Friday, November 09, 2007

Musical Theatre (or for the Americans out there, "theater")

I was reading Here In The Hills' blog celebrating her 400th post and listening to the embedded YouTube clips of Audra McDonald.

(For those of you who don't know, Audra McDonald is a wonderful actress/singer and multiple Tony Award winner. If I had to name anyone that I felt was born for Broadway musical theatre, she'd be near - if not at - the top of the list.)

Anyways, watching Ms McDonald and listening to the Gershwin and Stephen Sondheim songs reminded me how much I love musical theatre. It combines all things theatrical that I love -- dancing, singing, and acting – and when done right, wraps them into a larger than life spectacle that lingers long after the final curtain.

My love of musicals started way back in childhood when, as an unsupervised eight year old, I'd watch late-night Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I dreamed of being a dancer.

Later, in high school, I lived with relatives who bought cast albums of all the Broadway hit musicals of the time. I knew the lyrics to Annie Get Your Gun and Carousel and West Side Story and My Fair Lady and Sound of Music. I joined the school choir from elementary school through to high school graduation. I sang in my head, I sang in the bathroom, I sang under the covers in my bed (I was a strange and nerdy kid). I was in the chorus of our high school musicals. I dreamed of being a Broadway actress.

Alas, I had a fair to middling voice at best; suitable for large choirs or school choruses, but not Broadway. I went on to other dreams and life has unfolded as it was meant (i.e. no one has to hear me sing in public).

But through the years, I've remained a fan of musical theatre and so I thank Naomi at Here In The Hills for the reminder and for the Audra McDonald clips.

Now, it's time to go dust off some scratchy old LPs and listen to Camelot and Fiddler On The Roof.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh I am so glad you came by and liked this post about Audra McDonald...I think she is The Best! And to answer your question..No, there is NO WAY this woman will leave Musical Theatre, ever! It's in her blood and heart and soul--in her 'genes', so to speak. Anyone who hss won four Tony's, (A rare occurence, for sure---maybe there are three or four other people in the long history of the Tony's who have four of them on their mantle...) And remember, Audra McD. is still very very young..(Well, to me she In her early 30's at most.

It's funny that you think of yourself as having been a berdy kid...It sounds to me like you had very sophistacted taste in music from the wonderful exposure at such an early age...I think you were lucky to have that kind of childhood....My whole childhod was spent going to Broadway shows and every kind of show, concerts, ballet, movies, etc...It was to me, a privelaged youth and I will be forever grateful to my parens for this---it gave me everything. It gave me great joy and a career, too....
Hope you'll come back and read more....I've written a lot about Theatre and Performers and my own personal experiences...
Great to meet you.

Junebugg said...

I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, my only musical talent is playing the radio

ell said...

Naomi, nice meeting you too. I'll be back for sure.

Junebugg, it doesn't matter if you can't carry a tune, so long as you're the only one listening. ;)

Kay Dennison said...

I'm going to pop "Singin' in the Rain" in! It won't cure my insomnia but I can try to picture my two left feet keeping up with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor! AND it might cure the maudlin mood that's paralyzed ne all day.

joared said...

I've loved musical theatre from my earliest memories. My friend and I would come out of the movie theater after a showing, then literally dance down the street. While others thought that was unnatural, we thought the world would be a better place if such dancing became natural.