Monday, September 14, 2009

Show Tunes: Big Manly Ballads

So, look you guys. I love show tunes. I am headed to NY in a few weeks and will be going to some shows, so in anticipation of that I am posting about show tunes. If you didn't grow up watching musicals (movies and/or live) and you are thinking, 'what the hey, people bursting out into song and prancing about? Awkward. Where is the appeal?' Well, my friends (wait, are we friends if you don't get musical theatre? J/K) if you aren't used to it then it may be an acquired taste and you need to actually experience some great musical theatre because it's not all just a bunch of pansies, okay? Music in general has a way of seeping into your soul, but when it is a song attached to a character and a storyline it makes it that much more powerful.

I couldn't just pick one favorite Broadway artist, or one favorite show, or even one favorite composer to post about because there are just so many and they are all so wonderful, so 'Show Tunes' is being broken up into multiple posts ;) This particular post is an ode to the Big Manly Broadway Ballad. Some sweet, some lovesick, some inspirational and some that move me to chills and sometimes even to fits of the vapors (that means tears, duders). Here are some personal favorites:

I literally get a catch in my breath every time I hear the final chords of BSM singing this. How could you NOT be moved by the hope and desire of something so pure?

The Impossible Dream
Brian Stokes Mitchell in The Man of La Mancha

Sappy, true, but how lovely to have someone think this much of you and to be happy simply being in the vicinity of where you might be-

On the Street Where You Live
John Michael King in My Fair Lady

Okay, so, to me Robert Goulet is mostly a joke now because of the Will Ferrell SNL skits about him: "I'm Robert Gouleeeeeeeeeet! La da da de, da da do!" But the man really could sing and was the original Lancelot (to Julie Andrews' Geunevere) on Broadway. He knows the right thing to do is to leave her, but he just can't-

If Ever I Would Leave You
Robert Goulet in Camelot

What could be a more manly ballad than one for your lost friends and war comrades?-

Empty Chairs & Empty Tables
Michael Ball in Les Miserables

This play is based on a true story and this is the final song of the terminally ill lead. To be able to look back on your life without regret even though you know you've made mistakes... a beautiful thing-

Once Before I Go
Hugh Jackman in The Boy From Oz

All the man wants is a simple life and a family and a good woman to love. He comes so close to his dream and then believes he has lost it-

This Nearly Was Mine
Paolo Szot in South Pacific

We all know the story of course, thanks to Disney if we didn't know it before, of how the Beast has to learn love to have the curse reversed so that he can be human again. I particularly like this song because I feel like there is a slightly double meaning. Not only is she his last chance to break the curse, but also, if he can't love her. As in, she is so wonderful, if I can't love her then there is definitely no hope for me-

If I Can't Love Her
Alasdair Harvey in Beauty & the Beast

So... in the story this particular 'moment' doesn't exactly pan out quite as planned, making this song slightly bittersweet, but it's sill a moving thing to have the faith in yourself and your goal to take that courageous step into the unknown-

This is the Moment
Robert Cuccioli in Jekyll & Hyde

I loooooooove this example of the transcendence of love. You don't have to understand what he is saying to understand what he means-

Il Mondo Era Vuoto
Matthew Morrison (the teacher in Glee) in The Light in the Piazza

If you don't know the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel (and shame on you if you don't ;) our leading man spends the majority of it believing that his new wife who he adores is actually a traitor and an accessory to murder. This is the moment after he finally discovers that she was used and she has actually been true and brave the whole time-

She Was There
Douglas Sills in The Scarlet Pimpernel

Forever a classic. The mystery, the romance... who wouldn't be flattered to be the muse of a genius and to have them sing this seductive song just for you? (Okay, so in this particular case said genius may have developed some homicidal tendencies, but, whatev)-

Music of the Night
Michael Crawford in The Phantom of the Opera

A single, serial dater, is having his 35th birthday, and we go through the inperfect romantic stories of his closest friends, all couples. In the end, he finally pieces together what love is and that it's important to have someone to share your life with and that despite the inevitable dissagreements and frustration and jealousy and compromise... he wants that -

Being Alive
Raul Esparza in Company


SisterPresidentMann said...

You must have wonderful parents to have introduced you to musical theater. Remember to pass it on...

Haylscat said...

Oh I do, and oh I WILL ;)

Torry said...

Ah, our childhood. All we knew were musicals. I commend you for your excellent choices of songs to represent the "Big Manly Ballad". I ask only that at some point in your blogging about musicals, I get to hear Rex Smith sings something, anything, with that entrancing vibrato of his.

Amy said...

"Fits of the vapors" you make me laugh out loud.

Amy said...

Also, thank you for providing the soundtrack to my day tomorrow. I will love you forever for that.

dave + kirst said...

Weird! I totally left a comment on this before but I must of clicked out of it or something and it didn't save.

What I said was:

Ah men's singing voices! Love em. There are a few that I don't know and I'll have to listen to them when I'm not at work ;D