Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

Opening Salvo For Mad About Musicals Course

578 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, elishanain said:

Not a typical answer, but I always find joy in watching A Goofy Movie. It is the musical I ALWAYS return back to. When I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm bored, it's always there. It's the movie that got me into writing in the first place. Goofy actually reminds me a lot of my Dad ? The relationship between Max and Goofy is relatable and I have always dreamed of being as cool as Roxanne. Not to mention the music is super hip. I am ELATED that I'll be learning about musicals from one of the masterminds behind the movie: Dr. Ament!!!

P.S. just saw Gold Diggers of 1933 is on the musicals schedule and I LOST IT. That movie slays, ya'll. "Pettin in the Park" for life.

A Goofy Movie was a huge part of my childhood and development of love of musicals! Love that you thought to include this movie!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to the study of this genre being a Noir fan.  I am a holiday musical person:  Original "Holiday Inn" with Fred and Bing, "Easter Parade," "Yankee Doodle Dandy."  By the end of this course I hope to add musicals along with a much greater appreciation for the genre.

Almost forgot - anything Busby Berkeley does anytime!

MaryT

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my, just one?  Haha! Too difficult.  Mine kind of fall into two camps: 

(1) some like 'Sound of Music' and 'Wizard of Oz' and 'Annie' that I grew up with, so I watch those for the nostalgia and I also enjoy sharing them with my children.

(2) the ones I've discovered on my own that simply capture me for so many, many reasons.  Some because of the wit and comedy, some because of the elaborate richness of the production, and others because of the catchy music.  The best of these combine all of these!

But, in general, I think I repeatedly watch these movies because I enjoy the musicals' particular kind of storytelling that seems just ... elevated(?) from real life - it never gets old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My list of favorites is very long, but at the top of the list would be An American in Paris, On the Town, and Singing in the Rain.  Yes...you guessed it, I LOVE Gene Kelly!  Aside from my childhood crush, I consider these three films to be perfect in their content; Music (who could top Gershwin, Bernstein, or Freed and Brown?) Story, Acting, Choreography, Costumes....these have it all.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Camelot!  As a young girl, I would lie on the floor of my living room with the record playing on the stereo and "perform" every song!  My poor parents!  

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, DrMTrav said:

I am new to the study of this genre being a Noir fan.  I am a holiday musical person:  Original "Holiday Inn" with Fred and Bing, "Easter Parade," "Yankee Doodle Dandy."  By the end of this course I hope to add musicals along with a much greater appreciation for the genre....

 

You will not want to miss Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse's homage to Noir in The Band Wagon (1953)!

tumblr_le4tshqsab1qzoaqio1_1280.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is difficult to choose a favorite.  I keep going back to Gypsy, There's No Business Like Show Business, West Side Story, Brigadoon, Oklahoma, Easter Parade, The King and I, South Pacific, White Christmas, Carousel, Flower Drum Song...... Perhaps a more appropriate answer would be my favorite is the one I am watching at the moment.  There are others I have not watched yet.  I am hoping to discover some new ones and watch some old favorites as well.  Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother loved musicals. She had vinyl recordings of the Broadway and film versions of her favorite musicals. Prior to having a VCR in the 80s, my parents would set up a tape recorder on the TV during musicals to record. We would listen to the recordings in the car on the same tape recorder. When we got our first VCR, my siblings and I would help my Mom create commercial-free copies of the films by pausing during commercials. It became an editing skill! I love having the access to these films so easily now.

Singin' in the Rain was our family's favorite! We would act out the dances and blast the songs out at the top of our lungs! On the Town is another of our favorites. Really, Gene Kelly can do no wrong, in my perception. The Pajama Game is another one of my favorites. Bob Fosse's choreography in Steam Heat, along with Carol Haney's natural expressiveness takes it to another level. I have two teenage girls with whom I share my love for the classics. I recently caught them singing and dancing their hearts out to The Greatest Showman! LONG LIVE THE MUSICAL!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the thing that makes musicals so great for me is the fantasy of them. A musical is real life but better, more interesting, with great melodies. They are like comfort food, as addictive as a tub of popcorn and less likely to make you sick. Some of my favorites are the classics: Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kiss Me Kate, and Silk Stockings, but I like some of the newer musicals too. I like backstage musicals and what they say about entertainment in America from Broadway to Hollywood. Musicals have a way of transporting you to another time and place, and I find that I'm always ready for the trip.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Suzanne1228 said:

I've been a lifelong film student and my first love was the musical.  My parents took me to see That's Entertainment! when I was 8 and from that point on, I couldn't get enough. 

I think the reason that musicals speak to me is the joy of putting music in all situations.  Life would seem less dreary sometimes if it had a beautiful orchestral soundtrack.  Most musicls are positive and have happy endings.  Everything is resolved and everyone is happy at the end.  Real life doesn't provide that so it's a nice escape.

I never tire of Fred Astaire.  I will revisit any of his films.  He is so smooth.  I love Judy Garland's vulnerability.  She can tear your heart out with her eyes and her voice. 

I'm not sure I can narrow down any one, or even ten musicals that I come back to.  Certainly, The Band Wagon (1953), The Pirate (1948), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Good News (1947), Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), and Guys and Dolls (1955)

I love them all.

 

Excellent choices here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, Dolly; Singing in the Rain; Victor/Victoria - and the list could go on.  I think these, and a few others like them, capture my attention with the dialogue as well as wonderful music/lyrics/color.  You have to pay attention to all parts of the film, not just the "singing parts".  

Also like to watch 1776 on the 4th of July (as another member mentioned), and Meet Me in St Louis always provides a new moment to say "I don't remember that from last time!" or "Run, Tootie, run!". ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Aisha said:

The Happiest Millionaire..I like Tommy Steele. His quirky dancing, optimism and brit aire. Mary Poppins.and The Sound of Music as well... Julie Andrews with her incredible voice and cheeky disposition. It brings back a time of innocence.

Happiest Millionaire has been my favorite since childhood!  I used "Fortuosity" as an audition song, and I still find myself breaking out into "Detroit"!  So many great lines too.  "Poison dart. I mean, apple tart."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m so excited about this course. I have a mother who at age 95 can claim responsibility for my love of classic film. When I was in college, I had a minor in film, and was fortunate to have had as a Professor Charles ‘Knocky’ Parker at the University of South Florida. His specialty was silent film. What a treat. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocky_Parker

 

Edited by Steffisews
Clarity
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

South Pacific.  Beautiful music, scenery, romance, heroism, it' all there.  I even themed a recent party after this icon.  Mitzi Gaynor was fabulous!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabaret is the musical I always watch if I stumble upon it channel surfing. I believe it is mostly because of Bob Fosse's direction, decisions he makes to immerse me in the story while still allowing me to step back to see the skill with which it is directed, edited, and acted. Plus there's Liza Minnelli, Hollywood musical royalty from both parents. She is perfection!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Anything with Doris Day, particularly April in Paris. Also 1776 which I never get tired of. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jen Netting said:

I am so glad I am not the only one who hasn't been thrilled with them. I did enjoy Hairspray and hoped they were on to a good thing, but I was underwhelmed with Grease. The Wiz was okay. I get why they choose the big names...to bring in ratings...and I like that they create an admiration for musicals among those who may not necessarily enjoy them, but I do wish they would use better talent for sure.

I honestly thought the recent Jesus Christ Superstar has been the best of the bunch so far, for exactly that reason. Yes there was a bit of stunt casting going on (Oh, Alice...), but a lot of the lead/featured roles were played by people with a fair amount of stage experience (Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, Norm Lewis). I think that, along with the clever staging, set, and camera work really made it stand out, and made me kind of hopeful for the whole televised live musical thing going forward.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of most recent musicals, I find myself always going back to Phantom of the Opera with Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, as well as The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman.  My dad has shown me so many classic films and classic musicals, that I think the two that stick out to me the most would be Sound of Music and The King and I. 

I could probably go on and on about the musicals I do enjoy, but I will keep it to the bare minimum. :)

Can't wait to learn more in this class! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up loving the strong female sings! Judy Garland was my idol!  Summer Stock was my favorite.  Seeing the change in her over the course of the movie.  The songs were up beat and tried to fit in to a daily life.  I remember as I young teenager my neighbors and I would plan to put on barn yard type of shows in our front yard.  The musicals of that time made it look easy and that we could do it in real life too! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually watch Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, West Side Story, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, and Hello Dolly multiple times throughout the year.   I really enjoy the dancing the most but the singing/songs are just as good.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like a lot of others on here, I love the Fred Astaire musicals. They bring back memories of watching old films on Sunday afternoons with my father. Likewise for musicals such as Holiday Inn and White Christmas. I would say my attraction to those are more nostalgic than anything else.

I have also always loved the Sound of Music for the music, itself. For me, there is something soothing and comforting about Roger and Hammerstein's work in this musical.

I do have somewhat eclectic tastes and when it comes to more contemporary musicals, I like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Jesus Christ Superstar. I became attached to the former when the theatre I worked with staged it several years ago. Campy and fun with some memorable and admittedly, not so memorable, songs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was introduced to musicals as a child, so I guess my favorite would be my first - The Music Man.  I find myself repeating the dialogue in my head whenever I watch it.  I also love Sound of Music, Carousel, Flower Drum Song, My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Chorus Line, and South Pacific.  I think the connecting thread is the lyrics to some of the songs- true life lessons in the words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was little my favorite movies were Sound of Music and West Side Story, so I was always a fan of musicals. As I got older my musical collection increased and I liked anything with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra or Fred Astaire. I had quite the crush on Gene Kelly growing up, so I loved watching Brigadoon and Singing in the Rain. I have allowed life to get in my way so I am excited for this course!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, LuluInToledo said:

I honestly thought the recent Jesus Christ Superstar has been the best of the bunch so far, for exactly that reason. Yes there was a bit of stunt casting going on (Oh, Alice...), but a lot of the lead/featured roles were played by people with a fair amount of stage experience (Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, Norm Lewis). I think that, along with the clever staging, set, and camera work really made it stand out, and made me kind of hopeful for the whole televised live musical thing going forward.

As someone who is involved with theatre, I was very happy to see how JC Superstar was cast. As you said, using experienced stage actors and producers with extensive theatre experience, really made a huge difference. In my opinion, the other  televised musicals have been lackluster in comparison.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us