Monday, September 13, 2010

Musical Mania

For some reason (I'm sure I'll remember it one of these days) our household has been gripped by "Musical Mania" for weeks now. We've been renting and re-running movie musicals until we can't see straight. Besides the many fantastic performances and creative concepts, we've been stupified by the enormous number of movies that qualify for consideration and review. We thought we'd seen 'em all!

As a case in point, over the past weekend we watched "Brigadoon", the Gene Kelly/Cyd Charisse fantasy by Loerner and Lowe about a little Scottish town that time forgot and that we just happened to stumble upon. Neither my mate nor I had seen the movie before, but we were both sure we knew what that plot was about. Our ideas were contradictory and yet in the end, neither of them was correct. It was enjoyable nonetheless. The sight of Van Johnson tap dancing is really sweet and I didn't know that Liza Minnelli's dad Vincente, directed the movie. There's all kinds of connections to make.

Another show that neither of us had seen before was "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." Besides enjoying the preposterous nature of the story (what musical isn't based on a preposterous premise?), we realized that one of the actors, Russ Tamblyn, played a major role several years later as Riff in "West Side Story." Unless you do this kind of retrospective exercise (or you have an enormous memory bank), you might not make connections like this.

We've seen "Hair", "Carousel", "Showboat", "Flower Drum Song", "South Pacific", "Oklahoma",  "My Fair Lady", "West Side Story", "Brigadoon", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", and "Yankee Doodle Dandy". In our queue we have "Oliver", "State Fair", "Damn Yankees", "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", "Rent", and "Godspell". I guess we could watch "Fiddler on the Roof", "The Music Man", "Sound of Music", "Phantom of the Opera", "Paint Your Wagon" and "Bye Bye Birdie" again, but maybe we can postpone those since we've seen them countless times. Our copy of "Funny Girl" wouldn't play after multiple attempts. Ghrrrr!

                                                    Mitzi Gaynor in "South Pacific"
We'd appreciate any suggestions from the audience. What have we missed?

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