All tagged South Pacific

The Cockeyed Optimist: The Broadway Musicals of Mary Martin

One the most beloved performers of the Broadway musical is the late, great Mary Martin. Mary Martin possessed a lovely, distinctive voice, a coquettish smile, and a persona that evoked optimism and warmth. The actress enjoyed a long career on the Broadway stage that spanned three decades, winning four Tony Awards throughout that time, including one for spreading Annie Get Your Gun to the country while the original production performed in New York. Rivaled only by Ethel Merman as one of Broadway’s most iconic talents, Mary Martin’s legacy lives on in our memories of great musical theatre experiences. Today, we take a look at the Broadway musicals that were brightened by her presence. 

Broadway's Best "I Am" Songs

What is an "I Am" song, you might ask? Many people also know it as the "I Want" song, a song that comes early in the first act of a musical and that establishes our catalyst's point of view and sometimes their goal. The term "I Want" is not one I feel truly encapsulates what this song is and how it's placement in the musical affects the story to come. I Am", which used to be how these songs were identified by scholars, can include "I Want", but not vice versa. What you "want" is a subcategory of who you "are". Not every song that introduces a catalyst tells us what they want, but it most-definitely tells us who they are. So I choose the older term of "I Am" because I find it all-encompassing. I'm not trying to be difficult here, I simply prefer "I Am" because it better explains what the song achieves, especially to those just learning about musical theatre structure. But all semantics aside, some of the most-memorable and most impactful musical theatre songs are the "I Am" song and today's blog is a celebration of some of the best. 

Showtune Shenanigans: The Showtunes I Jump Over

The other day, a friend and I were discussing those songs we always skip when listening to cast recordings. Not that the songs in question are necessarily unpleasant or ineffective, but, for one reason or another, they just don't appeal to the individual listener. We all must have a few songs that are not necessarily our cup of tea despite their popularity or inclusion in a beloved score. As my friend and I chatted, it became clear that we both felt passionately about certain songs to be jumped in favor of moving along to a different song.