Movies are the memories of our lifetime. We need to keep them alive.
~ Martin Scorsese
1) Any moment Hugh Bonneville has in Notting Hill, from his brief, drunken rendition of “Blue Moon” to him giddily searching for Anna while wearing a rugby shirt.
2) The background music in the 1985 Anne of Green Gables mini-series, my absolute favorite book-to-movie adaptation, and its whimsically sad but hopeful tones.
3) Lilly chasing down Michael and Mia in The Princess Diaries, undoubtedly clunking along in the private school curse of penny loafers and screaming, “Not you, I don’t even know you!” to other students.
4) Seeing the two old men that my sisters and I always said resembled our grandfathers during “The Soldiers of the Old Home Guard” in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
5) The booming opening beat of “Tradition” that plays just as Tevye rides his cart off-camera in Fiddler on the Roof and the quick shots of Jewish symbols that follow.
I have a soft spot for Broadway revivals. Depending on the season, I’m usually either excited or neutral about new, original musicals, but nothing beats seeing gorgeous, full-blown productions of the shows I grew up loving. I’m still waiting for a revival of The Music Man, but in the meantime, I had the pleasure of seeing My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater last week. While it’s never been one of my favorites, I’ve always adored My Fair Lady‘s score, and seeing it on such a grand scale was wonderful.
Following Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle’s mission to improve her dialect with lessons from linguistics expert Professor Henry Higgins, this revival originally opened in April. TV star Lauren Ambrose played Eliza Doolittle, and after scoring a Tony nomination, she left the production to film a TV series. Acclaimed Broadway star Laura Benanti, who I’ve grown to love for her humor and great social media presence, then stepped into what she has long described as her dream role. She joined original company members Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins and Norbert Leo Butz as Alfred Doolittle.
I had the pleasure of seeing Waitress on Broadway back in October as a belated birthday present. My mom, sister, and I took advantage of the show’s “Buy One, Get One for $10” deal to grab discounted tickets for a Sunday matinee, and as much as I’ve gotten used to the post-evening show hustle through Times Square to make my train home, it was nice to drive in with people and leave the theater a little more relaxed than usual.
Waitress has been on my list of must-see Broadways show for awhile, and at this point, it was really the only new musical that I was interested in seeing. Even now, I’m more looking forward to next season’s revivals than its new shows. The cast recording became essay-writing music for me in my last semester of school, and I figured that, if anything, seeing the show would be a fun, girly afternoon with my mom and sister.
Based on the 2007 indie film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a diner waitress in a small southern town who finds herself pregnant by her abusive husband. In addition to feeling ambivalent about becoming a mother, she has a talent for baking unique pies, and schemes to raise enough money to enter a pie-making contest that could allow her to leave her husband and start anew. Things become complicated when Jenna starts falling for her married OB/GYN, and the plot also explores her coworkers’ experiences with finding love.
I’m still incredibly excited for all of the new musicals premiering this season, but there are some classic musicals that I think are long overdue for Broadway revivals. Growing up, we watched a lot of the popular, traditional movie musicals – Rodgers & Hammerstein, Disney live action – that really solidify your view of Broadway as a flashy song-and-dance place no matter how much you enjoy newer and more experimental musicals.
The Music Man
Last on Broadway: 2000