Movie or stage! No rules! It was Mother’s Day yesterday so I was thinking about my Mom and her love for musicals that she passed down to us, and all the non-Indian musicals I loved.
When my sister and I were 4-6, our parents got us to watch Singin’ in the Rain on a copy they rented from the library while we were visiting my maternal grandparents. And we LOVED it. We watched it 11 times in one month, which doesn’t sound that impressive except that we were only allowed to see 3 movies a week (2 on Friday night, and one of those rewatched Saturday morning before we had to return the VHS). So we must have doubled up on it and watched it back to back every single week, and then again on Saturday morning. We counted every watch that first month, and then the numbers got too high for us to count very very quickly. It’s just such a good movie! Great mish-mosh of songs, brilliant Gene Kelly film song concepts for all of them, and with Donald O’Conner, Gene finally had a dance partner up to his level. As a bonus, all those fabulous in jokes of film history. Ahhh. Perfection.
Stage musical-wise, Anything Goes! My sister and I got the cast album from the library when we were kids and listened to it over and over and over again. I’ve got the entire thing memorized. And then we actually got to see it live! At the outside summer theater in St. Louis when we were visiting my grandparents. It’s a funny show, because the live performance was awesome, but we loved it already just from the album. The Wodehouse-Cole Porter combo is just irresistible, all the songs are fun, and they are so perfect for their individual characters and situations that you can enjoy it as a full narrative just through a plot synopsis on the back of the record and listening to the songs. And anyway, can a modern stage performance ever equal Ethel Merman’s original?
Okay, what are your favorites? Sell me on post-1968 stage musicals! My interest reached Hello Dolly! and then stopped. Or, alternatively, post-1960 film musicals! All those weird ones that don’t have Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire in them.