#Musical Monday Review #25: State Fair

Overview: Margy is a young girl bored with country life and excited about going to the Iowa State fair with her parents and brother. Each family member has different hopes for the fair, Ma has mincemeat pies for competition, Pa is entering Blue Boyvas biggest boar and brother Wayne had planned to spend the time with his girlfriend. Wayne’s hopes are a bit dashed as his girlfriend can’t make it, but he finds ways of entertaining himself. Ma compromised her morals and added brandy to her pies. Margy meets a cute boy on a rollercoaster. Blue Boy falls in love with the competition, named Esmeralda. End of the fair and things may not have turned out as they planned.

Opinion: It is a bit slow in the beginning. A lot of other musicals seem a bit over the top and a bit theatrical, irony is not lost on me, but this one seems down home and real. Just ordinary folks going to a state fair. It is refreshing to see, or maybe I’m just crazy for fairs, I like it. Dick Haymes is my favorite, his nice low voice is very soothing. Why don’t we have Singers like him today?
Favorite song is “Isn’t it Kind of Fun?”

#Musical Monday Review #23: Drumline 2 A New Beat

Overview: Danielle is a bright drummer girl heading off to college at A&T, six years after the first Drumline, against her families wishes. She makes new friends and struggles to prove she belongs on the line while they plan for the BET Southern Classic.

Opinion: First off, who knew there was a second Drumline? Anyone? I had no clue, and half of me wishes I didn’t. It was an OK movie but when compared to the greatness of the first one, it is a pale comparison. First off the music producers seemed more obsessed with showing off than producing good music. In the first movie, it was all about musicianship, perfecting the craft, and pushing boundaries and creating art. This movie has lack luster music and focuses more on showing off. None of the characters were half as creative as any one character in the first movie. The last drum battle, was more about theatrics than the drums itself.  If you put the music aside (which is what it is supposed to be about), the movie isn’t half bad. If your looking for a great music movie, stick with the first one.

Compare the first cadence with the second. The second one is OK but again more visually appealing than musically.

Drumline

Drumline 2

#Musical Monday Review #22 Fiddler on the Roof

Overview: A Jewish family living in a poor village, just trying to live their lives. Tavye, the patriarch has five girls to we’d and give a dowry to but he just sells milk and delivers it with a lame horse and trailer. The oldest daughter is able to marry the man she loves, while a Yente tries to fix the younger girls up with eligible bachelors. They rebel their suitors and break tradition, a very powerful thing Tavye holds very dear. All while fearing the Czar doesn’t invade their little Russian town.

Opinion: I first watched this in high school, and instantly fell in love with it. Tavye is such a great dad, wanting the best for his daughters as long as it follows tradition. He is also funny! I respect the traditional dances but to an uncultured high schooler, his shimmying (can’t believe that’s an actual word) during my favorite song, “Rich Man” is hilarious.

It’s not just the dancing that he does that is funny, but some things he says or the way he says it. I particularly enjoy his questioning of God, without actually questioning his existence. It’s something I’ve always been told not to do. If you believe in God, you can’t question his actions…or in-actions.

Another favorite song is “Matchmaker.” It is the Yente’s job to find husband’s for girls. However this Yente has a problem of making matches the girls don’t like. The girls go from wanting her to find them a match to not being in a big hurry.

Tzeital, the eldest daughter, reminds me so much of Barbara Streisand. However i find the middle daughter’s voice sounds clearer.

Comedy aside, I see the tragedy of losing special traditions and tearing a family apart as the result. My family has always been close but never as close or held many traditions as those of any faith let alone the Jewish faith.

I love the choreography of the Russian dancers during “L’chaim To Life.”

#Musical Monday Review #21 Aladdin

Overview: Aladdin is an orphaned teen running around Agrabah with his best friend and pet monkey Abu. He dreams of a better life inside the palace walls. Princess Jasmine, longing for a normal life outside of the palace walls, runs away from home and meets Aladdin. The two have a romantic moment, before being caught by the palace guards and he was arrested under the orders of Jafar. Jafar is the royal advisor and sorcerer, who is on a quest to find a magic lamp. Inside the lamp is a genie that will grant three wishes (within certain guidelines). Problem is the lamp lies in the Cave of Wonders and only a “diamond in the rough” can enter. Jafar tricks Aladdin into going inside to retrieve it, but Abu gets greedy and the Cave collapses. Aladdin rubs the lamp and becomes Genie’s master. They get out of the cave, and Aladdin starts to make his wishes, but finds that he just needs to be himself to get what he wants. Jafar learns Aladdin has the lamp and attempts to steal it, takes control over everything. Then makes a fatal mistake, that aids in his downfall and giving a happy ending.

Opinion: I love classic Disney. This was one of my favorites growing up. Jasmine has been my favorite Princess because she tried to stand up for herself. She still needed help being rescued, but she had tried to fight. Plus I always thought she was the most beautiful.

This is probably my first introduction to two of my favorite actors: Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried. I loved Iago’s crotchety anger and frustration, he was such a great comedic relief. Genie was amazing at moral fiber, and friendship. I don’t know why but Robin also brought a bit of a Jewish feel to his role. Maybe it has something to do with his freedom speech and wanting hummus, but I could be wrong.

My favorite song would have to be “Prince Ali.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Then of course “Whole New World.” One of the most romantic songs ever.

#Musical Monday Review #20 Children of the Titanic

Overview: Musical docudrama about the children who were on the Titanic and survived.

Opinion: intrigued on many levels. First being whoever heard of a musical docudrama? Second, I love anything to do with the Titanic and her I’ll fated journey. The third level being, hearing stories from children that survived. In general, you know there were a lot of children on board but not too often do you hear their own words about what they saw. Hollie Steel, has a beautiful clear voice and moves you to tears with the slow ballads between the stuffy British Titanic experts.

Sadly it is only an hour long, and pretty much what one would expect from a docudrama. Little bit of singing with tons of facts thrown in. Interesting concept, but I don’t think it is something that will catch on.

#Musical Monday Review #18: I Kissed a Vampire

Overview: Dylan is bitten by a Vampire and started transforming into one. He struggles with his new fangs, weird dreams and not biting the girl he loves. Then Tray shows up to teach him how to be a Vampire and get the girl. His girl Sarah is bitten and starts changing too. She wants to embrace new life, but than also wants to find a cure, while Dylan is in denial and trying to stop it. They go to see Dr. Dan Helsing and find that the Vampire who bit Dylan wasn’t too powerful so he may not change completely. Sarah on the other hand was bitten by a very powerful very Vampire and will change as well as belong to Tray. In order to make the cure, they just need a drop of Tray’s blood. The two are pulled apart in their quest for blood and giving into their true selves. In his love for Sarah, Dylan’s powers start to emerge and we learn Tray is obsessed with Sarah because he has mommy issues. Sarah breaks the the spell and they are able to create a cure. Sarah almost died but is brought back with a kiss. The cure failed, but the couple found happiness together.

Opinion: Though the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, the music is cool. For a girl who wanted to break away from the goody-two shoes personality, she really wanted to find a cure and change back to normal. Its like here is her chance and she chickens out. I thought that was a little unrealistic or uncharacteristic of her. Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind with the duality if Sarah’s fighting good vs evil inside of her, compared to Janet’s similar struggle.

Really over all it looks like something Disney would put out during their 13 Days of Halloween. For me that’s good, I love those movies.

Lucas Grabeel shows a darker side than when he was in High School Musical. He embraces the emo look, foregoing his scary pink attire.

“Just a Little Bit of Nibble” is my favorite favorite choreography. We see Tray teasing Phillip about getting his first kiss and Phillip struggling between kissing, biting and keeping Tray away from Sarah.

“Just a Drop” is reminiscent of “Your the One That I Want” from Grease. I’m not sure why, it just popped in my head as I watched Sarah, the good girl next door type, sing about how she wants to break out of her shell and take a bite out of life (pun intended).

Note: Some people may have seen the mini episodes on YouTube or another website, but a lot of people have had issues finding the whole musical. I found it on Hulu if you are wanting to check it out.

#Musical Monday Review #17: Guys and Dolls

Overview: Nathan Detroit is strapped for cash and looking for a place to hold a floating crap game. In a desperate attempt for quick cash, he challenges Sky Masterson to take a missionary to Havana because he believes all “dolls” are the same. Nathan picked a girl so different from Sky’s usual norm, he is sure he will win the $1,000 bet and be able to host the game. In order to get Sarah to Havana he bets that if she will go to dinner with him, he will deliver a dozen sinners ready to repent in two days time. As Nathan faces problems from his long time girlfriend and an officer in New York, Sky finds himself falling in love with Sarah in Havana, but she isn’t interested in the good-natured gambler. Believing it is all part of a bet, she is only in it for the promised sinners to save her mission. In the end there is a beautiful impromptu double wedding in the streets of New York.

Opinion: Opening is great, all the gamboling and thievery going on under the cops noses is comical and sets the mood for the rest of the show. Though there is a love theme, I believe it is portrayed a bit funny. Nathan believes to be a man they hey have to have a girl by their side. Sky agrees, but any girl will do because they are all the same so you shouldn’t get tied to just one. In the end the boys learn a lesson. Though who could resist Marlon Brando? He seems to be the smoothest man  in the world.

Favorite choreography has to be when Sky and Sarah are dining in Havana. The dancing is strange to begin with, then a fight breaks out and proper little Sarah holds her own.

Sorry the video cuts the fighting part, I couldn’t find a better one.

Too many good songs to pick just one!