Musicals – what’s your style?

I may have mentioned that I’d like to see a less action/shooty type film to Himself and obtained a promise that he’d take a look at his collection of films for something a bit more “me”. His first choice was a good one, being the film version of a book I’d read with my book club … about a book club. Yes, it was based during the second world war, but … still, the boy done good and if you haven’t seen it it – here’s the trailer to tempt you

Unfortunately, he struck out – big time – with the next choice. For it was Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. As someone who’s not a great fan of Abba, I’d been to see the first film only as part of a family outing and will admit that – as it went on and I allowed myself to be infected with the mood in the cinema – I did find it enjoyably light entertainment and a bit of fun.
mamma mia 2
The second one was not. Meryl Streep did well to (largely) avoid this really bad re-hashing of the original story, and as for the shoe-horning of Cher into the story – this can only be described as A Very Bad Idea. Don’t allow the film poster to tempt you in – the only scene worth watching is the closing one with Omed Djalili, which was got its well-deserved laughs here.

But it got Himself and I talking about musicals and our own personal preferences of the genre. Much to my surprise he offered up A Star is Born and Sound of Music as his, and when I offered Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as my favourite of the genre, he was quick to counter with Calamity Jane, as it turns out he loathes my favourite. We traded our views on the musical theatre productions of our era quite companionably. But, when we moved onto old movies, I found myself holding back about my long-held affection for Fred & Ginger black & whites, for I was beginning to fear we were going to end up on opposite ends of that particular spectrum too. Even though I couldn’t see it, I really didn’t want him insisting he preferred Gene Kelly & Cyd Charisse.

With a new version of A Star is Born recently released, and La La Land and The Greatest Showman being hits, it seems that the musical is enjoying something of a resurgance. I wonder if it’s time for me to let go of my old favourites – especially those with a Gershwin tune – and get with the (more modern) programme?


© Debra Carey, 2018

12 comments

  1. I still remember the pie you baked in honour of the book when we read it :0)

    Singing in the Rain is probably my favourite; Kiss me Kate (Brush up your Shakespeare/Start quoting hime now…) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (although I’ve only seen the Julie Andrews film version) are fun too,

  2. Ah Kiss Me Kate – now you’re talking. My daughter is named in its honour (and of The Bard’s Taming of the Shrew) for she was dead stubborn about the birth process 😉 There are bits of Singing in the Rain which I love, although I prefer it when Donald O’Connor is on screen rather than Gene Kelly (which I feel may be viewed as sacreligious). Yes, Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Millie is jolly silly & good fun – a bit like Mamma Mia the first was. I was brought up on smaltzy musicals – White Christmas/Holiday Inn & the like, so they tend to be my comfort viewing.

    As for that pie – less said the better I feel 😀

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  3. I grew up in a house with a mother who loved soundtracks from musicals. Lots of lyrics from all sorts of songs are permanently imbedded in my brain. As an adult I’d say that Oklahoma and Thoroughly Modern Millie are two of my favorite musicals. As a child I loved Pajama Game [“Hernando’s Hideaway”] and The Singing Nun [“Brother John”]. Great conversation starter, this post.

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    1. Oooooooo-klahoma! Oh yes, although wasn’t it a bit dark storywise in bits? But forgiven for being the home of “Surrey with a Fringe on Top” – even if it confused me as I live in the county of Surrey. I’d totally forgotten “The Singing Nun” and don’t know “Pyjama Game”, so those’ll both be put onto Himself’s list. Oh he’s such a lucky guy! 😀

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      1. Yes, Oklahoma had a dark subtext to it, which might be why I like it! I haven’t seen those other two musicals as an adult, so I’ll be interested in your opinion of them.

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  4. I hear you about the newest Mama Mia! movie. Grr. Oh, I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, too 🙂 All the musicals Julie Andrews did are great. Hello, Dolly! with Barbara Streisand is excellent. And I also like the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera with Gerard Butler as the Phantom 🙂
    Great post 🙂

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  5. Yay! A fellow Seven Brides for Seven Brothers fan 😀 “Hello Dolly” is a corker too – that amazing voice combined with the marvellous Satchmo – heaven! How could I have forgotten? I had no idea about Gerard Butler in Phantom. Crikey! I’m not sure how I feel about that …

    I feel Himself getting more & more thrilled as titles get added to my “oh we must watch” list! Thank you.

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  6. Ally, when the poor man recovers sufficiently from the list he’ll be given this evening, I promise I’ll let you have my response.

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  7. My hubs doesn’t usually like musicals either, but he caught himself watching one the other day, Sweeney Todd. I have not seen it. I did see both Mamma Mia movies and I did like the first one better. We loved Jersey Boys and of course Sound of Music is a favorite.

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  8. Ah, I’ve not seen Sweeney Todd. It sounds like there’s a lot of potential for dark humour, so it could well be up Himself’s street. I wonder if Ally Bean has seen it with her liking for the dark? I must try Jersey Boys too – my uncle had me send a copy out to his best friends in Malta as they love it, so I’m not sure how I managed to forget! Thanks for adding to my viewing list – this is going so well 😀

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  9. I think that the snippets from ‘Hello Dolly’ in WALL-E are very moving. I’ve seen ‘Hello Dolly’ performed on stage by a very talented amateur company which was at least as good as the film. If you want to go into the black & white era how about ‘High Society’?

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    1. How well you know me Alan, ‘High Society’ is such a joy. I can’t imagine why it never came to mind when I was thinking of musicals, unless I was burying it away safe in case Himself hated it too (him not being a fan of jazz *at all*). I start grinning from the opening scene with Satchmo and his band arriving on the bus and I pretty much don’t stop (sigh).

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