Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Celebrate Musicals Week" Tag

(My posts should really win an award for originality in titles. :P Heh.)
Yet Another Period Drama Blog

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.
Because Amy told me to.
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 mine is 116 (coughsorryS&S95gotintheresomehow) "Get Me To the Church On Time". I've never even listened to or watched it all and I probably never shall... unless it's a live performance or something in which case I suppose it would be hard to avoid. :P

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."

... "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!


Molly said...

I liked your answers! I am doing My Fair Lady for this week, as well, and we have some very smilier answers! :D

Kiri Liz said...

Excellent musical, Melody! It actually took me a while to get into this musical, because though I was a great fan of music and all that in general, MFL never hit me as an exceptional musical. I really didn't start *liking-liking* it until just recently. And now I can practically sing all the songs by memory. Emphasis on the word practically, as I know there are less-than-desirable parts. *ahem*

Haha! Mrs. Higgins is probably my favorite character! "The bishop and the professor in the same room? Good heavens, no! I shall be excommunicated!" :)

Ooh, the Just You Wait dress... beautiful! I don't know if I could pick between that one and her green Rain In Spain one which has a pretty awesome twirly skirt.

"...if you have Amy there to mute it dramatically at precisely the right moment." Bwhaha!! I have an older sister who does just this, so I have no problem seeing this in my mind!! :D

S&S is a musical?! I knew P&P was, but S&S??! MUST. LOOK. UP.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Wow! I can't remember life without musicals, so it's really fascinating to read about the life of a recent convert. Are there any other musicals you're interested in seeing now?

Melody said...

How fun! :D

Kiri Liz,
Hahaha. Well I'm glad you finally learned to like it. :) And YES that Mrs. Higgins quote. Teeheehee. "I give you full permission to have him evicted. Henry, I suggest you stick to two subjects: the weather, and your health."
Yesss, the green dress is delightful too. Sighhh. And with a few alterations I also really like the pink dress, actually. ;)
Yes, there is an S&S musical... they have all the songs on their website but I don't care for those versions. Miss Laurie kindly introduced me to it by sending me a different set of songs and I like those singers much better. :) There are a couple music videos on YouTube, one made by Miss Dashwood and one by me.

Haaa, I was very amused to see myself called a 'convert'. Hehehehehe. I prefer to view it as having been educated rather than converted. ;) And it's not that I was *entirely* unacquainted with any musical ever; I'd seen several of the movies from the 60's-ish, including, of course, The Sound of Music (and my whole family does like that one). The world of live performances were completely unknown to me; I hesitate to admit that I just thought most of them began and ended with the movies!
And what do you mean, other musicals that I'm interested in sing now? As in ones I haven't seen yet? If so, probably a few, but since Before I have seen quite a number more now. ;)

Miss Dashwood said...

*scrolls to bottom, clicks comment box, scrolls back up to type as she reads*

"Because Amy told me to," indeed. For shaaaaaaaame, Tween. Everyone will think I'm BOSSY. And I'm NOT.

By the way, reading this tag made me feel quite Squealy and Happy. Mostly because this musical has such good memories for me. I CAN'T THINK WHY.

Haha, that's cute about the London Bridge misconception... I read somewhere that a short part of the London Bridge melody (heehee) can be heard briefly in the overture, but I've listened to the overture like a kajillion times ( you know me and overtures) and I've never found it.

Loved reading the Story Behind it all, too. I mean, I already knew most of it but it was fun to see again. :D

Well, you may have converted your brother to High Diversion, but I must say that didn't stop him from making remarks during Show Me when we watched it. Heh, heh.

And yep, it's Our Musical. That makes me happy too. :D

On the Street Where You Live definitely does have the best tune. I hadn't thought of that before.

Bwahahahaha, love the S&S quote. And Get Me to the Church on Time really isn't THAT bad in a live performance. I mean, it's definitely not my favorite but it's not the kind of thing you absolutely have to skip, haha.

MRS. HIGGINS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! And nice guys are not boring. They're nice. Colonel Pickering is nice. Yes, he can be irritating now and then, but in general he's the pleasantest person in the movie when you think about it. :D

Gahhhh, yes, that Proms broadcast was amazing. And next time (if there is a next time) you should just swoon with us. :D


I loooooooooove the purple Just You Wait dress. I want to make a replica someday. Someday. When I have the skills. Haha.

Indubitably, it is quite funny when you have Amy there to mute it dramatically at (exactly) precisely the right moment. THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I want to watch a movie with youuuuuuu agaaaaaaaaaaaaain. In real life, I mean, not just on Skype. And I like how they left it the way it was. You can chuse your own ending. :D

Hahahaha, yes, her hair at the ball is way too scary. Yick. I rather like the way they did Julie Andrews' hair at the ball though.

You want to play Jane Eyre? I did not know this. Never occurred to me in my life. Brand-new, hot off the presses information here. :P

Hahahahahahahahaha, Meg would indeed be fun to play. I would enjoy prancing around singing, "he's here, the phantom of the opera!" And bahahahahahaha, how nice of you to offer Me instead if someone asked you to play Eponine. I am deeply touched and flattered. Heehee.

I would definitely want to be in the S&S musical if I had the chance. With you. Duh. We do an excellent Elinor and Marianne, after alllllllll... :D

It's my influence? Really? Oh, no, Harriet, I shouldn't wish to influence you...
...just kidding. I'm thrilled to think that you like musicals more than you used to. They are swellissimus. :D Well, many of them are, anyways. Haha.

LOVE how you put Mrs. Elton in there. I hadn't even thought of her when making the tag. :P

Haha, yep, I did reword the later list and forgot to change it. Whoopsie. :P

Thanks for doing this, dearest! Most fun to read!

Melody said...

Miss Dashwood Dear,
Ha, well, you will notice that I said I was kidding and you really didn't tell me to. ;P (I really don't think you're bossy though. Not in the least. :D Unless you're being Funny which is an entirely different thing.)
Ah, did he make remarks about Show Me? Could be I didn't notice because they were, um, more toned down than usual. *cough* Yeah, he never does like that song. Hahahaha.
Yeah, it's just nicer to be able to skip things when you want, though. :P
I should just swoon with you? Oh COME now. That would be the Frosty Friday. You know *I* do not believe in swooning over actors. *My* views in that area has not changed. :P (Remember back when you told me you didn't condone it? Hmmm? Is that girl lost to me now? *dramatic sniff*)
I knowww... I want to watch something with you IRL again too. Sigh. It was way fun.
Mmm, yes, I was going to mention about the two of us being Elinor and Marianne, buuut I felt I'd mentioned you enough already. HAHAHA.
Yes, you do wish to influence me. Haha. ;) Do not we all wish to influence people? *snort*

Would you rather hear the story...

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