Thursday, April 27, 2017

Movies or theTheater

This week's topic was my suggestion.

I have always been a movie buff and from my grade school days at Carlile Elementary in Pueblo, Colorado I have loved stage plays. The local Junior  College regularly staged plays for kids. I have fond memories of walking from Carlile to PJC for the show. I saw things like Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and many others. Those were fun. times

Of course I was also laying the groundwork for my love of films with classics like The Thing, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Tarantula, the Bowery Boys and too many more to name. Gotta love those Saturday matinees at the Uptown Theater. I still remember the first movie I ever saw in a theater - Tarantula. The first one at a drive in was Hell and  High Water.

Jump ahead to 1976 - Lynn was offered a promotion to Hartford and we were in striking distance of  New York and Broadway. Back then it did not cost a month's salary to see a show. Our first was  Sherlock Holmes. Dinner at Mama Leones (Italian) and tickets combined were an affordable $75 or so for us and we had a great time. 

By then I was also a big fan of musicals on the big screen. I saw them all - my favorite being Camelot. My folks used to buy records of the soundtracks of the Broadway shows so I regularly listened to those along with the pop/rock standards of the time. I knew all of the songs to West Side Story, Camelot, Music Man and the rest. An off Broadway show called The Fantastiks was a favorite of mine. 

Here is a tune from that show - performed by an amazing octogenarian - 

Of course I kept up with regular movie going - in fact rarely a month went by when Lynn and I did not see at least 2 movies. We made a deal early on - she would sit through the guy movies and I would sit through her chick flicks. In almost no time we were fans of both genres.

Somewhere along  the way stage productions became so elaborate the cost of seeing one grew out of our reach. There were a couple of exceptions, both Camelot. We saw touring productions of Camelot in San Francisco with both Richard Harris and Richard Burton as King Arthur. Burton was the most famous stage Arthur and Harris owned the role on film. Truth be told, IMHO Harris owned the role on stage as well.

The last musical films I recall seeing were Darling Lily and Paint Your Wagon.  The genre was almost nonexistent from those two until recently when musicals have made a comeback of sorts.

If given a choice between the latest blockbuster film and a stage production I would opt for the stage production almost every time, especially if it is an older show.  It makes sense if you consider the fact that I prefer live music to studio recordings.

Be sure to check my cohorts blogs to see their take on this topic.  RamanaPravin and Maria


  1. I had not realised the cost element of theater productions in the West. In India, one of the drawbacks is the dependence on audience imagination to provide backdrops but this also enables better audience participation. I have seen two Broadway productions - Fiddler On The Roof and My Fair Lady and I can assure you that the stage backdrops are vastly different from what you will see over here. Here they are almost stark.

  2. paint your wagon has a place in my heart that is unbeatable.
    in so many ways. how i love that movie.
    my bob and i had the same deal you and lynn had. so i learned to enjoy that kind too. the latest one i recall that i actually enjoyed was Robert Downey's sherlock holmes. not counting all of harrison ford's and the star wars types. those are mostly just fun.... like james bond. though the machine or robot that wouldn't die... can't remember the name... arnold's films. great scot and cat house thursday! i hated those. sometimes the constant violence just gets to me.
    and i agree with you re: richard harris. fabulous.

    1. I actually only saw the first 2 Terminator movies. Lynn was on the same page as you regarding excessive violence. Paint Your Wagon was great fun m- partly because we were jack-Mormons - LOL. Some great music toob- They Call the Wind Mariah, Wandering Star.

  3. Couldn't agree more -- live theatre has a magic all it's own. Loved being involved in all aspects -- on stage and back stage -- though I was an amateur -- TV drama once. Enjoy seeing many musicals (was never in any productions) -- "South Pacific", "West Side Story", "Fantastiks", "Chorus Line" are some favorites that come to mind. Years later I did sing in a musical variety performance that was an annual affair in the city where I was living -- pro orchestra, soloists had professional voices. A favorite song from that was "...Mariah" -- haunting melody.

    1. Mariah is a great song and here is my favorite version