Sunday, October 10, 2010

Broadway 101

On a random friday night back in February 1978, Tom and Kathy (my P's) hired a baby sitter and went out for dinner and a movie. Looking back, they're not too sure what they had to eat that night, but they'll never forget what movie they saw. I mean who could ever forget a young John Travolta, decked out in leather, dancing and singing yet still the coolest kid in school? My mom was smitten after the first ensemble number, "Summer Nights." So smitten, in fact, that Kathy insisted Tom stop by their local record store before going home that night. Tom agreed but probably only because their was some sort of antique store right next to the record shop in which he could browse around for crap he didn't need but couldn't pass up. Clearly, it was a win-win all around--even for me, a 3 year old girl who was desperate to see her parents walk through the door that night, but even more excited at the colorful record that my mom brought home for me.

To say that I loved this movie growing up is a whopping understatement. Beginning at the age of 3 I knew every word to every song and had choreographed dance routines to prove it.

Although, looking back now, I think it was less about the music and more about my mom's excitement to share it with me. As a kid, anything your mom thinks is cool--you think is cool. Now that I'm a mom, I totally get it. For example, I've got 2 little girls who will sing their hearts out to Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry," not because they think that Neil is a strangely handsome yet humble rock legend who transformed the face of music as we know it.

No. They love him, cuz I love him. Nuff said. Let them realize what an idiot their mother is ten years from now. But, for the moment, I totally rule.

So, about two years ago I introduced some of my favorite musicals to Bella. It started with Mary Poppins, which clearly was a hit. When Halloween rolled around it was certain to Bella what she wanted to be.

And for her 3rd birthday we took her to see the original Broadway cast of Mary Poppins, all dressed-up of course!

And even met Mary and Burt!

Our next Broadway lesson was The Sound of Music. Which, again huge hit. We sang the songs every where we went. We even visited the gazebo in Salzburg!

and went on a scavenger hunt to find Maria all throughout the town.

Next, I thought it was time my girls moved up the Broadway ladder-- so I introduced Annie. Nothing could have prepared me for her reaction. She was in LOVE with little Annie. She wanted tap shoes and red hair and a locket, which of course led to yet another Halloween costume.

And many, many "Hard Knock Life" dance routines followed. I even catch Mia singing the song "Maybe" alone in her crib, which puts a smile on my face every time. And when Bella's at school, Mia loves to wear the Annie dress all over the house.

But through these years I've always kept Grease in my back pocket. Partly because I don't think it's necessarily good subject matter for a 4 year old (although frankly it wasn't until high school that I actually put 2 and 2 together with some of those lyrics) but because where else can you go after Grease? No where. It's the ultimate in cinematic musicals.

So, now what?

Any suggestions for my next lesson? Am I missing one of the biggies?


  1. Oh Gina, you speak out of my heart :) my Grease VHD literally broke around the 100000... time watching it. I am also a huge fan of Westside Story

    (I feel pretty,
    Oh, so pretty,
    I feel pretty and witty and bright!
    And I pity
    Any girl who isn't me tonight.

    I feel charming,
    Oh, so charming
    It's alarming how charming I feel!
    And so pretty
    That I hardly can believe I'm real.

    See the pretty girl in that mirror there:
    Who can that attractive girl be?
    Such a pretty face,
    Such a pretty dress,
    Such a pretty smile,
    Such a pretty me!)

    But then, the costumes aren't that interesting :)

  2. Bettina, the picture of you in my mind singing West Side Story is SO FUNNY! I knew we got along for a reason! Miss you.



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