If you’ve been visiting this blog for a while, you know that I love musicals. Â I really dig the entire concept of seeing a play and then being able to keep that play alive by listening to the songs after you leave the theater. Â When you can sing along to a soundtrack in the car or while fixing dinner, it brings the theatrical experience into daily life in a way that a non-musical play can’t.
And because I’m such a musical geek, I thought it would be fun to run a weekly tribute to some of my all-time favorite shows and songs. Â So I’m kicking things off with South Pacific, by the peerless Rodgers and Hammerstein.
This musical (which I first knew as a kid — I remember the record album showing Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi in a big old clinch on a palm beach) Â has been on my mind lately, mostly because I recorded the wonderful Live at Lincoln Center production that was on PBS last month. Â I’ve been watching it in bits and pieces (which is how I watch most things these days). Â And it has reminded me of how great this show really is: not just the range of truly memorable songs, but also the daring way in which it addressed the theme of racism long before most musicals were going there. Â Great stuff.
Even Matthew has been getting into it. Â Last weekend, he joined me in the living room and together we watched Nellie Forbush (played wonderfully by Kelli O’Hara) prance around on the beach with a towel on her head. Â Later that evening, Scott came up to me in our room, where I was folding laundry. Â He looked rather puzzled.
“Was Matthew just singing ‘I’m Going to Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair’?” he asked me.
“Probably,” I said.
So anyhow, for all you SP fans (or newbies!), here’s a YouTube video of the Lincoln Center performance. Â It’s the montage they did for the 2008 Tony Awards, and it’s got a few of the best numbers from the show. Â To skip Harry Connick, Jr’s introduction, move about 48 Â seconds in. Â And enjoy.