The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Carousel’

The King and I

Posted by keithosaunders on November 27, 2016

I have a confession to make:  If you take me to a Rodgers and Hammerstein play I will cry. I’m currently 3-0, and unless they remake State Fair and somebody takes me to it, this is a record that figures to stand.

You wouldn’t think that a cynical, disillusioned jazz musician would be this soft, but plop me down in a theatre with the orchestra and the lighting, and have a classically trained vocalist strike up If I Loved You and there’s only one possible outcome:  I’ll be bawling like a baby before the end of the first chorus.

The worst was back in 1994 when my wife took me to see Carousel.  There is a song called The Soliloquy, in which the main character, Billy Bigelow,  ponders what it will be like to be a father to a boy or girl.  At that time my wife was 8 months pregnant and it was as if Bigelow was a conduit for my hopes and fears.  You’d better believe it was go-time for the water works.  Fellow audience members were slipping on the wet floor while exiting.

I have yet to see Oklahoma or the Sound of Music but the chances are that the wind wouldn’t be the only thing that was coming behind the rain –  my tear drops would be right behind.  Either way, wear a raincoat.


Image result for the king and I review

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Why did they remake the Music Man?

Posted by keithosaunders on October 17, 2010

It’s a quiet Saturday night in the Bay Area.  The Giants won their playoff game earlier this evening == a tense non-pitching duel between Tim Lincecum and Roy Halliday, and now there’s nothing to do but scan around for some decent TV, an oxymoron if there ever was one.  I was flipping through the channels marvelling at how many Pac 10 football games there were when I stumbled upon The Music Man.

After watching for five minutes it became clear that this wasn’t my father’s Music Man  —   the one with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.  This was a remake with, of all people, Mathew Broderick in the Henry Hill role.  I realize that Broderick was good on stage in The Producers, but he really doesn’t have the voice, or the dancing skills to carry an entire musical.  Kristin Chenoweth had the Marian the librarian role and she fared much better.  Have you ever noticed something about Chenowith….she is the smallest person with the biggest voice. — you wonder where it emerges from.

Do you remember Jim Nabors, the actor who played Gomer Pyle in the 1960s television show?  He had this high-pitched southern drawl, kind of sing-songy, and a little whiney. Every once in a while he would guest on the Carson show, or sing the national anthem at a ball game.  You’d be steeling yourself for Gomer’s twang when out would come this booming baritone.  Remarkable.

Hollywood should leave these old musicals alone — we’re too cynical for them now.  Too much CGI has dulled our senses.  The theatre is a different story, though.  I saw South Pacific at Lincoln Center two years ago and loved it.  What a privilege to get to hear those Richard Rogers melodies sung with full orchestra and a beautiful production.  Carousel, which I saw 14 years ago, was one of my great theatre experiences.

I’ll leave you with two more from my daughter, now that she’s sitting next to me watching Hannah Montana.  Miley Cyrus has a much lower speaking voice than her singing voice.  She’s the anti-Nabors!  I am also informed that Justin Bieber has a high speaking voice and a high singing voice.  We’ll put him in the Michael Jackson category.



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