The Very Very Best of Broadway concert on the weekend revived my love of musicals. Don’t get me wrong, my endearment never waned, but one that’s been dormant, pushed aside by the business of life. My fondness for musical entertainment didn’t begin with Broadway. I’ve never seen many of the standard Andrew Lloyd Weber productions, in fact, the only musicals I’ve seen on stage were Ragtime, Chicago, The Lion King, and Just East of Broadway.
Last night ELLAmentary was added to the list. This was a charming one woman musical playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The uncertainty of oneself and desire to fit in in elementary school in the ‘90s was illustrated through laugh-out loud monologues and song. The storyline was sweet, her voice great, but it was the references like ones to Kelly Kapowski, YM magazine, Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything for Love”, and the 90210 Colour Me Bad special that had my chuckling fondly in my seat. If you liked the ‘90s and like musicals, I recommend checking it out.
(I also read that Mickey and Judy is good for the musical fans out there…and for theatre fans in general, swing by the tent in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s and find out which play’s right for you. Last night Snakes and Lattes hosted the tent and provided board games and instructions. For food fans, Southern Accenthas set up a food station inside the tent and the hush puppies were delicious).
However, my musical medium of choice has always been film. The musicals of the 30s-50s are my comfort viewing. Give me anything with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Betty Hutton, Anne Miller, Donald O’Connor or Danny Kaye any day! If you’re looking to explore the world of musicals, here are some of my favourite (I’m not claiming these are the best, but they are ones that I’m particularly fond of):
- Singin’ in the Rain (I used to run around saying imitating Jean Hagen’s character’s nasally voice)
- Kiss Me Kate (the song “Brush up your Shakespeare” was a favourite of my father’s)
- The Court Jester (watch this clip to get a little taste)
- Bye Bye Birdie (spoofing the hysteria surrounding the likes of Elvis or the Bieb)
- Guys and Dolls “(Adelaide’s Lament” – which was performed brilliantly by Jane Krakowski at the concert – is one of my favourite comedic numbers)
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Zero Mostel is wonderful)