Ooo! It's two musicals in one intro. A dozen cyber points for you if you can name them both without reading the rest of this post. . .

I'll wait. . .

Ok. On with the show.

As you know (because you read this post. . .You didn't? Go read it. I'll wait. . .) (You've been making me wait a lot today!) I once upon a time was a community theater participant. Of course, the two shows we are talking about today I was never actually on stage for.

So I absolutely love 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. This was a movie that I watched from a very young age. I love that Millie had spunk and stood up to Adam when she realized what he really wanted. I loved the barn raising/felling scene--the dancing was so great! I loved the scene where Adam talks the boys into going after the girls. I always got nervous to see whether Gideon was going to get his girl on time. And the avalanche, and the improbable love story. I always wondered when I was little why all the girls said "Mine" when asked whose baby was crying. Just loved the movie.

So when an opportunity came to try out for the play, I did. I didn't make it, to my dismay. My brother did. (he was a much better actor than I. I can't stop myself from laughing at my own jokes.) He told me over and over to just start coming to rehearsals, but I was too proud. If they didn't want me, I wouldn't come. And I was mildly broken-hearted.

But there was salvation. Sometime in High School, for two years in a row (I'm not sure whether it was my Senior year and the year following or my Junior and Senior years) I was asked to be in the pit orchestra for the local community musical.

I will say right here and now that being in the pit orchestra for 7 Brides for 7 Brothers makes up for all the non-acting I got to do. I'm a country girl at heart and that score is, to this day, one of the funnest things I have ever played. We were terrible, of course. Think about it--mostly a bunch of high school kids. But we had fun and that music was fun. I never did see that performance, but I was sawing away to my hearts content on my violin, so it didn't matter. It was a tough score and we worked hard.

I couldn't find an actual shot of the song, so here's a Howard Keel tribute (love his voice, still!). I had to pick either Howard Keel or somebody's production. I picked the voice.

On the other year (since I'm too lazy to look up order right now) we did Cinderella.

This is another movie I've been watching for years--the old one. The one with the girl whose voice has bugged me for as long as I could remember. (I watched her in Happiest Millionaire too and whilst I loved Fortuosity and the alligators, I hated her voice.) I couldn't think of one reason why I should like the Rogers and Hammerstein version. The new one was just. . .odd. That's the one with Whitney Houston as "the Fairy Godmother". The voices were better but it was such a jumble of stuff that I didn't really like it either.

They asked me to play in the pit orchestra.

It was better than being in the thing. That's for sure!

So we played. The saving grace of this movie is this song--especially played by two good comediennes. I actually don't think these two do it justice. (This is from the new version)

However, we had a lot more fun this time around. This music wasn't nearly as difficult as 7 Brides for 7 Brothers so we were--as high school geeks are wont to do--messing around a bit more.

The first thing that happened was the poor percussionist. He was always in a panic playing the chimes--worried that he'd count wrong. And, of course, one night he did. Cinderella left on the stroke of 13 that night. For a gift at the end of the performance run the music director gave him a copy of the Disney storybook of Cinderella and crossed out the stroke of midnight and wrote in the stroke of 13. I'm not sure he's ever lived that one down.

The other thing I remember about that run was the one night our oboe player was in a mood. Our oboe player was excellent, but she had a very quirky sense of humor. One night the drama played out. Cinderella went to her ball and ran away and lost her shoe. The prince starts to look for her and they run into each other in a garden. And he finds her, and leans in to kiss her. . .

And at the very second, our oboe player gave a squawk on her oboe. A lip-smackin squawk. It wasn't a very loud squawk. I'm not sure anyone but the pit orchestra heard it, but we were doubled over laughing. We barely made our next cue we were laughing so hard. And our oboe-ist just grinned.

There's nothing in the world like community theater.

And just so's you can listen again to that fabulous voice. . .

(And since I just loved this song growing up. Gideon!)

10 Responses
  1. THe second one is 7 brides and the first one is, I THINK, Oklahoma. Oh, helk, NO! It is from R&H Cinderella! I can't believe I got that one wrong! ONe of my all time faves! I even have it on VHS (need to get it on DVD).. Okay, going back to read and enjoy. 7 Brides is another favorite.

  2. Wait, I'll have to come back tomorrow. Aragorn is getting frisky.

  3. Kimberly Says:

    I adore 7 Brides for 7 Brothers! Such an entertainment, that!

  4. This was such a fun post! I hate the new R&H Cinderella, too. Crazy. It was Lesley Anne Warren who played Cinderella & I always wondered why they chose her--she was only 17 when she made that. She had a weird neck, too. But, I loved how she smiled at him. His name as Alan Quatermaine in General Hosp--can't remember his real name. Let me tell you this, was a hugely anticipated show when it came on TV--I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach when it premeired. Back before constant re-runs and VHS and DVD you only got the chance to see something once (or once a year as in WofO). I can't tell you how many times either myself or my sisters broke out into song from that Cinderealla--esp. Impossible and In my own little corner . . .

  5. Emily Says:

    My little boys LOVE Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Every vacation we take it with us, and watch it. The boys always stand up and dance to the barn raising scene. Honestly, what's not to love about that movie?

  6. Melanie J Says:

    I'm a huge 7 Brides for 7 Brothers fan. It's tied for first with Singin in the Rain for nostalgia value. We used to do our own choreograhped dances to both. I'd say the two songs that stick in my head the most are the lonesome polecat one and then from SITR, I always get the Good Morning song stuck in my head.

  7. Linda Says:

    This is weird. I was just singing the Sabin women song this morning - I know, random! It was fun to think back on all of those times. And I played in the pit for 7 brides, so you must have been older when they did it because I wasn't a drummer until 9th grade! ;) Love you!

  8. I love musicals, but sadly I have never seen 7 Brides for 7 Brothers ... I must rectify that situation soon!

  9. Audra Says:

    Oh, the memories of Cinderella. I had forgotten the oboe... What fun we had!

  10. Wow, you're a writer, a musician, a speed-reader, what else? I'm seriously impressed. I'm so musically challenged. What fun memories you shared here!