Saturday, August 16, 2008

An Ode To Musicals

by Caren Crane

WARNING: This post is about MOVIE MUSICALS. Many of those overburdened with testosterone despise them (though a few openly admit to their charm, wit and magic), so remember you were warned.

I know many Banditas adore a musical. I could totally get the whole Lair singing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria". As a matter of fact, that may or may not have happened at a certain Bash at the RWA conference. And Mary Poppins? Our Golden Heart winner, Susan Seyfarth, would knock some people out of the way to be the one who gets to dance with Bert. Don't let her pixie-like looks and size fool you, folks. She is SERIOUS about her Mary Poppins.

But why? Why do we love our musicals so?

My youngest and I went to see WALL-E last night. What a great movie! If you haven't seen it, you must know that WALL-E is a fan of the musical "Hello, Dolly". This is the 1969 version starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. WALL-E watches "Hello Dolly" often and, apparently, learns about love from the song "It Only Takes a Moment." In the song, the clerk, Cornelius, expresses his feelings to Irene. At then end of the song, they join hands and head off, strolling through the park. Poor WALL-E joins his little robot fingers together to simulate hand-holding. Heartbreaking! Though there is no dialogue, you feel all his pain and loneliness, his longing for love.

For me, the musical is a great ride because the music encapsulates the mood of a scene perfectly. As writers, we struggle for the perfect words to set the stage, create the mood, immerse the reader in our character's angst or joy. In a musical, the character simply bursts into song and takes us there.

I have noticed that musicals, like romance, are often marginalized by reviewers and the movie-going public. There are those who loathe them simply because they are what they are. Romance is regarded this way by lots of readers who don't understand, much less read, the genre. Fie on both those fickle groups!

I am proud to say I am totally immersed today in Loretta Chase's "Your Scandalous Ways". It is delectable! And tomorrow, my youngest and I have decided we MUST watch "The Sound Of Music" and, naturally, "Hello, Dolly". Of course, a side trip into "The King and I" or "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is likely. I have thoroughly corrupted my offspring.

So, are you a musical lover or does "Shall We Dance" leave you cold? If you love them, what is your favorite? And most importantly, was Dick Van Dyke cuter as Bert in "Mary Poppins" or as Caractacus Potts in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"? Or am I the only dork who will admit to thinking Dick Van Dyke is totally adorable?

119 comments:

Helen said...

Is he coming back to OZ for a visit

Have Fun
Helen

PJ said...

Dang! Missed it by one! lol

Congrats, Helen. He's on his way back to OZ.

Helen said...

Great post Caren I love musicals my Mum and I used love watching them on a Saturday afternoon and I have continued on to watch and love them.

My favourite is probably Seven Brides for Seven Brothers I have it on DVD and could watch over and over Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are also there at the top and I too love Dick Van Dyke and always have I those on DVD as well. The Sound Of Music is fantastic.
Actually I love all the ones you have mentioned and have most of them on DVD although it is a long time since I have seen Hello Dolly or Thoroughly Modern Millie I too love the music from The Wizard Of Oz Caberet was another one I enjoyed very much as well.

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Sorry PJ only 7 mins seperating us,The GR and I are going to have a quiet day watching the olympics and reading I need a rest today we minded the Grandkids last night and need to re charge.

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Well I missed it by two! Congrats Helen.

I really liked Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins the best. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a real close second though.

My only problem with musicals is I will get song stuck in my head and sing it for weeks.

PJ said...

Caren, just call me a dork. I love musicals be they on stage or screen. I also think Dick Van Dyke has been totally adorable from his days as Rob Petrie to his turn as Bert to his weekly stint as Dr. Mark Sloan in Diagnosis Murder.

I suppose, if forced, I'd have to say my favorite movie musical is The Sound of Music but there are oodles of them crowding that top spot. I've been lucky enough to see many of them on stage also and that's an experience like no other, imo. Musicals make me feel good, much like romance novels. They entertain me, touch my emotions, make me laugh, cry, sigh and, sometimes sing out loud.

Dina said...

Helen, like you love 7 Brides for 7 Brothers,Singing in the Rain, Chitty Cihtty Bang Bang, which they need to play more, Wizard of Oz & The Phantom of the Opera movies is my favorites though!

PJ said...

I'll list some of my favs tomorrow but it's past midnight here and this chickie is going to bed. I have to be up at 7am to deliver two containers of cookies to my next-door neighbor and see him off to his first year of college.

Night all.

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! Congrats, Helen! The GR will be enjoying some Olympics watching with you :)

Caren, I sometimes love musicals ;) I haven't seen too many of them, but The Sound of Music's always fun, and West Side Story. Our family loves all the Disney movies, too, of which many are pretty much animated musicals. Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid and the Lion King are still favorites for us, although the boys have a preference for the Toy Story extravaganzas...

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Great post, Caren!
And congrats Helen! Keep that wily bird busy. ;-)

I LURVE musicals, esp. seeing them live. I do admit a preference for Andrew Lloyd Webber. His stuff is so catchy, and of all his, Cats is my fave. Though some of the older musicals do still surprise and delight me. I few weeks ago, I saw a live production of The Sound of Music that was far and away THE BEST I've ever seen. Instead of playing up the cute kids and down the heavy politics, this production did the opposite and it was so effective! When Captain Von Trapp sang Eidelweiss with all those grim Nazi uniformed guards around the stage, I had goose bumps!

AC

Tawny said...

Awwww, I love Dick Van Dyke. I'm voting for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang here, he was just adorable in that.

I'd deny being a musical afficianado (I'd deny knowing how to spell that without spellcheck, too) but every one of the ones you mentioned, I love. Hmmm, maybe there's more to me than I thought?

Christine Wells said...

Theeeee HILLS are aliiiiiiive...

Fantastic blog, PoshT! I adore movie musicals and even starred in a couple in my time.*g* School productions count don't they?

The King and I is probably my favourite now but I must have seen The Sound of Music a zillion times as a child and My Fair Lady half a zillion. Oh, and how could I forget Grease? Love them all.

Hey, congrats, Helen! Looks like the rooster has run out of Tim Tams.

Donna MacMeans said...

Can't believe Mama Mia is playing on the ipod while I'm reading the blog (grin).

I love musicals and have a hard time not singing along at a drop of a hat. My current fav is WICKED. I love the lyrics. It's a twist - a great twist - on the Wizard of Oz which always has me doing that walk/skip down the sidewalk. I also love LES MISERABLES - powerful music that makes me cry.

I grew up with Dick Van Dyke (believe it or not - I met his brother. He worked at the same company as I in Cleveland) and Danny Kaye - love those old Danny Kaye musicals.

Of course, Dick Van Dyke got his big break with the musical BYE BYE BIRDIE which was a spoof on Elvis Presly which was the subject of Joanie's blog a couple of days ago.
(Big Grin) Great minds must think alike.

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL. Guess I should have worded that better. I did not grow up with Dick Van Dyke. Lord, I'm not that old (grin). But I did spend a lot of time in front of the B&W TV watching his movies & TV shows.

Natalie Hatch said...

I loved Danny Kay, he was such a great actor/singer/dancer... anything with him in it. Oh and Brigadoon, the idea that the village only appears for one day every hundred years, how wonderful is that? There's a romance book waiting to be written from that one I'm sure.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, about time he came back to Oz! A gold medal for you, my friend!

How weird - I was just thinking about musicals today because I put "There'll be trouble, right here in River City" in an email and I realised that a lot of people (probably much younger than I am) wouldn't get the reference. It's from the Music Man which is a great musical too - 76 Trombones, anyone? My mum and dad were heavily into musicals (it was the era where a straight man could absolutely love Rodgers and Hammerstein!) so really they're my first musical memory. I adore the Sound of Music - Captain von Trapp was a serious crush of mine, even when I was only five! Of the modern ones, Les Miserables is my favorite. I saw one of the very first performances when I lived in London - the Royal Shakespeare Company (surprisingly, they were the mob who did it first) did previews at the Barbican and against my better judgement, I let a friend talk me into going. Well, three tumultuous hours of tears and laughter and suspense later, I was hooked. I think I've seen it eight times since! It's such a powerful story - and I can see Miss Donna agrees with me!

Margay said...

Caren, I think Dick is adorable in both movies, so i refuse to pick one! I love musicals! My sisters and I all danced growing up (recitals, parades, nursing homes, competitions - we were everywhere!), so musicals were a big part of our life - often we'd dance to songs from them. I love them all, so it's really hard to say which is my favorite. anything with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly just blew me away - they were amazing. I am kind of partial to Hello, Dolly because I was in a production of it in high school. ;)

Natalie Hatch said...

Hey Christine, I just booked myself into your workshop at the Brisbane Writers Festival, so I'm expecting great things oh and freebies and all the rest... lol.
My all time favourite musical... hmmm Brigadoon, I've mentioned before but I love Doris Day as Annie Oakley and her man Howard Keel...
A womans touch can doo so well.....
Take me back to the black hills, the black hills of Dakota....
Get yer gun...
sorry, singing away here, the kids are wondering who's strangling the cat... damn.

Anna Lucia said...

Ah, I LOVE musicals!!! I couldn't even say which is my favourite, although The King and I combines two obsessions - musicals and The Brynner. *swoon*

Really can't do DvD in MP - that accent is execrable! But My Fair Lady slays me...

Gene Kelly is irresistable, The Disneys are sheer story-telling brilliance and if you've never seen Hugh Jackman singing in Oklahoma, you Have Never Lived... ggg

LOVE musicals!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster. He will enjoy watching the Olympics without the half-day delay! (Go, Michael Phelps - woo hoo!!)

Aren't those wonderful memories, watching musicals with your mother? I remember seeing 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' for the first time. I was probably 7 years old and it was on a Saturday afternoon on network TV (all we had back then). I loved it! I think my poor mother knew then that I would be a romance reader for life.

She bought me my first Harlequin Romances when I was 11 or 12!

Caren Crane said...

PJ, I'm so sorry the chook escaped you! I'm sure he'll be back for a visit soon, though. He can't resist your charms! ;-)

Caren Crane said...

Dianna, there are MUCH worse things than having show tunes stuck in your head. *g* I sympathize, though. After watching 'The Sound Of Music' last time, my girls and I would burst into song with no provocation whatsoever for weeks afterward. Sometimes I think it embarasses my husband, but every once in a while he joins in. *eg*

Caren Crane said...

PJ, I'm so glad you and Helen have come out and admitted you think Dick Van Dyke is adorable, too. I had a MAD little girl crush on him from watching reruns of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. I love me some Rob Petrie!

You know, I never had any idea what Rob *did* on the show. Now I realize he was a writer for a TV show. That cracks me up!

Caren Crane said...

Dina, isn't 'Phantom' just wonderful? Such a tormented soul, how could we resist him? We all want to fix the poor thing, heal his wounds, ease his pain. *sigh* Yes, musicals and romance go hand in hand.

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I LOVE 'West Side Story'. "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way..."

Here's a link for fans: When You're a Jet

I once stayed home by myself from some social function when I was 12 or 13, had my mother order me a small pepperoni pizza, and watched "West Side Story" on TV. This was the 3 channels and a UHF antenna days, so you watched them when they were on. Such fond memories!

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I also meant to say, I was going to get going on the animated musicals, but that would be a whole diatribe! Some of the BEST music in an animated musical is in Disney's 'Hercules'. The chorus of muses is hilarious. "Who put the 'glad' in 'gladiator'? Hercules!"

Meg sings a great song in that one, 'I Won't Say I'm In Love'. Heart breaking! I love Meg, because she is so tough on the outside, but she has a mushy spot for Herc. And he's such a big dumb guy for much of the movie. Great music AND great character development. And Danny Devito as a satyr. What more could you ask for?

Caren Crane said...

Oh, Aunty Cindy, isn't 'Edelweiss' just haunting in that context? A symbol of everything Cpt von Trapp stands for and the spirit of the Austrian people. *sigh*

I was thinking about musicals when I woke up this morning. Really, the high impact musicals are the ones where the songs perform the same functions as a great scene: move the action forward, give backstory, show character development, show conflict. What shows more conflict and resolve than his defiant singing of 'Edelweiss', the beloved national anthem of his Nazi-occupied country?

And what song could have more perfectly captured Maria's unsuitability for the abbey than 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria'? Contrast that to the "filler" songs like 'Do-Re-Mi' which were cute, but essentially just fun.

Caren Crane said...

Donna, I'm jealous of your brush with Dick Van Dyke's DNA! Wait, that didn't sound quite right. Um, how cool you worked with his brother!

Dick always struck me as such a nice man. If he wasn't really, I don't want to hear it. I have a little girl crush, still, inside my heart and need it to remain intact. *g*

I may have to duck after saying this, but I think a weakness of adaptations such as 'Mamma Mia' (which I loved!) are that they are structured around the music rather than the music being built to carry the story (see my earlier comment).

I ADORE ABBA, as you guys already know. I think they did a great job of building a story based on the music. However, the songs don't quite do the job of moving the story along, showing backstory, etc. as effectively as they would if the music came second to the story. JMO.

MaryF said...

Funny, I was up till 2 watching Phantom of the Opera. LOVE that movie.

Last week I watched Funny Girl, because dang, wasn't Barbra Streisand gorgeous?

Every year when I lived home we watched Sound of Music. I love the songs and of course the love story there.

What about O Brother Where Art Thou? That's a musical, too, I'd say.

Caren Crane said...

Natalie and Donna, I love Danny Kaye, too! I think I just had it bad for the slightly goofy, lanky guys who could sing and dance. Danny Kaye was beyond adorable in 'White Christmas'. The dance number he does with Vera-Ellen on the dock is one of the BEST dance sequences ever on film. LOVE IT!!

Caren Crane said...

Tawny, thank you for supporting CCBB. As a child, I remember seeing CCBB at the drive-in theater (yes, it was a relic, but we still had one). I was a bit shocked in the film that he was supposed to be the FATHER of those children. I mean, he was Bert, for Pete's sake, not someone's dad! Also, I resented his son as an intrusive presence in the Petrie household and had no idea WHY they had the kid on there. My little girl crush did NOT like the competition. *g*

Tawny, I think you're probably a bigger music buff than you suspect. Perhaps a marathon of musicals would change your mind. Bwahahaha...

Caren Crane said...

Anna, we just watched the remake of 'Music Man' starring Matthew Broderick a few months ago. Loved it! It tanked at the box office (see my comments about musicals getting no love), but it was GREAT. If you were afraid you wouldn't like it because you loved the Robert Preston one, don't be afraid.

Matthew made a perfect Professor Harold Hill. They even made the opening number spectacular (which I never really cared for in the older one).

Anna, I'm not surprised we all have musicals on the mind, with 'Mamma Mia' cleaning up at the box office. And, of course, WALL-E, which is such a loving nod to 'Hello, Dolly'. *sigh* I may have to go to Blockbuster and find 'Hello, Dolly' today. I needs me a musical marathon!

Caren Crane said...

Anna, I also meant to say that I didn't really get the whole Les Mis thing until I watched it. You need the whole story on that one. *g* Lucky you, getting in on the ground floor! Or maybe poor you, since you'll be paying to see it for decades to come.

Caren Crane said...

Margay, how did I not know you were a show girl? *g* What fun that you guys were in musicals. I actually was in exactly one in high school: Finian's Rainbow.

I have to say, I don't love the film version (even with Fred Astaire), which feels like it was slapped together. But the music is gorgeous, 'Old Devil Moon' especially. There is a clever tune called 'The Begat' which I've had stuck in my head since high school. "Well they begat Cain and they begat Abel, and they begat the sinners in the Tower Of Babel. They begat the birds and they begat the bees, and they begat the misbegotten GOPs". Cracks me up, still!

Caren Crane said...

Natalie, another Doris Day fan! Doris doesn't get much respect from some people, but I think she was completely charming. Wasn't she just a perfect Calamity Jane? Such a perfect combination of sweetness and grit.

She had a lovely voice and I never thought they maximized her many talents. I did love all her movies with Rock Hudson. What a great pair!

Margay said...

Caren, how fun! I liked Finian's Rainbow, too, though I never saw any other version but the movie. Would've been fun to see it in a play, though. Two of my faves - that I did see in New York when i was younger - were A Chorus Line and 42nd Street. I agree about the music in Finina's - I can hear "Look, look to the rainbow" in my head right now. Ah, the memories...

Joan said...

Ohhhhhhh love me some musicals!

Caren, great post.

Like you, I grew up watching the classics like Hello Dolly, The King and I, Seven Brides on Saturday afternoon TV.

There's quality in these 60's era movies that more recent ones just...can't...quite...capture.

There is a restored theatre here in KY that has had a summer series showing all these old musicals. Sadly, they have been shown when I couldn't attend :-( This weekend's is the last....I think it is "Gigi"

Joan said...

Donna's used her brush on Dick Van Dyke!!!

THE BRUSH????

Go, Donna

:-)

Caren Crane said...

Anna Lucia, you've seen Hugh in 'Oklahoma'?!?! I am dying of jealousy. All I've heard for years are RAVES from people who've seen him in it. I love 'Oklahoma' anyway, but Hugh singing 'The Surrey With the Fringe On Top'? Or 'People Will Say We're In Love'? *thud*

Now that you know how VERY jealous I am, I can admit that I SAW YUL BRYNNER PERFORM 'THE KING AND I'. It was when he already had lung cancer, in 1982. He was already getting thinner and didn't have his full strength, but he brought it. Going was my gift from my parents for my 17th birthday. I'll certainly never forget it!

Caren Crane said...

Mary, my soul sister! Musicals must have been in the air last night. *g* And yes, I'd count 'O Brother Where Art Thou' as a musical. It's structured like a Greek play in three acts, with musical interludes from the "Greek chorus". 'Down To the River' is a great old hymn and they did a bang-up job with it on the soundtrack. Love that movie!

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I wish someone would re-show the old musicals in theaters here. The closest we have is one theater which is re-showing some "classics". So far, I've been happy to see 'Grease' (yes, in the THEATER!), 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Amelie'. (Btw, if you've never seen 'Amelie', it's one of the best films ever - it's in French with subtitles and TOTALLY worth reading. *g*)

Maybe I can petition them for 'Singing In the Rain' or 'South Pacific'. I love South Pacific! "Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you: "Come away...Come away." *sigh*

MaryF said...

There's a DVD somewhere of Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma. I've seen it, too.

I forgot to add I LOVED Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when I was little. I know all the songs.

Louisa Cornell said...

The Chook is on the hunt for Tim Tams! Good on you, Helen! Hide the Cadbury's! Next time, PJ.

Of course I love musicals! Duh! My earliest singing in public was in musicals - The Sound of Music first, then lots of others. I took the Sound of Music tour three times while I was going to school in Austria. And the steps where they filmed part of the Do Re Mi song were attached to the Bishop of Salzburg's formal gardens, a favorite hang-out of Mozarteum students.

Caren, you saw Yul Brynner in The King and I?? THUNK! I LOVE that musical! He was just amazing in it.

I've done My Fair Lady and I do love the film version of it.

I've seen a number of musicals live, but I think my favorite was Phantom of the Opera. Just incredible!

I have an aversion to Oklahoma, but if I could see Hugh in it, I might be cured. When I was in grad school we did a joint production opera department and drama department. Our Curly was tall, dark, GORGEOUS, body to die for AND .... HE COULD NOT SING!!! And the drama director was in charge of casting so all of the major roles went to drama majors - not singers. So what did we opera singers get stuck with? Chorus work, minor roles AND teaching the actors to sing. SHUDDER! Thank GOD that poor boy was handsome!

Dick Van Dyke was definitely cuter in Mary Poppins! Definitely. Love that musical too.

Sabrina said...

I loved musicals when I was young, but I'm not so keen on them now. Not sure why. My favorites, which I still enjoy, are Sound of Music, Oliver, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Grease, and a couple of really obscure ones--Melody and Song of Norway. There's probably more I'm forgetting. I haven't found any modern ones (the latest was Beauty and the Beast) that I really loved, however.

I prefer the ones where the songs act more as interior monologues that move the plot along to ones that just have peppy songs, if that makes any sense.

jo robertson said...

Happy Day, Caren. I love musicals and they haven't ALWAYS been persona non grata. Musicals used to be the next hottest thing.

You forgot to mention Dick Van Dyke in BYE, BYE BIRDIE with Ann-Margret. That's one of my favorites. My daughters still swoon to GREASE and my all-time favorite is WEST SIDE STORY because it combines the music and dance with the wonderfully tragic love story.

Congrats, Helen.

Margay said...

Grease is the musical my older daughter and I love to watch - and quote - together. Favorite line: "Don't make me laugh - uh-ha, uh-ha, uh-ha."

Caren Crane said...

Mary, I HAVE to find that DVD of Hugh in 'Oklahoma'. I swear, that one slipped right under my radar!

As to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang..."High, chitty, low, chitty, everywhere we go on Chitty Chitty we depend. Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, our fine four-fendered friend...Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, our fine four fen-dered fri-ennnnnnd!" (That may be all I remember of THAT song, though I know much more of "Truly Scrumptious". *g*)

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, your 'Oklahoma' experience sounds ghastly! Yes, I think it may take Hugh Jackman to cure you. Not only is he tall and handsome, but the boy can sing and dance! I can think of worse cures. *g*

I only wish I had a lovely voice like yours. I think it's awful to have perfect pitch (which I have) and a voice that is not at all lovely (which I also have). It's cruel!

Caren Crane said...

Sabrina, WHY am I not surprised that 'Melody' and 'Song Of Norway' are on your list. You specialize in the obscure! *g*

I think you're just on hiatus from musicals. We definitely need a marathon musical-thon. Then we'll see if we can't revise that plan to choreograph a song and dance number to "break into spontaneously" at the mall. Man, would that be a hit on UTube!

Caren Crane said...

Jo, I don't know why, but 'Bye Bye Birdie' was never on my radar. I'm not sure I ever saw it, as a matter of fact. I only ever saw high school productions. I love those, but haven't seen Dick do his version. I suppose I WILL be going to Blockbuster!

'West Side Story' is one of my favorite Romeo & Juliet retellings. Though I have to say, I really enjoyed 'Romeo + Juliet' with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. That story just NEVER gets old, does it? *g*

MsHellion said...

I *LOVE-LOVE-LOVE* Dick Van Dyke. Mary Poppins ended wrong--those two should have totally hooked up...or I should have been there to mend his broken heart.

And I love him better in MP than CCBB.

I love musicals--but my favorite musicals are ones with Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly in them. I adore: On the Town ("You're awful...awful nice to be with..."); Anchors Aweigh ("As long as I get there, oh, baby you know I'll get there") and Can-Can ("Let's do it, let's fall in love")

My favorite musical guilty pleasure is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. *I* think it's fab and made my friends watch it one Christmas, and I thought they were going to hang themselves before the evening was over! Holly, to this day, does not understand the charms of Howard Keel.

But I do: SBFSB and Show Boat (Make Believe...I love you...make believe that you love me too...); and Kiss Me Kate (Where is lately the life I led...)

And of course, The Sound of Music--somewhere in my miserable youth or childhood, I must have done something good. (Though I don't tend to watch the documentary about the REAL Van Trapps because that sucks the romance right out of it.)

Caren Crane said...

Margay, isn't 'Grease' eminently quotable? Not as much as, say, 'Moonstruck' *eg*, but very quotable! Like when Frenchy asks Doody how she looks. "Like a beautiful blonde pineapple." Ha!

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, I meant to say that I think Dick has an edge in 'Mary Poppins' because he still seemed so young. CCBB was only four years later, but he seemed older. Still a cutie pie, but older. It was those pesky kids, I tell you!

Caren Crane said...

Ms Hellion, my dear, you are a woman of refined tastes. Obviously, since yours are so similar to mine. I felt the same about Bert. Mary Poppins was totally short-sighted to fly off and leave Bert behind. But I would TOTALLY have been his rebound girl! (Even though, you know, it came out before I was born!)

Sadly, SBFSB is not for the faint of heart. I, too, have tried to entice others with it to no avail. Howard Keel is for those of us who can handle a man's man, not those nancy boys they trot out these days. *g*

Sabrina said...

Caren, we have definitely got to do the dancing in the mall routine one day. HAVE to.

MsHellion said...

Yeah, MP was before I was born too. *LOL* Didn't matter.

And who could resist the Barn Raising scene? Seriously! That's just classic!

Caren Crane said...

Sabrina. you know I'm totally in for the dancing in the mall thing. Just let me know so I can practice my dance steps!

Caren Crane said...

Ms. Hellion, the barn raising was the best. All those flexing muscles. What's not to love?

PJ said...

Wow, this blog is bringing back so many great memories today. I think I need a trip to Blockbuster.

I've seen lots of musicals that I adore. My favorite stage musical is Les Miserables. Love it, love it, love it. Donna, I saw Wicked on Broadway last year. Fabulous!

Love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Howard Keel is sooo good. I've seen it on stage too but I think the movie was better. Hellion, all those oldies you mentioned are so good. Sabrina, wasn't Oliver wonderful? I loved that movie and such beautiful songs. ( "As Long as He Needs Me" - "Consider Yourself" - "Food Glorious Food" - "I'd Do Anything" - "Where Is Love?" ) Definitely a story that was told through the words of its music.

Another favorite of mine is The Unsinkable Molly Brown, both the Broadway version with Tammy Grimes and the movie with Debbie Reynolds. A classic!

I saw Camelot on stage with Richard Harris as a fabulous King Arthur. Such beautiful music.

Claudia Dain said...

I love musicals! I think there has to be something seriously wrong with a person (like maybe they're a serial killer in hiding) to not love a good musical. Of course, I think they're all good musicals! I can't think of one I don't adore--my whole family right along with me. Yes, we are a musical loving household.

All the ones mentioned, 7B/7B is a real standout (my daughter had it bad for Gideon for years), but also Easter Parade, Brigadoon, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Funny Thing...Forum (I still laugh like mad). It's just impossible to name one I haven't seen and haven't loved.

Oops, just thought of one: Chitty, Chitty. I thought the plot was horrible, though DH and I still can sing Truly Scrumptious on command.

West Side Story was my fav as a teen--I'm almost positive I can quote the entire script from memory and quoting every lyric would be a piece of cake. If pressed, I'm nearly positive I could do all the choreography as well! That movie ran through my blood for at least a decade, though I had a boyfriend once who laughed at the fight scenes, assuring me that was not how guys actually fought. Whatever. I think he was missing the point. But then he would because he didn't like musicals.

No wonder I didn't marry him!

Claudia Dain said...

Ohmygosh, forgot to add that I saw Dick Van Dyke on stage as Professor Harold Hill. He did such a great job! Caren, you would have drooled all over the velvet seats.

Minna said...

Hmm. I've never even heard about some of these musicals. I really like Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals. And I just borrowed Singin' in the Rain and Cabaret DVDs from the library.

I'm sore all over. I spent this day planting trees.

Minna said...

And isn't there one scary musical, too? Sweeney Todd?

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, I never got LM until I saw the whole musical either. I'd TRIED to watch the movies, I'd TRIED to read the book - but it was all just too soupy for me. But somehow the musical really captured the power of all those huge themes of redemption and justice and love. Must check out the MB Music Man. I didn't even know it existed. See? This is why it's always worth hanging out with the Banditas! Not only is it fun, you learn stuff! I haven't seen Mamma Mia - NOT an ABBA fan (yeah, I know, I'm ducking but I didn't like them first time round and I'm old enough to have suffered through several revivals). Like you, I'm not a huge fan of musicals built around the songs rather than starting with the story. The one exception to that is the bio musicals where they use the songs to tell a songwriters life. I remember a great one about John Lennon that was just so moving. But I think that's a different kettle of fish.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Joan, I ADORE Gigi! I still have a crush on Louis Jourdan in that, to go back to the blog a few days ago. He was incredibly beautiful! And when love sideswipes him - wow, that's so wonderful!

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, another LM fan!!! Yay! I dreamed a dream in days gone by... (Cue: Tears rushing down the cheeks!).

Claudia, I too obsessed over West Side Story as a teen. I even bought the play script and learnt it off by heart. Can still sing a lot of the song - a boy like that, who keeel your brother... I still think it's an amazing show!

I love Cabaret too - the movie rather than the stage play which, to me, gets away from the main plot.

Hey, has anyone seen Enchanted? It gets a bit over the top at the end but there's some extremely cute scenes where a Disney cartoon musical slams into real life. Love the bits where the cockroaches, etc., clean the house!

Claudia Dain said...

Anna, I came *this* close to having Anna, I almost had One Hand, One Heart from WSStory played at my wedding. I still think it would have been lovely.

I saw Sweeney Todd on stage with Angela Lansbury as the lead female. Was she great!

I also saw Ethel Merman in Hello, Dolly on stage. WOW!! I've since learned that that part was written for her, but she couldn't do it for some reason so Carol Channing got it.

Which makes me think of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, another musical I never tire of.

"Don't you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty?" One of the best lines EVAH.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooh, Caren! I ADORE musicals!! :> In fact my DH loves to tell the story that we were immersed in a night of musical soundtracks when I went into labor with our first child. We drove the poor Labor and Delivery nurses insane that night with MORE musicals (18 hours worth of labor) on CD as we waited and waited, and waited. Grins.

Helen, Seven Brides is AWESOME. I love that one. I love The Unsinkable Molly Brown. My Fair Lady. Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, King and I, Man of La Mancha...

Oooo, Dina! Phantom fan! yeah! Love it.

Of course my all time fav is Sweeny Todd. Whacked and dark as it is, it is TOTALLY clever. :>

Sunday in teh Park with George is good too. Jesus Christ Superstar.
Holiday Inn, White Christmas.

Yikes. I'd better stop. The songs will be stuck in my head all darn day.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

How could I forget Brigadoon, and Showboat, Music Man and, OH MY! South Pacific! Yeah!!

"I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair...I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair, and send him on his way..."

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Caren, have you heard the Disney CD where one of their whiz kids, Lucas Graebel sings Go the Distance from Hercules? FAB-U-Lus.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMGosh, Caren, I had forgotten Finian's Rainbow! Wow!

Anna Campbell said...

Claudia, a friend of mine who was the mainstay of a local choral society and had played Maria, actually HAD OHOH played at her wedding. Seriously, it was lovely - not a dry eye in the church! I always choke up at There's a Place for Us. It's amazing the power of this music, isn't it?

PJ said...

Anna, I have most of the Les Miz soundtrack on my mp3 player and tear up every darn time I listen to it.

Caren Crane said...

PJ and Sabrina, I hadn't even thught of 'Oliver'. Iloved that one. We sing 'Food Glorious Food' often. My husband loves to quote the movie: "Please Sir, I want some more."

Oliver was adorable!

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, it has taken me all this time to recover my composure. You think you know someone, then they pull an "Oh, by the way, I saw Dick Van Dyke play Professor Harold Hill" out of the closet. Honestly, HOW has this not come up in conversation before now?

Oh, and I agree with you that the plot of CCBB was just terrible. And really, Truly Scrumptious? I was about five when I first saw the movie came out and I knew THEN that the name was horrible and had some double entendre of a meaning. Yet, it had a great Dick Van Dyke dance number AND some really cute songs. Hey, guess what one of the songs is, Banditas? Posh! (with exclamation point *g*)

Caren Crane said...

Minna, I still haven't seen "Sweeny Todd", can you believe it? I was all fired up to see it, heard how great it was, then the moment passed without me ever going. I must put it in my Netflix queue forthwith! Did you see it? Everyone I know who has says it's fabulous.

Caren Crane said...

Minna, I'm so glad you have rented some movies from the library. All musicals, as Claudia pointed out, are worth watching at least once. 'Cabaret' is rather dark, IMO.

What sort of trees did you plant today? It is still too hot here for planting anything new. Next month I will have to trim all my shrubs for the fall and winter.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, I promise never to do this to you, but there was a very annoying stage in my life where I used to sing the color song at any point. You know, brown, the color of my desk, blue the color of my book, pink the color of my rug, gray the color of my walls. You get the picture! Hours of amusement (well, for me at least!). Most people I did it to (and you can keep that up for hours if you REALLY try) wanted to kill me slowly and painfully - but only after gagging me first! White the color of this page, black the color of my light...

OK. MUST. STOP. NOW...

Caren Crane said...

Anna, I think they did a FAB job with "Across the Universe" as an adaptation of Beatles songs to a story. Still, it's the same problem 'Mamma Mia' had, for me. I enjoyed them both immensely, but the experience is very different.

And I could write an ode to Gigi, as well! I agree with you completely about Louis Jourdan. What a splendid man. *sigh*

Oh, and the best movie about an ABBA obsession is 'Muriel's Wedding' (an Australian film). I love that movie!

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, what stopped you from having One Hand, One Heart played at your wedding? I think it would have been PERFECT. Did your darling soon-to-be husband object? I can't imagine it!

I haven't seen 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' in YEARS. I enjoyed it so much the first time I saw it that I thought there must be something wrong with me. Like I was born in the wrong generation or something, or it was politically incorrect. *g* "That Caren, such a throwback!"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Caren you have to see Sweeney. I SO wish I could have seen it with Angela Landsbury and Len Cariou. Sigh. I have the cast CD... The movie works, but it isn't as good as the play.

And how, how, HOW could I forget Damn Yankees? Hiiiiigh hopes, I've got Hiiiiiigh hopes...

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, how could we omit 'Jesus Christ Superstar' from our Andrew Lloyd Weberfest? I loved it when Carly sang that song on American Idol this year.

Too funny about you guys driving the L&D nurses nuts with the show tunes. For me, I got to a point with my second child where all I wanted was an endless loop of REM's "Me In Honey". Almost drove my husband nuts!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, I'm LOL. Me in Honey? Snork.

*singing* Whatever Caren wants, Caren gets....(a la Damn Yankees, whatever Lola wants...)

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, thankfully, I've been spared the Disney CDs in recent years. *g* Though I have to admit I loved it when the kids were younger and I could play Disney CDs (the ones *I* liked) in the car. I suppose I could do that now, but somehow I feel a hair silly listening to "I Wan'na Be Like You" with no kids in the car. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Anna, even *I* tear up at "Somewhere There's a Place For Us". Seriously potent music!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, I wish I had seen "Sweeney Todd" on the stage. It sounds like it was marvelous. I can so see Angela Lansbury in that role!

Is it bad that I have never seen "Damn Yankees"? Never! It may have been banned in the South because it had a swear word in the title. *g* Oh, yeah, that one needs to go in my Netflix queue too. I have a feeling I've seen MANY scenes from it, just not the whole thing.

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, it was TOTALLY "Whatever Caren wants, Caren gets" until he got tired of hitting the buttons and I wasn't in a position to even throw things at him. *g* I don't know why, but I was OBSESSED with that song at the time. Sometimes I still play it five times in a row. I think it's the angst. "What about me-e-e-ee?"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Snork about it being banned in the South. :> Maybe that's why I didn't see it until I was in my thirties. Grins. Oh, and for us Southerners, Damn Yankee has a whoooooollllllleee different meaning.

Grins.

Pat Cochran said...

Sweet grandchildren, Helen! Congrats
on the GR!!

We're a music-loving and music-
living family. Our favorites are
Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera,
and West Side Story!

Pat Cochran

Terry Odell said...

I was a mere child when my parents brought home a record (anyone here know what those are?) from when they went to see My Fair Lady. I played it over and over and over -- and knew it by heart, and the songs alone are enough to tell the story. It was such a pleasant surprise to finally see the actions behind the songs.

Then, dating myself again, back in the day, musicals were more the rule than the exception.

Joan said...

Ok, it's totally weird that I stopped in at the Circle K store to get my lottery tickets and they're playing the soundtrack from "Tarzen"

"You'll be in my heart, you'll be in my heart..."

Bali Hai has a special place in my heart too. I was a "singing native" in our senior production of South Pacific. But...but they CUT OUR SONG out!!

And as to the best Andrew Lloyd Weber muscial? Hands down "Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Seriously, I can sing the ENTIRE score!

They had a company come through here several years ago. I was on vacation and thought "Well, I'm not going anyplace" so I went and saw it THREE times! The last time dragging my muttering brother to sit in the front row!

He was so not thrilled.

"Hey, hey, Joseph you're doing all right"

And the Pharoah as Elvis? ROTFL

Carol said...

Hi Everyone,
Congrats Helen, I think the GR gets a lot of TLC at your house!

One of my favoutite Musicals is Brigadoon... with Robert Goulet,
Another one Camelot.
I adore The Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast!

There is always a song in there -in any musical, that I really love!
Must not forget all those Elvis movies...Jailhouse Rock!

And an oldie! Daddylong Legs...with Fred Astaire 'Something's got to give"

Recently, Mamma Mia ...was wonderful-loved it!
Cheers Carol

Carol said...

Ps. the Beauty and the Beast My DD and I saw was in Melbourne ...and had Hugh J. as Gaston...Oh boy!

Cheers Carol

Caren Crane said...

Pat, how great that your family enjoys music and musicals together. The youngest and I are currently watching "Mary Poppins" and loving it yet again! (Had to get my Dick Van Dyke fix today. Haven't changed my mind about patching up Bert's broken heart, either!)

Caren Crane said...

Terry, I did the same thing when my oldest sister dragged home the LP of 'Evita' (the stage production). I knew all the words of all the songs back in the day. "Don't cry for me, Argentina. The truth is, I never left you. All through my wild days, my mad existence, I kept my promise, don't keep your distance."

Love it! Never saw the 'Evita' movie, though. I think someone in the Lair recommended it, but I still haven't watched it. I think, though, we almost wore the vinyl out on the 'Evita' score!

Caren Crane said...

Joan, there were some great songs in "Tarzan", weren't there? Who'd have thought Phil Collins had it in him?

And you were TOTALLY ROBBED in your school's production of "Bali Hai". Robbed, I say! How about this: you can perform your part at our next Bandita get-together. I promise no one will be hiding behind a potted plant with a video recorder. *ahem*

Caren Crane said...

Carol, it's been years since I saw "Brigadoon", but I loved the story. As Natalie said, that only appears every hundred years thing is just irresistible!

And WHY has everyone on the planet seen Hugh in a musical except me? Hugh as Gaston? I would have LOVED that! "No one shoots like Gaston, makes those beauts like Gaston, then goes tromping around wearing boots like Gaston! Oh what a guy...Gas-ton!"

I love that movie!

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, I adore Daddy Long Legs!

Claudia Dain said...

Caren, I can't remember why One Hand, One Heart got nixed. We probably couldn't find a good version of it on tape for the wedding. I was also half afraid that it was a bit smaltzy, and you know how I loathe smaltzy. *G*

DH and I have a song, as in "our song" and it's from a musical! Music Man, to be precise.

Sonja Foust said...

I love musicals, and yes, Dick Van Dyke is adorable.

Sound of Music is up there in my all-time favorites, but the Husband leaves the room when I pull out the DVD and I do not hear from him until he hears the Reverend Mother shrieking, "Til you find YOUR DREAMS!" and then it's only so he can shout at me to turn it down.

Another favorite of mine is the London Stage Revival of Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Hugh Jackman plays Curly. Shirtless for a great majority of the second Act. Be still my heart.

catslady said...

I love musicals and my all time favorite was being able to see live, Yul Brynner in the King and I! It was one of his last performances. Jesus Christ Superstar and Phatomof the Opera were my other two favorites for live shows.

Caren Crane said...

Anna and Carol, I don't think I've ever seen "Daddy Long Legs". I read the book and it was one of my favorites as a young girl, but I can't imagine a film version. More for the Netflix queue!

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, I can appreciate Fear Of Schmaltz. One bride's sentimental love song is another's oh-so-horrid schmaltzer. Hard to tell in advance. *g*

It's so nice you and the dh have a song. My husband and I really don't have one, though we have each tormented the other with song from time to time. A perfect moment: us in the IHOP on our way back from Charleston, eating my favorite Harvest Grain pancakes (with sugar-free syrup), listening to Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame". Perfect!

Caren Crane said...

Okay, Sonja. So the DVD of 'Oklahoma' I'm looking for is the London Stage Revival one. Check. I MUST SEE HUGH AS CURLY. Since I clearly WON'T see him as Gaston, as dear Carol did, I'll satisfy myself with shirtless Curly. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Catslady, did you see Yul on the 1985 tour of 'The King And I'? He looked a bit gray and under the weather when I saw him in 1982. I can only imagine how he was in 1985, when the lung cancer was killing him, the poor thing. He was still magnificent, but a shadow of himself in his glory. Poor Yul.

To me, he will always be as majestic as he was in the film version. I'm so glad we both got to see him. Hey, maybe I'll see Hugh when he's past his prime, too. There is hope!

Caren Crane said...

Okay, "Mary Poppins" finally ended. Can I just say that it seems about an hour longer than the last time I watched it? Not in a bad way, but I'm really tired tonight and I though, "Gosh, how long is that 'Stepping Time' song anyway?"

As always, it was a jolly holiday with Mary. But you know, looking at my Netflix movies that I've had for WEEKS, I realized I have two DVDs of Sex And the City I haven't watched. I really need to have a marathon of that tomorrow. Which will require me, of course, to ignore the laundry and the dirty floor another day. *sigh* The sacrifices!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

heh-heh-heh. I'm so ignoring the laundry today. I've been chasing kids, but still... If I had Mary or SITC, I'd be ignoring the laundry too. :> BTW, I'm totaly a DVD as Bert fan, vs. as Caractacus. Totally agree that CCBB has no plot to speak of and that, in true Ian Fleming style, Truly Scrumptious as a name is quite offensive when you really think about it. :>

limecello said...

Oh my gosh - yes, I love movie musicals! Mary Poppins, The King and I, SOUND OF MUSIC. Love them all. It made me *so sad* to find out that Christopher Plummer once called it the "Sound of Mucus" :(.
I really love all those actors. So great. Classics. Awe, just thinking about them makes my happy :D

Louisa Cornell said...

Yes,Caren, the DVD of Oklahoma with a half-dressed Hugh Jackman as Curly WILL cure my aversion to Oklahoma! Someone PLEASE stage an intervention and tell me where to get this DVD!!!

I did Sweeney Todd in grad school and had a ball.

Did My Fair Lady too. I got the role because I could do both a refined English lady's accent and a fabulous cockney flower girl. I based the flower girl the postmistress in the village where I lived. "Can I 'elp you loov?"

And Les Miserables ALWAYS makes me cry. Always.

Keira Soleore said...

There isn't a musical I have come across that I haven't liked. Our school was fond of teaching us the words. I've acted in a few productions, too. Love 'em all. (Though I'll say that I like Aida the opera far more than the musical.)

Miss Louisa, all I want is a li-al bit o choclat to eat.

PJ said...

Keira, my introduction to opera (when I was 16) was a production of Aida at night in an open-air forum in Rome. Magical.

Trish Milburn said...

Been gone almost all day but wanted to get in a late comment. I love musicals, and I adored Wall*E. So cute! It's amazing how they can wring such emotions out of me with a little robot.

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, I had done some searching for pictures for CCBB and realized (though I think I've realized it before) that it was an Ian Fleming screenplay. No wonder we had those Nazi-like villains and "Truly Scrumptious". Not to mention a hero named Caractacus. *g*

Watching Mary Poppins last night, I really envied her ability to snap and clean things up. A lot. It might even had made me have a bad thought about how much time she had to spend being Practically Perfect In Every Way. Hmph.

Caren Crane said...

Limecello, I think it's the warm fuzzies that bring me back again and again. Or the sweet ache of sad ones like Les Mis or Cabaret. Sometimes you want the bliss of falling in love or the agony of heartbreak set to music and musicals take us there every time. Man, we need to have a big party with musical numbers looping on the big screen. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, a quick search proved you can get the Hugh-laden 'Oklahoma' on DVD lots of different places, but if you purchase from here each sale helps support PBS. A great movie and a great cause!

Caren Crane said...

Keira, I would definitely pay money to hear you speak in a Cockney accent. *g* Do let us know if you resume your stage career!

Caren Crane said...

PJ, where do I sign up to have your youth rather than my own misspent one where I never got to go anywhere cool? *g*

Caren Crane said...

Trish, I thought they did an amazing job with WALL-E. So much was conveyed with NO DIALOGUE. Amazing!

Cassondra said...

Posh said:

Hey, guess what one of the songs is, Banditas? Posh! (with exclamation point *g*)

OOOOOOHHHHHH, the POsh, Posh, traveling life, the traveling life for me!....

I know that song. Own that movie.

And I think Caracatacacacacacactacuuss--whatever--is cuter.

Luuuuurrrrrv me some Dick Van Dyke.

Sorry I'm late to the party. I'm not much use on weekends any more. Carrying mail on Saturday takes a full day of recovery on Sunday just to come back to life. I know it's weak, but there it is. :0/