Here she is singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. There are a number of different performances on YouTube - how to choose one to post? This one has bits of all of them (Of course, they include the mermaid one!):
* Ann Hathaway would like to be in Glee, and she already has her character and songs picked out (article here).
National Blog Posting Month! (which means daily blogging) I'm going to participate with Moomin Light again this year (I always post daily on Birds and Blossoms and Durham: Top of the Triangle). However, there is one change, for me, from previous years. Some days will have photos and some will have writing. I'm not going to try to write every day. I found that I don't write longer posts that way, and that just makes me cranky.
For those who were might have wondered from Saturday's post, I did go to church yesterday. I wasn't nearly as angsty as I was Saturday night, and some of that angst, or at least my allowing myself to express it, came from other things in my life (which I don't write about). Things went pretty well. I only had two "Mr. Cellophane"* moments, but you can't expect everyone to say hello, or look at you, just because you say hello (unless you're walking around downtown Hillsborough, in which case it usually happens). It would have helped if those hadn't been the first two people I passed when I got in the building. Once I got into the choir room, things got better. They always do.
I love the anthem, And the Father Will Dance (by Mark Hayes), we sang yesterday. I finally realized that it was partly because it reminds me of some of the choral music I sang back in high school and college. I didn't do any choral singing again until I joined the choir a few years ago. Here is And the Father Will Dance, sung by the TMC Choir:
I realized, while we were singing the anthem (probably during one of the held Ds), that I'm going to keep going to church.
Would I miss a performance opportunity?!
* Cellophane, Mr. Cellophane Should have been my name, Mr. Cellophane 'Cause you can look right through me Walk right by me And never know I'm there! (from the musical, Chicago)
I used this video from The Muppet Show because I couldn't find a Broadway version of the song, and I don't care for the movie version. I love hearing/watching Ben Vereen sing/dance just about anything!
[Hat tip to the choir member who sent out the YouTube video link]
Younger son recently read the fourth book of the Harry Potter series so we're watching the first few movies over again from the beginning. Even though I've seen the first movie a number of times, I still do a double take when I see John Hurt play Mr. Ollivander (right) because his performance as Caligula, in I Claudius, thirty-four years ago, is still very fresh in my mind. When watching Harry Potter, I have to remind myself that Mr. Ollivander is a friendly character, not the insane, psychopathic emporer he portrays in I Claudius:
What I love about John Hurt's performance is how here Caligula really seems to think he's a rational, intelligent, (god) emperor who really believes he's doing Rome well. Others play him as too overtly crazy and purposefully over the top, but with Hurt you can just see his angry frustration in people not understanding his logical (in fact contradictory) orders or confusion at his "rewarding" campaign against Neptune.
I, Claudius is filled with excellent performances. Even so, John Hurt's performance, as horrifying as his character is, stands out.
A selection of links, heavy on musicals and movies, in honor of the Awkward Blogger, who is recovering from major surgery. When you get a chance to get online again, here are some things to distract you:
The Adama Glare (also known as the Glare of Death) is a
formidable psychological weapon in the arsenal of William Adama. It is an alternative to Bill Adama's other
main weapon, the Shield of Disapproval, activated by sudden
eye-aversion. It is used to instill loyalty and to punish disloyalty...
There have been so many TV shows out on DVD, and we were always disappointed that Ally McBeal wasn't one of them - particularly now that our older two children are old enough to watch them. Because of royalty issues with all the music in Ally McBeal, it was difficult to release the episodes on DVD.
They finally came out on DVD last year. We recently started out with the best season, the fourth, which is the one with Robert Downey Jr. I'm enjoying the show just as much now as when we saw it the first time.
One of the recent episodes had Ally's roommate Renée(played by Lisa Nicole Carson) dating and singing a duet with Jackson (Taye Diggs), one of the other lawyers in Ally's firm (unfortunately, I can't find a photo or a video).
They sang Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do). I haven't heard that in a very long time, but it was one of my favorites when it was out. Originally written by Stevie Wonder, Morris Broadnax, and Clarence Paul in the late 1960's, this song was a hit for Aretha Franklin in 1973 (from her album, Let Me in Your Life). I like this quote from D.V. Lindner's Amazon review of the album:
...What we didn't know was, "Until You Come Back To Me," would be the last
Franklin single to climb into the Pop Top 10 until "Freeway Of Love" in
1985. One reason why was because our attention from the mid-70s to
1980 was turned to another kind of music, and let's all thank God here
that Aretha seemed to instinctively know that disco was beneath her, and
she never sank to it. She would forgive us and take us back in the 80s
when we regained our senses...
While taking pictures of our gardens on Sunday, I noticed insects swarming at the edge of one of the beds. I got dear husband and older son to come see. They told me that the insects were carpenter ants, both male and female, flying off to find mates from other nests.
The carpenter ants weren't very coordinated about it. Many would fly up an inch or two and then flop back into the leaves. Older son and dear husband picked up a few to give them some height, and those ants were more successful. They flew off down the hill. Fortunately, the wind blows away from the house in that part of the yard.
Dear husband said that most of the ants would probably not find mates, which led me to immediately break out singing:
I walk along the street of sorrow The boulevard of broken dreams Where gigolo and gigilette Can take a kiss without regret So they forget their broken dreams...
Here's the version by Tony Bennett and Sting; they recorded this song for Tony Bennett's album, Duets: An American Classic (2007).
Boulevard of Broken Dreams was originally written for the 1934 film, Moulin Rouge.
Tony Bennett has recorded this four times: 1950, 1952, 1990, and 2007.
Here's a version made even more poignant by wind, fog, an alley cat, and a lonely hallway. On episode 6 of Muppets Tonight, Johnny Fiama, a lounge singer whose hero is Tony Bennett, kicks out his personal assistant, Sal the monkey. Start at 5:38:
She Loves Me, by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, is one of my all time favorite musicals. It's the story of two romantic pen pals who, without knowing it, end up working together and can't stand each other in person. You know what happens. Miklos Laszlo's original play, Parfumerie, has been retold as The Shop Around the Corner (James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan), In the Good Old Summertime (Judy Garland and Van Johnson), and You've Got Mail (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Although I've enjoyed the others, particularly The Shop Around the Corner, She Loves Me is, by far, my favorite.
It's an unusual musical. There are no large, show-stopping numbers, and only one chorus number. It's a more personal, intimate musical and very charming. There are some songs that I love in here because of their melodies, words, and how they advance the story - for instance: the way No More Candy changes the plot, Amalia's hope contrasted with Ilona's cynicism in I Don't Know His Name (pictured right), the pompous importance of A Romantic Atmosphere, Amalia's (pictured above) confusion in Ice Cream, and the gradually increasing frantic-ness of 12 Days to Christmas. Unlike the songs in many musicals, which could be (and often are) re-used in other musicals, none of these songs are generic. They all have their place in the musical, and they couldn't really be switched.
Although we've also seen a student production of She Loves Me, many years ago, at NC State, my introduction to the musical was the 1978, BBC production. I had enjoyed both seasons of Poldark, with Robin Ellis, so I happily watched this new production when it came on TV that December. In it, Gemma Craven is adorable as Amalia, Robin Ellis is
excellent as Georg, and the other members of the cast are just right
for their parts. She Loves Me immediately became a holiday favorite of mine when it was broadcast for two or three years, and then it became a memory since it was never rebroadcast or sold on VHS.
We watch various Christmas shows each year, but I watch this one every year. It's now occasionally available online, and it has been posted, in parts, on YouTube. It's a bit blurry, but you'll forget that as you get absorbed in the characters. Here's the beginning, to get you started, and then there are links to the other parts (I can't put videos for all the parts on here because it would take forever to load my blog):
The original, 1963, production starred Barbara Cook as Amalia and Daniel Massey as Georg. Jack Cassidy won a Tony for playing Kodaly. The musical was nominated for a Tony, but didn't win. The next year, Harnick and Bock won the Tony for best composer and lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof.
Rita Moreno played Ilona in the 1964, West End production.
In 1977, an off-Broadway concert version starred Madeline Kahn as Amalia, Barry Bostwick as Georg, and Rita Moreno as Ilona.
The 1993 production starred Judy Kuhn as Amalia, Boyd Gaines (who won a Tony) as Georg, and Howard McGillin as Kodaly.
Boyd Gaines also won a Tony for Contact. In that show, one of his roles was the stumbling suitor in a dance I posted as one of my former Friday Fun Songs - Simply Irresistible.
Judy Kuhn played Cosette in Les Misérables on Broadway, and, among many other things, was the singing voice for Disney's Pocahontas.
Howard McGillin and Judy Kuhn also both performed in the Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (another one of my favorites).
Howard McGillin holds the record for most performances as the Phantom of the Opera (2,544 performances).
The 1994 West End production starred Ruthie Henshall (who won a Laurence Olivier award) as Amalia.
Never take the mickey out of a male voice choir. Jay Leno thought it would be fun to lampoon the high-voiced acrobatics of
Chanticleer on the Tonight Show last week, lip-synching his way through
one of their numbers of perfectly polished 27-part harmonisation. But
the boys of Chanticleer have made Jay suffer their wrath: here's their
To Leno, filmed on their Christmas tour, merrily sending up Leno's "gigantic chin" and gigantic collection of cars...
Click here to listen to their Leno Carol of the Bells, and also to the King's Singers (another male, a cappella choir) sing the 12 Days of Christmas with a familiar face. [Hat tip to WCPE]
At Carol of the Chins, you can type in many carols and they'll sing it. I recommend the 12 Days of Christmas. It won't take long. We tried lots of carols, and we were amazed at how many the creators did [Hat tip to a friend].
Every Sunday, Feministe has a self-promotion Sunday post. In the comments, readers can post links to their own posts. I always look through it. Last Sunday, I enjoyed this post at Evil Slutopia, If You Love Blogging, or Glee, or Both... with a video about what happens when an insomniac blogger watches Glee (or "How to channel your inner Barbra Streisand").
The video is on Evil Slutopia, but it was made by The Bloggess so, of course, I had to check out her blog. Eventually, after reading, enjoying, and wandering, I ended up at a post she wrote for the website, Sexis: What you want it to be (which I have not wandered around on so don't blame me if you do wander and find something you don't want to read)(remember, I don't get analytical about sex so I'm not really interested in wandering on a site that will make me look at sex from the third person)(of course, if you wander and find something you want to read, I suppose you can't really thank me either)(btw, if you haven't guessed it already, this is the not innocuous part of the post). The post, Inappropriate thoughts about Twilight, describes problems with the... shall we say, physics and chemistry, of the intimate situations in Twilight. At the end, there's a comic commercial for an anti-vampire product - not something I'd ever thought about before, though it makes sense.
[Why am I back at vampires again? I don't even really like vampires, and I'm getting to the point where I could add a category for them.]