Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Top Nine Favorite Musicals

To wrap up Celebrate Musicals Week, here is a list of my very favorite musicals. Unfortunately I didn't have time this week to write some of the posts I'd hoped I could (I did have a Hello, Dolly! review sort of started, but then I kind of gave up on it), but still this week has been fun and I'm glad I was able to participate! Thank you Miss Dashwood! : )

#1 Hello, Dolly!

     After much thought and consideration (well, not that much), I have concluded that this is most likely my favorite musical ever. The entire thing is just so fun, and the cast of the 1968 movie is practically perfect in every way. Barbra Streisand has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard, and she is just perfect as Dolly Levi! This musical has some of my favorite Broadway songs and some very fun (and impressive!) dance sequences, and the whole thing is just delightful.

Here is one of my favorite songs from the musical, "So Long Dearie" (earlier referred to by me, mistakenly, as "Should Have Said So Long"). I tried to find a video of the actual scene, but alas and alack, there were none to be found. The song is still hilarious, though, even without the scene, and if you've seen the movie you can just imagine what's going on.

#2 Meet Me In St. Louis

 This delightful old musical has been a favorite in my family for a long time! I can remember watching it when I was just a wee little thing. Starring the lovely and marvellously talented Judy Garland, this musical doesn't have as many songs as most and really, Judy Garland's character Esther Smith is the one who does the most singing, but it has some of the most memorable Broadway songs such as "Meet Me In St. Louis", "The Boy Next Door", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song". In my opinion this is probably one of Judy Garland's best performances (which is saying a lot since she's on of my favorite actresses) and I absolutely love the movie in general!

Esther and Tootie performing "Under the Bamboo Tree"

#3 The Phantom of the Opera

  While I'm not really a huge admirer of the actual story of The Phantom of the Opera, I absolutely love the music and so that's why I've put it this high on my list. The first encounter I had with it was two years ago when I first watched the movie (there's kind of a funny story behind that- we rented it and the disc didn't work, and then we rented another one, and that disc didn't work either. Then I finally got to watch it with two of my cousins while I was visiting at my Aunt's house, and I brought her copy home for my family to see. The story is actually even longer, but I won't go into all the details.) I know a lot of people think the movie is just awful, but I actually loved it the first time I watched it. I've always kind of liked dark, mysterious, sort-of-creepy stories, especially when there's singing involved, so from the first I loved it. Then I grew out of my temporary fascination and realized that the story is very similar to King Kong....well, that's not exactly how it went. I began to realize that the story isn't really what I love about it, but I still love the music and I enjoy watching the movie from time to time. My favorite songs from it are "All I Ask of You", "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", "The Point of No Return" (minus the few verses of suggestive lyrics- without those I think it's a beautiful song) and "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer", also called "Final Lair.

  Oh, and another thing I love about the movie are the costumes, Christine's dresses especially, which are absolutely gorgeous!

#4 The Sound of Music

  What can compete with The Sound of Music? It's such a classic! Julie Andrews is so young and pretty, Christopher Plummer is so young and handsome, the music is so delightful, and the whole thing always makes me smile. This is another one of the movies I feel like I've been watching all my life, which is probably true with most of these musicals. I love the story, the characters, the music, and just everything. My favorite songs from the musical are "The Sound of Music", "Something Good" (I LOVE that song!) and "I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen".

#5 Les Miserables

     This is another musical that I love mostly for the music. Before I saw the movie when it came out last winter, I had never seen a stage version or anything and I didn't really know anything about the musical at all, so I didn't really care for the movie at first. (Plus we went very late and by the end of the movie it was about 11:00 and I didn't care what happened I just wanted it to end so we could go home.) I'm still not a huge fan of the story and although I respect the movie now, I'm not very fond of it, but the music is absolutely gorgeous and so I think I can say it is one of my favorite musicals. My favorite songs from it are "I Dreamed a Dream" (of course!), "On My Own", "Stars", "A Little Fall of Rain", and "In My Life". Yes, I love them all! (Except for "Master of The House", that is. Yuck.)

#6 The Music Man

   I love this movie! I can't remember a time when I hadn't watched it. Shirley Jones is so pretty and there are so many wonderful dance sequences and songs, and the whole movie is vastly entertaining. I'm not familiar with the actor who plays Professor Harold Hill (although when I was really little I used to think he was Andy Griffith, but I think that might have only been because Opie was in it), but he did a marvellous job, whoever he is. I also really love Shirley Jones' dresses, especially the pink one in the picture below.
 My favorite song from this musical is "Till There Was You", but unfortunately I haven't seen it in such a long time that I'm having trouble remembering the other songs buy name! I'll just have to watch it again. : )

#7 Fiddler on the Roof

  This is another movie that is just plain classic. I'm ashamed to admit that I *hated* this movie the first time I watched it, but I must have been very young and very foolish for I find it vastly amusing now. Tevyre is hilarious and the music is classic and also very catchy. It's been a long time since I saw the second half so I don't really remember it much, but my favorite scene that I remember is definitely the wedding of Svietel and what's-his-name, which includes the epic bottle dance (so amazing!) Some of my favorite songs from the musical are "Sunrise, Sunset", "Matchmaker", and "If I Were a Rich Man".

The amazing bottle dance
#8 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

 This movie is very lighthearted and fun, and almost a little silly, but I happen to like silly movies once in a while and this musical is so charming I can't help but love it. The songs aren't the most memorable, but it has some pretty amusing dance scenes (the barn-raising is hilarious!), and Jane Powell is a very lovely actress with a very lovely voice so I think she added a lot to the movie. My favorite songs from the musical are "Love Never Goes Away", "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" (because it's just so funny and I have it stuck in my head all the time) and the one the girls sing about marrying in the spring, the title of which I can't recall at the moment.

The costumes are so pretty and colorful (if a bit historically inaccurate!)

#9 The Harvey Girls

Another classic Judy Garland musical! I watched this some time after Meet Me in St. Louis, and while I don't like it near as much, it's quite charming and deserves to be on this list. I don't like Ned Trent a bit, but Judy Garland's character Susan Bradley is simply adorable and I also really like all the other Harvey girls. It's also funny to see Hannah, the cook from Meet Me In St. Louis as the cook! There are also some very pretty costumes and a wonderful cast (except for Ned Trent- I can't stand the guy), including Angela Lansbury and the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz! My favorite songs are "It's a Great Big World", "The Achitson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", and "The Wild, Wild West".

Those are my favorite musicals! They are all charming, delightful movies (except for #5- it may be a lot of things, but I believe everyone can agree that it is not exactly what one would call delightful) and I recommend each one!
  Thank you again Miss Dashwood for hosting this musicals week, it has been a lot of fun! : )

Musical Lyrics Game Answers

  Here are the answers to last Saturdays' Musical Lyrics Game! Thank you to everyone who played, I hope this was a fun game! : )


Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again? 
My soul belongs to God, I know, I made that bargain long ago.


Who Am I?, Jean Valjean in Les Miserables


Here in this room, he calls me softly
Somewhere inside, hiding
Somehow I know he's always with me
He, the unseen genius


 Angel of Music, Christine in The Phantom of the Opera

(Just for the record, I would like to say that, even though I have never seen a stage version of this musical, and despite lots of people's dreadful opinions of the movie version, I actually do sort of like this movie. Yes, I really do.)


There's a time for us
Someday a time for us
Time together and time to spare
Time to learn, time to care!

  Somewhere, Tony in West Side Story


I feel the room swaying, and the band's playing
One of my old favorite songs from way back when
Here's my hat, fellas, I'm staying where I'm at, fellas,
Dolly ain't never going away again!


Hello, Dolly!, Mrs. Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!


The moment I saw him smile
I knew he was just my style
My only regret is we've never met
Though I live at fifty-one thirty-five Kensington Avenue,
And he lives at fifty-one thirty-three


The Boy Next Door, Esther Smith in Meet Me In St. Louis


Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth


Something Good, Maria and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music


I learned to sew and I learned to bake
I even made and angel food cake
On Saturday evening, when folks dropped in
My house was as neat as a brand-new pin
I thought by learning each social grace
Some likely chap might forget my face
I can't understand it, I've knitted and purled,
But my, goodness me, it's a great big world.


It's a Great Big World, Alma in The Harvey Girls


And there was music
And there were wonderful roses, they tell me
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn, and dew,
There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you.


Till There Was You, Marian in The Music Man


Look at you, like a little lost calf
I don't mean to laugh or tease you.
Where's your sense, there are so many girls
With long golden curls to please you.
Love comes and goes away,
You're hurtin' bad tonight.
Oh, love comes and goes away
I'm older, ain't I always led you right?


Love Never Goes Away, Adam Ponipee in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers


Just a small church
With a big steeple
Just a few people that both of us know
And we'll have love, laughter
Be happy ever after
Me and my girl!


Me and My Girl, Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl


Burn out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
A street lamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning!

Answer: Memory, Grisabella in Cats

(I would have put a picture here, but all the pictures I could find were so scary that I decided not to!)


Just when I stopped
Opening doors
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there.


Send in the Clowns, Desiree in A Little Night Music

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Favorite Hello, Dolly! Quotes

Here are just a few of my favourite quotes from this hilariously entertaining musical. : )

Dolly Levi: Hello! Hello there, how are you? Oh hello!
Horace Vandergilder: You know too many people.
Dolly: Total strangers.
Horace: Then why do you greet them?
Dolly: It makes me feel good to have so many friends.
Horace: Oh, say hello for me too then.
Dolly: I already did.

Horace Vandergilder: Eighty-percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in danger of contamination.

Dolly: And on those cold winter nights, Horace, you can snuggle up to your cash register. It's a little lumpy, but it rings!

Horace: You are a seven-foot-tall nincompoop!
Ambrose Kemper: That's an insult!
Horace: All the facts about you are insults!

Dolly: Goodness gracious, the whole room is crawling with men. Irene, darling, congratulations.

Gussie Granger as Ernestina Simple: What do you mean, "oysters aren't in season"? Anyone can have oysters "in season", I want them out of season!
Horace: They don't have any, Miss Simple.
Gussie Granger: Then tell them to go out and dig for some!

Cornelius Hackl: Well, you see, we're two ladies about town and we're looking for a hat to Malloy and...
Barnaby Tucker: We're hats, you see, and we're looking for a lady to Malloy with for the after...
Cornelius: We want a hat.

Cornelius: Smile, Barnaby.
Barnaby: I'm smiling.
Cornelius: Look rich, gay, and charming.
Barnaby: I'm looking gay and charming.

Horace: Any man who goes to a big city deserves what happens to him.

Ticket seller Mr. Sullivan: Where to, Dolly?
Dolly: Yonkers, New York, to handle a highly personal matter for Mr. Horace Vandergilder, the well-known, unmarried, half-a-millionaire.
Mr. Sullivan: Gonna marry him yourself, Dolly?
Dolly: Why, Mr. Sullivan, whatever put such a prepostrous idea into my head-- er, your head.

Cornelius: There is no Mrs. Hackl.
Barnaby: Yes there is, your mother!
Cornelius: She didn't mean that.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Kick-Off Tag!

   Celebrate Musicals Week is here! To begin this party, Miss Dashwood has posted a fun tag! I'm not sure how much I'll be able to contribute to this delightful party this week, since I was naughty and didn't get my posts ready ahead of time and now I'm so busy that I'm not sure I'll have the time to finish them, but I will try to get a few musical-themed things up! Thank you again Miss Dashwood for hosting this musicals week! : )

   Here are the questions:

1. What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?

    I chose Hello, Dolly! because it's one of my favorite musicals, and one that I have known for a long time and have always loved.

2. How did you discover the musical you picked?

   I really have no idea when the first time I watched Hello, Dolly! was, but it was certainly a very long time ago so I really don't remember. I feel like I've always known it!

3. If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?

    "Hello, Dolly!", "Before the Parade Passes By", and probably "Should've Said So Long". It's HILARIOUS. : )

4. What's your least favorite song from your musical?

 Hmmm, I really don't know. I love them all! Maybe "It Takes a Woman". It's just not as memorable as the others, plus Horace Vandergilder is always so pessimistic and that's kind of "his" song.

5. Who are your favorite characters in your musical (choose up to three)?

  Definitely Dolly, Cornelius, and probably Barnaby. I'm not too terribly fond of Horace.

6. Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?

  I've only seen the 1968 movie starring the amazing Barbra Streisand and the grumpy old man Walter Mattheu, which, in my opinion, couldn't be bettered.

7. Is this your favorite musical of all time? If not, what is?

   While this is one of my top three favorites, I don't think it's my absolute favorite. My three favorites are Hello, Dolly!, Meet Me In St. Louis, and The Phantom of the Opera. I don't really think the story of The Phantom of the Opera is all that great-- it's too much like King Kong-- but I love the music so much so I stuck it in there.

8. Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?

   I actually own only one musical soundtrack in our movie soundtrack collection, and that is the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie soundtrack. My sister and I used to listen to it a LOT, but we haven't very much lately, probably because we listened to it way too much two years ago when I gave it to her for Christmas. We made a rule that you can't listen to The Phantom of the Opera while riding in a car. : )

9.  What is your favorite costume from your musical?

   Either Dolly's purple dress or her red suit. Seriously, ALL the costumes in this movie are amazing!

10. If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?

   I'd probably cast Minnie Fay as someone who could actually sing worth beans. (Minnie is adorable and all, but unfortunately she Simply Cannot Sing.) Other than that, it's perfect. : )
  Oh, and this has nothing to do with Hello, Dolly!, but I just want to say, I don't know WHY Matthew Rhys wasn't cast as the Phantom in the 2004 The Phantom of the Opera. THAT is something I would change if I could. : P

11. Which roles would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?

   I would love to play Mrs. Dolly Levi, because that would just be so much fun. I'd also love to play Eponine in Les Miserables, since she sings some really beautiful songs and I just love her part. Another part I would like to play is Esther Smith in Meet Me In St. Louis, but unfortunately that musical is hardly ever performed anymore. Susan Bradley in The Harvey Girls would also be a great role to play.

12. If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?

   Like I said, I think everyone is pretty much perfectly cast, and even if I were to re-cast Minnie, I'm not sure who would fit the bill. I'm perfectly content with it as it is!

13. Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?

   I'm probably a musical theatre fan in general, though I tend to prefer the older musicals to the 1980's Broadway musicals that everyone is crazy about. I've been watching musicals ever since I was a wee thing, so they're really part of my childhood.

14. Are you tired of the word"musical" yet?

   Funny you should ask.....: P

(In case you've already done or read this same tag and are wondering why I skipped the last question, or are astonished by my audacity in doing so, it's because I don't own a musical device and I have no idea whatsoever what this strange phenomena called Pandora is. Well, I have some idea, but not enough to answer the question properly.)

 Thank you, Miss Dashwood! That was most enjoyable!

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