Posts Tagged: Songs

Shana Dagny – What songs inspire her – Good luck on tour!

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When Adam Riemer asks you to write about your favorite broadway song you want to fill up his page with absolutely everything you know and dream to know about show tunes. As a professional singer raised in the Philippines (a country which hones very strong broadway singer competition for the world) I went down the list and grew drunk and giddy off of chorus after chorus in my head and out my mouth without regrard for the rest of the passengers (unknowing audience) at the boarding gate where I fortunately was at the time I encountered his request.

“Oh Adam! There are so many!” The man asks me to pick just one I can relate to. GREAT! Everyone in show, stage, presentation etcetera has the lucky inevitable advantage of experiencing a myriad of emotions through their art, and for people who have music in their repertoire be it a singer, instrumentalist or good ol’ music lover with no mention of professional or studious background, each song is a reflection of a different expression of said emotions, a different depth that they are able to tap into. So maybe I’ll slightly defy the request and mention just a few songs that I did start singing here at the boring boarding gate, and tag my thoughts on each.

Take Me Or Leave Me; Rent: The One Two Knock Out Punch every self respecting woman out there would want to sing. For those who are both career oriented women or relationship driven, this song speaks to both. It is a dialogue between two lovers, where one considers the other her “person”, the center of her universe, while the other defines the object of her affection as more multidirectional. It’s Sassy, energetic and above all strong!

Nothing A Chorus Line: This song is half singing half speaking. Here the singer gets a chance to talk her way through a verse, rest and get ready for the belts coming shortly after. Kind of like a flume ride. The performer here is an auditionee who complains her way through the song because the antagonist in her story questions her sense of meaning. The song is both playful and expressive.

This is Shana singing it:

He Was My Boyyyfriend Young Frankenstein: Oh Shush! don’t laugh… On second thought, you probably won’t stop laughing after experiencing this song number/dance break. It’s about a creepy looking landlady of Dr. Frankenstein’s mansion who retells her love affair with the reinamination scientist. It’s hilarious and I love it because it is so.

Defying Gravity Wicked: The first two songs were from musicals based on real life. This song is from the prequel to the story of The Wizard Of Oz. The symphony here mirrors the magic in the tale and by the time you start your first line in the song you already feel enchanted, fueled by some green glowy elixir that can only exist in fairy tales but then the volume of the song increases and turns so fierce that the fiction becomes real life.

My flight is about to board (finally!) but before I go I do remember one more song. It starts out, singing “Perhaps I had a wicked childhood, perhaps I had a miserable youth, but somewhere in my wicked miserable past I must have done Something Good…” Sung by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. It is a song about love and happiness. To me it says life becomes meaningful… and the magic in that meaning is because of the one “person” around for you. That one person could be anybody, family member, friend, boyyyyfriend;) an existential being, or yourself. As I draw this to a close I realize that this song is THE song. It is the first song I ever heard sung to me by my favorite woman in the world, my mom. I invite you all to listen, sing and use Something Good and explore the many heights it could take you to.

That’s my final boarding call.

Two Performances That Made Me Go Wow

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It isn’t often I hear something and go wow. That’s actually a complete lie since I am always impressed by people or shocked at how bad someone who is usually amazing is. These two videos got the wow thing from me. The one is a guy named Gabriel Lopez who randomly takes on Glitter and Be Gay from Candide and actually pulls it off without having to go into a high soprano. The other one is from Glee, which I stopped watching, and is Rachel Berry singing Being Good from Swan Song. I heard it last night at showtunes at MOVA lounge in DC.

We all know Rachel (Lea Michelle) has an amazing voice. Whether I am a fan of hers or not, I love her voice and think she is incredible. I don’t know how much of this song is the studio making it sound amazing, and how much is her actually singing, but it sounds amazing. She’s a bit like Barbara Streisand when she’s singing this song, but at the same time her character wants to be Barbara. It’s great to see that they are letting her show off what she can do with her voice and this song is absolutely amazing when she does it. When the VJ was talking about the song being a wow song, I didn’t understand why until he played the clip and you hear Lea Michelle belting it out. The way she performs it really is a wow moment and the song is absolutely amazing.

The reason Gabriel performing Glitter and Be Gay from Candid is a wow moment is because 1. he is a guy and 2. he didn’t have to try and go soprano. The song is insanely hard and takes a ton of control. To take it randomly and perform it without trying or practicing is insane. That is why I had a wow moment when I heard him sing this song and not even mess it up. It was a definite wow moment because I was waiting for him to go high and he didn’t or to have him mess up and he pulled it off perfectly.

It’s kind of fun to create your own show from random showtunes

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I was listening to my iPhone playlist on the way to the beach this past weekend it was having fun combining songs together to make a new show out of different songs. One of the things I love about showtunes is that you can listen to a song and think that it means one thing or is about one thing, but when you see the show it becomes something completely different. If you take the songs that can easily have a different meaning, you can then place them with other showtunes and create a brand new story line. One of the ones that I was thinking of started with impossible from Cinderella, then Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera and then Last Night of The World from Miss Saigon.

So this one doesn’t really take on an entirely new meaning, but the songs could flow into each other theme wise. Musically it would be sort of a nightmare, unless you place it back into an operatic or old styled show. You start with the person who wants to go to a party but thinks its impossible. She wishes she could go, meet someone to fall in love with and then get married and have the happily ever after ending.

She goes to the party in her new gown which leads into Masquerade from Phantom. As they are there and singing, you can add in some dialogue and a new routine. The two bump into each other and maybe dance, maybe the guy she falls in love with is the Red Skeleton character or maybe they just pass each other by. Another option is to have her get scared and avoid the guy all night. Then when she goes to take a break outside, she runs into him or he comes out and runs into her. That’s when Last Night of the World comes on. The fun thing is that you can have some dialogue come on or you can even have them watching two others who are in love sing it and let it play into their relationship.

Anyways, here are those three songs from the movie or theatre versions. Feel free to leave your own favorite combinations below in the comments section.

Two Broadway Showtunes That Have The Opposite Effect On Me.

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It’s kind of funny when you hear a showtune and when most people think the song is sad, you find it inspirational or it makes you happy.  Other times there are showtunes that are meant to be happy and to cheer you up, but when you hear them they kind of depress you.  There are two songs from very popular shows that have this type of effect on me.  Being Alive from Company and Happiness and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

Being Alive from Company is a song that almost everyone thinks is sad or depressing.  The character singing is singing about why being alone isn’t a bad thing and how he doesn’t want to find love.  He is lonely and has given up hope on people and love and unfortunately always has people trying to set him up and keep him company.  Unfortunately he just wants to be alone.  When I hear this song I sort of relate to him but instead of seeing it as a bad thing, the song actually sounds like an inspirational and happy song.

I’m the type of person who likes my private space.  I love my friends and family, but I also like my private time.  When I hear the song Being Alive from Company I actually perk up because I feel that way a lot of the time.  It doesn’t mean I’m depressed, it just means that I like my life how it is.  The song reminds me that I have people who care about me and that I am happy Being Alive.  It is a gorgeous song and actually one that I think if you don’t hear as part of the show you’ll think it is more of a happier inspirational song for people who enjoy their lives and aren’t really looking for love.  Here is Being Alive from Company.

Happiness from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

This song is kind of like one of those songs that you hear as a kid. For some reason it sort of depresses me. The melody is dark and slow and the voices sound sort of depressed. The kids are singing about things that make them happy or about what they think happiness is. It’s a song that when you just hear it it should make you smile or think of what makes you happy. For some reason it always ends up making me feel depressed. I don’t know why it is because I always think of happy things when I hear it, but I always end up sort of down when it is over. Maybe it is the tune that depressed me or maybe its the voices that sound sort of depressed. Anyways, here is Happiness from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

If you have a song that has the opposite effect on you as everyone else, feel free to share it below by leaving a comment. Thank you again for reading.

The Cast of Hairspray Sing Dreidel Driedel Driedel

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So I was driving home listening to Seth Rudetsky on Sirius XM as always when he played the Cast of Hairspray singing the Dreidel song.  Not only did the Cast of Hairspray singing the dreidel song sound really familiar, but I could have sworn I had heard it somewhere else before.  When I got home I went onto Youtube and sure enough I found out where I had heard it before, on South Park!

The difference between the South Park characters singing the dreidel song and the cast of Hairspray singing the driedel song is that the cast of Hairspray sounds amazing singing the South Park version.  Not only do they break out into perfect harmony, but when you combine people like Harvey Fierstein into the song it just becomes even more amazing.  I still don’t know who I prefer singing the offensive part, Harvey Fierstein or Eric Cartmen, but from a fellow Jew it is much less offensive since Cartmen is actually being serious with the negative comments.

Before you leave any negative comments or say that I am anti Judaism, I am a Jew and I love being Jewish.  This song is hilarious and for some reason the person who put it on youtube actually tried to match it to disney movies.  Certain parts match up well but most of it doesn’t.  Regardless, the Cast of Hairspray singing the Dreidel Song to Disney Movies is absolutely hilarious and perfect for Hanukah.  There are other versions of the song to other Disney clips available on Youtube and if you’d like to buy the cd with this song and others, I highly recommend visiting Broadway Cares which is the Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS website.  They are a great organization and have a million fabulous broadway gifts for Christmas and Hanukah.  BTW, if anyone is reading this and wants to buy me a gift, the Broadway Cares Christmas CD with the Cast of Hairspray sing the Dreidel song would make a perfect gift.  Here is the video of the Cast of Hairspray sings the Dreidel song.  Feel free to leave a comment below and visit the Broadway Cares website for your holiday shopping and to help donate to a charity that helps to find a cure for AIDS.