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Jon Severino

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About Jon Severino

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  1. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #16 (FROM FUNNY GIRL): “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going…And you, and you, and you, you’re gonna love me.” (from Dreamgirls) 1. If Barbara belted "People," she would've scared Omar and people. Personally, I find Streisand to be saccharine and hammy but this is a beautifully controlled performance of a fantastic song. (Although, because of my bias, I felt that she was about to go over-the-top at any moment.) 2. While they show clear mutual admiration, they decide that lone wolves of a feather flock apart. As she plaintively sings "People," she further
  2. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #15 (FROM MY FAIR LADY): “That gaping void between us will forever be uncrossable!” “You are arrogant and bossy and I choose to be unbossable!” “You’re Impossible!” (from Dr. Doolittle, 1967) 1. As in Gaslight, the house is a character representing class. But here, when the lights dim, the wide shots makes Eliza seem like another decorated item in the room but misplaced and discarded like a pair of slippers. 2. When Higgins enters, she lights up in sharp contrast to the set to emphasize her anger but it also suggests that Higgins is her light. The camera
  3. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #14 (FROM TWO ROBERT PRESTON FILMS): “You wear your hair in a pompadour. You ride around in a coach and four. You stop and buy out a candy store. An actor’s life for me!” (from Pinocchio) 1. Musical leading men to this point were sophisticated, gentlemen and above reproach if somewhat roguish lothario Cassanovas. In these clips, Preston is playing an average everyman con artist and an openly gay man--two characters we haven't seen before, I guess. 2. The art of all actors and performers is that while they must "act" and "perform" for us, they must also
  4. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #13 (FROM GYPSY) “Chasing all the lights that shine and when they let you down, you’ll get up off the ground…it’s Another Day of Sun” (from La-La Land) 1. This starts as a backstage musical then we get a behind the behind-the-scenes look at backroom politics by the foreshadowing of new disruptions in musicals by an actual disruption of the auditions by Mama Rose. 2. Mama Rose (Rosalind Russell) is a faded-flower stage mother living vicariously through her daughters, Baby Jane and Gypsy Rose. 3. Baby Jane is dolled up like a living doll in a baby beauty
  5. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #12 (FROM AN AMERICAN IN PARIS): “Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter. Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade.” (from Funny Girl) 1. All musicals should be more-than-realistic. They should take us where we can’t go ourselves: physically and emotionally. They should leave us wanting to sing and dance through life if only as far as the car in the parking lot. The plot and dialogue should also be heightened and mainly serve to bring us to the next number. The actors should wear their hearts on their sleeves. What was unfortunate about castin
  6. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #11 (FROM SINGIN' IN THE RAIN: “You say laughter and I say larfter.” (from Shall We Dance) 1. The classmates initiate gesticulates as they enunciate which punctuates what they articulate, then they graduate and matriculate into animated syncopated gyrates which dominate their educator into emasculation. 2. The professor is the lessor and his learners are the master of the lesson so they press on some more upon the lesson by digressing while the professor looks on like a moron. 3. The Diction Teacher is a constricted creature. O’Conners’ Cosmo is com
  7. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #10 (FROM CALAMITY JANE): "Because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, impossible things are happening every day." (Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) There are two types of women in 50s musicals: (1) strong women who are depicted as men’s equals and (2) doting submissive women who are depicted as men’s superiors. Doris Day is both in turns which is also typical of the time. Doris Day is on top of her game here. She also gave a strong performance in The Man Who Knew Too Much a few years later. However, the song in that
  8. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #9 (FROM THE BAND WAGON): "You may be stranded out in the cold but you wouldn’t change it for a sack of gold"—what and quit show business? (from Annie Get Your Gun) It’s such an ensemble effort that Fred, Nanette and Jack mock hogging the spotlight during their time step. Later Oscar, as the foundation, leaves the acrobatic stance but the others don’t fall which shows that no one member is more important than the team. Previously, the star would take the spotlight and even Fred and Ginger would trade steps in challenge routines. For their time, the dress w
  9. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #8 (FROM CABIN IN THE SKY) “You’ll have brains…heart…courage to last your whole life through/If you believe in yourself as I believe in you.” (from The Wiz) This is a musical fable of redemption. In this scene, Petunia rejoices that her prayer to save Li’l Joe has been answered. She lies next to him, closes her eyes and then we segue to a scene of her folding linens on the line in the sunshine. On first viewing, the cross-fade seems like just a time jump to a later time but on second viewing, we realize that we’re entering an extended dream sequence (s
  10. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #7 (FROM TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME) "Whatever Betty wants, Frankie gets." (from Damn Yankees) 1. There's no dancing in this scene but it is well choreographed. Staccato actions match staccato orchestra chords, they hop up and down on the bleachers in time to glissandos and arpeggios, and even the arc of the tossed ball is matched to a rising and falling scale. 2. What starts as incidental running music turns out to serve as the intro to the song. This intro is recapitulated to match their running up the bleachers but this time it's clearly a part of the
  11. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #6 (FROM TWO JUDY GARLAND FILMS) “Don’t try to rearrange me, there’s nothing can change me ‘cause I (don’t) care” (from "I Don’t Care") Wasn't Dorothy everyone's first impression of Garland and didn't everyone think that she was oh just ever so adorable? But in these clips she is already a seasoned performer. "The Man That Got Away" is the seminal Judy Garland performance. While some school of actors "just hit the mark and say the line," others, like Judy, aren't "acting" at all but are really feeling the full emotion of the song or dialogue. And when yo
  12. DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #5 (FROM YANKEE DOODLE DANDY) "And when my time is up, have I done enough?" (from Hamilton's "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?") George M. Cohan's biography is quickly associated with America's story. The president summoned him to the White House at 9 pm where he's greeted by a butler who stayed late to show his admiration for his song, "You're a Grand Old Flag" from his play, George Washington Jr.. FDR calls him his "double" because Cohan is playing him in I'd Rather Be Right. Then we flashback to a July 4th parade (where flags abound) when C
  13. Same here. I sent a message in Canvas and tweeted Dr. Ament & Dr. Edwards about it.
  14. DAILY DOSE #4 (Top Hat): When you hear it thunder, don't run under a tree; They'll be pennies in the Depression in the movies. Ginger sits upstage with an earful of Fred's applesauce; Turns one cold shoulder to 23 skidoo him and brush him off; She mocks Fred's angles then mimes his ankles in real (swing) time; They Oliver Twist and she hits on all six in pant suit pantomime. She's given equal footing, because many women had to put in, till they were all in--working for their dough. They weren't floozies, and times were doozies,
  15. DAILY DOSE #3 (Love Parade): Thank 'eh-Väh(n)! for leet'l guns. 1. Alfred (Lubish) sets the stakes low by breaking the fourth wall, telling us that he knows he's in a movie. His ease at accepting being shot and then finding out he wasn't, furthers this. 2. The violin plays suspenseful lines punctuated with loud dark chords, except for the last time when it's punctuated by the small gun shot, tipping us off that the gun isn't loaded. 3. Even now, we easily allow that the wealthy (and the French) have loose morals which enables these movies to deal with dark subjects with a
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