Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Musicals and other crazy stuff!

It's become a bit of a joke that I have this aversion to musicals! And I readily admit that I'm not a fan of them.  Believe me when I say that I've tried many times to embrace them, find a way to covet them because my fellow bloggers show such love and admiration.

I've spoken about my mother many times here, how watching films with her as a little girl turned me into a fan of classic film but we never watched musicals! Hmmm  While on the phone with my mother recently I brought up musicals and my moms response was "GOD, I can't stand them!"  There you go I guess!

Perhaps it was the music! I have tried watching musicals in order to write star bios so I dove into some Betty Hutton musicals. No and please no! Dick Powell singing is okay and tolerable and I even attempted sitting through a Ricardo Montalban musical.  (I made it through 14 minutes of that!)

Now that I've spent three paragraphs complaining I have to add that I love any film with Judy Garland singing but that's about it for me!  "Meet Me in St. Louis" is wonderful but my favorite is Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  A true sign that a musical stands the test of time is having it's songs replicated.  I haven't heard Betty Hutton's "Annie Get Your Gun" renditions remastered yet!

If you're still with me and you haven't left to remove me from your "I heart musical's" list then hear me out! I'm a big fan of music and I have pretty eclectic taste. You'll find me listening to Andrea Bocelli, Eminem, Blake Shelton, Donny Hathaway or Flo Rida on any given day.

I want to talk about Judy Garland and what does appeal to me.  Whenever I hear Somewhere Over the Rainbow I stop what I'm doing and I listen, smile and I reminisce. That is what music in film should do to you.  While thinking about this post I did a bit of research and I realized that Judy's most iconic song has been performed many times since it first appeared in "The Wizard of Oz" 1939.  Let's have a look.


Judy singing the original version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow


We've had many versions of this song performed since 1939.


Ray Charles


Eric Clapton (see, I do embrace Republicans : )..)


Eva Cassidy


Leona Lewis


Keith Richards



Bob Marley


Nora Jones

And the song has carried over to our talent shows in recent years... A show stopper!


Katharine McPhee (a beautiful version)


Jason Castro on American Idol with his ukulele.

I can't hate on talented men in dread locks since my younger brother sports dreads and he is a very talented artist living in Jordan.

My younger brother Tommy with his wife Sara.

My sister Jamie who looks like Meg Ryan with her husband Justin (Our active duty Marine) but back to musicals! (The last time I checked she didn't have dreads but she loves music even though she's tone death!)  I rode in a car with her once as she played a Dixie Chick CD while singing until I tossed it out of the car window! It was much worse than any 50's musical! (Oh, I just realized my family really enjoys sepia which is a good thing)

And last but not least, my favorite version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow to date (since Judy) sung by Javier Colon who won the first season of The Voice.  Oh, and I did search high and low on Youtube but I didn't find a new version of Singin In the Rain or Guys and Dolls but that doesn't mean they are any less special. 



Please leave a comment on any of the videos you've seen (a favorite) or just feel free to rant about my dislike of musicals. Always happy to hear your comments, opinions here. And please know that if anyone hosts a Blogathon on Musicals I will be happy to sign up...Oh, yes I will! : )

Also, Rich brought up a great question in comments. Yes, I love a lot of the current Broadway musicals. Phantom of the Opera is my favorite though, I've seen it on Broadway as well as six other cities. My favorite viewing was at the Chicago Opera House on the same weekend that I saw La Cage aux Follies.  I also liked a couple of recent musicals like "Chicago" and of course "Moulin Rouge". I've seen that film at least 40 times.  So beautifully done and the music is amazing.  So perhaps it really just has to do with not liking a type of music that has turned me off of certain musicals.

Thanks for stopping by.....Go out and sing your heart out, good or bad!
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16 comments:

  1. Not all musicals are equal--visit the great one and blissfully miss the rest!

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    1. Thanks Kim! That's great advice and it makes me feel a bit better. : )
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  2. Well, you can't help what you like and don't like, but thatnks so much for posting Eva Cassidy. She is one on of my favorites - just such a beautiful rendition, too. Thanks, page!!

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    1. Thanks FlickChick!
      You have great taste in music. I'm also a big fan of Eva's.
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  3. There's no one like Judy Garland. She's amazing!
    Great post!

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    1. Thanks Rubi,
      Good to see you again.
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  4. Speaking of Garland and "Rainbow," I recently saw "Oz" set to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album, and even without actually hearing her sing, I could still "hear" her in my mind. But then, that's probably a result of having heard her sing that song so many times before. (BTW, that Keith Richards version is mighty nice!)

    So does your hatred of musicals extend to live theater shows as well? What about animated musicals?

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    1. Rich,
      Every time I hear Pink Floyd I think of this little show at our fair here. You go in a room then lie back on bean bags as a light show dances around synchronized to The Wall. Boy, that brought back memories. Too bad I couldn't really concentrate on it though as I was focused on who or what might have been on the bean bags before I got there!Ewww

      You brought up two great questions which I added to the post. I do love Broadway musicals today and I've seen a few. Most recently seeing The Addams Family musical here last month. Two I didn't care for was Cats and Miss Saigon.

      I love certain animated films, usually what Dream Works puts out then the older versions of Snow White etc. I wasn't all that crazy about Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. The film, The Lion King was good but the Broadway show was amazing.

      I do like that version by Richards too. Thanks for the great questions, comments.
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  5. I'm actually going to teach a class on film musicals, so you should fly on up here and join in the fun! I must admit that I do like film musicals as well as stage musicals (just saw "A Chorus Line" last weekend and will see "South Pacific" in Chicago next weekend). Film musicals need to do what stage musicals can't in terms of POV and staging. Anyway, there's no shame in not liking musicals, so never apologize. Go Judy!

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    1. Brian,
      I so wish I could have attended your class! That and the fact that it took place in Chicago, my favorite memories for seeing stage plays as I mentioned to Rich. The Chicago Opera House is breathtaking. (although I lost one of my leather and fur trimmed gloves there)

      Please let me know how your lecture came out!
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  6. Page, I have to say I'm a big fan of musicals, but I came to appreciate them late. I remember my parents taking me to see Carousel when I was a kid and I was bored to death. Now its songs can make me cry. As for Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I love that song too. Just think however, that it was almost cut out of The Wizard of Oz. A producer said who wants to see Dorothy bursting into song in a barnyard. And that's the point about musicals - it puts the emotions in the form of a song or a dance. Also check out the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Over the Rainbow," sublime in its simplicity.

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    1. Christian,
      I can't argue with the costumes, fabulous dance numbers and the sets. I'm a big fan of anything Busby Berkeley was involved with.

      I'll look for that rendition of Over the Rainbow. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on musicals with the rest of us.
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  7. Page, I love the fun in musicals. The glamor, the costumes the dance routines.. I hope we can still be friends:)

    Right now.. I'm collecting all the Judy Garland DVDs I can get my hands on..

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    1. Dawn,
      We will always be friends! I knew this post would bring out the musical fans which I love.

      Having all of Garland's DVD's is something I would cherish.
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  8. The composers of the great "American Songbook" are firmly entrenched in my heart - Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Berlin, Harry Warren, Hoagy Carmichael, James Van Heusen, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn, etc. etc. etc. I can't imagine a life without that soundtrack and the great performers who introduced their work.

    When I was a teen I would borrow Broadway cast albums from the library and you should have seen my late fees!

    It is difficult for me to come to grips with your aversion to a great art form, but your in depth knowledge and appreciation of the art of millinery makes up for it! Plus, the family pictures are adorable.

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    1. CW,
      With that list of composers I feel ashamed. I'm glad we're still friends and I am trying to ease in to older musicals.
      Thanks for your comments. Musicals deserve love too.
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