Monday, September 19, 2011

Jukebox Musicals: The Return to Old-School Broadway?

In ye olden Broadway days, the days of Gershwin, Berlin, Cohan, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter - in the glory days of Tin Pan Alley - Broadway musicals dictated the popular songs of the day. Especially prior to the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein on Oklahoma!, which started the trend of integrating songs more thoroughly in character and plot, most showtunes of the early 20th century were generic enough in their relation to plot that they were easily extracted for a larger audience (and even almost frighteningly interchangeable within the show itself - as evidenced in film adaptations like Anything Goes or Babes in Arms, which rewrote plots entirely while maintaining the original score).

I hasten to add, before Jerome Kern takes a hit out on me, that these songs were well-written. Many of them are still considered classics, long after the shows originally containing them are forgotten and unrevived. [Did you know "The Lady is a Tramp" is from Babes in Arms, though it was inserted into the film Pal Joey? Did you know it was written for a woman? You did? Good for you, now go sit in the corner; I'm still talking] Other fun examples include "My Funny Valentine," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Night and Day," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," etc. These were good songs, these were popular successful songs, and they were written for the theater (these scribes also found success composing songs for film musicals as well, including hits like "Puttin' on the Ritz" and "The Way You Look Tonight."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Self-Editor's Lament

So I'm making progress on the planned book first germinated in this post: a collection of short stories, shorts, and other collected pieces. I went through the hard drive and email folders, dragging the lake for pieces new and old that might be workable. I assembled them all into one epic document, and then went through the patchwork-quilted monster, making the format uniform.

THEN I got to go through and proofread and fix some of the grosser Bad Writing that inevitably crops up. My next step was to print up the entire thing in quarter-size and shuffle and shuffle and shuffle, which took me back to mix tape days.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Gee, A girl named Zelda, this doesn't sound that bad. Why would you title this post with the word Lament? 'Whine whine whine I have to mix and match a bunch of stuff I've already written!' The hard part's over!" Or perhaps "Is it lunch time yet?"

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gentle Musings on the Demonic Presence in my Apartment

I really don't like to jump to conclusions ("I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were." - Buffy), but I've been harboring suspicions for quite some time, slowing amassing evidence, and I think I can safely make some ridiculous claims with complete conviction.

I share a two-bedroom, tiny but not tiny-as-could-be, Manhattan apartment with flatmateMichael. It has a general common room that we have sectioned off into living room and kitchen, and a corridor decorated with tasteful black and white and grayscale photographs in black frames. And then there's the bathroom, which I am convinced in my heart of hearts is the reason we chose this apartment, as it is tiled - floor and walls - in black marblelite.

How could we know, sixteen months ago, that that very marbelite bathroom and its contents would now be the subject of my concern and scrutiny?

But finally, after much surveillance and experimentation, I have reached this conclusion: I suspect that a demon may be living in our pipes.