God bless Liza! The woman has had her ups and downs for most of her career. The press well documented her struggles with drug addiction and alcohol dependency. However, no doubt La Minnelli got her mother’s performing genes. Just like Judy Garland did in her day, Liza has always managed to leave her demons behind every now and then just to give her audience some amazing live performances. Case in point, “Liza’s At the Palace”.
Processional & Maria (The Wedding)– Audra McDonald, Jessica Molaskey, Elena Shaddow & Christiane Noll
Here’s another song from “The Sound Of Music Live”. I know many people hated it because; well, basically, because these days, people find it easier to hate than to praise. I enjoyed it because not only it was a live event and faithful to its original 1959 theatrical format, but also because of the influence it may have had on children watching it. While I watched the musical, I thought of the number of youngsters whose lives changed that night. I thought of the number of kids and teens who fell under the spell of musical theatre. I can only imagine the number of boys and girls who were moved to sign up for the next school musical, singing or dancing lessons. I can’t help but wonder how many people, a few years from now, will cite viewing this TV show as the source of inspiration for them to pursue a career in theatre.
Women are better than men at many things, that became clear to me early on in my life.
My mother was much better at managing our household than my father ever was. My elementary school teachers were all women, and they were great; a young man taught me in the 5th grade, and he was very *meh*. Women’s dominance became more evident when I started university. You see I had chosen a field of studies that had traditionally been dominated by women. At the time, Psychology was a career choice mostly for girls, that may still be the case. Right from the start, I knew that most of those young women were going to be much better in the field than I would ever be. It wasn’t a threat, it was a fact and I was okay with it.
The Grotto (Get Out of Town/My Heart Belongs to Daddy/Just One of Those Things) – Orchestra
Allow me to remind you that one of the reasons I’m making this list is to include songs that have touched me during the first 50 years of my life. So, there’s a story behind every song I pick. Bear with me as I tell you another story from my younger years.
For many years in the 1980s and early 1990s, my father owned a video store in a mini-mall near our house. “Galeria Electronica” started selling small household appliances and audio equipment, maybe TV sets? I can’t remember well, but within a year, it became a bookstore/video store business. I used to work there occasionally, on weekends or whenever I was on university holidays. I can’t remember much of the day-to-day operation, or what I did exactly, but I remember I used to watch many of the movies we traded. Yes, traded.
Sing Happy is the first Kander and Ebb song to make it to the list. Now, I don’t like to play favourites, but if I did, this duo would be at the top of my list. I love everything about them; probably the coolest dudes to ever team up to write show tunes. From “Flora The Red Menace” to “The Scottsboro Boys”, I’m sure I’ll be packing many of their songs in my suitcase. Sing Happy is also the first song on the list that was published the year I was born, 1965.