Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let's Go On With the Show

Vanessa and her father 
I'm not the sort who goes crazy for Broadway musicals.  

I fell asleep in the mighty Majestic Theater as the candelabra plummeted earthward in "Phantom Of The Opera."  For real.  

I do love "The Music Man," about a flamboyant huckster who goes to Iowa and sells the local rubes a bill of goods, based on false hope in empty promises.

But that couldn't happen again, right?

And I love "Grease."  We saw it in the movies when it came out in '78 and we must have seen it a hundred times on VHS and DVD. Even went to the movies again to see a 20th Anniversary re-release in '98.  I have the soundtrack on LP, cassette, CD and mp3. There's not a song from that show that I can't sing in my car...oh those summer nights!

So I was pleased to see the live performance on FOX the other night.  "Grease Live" was everything I could have hoped for, and as it came on, I was glad it was on the DVR so we can watch it over and over (until the DVD comes out!)

I saw online, as the show came on, that Vanessa Hudgens had lost her father late on Saturday night just before she went on live as Rizzo on Sunday.  He had been ill with cancer for a while, but I can tell you, even though the death of a parent seems imminent for some months, it still hits hard when it happens.  

But, in the finest showbiz tradition, Vanessa went on live tv right after losing her dad, and she killed it.  She knocked that role into the next county, first tweeting that she was doing the show in his honor.  Here she is with the showstopper "There Are Worse Things I Could Do." 

There's an old song by Irving Berlin, sung by Ethel Merman in "Annie Get Your Gun," about show business...

There's no business like show business like no business I know
You get word before the show has started
that your favorite uncle died at dawn
Top of that, your pa and ma have parted,
you're broken-hearted, but you go on...
It's corny and old-fashioned, and I'm not saying that you should still go to work rounding up carts at the Try 'N' Save hours after you lose a parent, but this aspect of show business is worthy of note. Surely Vanessa Hudgens had a million things on her mind when she started dancing around those stages on Sunday evening, but those million things allowed her to focus on the thing that mattered at show time: doing her best to entertain.

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