Saturday, January 12, 2013

Musicals On My Mind

Fresh from the mind-blowing and astounding performances in the film adaptation of Les Miserables, I have been thoroughly enjoying the resurgence of film musicals.

If there is an alternate universe, I would probably be Cameron McIntosh’s sidekick as he spins out musicals after musicals. Who am I kidding, I will probably fight tooth and nail to be the ultimate diva on stage and film.

LES MISERABLES (2012 film adaptation)

As a fan of musicals, I have waited long for this film adaptation, and it's worth the wait. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway both deliver Oscar-worthy performances. Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean (the original 24601), was featured in a surprise turn as the bishop.

My favorite songs are: "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Empty Chairs". And yes, I cried at almost every other song. :)

Anne Hathaway was mesmerizing as she filled the screen and reached out to the audience with a visceral and raw rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” She was not just a movie star just acting a part. Her hair badly shorn, her dress tattered and grimy, and her face splotchy… she was a mother bemoaning her fate and her lost dreams. She was Fantine, a woman beaten down, all alone, in despair. I believed her.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted.

This is a precious find. This is a video of an actual stage production of Lea Salonga as Fantine on her deathbed. A tear or two? No, I shed a bucketful of tears.

If only Lea Salonga have sung Eponine's "On My Own", the movie would have been perfect.


My Auntie Sol had introduced me to Mary Poppins. I remember her singing along to Julie Andrews as our favorite nanny dispensed her medicine with a sweet song and a little magic. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


Every child should see this movie of Maria and the Von Trapp family. High up in the mountains of Austria, the free-spirited Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, er, Maria brought music and happiness to the children.

One of these days, I will travel to the Austrian Alps, because of my determination (misguided it may be) to open my arms wide and sing the title song at the top of my voice. I promise to warn anyone within a hundred mile radius.

The musical contains many popular songs, including "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", "Sixteen Going on Seventeen", and "The Lonely Goatherd".

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things


“Truly scrumptious as a cherry peach parfait”

Who would think that Ian Fleming of James Bond fame would write this engaging musical about a flying car with characters named as Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious?

This video was a great baby-sitter for my son Jordan. At two years old, he managed to actually sit still for almost two hours so that I could do some household chores. I must confess that most times I sat by his side and sang along with him.

Great news that this movie is being remade by the British.


Just to clarify, this was before my time. But after I saw the movie for the first time, I had seriously entertained the thought of being a tap dancer, maybe a female Gene Kelly or Donald O'Connor. Damn knees.

GREASE (1978)

This was John Travolta at his cutest. And here’s a group of friends who tried hard to sing like Sandy and the girls.


The musical about an American GI and a doomed bargirl in war-ravaged Vietnam catapulted Lea Salonga to the international stage. According to Playbill, "Miss Saigon is still the eleventh longest-running Broadway musical in musical theatre history."

All is right in the world. The Heat is On. The helicopter is bearing down on stage. After Les Mis, Miss Saigon is coming on film.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

The new year is a gift waiting to be unwrapped. Another year to make good of God's gift of life. Another chance to fulfill the promise of our potential to be the best of what we can be.

The past year 2012 had given me so much more that I can ever ask for, but I am so secure in my faith in God that there will be more blessings ahead.

The gift is waiting. Welcome 2013.

Happy New Year everyone. Manigong Bagong Taon.