Can I add a P.S. before you read further?
After I wrote this post last night, I checked Facebook before going to bed and clicked on this AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL link that illustrates the power that voice holds for me. Within thirty seconds I was brought to tears. I hope you enjoy listening, and then keep reading.
The first play (of a total of two) I saw on Broadway was Les Miserables. My father and I had excellent seats in an immense theatre packed full with characters of various callings, clothes and colors. People who attend theatre are often as interesting as the theatre itself. I was 18 years old and the entire experience was thrilling. The energy of New York is unmatchable, and to me, rather overwhelming. But the story of Les Miserables as depicted live on Broadway is unforgettable. For the final 45 minutes of the show, I sat unstirring, tears gliding down my cheeks. Afterwards I purchased the CD and listened to the music over and over.
After the applause and acclaim for the stars winded down, my father and I departed the arena. It was close to midnight, yet felt like life was just warming up in the city. We stopped in an all-hours diner for a bite to eat – the first meal I’d ever had in the middle of the night.
The second musical I attended in New York was The Boy from Oz. It starred Hugh Jackman, who is definitely a credible and recognizable actor, but a friend got half price tickets the day of the show and none of us had a clue as to what it was about. I remember feeling highly entertained, but completely in the dark well beyond intermission and until the close of this jukebox cabaret. My friends and I laughed when we realized that we all gave the show a similar critique: “what on earth is this crazy show all about?”
I have far more experience watching musical film. My eldest son knows the words to several songs from The Sound of Music despite not yet having seen the film. I love that he refers to the The Lion King as the “King of the Lions”. He still asks me to sing a few songs to him before bedtime, and despite the fact that I don’t have much of a voice, I love to indulge him!
Song illustrates concepts and feelings that aren’t possible to articulate in regular words. It doesn’t matter if we sing them badly, or confidently, alone or in partnership. I love campfire songs and Christmas carols. I love nursery rhymes, ballads, and classic rock. I especially love listening to people blessed with a brilliant voice singing acapella.
In musicals, it’s just delicious.
A few of my favorite musical films include Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and The Little Mermaid. Others I confess to loving include Dirty Dancing and Selena. Shout out to Jennifer (nobody puts Baby in a corner) Grey!
Musicals offer a chance for actors to play silly, sad or scared — and instead of just talking it out — they use voice to engage the listener in a unique and entertaining way. I am eager to see the following musicals performed live: The Lion King, The Color Purple, and the Book of Mormon. And I’ve recently learned that Spain has an active tradition of musical films that were made independent of Hollywood influence beginning in the 1930s. I’d love to explore them as well.
So much to see and hear and enjoy! Have a wonderful day, readers. Sing a song or two today.