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Dorota Gale

Thoughts about Mad About Musicals course

3 posts in this topic

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and appreciated knowledge shared by all the professors.  I spent more time on Mad About Musicals because I wasn't content to just view what was in the modules -- I had to google actors, research the real life persons in the "biopic" musicals, and further investigate comments shared by other students.  My knowledge not just of the musicals escalated but so did my knowledge of history.  Examples:  There really were Harvey Girls.  Fred Harvey is credited with starting the first restaurant chains in the Southwest.  Historical figures such as Calamity Jane and Molly Brown weren't cute petite pixies but robust women, masculine and with much more ATTITUDE (they needed to survive in the pioneer times and in a man's world). I discovered who Horatio Alger was, Fanny Brice was married thrice and Nicky Arenstein character wasn't as clean cut as portrayed by Omar Sharif. I learned of the wit and plethora of quotes of Oscar Levant -- there was a character of a sense of humor, dry wit and self deprecation. I never paid much attention to him before this course, now I will!  The most difficult movie for me was Rhapsody in Blue in discovering George Gershwin had died from a glioblastoma.  Accounts of his change in personality, anger, violence reminded me of my own father who died 2 yrs ago from the same.  I could go on...there's so much more but I think of expressed myself of how much I enjoyed MAD ABOUT MUSICALS!!!

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I agree I love these courses and wish Musicals had been longer - it was alot to cover in 4 weeks but then its a big committment. Just a note regarding The Harvey Girls, in Philadelphia on Broad Street Center City was the Harvey House which I frequented in my teens and 20s. They had wonderful food and service. It was a great place to go after the theatre or a film. In those days, all the big film releases were released to the big show houses in Philly. 

The Harvey House was a really nice cozy place to eat. Also loved their late night breakfasts! Now people pay ridiculous amounts for meals that were standard then for restaurants and moderate pricing. I really have fond memories of the Harvey House and restaurant fare of those times.

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This course made me so happy and eager to wake up to see what the next module was about.  I've seen many of the movies several times, but it was fun to hear the back stories and also learn about the artists behind the scenes.  And I finally watched GiGi - a movie I put off for several years, because I watched it for 15 minutes once and didn't like it.  What a mistake that was!  

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