Throwback Thursday – The Sound of Music

Mairzy and Patti as Nuns Sound of MusicHi and Happy Thursday!  Can you believe it has been 50 years since “The Sound of Music” was released? Amazing!  Here is a Throwback Thursday photo of me with my mother from our community theater’s production of “The Sound of Music” play.

A few songs are different than the movie but the overall story is the same.  In this production, Mom and I were nuns and in the chorus.  My sister played Marta and did a great job.  It was fun to perform all of the songs that we grew up listening to in the movie.

Yesterday, I tried to think of how many times I have seen this amazing movie.   I can’t count that many. I remember seeing it once at a movie theater and that was fantastic.  Most of the time, however, we watched it on television.  I never liked that as much since they cut some of my favorite scenes out.

Then one year, I got the DVD for Christmas.  I think this was an anniversary special so it has lots of tidbits and news about the cast and the making of the movie.  It was great to have my own copy so I could sing each and every song while watching it.  I do love to do that.  How about you?

Last night, ABC’s 20/20 had a great behind the scenes special.  Diane Sawyer interviewed Julie Andrews.  In addition, they traveled to Austria together and visited the various places the movie was filmed.  It was fun to see her and Christopher Plummer and hear some of the stories about filming this classic movie.  I just wish they had talked more about the kids who are now all grown up.

It was also a treat to see the real Maria Von Trapp singing with Julie Andrews.  That was truly special and they sounded great together. I think they were singing “Edelweiss.”  I hadn’t realized that she was actually in a scene of the movie.  Or that Christopher Plummer is a classically trained pianist.

As a child, I simply loved the story and all of the music.  And the children seemed to be having such fun with this cool young woman.  Now, I appreciate what the message of the movie was to me – of being confident and following your dreams and finding what makes you happy.  These are very important lessons in life to remember.  Also, that there is real and true love.  And let’s not forget that the right curtains can make some great play clothes.

I truly love all of the songs from this movie and love to sing them — “My Favorite Things,” “So Long, Farewell,” “Do Re Me,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “I Am Sixteen,” “Edelweiss,” and the list goes on.  At the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga did a gorgeous medley and blew me away.  Her voice was amazing and Julie Andrews herself seemed to enjoy it.  WOW!

Happy Anniversary to all those involved in this my favorite musical!

Flashback Friday – Theater Fun

Mairzy and Patti as Nuns Sound of MusicHi and Happy Friday!  For today’s Flashback Friday, I chose a picture from the early 1980s.  Mom and I are dressed as nuns for “The Sound of Music,” which was performed at our community theater.  We were in the chorus of singing nuns and my sister played Marta.  It was such a fun show.  In this picture, I love the expression of our eyes, our smiles, dimples, and the praying hands.  We did have a great time.

Throughout my childhood, I was in plays and musicals and loved every minute of them.  Our community theater produced great shows with amateur actors, singers, and dancers.  There also was a Junior Playhouse for kids.  We spent quite a few summers there.

Some of the shows that we did were “J.B.” about the story of the book of Job in the Bible, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Barnum,” “The Sound of Music,” “Hello Dolly,” and others that I don’t remember.

Then in high school, I was in the drama club and had a blast with that as well.  The shows that I was in for that were “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Our Town,” “Around the World In 80 Days,” “Pillow Talk,” and “Bye, Bye Birdie.”  In college, I performed in three musicals — “Camelot,” “Carousel,” and “South Pacific.”

It has been a long time since I have been on the stage.  I miss the fun and camaraderie that the cast has.  And, since I love to sing, it was fun to have that chance.  Long days and many hours were spent in the community theater and my high school theater.

We went with Ian’s Cub Scout Den this Monday on a tour of the square where the community theater was and still is.  It was fun to see that building again and it brought back a lot of great memories. During the summers of junior playhouse, we would walk down to the local pharmacy for snacks and ice cream.  That pharmacy is no longer there.  That building was converted into a restaurant.  The food is good but I miss the pharmacy.

I also love to see musicals and plays.  Two years ago, we took Ian to see Peter Pan and he loved it.  It was an abbreviated production during the school day, but just right for him.  I hope we will see more shows soon.

We have a few friends who are professional actors and I love to see them in their particular genres.  We also have friends who are actively involved in the theaters in their community.  Theater to me was a fun hobby.

A few quotes about the theater:

  • “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages…” William Shakespeare
  • “Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But Theatre will make you good.” — Terrance Mann
  • “Act well your part; there all the honour lies.” — Alexander Pope
  • “Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances.” — Victor Hugo
  • “An actor must never be afraid to make a fool of himself.” — Harvey Cocks
  • “The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of Fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe.”– P.S. Baber

I wonder when the next time will be that I am in a play or a musical?  I am not sure but hope to be in a show again one day.

Thursday Tunes – Musical Theater

musical.notesHi and Happy Thursday!

I have decided that I am going to write on Thursdays about Tunes or Music in a variety of subjects and genres.  Since music is so important to me, I thought it would be fun to do regular blogs on the subject.

This week I wanted to write about musical theater, which I absolutely love!

I don’t know about you but I love theater — and especially musical theater!  I was in musicals in both high school and college and loved each and every one.

I was in a great variety of fabulous shows.  They included:  The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly, Bye Bye Birdie, Fiddler On the Roof, Camelot, Carousel, and South Pacific.

I was in the chorus in all of them but South Pacific where I played Liat.  For that part, I wore a long black wig, body makeup, and did some hula dancing.  It was fun to have a major part without a lot of lines to memorize!

Each one was a great experience where I worked with some amazing people.  And, many had a moral to them or something to learn — about love, prejudice, honor, bravery, and having fun with others.

The music and the production numbers were great.  A lot of time was spent on practicing and making sure that the choreography and the singing were in fact what the director wanted to see and hear.  The hard work paid off with some memorable performances!

In my senior year of high school, I went on a chorus trip to New York City.  We had the chance to see a Broadway Show.  I saw Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The sets were quite something.  Everything was to the scale of a cat.  It was cool to see actors dressed up and acting like cats and also singing.  You truly felt like you were with a gang of cats and each song showed the personality of a new feline friend.

If you have a chance to see a show on Broadway, I advise you to do so!  It is an amazing experience.

Other shows that I have really liked as a play or movies are Barnum, Chicago, The King and I, and A Chorus Line.  All of these musicals have great music and lyrics, great casts, and are such fun.

From A Chorus Line, one of the best songs is “One Singular Sensation.”   Here are a few of the lyrics:

  • One singular sensation, every little step she takes
  • One thrilling combination, every move that she makes
  • One smile and suddenly nobody else will do
  • You know you’ll never be lonely with you-know-who
  • One moment in her presence and you can forget the rest
  • For the girl is second best to none, son
  • Oooh! Sigh! Give her your attention
  • Do I really have to mention she’s the one

I can just see the cast in the chorus line singing that song — in tails and top hats!  LOVE IT!!!

I am curious about other people who have been in musical theater and the shows that others perform.  Please share your faves with me and my readers!

I wonder if I will be in another musical sometime.  I hope so!  The fun part will be in figuring out which one!

I Love To Sing

“Sing.  Sing out loud. Sing out strong.  Sing of happy not sad.  Sing of good things not bad.”

This song, which was performed by The Carpenters, is one that celebrates singing.  Clearly you don’t always hear happy songs but I must say those are my favorites.

I love to sing!  How much more clearly than that can I say it?

Here are lines from a few songs that also came to mind:

“I’ve got the music in me.”   “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”  “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” “I’m singing in the rain.” “Rolling in the deep.”  “Just you and I.”  “Tommy used to work on the docks.”

From classical music, to musicals, to country songs, to lullabies, to rock songs, to pop music, to dance music, to music from the 80s, I love it all.  And, I love to sing.

How about you?  Are there are a few songs that you know every word to?  Those you sing in the shower or while driving in your car?

My sister has asked before, why can’t we just break into song when we want to?  Good question.  It would be nice to be able to do just that.

For as long as I can remember, I have been singing.  I sang songs at Vacation Bible School, in junior high choir, high school chorus, high school show choir, and college women’s choir, as well as at Camp Fire day camp.  I also sang in the church choir for a long time and must say I miss it.  I really need to get back to that again.

And, one of my favorite memories from growing up was our family sing-alongs.  When we were in San Diego, we would gather around the piano at my grandparents’ home and sing the family’s favorite camp songs, church songs, show tunes, and we’d always end with Brigadoon.  My aunt could play just about anything on the piano so it was a joy for me and the other family members.

When I got married, I said that I wanted Brigadoon during the pre-wedding music.  And, you know what really made it special, my aunt was there to play it on the piano.  It brings me to happy tears just thinking about it.

Another wonderful memory was getting to sing “Handel’s Messiah” twice in my life — once while in college and the second time with a dear friend at Midnight Mass.  My favorite song from that movement is the Hallelujah Chorus.  I sang soprano but have since switched to second soprano since my voice has changed.  This song is gorgeous with a full orchestra.

I have some other definite favorites, as I am sure that we all do.  And, I like a huge variety of music.  In December 2011, I wrote two blogs about Christmas songs that I really like.  Please check them out.

Now here is a small listing of some of my favorites:

  • Friends Forever — we sang this in chorus or show choir – I can’t remember which one since it’s been a while.
  • God Bless the USA – we sang this in show choir and I have a friend who got to sing this in a duet with Lee Greenwood
  • Edelweiss — from the Sound of Music (my all-time favorite musical) Several years ago, my husband and I got to meet four of the grandchildren of the real Von Trapp family.  The three girls and a boy performed an amazing concert and sang this song.  It was gorgeous.
  • My Favorite Things — also from Sound of Music.
  • How Great Thou Art – a gorgeous hymn
  • Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.  A friend of mine and I went to see them in concert in the mid 1980s and they were great.
  • It’s My Life also by Bon Jovi — they’ve still got it.
  • I’m Going Home by Daughtry
  • You’re The One That I Want — from Grease — another favorite musical!
  • On The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga — I heard her explanation about this song and learned to like it even more
  • I Want to Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston.  This song is great to sing and dance to.
  • On the Streets With No Name — by U2.  This song always make me happy and this band is still one of my favorites.  They too have still got it!
  • Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.  This song makes me want to sing and dance as so many of their other songs do.
  • Beat It by Michael Jackson – his albums in the 80s were the best.

Those are just a few titles of my eclectic list of songs that I love to sing along with.  I could spend all day on my favorites since there are so many.  And, I may do a followup list another day when I can think of more song titles.

What are some of your favorites?  Please share them with me and the other readers.

Hope you have a great day.  And Keep Singing!

And the Oscar Goes To…

“And the Oscar goes to…” is what we’ll hear a lot tonight.

Tonight is Oscar night!  For years now I have enjoyed this biggest night for actors in movies. I always look forward to the broadcast, who is wearing what, and who will win.  Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume, Best Song, Best Director, Best Picture.

I have loved movies for a long time — especially the older ones.  So celebrating those involved in them is fun for me. I enjoy the glitz, the glamor, and seeing the winners often be genuinely surprised and touched by winning.

I remember the year that Halle Berry won and how amazed she was.  I have watched the clip of when Sally Field won and she was truly moved as well.  And there have been numerous others through the years.

It will be interesting to see who wins this year.  Many of the nominees say it is an honor to just be nominated, but I would imagine they would love to hear their name called.  An actor’s career is certainly impacted when they win.

This year I haven’t seen very many of the nominated movies – just one, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”  This was a great mystery based on a very popular book which we went to with several family members — all of whom had read the book. I hadn’t so I was glad to sit next to someone who could explain a few points. But it is quite violent and not for everyone.  I am glad, however, that I saw it.

Several of the nominated movies that I haven’t seen and want to are “The Help,” and “The Descendants,” and “Moneyball.” There are some great nominees this year from all of these movies! It will be interesting to see who will win.

Not seeing many movies at the theater has been the case for the last several years.  With a young child, it is more difficult to go out to see something.  So we wait until they appear on video.  As a result, we often don’t get to watch these Oscar-nominated movies until after the awards are given out.

Sometimes I agree with Hollywood and the Academy on what is “the” movie or cast of the year and other times I don’t.  In 2005, an amazing movie about forgiveness, love, and giving people second chances was released.  It was called “The End of The Spear” based on the book of the same name.  This movie was a true story of Christian missionaries, yet the powers that be said almost nothing about it.  It is a movie that will truly move you.

I enjoy movies that speak to me as that one did, but I also enjoy movies that are just plain funny!  Like “Grownups” — with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade.  This movie reminds me of my childhood and the fun and crazy things we used to do.  And these five guys are just plain funny — they play well together.  My husband and I just laugh each time watch it.

And, as my family knows, I love musicals — “The Sound of Music,”  “Grease,” “Hello Dolly,” “White Christmas,” “Holiday Inn,” “South Pacific” and the list goes on.  Each of these has something very memorable to me about my family and friends.  And, a few like “South Pacific” also have a message — this movie has a song about prejudice and that it is taught and something that shouldn’t be.  I enjoy singing to all of the songs and could probably quote each movie word for word.

My favorite movies are the oldies  — like “To Catch A Thief,” “Roman Holiday,” “North By Northwest,” and “All About Eve.”  These classics have become some of my favorites which I enjoy watching over and over again.  Cary Grant was the ultimate in class and a fine actor so I like almost all of his films.  Other actors in these movies were Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Bettye Davis, and Eva Marie Saint.  All of these actors were great and enjoyable in numerous roles.

When I was in college, I took a film class which was very interesting. It was great to study different kids of movies and learn what it takes to make them.  We studied westerns (“Stagecoach” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”), science fiction (which I don’t remember), and film noir (one of my favorites). One of the best movies ever made in the film noir genre, in my opinion, is “Double Indemnity.”   Very well made and well acted by Barbara Stanwyck (from Big Valley) and Fred McMurray (from My Three Sons).  I highly recommend this movie.

There are many movies which I also enjoy for a variety of reasons — some because of the interaction with the characters, the friendships, and others because they are romantic — “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Why Did I Get Married?”, “Waiting to Exhale,” “Return to Me,” “The Bodyguard,” “Sex and The City (1 and 2),” “The Notebook,” “The Wedding Planner,” “Love Actually,” and “Casablanca.”

I also like suspenseful movies/mysteries such as “A Time to Kill,” “Rear Window,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Lincoln Lawyer” among others.  These have been well acted and were very interesting to me.

And, there are many others which I haven’t mentioned in this posting.  I don’t have the room to list all of the movies that I have enjoyed for whatever reason.  I enjoyed watching “Cars” with my son — that was lots of fun.

No matter who wins tonight, I will enjoy the show!  Because, it is the Super Bowl of acting and movies.  Truly a magical night.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I wonder what some of your favorite movies are. Please share them with me and our other readers!