Saturday, January 20, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "All I Care About"

In the Year of Jerry Orbach, how many Jerry Orbachs (or is it Jerries Orbach) is too many?

None. You can never have enough Jerries Orbach.

Today's Jerry Orbach is the Tony-losing Jerry Orbach from the musical Chicago. It ran a bit over 2 years during its first Broadway production and its revival has been running for more than 20 years (without a Jerry Orbach it's been running 10x as long).

The show lost all 11 of its Tony nominations. Probably because it was up against A Chorus Line (although there was no lead actor nominee from A Chorus Line, so really Jerry Orbach had no one to blame but himself).

Regardless, vive Jerry Orbach!

Vive Jerries Orbach!!!

Today's lesson? You can never have enough Jerries Orbach.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Please Mr. Kennedy"

Today's Musical Theater Therapy teams Poe Dameron with Kylo Ren and Justin Timberlake with one of the original songs from Inside Llewyn Davis. The 2013 Coen Brothers movie is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk, a folk singer who was such a mainstay of the Greenwich Village music scene that he was called the Mayor of MacDougal Street (MacDougal Street being in Greenwich Village or the whole thing makes no sense, amirite?).

The songs are diegetic, and performances were captured live either as characters were writing/rehearsing, recording or performing on stage. In this scene, Oscar Isaac (ace pilot for the Resistance Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Darth Vader's grandson Kyle Ron, err, Rylo Ken doll, err, Kylo Ren), and Justin Timberlake (Sean Parker, founder of Napster [entirely different movie]) write and record "Please Mr. Kennedy," an homage to the novelty song "Mr. Custer."

The movie picked up Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Cinematography from the National Society of Film Critics, and won a few other accolades. It was nominated for a slew of awards, often losing to Gravity, Her, 12 Years a Slave, or American Hustle. Never saw it, but it seems like it would be good.

Today's song is "Please Mr. Kennedy" and today's lesson is that the power of music can bring even Resistance and First Order together in harmony.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Musical Theater Therapy: "Poor Unfortunate Souls"

Musical Theater Therapy still isn't sure what all the fuss is about with respect to "Poor Unfortunate Souls." We love The Little Mermaid, well, we love much of The Little Mermaid.

We love much of The Little Mermaid's music.

Hmmm, we might want to quit while we're ahead...

"Poor Unfortunate Souls" is from Disney's The Little Mermaid, based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid based on the novel Push by Sapphire. It's the clearest articulation of the recurring Disney motif that girls are nothing without a man, and the best way to get a man is to be pretty and stay out of his way (here it is literally to shut up and be pretty).

None of the boys' cartoons features a man who has to get the girl (they get the girl, to be clear, but that's just a lesser story line to them saving the village; or discovering their role as the true leader of Pride Rock; or to be a mofo (we edited our language) car, racing a bunch of other mofo cars, repeat as needed.

Surprisingly few Disney films pass the Bechdel Test. Those that do often involve "partial credit" or a liberal interpretation of the guidelines. When they pass cleanly it's because the villain is female.

All that being said, Rebel Wilson as Ursula in concert=awesome casting. Ursula is the only Disney character whose inspiration is a member of the opposite sex. Fun fact: Ursula is based on Winston Churchill*.

Today's song is "Poor Unfortunate Souls" and today's lesson is maybe limit the number of Disney movies you let your daughters watch. The patriarchy isn't going to destroy itself... although it's confusing as to what that's the case considering how inept and lecherous the patriarchy is. Seriously Matt Lauer, a remote door lock button under your desk?

Grab them by the pussy? That sounded like a 5th grader who had not actually had sex education yet.

That's the patriarchy, and it's not yet exploded in a burst of stupidity or slipped on a pool of urine from when everyone missed the toilet?

* No, Ursula is based on Divine who is, in turn, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.