I recently finished watching Rodger's and Hammerstein's South Pacific with my kids for the first time. (Happy sigh.) This is my most favorite musical ever (closely followed by The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) and was my favorite movie (well, maybe tied with Audrey Hepburn's Charade) for a very long time. Maybe it still is. I find it harder to have favorites the older I get.
South Pacific bumps the other ones by having some major sentimental connections. My grandparents had a record player behind their couch in their great room but only a few records. The soundtrack to South Pacific figured prominently. (I'm sure I'm right on the money in imagining my grandpa surprising my grandma by turning on "Some Enchanted Evening" and hamming up a serenade). Also, I shared a love of old movies with my grandma LaVonne and we spent many hours and evenings indulging at her home while I escaped from the demands of being the eldest of five (sorry mom, I was kind of a lazy bum), farm boredom, and the lack of a social life. South Pacific was extra romantic, funny and dramatic, and the music is fabulous. I think Grandma also liked it because her brothers served in WWII. (It grows in appeal as I realize that my husband is a "...cultured Frenchman, I'm a little hick". Sort of. I'll have to hear him sing "Some Enchanted Evening" before I decide how close his resemblance is to Rossano Brazzi--although I just found out Rossano's voice was dubbed. Dang wikipedia.)
Some of that lack of social life may have contributed to my oblivious willingness to put on a show (plus, the ham gene runs strong in my blood). Their soundtrack enabled me to perform "Honey Bun" in a glorified karaoke performance multiple times with my little brother, Duke, much to the amusement of our families. I had to pull out a picture today to prove it. The kids thought it was pretty funny but couldn't understand why Duke was wearing a pair of balloons instead of a coconut bra. That's rural Montana for you--we adapt.
The kids loved the song "Happy Talk" the best and were trying to remember the actions this morning. So cute to see Cooper frame his face with his hands, make a girly face, and sing "You've got to have a dream!" I was also pleased at Leslie's complete incredulousness about the prejudice/race issues that become the conflict for both romances. "What??" She demanded. "That's so dumb!" (I guess my next project when I look through the photo album is to burn the pictures of me in another karaoke performance with some of my friends and my mom doing the Supremes, blackface, for a Young Womens' fundraiser. Oops. I didn't know that was a big deal until I went to college. That's the great white North for ya.)
All the kids were a little upset that "Lieutellan" had to die. It also led Boston to ask lots of questions about soldiers, WWII, and the draft. He told me maybe he wants to be a soldier guy when he grows up. I told him maybe that's okay if he does it before he has a wife and kids because they would miss him too much.
I guess talking about the war led him to some other geography questions. This morning he asked me if China was an enemy to the United States. "Wellll...." I said. "They aren't exactly our enemies--we aren't having a war with them or anything, but they aren't really our friends either." He nodded in complete understanding. "Oh. We're frenemies."
As I listened to my second-rate soundtrack CD today I was a little sad that at almost 35 I'm getting a little too old to ever think about playing a lead in a musical (if they were hard-pressed to find someone and all...just daydream along with me, okay?). (I don't count the remake of South Pacific with Glen Close as a much older Nellie--that was just dreadful.) Our school was too small to do a musical in high school and I've always wanted to be in one. Although I think South Pacific's music is probably the most fun, I don't know how that would even have worked for me, anyway, even in a community production. I got married at 20 and would have felt weird playing opposite anyone other than my husband. (One of our friends did that when we were newlyweds and it was SO disturbing to watch her kiss someone other than her husband. They are divorced now.) Plus the wardrobe presents some obvious difficulty. And would I really want to be singing in an onstage shower? Maybe not. I guess singing along with the soundtrack is my best bet. Or there's that one nun on The Sound of Music. She's old. "Climb Ev'ry Mountain!"
We just got back from a fun trip to Montana, but my camera is broken so I need to get some pictures from my mom and sister to post later.
Luke finally eats cheerios! Woohoo! He has been extremely resistant to self feeding or solid foods, hates baby food, and I've been sweating bullets decreasing his formula, worried that he wouldn't compensate the calories. Finally. A whole new world awaits, my son. Today, string cheese (already loves), tonight Zuppa Toscana, tomorrow bon bons and filet mignon.