Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Wish Life Were Like a Musical!!

April and I finally crossed paths tonight, each with no other we did something we haven't done in a long time. We dusted off the old musical collection and chose one to watch. As the strains of "Meet Me in St. Louis" sang us songs from childhoods long ago, I looked over at April and wistfully said, "I wish life were like a musical."

Growing up I NEVER watched cartoons. I don't know how that happened, my parents just NEVER introduced them to me. We would go on the weekend to the video store and my mother would rent us Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, On the Town, White Christmas, Easter Parade, An American in Paris, Singing in the Rain and the list goes on and on. April and I became obsessed with musicals. We would watch certain musical numbers over and over and over again until we had perfected them. We would spend hours rehearsing our numbers and then when they were perfect, we would call our parents into the family room and they would patiently sit and watch us perform.

April and I always chose who we were...I was always the blonde, April the brunette and luckily for us, most musicals contained one of each. This number from Calamity Jane was one of our favorites. I still find myself singing it when I clean sometimes.

I love how Katie cleans by just throwing everything out the doors. Then, when she paints the door, the holes magically disappear. This only happens if you have a woman's touch. "The pies and cakes a woman bakes can make a feller tell her that he loves her very much! So never underestimate a woman's touch."

The GREATEST musical scene ever, in my expert opinion! When he throws off his hat and yells "aeroplane!' the crush I had on him was INDESCRIBABLE!!

When I was in Junior High I had photos of Gene Kelly in my locker and would dream about him at night. I never listened to traditional radio, only classical, so when people talked about the "New Kids on the Block", I distinctly remember thinking that they were new kids who had moved into the neighborhood, I literally had NO idea who they were....but I could do a mean Oscar LeVant who could ask for anything more?

The BEST and most ROMANTIC "meet-cute" in musical history.

If there is any musical number April and I will NEVER be able to live down, it is "Sisters" from White Christmas. We perfected it for a talent show when we were young. We had big puffy dresses and instead of fans we used these ruffled umberellas....and even now at family reunions my mother will still make us do it. Yes, I am 31 and April is 28 and we just performed this last month.

What defined your childhood?


Beth said...

I wish life were a musical, too. Sometimes me and my siblings will break into song... as if we were in a musical...

Not sure if I should admit that.

Any way, it is hard to say what defined my childhood, but one of the things is Castle.

Me and my siblings would play Castle alllll the time. It was a sort of live action roll play. We would make up characters and go on adventures. I was usually a princess of something pretty. Any way, we would have epic battles, cast magic spells, and fight dragons.

I think it really cultivated creativity.

Also, me and my two older sisters would play barbies. Not the normal, "Lets go to the mall" type barbies.. oh no. We would play Nancy Drew barbies. My sisters would take turns making elaborate mysteries for me to solve, which we would act out with Barbies. One sister would make up the mystery, and I would play Nancy, and the other sister would be Bess and or George.

We always had imaginary boys, because my mother wouldn't buy us Ken dolls. Most of the time the boys were named "Damian." Don't ask me why. Hehe.

Stina said...

My childhood was defined by musicals also! I loved watching them and performing in them and sometimes I wonder what path my life would have taken if I truly made an effort to be a performer. I loved watching your video snippets!

One film in particular that shaped my youth was The Sound of Music. I think I have watched that in its entirety several hundred times. I remember having friends over on Sunday afternoon and we would spread out blankets on the living room floor and watch it. I remember first having a crush on Frederick and then later on Capt Von Trapp as I got older. The most perfect movie ever.

Speaking of childhood movies, my brother and I would always ask to watch this movie "Nadia" about Nadia Comaneci's rise to fame as a gymnast. Random, huh? I haven't seen it in over 20 years but I just now remembered it.

Great, fun post as usual!

Olivia said...

As an only child until age 11, my musicals were solo acts. Whenever I went with my mom to visit her mom, I'd spend hours watching Rogers and Hammerstein. Yep. At one point I could recite all of "Sound of Music" and "The King and I". Also favorites were "Carosel" and "South Pacific" oh, and "State Fair." Then, in first grade, I met my childhood best friend Beth and we watched "West Side Story" over and over and over again. And yes, we would act out all the key scenes.

I think that's part of the reason I love Indian movies so much. They are either happy or sad, and if they are happy, they are musicals with lots of dancing, beautiful clothing, and they always end with weddings. And let's be honest, nowadays we just can't get American boys to dance like that...I think Fai knows I have a crush on Shah Rukh Khan, but ignores it (thank goodness! I love watching him dance!)

Anonymous said...

Musicals! Gene Kelley! Yes! Oh, Iwish you could come to my house and play.

Marcilyn said...

omg. calamity jane was also a staple in my family's musical diet. "silk! pure silk! i bet her mudder spun um!"

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My daughter would so love hanging out with you. She's a sphmore in college, a musical theatre major, and ws just formally accepted into the voice program as her focus. We hang out and watch musicals together whenever we can.

Me? I loved black and white reruns. Andy of Mayberry, Father Knows Best, Beverly Hillbillies...

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Wow! I have a lot of musicals to catch up on. I have never seen An American in Paris but that scene was priceless, especially the little girl who emphatically said "Non!" when asked if she understood.

I think I'm less refined than you but my favorite scene, at least from the few musicals I have seen, is Make 'Em Laugh from Singin' in the Rain. Donald O'Connor is mesmerizing with the falls and flips. And I'm pretty sure there are too few cuts for that to have been done by stunt doubles and there was no CGI then. Amazing! I just watched it and it still does just what it should, makes me laugh.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

White Christmas was a tradition in our family at Christmastime (and now my brothers like to parody the sister song...only MUCH more mockingly that Danny Kaye and...oh my gosh, who's the other guy? The even MORE famous one? Why can't I remember?...yeah, the other guy. Anyway, you should see my brothers. It's definitely worth wetting one's pants over.)

When I introduced White Christmas to Steve, that was the defining moment when he KNEW he had married into the crazies...ya know?

We were always into Hitchcock at our house, too. Rear Window rocks!

Oh, but musicals, definitely. The King and I (the old one, with Deborah Kerr) was another favorite.

Ahh, reminiscing! Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

D'Arcy said...

BING CROSBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Geez, don't give yourself an aneurism.

Alright, alright. Bing Crosby.

Teresa said...

"Bless her beautiful hide" from 7 Brides has to be my all time unPC favorite musical song.

Gustav said...

I love that sisters routine from White Christmas.

Maya and I watched it just the other night to get in the mood for Christmas and its awesome!

ophelia rising said...

Let it be known that I am in love with Gene Kelly.

Your childhood pastime sounds extremely close to mine. But instead of performing with a sibling in front of parents, I did my performing in front of a mirror. I'd get all dressed up in costume, put on a musical album, and perform every song, with costume changes and everything.

I also used to write plays from books I liked, taking the dialogue and transferring it into scripts, and then act these plays out - I think mostly by myself. And I remember always wearing a costume, pretty much everywhere.

I finally got to be a no-necked monster in the local college production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." That was the beginning of a very long relationship with the theatre - one which I wish I had kept up, and miss so much.

Thanks for jogging all these memories! It's so nice to think about them. :)

D'Arcy said...

Ophelia--that is it! We absolutely MUST meet next time I go to Boston!!!! We are kindred spirits!!