Friday, August 12, 2011

My Friday 5 fave.......MUSICALS

I love Musicals.
It was the first music in my childhood home.  I remember Musicals from when I was little, more than I remember primary songs.  Musicals were always playing on the family record player. My mom did choreography for Bountiful High school, Bountiful Community Theatre  and at Promised Valley Playhouse, and we kids were always there at the edge of the stage watching and listening.   I have been doing choreography off and on at BHS as well.  Musicals are always playing in my home.  So my kids love-- or tolerate-- musicals too.
Ahhh.....The circle of Life.
So in keeping with my new Friday Favorite 5 series I am going to tackle my beloved Musicals.  There were too many to really do in one big clump, so I have divided it into 3 weeks:  old musicals, new musicals, and movie musicals.

OLD MUSICALS  (pre 1980)
 This has been really hard for me to decide.  It felt like I was choosing between my children, which to keep and which to discard?..........IMPOSSIBLE.  But with much thought, I have come up with the following 5  and some memories or what I like about each one, in no particular order.
 (All you other classic musicals out there, please forgive me.)

1.  West Side Story.-- This was my first true musical love. The Romeo and juliet story line set in 1950's NYC. I  watched the movie over and over and cried everytime.  My first seeing it  live stage experience was as a teenager and the bows were done in silence.  I cried so much, I had to be practically carried to the car. Totally moved me.  I have also seen not so good productions, (PTC)  and one memorable one that my sister tells about where in  the dramatic end scene,  Maria picks up the gun and is pointing it at everyone......well the gun wasn't on stage so this Maria picked up a shoe and pretended it was a gun.... so random.....and funny.  The latin dancing and the teenage angst in this show is amazing!

2.  My Fair Lady-- This is a different type of love story.  Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can change Eliza Doolittle from a commoner to a princess just by teaching her how to speak properly.   He succeeds and gets more than he bargained for.   I have been Eliza Doolittle twice and really love this part, once in High School and once as an adult.   I love musicals were characters grow and change.  I really liked playing opposite Wayne's Henry Higgins many years back at Terrace Plaza Playhouse.  We had a wonderful time. I do remember my quick costume changes and one time, thinking my skirt was all done up ntil it fell to the ground while singing, "Show me now."  I just picked it up and kept going.  Live theatre....gotta love it.

3.  The King and I-- SHALL WE DANCE?  Ah.....Rogers and Hammerstien music!! This is such a poignant show about a real story in  Siam, 1850. The king of Siam brings in Anna from England to be a school teacher to his many children.  Anna helps the children and the king become more learned in the ways of the ever changing world.  Eventually the King dies and Anna helps the new King.
           I played the part of Anna in College and fell flat on my rear end  during the Shall we Dance scene with the King.  I tripped on my big bell skirt.  The  King just gasped, "Mrs. Anna!" -- and picked me back up and we kept going.   I flashed all of my vintage underthings to the audience.   I never could whistle a happy tune....someone had to do it in a microphone for me off stage.
       We were also in this show as a family when the boys were little.  Landon  did a great job as  Anna's son.   The rest of us were in the Ensemble.  We had to  hairspray-paint the boys hair black and use a lot of dark make up to make us look Siamese.  Monson would run around like a crazy 4 year old back stage, so by the end of the show he had black streaks pouring down his face, with red hair showing through...he looked like a tabby cat.  In one scene Monson  jumped up and his elastic waist pants did not. He accidentally stepped on them, so he had his power ranger under-roos showing until he got his pants pulled up again.  He wasn't embarrassed, so that's good-- just taking after his mother and flashing his underwear around.

4. The Music Man-- A dreamer named Harold Hill comes into a small Iowa town at the turn of the century and sells the town on band instruments and a band to keep the young-uns out of Trouble.  On the way he falls in love with the librarian, Marion Paroo and has to give up his "shifty" ways because he falls in love.   Meredith Wilson's music is rousing!  I have never  been in this show but I have choreographed and directed it numerous times.  One of my funny memories is choreographing this for a Stake  up in Kaysville.   The "Shipoopie" song lyrics had to be changed to "Shipookie" so they wouldn't be so offensive.  I laughed hard at that one.  

5.  Guys and Dolls --  Love this show as well....Wayne and I played Nathan Detroit and Adelaide at TPP in Ogden.  We had such a good time with our big accents and funny faces.   This is such a great love story and one where the good  mission-girl changes the "bad" gangster- boy to being GOOD like her.   (Usually it ends up the other way around, which is why I only tolerate Grease.)   Addison played Sky Masterson for a full summer in West Yellowstone a couple of years back....we was a joy to watch!

SO that's my list.
All you theatre geeks out there, try narrowing your  Old Musical list down to just 5!!!  I would love to see  it.
I'll post a New Musical list next Friday.


bre and add said...

I love them all!! I have no idea how you even chose.

MCC said...

Love it! I can see some that are missing that would have torn me apart deciding between.....Sweet Charity and A Chorus Line...... just the memory of us fighting over who got to sing and dance what part around the living room make would make it hard to put them below the top 5.