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July 21, 2004

New releases from the stage and screen, along with a look at musicals on local stages.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Great Mountain Valley Drinking Water The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour (1996) Sid Davis Fluoride in drinking water = bad. Fluoride in toothpaste = good. Hmmm.....
Moon Change – Moon Trio – The Bus Caroline, or Change (OC 2004) Aisha de Haas, Chandra Wilson, Tonya Pinkins, Chuck Cooper This remarkable new musical is actually more of an opera in that it is entirely sung with no spoken dialog. The libretto is by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and the music is by Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie). The show is poetic and often surreal - household appliances have voices and personalities, for example, as does the moon. It's is set in Louisiana in November and December of 1963 and focuses on Caroline, a 39-year-old black divorcee, who is employed as a maid in a white Jewish household and her relationships with her employers, their young son (who sees Caroline as a powerful and regal figure – the "Queen of the basement") and her own family and friends – and how the Kennedy assassination changes their lives.
Main Titles The Door in the Floor (OS 2004) Orchestra conducted by Peter Vronsky The score for this film adaptation of a John Irving novel is by Marcelo Zarvos. In her review of the film, KDHX film critic Diane Carson says this "subdued but intense look at the ripple effect of the death of two teenagers" appears promising at first but deteriorates into "melodrama, downright sophomoric dead ends, and sexist moments meant to reveal the manipulative, alcoholic, compromised character of the husband Ted and depressed wife Marion."
Tell Me Now (What You See) King Arthur (OS 2004) Moya Brennan, orchestra conducted by Nick Glennie-Smith Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, Black Hawk Down) and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) do the King Arthur legend, by returning (more or less) to historical roots. Arthur (Clive Owen) is a chieftain in post-Roman Britain aided by a shaman named Merlin and a warrior queen named Guinevere (Keira Knightley). The score is by Hans Zimmer and sounds remarkably similar to his efforts for Gladiator and The Last Samurai.
Public Disservice Message: Mental Health The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour (1996) Brian McConnachie Why you shouldn't volunteer at the local mental hospital. (I'm trying to get the hang of this neoconservative stuff..)
Morning Glow Pippin (OC 1972) John Rubinstein, Chorus The Lyceum Theatre at Arrow Rock, MO, presents this Stephen Schwarz classic through August 26th, 2004. Based very loosely on the life of Pippin the Short, the real son of King Charlemagne, Pippin went through many re-writes and finally took shape after Bob Fosse took over as director and choreographer as well as (un-credited) co-librettist.
Waltz for a Ball Cinderella (OS 1957) Richard Rogers, piano with un-credited orchestra The O'Fallon Repertory Theatre presents Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella through July 25th, 2004. The show was originally a live television special for CBS, broadcast on March 31, 1957. The show has been re-done twice for TV: in 1964 with Lesley Ann Warren in the title role and again in 1997 with Whitney Houston as a glamorous Fairy Godmother. These is one of two are "bonus tracks" on the 1999 CD re-issue of the complete original soundtrack recording.
How Can Love Survive? The Sound of Music (OC 1959) Kurt Kasznar, Marion Marlowe Max and Elsa wonder how their love can survive a lack of adversity. The tune is a lovely one but the song is seldom performed. Stages presents The Sound of Music through August 15th, 2004.
Do Re Mi The Sound of Music (OC 1959) Mitch Miller and the Sing-Along Chorus, with The Kids from The Sound of Music This "bonus track" from the 1998 CD re-issue of the original cast recording was originally recorded and released as a single prior to the release of the original cast recording in 1959. Miller's Sing Along With Mitch was a popular TV show at the time and the producers thought the recording would have PR value.
The Sound of Music Gorilla (1966) Viv Stanshall and The Bonzo Dog Band The 1965 film version of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic inspired this bit of trenchant parody from the Bonzos.

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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 Back to Playlists  |   Previous Show— New and Improved (July 7, 2004)   |   Next Show— You're Getting to be a Hobbit With Me (August 4, 2004) 
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