Posts Tagged ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Farewell To A Couple Of TV Parents

This week, fans of 50s and 70s television lost two beloved character.  On Saturday, Barbara Billingsley who played June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver passed away.  Throughout the 1950s Ward and June were the parents of Wally and Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver.  It is almost inconceivable in today’s world to have a mother who wore a pretty dress and apron all day long and would have a plate of cookies and a pitcher of milk waiting for you when you got home from school.  It seems that some of the biggest problems she had to deal with was the Beaver’s refusal to eat Brussel Sprouts.  Of course, there was the time when Beaver and his pal Larry Mondello were stuck in the giant coffee cup on the  billboard.  Not to mention enduring the frequent visits by one Eddie Haskell and his “My that’s a very lovely dress you are wearing, Mrs. Cleaver.”  Not only did she later reprise the role of one of tv land’s favorite mothers, Ms. Billingsley also was the voice of “Nanny” on the animated Muppet Babies series.

Tuesday, Tom Bosley who played hardware owner/father for eleven years on Happy Days lost his life.  Week in and week out, Howard Cunningham leant and ear and sage advice to Richie and Joanie.  Not so much to Chuck… who wasn’t around long enough but maybe to bounce a basketball during the first handful of episodes.  Long after Fonzie “jumped the shark” on skis in his trademark leather jacket, Howard and Marion watched their children grow, move out, and (in their daughter’s case) move back in.  Years after the series ended, Mr. Bosley originated the role of another father, Maurice (Belle’s father) in the Original Broadway Cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

AH… simpler times with simple problems.  Rest in peace June and Mr C.

Many Mumbling Mice Were Making Midnight Music In The Moonlight Mighty Nice.

Today was my third voice lesson (last week’s session was cancelled).  I can see that these weekly meetings are going to be very fun and extremely rewarding.  The first few moments are devoted to warming up the instrument.  Quite similar to an athlete stretching his muscles in order to prevent injury.  Went through two exercises which I am very accustomed to but the third was nothing short of a tongue-twister.  I asked my coach to write that one down.

I did a bit of sight-singing to begin.  I believe that I have mentioned my desire to one day have the chance to play M. Thenardier the sleazy innkeeper of Les Miserables.  I can see why I have not until today taken a look at “Master of the House.”  The music is quite the road map.  I will have to listen to the recording and figure out where it leads, but it will be quite fun when it is figured out.  Anyone who would like to take on the role of the equally sleazy Madame Thenardier… the song is a two person study in character hilarity.  Could even stand a small chorus of inn lodgers.

I then returned to “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast.  I looked through the Miss Saigon selections for “Thuy’s Death” piece but it must not be included in the book.  I will have to continue listening to some of the Conductor’s pieces.  And go through my other books for some good character work.

All too quickly, the half-hour came to an end.  However, before leaving I learned that a five-year-old lad is a Buckeye fan much to the “delight” of his mother.  He is going to go to OSU when he gets bigger.  This delighted the fan of the Place Up North since she would have to pay out of state tuition.

A Buckeye In Wolverine Land

On to another great post!  Thursday afternoon was my first voice lesson in about two and a half years.  I am pleased to say I am very ecstatic about the next coming months!  We began with a review (for me) about breathing, support, the diaphragm, the mask, and other technical terms that we quickly glossed over.  Then, we determined that I have an octave and a half range with the same above that in falsetto which totally surprised the both of us.  Then, it was time to get down to business… FUN TIMES!

I decided that “Younger Than Springtime” would be good to warm up on.  It would have been if the copy I had was complete.  We got to the last page an discovered that there is something missing.  So I dig and find the book with the song… only to discover that it was in a lower key!  But manageable… only slightly lower.  But I prefer the higher range.  I like to shoot for my POWer notes, but those would come later.

Next, I dug out “This is the Moment.”  Kathrine is unfamiliar with Jekyll and Hyde?!  Blasphemy!  Just don’t listen to the Hoff’s version.  Then, we went to “If I Can’t Love Her” from the stage version of Beauty and the Beast.  The big ballad which closes Act I.  The only suggestion she had for both pieces is to find the soft moments in both pieces.  They are both powerful songs but powerful is not always meant for volume..   Build up to the big moment!  Then you will have them eating out of your hand.  Sounds like homework.  But she said that with a slight polishing they are already prime for performance.  I wanted to do the Beast’s number previously; however, the gig I wanted to sing it for was limited to musicals of the past decade.  So, I sang “Under the Sea.”

It is a good thing I was introduced to Miss Saigon earlier in the week via youtube.  My new coach had me read (sight reading… YUCK!) two duets from the show with her.  Not the character driven pieces I had hoped for but those will come in time.  It has been advised that I check out both the Engineer and Thuy (although Vietnamese I am not but…).  Kathrine mentioned that we should sign up for one of the weekend gigs starting up again in the fall.  I am totally against that idea 😉  HAHAHAHA!  Just need to get some more cool character pieces in with the big dramatic ones.  Several I can think of easily…. maybe go dig an old fossil of 18 years ago.  Go in there and blow everyone’s minds.  Of course, provided that anyone would actually come and see me?!  I’m sure I could get at least 3 people there… and that is a crowd.

Who knows what the next few months will bring?  I just know that the next musical on a nearby stage is not my cup of tea.

I better stop with those two songs.  When I do perform, I don’t want to spoil it all for those three in the audience 😉  Two big, powerful ballads now for a few duets and at least three character pieces.

As I was pulling out my checkbook, my new coach sneered at the picture of the Script Ohio on my first check.  “Since it is money, I guess I can accept it.”  Oh, we’re going to get along REALLY well. At least she is not a BoSox fan… I hope.

Eric And The Beast On A Rag

I did get to sit in the audience of the City Band Wednesday night.  I wasn’t sure if it was going to be at the bandstand or at its alternate venue.  Before finding that out, I decided to locate the place of my Thursday afternoon voice lesson which was easier to locate than the directions given by my new coach.  I googled the address and it was a breeze to find.  Especially with the number written on the mailbox.  The house was buried by a wooded area but really easy to find.  All I had to do was turn off of U.S. 6 onto County Road 13 and it was .3 miles away.  Then, with plenty of time to spare, I went to Wal Mart and ran into some old friends and saw the truck belonging to another but was not able to find him.  I must have been on the wrong end of Electronics (or he could have been hiding). 😉

After discovering that the concert would be at the ice rink with five minutes to spare, I decided that given the choice, I would have rather directed Stars and Stripes this week as opposed to last (not complaining, just sayin’).  I just think this week’s concert had better music. Many songs I was already familiar with… “12th Street Rag” I had sung in choir and played sometime.  Of course, a different arrangement than I am accustomed to, but I would have enjoyed sitting in the low brass section playing “Selections from Phantom of the Opera” and the title tune from the animated classic turned hit Broadway show “Beauty and the Beast.”

Speaking of Phantom, my brother turned to me and stated that the high school at which he serves as the tech advisor will be performing the musical next year.  I did not believe him until I looked on line and discovered that the rights have just indeed become available from R&H productions for high school and amateur productions.  There had been “test” runs a few years ago overseen by Lord Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group company.  But how did the small school get the rights so quickly?  Hicksville had better “Got Talent” to pull this off.  I imagine that the rights are probably for a tailored production of the musical.

I asked Liz if they were going to come next week for the announced ice cream social “before and during the concert.”  I don’t think she realized where she will be next Wednesday because she didn’t know if they would be or not.  Probably not since they will be at Disney World.  Maybe they could borrow Aladdin’s magic carpet, Carpet. I’d rather be there when it is not so hot!

A fun concert moved to a different venue to be “safe rather than sorry.”

The Lion Roars

beast2.jpgSo…. the “Disneyfication” of Broadway continues. There have now been 5 Disney movies made into Broadway shows (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and now The Little Mermaid). Many critics suggest that these will be the downfall of the musical itself because the shows are not original and are only tailored to little children. I feel that any chance to introduce a ten year old child to a theatrical experience is well worth the critics panning. After all, there are more than 5 theatres on and off-Broadway.

I was fortunate enough to have seen Beauty on stage during its final previews on Broadway. It was an excellant spectacle (which is something else which has been another favorite critical complaint). The set draws the audience into the world of a small French village and to the dark castle in which the Beast resides. All of the characters from the movie are there. The music is fun along with a few new numbers added to the show. “Be Our Guest”is a show stopper with the dancing plates, cutlery, and other enchanted household objects. “If I Can’t Love Her” is sung by the Beast at the end of the first act as he falls into even more despair. Actually a fun show which will delight everyone.

The touring cast of The Lion King is coming to the Toledo Stranahan theatre this weekend through March 30. I do not know of any other show that has been performed for that long at this theatre. Apparently, they are expecting sell outs the entire run.

From everything I have read and heard, this production is supposed to be magical. Realistic puppets for background characters while other actors perform behind masks and other costumes. Again, all of the songs from the movie are featured as well as new songs such as “Morning Report” and “Endless Night.”

Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King are just two of the 5 Disney movies turned into musical extravaganzas. I do think that there should be some point at which more original productions are created which introduce children to theatre as well as entertain adults. Beginning with the END OF HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (but since that is already a stage show…. UGH!!!!). But I do not think Broadway is in any danger of being overrun by Disney. What would be next…. DisneyYork?

lion-king.jpg