I’m on memory lane again.  Put on your walking shoes… I bet you’ll be taking a stroll by the time you get to the end of this.

Saturday night we went to a high school production of “My Fair Lady”, so the whole weekend I was singing “Wouldn’t it be Loverly”.  And that took me back about fifteen years to my yard in Agat, where I sat and sang for hours on end with my little next door neighbor.  She was my yard working companion and my tea party partner.  I gave her my video of this musical, and “Loverly” was her favorite song.  We loved singing it together, working on our cockney accents.  I’ve lost touch with her… she’s a grown woman now… and I hope she sometimes hears this song and remembers our good times too.

And if you’re going to sing with children, I sure hope you know all the songs from “The Sound of Music”.  I’m just grinning thinking of my absolute favorite one to sing.  Would you guess…  “Lonely Goatherd”?  Oh my goodness, that one is just so much fun!

One musical leads to the next, and my mind goes right into the theme song from “Oklahoma!”  Born in Oklahoma, living where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, and playing Aunt Eller in high school… this song is just a great big delightful part of my life.  You’d be surprised how often I sing it!

There you go… a trip back to high school led me right into college, and that’s where I first learned the ridiculous lyrics to “Mack the Knife”.  Gary was in the pit orchestra for “The Threepenny Opera”.  Not a great fan of the musical, but who could keep from loving that tune!  (Not to mention the trumpet player!)

That theater is gone now, and a beautiful new one stands on the ENMU campus, but I’ll always remember attending wonderful plays there when I was a child.  And I can so easily picture my cousins’ father on that stage singing “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”.   What a song!

Gary and I have both loved musicals down through the years.  From the great stages of Broadway to the modest sets in high school auditoriums, and the bigger than life movie screens, we’ve sung along with gusto.

“Evita” has become such a favorite.  The music is pure genius, and both G and I love to bust out with “What’s New Buenos Aires?” several times a year.  I think it must be our subconscious secret code for “I’m ready to go somewhere!”

Like the time we were having a big family reunion in Oklahoma City, and we all went to see “The Lion King”.  I think of that special event, those magnificent sets and those “animals” coming down the theater aisles, every time I hear “Circle of Life”.

“Do You Hear the People Sing?” from “Les Miserables” had tears streaming down my face in New York City, but it does the same thing to me just listening on my Ipod while I’m out taking a walk.  The power of that music… I’m thrilled there are people who can write it for our benefit!

I’m happy that so many grand musicals have been set to cartoons for children.  It’s a wonderful story-telling art form, and children love stories told through song.  One summer when our little niece was staying with us for a couple of weeks, we watched “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” over and over and over again.  Oh my!  Didn’t we sing!

I’m just like Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” singing of “Tradition”!  Musicals will always be part of my life.

A good friend of mine recently received the gift of the difficult to find “Lost Horizon”.  She and I have loved that music from our childhood.  (The movie came out when I was ten years old.)  She has invited me over to watch it with her, and I can’t wait.  We shall question with an answer while we dream of a place far away from it all.

I wish you sweet musical dreams!



17 Responses to “Musicals”

  1. Lawanda Calton says:

    This is great, Sandy! I tend to forget some of these songs and shows, but you never forget! How delightful to be inside your head! love you, mama

  2. Sandy says:

    Hee hee! Yes Mama… there’s always a singing circus going on up there! (With my skinny fingers trying to type it all along the way!) Love you too! Thanks for filling my childhood with music!!

  3. michelle pond says:

    I am sorry I missed My Fair Lady. Like, you I enjoyed the musicals in the old theater building on campus. I sure miss Dr. Lyle Hagen. He was my boss for two years and I just adored him because he was so fun as well as generous. There was always a turkey or ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas and as a poor college student, I really appreciated it.

  4. Sandy says:

    Thanks for sharing this about Dr. Hagen. So nice to learn these things! “My Fair Lady” was so well done. Delightful accents and fun costumes. I was very proud of those kids!

  5. Betty Williamson says:

    I’m a musical junkie, too. We still have the 33 1/3 soundtracks to many of the big musicals, and even when I was a kid, every one of them had at least one place where the needle hung up and a short phrase repeated over and over and over. On “Oklahoma!”, for instance, we sat ready to leap up and nudge it when it got to, “Many a new day..many a new day…many a new day,,,SCREECH…shall dawn before I do!”

    Lots of memories of the old ENMU theater in my mind, too. The annual “Swanee” production was a tradition for us, as well as every child-appropriate production that came along.

    Dr. Hagan was a class act from start to finish!

    Ahh, memories….

  6. Sandy says:

    Oh Betty! Love your comments always!

  7. Robin Green says:

    Remember singing in the Easter musical on Guam?

  8. Pam says:

    I remember the very first musical I ever saw – “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. It was shown at the Pearson Auditorium on the NMMI campus in Roswell. As a child, we went on many field trips there – for plays, the symphony, etc. The neat thing about that auditorium was that when you sat down – hard – in your seat, the chair would make a loud “whoosh”ing sound! I remember the kids kept doing that over and over and I was getting quite upset because I was trying to watch the play! I recall some of my friends were looking at me as if I were crazy because I wanted to watch the play! I was a happy little girl when the teacher finally told them to stop or they would have to leave. Thanks for jogging the ‘ol memory bank!

  9. Nico says:

    Let’s not forget “South Pacific,” “PETER PAN,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The King and I,” and “West Side Story!” I will be singing all day! “Kiss Me, Kate” introduced me to Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” perhaps not politically correct now, but I love Shakespeare because of my introduction to that musical when I was 7 years old… a LONG time ago! I went to see a touring company of “Camelot,” and woke the family up that night singing the score in my sleep! Sandy, thanks for reminding of the many, many memories tucked away of seeing touring company musical productions that came to the Keith Albee, a grande dame theater now on the National Register of Historic Places.

  10. Sandy says:

    Robin… the memories of that musical will always be favorites. How wonderful to be part of something that marvelous!

    Pam… we’re just birds of a feather!

    Nico… how wonderful to have attended performances at the Keith Albee! Loved watching your ‘link’!

  11. Margret says:

    What memories you bring back, Sandy! My mom made the costumes for that “Man of La Mancha” (among others), and everytime I hear that song I think of Don, and how I cried when I heard him sing that beautiful anthem. I still think of him fondly when I hear it. I also remember the beautiful Swanee girls and their feather fans. My father directed or conducted many of the orchestras for the musicals. I spent many nights in the ENMU Theater, developing my love for musicals and plays. What a special place!

  12. Rebekah Chappel says:

    We love musicals. Sound of Music is my favorite, mostly because I love the story behind it. I grew up with my dad singing songs from Oklahoma. My sister and I spent hours watching and singing the songs from Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.

  13. Sandy says:

    I’m loving all these memories, and I love the way we’re all connected through this music!

  14. Sharon says:

    My first musical performance was Bye Bye Birdie, great show. Mr. Neal Campbell and Mr. Don Lacey made you want to perform, none of this speaker sound system, just complete projection in speech and vocal music. LOVED IT, dreamed of being a performer, had a chance to sing with a choral group in Europe, made a different choice and married instead. Every musical draws me in and allows me to live with the characters. Only wish I had more chances to see more great shows, I think I’ll look in to a Broadway package in Lubbock next year. Great article

  15. Sandy says:

    Sharon, I’m glad I’ve inspired you to look into that Broadway package. I inspired myself to order 4 musicals on DVD. It was way past time to replace the old tapes!

    You will always be a singing star to me!

  16. Cheryl says:

    What a great article and comments! We love musicals and have been amiss at not seeing the high school ones for the last few years. They do such an amazing job. A friend we have told us one time about a friend of his who just couldn’t stand musicals. She said, “No body does that in real life!” Well, we had to disagree. We burst into song all the time. We used to joke with Brie that we were working on having a song for every occasion. Problem is we’re not very good at remembering all the words so we do a lot of humming as well.:)

  17. Sandy says:

    I agree Cheryl… people really DO live like that. We love bursting into song. One time a teenaged friend of ours laughed and said that we had a song for everything. He tried to throw words and topics at us to stump us.. and we could come up with a song for anything he said! It’s good to keep a song in your heart!

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