The Many Voices of Marni Nixon

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Marni Nixon passed yesterday.  She had a long, accomplished career as a classically trained singer on the concert and theater stage, but she is most famous for her leading contributions to some of the most famous musicals of Hollywood’s golden age.

Except she was heard, not seen.

She is the singing voice of Deborah Kerr in “The King and I”, of Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady”, of Nathalie Wood in “West Side Story”.

Initially the fact that the stars in these movies had been dubbed, and all dubbed by the same woman, was kept secret by the studios.  But eventually word got out and spread, and Marni Nixon became famous for the being the singing voice of the leading ladies of some of the greatest musicals of our time.

As her New York Times obit details: “Starting as a teenager in the late 1940s and continuing for the next two decades, Ms. Nixon lent her crystalline soprano to some 50 films, sometimes contributing just a line or two of song — sometimes just a single, seamless note — that the actress could not manage on her own.”

She had an uncanny ability to match her voice to the actor, like a vocal chameleon.  She said herself in a 1964 interview with The New York Journal-American: “It’s fascinating, getting inside the actresses you’re singing for. It’s like cutting off the top of their heads and seeing what’s underneath. You have to know how they feel, as well as how they talk, in order to sing as they would sing — if they could sing.”

I met her a few times.  She was an acquaintance of my mother, also a classically trained singer.  When Ms. Nixon performed in the musical “James Joyce’s The Dead” on Broadway in 2000, we joined her backstage (met Christopher Walken) and then went out to lunch together, where she and my mom shared stories from a combined century of singing careers.

So to honor Marni Nixon, and to save you the YouTube searches, here assembled are the most occasions where she sang for the stars, and one where she got to finally be seen in a classic movie musical too, perhaps the most famous one of them all.  It really is amazing to recognize that all those amazing musical scores were sung by the same woman, sounding like the star we were watching on screen, “if she could sing” as well as all that.

Let’s start with Marni Nixon getting to sing for you, Deborah Kerr, in “The King and I”:

 


Follow that up with Marni Nixon feeling and sounding pretty for Nathalie Wood in “West Side Story”:

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NEW YORK NEW YORK in Pieces (of Song and Puzzle)

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Let’s celebrate New York, New York in pieces!  Musical pieces!  Jigsaw puzzle pieces!

The first song must be New York, New York of course!

What, you thought It’d be Old Blue Eyes’ New York New York?  No worries, I won’t deprive you of Sinatra’s perhaps most famous New York song.  But the original “New York, New York” is from Leonard Bernstein’s and Comden & Green’s classic musical “On the Town”.  This recording is from the superb revival that graced Broadway last year.

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No, that is not Godzilla or King Kong looming over the Manhattan skyline.  It’s just my husband Ed in focus in the back while a section of the completed New York Cityscape Puzzle looms out front as a little teaser of what’s ahead.  (But since Ed is looming large on the New Jersey side of Manhattan according to this picture, perhaps he represents Chris Christie?  Perish the thought!)  Let’s take a quick journey of how the puzzle, and simultaneously, how Manhattan came together over time.

Like the Manhattan bedrock, the puzzle begins with a relatively flat surface, which will over time see major skyscraping structures arise from its grounds.

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After three or four years of it lying unopened and still wrapped in cellophane in the corner of our den, I finally pulled out the New York in 4D puzzle I had been intrigued about but allowed to remain unassembled for too long.  It’s called a “4D” puzzle because in addition to building a three dimensional city landscape on top of a traditional jigsaw puzzle, you are supposed to erect each building piece in order they were built historically, hence in 4D, time being the fourth dimension.

But first more New York theme songs.  After going old school Broadway, here about something more au courant: Jay Z’s (& Alicia Keys’) Empire State of Mind:

Watching the puzzle being put together is like watching the city of New York grow over time on the isle of Manhattan.  Well kinda sorta, except for one crucial exception no buildings in the puzzle are torn down to make room for another, as in the real New York.  Also, to make space for the building puzzle attachments, the map of Manhattan is stretched and shrunk where necessary, greatly exaggerating the relative sizes of the Financial District and Midtown, where most of the skyscrapers are, but reducing Soho, Chelsea as well as Harlem and Washington Heights to barely there afterthoughts (“That’s racist”, Ed quipped, semi seriously).

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After putting together the approximately 640 piece puzzle base (see above), one must overlay the Manhattan island portion of the base with a foam layer duplicate on which the building pieces can be firmly erected.

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Empire State of Mind?  How about New York State of Mind… Can’t do this without Billy Joel:

This may just be my personal favorite “New York” song.  So what the hey, I’ll kick in Barbra Streisand’s cover version too:

Alright, the next step that needs to be puzzled out is the individual buildings.  First one must organize the building pieces in order of assembly, i.e. historical construction.  And although numbers on the base of each building piece should make that easy breezy, sometimes those numbers are so tiny I could have really used a magnifying glass, especially for those structures that looked too much like several other structures that also have similarly shaped numerals on their base…

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NYC6

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City Hall (1812) would be the first puzzle building inserted into foam Manhattan.  Followed by Federal Hall (1842), the Brooklyn Bridge (1883) and the Statue of Liberty (1886).

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The Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges soon followed suit in the first decade of the 20th century:

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The Woolworth Building (1913 – center of pic) was the tallest building in the world until 1930.  Grand Central Station (1913) can be seen far right:

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Take a Cool Musical Journey through the Spree Forest Canals during these Dog Days of Summer

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Last July I posted a four part series on the Spreewald, or Spree Forest (one, two, three, four), the fabulous “rural Venice” an hour south of Berlin, Germany.  The series included an elaborate photo tour of the region, and music from the Spree Forest Suite I composed for Harp and Flute.

Today, one year later, I will share again the best pictures from the series as well as all the music, conveniently assembled in one post.  In these dog days of summer, imagine a cool breeze on a bright, balmy day, as your genial boatman pushes the leisurely gliding tour boat down the elaborate system of canals past farms and through towns, a treat of Schmalzbrot, Spreewaldgurken and beer in your future, and soothing flute/harp music in your ear.

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SPREEWALDLIEDER – SPREE FOREST SUITE

I  Ankunft – Arrival

II  Kahnfahrt – Boat on the Wide Canal

III  Sonne hinter Blättern – Sun Behind Leaves

IV  Senf und Knoblauchgurken – The Pickel Barrel

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Ian Mckellen’s richly detailed and historically edifying “It Got Better” video

 

Pretty cool video, an inspiring must see.

And not that it really matters, but Sir Ian and I share the same birthday, May 25, which is a point of pride for me. :-)

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LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI – a mini musical adaptation

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I recently created the TWAIN page, where you can read about stories and listen to musical excerpts from my Mark Twain musical comedy beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN.  Below I will reproduce a complete scene from the musical, the mini-adaptation of a crucial section from Twain’s autobiographical Life on the Mississippi.

This segment deals with Twain growing up on the banks of the Mississippi river, dreaming about becoming a steamboat pilot.  His dream will come true, but not without perilous and humorous challenges.  Eventually youthful ambition and wonder grows into wistful adult wisdom.

The main songs from this section, Let the River Flow, Mississippi Song and Sunset in the River, can be heard in edited versions on the TWAIN page, but here I will include complete recordings and a complete libretto of the Life on the Mississippi section of beTwixt, beTween and beTWAIN.  You can also listen to jazz singer Jacqui Sutton’s take on Mississippi Song (and another song from the same musical) here.

And now, without further ado…

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LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

Story: Mark Twain   Music, Lyrics and Adaptation: Danny Ashkenasi

 

DOWN TO THE RIVER AND FAR FAR AWAY

 

Down to the River/Let the River Flow

 

SOLO:

Once in Missouri, south of St. Louis

There lived a future grand troubadour

He didn’t know yet what peels of laughter

What tales and stories

He had in store

He was a young man longing to sail the

Grand Mississippi

Some lucky day

One day he’ll tell the story of going

Down to the river and far far away

 

LET THE RIVER FLOW

 

ALL:

Let the river flow

See the waters deepen downstream

Let the Mississippi grow

Into your dreams

 

Take the riverboat

From St. Louis to New Orleans

On the mighty river float

Into your dreams

 

NARRATOR:

When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was to be a steamboatman.

 

BOY:

We had transient ambitions: when a circus came and went, it left us all burning to become clowns;

 

ANOTHER BOY:

Now and then we hoped that if we were good, God would permit us to be pirates.

 

NARRATOR:

These ambitions faded out, but the ambition to be a steamboatman always remained.

 

ALL:

Let the river flow

From St. Louis to New Orleans

Let the Mississippi grow

Into your dreams

 

NARRATOR:

Boy after boy managed to get on the river.

 

BOY:

The doctor’s son became a bar-keeper on a boat.

 

ANOTHER BOY:

The minister’s son became an engineer.

 

NARRATOR:

But pilot was the grandest position of all. Two months of a pilot’s wages would pay a preacher’s salary for a year. I had comforting daydreams of a future when I should be a great and honored riverboat pilot.

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MISSISSIPPI SONG

Mississippi Song

 

WOMAN:

Day by day

The Mississippi flows by my home

Singing a melody she beckons me to roam

 

Night by night

She’s calling me to come with her soon

Singing her lullaby, her sweet inviting tune

 

The river smiles to me to give her a try

Follow my fortune ere it all flows on by

I’m like a bird afraid to take to the sky

Lying awake with fear and questions

I hear her soft suggestions

To follow my intentions to fly

 

Day and night

The Mississippi beckons to me

Calls with a siren song to come along to see/sea

 

There oh there

The world awaits with glory and fame

I see it glistening and whispering my name

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The 23rd Evocation for Viola and Piano on the Occasion of Edward’s 57th Birthday.

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Today that handsome fellow pictured above, who also just happens to be my sainted husband, Edward Elder, turns 57.  And, as has become tradition in our 23 years plus together, one of the birthday presents he receives from me today is a duet I composed for viola and piano.  Ed plays the viola, I play the piano.  And the duets I write for each new birthday are called Evocations.   I have already shared posts about Evocation I and Evocation II on Notes from a Composer.  Today I will skip ahead a couple decades and share the newest duet, Evocation XXIII.

Version 2You may remark that Evocation XXIII is shorter than Evocations I and II.  True, it is even much more shorter than some of the early Evocations (oh, like V and X) which took on epic proportions.  There is a practical as well as aesthetic reason for the briefness of Evocation XXIII, in fact the briefness of almost all the recently composed Evocations.  For one, they are called Evocations, which linguistically and aesthetically connotes a hint of something, a suggestion, a brief reverie, not a lengthy meditation or exhaustive discourse (That’s what Sonatas or Rhapsodies are for, right?).

And for another, well, just practically, once you have over 20 viola/piano duets to choose from, it becomes more and more likely that each single one is going to get played less and less over the years.  Therefore it is helpful that each new addition to the ever thickening “book” may be quickly learned and swiftly performed, so that Ed and I can better enjoy the playing of it as well as its equally easily breezy* siblings.  (Not to harp on poor Evocations V & X, but they are not only epically long but also require a lot of practice for us to get halfway decently right; and thus haven’t been played in over ten years…).

Anyway, enough talk, on to the music.  Here is the computer program’s rendition of Evocation XXIII.  Ed and I will be playing it ourselves too later this morning, using actual instruments.

Evocation XXIII

 

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SINGING HAMILTON IN CARS

Celebrities, Politicos, Soccer-Moms and Babies gettin’ their Alexander on!

Exploring the intermittently sublime sub-sub-sub genre of singing along to Hamilton while riding in a car!

 

 

Above is the famous Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke starring James Corden and Lin-Manuel Miranda famously lip-syncing to sections of the cast recording of the musical Hamilton, and then being joined by Broadway stalwarts Audra MacDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Krakowski.  After over 11 million views I think it is safe to call this a “viral hit” and also safe to assume that if you have found this blog, you most likely have already watched this video at least once.

 

But have you seen the following video, the “lip-syncing” family doing their own take on Hamilton while in the family van “on their way to the mountains”?  It is adorable enough while the two older brothers assay Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton respectively, but “just you wait” until other family members start joining in.  I’ll say no more except enjoy:
 

 

Which led me to do a little research on videos showing lip-syncing / singing of Hamilton in cars.  Any more gems like the above?

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Introducing the MARK TWAIN MUSICAL Page

beTWAIN

 

It’s been a while since I’ve built a new permanent page on Notes from a Composer.  See the black banner border above?  Where you can access the following pages, or skip to the following content:

 

Well, in addition to the resume related pages and the pages devoted to three specific music theater pieces (Speakeasy, The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre, and The Song of Job 9:11), there is now a seventh permanent page devoted to the Mark Twain musical comedy beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN.  To keep things simple, the page is designated TWAIN.

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beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN adapts several of Mark Twain’s best loved short stories as well as excerpts from Life on the Mississippi and The Innocents Abroad.  The TWAIN page includes crisp synopses of the various sections of the show, excerpts from the songs (recorded live), plus links to diverse Notes from a Composer articles that involve beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN.

Here’s a little example, from Act One, with music:

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MARCHING WITH THE QUAKERS – A NYC Pride Parade Photo Diary

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Sunday, June 26, was Pride Day in New York City.  Close to 2 million people watched hundreds of thousands of marchers within about 485 contingents (groups and floats) make their way down 5th avenue, 8th Street and Christopher street, from Midtown to Greenwich Village.

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My favorite Quaker, Ed

Some years Ed and I watch the parade go by, some years Ed and I join the Quaker contingent (Ed is a Capital Q Quaker, to the manor born, and I as his husband am called a Friend of a Friend, as in I’m the significant other of a member of the Religious Society of Friends).

 

The Quakers are considered the first religious community to support the modern Gay Rights movement, having offered sanctuary and refreshments during the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and having marched in the very first Gay Pride Parade the following year.

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Me, 7 years ago, watching the parade go by

 

When you march in the parade, you only get to see a small fraction of all the other groups marching.  However you do get to celebrate with all the many colorful, diverse, happy people up and down Fifth avenue and over to Christopher Street.  This photo diary shares that experience.

Oh, and of course there will “Pride” themed musical accompaniment, because that’s what I do around here…

Love and Pride – King

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Gathering at 41st Street before being led into the Parade line-up

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My shirt shows half the Yin/Yang symbol.  (It makes more sense when Ed wears the shirt with the other half)

 

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The Pridetrooper – very popular marcher

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HAPPY PRIDE DAY – One Year to the Day Our Day Had Come

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Happy Pride Day, everybody.  Today is the Last Sunday in June, when New York City commemorates the birth of the modern Gay Rights Movement and the 1969 Stonewall riots with our Pride Parade and Festivities.  Ed and I will be marching with the Quakers.

Today’s Pride Day, June 26, also falls on the year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality.   So to celebrate Pride Day and last year’s same-sex marriage ruling, I will repost:

OUR DAY HAS COME – a personal marriage story with musical accompaniment

Our wedding photo as displayed in our living room

Our wedding photo as displayed in our living room

Ed and I got married in 1998.  And again in 2011.  Then our marriage got federally augmented in 2013.  And now finally in 2015 the state of our union will be fully recognized in every state of the Union.   It’s been a long time coming but our day has come.

Let’s start the celebration with the original recording of “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics.

Today, June 26, 2015, in fact just minutes before I posted this piece, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to Same-Sex Marriage. 

This Sunday’s Gay Pride marches will be especially festive.  It has been a long time coming, for the LGBTQ community and for the nation as a whole.  It has been a long day coming for Ed and me too.  During our now 22 years together the nature of our relationship has grown and changed, but not nearly as much as the legal nature of our marriage.

Ed and I met April 25, 1993 in the back of a greyhound bus returning to New York from the large March for Gay Rights that had just taken place in Washington D.C.  It was my first LGBT march, after having just attended the First National Bisexual Convention.  The greyhound bus only had one seat left in the back when I got on, the seat next to Ed.  Neither Ed nor I are the gregarious type likely to chat up strangers on a bus, but today we both made a conscious exception, each thinking it might be nice to meet someone.  For the next 4½ hours we sat side by side getting to know each other.  It was only after we got off the bus that I got a good look at Ed’s face from the front (rather than a ¾ profile) and noticed his height (six foot one) and broad shoulders.

Wedding photo 2After a year of dating Ed and I came to the mutual understanding that the anxiety of losing the other was now equal to the anxiety of facing a whole life time together, and that with every following day the former would grow and the latter would fade.  In other words we were in love!  After four years of toggling between a Chelsea and an Upper West Side studio apartment (our two bedroom unit connected by a 50 block hallway and the C subway line) we finally moved in together in Brooklyn and set the date for our marriage ceremony: April 25, 1998, the fifth anniversary of our meeting on that greyhound bus.

Let’s celebrate that day with Karen Carpenter’s smooth rendition of “Our Day Will Come” (and ignore the awkward radio announcer that mars the end of this track from the concept album “Now and Then”).

 

Our Quaker Marriage Certificate

Our Quaker Marriage Certificate

Our marriage would be a Quaker wedding ceremony augmented with musical framing and performances, as Quakerism is Ed’s religion and Music is mine.  Friends of ours at the last minute arranged for us to mutually break a wine glass under a white napkin as a gesture towards my Jewish background (if not Faith).  Everyone who attended signed the Marriage Certificate, as is Quaker custom.  This wedding was not legally binding.  There was no legally recognized same-sex marriage anywhere in the USA at that time.  The only legal document available to us from our government was a New York City Domestic Partnership Certificate, which only had any real legal bearing if one of us was a city civil servant, and even then it didn’t grant much legal protection.  But it was something at least.

In our hearts though, legal recognition or no, April 25, 1998 is the year Ed and I got married.  It just took our country a long time to catch up to that reality.

NY State Marriage Equality

June 25, 2011

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So, Apparently the Corpse of Harry Potter Washed Up on a Beach

SPOILER AND ODOR ALERT:

The following contains details of the movie Swiss Army Man, starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, as well as of the Harry Potter series which many will consider spoilers. 

As well as ghastly many references to bodily emissions, which may spoil much too.

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So, apparently the corpse of Harry Potter washed up on a beach.  I was stunned and dismayed to see this, since last I’d heard Harry Potter was alive and well, 37 years old, and bringing his two eldest children to the Hogwarts Express on platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross.  The Potter corpse on the beach looked to be in his mid to late twenties.  Granted, I didn’t know much about what Harry had been up to between defeating the Dark Lord two months shy of his 18th birthday and the trip to the train station 19 years later.  Maybe there was a beach side adventure in his twenties?  But he couldn’t be actually dead on the beach like Dobby?  Not if he will start a family and drop the kids off at school a decade later?  After all, even in the magical world, as J. K. Rowling has confirmed many times, dead is dead. Or?

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Harry and dead Dobby on the beach

There was only one witness present at the beaching of Harry Potter’s apparently dead body.  Unfortunately this was not a wizard who would recognize a hero from his world, but a ship-wrecked muggle named Hank, who did not know the Chosen One from Adam, and proceeded to calling him Manny.  He first regarded Harry as a mere lifeless body, albeit one still exuding some gaseous fumes.  Eventually these farts revealed themselves to be a particular potent expression of Harry Potter’s signature magic spell: Expelliarmus!

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Hank and dead Harry on the beach

You see, it was soon apparent to a connoisseur of the Wizarding World that Harry was not dead, but suffering from a devilishly potent and only very-slowly-wearing-off spell of Petrificus Totalus.  Now Hank thought he was going crazy, imagining himself hallucinating a dead body becoming partly reanimated, when he was simply witnessing Harry’s snailpaced unfreezing from the body binding curse.  Eventually Harry was moving his eyes, then speaking haltingly and shifting his facial expressions.

Harry’s Expelliarmus spells were being emitted backside and reoccurring unbidden and unceasing much like Ron’s self-inflicted slug-spewing during his second year at Howarts.  Unfortunately Hermione wasn’t around to counteract the effect of the gas with a sound- and odor-inhibiting Muffliato spell.   Harry’s corpse started shooting across the shallow surf as if charged by something I’d call  Propellus Gastrointestinicus.  Hallucinating or not, Hank took advantage of Harry’s redirected and explosively magnified Expelliarmus spells to jet-sky on Harry’s back to the main land.

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It would not just be the Expelliarmus spell that would become useful if bodily redirected by the effect of the stubborn Petrificus Totalus curse.  The Aguamenti spell would slake Hank’s thirst with water gushing in torrents out of Harry’s mouth.  The Confrigo spell would protect Hank from a bear with a flamethrower effect (out the backside again, natch), so powerfully, in fact, I feared Fiendfyre might have been unleashed once more, just as in the doomed Room of Requirement during the legendary battle of Hogwarts.  At another point I was sure Nagini, Voldemort’s horrific snake, had made its way into Harry’s pants, but it was just his penis incorporating the Point Me spell (AKA the Four-Point spell, and now rechristened the Erecto spell in my mind) to lead Hank back to life saving civilization.  Hank even exhorted Harry to have “happy thoughts”, but sadly, Harry was not able to produce a Patronus in his Petrificusly frozen state.  Possibly because Harry had no memory of who he was or his former life.  Had an unreformed Deatheater obliviated his memories before administrating the body-bind curse and dumping him on the beach?  If only J. K. Rowling would confirm if any of this is canon!

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WIN A MUSICAL DOWNLOAD!

OK, I’m feeling a little silly and in the mood for a puzzle.

 

I just posted this tweet:

“I finished a composition la la la la

Part of a cycle 23 years (& counting) in the making la la la la

?? (Clues are in my blog la la la la)”

In other words, you can guess the title of this mystery musical composition I just completed; the information leading to the answer is suggested by the tweet and discoverable somewhere within my blog.

Anyone should be able to guess the title with just a little detective work within “Notes from a Composer”, and I will make digital downloads demo recordings from one my musicals available to the first 10 people who email me the correct answer at admin@ashkenasi.net.  (Please put “Composition Title” in subject heading)

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WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE – Broadway for Orlando Charity Single – updated

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The Broadway community has gathered together to produce a charity single to honor the victims of the Orlando massacre.  They have given the Bacharach/David classic “What the World Needs Now is Love” the “We are the World” treatment, and the result is absolutely lovely.

Watch the video below, but be sure to purchase and download the song at the Broadway for Orlando website too (Itunes will carry it as well in a few days).  100% of the proceeds go to benefit the LGBT Community Center of Orlando.

 

You’ll probably easily spot universally recognizable Whoopie Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, and Rosie Perez as well as Broadway legends Bernadette Peters, Audra MacDonald, Chita Rivera and Lin-Manuel Miranda.  And look, there’s husband and wife team Mathew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker!  And Joel Grey!  Sean Hayes!  Carole King!  Gloria Estefan!  and…

Oh, here’s a copy of the list of participants from the website:

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The SEVEN HOS are now WICKED ADDICTED!

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Last June I posted an impressed and irreverent report of of  “Snow White and the Seven Hos“, a Disney parody musical benefit for SCA (Sexual Compulsives Anonymous).  SCA supports gay and bisexual men with sex addiction issues.  Every year they create an original parody musical that chases the original material through a fun house of camp sensibilities and naughty lyrics.  It’s all a big wacky adult hullabaloo that never looses its sense of fun, while still incorporating a sincere message about overcoming sex (and drug) addiction.  The creators and performers of each year’s show are members of SCA.   If you are going to catch just one “amateur theatrical” per year, make it the SCA benefit.

This year’s benefit is called “Wicked Addicted”, and so it looks like Broadway Juggernaut “Wicked” is getting the SCA treatment this year.  Just how wickedly will the salacious parodists of SCA rewrite the lyrics to “Popular” or “Defying Gravity”?  Just how much more camp and crude will the green-hued and blond-curled divas of Oz be when essayed by Friends of Dorothy in drag?  What scary new meanings shall be applied to the term “flying monkey?”

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The Best Hamilton Anecdote Ever (well, surely one of the best)

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Rob McClure

The actor Rob McClure (currently performing in Something Rotten) just posted the following anecdote about Hamilton on his Facebook page.  It’s going viral, as they say nowadays.  Read it to see why:

 

“Hamilton deserved every Tony.
Here’s one of the reasons why…..

Last night, thru a series of weird events, I ended up getting a car service back to Philly (home). My driver was a mid 30’s guy from the Bronx. SUPER SWEET. He was asking me all about being an actor. He said all he knows about Broadway is that he’s dropped a few clients off at shows. He mentioned Hamilton and I asked what he knew about it.
Somehow… THIS MAN KNEW NOTHING. Like. ZERO.
I explained and he seemed intrigued so I asked if he wanted to hear the album for the 100 minutes drive remaining. I put it on.

He. Lost. His. Mind.
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ANTOINETTE LOVES ALEXANDER – 11 Tonys for Hamilton

To no one’s surprise, the musical Hamilton dominated the Tony awards show tonight, winning a near record 11 Tonys (after racking up a record breaking 16 nominations).

 
But beyond the electric charge and grace not only exhibited by Hamilton, but by all the showcased musicals tonight as well as James Corden’s happy hosting, the most poignant moments for me were the many deeply moving gestures to the horrible events in Orlando this morning, beginning with a sincere preamble by Corden, and including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s heartbreaking sonnet to love in the face of violence as well as Frank Langella’s deeply felt eloquence during their respective acceptance speeches.

Congratulations to all involved in tonight’s celebration of a pretty spectacular season on Broadway.  And in honor of Hamilton, I will repost my response to Hamilton on Notes from a Composer the day after I attended it last August:

H A M I L T ON – Friday, August 21, 8pm, Rear Mezzanine, A 109

Hamilton

I cried twice during the second act

Tears steaming down my face, shoulders quaking

 

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