Friday, March 19, 1999
I'm watching "The Music Man" on television. The song "Ya Got Trouble" is such a classic. It always reminds me of most of our politicians and special interest groups. They seem to think that the only way we will do what they want is to scare us with totally irrelevant issues. They're probably right, but that doesn't excuse their lying to us. All that does is make us cynical.
I enjoy the old musicals. I like the new ones also but they don't have the same memories. So many of them were ahead of their time. "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" from South Pacific showed so clearly how we are taught to be prejudiced. Showboat showed the pain in a black passing as white long before "passing" had books written about it.
I watch the old musicals now and they often look a little dorky but they still have that magic and the songs are timeless. Of the newer musicals I like anything (that I've seen) done by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The first one of his that I saw was the movie of "Jesus Christ Superstar" which was such a change from Rodgers and Hammerstein, and I like both.
One of my favorite musicals is "Paint your Wagon" and I prefer the film version starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin. When, several years later, I saw the original stage version I was rather disappointed. It was a nice musical but I wanted the movie version. I especially love Lee Marvin in this. He is so good.
I enjoy musicals because they are so singable. So much music is great but not something you can sing along with or not something that anyone can sing. We may not sing them well, but we can sing them - in the shower and while on our way to work and when we need cheering up.