The Greatest Musical in the World

Now I have painted myself into a corner since it will be very difficult to choose just one Broadway musical out of the many I dearly love. And, like any other beloved list, I could choose several musicals just for one very important memory, song, or production.

For example, I could say that Carousel was my favorite musical because it was the first one I ever heard. I was visiting my older sister in Rhode Island when I was five-years-old, and she had a phonograph record of the film cast, including Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. Shirley Jones, for you younger sprouts, was the mom on the Partridge Family. MacRae was also in the film version of Oklahoma! (The exclamation point is part of the title, just so you know.)

But can I really have as my favorite musical a story of a wife-abuser who commits suicide in Act II? I think not.

So what about A Chorus Line with its beautiful music and dancing the likes of which had not been seen on Broadway for a long time. Michael Bennett, choreographer, designed a musical with no scenery, no costume changes, and no intermission, that brought Broadway back to life. Shubert Organization Chairman Gerald Schoenfeld said it totally changed the musical theater.

“It was a catalyst for the improvement of this area, and of course this area is now the most desirable area in New York.”

But I can’t make myself pick A Chorus Line for my best musical in the world, even though it gave the all of us this beautiful song, written by Marvin Hamlisch:

So, my favorite musical in the world is, drum roll, please, The Fantasticks. Most already know that this was a small off-Broadway show, that never made it to the Great White Way. The New Yorker, in its monthly rundown of shows playing at the time, along with how the editors felt about them, finally got to the point. After about 15-years of explaining The Fantasticks, they just went with a simple phrase that was something like this “…all that whimsy.”

In the end it had a 42 year run, making it the world’s longest-running musical. But it’s not “Try to Remember” that makes this show the best in my book, nor is it the musical’s obvious connection to audiences. It was performed in the round, so connecting was easy. No, it was this song, written by Tom Jones (not that Tom Jones) and Harvey Schmidt, as was the entire  score:

And although the movie, directed by Michael Ritchie, was a flop, this song, sung by Jean Louisa Kelly and Joey McIntyre in the film, is really beautifully done and worth a watch.

Hope you enjoy the music!

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My Superpower in the Style of a Fourth Grade Poem

 

 

Nobody’s ever asked me before,
And probably won’t again.
But I have a secret power,
Though I’m not sure just where it began.

You could call my power courage, I’m guessing,
But not in the usual way
For I’m pretty afraid of so many things,
And the list increases each day!

No, my courage comes in a different form,
It’s all about thinking, “I can!”
For example, if someone said, “Let’s build a boat!”
I’d say, “Yes, I’m ready, by damn.”

Or if someone asked me to help them
Write a book about how to crochet,
Although I’m just a beginner,
I’d start researching facts right away.

And if something was wrong with the placement
Of the furniture in the den,
Before anyone could stop me
There’d be chairs where the sofa had been.

I’m not bragging, in fact, it’s annoying to some,
Because they might want to decide
If their towels were folded and put away
In the manner that fills me with pride.

But I just have to face it, this is my fate.
I think I can do everything.
Deep down inside, I know that’s not true,
Still, my confidence seems to take wing.

My finished product’s not perfect.
So many times it is not.
But jumping right in and attempting
Is the only superpower I’ve got!

Five Photos – Five Captions

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Most Americans have voted by now, 6:15 CST, Nov. 8, 2016. When I left my polling location I was almost in tears.

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Although there was an autumnal celebration in Plymouth in November of 1621, it was Abraham Lincoln who called for a day of  “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” during the Civil War. He made the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day and hopefully, this year American families and friends can come together for a peaceful , warm, and happy gathering. No talking about politics !

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Black Friday, when sales and price reductions lure consumers to big box stores, malls, and shopping centers, has become an American ritual. But USA Today reports that Black Friday may be close to extinction due to the rising number of internet shoppers. Some stores are opting to not even open on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Could it be possible that the traditional frenzied spree to purchase the popular stuff that may sell out before Christmas Day will cease? I’m thinking not anytime soon. Still, wherever you shop, no talking about politics!

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Then the Christmas carols begin. Make no mistake, I adore Christmas music. When the carols are wafting through stores, restaurants, and our homes, I am a total fan. However, about one-and-a-half weeks after they begin to be played, I start to get a little agitated. By two weeks in, I am almost oblivious, and by the time Christmas Day rolls around, I’m hoping all speakers in all locations in my town will have their electrical cords clipped. Ubiquity is killing our collective holiday musical vibe. No singing about politics, either!

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Then, in the blink of an eye, we will be celebrating  Christmas Day. After the grand feast has been devoured, the presents have been opened, Tiny Tim has asked God to “bless us every one,” and Uncle Jim has gotten royally sozzled, we will be only days away from 2017. Here’s what T. S. Eliot said about new years:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Allow me to explain what he was trying to say. Eliot meant that we should never talk about politics again.