Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What are you watching?

He: What are you watching?
Me: It's called Greatest American Dog. I'm not really watching it. I thought Password was on.
He: What's it all about?
Me: It's some sort of competition with these people and their dogs. They give them different challenges and the last dog...
He: Gets to be Maria!

I've been watching CBC's How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Of course I have. I'm a music theatre gal from way back. If need be, a look at my record collection or YouTube searches would verify the same. I met my husband doing community theatre. My wedding featured music by Irving Berlin and Lerner & Loewe. My children listened to Jerome Kern while in the womb. When such things were affordable, I never missed a show. I have Richard Kiley's autograph!

I love watching talented musical theatre performers and seeing fresh new faces. If a television talent show seems like an odd way to cast the lead in Mirvish's upcoming production of The Sound of Music - well, odder things have happened. Like any audition process it has had its highs and lows.

Pleasures: The fast pace of the program. The imagination in putting it together and talent of the contestants.

Disappointments: Allie was gone too quickly. Donna, whose performances stayed with me from show to show (therefore, the one I would most want to see) is gone.

Oddball song choices/missed opportunity: A Canadiana night with no Gordon Lightfoot? Ah, how cheerful my life would be if I were never to hear Black Velvet again. I had successfully erased Bang, Bang from my memory bank. (Sugar Town was about to join it, but I suppose that's just a dream now.) The prevalence of pop tunes distresses me. There are plenty of venues for that sort of thing on television. If the intent was to appeal to a broader audience, I think perhaps the title of the program is enough to keep them tuned out.

The radio in the hospital lab advertised the closing of "Mamma Mia" at the Royal Alexandra. The nurse turned to me and said: "I wanted to see "Mamma Mia", but my husband hates that Andrew Lloyd Webber".

Here is a show about putting on a show. What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate musical theatre. You can't tell me that from Victor Herbert to Stephen Sondheim there aren't enough wonderful songs to showcase and challenge the contestants. If a geezer like me can enjoy Defying Gravity then some youngster would certainly be impressed with The Man I Love. Why, the music of Richard Rodgers alone would give you so many "colours" you'd have to come up with new names for them.

I'll be tuning in next week with hope in my heart. Hoping that Marissa keeps sparkling. Hoping to hear something pretty from Janna. Hoping to catch Jayme fever. Hoping against hope that the judges don't get a sudden nostalgic yen for the Leo Sayer Songbook.

Will I be voting? Ah, that's The 64,000 Question.


  1. It's a fun show. The judges at times more awkward then the contestants. These contestants are all winners, what a treat for the viewers. The judges wear their hearts on their sleeves, their concern for these ladies comes across as very genuine. Fast paced but not rushed, I'm liking this show.

  2. Man, when we had reality shows to cast musicals here, we had to contend with 'Legally Blonde' and 'Grease.' I have to say you guys have the upper hand.

  3. "Ah, how cheerful my life would be if I were never to hear Black Velvet again." is the quote of the year.

    I have such GUILT for not keeping up with this show. I have to start watching again! Gah! I hear good things around the office about Janna. And folks seem to think Donna was done wrong. Marrissa was in that Andrew Lloyd Webber show classic Mamma Mia when I saw it at the Royal Alex, and she was lovely...

  4. Janet thinks Janna is cool. I think she looks an awful lot like Connie Fisher and the fix is in.

    Donna WAS done wrong.

    Marissa was adorable in "Mamma Mia" and I think she'd be a perfect Maria. I wonder if her run in MM intersected Deanne's. Six degrees of separation.

    I forgot about Elicia. Somehow, she's never impressed me as much as she did that first week, making the Pet Clark song her own. She just might surprise me.

  5. Caftan Woman, what was the Pet Clark song Elicia sang? Who is Connie Fisher?

  6. novabreeze, Elicia sang "Colour My World" & Connie Fisher was the winner in Britain's "...Maria?" Google her image and you'll see what I mean.

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