#Musical Monday Review #15 Mamma Mia (The Movie)

Overview: Sophia is getting married and wants to invite her dad. Problem is her mom never told her who he was, because she secretly doesn’t know. So she sends an invitation to the three possible candidates, not explaining the reason behind it. Thinking she will automatically sense the right one when they show up. When the men arrive, without mom’s knowledge, Sophia doesn’t feel a fatherly connection with just one but all three. Hidden from her mother, the men set out to find her and are surprised to find she didn’t know they were coming or why they were there. Laughter ensues as the wedding draws closer and minds are changing. In the end there is a wedding, and a few unexpected connections are made leaving the “Little Island” a bit upturned.

Opinion: Love it! But who doesn’t love ABBA? Throw in a girl who wants her dad for the biggest day of her life? It just makes your heart melt. Then who knew Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson could sing? Meryl Streep’s rendition of “Winner Takes It All” was heartbreaking.

“S.O.S.” was also frustrating and resonates too truly. So close to each other, and yet so far apart they can’t see each other right in front of them.

Of course ABBA’s most iconic song (at least for me and I wasn’t acquainted much with them before the movie), “Dancing Queen,” is in it. Performed by every extra woman they could find.

However, my favorite would happen to be “Honey, Honey.” Sophia reading her mother’s diary is so sweet and devilishly childish.

A close second would be “Does Your Mother Know?” A little secret about myself, I’ve always had a thing for older guys. So this song featuring a young man being spurned by an older woman is hilarious.

The scenery is beautiful, a Grecian island. Turquoise water everywhere and fantastic multi-colored buildings. Always wanted to go and the movie just entices that urge to travel again. While the songs don’t seem to depend on a specific local, I’m glad they chose Greece when it could have been filmed anywhere.

#Musical Monday Review #2: The Sound of Music

Overview: This musical takes place early on in World War II Austria, before the Nazis invaded. Maria is a nun-in-training, but doesn’t quite fit in with the others. She is more free spirited, but not lacking faith. Mother Superior, deciders to send her off to the von Trapp family as a nanny for seven children. The father is a hard nosed military widow (who is against Hitler), who pays little attention to them but wants them brought up in a way befitting to an Admiral.

As Maria is the latest in a long line of nannies, the children show their contempt for her and do what they can to get rid of her. Maria sees this as a cry for attention from their father and does what she can to show them love and kindness. Ultimately she finds out that before their mother died, the father used to sing and music was everywhere, so she taught them how.

When Georg, the father, returns from a summer in Berlin with a potential wife-to-be in tow, Maria has them performing songs and a puppet show for them. Slowly Georg and Maria fall in love, but because of her faith she tries to leave and per sue her vows as a nun. The children become miserable in her absence and the father decides to go after her. Once married, they are wrangled into a singing competition the night Nazis invade. Using the competition as an escape, they perform a beautiful song and disappear into the night with the aid of some wiley nuns.

Interesting Fact: This musical is based off of true events. I also happen to know a woman who actually knew the family. Here is anĀ article that can show the differences between real life and musical life.

Opinion: The musical itself is beautiful. Factor in that it is based on true events, it makes it better. World War II is one of my favorite subjects to study, and adding music to it was genius.

My favorite song would have to be “Edelweiss” at the end, during the competition. It is an amazing ballad, almost lullaby, sang by the whole family. It moves you to tears.

Sorry about the quality, it is the only one I could find.

My favorite choreography would have to be a Laendler performed by Maria and Georg. In this dance you can really see the two falling in love with each other. Christopher Plummer, portraying von Trapp, really emits love to Julie Andrews (Maria). So much love can be seen just through his eyes, you would almost expect them to be a real life couple, and he not faking his emotions. Ok, maybe not exactly in that dance, but trust me Christopher Plummer really put his heart into loving Maria and it really showed.

#Music Monday Review 1: “7 Brides for 7 Brothers”

Overview: Seven brothers living together in what appears to be a two room cabin up in the mountains of Oregon around 1850. The Eldest, Adam, sets off to town for some supplies and to get married. After their parents passed, it had only been the seven of them and they were in need of a womanly touch around the home. Adam finds and marries Milly, the hotel cook, brings her home to meet her new family. Rightly so, she gets mad at the fact that Adam “forgot” to tell her about the brothers living there and she married him to basically be a maid. The two eventually fall in love, and Milly straightens out the other six into proper gentleman. They all go to town for a barn raising party and meet girls of their own. Well they all get a case of “love at first dance” (and what a dance it is!) and become love sick. Adam, genius that he is, decides to take the boys into town late one night and kidnap all the girls. On the way home, the pass they travel through has an avalanche while they are being pursued by all the townsmen and the women are stuck there through the winter. Of course the women are mad and upset about being kidnapped and Milly sides with them, forcing the menfolk to sleep in the barn. As time goes on the girls start to fall in love. Come spring, the townsmen set off to bring their girls home but there’s a bigger problem they never intended on.

Opinion: Great musical. It was filmed in 1954, so the sets are fake but beautiful. The music; written by Gene de Paul, Adolph Deutsch, and Conrad Salinger; is charismatically performed by an amazing cast. I’m not that big on soprano singers, but Julie Powell has a nice clean voice without taking it too far up in the “screeching” register as some can. Howard Keel (Adam) has a nice low voice, but not as appealing as I have heard from others. He’s not in the song I posted here but he is definitely worth checking out.

One of my favorite dances, happens to be when the boys are love sick and singing about how lonesome they are. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous ones I have seen, because they are woodsmen swinging tools around as if they are toys. I know that they more than likely are toys/fake props, but if you imagine it in real life, they could accidentally chop off someone’s head just because they are in love.

The ending is also really cute, but I’m not going to tell you about it in hopes that you will check it out for yourselves.