Posts Tagged ‘West Side Story’

Date Set

Well… I finally set the date in which I will put on glorious display that which I have been concentrating on for sometime.  It is just less than 5 months away but it will be here before I know it.  Even with this leg of mine the last 7 months have not been slow… although I am sure others would disagree ;).  I checked the school calendar to see if there was a weekend when there was no school event going on so there would be no excuse for some to not attend 😉

[At my latest blood test on Monday, I was informed that the blood is right where it needs to be.  Not too thick, not too thin, but just right.  Just call me Goldilocks]

Why so long?  I had a feeling there was going to be a wait with not one but two shows in October, the Christmas show in December, the awards night in January, and any other events scheduled in between so February was the first month available.

In the meantime, I will dig through the books, find more material for future use, and focus on the program without making it stale.  I was reminded of some of the splendiferous music from West Side Story the other night courtesy of “Glee.”  Music, yes… choreography not so much.  Plus, I suppose I can look back at the foreign pieces I had glanced at a few months ago.  A small challenge.

I do see ads on television for Jersey Boys (the Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons story… one of the few jukebox musicals I would like to see) set to play the Stranahan in February, too. Maybe it ISN’T that long away.

Best In Film

Seriously, how many different groups  must we listen to in order to determine what is the best film of all time?  We already have the periodic AFI specials.  Tonight we had another group telling us which was supposed (I believe) to take the popular vote into account.  One of several genres I caught was “Best Musical.”  Of course, I had to comment on that one.  I took umbrage with the five choices and their placement.  Now we have “Best Kiss?”  OH< PLEASE!  Back to the topic at hand…

Best Musical:

  • West Side Story (1961) I don’t believe that there has ever been a more celebrated movie musical… winner of 10 Academy Awards.  The Romeo and Juliet story told amidst the backdrop of gang infested New York City.  Elvis was offered the lead role of Tony; however, turned it down because he thought it would tarnish his image if he were associated with a film that dealt with violence.  Fascinating, since one of his earliest films, King Creole, dealt with just that.  I, personally would have placed this one higher.
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952) Classic, CLASSIC, CLASSIC! Gene Kelly dancing and singing with a 103º temperature while being drenched by a mixture of water and milk (because water alone did not show up well enough).  My favorite scene, Donald O’Connor’s “Make Em’ Laugh” song and dance.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) WHAT!!!!  Totally missed out on this one! Especially when you look at the next two.  One tidbit I was not aware of:  at times, Judy Garland could not stand working with Toto because his breath was so awful.  Help me out, Taylhis… have you heard THAT one?!
  • Grease (1978) While I do enjoy a viewing from time to time, this one gets on my nerves.  Maybe it is from all the times my siblings and I were allowed to stay up past our bedtimes to watch it on a school night… maybe it was the drama of a certain community theatre’s production.  Definitely voted too high… should have been #5 at best.  Well… at least the horrendous Dirty Dancing was not in the top 5.  I guess there are some who consider it a musical.
  • The Sound of Music (1965) The most profitable movie musical of all time.  With inflation taken into account, it has made over $1 billion placing it third all time behind Gone with the Wind and the original Star Wars. I would have a hard time deciding between this and Oz as the top musical.  Both are personal favorites.

At least they got the “Top Action Film” correct.  Raiders of the Lost Ark.  No bloody Indiana Jones and the… placed before the title.  When did they add that, anyway?  I dunno… would anyone be game for a fifth installment?  Harrison Ford would be if the story was right.  Just do away with Indy’s son.

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How To Get To Carnegie Hall

While at work today, the boss informed me of a spectacular trip her brother and nephew (a seventh grade theatre buff) were recently part of.  Her brother is the principal of a high school whose choir just took a trip to the Big Apple.  Not only did the group perform at Carnegie Hall (that in itself would be a dream come true) but they saw no less than 3 Broadway Musicals! (Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and the current smash revival of West Side Story).  When I was in the BGSU Men’s Chorus, the biennial Spring Break tour to New York City afforded us the chance to see one… and MAYBE two shows while living out of the Lakefront Tour buses.  I must admit to being a wee bit jealous.  Not only do I find it hard to imagine that they were able to see that many shows in 1-2 days, but how did they perform and still have time to sleep?  Not that many of them got much sleep.  I know from experience.  I asked if I could go back to his school next year.  I could age myself about 20 years less, right?!  That must have been a lot of cheese and sausage sold to take a trip of that magnitude!

The boss remarked that it only took me an hour to come up with West Side because she could not and it was my mission to come up with the title of a popular, CURRENT show.  So I started rattling off the current musicals on the boards: Wicked, Shrek, Mary Poppins, Rock of Ages, Billy Elliot, Hairspray, Mamma Mia!>  When none of these worked,  I thought… she said CURRENT, but…

Jamiah: West Side Story?!

Di: THAT”S IT!

J: But you said current.  West Side Story is indeed on revival but it is hardly current.

Di: Go back to work!

That’s gratitude!  Next time, I’ll let her sweat it out a little more.  HA!

The Wedding Singer

Yep, that is me. I’ve probably done five and will be doing my sixth on March 29th. The first was for my cousin about 10 years ago. I sang at my 2 brother’s weddings (one of which is divorced) and my sister’s (who is separated (wow…. scary thought only 1 out of three is still married). Then I sang for another cousin’s ceremony. Last night, the organist and I met to go over what I am expected to sing on the 29th. Most of the songs I have done before… more or less traditional wedding songs (The Rose, Sunrise Sunset, One Hand One Heart, and Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love). When I saw the list, I asked the organist why we were singing so few. We will need to add at least one to the Pre-ceremony list; there were two and I have been known to have as many as five. We must be going to rush those guests into the church in a hurry. Even with the organist playing between the two songs, it would take no more than 10 minutes to get through it all.

As for the songs themselves, I have sung “The Rose” during at least 3 weddings. I have been in two different productions of Fiddler on the Roof, so “Sunrise Sunset” is familiar (but at a Catholic wedding seems strange). “One Hand One Heart” from West Side Story is about as traditional as “The Bridal March.” The Ice Castles theme is probably the most unfamiliar to me but I have been to enough weddings to have heard the piece more than once. I have always wanted to do “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” but maybe for my own. At least they are all in English.