Yesterday, I was on a hunt for something to do in the city. I have free time right now while I look for an editorial position and I was not going to let another day pass without finding some unique or cool thing to do in NYC. I went to my usual outlets, Time Out New York’s: Things to Do and NYCGo: Events, and stumbled upon a free outdoor movie. I had recently said that I have never done an outdoor movie in NYC and that I needed to change that. The only outdoor movies I saw were Finding Nemo on the BU lawn and the drive-in movies I would go see at the old Southington, CT drive-in movie (RIP! Drive-in theaters are dropping like flies). The free movie playing last night was the 1986 classic musical-comedy-horror movie Little Shop of Horrors. My parents had me watch that as a kid and played the music in the car and I always really enjoyed it. The movie was being presented by Summers on the Hudson Movies Under the Stars, offering free Wednesday movie screenings on PIer 1 in Riverside Park South.
When I arrived at Pier 1 at W. 70th Street inside Riverside Park (where there is a great outdoor cafe), I looked for a field or area of green where the movie would take place. I was way off. The movie was actually being shown on a blown-up screen at the very end of the pier, jutting out into the Hudson River. This was not at all what I expected but definitely a cool surprise. It was windy from the stormy day, but the weather was now very nice, and the view from the pier was incredible. If I had known I was going to be sitting on a brick/cement pier, I may have brought a thicker blanket, but I wasn’t complaining. It was a very unique experience and FREE.
All you need is one buddy to say yes and you have an excursion partner. I was lucky enough to have my friend Kevin, who I worked with at a restaurant in the spring, say yes. He actually said “well its a comedy, rock musical, and horror flick, every genre in one movie,” so he couldn’t say no. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, it is based on a 1982 Off-Broadway musical and is about a nerdy floral shop worker named Seymour (Rick Moranis) who becomes the owner of a raunchy plant that feeds on human blood. Seymour is in love with his co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene) who dates an abusive, sadistic dentist, played impeccably by Steve Martin. The movie is about them coming together and coping with the man-eating plant. The movie is hilarious, the music is wonderful and funny, and it’s a touching love story, comedy, and B-rated horror movie rolled into one. What’s not to love?
Kevin aspires to be a director and will be attending the NY Film Academy this fall. He was the perfect person to go with, appreciating the movie and the experience as much I as I did. We discussed the movie, its nuances, and the cast, including the many great, funny cameos by famous actors, i.e. Bill Murray, John Candy, Jim Belushi, Christopher Guest. We gushed over Levi Stubb’s voice (Stubbs sang the role of demonic alien plant Audrey 2 and was a founding member of the Four Tops), talked about how 2 out of the 3 Greek Chorus/Motown chicks starred on Martin the tv show, and laughed at how nerdy, young, bad at singing, and cute (in my opinion) Rick Moranis was. Kevin discerned how Rick’s poor voice only made the amazing Ellen Greene’s shine during duets (like in the scene below). I love discussing entertainment and Kevin was my perfect match.
Thanks to the words being up on the screen, we (and lots of people) sang along at times. And people clapped and cheered throughout the movie, which was really fun and perfect for a classic, beloved film. We chatted along, (mostly about the movie), drank wine, ate hummus and Oreos, and had an all around spectacular time. Thank you Kevin for going with me and for being such great company!
Next Wednesday, Summers on the Hudson will be screening one last movie, Pitch Perfect. This is a contemporary and fun musical comedy about college a cappella and you might see me there! If you live in NYC, here is a link to a list of all the free outdoor movie sites http://gonyc.about.com/od/summer/tp/Free-Summer-Movies-NYC.htm. I’m going to try to find one where my tush will be sitting on some grass too. I’m hoping to finally see one at Bryant Park, a famous sight for NYC outdoor movies. No matter where you live, try to find an outdoor movie near you, pack some wine and some food, find a friend, and enjoy a beautiful summer night and a cool experience.
And be happy he’s not your dentist (except if your Bill Murray’s character!)!