The song Arkansas from the show Big River is a song that I was going to save for my top ten southern showtunes, but decided to do a week of showtunes about cities and states since memorial day is coming up. I heard this song for the first time in a while on XM Radio when John Tartaglia was guest djing. Most of us know him from Avenue Q as one of the leads, but he is also well known for having a ton of offbeat and sort of strange songs that he enjoys singing. I guess that’s why he was the perfect fit for Avenue Q.
His cabaret shows feature him singing songs about being in love with his second cousin and really offbeat showtunes that pretty much no one knows or remembers but him. Thankfully he also throws in some normal ones to mix it up which always keeps the audience happy since they get to learn new weird showtunes as well as offbeat John Tartaglia styled ones. In the song Arkansas from Big River, John probably loves this because it is sort of like a hillbilly or redneck singing about his love for his state Arkansas.
Arkansas from Big River is an awesome showtune if you just want something sort of ridiculous to sing that rhymes a lot and has a fun melody. It’s easy for everyone to sing a long to so if you have kids, Arkansas from Big River is a great showtunes to add to your playlist if you are going on a family vacation and have a long drive. Although I don’t have it on my current playlist, and probably won’t ever add it to it, it really is a fun song, especially if you have to drive through or have a friend who lives in Arkansas. Since this week is all about showtunes about the USA cities and states, I figured why not start with a big one that is happy, fun and easy to sing a long to. That’s why I chose Arkansas from the show Big River for the first song in Showtunes about the USA cities and states week.
A few weeks ago I did a post about working from home and wanting to go out all of the time because you miss being able to talk to people in person during the day. The showtune I played in that post was Out Tonight from Rent because it is all about going out in NYC. Today I am tempted to go out, but I also need to try and get more work done, but instead of thinking about Out Tonight from Rent, I instantly thought of another showtune that’s all about going out in NYC, just from a different time period and definitely a different type of showtune. It is Put on Your Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly.
Put on Your Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly is a song that starts with two young guys in Yonkers that are ready to go have a fun night out. Just like in Out Tonight from Rent, the one is trying to convince the other to go out and eventually does. One other thing that is kind of funny is that just like in Out Tonight, there is a second song that mixes in with the first one. In Put on Your Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly it goes into Dolly singing about going out as well but in a different way since she is wealthy and established. In Rent It is Roger who interrupts with reasons why he shouldn’t go out and about love and why she should leave him alone.
It’s kind of funny how two showtunes from two completely different time periods and casts have the same theme, goal and even combine two songs into each other. Put on Your Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly is a fun version of a song that is about going out for Summer because it’s all about being sunny, happy and having fun. If you’re going hiking, to a major city or even just going out for a walk, this is one of the perfect showtunes for you to get ready too. You probably aren’t going to be dressing like them or dancing while you’re walking…or singing, but you can get ready to go out while listing to Put on Your Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly.
The Power in My Purse with Lisa Kudrow is one of the cutest and campiest showtunes from Marci X or any other movie. Not only does Lisa go on a label whore rampage with designers’ names, but she completely flaunts her fashion in front of hundreds of people that were originally going to jump her after the show. The song starts with a rap battle between the guy with the afro you see glaring at her and her responding about his pants. After Lisa Kudrow or Marci Feld fails at her first couple tries of rapping, she ends up saying f it and goes for rapping about what she knows, fashion, shopping and designers.
Not only does she get every woman in the audience to start cheering for her and participating in the song, but she also got a choir to sing the chorus, a gay guy to belt out a couple of showtunes and a group of dancers to join in with choreography. Towards the end of the song Lisa gives a shot at singing And I Am Telling You from Dream Girls and fails miserably. Luckily she goes back into her rap where she had the audience going crazy and ends with everybody cheering her on and loving her performance. Even the guy who started off challenging her and trying to make her fail was impressed. She took on a rap battle in a black club as the only white, jewish and rich girl and ended up not only gaining the respect of everyone in the audience, but also the respect of the guy who challenged her. That is one of the reasons I like this song.
Not only is it funny, but it teaches you to not be afraid and just take over and take control of every situation, even if it looks like it will fail. Whether you are singing karaoke, auditioning for a show, participating in a dance aerobics or zumba class, giving a speech or lecture or even just going on a date with someone you have liked for a while, don’t be nervous and just take over the situation. Having confidence in yourself is one of the most important things and that is why I love the Power in My Purse song from Marci X with Lisa Kudrow.
I can’t believe that BroadwayReviewed.com is now at 200 posts. Thank you everyone who reads this blog and comes back regularly. The reason I started this site is that every other site out there is about getting you to buy tickets to something or selling something and the rest are about the actors or who designed a set and costumes or who the producer is. What didn’t exist is a site about music, what it means to the author and personal opinions on songs and performers you may not have heard of. After 199 posts and looking through the site, I realized that this blog is still doing what I wanted it to do. Provide fabulous broadway songs, introduce you to awesome broadway stars and music as well as give an easy to read review of shows. Even though my philosophy for this blog hasn’t changed since starting it a few years ago, this song from one of my favorite performers Kristin Chenoweth definitely changes philosophies a lot.
Kristin Chenoweth recreated the role of Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and they added a brand new song to the revival called My New Philosophy. My New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is a song where Sally Brown gets a bad grade on her paper and decides that she needs to change her opinion on life by thinking of a new philosophy. Kristin Chenoweth performed My New Philosophy at the 1999 Tony Awards and when she did she not only had everyone watching fall in love with her singing and acting, but she also stole the show and made it so that no one could ever be as good or as memorable of a Sally Brown as she was. Not only was the role of Sally Brown perfect for her, but the song My New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is perfect for Kristin Chenoweth since it is upbeat, happy and funny at the same time. Pretty much everything you expect to see from her in a show, especially when she wasn’t as well known. Anyways, I think My New Philosophy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is the perfect song for my 200th post because even though I haven’t changed my philosophy on how this blog should be written and who it is for, I love the song and think that everyone else will too.
One of my favorite Tony’s performances is when Gregory Heinz and Nathan Lane come on stage together and complain about the women complaining about men on broadway having the best parts and characters when the women get the better songs in the shows. Although that is somewhat true, women usually end up singing the male songs anyways when they do tours and concerts and guys have a harder time being able to add the female songs into their tours. That’s why I love Gregory Heinz and Nathan Lane’s performance at the Tony Awards because they decided to take a ton of great female songs and make a mashup of them.
Nathan Lane and Gregory Heinz are two of the most talented actors on broadway. Unfortunately Gregory Heinz had passed away, but the recordings of his shows and his guest appearances on tv like on Will and Grace when he was Karen’s laywer, Grace’s boyfriend and Will’s boss will make sure that he is remembered for a long time. Nathan Lane is a well known actor from movies like The Birdcage and he has been in a million shows and movies like The Producers and Mirror Mirror. Both of them are amazing Actors and their performance is incredible. Not only did they pull off singing the female songs, but they ended up sounding like it could have actually been made for a guy.
Watching the two of them perform together is amazing. They both have a ton of energy and it is hard to stop watching either of them. It’s hard to find people like them anywhere and when you have both of them on stage together it is an amazing show. That is why this is one of my favorite performances from the Tony Awards and one that you can still see at showtunes nights at JRs.