Monthly Archives: September 2012

Wedding Themed Showtunes You May Not Have Heard Of

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For a very long time, musical theater composers have visited – and revisited – the subject of marriage. This week’s “Curtains,” Sunday Showtunes at Mova Lounge, highlights marriage, its highs and lows with 7 songs relating to marriage, from composer Stephen Sondheim’s caustic take on the institution (“Not Getting Married Today”) to a joyful wedding reception (“Flash! Bang! Wallop!) in the underrated “Half A Sixpence.”

The first song, the wistful “If Mama Was Married” by Jule Styne and Sondheim from the musical “Gypsy,” is sung by Mama Rose’s two daughters, Dainty June and Louise. They wish for normalcy, a home to call their own, and, as June sings, “and for once and for all to get Mama out of my hair.” Yes, kids don’t want mothers controlling their lives, not then and not now, and Mama Rose was perhaps the most infamous Stage Mother of all time. Rose’s marriage to Herbie, their stage manager, would solve all their problems.

After his partnerships with Leonard Bernstein (“West Side Story”) and Julie Styne (“Gypsy”), Sondheim became a force to be reckoned as a double threat: lyricist and composer. After his first hit, “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum,” followed by his unsuccessful “Anyone Can Whistle,” Sondheim acquitted himself quite nicely with his landmark “Company,” often noted as one of the first so-called “Concept” musicals. “Not Getting Married Today,” one of but many memorable songs from its score features an insecure bride-to-be, her mother and the groom. This version is from a Sondheim concert is performed by the incomparable Madeline Kahn, as seen here:

“His Love Makes Me Beautiful” from the screen version of “Funny Girl” is an amusing take about a bride (Barbra Streisand, in an auspicious Oscar-winning debut) who is “in the family way.” Against a lavish Ziegfeld Follies backdrop with beautiful, scantily dressed chorus girls, Streisand’s expert comic delivery (we all know she has the vocal chops) makes this number a true show stopper.

A popular number from the celebrated “My Fair Lady,” “Get Me to the Church On Time” is performed by Stanley Holloway who originated the role as Alfred P. Doolittle both on Broadway and in the West End. Watch here as Doolittle and his cronies make a night long pub crawl in the memorable “Get Me to the Church on Time” by Lerner and Loewe:

A standard at weddings for years, “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof needs little introduction. Its universal themes of parenthood, childhood and the life cycle transcend mere musical theater. Director Norman Jewison exacted sensitive portrayals from all concerned. The music is adapted and arranged by Oscar winning John Williams. Watch it here:

“Trinkt le Chiam,”another Jewish Wedding Song was composed especially 1967’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” I have included it here for the sole reason because Julie Andrews – yes, that Julie Andrews, sings Yiddish! Her clipped English diction works marvelously here. Yes, a Brit sing Yiddish, and it has to be seen (and heard!) to be believed!

As a finale to the marriage theme, what could be more appropriate than a wedding reception? “Flash! Bang! Wallop!,” performed by star Tommy Steele and chorus, provide a veddy British rousing romp. Excitingly choreographed by Gillian Lynne, who would go on to stage “Cats,” “Half A Sixpence” was little seen in the U.S. but scored a box office triumph in its native England.

These are just a handful of magical musical numbers which await you at “Curtains,” Sunday Showtunes from 5 to 9 at Mova Lounge, 2204 14th Street NW (between W Street NW & Florida Avenue NW – U Street is the closest Metro station). Note that all clips are obtained from the best possible source, many of which are subtitled so you and your pals can sing-along!

Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train from Company

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Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train from Company is a song that sort of makes me think of a panic attack. Crowds and rushing around and going to work drive me crazy. I hate having to commute on crowded trains and around people coughing and sneezing and then having to do the same when I head home at night. It sort of makes me think of a panic attack, especially when I am sitting at a metro station staring and watching people get on and off the trains and freaking out or running so they can be on time. It’s amazing that more people don’t have nervous breakdowns from it which is what I think this song is about.

Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train from Company is about people being to busy and rushing around and driving themselves crazy. Earlier I had a panic attack when I was trying to finish everything I had to do for all of my clients and then also prep for a business trip I have to take. Not only did I feel like I was behind on my work, but I hate flying or being in large crowds so traveling at all always makes me freak out. I eventually calmed myself down and finished everything I needed to do as well as packed so I’m not worries anymore, but the song Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train from Company was the perfect song to think about when I was about to have a panic attack about having to do everything, at once and not having enough time or energy to do it all. It’s kind of funny how I always think of a showtune that is perfect for when I am stressed, happy or anything else. That’s one of the reasons I love showtunes. They are made for emotions and for people to sing about their emotions. Another Hundred People Just Got Off of the Train from Company is definitely a showtune that everyone can relate to if you have to commute to work and you are getting tired of your job and if you hate your commute.

Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga – We Choose Madonna – Live Video Inside

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The Material Girl was just in DC and took the Verizon Center by storm to show why Madonna is the Queen of Pop Music. There is no one in the world that can compete with her after this show and the MDNA tour. People have been giving her slack lately because her new album MDNA kind of sucked (which I agreed with until I saw the show. Now I love it. Kind of like when you’re listening to a cast recording before you’ve seen a show and songs that you didn’t like now become your favorites.) and because of the Elton John comments. Unfortunately, Madonna doesn’t take crap and if you challenge her, she gives it right back to you and takes it to another level. It was clear in the show who she was giving a big F you to which included Gwen Stefani (according to my friend but I didn’t see it), Guy Riche and Lady Gaga.

Don’t get me wrong, I love some of Lady Gaga’s music, but Madonna can create music that doesn’t have to rhyme to make me love it. Instead she can go out on stage and sing anything and you cannot take your eyes off of her. She is an absolute diva and one of my favorite moments, which you’ll see in the video below, is when Nicki Minaj says “There is only one Queen, Madonna.” Madonna took on her ex husband with a bunch of songs about anger and amazing effects. She took on Gwen Stefani (which I still don’t agree with) with having a marching band and drum line suspended in the air and moving around the rafters while drumming. It was freaking insane. The best though was when Madonna took over a Lady Gaga song on tour and did it 1 million times better than Gaga ever could. No wonder Elton John was pissed. Madonna sang Born This Way by Lady Gaga on the MDNA tour and then went into she’s not me.

Not only did Madonna’s MDNA Live Tour rip into everyone who compared Lady Gaga to her, but it also set the standard that Lady Gaga will have to reach if she ever wants to reach the fame and talent that Madonna has. Lady Gaga is amazing at theatrics and puts on an amazing show, but Madonna made it clear that she is still the one to beat. Lady Gaga talks about singing in her shows so Madonna flat out said that she’ll be singing this entire song live before she did instead of having parts of it pre recorded. If you challenge Madonna, she gives it right back to show that she really is the queen of Pop Music and that there will never be anyone who could beat her. Madonna’s live tour MDNA was amazing and her show at the Verizon Center was incredible. I’m still recovering from it. Here is one of the videos I found of Madonna’s live tour at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. She was amazing and is definitely my favorite above Lady Gaga. Please feel free to leave your comments below or other favorite parts of Madonna’s live tour if you have them. Lady Gaga is still amazing and has an incredible voice, but Madonna showed that she is still Queen. I love them both, but there is no comparison that I would rather see Madonna than Lady Gaga and will always love her music more.

Not Getting Married Today from Company

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It’s kind of funny how people flip out about things that they love like getting married or even at work when they have a simple project that they have to work on and then the person just freaks out. It’s kind of like the song Not Getting Married Today from Company.

I have no idea why I had a mini panic attack today but for some reason I did. It wasn’t my break up and all of my clients are doing well. I have a friends who I love and it’s actually kind of a nice day out. I even went to the gym and worked out. For some reason I just started to have a panic attack and I didn’t actually know why.

I forgot to eat breakfast which usually means that I am a bit off or in a bad mood, but that shouldn’t mean I would have a panic attack. I also got a full night’s sleep so that isn’t the issue. I do have to go to Vegas in a few weeks to speak at a conference. Normally that wouldn’t bug me because I speak at a lot of shows each year, but for some reason that could actually be causing me to be stressed. It could also be all of the things I have to do for Q4 this year for my clients who are mostly retail and consumer based.

I work in online marketing and if I don’t drive sales and results for my clients, they pull. Q4 is usually an awesome time where everyone is stressed, but also calm because there are tons of sales coming in. We’re also happy about this because we can have extra money at the end of Q4 to invest in either new employees, better marketing channels and have more money to spend on growing our customer bases. For some reason I think that the combination of speaking, Q4 sales and plans starting to be put together and going live and because I have new clients that just signed I am a bit stressed. It sort of made me thing of the song Not Getting Married Today from Company because even though she wants to get married, she is scared of it and starts to freak out.

This is the Moment – Jekyll and Hyde tickets on sale here

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So I’m sort of excited that the broadway touring cast of Jekyll and Hyde is coming to the Kennedy Center here in DC and you can already get your broadway tickets on sale by clicking on the words broadway tickets and still actually get really good seats for Jekyll and Hyde on tour. Jekyll and Hyde is a musical based on the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Two mad scientists that shared the same body but had different minds. Jekyll and Hyde the musical is also famous for the song This is the Moment which is one of the most popular showtunes for men that is sung at charity benefits and karaoke nights.

Dr. Jekyll is a well mannered and well respected person in his community. People know him as a brilliant scientist and his inventions are kind of insane, especially the one where he creates a liquid which can actually change your personality enough that you will do everything you ever wanted but never remember it because your body and mind take on an entirely new personality and person. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is one of the most famous. Cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Looney tunes made fun of it when they had Tweety and Sylvester drinking the potion, and neither was sure what was going on. In another episode Bugs Bunny drank Dr. Jekyll’s vile and turned into a monster. They actually even labeled the house and beaker with his name so you knew the story of it. Eventually the brilliant minds of broadway creators Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden and the new tour is brought to you by Jeff Calhoun.

If you love amazingly talented performers like Grammy winner Deborah Cox and love stories that are messed up like a show by Stephen Sondheim, then you’ll love Jekyll and Hyde the musical. It isn’t a family friendly show and kids would probably get bored, but it is a perfect show for date night and you’ll fall in love with the story line, the cast and the music because of songs like This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde. I already bought my tickets for Jekyll and Hyde the musical at the Kennedy center by clicking on the link above and you can find discounts on seats by clicking on the banners to the right and looking through what they have available.