Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Follies Take on the Love Boat & Streisand with I’m The Greatest Star

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I wasn’t actually alive yet when the Love Boat was on tv, but it was one of those shows that always had a million guest stars on it. On one episode they decided to have their own mini battle of the Divas by bringing on Carol Channing, Ann Miller, Ethel Merman and Della Reese. Not only were all of these fabulous Follies stars excited to be on the ship, but when they started coming on one by one, the drama began. I love how each of them thought that the other women would be back up for them, and then comes in Ethel Merman.

Instead of the classy, stuck up or fun and happy entrances, she comes in belting out a tune and just lets everyone else know that they are there to support her. That is one of the reasons I love Ethel Merman. She can belt out a tune, say something rude and still have everyone love her. Her personality is amazing in that even when she says something rude, she can actually make it a joke and have everyone laughing. That is one of the things that made her famous. She had a huge personality that everyone loved and just like Carol Channing whose voice wasn’t a normal broadway sound, they can both pull it off with their ability to stand out. But what happens when you have all four of these amazing women on one stage? You give them a song from a show all about the Follies that lets them compete. There is also only one song that could be perfect for it. “I’m the greatest star” from “Funny Girl”. The only thing missing was Barbara Streisand coming out as another surprise guest and taking over the entire show.

This clip is an awesome clip to just make you laugh if you love the Follies and these ladies. If you were never a fan or didn’t like them, then you probably won’t like it. However, if you love Carol, Ann, Della or Ethel, you’ll love this clip and definitely want to share this post on Facebook and Twitter with your friends. Please also feel free to leave a comment below.

Somebody Super Like You & Life at Last – Phantom of Paradise

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I originally told Ryan to write a post about zombies on broadway…I had recommended a few shows about zombies and instead, we got this. Enjoy!

When I started watching the video for Somebody Super Like You / Life At Last from Phantom of the Paradise, I first though I was seeing a KISS tribute concert. After it became clear that was wrong, I wondered if had fallen asleep during a scene from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but that did not seem right either. So I decided I would try to put the song in some context, and you know, read the video title. The song still begs a lot of questions, but at least now I know it is Somebody Super Like You / Life At Last from Phantom of the Paradise.

The whole scene from Phantom of the Paradise is way over the top and cheesy in a way I thought was awesome and hilarious. Opening with a huge thunderstorm and a blatant rip off of the Phantom of the Opera theme, the band quickly starts rocking out on stage. Watching how enthused their fans become, it’s hard not to start clapping and stomping right along with them.

The first time during Phantom of the Paradise when I was unable to hold my laughter in was when the girl in the yellow shirt was reaching out so desperately for the singer, and he takes her hand — literally. Watching as the band continues carrying out mutilations each verse somehow just gets funnier and funnier. I especially liked how they transferred from the victim’s scream back into the song. During the harmonizing part of the number, I thought that the graceful and dance-like sewing of the severed body parts was also hilariously choreographed.

Even though I thought the music in the second section of the song, where you get to see the newly created man, was a little lacking, it was my favorite part. Watching the phantom surreptitiously riding counterweights into the catwalk served for some very light hearted suspense, and I thought this more than made up for the lack luster music. To be honest, I was pretty excited to watch the Phantom use his bizarre lightening bolt gun to kill the Frankenstein character, as I really was not a fan of the man or the music. However, I did think that the guy calling for the fire extinguisher at the end was a great way to squeeze in a final laugh.

After watching Somebody Super Like You / Life At Last from Phantom of the Paradise, I am determined to see the rest of this movie over the weekend. Wrapping up a night out with a couple of friends and an absurd horror rock opera is not something I’ve done in the past, but after this clip from Phantom of the Paradise I am definitely looking forward to trying it out.

Summertime from Porgy and Bess – Because I am tired of this Winter Crap!

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I am soo tired of the end of winter in DC where it is cloudy, grey and randomly cold when it looks like it should be warm out. I can’t wait for spring with the cherry blossoms and the weather getting warm and being able to go running outside without freezing. When I was thinking about a song to write about today, the only one I could think of when looking outside where it is grey and cold and bare is Summertime from Porgy and Bess. Summertime from Porgy and Bess is an awesome showtune about summer and one that I absolutely love.

The whole song reminds me of New Orleans which is one of my favorite cities in the world. My Dad lived there before hurricane Katrina and when I went to visit for the first time I instantly fell in love. The city’s culture, the music and the food are incredible. Even if you leave the French Quarter to go out on the swamps or the Bayou, the people still smile and are always happy to see you. It is one of the happiest and most inviting cities I have ever been to. It also has a huge history of supernatural beings like the Vampires from Anne Rice’s novels, Voodoo from actual voodoo temples and basically every other type of monster and magic you can think of. When you mix that with the food, the parties and even events like Mardis Gras, you are left with an amazing city and because of the fun atmosphere and how long families have lived there, you have a happy group of people ready to welcome you to their city. That’s why Summertime from Porgy and Bess sort of reminds me of New Orleans.

During parts of the song they scat and when the people are singing they just make you want to relax for a few minutes. There’s something about this type of music that just makes you feel warm inside and the name Summertime is perfect for this showtune because it really makes you feel like it is summer time outside, even if it isn’t spring yet and the weather is still freezing. If you have a favorite showtune about summer, even summer loving from Grease, feel free to share it below in the comments section and let us know why you love it and why it makes you think of summer.