Shout-out to my Home Fry, Maurice Sendak

Outside Over There.
Do you guys know this book? Because it’s the best childrens’ book Evar. Hands down the Adult Beginner’s fave.
Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, it is strange, hypnotizing, beautiful…I still pick it up and stare at it. For hours.
You may know and love Maurice Sendak for Where The Wild Things Are or In The Night Kitchen, rad books for sure, but dang, Gentle Reader, Outside Over There is where it’s at.
Word.
But that’s not the point.
The point is that my main man Maurice designed the sets and costumes for an award winning Nutcracker with the Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1983, which man-oh-man I would love to get in my time machine and go see, and illustrated a frikin gorgeous book, E.T.A Hoffmann’s Nutcracker published in 1984, with a dedication to the dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
I just wanted you guys to know about it.
Because this book is Soooooo Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And just recently I found Swine Lake story by James Marshall, illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Gorgeous, funny, about ballet, Swan Lake pun, this book has got it going on.
So exciting when you find things that combine so much of your fave stuff.
High-Five, Mr. Sendak!

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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12 Responses to Shout-out to my Home Fry, Maurice Sendak

  1. Been combing the internets for recordings of the ballet on DVD. Coming up with nothing but VHS.
    Who even owns a VCR anymore?!

    • Ok, apparently time travel is not necessary, Pacific Northwest Ballet is selling tickets for this very production right this very minute at pnb.org.
      Everyone who lives in that area should go and report back to me so I can be very very very jealous.

  2. sionan says:

    I saw the opening night..had to walk down from the top of capital hill, due to an unexpected snow storm!.. the ever capable street car couldn’t make the hill!.. So I donned my beautiful “go to the opening night gown”..boots and a bag with pretty shoes..and hoofed down the hill..
    the opening scene was breathtaking..the jaws of the nutcracker opening to show Clara’s bed.. I was hooked from the first moment! I was able to record it ..from a “Bravo” or somesuch replay.. the “Arabian dance” (my favorite character piece) OMG I LOVED it..she was a bird of paradise.. It is truly a WONDERFUL version!

  3. bunhead says:

    I’ve had the original version on VHS for as long as I can remember, and throughout my childhood, and even into my teen years, I watched it, over and over, through the holiday season and into the summer months. My love of that VHS, along with a few other ballets I taped off of the television as a kid, is probably the sole reason my parents have hung on to their VHS player for so long.

    Surprising really, because I, like so many dancers, grew weary of the ballet after about the third year I performed it. Always loved this performance of it, though, it’s not your typical, meat and potatoes Nutcracker production.

    I would love to see it live.

    Also, though, the recording is worth getting ahold of, if only because Patricia Barker is lovely. And, of course, she’s now retired.

    • Ha! Ballet kept the VCR in business, that’s awesome.
      I found a few clips on YouTube!
      Not the whole thing though, not enough.
      Might be time to send PNB’s customer service department a letter explaining how I have a pocket full of dollars and a burning desire to see this on DVD, or download for iTunes, or some format from this century.
      Makes me so happy that they are still running this production.

  4. There was one night when Mr. Adult Beginner and I were all dressed up and ready to leave our hotel room for a big night out in NYC, but then a documentary on Maurice Sendak came on the tv, which we had only turned on for noise, not to actually watch, and I was instantly frozen midway through buckling the ankle-strap of my fancy heel. Husband had to go get a crow bar from hospitality to pry me up so we could go out.

  5. Laura says:

    Are you a Metflix member by any chance? I was recently watching PNB’s Nutcracker through their Watch Instantly section… I don’t know if it’s also available for DVD rental or not.

  6. Iona says:

    OMG i love your blog, and have been reading for the past week or so.
    anyway.
    I HAVE THE EXACT SAME BOOK ON MY SHELF.
    ITS MY FAVORITE.
    just thought i should share that :D

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