Musical theatre : LUSENET : Planning A Sky : One Thread

I was so happy to see all the musical theatre stuff on Mel's love song mix; I am all about musicals, and it drives my housemates nuts that I listen to my cast recordings non-stop. (I have some issues with "Love Will Turn Back the Hands of Time," Mel, but I'll just pretend I didn't see that. I've had the damn telephone song from Bye Bye Birdie in my head ever since Pamie mentioned it in an entry the other day, so it's not like I can talk about bad musical songs...)

I really miss doing musicals; I was always involved in one or another in high school, and haven't had time since getting to college. But now I'm curious; who else among Melissa's readers is a musical theatre geek? Does it drive the people you live with crazy? Do you ever perform entire cast recordings by yourself when you get a little too drunk? (Not that I do this or anything...) What's your favorite show that you've seen? That you've performed?

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2000


Like y'all don't know that I'm a musical theatre nut...but what the heck. :-)

My favorite show that I've seen is RENT, and I've seen it sixteen times. I slept out for tickets probably...ten of those times. Other amazing theatrical experiences...Into the Woods, my first Broadway show. Ragtime. Totally blown away.

Favorite show I've ever performed...probably when I was Rosemary in How To Succeed In college. I don't perform much anymore; I've abdicated to directing.

I know the words to more musical songs than I can count. I always sing in the car. Perhaps I've performed one or more of the RENT roles while drunk, but you'll never get me to admit that in public.

Oops. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2000

What a fun topic. Thanks, Stacey.

My first memories of musicals involve the records my parents played when I was little. West Side Story, Camelot, Oklahoma, The King & I, - - oldies but goodies. I cannot tell you how many times I would make a costume out of strange things like hankerchiefs and play the records while I performed for myself in front of the mirror. As a child, I would be transformed into Guineviere crying out to St. Genevieve or Maria feeling pretty. I became Ado Annie who couldn't say no and Anna Leonowens singing to the children of Siam. I would lock the door to my bedroom and dance like a maniac to "America" from West Side Story. I can't believe I'm admitting that, but it's true. It was my favorite way to make-believe.

As a teenager, I performed in The Pirates of Penzance, South Pacific, and Carousel, and although I didn't appreciate it at the time because I was a senior who was too big for my Carrie Pipperidge britches, that was my best (and last) performing experience.

It is impossible to entangle a single favorite from the vast web of musical theater experiences that have shaped my life -- my performing has been limited, but my viewing and my listening have been vast and always present. I have an entire Caselogic c.d. case filled with only musical soundtracks, and I've stopped being surprised when people sneer. I've never really been able to comprehend the problem that people seem to have with musicals, though. Where are their imaginations? Where are their hearts?

(I actually rather love that scene in Grease 2, because it makes me laugh until I cry every time I see it, especially now that the Cool Rider is also known as Rex Manning. Oh, Rexy, you're so sexy.)

And if anyone gets into my car and has a problem with Bye, Bye Birdie blasting out from the stereo, which it rather often is, then they are welcome to walk.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2000

My first exposure to musicals came from my dad who loved so many of them -- Man of La Mancha, Paint Your Wagon, Camelot, Brigadoon, Carousel, West Side Story. Like you, Dora, my brother and sister and I would put my dad's records on the stereo and suddenly we'd be transformed into knights and squires, cowboys and saloon girls, the Jets and the Sharks. We had this small sofa that had wheels on it and we'd use it for the stagecoach in Paint Your Wagon, propelling it with our feet while singing "There's a Coach Comin' in" at the top of our lungs.

Growing up so close to New York City, I got a lot of exposure to Broadway. I got to see the original run of Annie and Into the Woods and Chorus Line and Les Mis. Just recently, my brother sent my sister and me to see Phantom of the Opera, which we hadn't gotten around to seeing when we were both living at home. Two years ago, Holly and I also saw Rent and it was one of the most amazing theatrical experiences that I have ever had.

My favorite musical, though, is still Camelot. When I was around 12, HBO ran the British revival with Richard Harris. My siblings and I would watch it each and every time it was on. We knew all the words to every song. We knew every dance step. In college, I did my final voice analysis project for my voice class on Harris' performance of the "resolution" speech. Unfortunately, that production was so lovely and Richard Harris was so amazing, every other production of Camelot that I have seen since pales in comparison.

Still, I've loved it each and every time I've seen it. My cousin played Lord Pellinore in his high school production of it. I've sat in 102 degree summer heat to see an outdoor production of it at Washington Crossing Park in NJ. I've even rented the atrociously awful movie version. ;)

I've never actually performed in any musicals -- My high school drama teacher did not get along with the music department, so we stuck to non-musicals. It was just as well because I have no singing talent whatsoever and I am a complete klutz. But, and this is going to sound weird, it has always been a dream of mine to be able to play Mordred in Camelot. Yes, I know it's a man's role. Yes, I know he's so utterly evil. But it's such a great part and "The Seven Deadly Virtues" is my all time favorite song from a musical. It's the song that made me appreciate Roddy McDowel as an actor who could do way more than just play vaguely queeny neighbors and rich uncles. ;)

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2000

I *love* Camelot. Haven't actually watched in in ages, though, as my vast collection of musicals didn't travel to college with me. (With the exception of my copy of "Sunday in the Park with George," without which I cannot live.)

I was *so* entertained when I realized that Rex from Empire Records was Michael from Grease 2. That amused me endlessly. However, I still think Grease 2 is fairly heinous. (Which is not to say I haven't seen it a dozen or so times. And yes, I *do* sing along to "Cool Rider," but it's not my fault, really it's not.)

Guess it's only fair to answer my own questions. My all-time favorite musical would *probably* be the aforementioned "Sunday in the Park," but I'd really be hard pressed to pick just one. RENT would be damn close for a tie. Or Into the Woods for that matter.

As for shows I actually performed, I think my favorite was Bye Bye Birdie. (The Boyfriend and Once Upon a Mattress just didn't do much for me.) My fondest memories are probably of R&H's Cinderella, though, just because it was my first play that I had ever been in outside of my silly elementary school productions. I was in seventh grade, the rest of the cast members were high school and college students, and I learned a lot of new curses that summer. ;)

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2000

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