Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

Opening Salvo For Mad About Musicals Course

578 posts in this topic

West Side Story is simply my favorite musical (right ahead of The Music Man). The reality of this urban story is amazingly good and set in a time when I was growing up. It resonated then, it resonates now

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5 hours ago, Chattie said:

It would be like picking my favorite child to pick my favorite musical. My friends and familiy have never been into musicals so I’ve made it my job to teach the young ones coming up. I have a special niece who loves them as much as I do because of the many times I babysat and put a musical on. We go to all the  touring broadway shows and I make sure we see the revivals of old shows that we saw on tv when available. I’m so excited to see them all but for dancing alone will pick seven brides for seven brothers. 

I hear you.  I also grew up as the odd one out in my family.  I grew up with three brothers.  Neither my parents nor my brothers are very interested in musicals.  So back in the day when we had only one tv, I always had to wait and watch my musical, nostalgic tv, old movie, or Shakespeare show the next day.  I made sure that my littles were exposed to musicals from an early age.  I've taken them to many local shows, and it's great to have someone to go with that shares my interest.  :) 

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3 minutes ago, Burgajosa said:

West Side Story!!!!!!!!!

I can’t think of a more complete musical (music, dance, story - a perfect trifecta).

"Dear kindly Sargent Krupke .. you gotta understand ... " :-)

One of my all time favs

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I could watch musicals all day and be in my glory!!! Singin' in the Rain, Brigadoon, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, White Christmas and Yankee Doodle Dandy are just some of my favorites!!!

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3 hours ago, Suzanne1228 said:

All great choices!  Begin the Beguine is, in my opinion, one of the greatest dance numbers ever and some of the greatest black and white photography in any film.  Outside of the Judy Garland segment in That's Entertainment! I think it was the sequence that intrigued and touched me the most.  It sparked my quest to see all those other movies that were featured in the clips.

The challenge time steps in this are so much fun. What I love about the precision and clarity of tap dancing is how our ears hear every click and can distinguish every rhythm. It is so satisfying. Also, Powell had the most engaging style of any tap dancer I can recall. She was my mom's favorite, so I grew up knowing a lot about her. 

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That's too hard!  I've burned a hole in my copy of "Singin' in the Rain". Watching 19 year old Debbie Reynolds keep up with Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly makes me feel happy.  I find myself studying the FEET of the performers since they are shot in full-screen glory.  I also get the giggles knowing Reynolds learned to dance "on the job" and had to keep up with Hollywood's BEST.

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4 minutes ago, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:

So, here is a little tidbit. I was the supervising Foley editor on A Goofy Movie. It is, to this day, one of my favorite projects I worked on. Kevin Lima, the director, is a joy to work with, and my ex-husband, David Stone, was the supervising sound editor. He went on to win the Academy Award for sound editing for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I have to tell you that we all loved working on that film. When I put together the group ADR (group voices) and worked with Kevin, it was one of the most enjoyable days in my career up to that point. Those of us in the sound team for that film still talk about what fun it was to work on that film. So it is so gratifying that so many young people grew up loving that film. (I love it too.)

That is so awesome! A Goofy Movie is one of my faves as well, and I’m going to be venturing in to the city in a couple of days to see if my local Hot Topic has the Powerline Funko POP! available. I saw where you also did voice work on Cats Don’t Dance... I loved that movie when I was younger, and actually bought it on DVD and watched it a month or two ago. That epic ending gets me every time. I know that the film was dedicated to Gene Kelly, was he actually a choreography consultant or were his older movies studied and his dancing copied for the film?

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I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love musicals! Growing up outside Dayton, Ohio, we were blessed to have summer stock theater productions every year. My family would see at least 2 productions each summer. I can remember babysitting in the late 1960s/early 1970s when musicals were fairly standard late night entertainment on TV- couldn’t wait to put the kids to bed! Some of my favorites are Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Pippin, White Christmas, Guys and Dolls and of course Singin’ In the Rain. I teach high school English and greet each class with a rendition of “Good Mornin” on a daily basis! School’s out and I’m looking forward to spending the next month as a student in this class!

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24 minutes ago, Carl Buckner said:

The music man.  Great story representing America's past, great songs for whistling and singing in the shower, great stars.  Everything about this movie makes me want to watch it over and over.

As a librarian, Marian the Librarian is one of my favorite songs!  I actually watched this musical when I was in labor because it is one of my favorites and it relaxed me.  I love every version of it that I have watched and I have seen several.  Such great and catchy tunes. 

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When My Baby Smiles at Me!

Dan Dailey & Betty Grable are particular favorites of mine, but this one just stands out for me. I love so many of the ones already mentioned in this thread as well, but I think that this being lesser known (or at least less remembered today) makes it feel a little like my own little secret favorite.

I find that my reasons for something becoming a favorite are only partially about the movie--also important are who is watching with me, and my frame of mind at the time. 

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9 minutes ago, GarnetGold09 said:

That is so awesome! A Goofy Movie is one of my faves as well, and I’m going to be venturing in to the city in a couple of days to see if my local Hot Topic has the Powerline Funko POP! available. I saw where you also did voice work on Cats Don’t Dance... I loved that movie when I was younger, and actually bought it on DVD and watched it a month or two ago. That epic ending gets me every time. I know that the film was dedicated to Gene Kelly, was he actually a choreography consultant or were his older movies studied and his dancing copied for the film?

Yes he was. I did the Foley on Cats Don't Dance, and Kelly was the consultant on the choreography. This was the last film he was involved with. Consider the thrill I felt knowing I was doing the dance Foley for the last project Gene Kelly was involved on. Be still my heart.

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My favorite musicals have to be those created by Rogers and Hammerstein, with South Pacific at the top. I grew up listening to my mother's soundtrack album from the '50s and would watch it every chance I got. I was fortunate enough to play in the pit orchestra for a summer youth performance of it the summer after my high school graduation, too. The older I get the more the song lyrics have meaning for me, especially in these times of racism and intolerance.

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My consistant watch is Meet me in St Louis. It takes me back to watching when I was a kid. My daughter now also watches it over and over again...We also used to dance the Skip-to-my-Loo part.?

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That has to be SWING TIME for me. Pure escapism entertainment and, in my humble opinion, contains one of the most beautiful song & dance numbers to ever grace the screen. 

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The musicals I have watched the most are; Singin' in the Rain, Hello Dolly, Guys and Dolls, All that Jazz, Little Shop of Horrors and Cover Girl. But, like everyone I here I have many favorites. Besides the wonderful songs, the plots of these musicals also play a major roll in repetitive viewing, costumes, and the dancing and the people doing the dancing.  

 

I also shamefully love The Worst Witch, not a true musical, but they sing a fair amount. 

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Glad to be here.  For me it's Singing in the Rain....I have to admit I watch it at least once a month because I love the singing, dancing, the actors, the story is just a fun escape.

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I have 2 faves because they were also my Mom’s faves; Singin’ In the Rain and 7B47B. There are of course others that I regard highly... ?

Let’s have fun, everyone!

 

Tee Cee

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3 hours ago, KingRichardLionofJudah said:

I would say I love watching and just enjoying over and over again Fiddler on the Roof. The emotion they give in every song they sing as they tell how they feel, life around them ( Especially the scene where in the village they were just singing how everyday life in the morning is like) and how they are going through the struggles of that time period and how they are trying to cope with it

This is another one of my very favorite musicals.  I have always wanted to be in a musical myself, but I never trusted in my own singing voice.  I had only ever sung in choirs, but not in musicals.  A couple of summers ago I fulfilled a lifelong bucket list item of being in a musical myself.  I was in the community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof.  There were not enough male actors to play all the roles, so I played the role of the beggar.  It was a small role, but it was so much fun. I got to wear a long fake beard, and I was able to sing "To Life"  which is one of my most favorite songs in that show.  The lead actors in the show were real life husband and wife and when they sang "Do You Love Me"  it was so wonderful and they had such great chemistry together.  It was a wonderful experience. I'm glad it has been revived on Broadway again.  

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I like so many but two of my favorites are Meet Me in St.Louis and Swing Time. Ive watched them so many times. Of course anything with Ginger Rogers is a weakness for me. My Aunt loved her and passed that to me.  

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I can never seem to get enough of Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sweeney Todd, An American in Paris, and White Christmas to name a few favorites. When I see these listed on television, I have to stop and watch. The best musicals are the ones that not only have great music and great performances, but also have the ability to transport you into that world for a short time and make you forget about your own troubles. These musicals always make me feel better when I'm tired or stressed or just need a break for awhile. I am anxious to be exposed to and learn about some musicals through this course that I have never seen before or maybe only saw once before!

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There are so many that I love.....anything Fred and Ginger do, but I ALWAYS stop and watch The Wizard of Oz. That was such a magical musical which came on TV once a year for many years when I was a child. That made it extra special. When I had my own little girl I bought it and we watched it a million times together. She never tired of it and after all these years, neither have I!!!!

I tend to like the older musicals best - the gorgeous, glamorous costumes, exquisite manners, elegant dancing, everything oh so polite and polished. 

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53 minutes ago, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:

I think connecting the movie musical Chicago to film noir is smart and more advanced thinking. Nice going.

 

Chicago was a fabulous movie musical.  In many cases, the film version doesn't measure up to the stage production of the show, even with all the visual effects that can be created (...though it really depends which stage production you've seen.  Dreamgirls was magnificent on Broadway... so-so in Toronto).  To me, the movie version of Chicago was brilliantly conceived and created, and one I can enjoy over and over.  Far superior to the stage version I saw.   

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One thing that's also of interest when it comes to musicals: how do we define what a musical is?  We all know one when we see one, right?  But there are those interesting examples of blendings of genre.  My students often ask me if, for instance, O Brother! Where Art Thou? is a musical.  I always say "good question - what do y'all think?"  And then I don't have to try to give them a definitive answer - because ... who knows?  I can go either way.  It's on the musical continuum it seems to me.  But I also think you can't just say a musical is when music is at the center of a film (like in Amadeus or The Constant Nymph), right?  Does a musical always involve someone breaking into song (and dance) to further the plot (even if sort of tangentially)?  I think it's interesting to think about - not to find the "right" answer, but to further understand the genre.

--Lydia

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5 minutes ago, Ashley Lynn said:

I can never seem to get enough of Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sweeney Todd, An American in Paris, and White Christmas to name a few favorites. When I see these listed on television, I have to stop and watch. The best musicals are the ones that not only have great music and great performances, but also have the ability to transport you into that world for a short time and make you forget about your own troubles. These musicals always make me feel better when I'm tired or stressed or just need a break for awhile. I am anxious to be exposed to and learn about some musicals through this course that I have never seen before or maybe only saw once before!

Ooh, Sweeney Todd! I'm also a fan! 

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4 hours ago, KingRichardLionofJudah said:

I would say I love watching and just enjoying over and over again Fiddler on the Roof. The emotion they give in every song they sing as they tell how they feel, life around them ( Especially the scene where in the village they were just singing how everyday life in the morning is like) and how they are going through the struggles of that time period and how they are trying to cope with it

...and my 10 year old and I are watching it RIGHT NOW!

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