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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guys and Dolls

Oh, I should know by now. I tend to think I'm not that into Broadway musicals. Sure, they're the source of countless jazz standards, but I really don't think listening to Bill Evans or Sonny Rollins reinterpret a show tune really counts as enjoying Broadway.

The basic melody for the head and to an extent the chord changes are the same but then there's a probably genetic information in common between, say, garden slugs and members of Congress, and that doesn't mean your average Representative is anywhere near as cool as a slug.

But I tend to think of those old-timey Broadway musicals as culturally dated and irrelevant. Corny.

Emily's been a drama queen for quite a while now, and I'm always hoping she'll end up in a production of Sweeney Todd or Spamelot, something more contemporary. It never happens, and I go to these things thinking I'd never want to see this if my own daughter wasn't in it. Then I find myself caught up, really digging it. It happened with Annie, it even happened with Annie Get Your Gun.

I guess I'm a slow learner, because I went in to Guys and Dolls with the same idea that, for crying out loud, they could at least put on a musical from their grandparents generation like Hair.

The closest they ever came was a few years ago when they did Jekyll & Hyde, and I think there was a constituency that was fairly scandalized by that production. I'm not sure, but it might even be why the drama teacher who put that on isn't the drama teacher anymore.

But anyway, Guys and Dolls won me over, too. To the extent I think I'm going to have to check out the movie version made with Sinatra and Brando back in the 50s.

I don't know if we were supposed to be taking pictures or not, a lot of times they announce that you're not to, or print it in the program. If they said anything on the PA or in the program, I didn't catch it so I merrily clicked away. Of course I wanted pictures of my daughter, but being that her part was as a member of the Salvation Army, she wasn't on stage much and being in character meant she wasn't exactly animated when she was on stage.

Meanwhile, the rest of the musical completely swept me away and I got some pretty satisfying photos considering stage lighting. And distance. And fast-moving targets. Tell you what, though, shoot 600 frames and you're almost bound to get a shot or two. Or 28.

I'm not sure if there's a technique I could use to control for the glare on faces. So many times people all look pasty white and blown out with my third-row-available-light shots. And even with the ISO cranked way up, a lot of times stuff happens so fast it's still blurry as hell.

The Adelaide in this production absolutely stole the show. She looks like a 17-year-old Christy Brinkley to begin with, except maybe more so, and she threw herself into it with reckless abandon. Not to take away from any of the other performances, they were all solid.

This is probably Emily's last production, she might squeeze one more in before she graduates, and I guess I've finally caught on that I actually like Broadway musicals. I'm not ready to fly to the Big Apple and drop big bucks to see one there, but I'm going to have to remember that even if it seems incredibly dated when I look at the poster, these productions that stood the test of time did so because they have great songs, strong characters, good humor, and stories to tell.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Nice, thanks for sharing.