Monday, March 19, 2012

In a Musical Mood

A while back, I did a post called Musical Memories, after attending a show at Hale Theater. I reminisced a bit on some of the productions I've been in, and others that have impacted me. The topic came up again recently, when Callahan had to watch a musical or concert and write a report on it for his Music Connections class in school. I thought of the few concerts I've attended that might appeal to his age group  (Blue Man, Trans Siberian Orchestra) but didn't have an actual concert DVD for him to view. We then discussed a couple musicals ... he ended up going to a friend's house and watching "High School Musical" which he had already seen a few years ago.  I'm sad I didn't jump in just a little sooner and made encouraged him to watch something new. I did quickly go through some of the songs/stories from my favorites with him (he was captive in the car on the way to school) ... It got me in a musical mood ...

There are the shows dear to my heart, because I've performed IN them ... such as Annie, Wizard of Oz, Gypsy, Oklahoma, 42nd Street, 1776, Sound of Music. Callahan had been forced to watch Sound of Music and wasn't impressed (who doesn't like Sound of Music???). Colton has actually watched Wizard of Oz at his cousin's birthday party, but I don't think the other boys have seen it. It's such an iconic show though, one kids should be familiar with. And Annie ... You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, Tomorrow, It's a Hard Knock Life ... classic songs!

There are other classics ... Fiddler on the Roof, Man of Lamancha, Camelot, West Side Story, South Pacific, Music Man ... I really don't know that MY boys would be able to sit through them, although Grayson grew up on these and more ... one of my all time favorites is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" I remember seeing this in an outdoor production up at Sundance years ago, (Lonesome Polecat, a song left out of some productions because it's HARD, was performed to the side of the stage in the actual woods) LOVED it ... alas, it is a show I never would have even tried out for, because ALL the girls need to know how to dance ... and I don't dance ...

 that I wouldn't even TRY to get my boys to watch, are ...

Oh how I LOVED this show! I think I was introduced to it while babysitting the Monson kids. I was a bad babysitter, every time I'd come over, that's what I would suggest we watch. I'm sure they were sick of it but they usually humored me. Years later, I love that old movies are being remade for DVD, because now I finally have my own copy. I even have some of the music on my Ipod, although the sound quality isn't great. This show is relatively unknown ... has anyone else seen it?

Pirates of Penzance (this version) was a classic during my teen years too. I had a group of friends that loved it as much as I did (in fact, they probably introduced it to me). I'm THRILLED that it is now available on DVD, with subtitles no less ... believe me, for a few of the some you NEED subtitles to catch every hilarious word which is sung/spoken so fast it would be impossible to catch otherwise ... although my friends DID learn them all and perform it (John Stringham as the Pirate King, Chris Bennet as Fredrick and Kristen Barrow as the Nurse). Kevin Kline as the Pirate King is perfect, and Linda Ronstadt is wonderful! They put this on at Snow College my second year there, and I've seen it performed at Hale Theater ... but it's THIS version that has it all for me. Love the music!

If I had been thinking ahead, this is the show I would have made encouraged Callahan to watch ... "Joseph".  I actually would like to take the boys to this show at some point. I saw it first when I was in high school. I think it was Granite High school's production (1988 or 1989). The brothers were all wearing tuxedos. Next up, was Taylorsville High School ... the brothers there there wore white shorts and pastel T-shirts. I learned there was quite a bit of flexibility in the interpretation of this production. I've since seen it SO many times (various community theaters, Hale, David Osmond at Kingsbury Hall, Donny Osmond with the Broadway Tour, Tuachan in St. George) ... every time there is something a little different, new, creative... and I LOVE the music. I know the boys would moan ... but I bet they'd actually like some of it!

Les Miserables ... I'm trying to remember how I was introduced to this one. It was the end of my high school years or the first couple years of college.  I had the music on tape (that dates it right there ... pre Ipod, even CD), both the highlights, and the complete score. I'd pretty much had it all memorized. Then for Christmas ... we got tickets to the Broadway tour. I remember bursting into tears, I was so excited. And it did not disappoint. When Gray and I were first dating, he had grown up on a movie (non-musical) version, and I remember introducing the music to him on the drive down to Idaho for a mini-vacation with his family (I must have been SO annoying stopping the music and explaining little details).  Soon after we were married we went to it as it toured through Utah again. Just a few years ago, we saw it in St. George at the Tuachan Theater. Love It!

We saw Phantom of the Opera when it toured through Utah too. I liked it a lot. I also liked the movie version that came out a few years ago. I remember seeing Bye Bye Birdie at the outdoor amphitheater in Sandy. I was SO impressed with the "Telephone Hour" (I'd later perform this number at Snow College with LD Singers) and I liked the recent movie version of it too.  

There have been a few mainstream musicals made into movies ...  Rent (I have to say I LOVED the music in this, in fact "Seasons of Love" from the recent movie, may be my favorite song of all time)... so this is one I would NOT have recommended to Callahan (too many adult themes), in fact I don't know that I really thought it would have appealed to me, but the music was extremely powerful. Mamma Mia (my mom and I went to this one together) and I thought it was very cute. Callahan DID see Hairspray when it came out (and liked the song "Just Can't Stop the Beat") ... Grease ... with Olivia Newton John, that's another "movie" classic which has always been a favorite. And while on the subject of Olivia Newton John ... remember Xanadu? I've seen this actually making a theater comeback recently!

I'm not sure if Disney's movies are really considered "musicals" although several have been adapted into them on Broadway and beyond. Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin ... and MY favorite, The Little Mermaid. I can't even remember if I originally saw this in theaters or on a video tape at home, but I fell in love with it immediately. I remember riding to Snow College with my friend Jen and singing these songs over and over (and over) again ...incidentally, I DID like High School Musical and it's followups, as well as other recent Disney "musicals" (Lemonade Mouth had some music I really like) ... I do just wish I had used this opportunity to force encourage Callahan to try watching something new!

Well, this musical musing has turned into quite a long post ... other's I've seen ... Little Shop of Horrors, Moulin Rouge, Across the Universe, Enchanted, Newsies, Dreamgirls, Evita, Newsies, Sweeny Todd, The Producers, Chicago, Nine, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line, Hello Dolly, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Pippin, Peter Pan, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Once Upon a Mattress, Into the Woods, Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Anastasia, It's My Life, My Turn on Earth, Saturday's Warrior, Footloose, Twelve Dancing Princess, The Drowsy Chaperone, Yental, The Forgotten Carols ~ I'm sure I've forgotten some ... and there are still a lot I haven't seen.

Just a couple more to mention ...
Gray and I originally saw Big River at Hale Theater, then again at Tuachan. While it's not a favorite play to watch again, some of it's songs are definitely on my favorites list ... another little known, more recent "musical" ...

and this one, it's IS the show, NOT so much the songs
I'm now in the mood to watch this one again 
(but I don't have a copy and it's hard to find ...)

Callahan's simple school assignment 
turned into quite a walk down a musical memory lane ...
at least for me :)

Noticeably missing ... Wicked ...
I haven't seen it :(

1 comment:

  1. We all LOVE musicals here of course. (Well, the girls anyway -- Jase and Jared not so much). You should bring your whole family down here to see the Tuacahn shows! Last year "Little Mermaid" was incredible -- the broadway version has several really fun songs there are not in the movie. This year is "Hair Spray" and "Aladdin." Since I usually interpret for the show I end up with the music CD to practice and my kids (especially Jaiden) have the entire score memorized before they even come. She loves dancing in the basement to the music. Plan a trip (you can stay with us)! It will be a cultural experience for the boys!


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