Months have passed since I’ve written or even felt like writing. I’ve been in a minor funk–not a bad one, just the kind where I would rather take a nap or read the New York Times than do something productive. Then today I decided to catch up on my friend Mitch’s blog, and I read that he’s not really much of a fan of musicals! What? We’ve been friends for almost seventeen years, yet I did not know this? How could I not know this! I love musicals. Many of my childhood memories involve singing along with show tunes. My cousin Dan and I listened to the soundtrack to The Sound of Music until we wore it out! Our duet of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” was outstanding to our pre-teen ears. I know all the words to every song from Calamity Jane because I watched the movie probably forty times before I was seven years old. (It was on TV quite often in the mid-sixties.) Mitchito says that “[p]eople suddenly bursting out into song while walking in the street never looked right to me on film, just goofy.” I sadly but respectfully disagree! I used to think that spontaneous song and dance numbers happened all the time; I was just never in the right place. I mean, look at the organic song-bursts that happened in The Music Man because they had trouble in River City! (After being so smitten with this film, I not only sang the songs, I emulated the speech patterns of the characters. My mother was forced to inform me that “Ye Gods!” wasn’t a nice thing for six-year old girls to be screeching.) And My Fair Lady! Really, Mitch! Few things are more satisfying than singing “Just You Wait, Henry Higgins” at high volume. Try it! And wouldn’t it be fun to have Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye narrate your life in song! (I know, I know. Cat Ballou isn’t technically a musical, and yet….)
To give Mitch credit, he does say that he likes musicals that tell a more plausible story. To me, the story was only a vehicle for the music that allowed the beautiful people to sing or dance. If you will excuse me now, I have to go listen and sing along with “I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight”.