Monday, August 10, 2009

tra la la : musicals survey

Through a bit of blogspotting ( -- hmm, maybe I should follow more blogs instead of snooping sort of intruder-like), I came across a survey that mostly circulates around musicals. And if I must say it (and I must), musicals are probably my favourite genre, that and comedies. Anything which makes me feel happy as a lark.

What is your favorite musical from the 1930s? At the moment it's Top Hat, love those great big white sets, the unrealistic but dreamy recreation of Venice, most of the Irving Berlin music (except the treatment of The Piccolino, the Busby Berkeley wannabee choregraphy doesn't fit in nicely with the rest of the film) and of course, Ginger and Fred and their witty banter and dancing.

From the 40s? Much harder with Minelli, Garland, Kelly, Astaire in this decade. It's probably the Golden Age of musicals. I'll go with The Pirate, it's somewhat surreal, has great use of colour, fine performances and nice Cole Porter music.

From the 50s? The obvious answer would be Singin' in the Rain, but I love An American in Paris and Gigi more.

From the 60s? ... I do like Thoroughly Modern Millie, it's a quirky musical, an ode to the roaring twenties, suffers a little from political incorrectness, but recovers with the loopy performance of Carol Channing.

From the 70s? Cabaret is great, Liza Minelli is sensational in it.

From the 80s? not sure...

From the 90s to today? Moulin Rouge is the most recent musical that I take a shine to.

Out of these, which is your favorite? An American in Paris is the one I've been able to return to most frequently.

Who are your favorite musical actors? Fred Astaire, Donald O'Connor, Gene Kelly, Howard Keel

Who are your favorite musical actresses? Doris Day, Judy Garland, Ginger Rogers, Vera Ellen, Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth

Who are your favorite musical directors? Vincente Minelli, Stanley Donen

Who are your favorite songwriters? The Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter

Who are you favorite dancers? Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Vera Ellen, Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Bob Fosse

What is your favorite showtune? Tied between They Can't Take That Away From Me from Shall We Dance and Never Gonna Dance, from Swing Time and have to add in, Gigi from the film of same title.

What is your favorite movie with Fred and Ginger? Top Hat, but since it's already mentioned I'll give a shout out to Swing Time--it's flawless in its music and dancing and Fred and Ginger's chemistry steps it up a poignant notch.

What is your favorite movie with Mickey and Judy? Girl Crazy--for one, it starts off with Mickey pining after Judy rather than the other way around. For another it has a Gershwin score. And for a third, it's just the best film of the two.

What is your favorite movie with Nelson and Jeanette? Haven't seen any yet. Watch this space.

What is your favorite Judy Garland movie? Easter Parade/The Pirate.

What is your favorite Gene Kelly movie? An American in Paris

MGM or RKO? What? They both gave us some of the best musicals, where would the Freed Unit and Singin' in the Rain be without MGM? Where would Fred and Ginger be without RKO?

Pasternak or Freed Unit? Freed unit, though can't forget that Pasternak produced Anchors Aweigh which is a formidable musical.

Astaire or Kelly? Astaire for me.

Howard Keel or Gordon McRae? Probably Howard Keel, but Gordon McRae is great, particularly in Oklahoma and he has a lovely voice to boot.

June Allyson or Jane Powell? I've seen a little amount of films of either, but June so far, she was very sassy and sweet (do the two combine? Well they do here) in Good News.

Barbra Streisand or Liza Minnelli? I've seen more of Babs than Liza so it's probably not fair to say. They both have their strengths and are great actresses and performers and singers in their unique way.

Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music? The Sound of Music.

Julie Andrews as Poppins or Audrey Hepburn? Audrey as Poppins? Nope can't imagine it.

Favorite dance by Fosse? I'm pretty sure he choregraphed his dance with Tommy Rall in My Sister Eileen so I'll say that one. It's flawless.

What is your favorite aqua-musical? I've seen one Esther Williams--queen of the water--movie and it was Take Me Out to the Ballgame. To my knowledge it has one scene in the water, I don't know if it counts.

What is your favorite non-musical scene from a musical? I just can't get over Fred Astaire's 'peek-a-boo' when Ginger finds out he's driving her carriage in Top Hat.

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