Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

How did I choose this show to highlight today?  There's a song that's come to my mind recently.

"I'm lovely, all I am is lovely.  Lovely is the one thing I can do....Oh, isn't it a shame?  I can neither sew nor cook, or read or write my name.  

But I'm happy, merely being lovely, for its one thing I can give to you."

You guessed it.  It's my baby girl, Catherine Ada, that has stirred up this song from the back rooms of my brain.  "Lovely" comes from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,  written by Stephen Sondhiem in 1974, this show is a crack up!  Here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251–183 BC), specifically PseudolusMiles Gloriosus and Mostellaria, the musical tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. The plot displays many classic elements of farce, including puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity (frequently involving characters disguising themselves as one another), and satirical comments on social class. The title derives from the line that vaudeville comedians often used to begin a story: "A funny thing happened on the way to the theater".

                                        Here's a great recital performance of "Love, I hear"

From Broadway's 1996 production, Nathan Lane sings "Pretty Little Picture"

Fun High School Production, illustrates the silliness of this show.

Monday, May 20, 2013

By Jeeves

This project debuted in 1975, but was visited and rewritten in 1996.  Andrew Lloyd Webber teams up with Alan Ayckbourn,  an amazingly clever and funny playwright.  The story is based on The Jeeves Stories written by P.G. Wodehouse.  You may have seen the British television show "Jeeves and Wooster"  staring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, also inspired by these stories.  I love Hugh Laurie in comedic roles.  He's equally hilarious in Blackadder.  (Okay, that's a side note.)
Back to our musical of the day,  the characters of Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves are captured for your laughing enjoyment.  Here let's take a look at a few scenes.

These scenes are taken from a filmed 2001 performance starring John Scherer and Martin Jarvis, with Becky Watson.  If you like comedy that's both farcical and witty, check out this lesser known show.

Monday, April 15, 2013

West Side Story

West Side Story premiered on Broadway in 1957.  The story was inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with music written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
                   The classic film came out in 1961 starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer.
The street gangs - The Sharks vs. the Jets

                                  It's always I good day when I find myself singing "I feel Pretty"

I think this song "Cool" is so great.

Here is an instrumental version of "Cool", it's actually better without the words.

                   I always love a love story.  Here is the famous "Tonight" sung on the balcony.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress  opened as an off Broadway play in 1959.  It later went onto Broadway and then  TV productions were made in 1964  and 1972, both featuring Carol Burnett.  The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson's story the Princess and the Pea. 

 In recent years, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in a 1997 Broadway revival and in 2005 Disney made a fantastic version for "The Wonderful World of Disney" with Carol Burnett (now playing the queen instead of the princess), Tracey Ullman and Zooey Deschanel.

 The music is not amazing, but this is a silly silly show, great for kids. 
Here are two versions of the song "Shy".  The Princess Winnifred has just swam through the mote and climbed up the castle walls to find her prince right before this song.
The picture is a bit fuzzy, but Sarah Jessica Parker has great body language.

Carol Burnett -  those big eyes of hers are so funny.  Her big voice is perfect for this part.

Here is a ten minute except from Disney's Tracey Ullman production.  
Like I said, it's very silly.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Star is Born

Do you know the scene in P.S. I love You  where Hillary Swank hasn't done her dishes in three weeks and her family walks in on her singing her heart out to Judy Garland's "The Man That Got Away"? I love that scene.  I could totally see myself drowning my sorrows in old movie musicals if my husband died at a young age.  I knew this song because I've heard Barbara Streisand sing it in one of her concert albums, but I didn't know where this song originated from.  

The answer to my search is 1954's A Star is Born.
 The film,  starring Judy Garland and James Mason was chosen as #7 in  The American Film Institute's 2007 list of Best Musicals.
Here is a link to wikipedia for lots of details of plot and production notes.

And here is a trailer that's going to leave you wanting more.
                                                 They don't make movies like this anymore.                                             Judy Garland was 32 years old when she made this film and she is really amazing.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day by Day

When we are baptized we promise to remember our Saviour always and take his name upon us.  I really like the song "Day by Day" from the 1971 musical Godspell.  It's very simple message is repeated over and over because its demonstrating how we need to stay focused as life keeps bringing us a new day, often very similar from the last.

There is a scene in the movie Meet the Parents where Greg is asked to say grace for the family dinner.  He agrees but is very uncomfortable about what he should say.  Halfway through his prayer he remembers this "Day by Day" song and decides to recite it word for word as he concludes his offering.  This scene makes me really smile, okay truthfully it cracks me up.  But regardless of Ben Stiller's antics, I resonate these sentiments.

Day by Day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see Thee more Clearly
Love Thee more Dearly
Follow Thee more Nearly
Day by Day

Here is the scene

And here is the song performed by a revival cast, they sing "You are the Light of the World" as well.

Monday, February 18, 2013

South Pacific

Today I am still in Valentine's mode because tomorrow is my wedding anniversary   So for Musical Monday I tried to think of a very romantic show to share and came up with South Pacific.  There are not very many songs more magical than "Some Enchanted Evening".

And I just love the psychological sequence of  "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair"
followed by "I'm in love with a wonderful guy".  It's so fun to watch Nellie  fight her feelings and then give in to love.

These pictures are from the 1958 movie starring Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor.

There have been more recent productions featuring Glenn Close and Reba McEntire.

I am not a Reba fan, but everyone else in this concert is excellent.

Here is a little bit of "I'm in love...." comparing Mitzi to Glenn

One of the best songs in this show is sung by the Navy, "There is nothing like a Dame".
I love these lyrics and I soo enjoy men's voices.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Peter and the Starcatcher

Last week's musical of Peter Pan  reminded me that there was a production of Peter and the Starcatcher  which just finished playing last month in New York on Broadway.  It had caught my eye in  fall, but we choose our tickets for Chaplin instead because it gave us the best seats.

Anyway, this play is based on the popular book written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.    From what I can gather from the highlight clips on youtube, their strength is in the acting and comedy, and not so much the music. You'll see what I mean when you watch for yourself.

Very fun stuff.  I can tell this show really captured the audience in the story and world of Peter Pan

Here is a clip for my costume friends out there.  This show won a Tony for Best Costumes

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Peter Pan

My high school performed Peter Pan  during my junior year.  I wasn't very happy cast as an Indian; I struggled to learn the dances and there was no opportunity for standing out vocally.  Yet, these songs have found a fond place in my memories.  Pirates that sing and dance are funny.

 Even the Indian "Uga Wug" song compels me sing out when I randomly recall it.  But there's one song that I can really relate to...

"I've Gotta Crow"  sung by Peter Pan when he figures out how to get his shadow to stick to himself again.  Sometimes I am pleased with myself and I find this song coming to my head.
                                                         Here's Mary Martin performing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Once on This Island

Where have I been?  In a tropical paradise  namely Hawaii.  Wow!  It is amazing to get away in the dead of winter.  Here is a favorite musical that I thought would be fun to share.

This show opened on Broadway in 1990.  It's the story of a peasant girl with elements of  Romeo and Juliet and the fairy tale The Little Mermaid.  Unfortunately there are no footage from Broadway, but here are vocal recordings.  A song introducing the main character and then a love song with action to follow.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Yay, I have recovered from the holidays and am back to Musical Monday!  My Christmas and New Years were both fantastic, but the house sure does take a beating when we're having so much fun.

I have the soundtrack to both the 1960's movie and Broadway productions of Camelot.  The story, the music. It's all so great.  Here is my favorite song "What Do the Simple Folk Do?"

Oh wait, maybe my favorite is "How to Handle a Woman"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

James Galway Christmas Album

One of my all time favorite Christmas albums is James Galway, an Irish flutist.

 I grew up listening to his music and his Christmas Carols are so fabulous because the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Singers and Chapel Choir of King's School, Canterbury are filling up the musical air along side this magnificent musician. 

I really appreciate this album because in addition to its beauty, it has gems not often played.

                  I couldn't find what I was looking for on youtube, so I did something I've never              
done before, I uploaded onto youtube.  Boy was that tricky for me to figure out!  
"Past Three o'clock"
Past three o'clock
On a cold frosty morning
Past three o'clock
Good morrow masters all.

                                                                    Born is a baby
                                                                    Gentle as may be
                                                                   Son of the Eternal
                                                                    Father supernal.

                                                                  Seraph choir singeth
                                                                    Angel bell ringeth
                                                                Hark how they rhyme it
                                                                  Time it and chime it!

                                                                    Mid earth rejoices
                                                                    Hearing such voices
                                                                    Ne'ertofore so well
                                                                      Carolling Nowell!

                                                                      Hinds o'er the pearly
                                                                       Dewy lawn early
                                                                    Seek the high stranger
                                                                       Laid in the manger.

                                                                    Cheese from the dairy
                                                                     Bring they for Mary
                                                                      And, not for money
                                                                        Butter and honey.

                                                                     Light out of star-land
                                                                    Leadeth from far land
                                                                      Princes, to meet him
                                                                    Worship and greet him.

                                                                      Myrrh from full coffer
                                                                         Incense they offer
                                                                         Nor is the golden
                                                                        Nugget withholden.

                                                                       Thus they: I pray you
                                                                       Up sirs, nor stay you
                                                                          Till ye confess him
                                                                      Likewise and bless him.
Words by G.R. Woodward
The music is beautiful in itself, but I though you might be interested in the lyrics.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fairytale of New York

 I am going to go back in time for a moment, back to Christmas 2009.  We spent a few days in Paris before heading over to England.  Geraldine, Tez and Daisy were our hosts.
                                                                 This is how cold it was outside.  Burrr

                                                             And this is how cozy it was inside.

                             We were spoiled with all their attention, hot chocolates and great food.

Geraldine had a stereo in the dining room and we would listen to Christmas music while we visited.  It was on this trip Geraldine introduced us (me and Daniel) to "Fairytale of New York" sung by The Pogues, an Irish band from the 1980's.  We loved it.  The angst of the story, the full sound of the instruments, and passion we felt when we sang the only words we could remember "and the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day!"

Daniel soon got himself a copy and this song has since outed Nat King Cole from his number one spot. It has stayed in the CD player of our hot tub all year because it sounds so good when we turn it up really loud.

I found this version on youtube.  It's great because you can here the lyrics
more clearly, though you do miss the full band in the background.

Hope you like.  I decided to postpone Musical Monday for the month of December, and share some of my favorite Christmas music instead.

Here are more pictures from that 2009 trip.  And if you missed it, here is my 2012 trip to Paris.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

James Taylor Christmas

                                       Daniel surprised me today with a new Christmas CD.

   Ooo, I love learning new Christmas music, and James Taylor has several new songs (to me) plus a couple less used songs such as "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".  Mr. Taylor  also has a fun version of "O Christmas Tree" in french and I have decided I really like hearing familiar songs in other languages.

Here is an example,  I came across this last year and its so good.  "Jingle Bells" in french is "Vive le Vent".

In closing, I recommend the James Taylor Christmas album.  His voice is as good as ever and the instruments are so pretty.  Great arrangements and nothing is better than Christmas music.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


There was a quiet Irish movie a few years ago that is now catching people's attention with its Broadway musical adaption.  Once is about the connection  two people feel when they make music together.

This production was nominated for eleven 2012 Tony Award's and won in eight categories.

You'll see when you watch these highlights, many of the songs are quite intimate.  I didn't get to see it when I was in New York last month, but I have seen the movie, and I think the musical must be at a whole level higher of greatness.  To witness so many live musicians on stage in the midst of a story must be pretty special.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

HMS Pinafore

HMS Pinafore was written by Gilbert & Sullivan, first opened in 1878, and combines opera and comedy.  This show has remained popular through the years.

Here are some fun posters I found from past productions.

I was introduced to this show as a junior in high school, when we performed it for our Opera Workshop.  I have never forgotten the lyrics.  What never?  No never.

These two clips are the same song, one is just audio and the other on stage.