Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off – Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald
Back during the first weeks of the list I included “Just In Time” (See Week 4, #24). At the time, I told you about an independent study I had done during the summer of 1991. The idea was to write a series of scripts for a TV show to ease the integration of Central America refugee children into the American culture.
My scriptwriting professor at American University, John Douglass, helped me with the script treatment for the series; its basic premise and the places the plot could go. The series name was “Living In Monte Placer” or “Living in Mount Pleasant”, a mostly Latino neighbourhood in the District of Columbia. Each episode was to deal with many things, such as immigration issues, language barriers, and employment matters affecting the members of an El Salvadoran family, five adults and three kids. Among the supporting characters, there were three elderly tenants, an Italian immigrant, her husband, and an African American woman.
I’ll always associate Proud with “Queer As Folk”, the TV show.
It is a nice coincidence that I write about this song in the week I’ve just finished binge watching “Queer As Folk”, the American series. I watched and enjoyed the original run from 2000 to 2005. However, it was only this second time around that I’ve come to appreciate the cultural and, in a way, the historical significance of the show. Before 2000, no TV show had ever addressed so openly the issues of the gay community in any city, USA. For the first time, many young gay people saw themselves mirrored in real characters that captured with precision the reality of their lives.
Proud * – Heather Small… Who can forget those decadent parties at Babylon? Or the sleaziness of Liberty Baths?
Getting to Know You – Julie Andrews, Children’s Chorus, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye * – Michael Feinstein … I can see him waking up in the middle of the night in his lover’s arms, dressing up, stealing one last kiss, and hurrying up back home to his wife.
Kim’s Charleston – Tammy Amerson, Elaine Stritch
The Best Thing That Ever Happened – Alexander Gemignani, Claybourne Elder
Brotherhood of Man – Nick Jonas, Rob Bartlett, Ellen Harvey … I had the chance to see the show in early 2012, and being from the school of “If-you’re-under-35-I-may-not-know-who-you-are”, I wasn’t entirely sure I knew who Nick Jonas was.
If “Les Uns Et Les Autres” (See Week 15 No. 100) was the movie the made me want to be a filmmaker in 1983; the year before that, “Victor/Victoria” was the film that taught me that you can tell any story you want to tell as long as you know how to do it.
A woman pretending to be a man, pretending to be a woman, seemed like a very convoluted story to tell, but director Blake Edwards managed to pull it off brilliantly. Under the guidance of Toddy, Victoria Grant, an out-of-work opera singer in Paris, poses as a drag queen in order to find a job as an entertainer in a cabaret. On the night of her debut at Cassel’s, she captivates the audience with her rendition of Le Jazz Hot. Everybody is impressed, including King Marchand, a gangster from Chicago who doubts if Victor is really a man.
These are the songs I picked between 14 and 20 November 2014. I’ll talk about them next time.
The Lady Is A Tramp– Frank Sinatra … Right from the start I knew that most of those of young women were going to be much better than I would ever be. It wasn’t a threat, it was a fact and I couldn’t care less.
I Want To Be Happy– Ella Fitzgerald
I Will Never Leave You– Emily Skinner, Alice Ripley … Although the original staging may have flopped, it certainly made stars out of Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, who both received a shared Tony nomination for their role in the show.
A Wonderful Day Like Today– Cyril Richard, Anthony Newley
Shall We Dance? * – Ben Kingsley, Julie Andrews … Am I the only one who thinks Shall We Dance is a love-letter to one-night stands?
Go Back Home – Brandon Victor Dixon, Cody Ryan Wise