I’m back! I’m tired! Hours and hours on the road yesterday, after hours and hours on the road Friday, and hours and hours of doing intensive important family stuff in the days in between.
I’m back! On Friday, Mom and I tried to leave Chicago and promptly hit a massive traffic jam. 2 hours to get 50 miles, 6 hours to get the remaining 450 miles. Through, as promised, total nothingness. Luckily Mom made sandwiches, so we had those for lunch and dinner on the way, then arrived at the hotel and went to bed. Saturday, walked around, museum, stuff stuff. Sunday, two churches (turns out the reason there were two services at different times is because they both share the same amazing organist. So she went from church A to church B just like we did), lunch, craft fair (I got flamingo earrings! and fudge), blah blah. And then Monday, the day we were driving the hundreds of miles back home, we woke up and looked out the hotel window at this:
In case you can’t see clearly, that’s a blizzard. Mom decided she would rather drive 6 hours than deal with the stress of watching me drive 6 hours. Which is fair enough, back when I first learned how to drive she could only ride with me while sitting in the backseat with her head down. She does very well now, but 6 hours through nothingness in a blizzard is a lot to ask. Since she was driving, I got to be DJ. Which brings me to my next topic! Have we discussed how perfect Hello Dolly! is for an Indian film remake?
In case you don’t know the plot, it’s pretty simple. There are two couples. A stingy old widower and the bossy woman he hired as his matchmaker. A sad young widow coming back to life who the matchmaker is pretending to set up with the widower while really trying to keep the widower for herself. The widower’s brash young employee who bumps into the sad young widow and they fall in love. The fun of it is watching the bossy matchmaker be charming and confident and tricky and slowly win over the stingy widower until he is convinced that he can’t live without her. And at the same time, she kindly arranges for the young people to fall in love and be happy. The beauty of it is in the message, essentially just to love life. The matchmaker wants to marry the widower so she can spread his money around (“like manure” is the repeated phrase). The young widow has put away her beauty and youth and the matchmaker is helping her come back to life. The poor employees spend all day every day working, they are learning the joy of taking one day just for adventure and breaking the rules. And it all works out! Taking those leaps makes you happier.
Anyway, for our central character who has to evoke a bossy cheerful and ultimately big-hearted woman, and at the same time reveal her own hidden sorrow (she is still struggling with grief for her dead husband, forcing herself to be cheerful and keep living), we need a really amazing middle-aged actress. But WHO? Urvashi in Malayalam would be good. Lakshmi in Tamil or Telugu would be perfection. I just don’t know about Hindi. Is this a good Ratna Pathak-Naseeruddin Shah romance? Or Divya Dutta-Irrfan Khan? Or Juhi-Shahrukh? And then the young couple can be any halfway decent young pair of actors, it’s easy roles.
We didn’t just listen to Hello Dolly!, we also did The Fantasticks, and Cinderella (Julie Andrews version). Which brings me to my final question, as I stumble through the work day: What is your favorite stage musical?
Oh dear, I have to answer for myself don’t I? Anything Goes I guess. It is the first album I remember memorizing the whole thing straight through. All of the songs are so good, and the plot is so light, and the cocaine reference is so quaintly old-fashioned.
Follow up question to make this more blog relevant, what American musical plot would best translate to Indian film?
Obviously, my choice is Hello Dolly! Middle-aged woman, matchmakers, consideration of widowhood and the challenge of remarrying, it’s perfect!