Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Band Wagon

This is one of my least liked musicals of the 1950's and I'm going to sound like a crazy snob when I tell you why.

Oh, it's lovely to look at (Vincent Minelli directing), and watching Fred and Cyd dance is always worth it, but it sucks as a modern musical. There are a lot of musicals of the 1950's that always make me think that the composers and librettists/lyricists were cleaning out their unused songs. So it becomes a, "Hey, let's put on a musical," show. How would "Triplets," "Louisiana Hay Ride" and "Dancing in the Dark" be in the same show? I like the musical to be intrinsic--organic if you will. The lyrics continuing the story. This is why Camelot and My Fair Lady are two of my favorite musicals and Singin' in the Rain isn't. Of course, better standard torch songs come out of "review" type shows. I just feel like the whole point in the progression of the American Musical from Show Boat to Oklahoma to South Pacific is the ability to tell a dramatic story with the songs.

One of my other...I won't call it a pet peeve...call it observations is the amusing convention of the Hollywood musical doing numbers supposedly on a "real Broadway stage" that looks to be the size of a football field, with multiple changes of location and split second costume changes. FAN-tastic.

(It's on as I'm typing this--in case you're wondering).

Oh, God, they're following it with Kiss Me Kate--it really is my least favorite Hollywood musical. How is "Wunderbar" in a show based on "Taming of the Shrew"? "I've come to wive it wealthily in Padua" should be removed from the lexicon. "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" is funny, but belongs in vaudeville. IMHO. I know many people who love these things.

2 comments:

musing said...

Wow, I'm not alone. I've always thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't like Singin' in the Rain or Kiss Me Kate.

Danika said...

People should read this.