It's the week for celebrating musicals over at Yet Another Period Drama Blog! You can read all about it by clicking the picture above (and going here to the details page), so I won't bother with a long intro, and just get to the questions... oh, and you can get to the tag here.
1. What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?
My Fair Lady.
Heh, heh, no, she didn't actually... she just said she thought I would, and then I was like, oh yeah, duh...
This is the only one I really know enough about (or that there's enough material out there to work with) to spotlight besides for Phantom of the Opera, and she is doing that, and our opinions are similar (well, to the best of my knowledge) so it might be a little redundant... ;) So just go read her stuff. And anything I disagree with will probably be animatedly stated in the Comments section. Ha.
I'm actually not sure at this point whether I'll be able to do more posts or not, but our Event Leader told me she wanted me to do the tag anyways, which I'm glad about because it looks like fun. :)
2. How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?
It's either a long story, or I make short stories long... the latter is very probable. But here we go.
"My Fair Lady" is, of course, one of those names you hear around all your life. When I was little it always made me think of the London Bridge song/rhyme. (You know, "take the key and lock her up, my fair lady!" I also used to think it was London bridges falling down rather than London Bridge is falling down... um, rabbit trail.)
Anyway, I had some sort of mistaken notion about what it must be; the title was associated in my mind with all those pictures you see around of Audrey Hepburn in a form-fitting, black evening gown with her long cigarette holder. :P Obviously I had a lot to learn. I might have asked my mom about it at one point, but she is... not a musicals person. So that conversation, if it took place, was not at all memorable. The first time I heard of it as something I might actually be interested in it was when Amy asked me if I'd seen it, eons ago in the beginning of our correspondence. ;) She said she loved it, which piqued my curiosity, but I knew that she was way more into Musicals Stuff than I was, and it must just be a point in which we weren't alike. Well, you know, there has to be some things. ;)
Thennnn like less than a month later I was over at a friend's house to watch... something... oh, North and South, it was (I introduced her to it, heehee) and afterwards her mom said that the next movie we did should be My Fair Lady, and asked if we'd ever seen it. (My mom was there too.) On hearing we hadn't, she asked if we were liked Wordy Things, which we DO, and then she proceeded to talk about the storyline and how amusing it all was and I was kind of like, hey, that actually DOES sound interesting... and at some point I found out it was set in the Edwardian era, which pretty much settled that I wanted to see it at some point. Before I'd assumed it was just set when it came out, ha ha ha. (Told you I had a lot to learn. Don't laugh at me.)
That was in December and I didn't end up actually watching it till March (of 2012). I took it upon myself to get it from the library, much to the skepticism and amusement of my parents, and, armed with a list of song suggestions from Amy (that is, what I Shouldn't Skip... see, I had the habit of fast-forwarding through most of the songs in musicals *runs and hides*), I sat down to watch it.
I found myself loving it, which I totally hadn't expected. I thought I might like it--I was hoping I would--but it exceeded my expectations. :D My dad and brother came in during "Show Me" and were making Remarks which I did not appreciate and I was like "you can't judge this because you don't know what's going on, go away and leave me in peace and don't make fun of my movie." And that's when I realized how much I actually liked it. Because it turned on my Defense Mode. ;) (And, by the way, I totally converted them after that. Watched it with them and they were highly diverted. Even my mamma enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, my mom has a lot in common with me when it comes to movies... but not musicals, haha.)
And since then MFL has somehow become a special Thing with Amy and me and we consider it to be "our musical", so... that's definitely a fond connection. :D
3. If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?
Oooh. So, with this musical pretty much the ones I like are all on a similar standing, buuut I guess I'll say--
"Without You" (it's just so funny :D)
"I Could Have Danced All Night" (it's so catchy and fun, not to mention it seems to be the Main Theme)
Aaand I can't decide between "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Just You Wait"... it depends on my mood at the time. If you know those songs I'm sure you will observe the difference between them, haha.
And as far as the tunes go, I really like "On the Street Where You Live". That would be in the top three if we're looking at instrumental versions, haha.
4. What's your least favorite song from your musical?
Without a doubt
5. Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)?
Well, I do like Eliza herself. I also love Mrs. Higgins, even though there isn't much of her. I have to wonder how Henry turned out the way he did with such an awesome mother. :P Anyways, and then... um... well, Professor Higgins is funny buuut he also annoys me easily, so I guess I'll say Col. Pickering. Call me boring, but I like nice guys. (Although even he is not without his annoying moments, haha.)
6. Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?
The classic 1964 film, obviously; I've listened to most of the Original Broadway Cast with Julie Andrews, aaand last year I listened to the live Royal Albert Hall broadcast (well, on the internet) with Amy, Anne-girl and Alexandra. Anthony Andrews was Henry Higgins, and so the fact that I did not blend into the A Group (I mean, look, those names were five A's in succession...) was not the only reason I felt a bit Different, as they were all swooning over Anthony Andrews. :P But it was still a lot of fun. (You can read Amy's account of it here and Ally's here.)
And my favorite would just have to be the movie. :) Oh, but I do think Anthony Andrews was the best Higgins. This I shall admit. I really wish we could have actually seeeen it though. (And actually seeing Alun Armstrong--see, what is up with all the A's???--as Alfred (A again!) P. Doolittle would have been really cool.)
7. Is this your favorite musical of all time? If not, what is?
Ummm... possibly. But then again, perhaps not. Because most of it would probably get old too fast even though I really like it. But I don't knowww what my favorite is. Based on recent inclination I would say Phantom of the Opera. But I still don't know. I also love the Jane Eyre musical to bits and pieces, but unfortunately all that's available is the original cast recording and some pirated videos on YouTube. (Bring it back, Broadway. Pleeease. Better yet, somebody make a movie. YES. Pleaseplease. More about that later this week hopefully. :D) And I do like Les Mis more than I used to but I feel unable to judge that one objectively. Hahahaha. Plus, I think that if I was Fan Material I would have already become one, as from what I see it tends to happen to most people with alarming rapidity. Their worlds are changed with just one burst of light, you know, and they did not live until that day, etc, etc. And I think there's already been opportunity for that sort of thing, soooo... anyways.
8. Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?
It depends on how you would define "in your collection," haha. But most recently, probably the 25th anniversary of Phantom. Not quite as much really lately, though. I had to re-do my entire Favorites List for the JA week I did and then when I was replacing my old favorites not as many made it back on, simply because I'd been listening to them so much before that.
9. What is your favorite costume from your musical?
The purple "Just You Wait" dress. I. Love. That. Costume. Give to meeeee. I actually really like most of Eliza's everyday-ish dresses. The ballgown, not so much... and don't get me started on the Ascot dress. Ugh. That thing is an eyesore.
10. If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?
Mmm... I'd take out my least-favorite song (see above) entirely... it's completely unnecessary. I would also make Mr. Doolittle's other song shorter so I wouldn't have to fast-forward through as much. HA. I mean, you kind of have to have some annoying stuff so you understand his character, but it really didn't need to be that long. I would also take out swearing... I'm looking at you, Professor Higgins. :P (Although it's kind of funny if you have Amy there to mute it dramatically at precisely the right moment. :D) I would say that there should be more explained at the end, buuut... after learning more about the original play and whatnot I actually think it was pretty clever of them to leave it the way it was.
Oh, and I'd changed the Ascot ensemble. Haha. :D (And WHY does it have to become the 'famous' costume?) This one would have been a much better choice, why didn't they use it?? And her hair at the ball shouldn't be so... scary.
11. Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?
Ooh! Good question. This thought didn't occur to me until recently, but I think I would go with Jane Eyre. For numerous reasons.
~I love her songs.
~They are not in high keys. The lower notes would be more of a problem, actually, but I think I could do it.
~It would be amazing to be Jane Eyre in any play and especially in a movie-- haha, we're talking pipe dreams here, right? It's such a powerful story and I really do love Jane.
~I'm actually short enough. I still don't think I'm quite as short as Jane should have been, but a lot closer than most. I rather hope I'm not as 'plain' as Jane is supposed to be, but I probably have a suitably old-fashioned look. ;)
~The costumes would be interesting. :D And the time period and all that. And the sets would be delightful.
~I mean, how cool would it be to actually be the title character in something???
~I'll shut up now. :)
The kissing would be a problem, but maybe some stage trick could be worked out.
Other than that... well, it would be super fun to play Eliza. :D (The horse race scene, though, would be... um... awkward.) I've also contemplated if I could choose any character in POTO who would I be, and though it would be fun and dramatic to be Christine there are too many things I would object to, so I was actually thinking Meg... hahaha. (But only if the costumes at the beginning were changed.) I mean, she's not a big part, Angel of Music is practically her only song, and the prancing around singing "He's here, the phantom of the opera!" gets a bit ridiculous... but sometimes it's fun to be ridiculous. And the whole show would end with the spotlight on me, haha. ;) But wait, she's a ballerina... eh, never mind. There is no way her costumes would be Enough to satisfy me. Haha. Ignore me...
Anyways. Oh, and I actually think it would be rather swellissimus to play Eponine (other people saying so is catching, maybe), but pretty much just in theory because in reality I would feel undeserving of the role. "LOL, JK... here's my friend Amy, let her do it instead." :P And even though the character herself doesn't have to do anything questionable, I don't know how I'd actually feel being in a production that had things I disapproved of (so the same thing goes for Phantom, I guess). Something small-scale and with some changes made might be different...
And although I'm not overly impressed by any of the Jane Austen musicals, if I got to be in one you wouldn't find me complaining. I mean, helloooo, a being in a JA production of any kind would be so MAJORLY EXCITING. S&S would probably be my choice since I'm more acquainted with it than others and I do like a number of the songs. :) (If only they had orchestral backgrounds replacing the plinky piano...)
12. If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?
Um... haha. I am not at all creative when it comes to that kind of thing. So I'll just wait for someone else to make a brilliant suggestion and then say "oh yeah, duh!!"
13. Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?
Wellll, my automatic answer would be that I just like a few musicals, but now I think it might kind of be in-between the two. (And I'm not even going to pretend it isn't Amy's influence, because I know it is. Heehee.) I've actually come a long way, which I freely admit. Like, if somebody were to say "do you like musicals/musical theatre?" and demand that I answer with either "yes" or "no", three years ago my answer would have been "no", and now it would be "yes". (Actually, three years ago if someone used the term "musical theatre" I would be kind of like "Huhhh?" and not really know what they were talking about... heh. See, I told you I've come a long way.)
14. Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?
Not particularly. (But this is a funny question. ;) ) Besides, it has more than one definition, and with the other definition I can start rattling off Jane Austen quotes. "We have heard you are very musical, Mrs. Elton!" "Oh yes, I dote on it! Dote! As I said to Mr. E, don't give me carriages, don't give me enormous houses--but I could not live without music. No. Life would be... a blank to me."
And... "Are they musical? ... That is the first question, you know," said Miss Crawford, trying to appear gay and unconcerned, "which every woman who plays herself is sure to ask about another."
Shutting up. :D Although if you can't put up with Jane Austen randomly sneaking in when I'm supposed to be talking about other stuff... you're reading the wrong blog. ;)
15. Turn your music playing device on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have one) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating! How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?
Oooh, one of these deals. It always tends to give me the worst stuff or else just really boring things and I'm like "why is this even on my MP3 player..." Buuut, we shall try this once more. ;)
1. "Cry, Baby, Cry" from the Sense and Sensibility musical
2. "Entr'acte" from Phantom of the Opera 25th
3. "Angel of Music" from the same
|Elinor & Marianne from the recent S&S musical performance in Denver|
#1 is kind of just a lullaby that Elinor sings at one point to try to comfort the emotionally overtaxed Marianne (well, I assume that's what's going on, since I've never actually seen it). It's a pretty song and has appeared on my favorites list a few times but usually doesn't stay there for long. #2 is really fun because it's an energetic medley of some of the POTO songs, and I've actually listened to numbers 2 and 3 quite often, but they aren't like my favorites from that album.
(Okay, so Amy, I find it amusing that in the tag you answered yourself it says "MP3 player or iPod" but then on the list for the questions-to-be-copied it says "music playing device"... :P Did you reword the latter list and not bother changing the one you'd already answered?)
Sooo... the end! :) Thanks for the fun tag, Miss Dashwood!