All tagged Harold Arlen

Remembering Bloomer Girl

The other night I was making my way through Amazon Prime video, looking for something to watch. After sorting through hundreds of movies and television shows that I just knew wouldn’t hold my interest at that moment, I stumbled upon the 1956, Producer’s Showcase made-for-television version of the 1944 Broadway musical Bloomer Girl. My streaming choice for the evening was set. I have always adored the Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg score ever since I was first introduced to it in my History of American Musical Theatre class in college. Having listened to the score multiple times and read the book of Bloomer Girl for that glorious seminar, I was sad to realize that no one hardly ever produces this adventurous and courageous show that came fast on the heels of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking Oklahoma!. Watching an abridged, made-for-television version was most-likely the closest I would get to seeing a production of the show, so I hit the play button, sat back, and took a little jaunt into musical theatre history, where I admittedly spend most of my time. 

The Many Faces of A Star Is Born

It is no secret that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have stormed the cinema box offices with the remake of the oft-filmed story A Star Is Born. This is the fourth time that the story of a fading performer and his relationship with an up-and-coming talent has been depicted on the big screen. With all the hoopla around its latest incarnation, I thought it would be interesting to look back on the three prior versions of the film. 

Nine Reasons Why We Love The Wizard of Oz from an Early Age

A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz on the big screen. Even more thrilling was having my two nephews in tow. The younger one is only a few months old, but sat quietly for the duration. The older one is two-years-old and this was this was his first time seeing this beloved film. Sitting with him, I watched it through new eyes, witnessing his rapt attention and his visible excitement. It suddenly occurred to me that there is a reason why this movie musical sucks us in at an early age and remains ensconced in our hearts for a lifetime. Through my older nephew’s responses, I saw exactly which ingredients facilitate this life-long love affair with The Wizard of Oz.

Another National Anthem - Patriotic Showtunes for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is almost upon us and this weekend most of us will be celebrating with hot dogs, fireworks, and showtunes. Yes…you heard me, showtunes. Exploring musical theatre scores from over the last century, there are a handful of jubilant, patriotic tunes celebrating America, as well as a few unlikely songs that touch on the topic of what it means to be an American. Today’s blog is a celebration of those songs.