Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hamlisch-mania: Never out of style.

A couple-few months ago I rented the Marvin Hamlisch musical A Chorus Line, the movie of which I'd never seen, though I'd seen the stage show many many years ago. Some nice stuff all the way through, and one really good song, called "One," which has a great spooky dissonant orchestration in at least one of its renderings. Was mostly struck by how the show belied the old saw that Broadway hasn't had any influence on pop music since the '50s. It's simply not true. Broadway's dance moves have been all over teenpop and R & B's stages at least since the '80s.

Had my first experience with karaoke Friday night at the dinner party of the royal couple of dinner parties, our friends D & G. After dinner, they broke out the karaoke mic which plugged into their TV. Fingers Hilarity, the almost-4-year-old, sang "Yellow Submarine," and while he didn't remember the verses, nor could he read them, he wailed on the choruses. I sang Streisand's great Hamlisch-penned hit "The Way We Were"; other people sang other songs, and mostly we all sang together -- 13 adults and 2 kids at the party. It was a gas; much laughter and merriment. (I was not mocking the song -- I love that song.)

In the run-up to November's elections, we got a robo-call from Barbra Streisand, which tickled me pink -- the D party had ID'ed our household as loyal voters, and so Barbra called just to remind us to vote -- "Like me, I know you have very busy lives" -- so friendly! Then a couple of weeks later, still a ways before the election, Robert Redford called about some environmental issue. Not as friendly as Barbra, more directive; but my main reaction was, where's Marvin Hamlisch? Let's complete that The Way We Were -reunion action that's going on around here!

Another lovely luncheon party today at our friends' J & D's house, just the 5 of us. More music as J & I banged through folk songs from one of his songbooks, while Fingers Hilarity tootled on a wooden recorder, more or less keeping the beat. Such a pleasure to sing and play together.

* * *

Running errands late this afternoon, we passed a restaurant called "22 Doors." Fingers Hilarity read the sign and said, "22 Doors -- that's funny!" And he laughed. There weren't 22 doors there! What a funny sign! I admire his freshness of perception. Last night at the dinner table he had offered to help with something -- I don't remember what now, but it was something he would have no idea about; say, for example, a soaker hose (that wasn't it) -- and my beloved spouse said, "You wouldn't know a soaker hose from a hole in the ground," and Fingers Hilarity cracked up -- a hole in the gound! What a funny thing to say!

(A friend informs me that the restaurant 22 Doors does indeed have a collection of doors inside. I've never been. Next time Fingers and I are in the neighborhood we'll have to check it out.)
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