Guest Author - Caitlin D Neely
Sing and laugh along to these great musical comedies!
Swing Time (1936)
John Garnett (Fred Astaire) is a gambler and dancer. After he shows up late to his own wedding, his fiancé’s father informs him that he must earn 25,000 dollars to prove his intentions. He heads to New York with a friend (Victor Moore) to secure the funds where Garnett meets Penny (Ginger Rogers) a dance school instructor and promptly falls in love.
Astaire and Rogers are always iconic together. Not only are they great actors and funny but they’re amazing dancers. Popular songs include “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Waltz in Swing Time” and “Bojangles of Harlem”.
The Music Man (1962)
“Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston) is a traveling salesman. When he arrives in River City, Iowa he finds it unusually hard to swindle the stubborn Iowans and accepts that as a challenge. He disguises himself as a band director and quickly finds opposition in the form of a local librarian Marian (Shirley Jones).
If you watch The Music Man you have to see the original film version. As much as I adore Kristin Chenoweth, I don’t enjoy Matthew Broderick in the more recent movie. Preston is so much better in “Ya Got Trouble”. The music is catchy and there’s a wide variety of comedy (physical, play on words, etc). Popular songs include “Ya Got Trouble”, “76 Trombones”, “Gary, Indiana” and “Till There Was You”
Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) is a cheery teenager that lives in Baltimore. She wants nothing more than to dance on The Corny Collins Show but is told by some of the more popular kids that she can’t because of her size. When she does make it on the show she has to overcome discrimination and also witnesses racial discrimination.
Hairspray manages to stay upbeat and handle tough issues. It truly has a great message. Not to mention the comedy is fresh and the songs will get stuck in your head for days. They’re incredibly catchy. It’s wonderful watching Blonsky especially since she was a complete unknown when she signed onto the film. Zac Efron as Link Larkin definitely surprises. He proves he’s got a lot more talent inside of him than most are ready to admit.