and I am so glad that it forces me out of my routine. Hopefully I have also inspired a few of my readers to do the same!