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26 January 2007

Magic

Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Help! (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Jungle Book (1967) -- even South Pacific (1958) -- all play prominent roles in shaping my taste in both music and movies.

While South Pacific and I were both born the same year, it is somewhat before my time in terms of consciousness -- and it was actually many years before I saw the movie -- but there's always been a connection.  I think it's because the album cover was seared into my brain practically at birth and it made a big impression on me -- the romance, longing and passion in that picture was palpable, and I could almost hear them singing.  I kind of have the same thing with Dean Martin's Volare -- not to be confused with Plymouth's Volare, though that does make an appearance in "the story of my life" (Brenda's, 1976, baby blue) -- which, I'm told, was very popular when I was in utero and I must have "heard" it on the radio and mom humming and/or singing along, and that has to be why I've always just inherently known that song.  (One of my nephews has the exact same thing with Chumbawumba's Tubthumper.)

The '60s and '70s were my formative years and there's no doubt that Julie Andrews, The Beatles, Walt Disney, and Rodgers and Hammerstein all left their mark.

I do love a musical, on stage or screen.

Of course I watched The Wizard of Oz every year as a kid, but it wasn't until the early '70s, and my first viewing of Show Boat (1951) that I really fell -- hook, line and sinker -- for musicals.  The crappy, dark, cloudy, formatted-for-TV version (ours was a portable b&w) did nothing to lessen the impact of Ol' Man River, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel on me.  Add Shirley Temple, Fred & Ginger, Oklahoma! -- Elvis -- to the favored movie mix, and you might be able to imagine how I felt about Funny Girl (1968), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), A Star is Born (1976)...

Dreamgirls (2006), which I saw last night.

Sure, a musical is hokey -- so is Star Trek, in my opinion, but I'm still a huge fan -- and this one seemed to start out as a "regular" movie with songs and then turn into a musical (where a song is actually dialogue).  I am willing to make allowances and suspend reality, to get lost in the music (or space) -- in the feeling and emotion conveyed in a song.

The results of a personality test I recently took (from a fairly reliable online source, if there is such a thing) were straight down the middle.  It said that I should not be alarmed or worried about that result, that sometimes it happens when there's a lot of stress or change, when someone is stretched to the limit, trying to be everything to everyone (who, me?)... just come back and try again another time.  So, I guess it didn't really surprise me that I cried during the movie -- I was kind of surprised by how much, though, and that I cried so hard all the way home.  It was a lot like when I saw Freaky Friday.  I was thinking about my daughters... it was Magic's fault.

If Jennifer Hudson isn't signed for another movie or recording something RIGHT NOW, there's something wrong in the world.  Eddie Murphy is absolutely FANTASTIC -- I really got a kick out of his costumes (the crocheted cap! the blue velvet suit!).  Beyonce was a very pleasant surprise.

Comments

Oftentimes I wake up to Georgie playing Jesus Christ Superstar. We love a musical in our house too.

(I'm a sucker for Yul Brynner's King!)

(Don't ask.)

I'm on the phone with Cara and she just read your post out loud to me and her dulcet tones only added to the magic that is your blog. Mwahahahahahaha!

(Ed. note: Vicki - I swear - she really did cackle.) (Ed. note #2: Now she's singing "take a letter Maria" and she says I'm Maria. The nerve.)

PS: My uncle played the Mayor in the movie of The Music Man.

I love the conversation between friends going on here in the comments. How could we not know that Ann had a musical man in her ancestry;-)
I saw South Pacific at around age 8 at a drive in movie with my parents (and the other kids). Mom and Dad were a little chagrined that I didn't go to sleep with the other kiddies, but stayed up and fell in love with Lt. Cable. I cried when he died.
So many other memories are tied up with your list of magic musicals. Once again, thanks for the memories!
xoxo

Here is another of your posts allowing a walk down memory lane, I love it! Mary Poppins is the first movie/musical I remember seeing as a child. When ever I take liquid medication I think of how sugar will help make it go down. When I see chimneys I think "chim-chim-cha-roo."

We love musicals in our place. I don't know why, but I love My Fair Lady, can't get enough of it. My husband has a weird facination with Phantom of the Opera (we have seen so many staged productions of it, it's not even funny), but we won't go there...

I pop over to your place & find a little nostalgia of your own.

I'm right there with ya on every single movie & musical. :) Thanks for the memories!

How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion, let it sink back in the ocean...Ducks and chicks and geese better scurry... Oh, MAN! Vicki...my daughter Kate and I were obsessed with musicals! Even this week, we were on the phone together singing "Officer Krumpke!"

I love musicals! I saw Jesus Christ Superstar back in the early 90s and it was fabulous. Sound of Music is one of my favs as is Hello Dolly. Hokey, of course, but that's half the fun. Thanks for a post that evoked terrific memories, Vicki.

Oh, I love musicals and they were a huge part of my life too! In fact, since my mother was in the Dallas Summer Musicals before we were born, I was named for her role in Carousel(Julie) and my sister was named for her role in Oklahoma(Laurie). Over Christmas Abby was introduced to Mary Poppins and she loved it and played it over and over again. We were so impressed with her attention to it that my MIL got her Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Sound of Music and a couple of others. It must be in the genes. Now, every year for my mom's burthday I send her tickets to a performace of the Dallas Summer Musicals, I wish I could afford to give her the season tickets.

While I don't share the same love, my mother did and so many of the older ones are familiar to me... I had my years being in plays and doing stage and costuming for several of your beloved musicals. I DO want to see Dreamgirls and see what all the Oscar fuss is about.

Yeah, I love musicals, too . . . I hesitate to mention how many soundtracks are on my mp3 player....

All musicals, all the time- except "Carousel"- I just don't like that one.
I watched "Summer Stock" and "The Harvey Girls" last night on TCM, and plan on watching "An American In Paris" tonight on TCM. I love my Gene Kelly! I can sing along with most songs from most musicals- I love musicals!

Vicki, Amazon just delivered Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965) to my door. I thought it was lost to me forever because it was televised way back when. I love the songs from that show and I would still swoon for the gowns....but not the hats...those wild ram-looking things for the mean step-sisters! South Pacific was the production at Oshkosh West when I was an impressionable sophmore working on make-up for the cast. I had not seen the movie at that point so I had my crushes on the leads in our show. :-) I didn't know the musical was from 1958. I was born then too! *wild*

When my sister was born, my mother's best friend sent my mom a telegram saying "there is nothing like a dame." So I get it about having your musical tastes formed early.

The Fantasticks, Godspell, and Pippin. Add those to the list! Musical theatre rocks! I saw Ted Neeley and Corey Glover (from the band Living Colour) in the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar last fall, and Ted at 60 years old (nearly twice as old as Jesus actually was) can still hit all the high notes. It was amazing.

My daughter and I love to watch the old musicals on TCM!! We're trying to find "Fiddler on the Roof" on DVD. She took me to see "Dreamgirls" yesterday and we loved it. I commented on Eddie Murphy's crocheted beanie and Mandy said "I was waiting for you to say something about that" (I'm always on the lookout for wonderfully crafted items in movies). Jennifer Hudson is spectacular in this film. Go see it!!!

I gotta go see Dreamgirls. I worked that show with a touring company one summer and it is one of my favorites, despite the killer costume changes - I've never actually SEEN the first act...just heard it from offstage, but the music is some of the best. Sounds like it is worth the ticket price.

I had Jesus Christ Super Start on 8 track. OMG....

I love movie musicals too! When my sister and I were young, our dad would tell us to take a nap so we could stay up late and watch White Christmas with him or South Pacific or Showboat. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting up til 2am watching these old films with him. (back before vcr and dvd players and cable!) I want to see Dreamgirls because of Eddie Murphy. He looks amazing in the clips I've seen.

Oh, and I cry at movies too. So much so, my daughter doesn't like to go with me, heh. She always warns me not to get too emotional. Can't help it, sometimes the movie is just too darn heart-tugging. I had to work really hard to not break down when we went to see The Queen. But Helen Mirren IS amazing in that film.

Thanks, Vicki. Love reliving memories.

I actually played Nellie Furbush in our high school production of South Pacific roughly 20 years ago! I am a huge musical fan, as well. Thankfully, my husband also enjoys watching musicals, so it’s not a huge deal to get him interested in going with me to see a production. Yay! I think my favorites are White Christmas and My Fair Lady.

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