Girls Write Out
Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's that time of year. The lights are strung, Santa's at the mall, and Kevin's in the mood for a Christmas musical. Yes, I said musical.

Here's where I part ways with my feminine side and come out and say it. I hate musicals. I'm not anti-theatre per se. I can enjoy a good play. (And believe me, I get dragged to plenty.) But the musicals . . . Can I just ask the question that's been burning on my tongue since my first one?

Who stops life during a disaster to break out into song?

I have yet to see this happen in real life. You're pulled over by for speeding. What to do? Jump out of your car and break out into song and dance of course. A betrayal by your best friend? Show them what for with a good 'ol song. Yeah, that happens.

If I had a character do it in a book, I'm pretty sure someone would throw it across the room. Probably my editor. But I wouldn't write something like that because--AHEM--people don't do that. Maybe someone can explain to me why theatre gets away with it or maybe I'll just never get it. Either way, I have a feeling I'll be in the audience again soon.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 3:32 AM  
  Comments (29)
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At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anna Marie said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who don't care for musical. :)

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Bridget Jones's the Edge of Reason has a great line when she gets dragged to a play with her parents, it's something like, men in tights standing with their legs astride and belting out song. LOL Isn't it though? I love to go to plays, but there are very few musicals I ever enjoyed, and I'm not a fan of the ballet because of the pounding sound takes away from the romance. But I love Les Miserables. I took my mother and she was so glad when it was over, until I said, "Mom, it's intermission."
"Oh man, there's more?"
Ah, tis the season Denise! I have sworn off the Nutcracker. I HATe that music!!!

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Suzanne Schaffer said...

I also dislike musicals. I dislike theater in general. Give me a movie anytime, preferably an old black & white one....but only on dvd so I can skip through the songs! LOL

At 1:42 AM, Blogger eileen said...

Oh but if you get a chance to see the Lion King on stage, please go see it. It's a wowser.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

I'm sorry. I've loved musicals. I always have. Believe it or not, I DO break out into song relatively often (there's always a song that fits a scenario). My husband looks at me like I fell from Mars - or rather Venus - but I keep yodeling. My favorite is is when I put on my fishing waders and heavy wading boots to follow my fearless leader into the fly-fishing waters of Montana and I start dancing on the edge of the river singing, "I'm too sexy for my waders, too sexy for boots, too sexy ..."

Sorry Denise - there is ONE strange person who DOES make life into a musical - strange and rather annoying - musical.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

D, I'm shocked! Where's your feminine side? LOL I LOVE musicals. They're not supposed to be like real life. That's like saying music doesn't enhance a movie. A good musical is just like a good movie. After it's over, you should find yourself singing the songs that are associated with it or wanting to buy the soundtrack.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Jaime, we are knitted souls. I, too, break out into song at any given point. Painting a wall at home or church? "We'll work, till Jesus comes, we'll work..." Bathing my grandkids? "This is the way we take a bath, take a bath, take a bath, this is the way..." Getting hit with a gust of wind? "I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away..."


But musicals? I'm thinking Danny Kay. Like you, I can't stand 'em, unless it's live on stage. Then, I'm caught up in the ambience of the whole thing. "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match..." (Fiddler on the Roof).

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Okay, that woman on your blog scares me. I used to love musicals on TV--even Danny Kaye! But now I can't sit still long enough. I'm with you, Denise.

Colleen talked me into going to see Phantom of the Opera (the movie), and I took her name off my Christmas list over it. Yes, the music was beautiful, but really, do they have to sing the storyline? My eyes were glazed, my stomach bigger than Godzilla from popcorn breaks, and by the time it was over, I wanted to hurt somebody--while singing, of course.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Oh, good, I'm not the only one. My eyes just glaze over when the singing starts, I can't help it. Dancing helps. It keeps my eyes busy at least.

C, why am I not surprised to find you on the other side of this debate?

Kevin sings sometimes about what he's doing, but there's something very unnatural about stopping in the middle of a situation, turning toward the audience and yodeling about it. (Thanks for the yodeling word, Jaime)

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Say it isn't so!!!! I LOVE Phantom of the Opera! That music is just phenomenal. Di, I'm appalled at you!

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

(Di, I'm appalled at you!)

In the key of????

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I think you were just sassed, C.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Ok, I know it's hokey when someone breaks out in song at a serious moment...but I'm going to vote on Colleen's side. I love musicals and opera. Know what my favorite of all times is? "Carmen." I love to hate her--she's so self-serving and wicked. Besides, she gets to wear all the flashy Spanish clothes. :)

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

I LOVE musicals...have seen a ton of them live--Cats, Les Miserables, Beauty & the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Chorus Line (like 5 times!). But I also love the absurd, like some of the Monty Python stuff. So I guess if anybody's going to write a Christian, Chicklit musical, dadgumit, it might as well be me!


At 12:48 PM, Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Hey, what a GREAT idea! Next time one of my bad guys kills off somebody, he's gonna break out in song and dance. Hm... now I'll have to think of an appropriate tune...

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Another One Bites the Dust?

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

LOL Denise - Another one bites the dust? - you were born to sing and dance, girl, just let it out!!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger allen said...

as someone who has written (ahem) 17 musicals and directed most of them, I would have to weigh in on the "I like GOOD musicals". I dislike most of them, but I will on, at sometimes, break into song to ease a tense situation or get my wife laughing. Oh, and I don't think of myself as feminine because I like musicals.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger allen said...

let me clarify my last statement a bit...I meant I don't like MOST musicals, I am extremely picky, but I do like GOOD musicals...maybe I should have sung that last post instead...but no dancing...

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

LOL The banter is cracking me up.

I'm a sucker for certain. Who cares if Singing in the Rain is flashy and unrealistic? Gene starts dancing and singing with that stupid in-love grin on his face and I grin right back.

And the Sound of Music...LOL. Maria is a great character against the stodgy Captain.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Michelle S said...

I'm with you on this one Denise. I, most of the time, cannot stand musicals. First off, why do they have to pause the action tosing??? and secondly, how come everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, within 20 feet of the singing person knows the dance steps???? they all just happen to know the same dance steps at the same time?? it makes the show so much less likely. Although, I must admit, I really liked Spamalot, but thats probably because nothing in it is even remotely possible, so its hillarious.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Jennifer B. Jones said...

You can't say you don't like musicals until you have seen Wicked, the back story to Wizard of Oz (please don't flame me those of you who are anti-WOZ), and very much NOT like the popular book Wicked. It will change your mind! It's AMAZING and the writing is so stinking clever (in a fluff sort of way). I'm not always too keen on the actual music to listen to on a regular basis apart from the play, but the CD to Wicked if my favorite CD of all that I own--from all genres. Awesome.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

I love musicals. Can't help it. Always will. Let me amend that -- I'm an attorney, so I can LOL. I love good musicals. I'm learning there are a lot of bad ones out there. So maybe musicals are like books. It's all a matter of taste :-)

At 11:47 AM, Blogger allen said...

my boys had the opportunity through their school to see the BALLET "the Nutcracker" which is a little different than a MUSICAL. We have shown them an editted version of "Phantom" and they both dig it. They also enjoyed "Annie" but I think that was because my 8 year old likes red heads.

Denise, I hope you can see the musical I'm directing in March at the Scottish might just be slightly entertaining.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger CaliGirlDCE25 said...

I agree that Wicked is incredibly amazing. I think that because I am a performer and I have done musical theatre for most of my life, I am a fan even when I'm offstage. However.. You're right denise. it's not real... but still. it's cool... and I too like GOOD musicals. There are some bad musicals out there that are just a waste of time, money and energy. I also like drama ministry, which is cool because you get to spread the Gospel through theatre, song and dance and it really gets kids into it and helps them to relate to scripture which can be sometimes more of an "adult" thing... does that make sense at all? And Colleen, Phantom is amazing. I got to see it with Davis Gains in LA... INCREDIBLE!!! :-) Love ya gals!

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Valerie W. said...

My adorable mother always said she'd like musicals better if they didn't sing. :D

I didn't get that from my mother. I love musicals.

Admit it, Denise. I bet you've caught yourself singing a song or two from *gasp* a MUSICAL on more than one occassion.

"White Christmas" anyone?

At 2:00 AM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

I love theatre, especially musicals. I got to see my first touring Broadway production in 6th grade. It was Les Mis. What made it even better was we were studying it in music class so I knew all the songs and the backstory to it. It was just incredible. I've been hooked ever since, although I'm still waiting for Phantom. Hmm...oh well never mind, I'm slipping off into fantasy land about a future husband who will take me to it and propose over dinner either bfore or after. LOL

I also love all the musicals from the 30s, 40s and 50s on TCM and AMC. Give me one of those to watch and I'm incredibly happy. It's even better when it's colorized. Black and white isn't my favorite but I'll watch it. :)

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

When I was 10 my parents took me to see Carousel. I've been in love with the musical theatre ever since. I even majored in theatre the first time I went to college and I planned to take Broadway by storm, purest that I was.

Many years ago my brother sent me a tape of the Les Mis soundtrack. I played it to death and my kids learned every note along with me. Ian was 8 at the time and needed to go to the hospital for a clean-out. I let him borrow my tape. One day the child specialist came to meet him, talk about the playroom and stuff. Noticing his headphones, she asked if he ws listning the Rafi.
"Nope, Les Miserables."
I saw the surprise all over her face. Finally she pulled herself together and I know she was sure he'd lied. "So, what's your favorite song?"
"Do You Hear the People Sing."
She must have been one of your friends, Denise because she couldn't get out of there fast enough. ha!

To me, there's something about the songs that pour out the character's soul in that poignant, private moment shared only between the actor and the audience. "Bring Him Home" from Les Mis is a perfect example--it is what Jean Val Jean is thinking but the audience can't hear his thoughts. Singing them, with such pathos, puts us in his soul for that moment.

I've only seen one Broadway show on Broadway--Miss Saigon. I got my husband to go and I want to tell you, when they lowered that helicopter onto the stage, you believed it. And my hubby who couldn't care less about muscial theater (unless Brian Wilson decided to write a score) was in tears right beside me. The music can move you in ways mere words cannot (author tho I be, I write that with fear and trembling).

Muscial theatre isn't for everyone but then again, neither are historicals (gasp!), chick lit (sorry, Kris), or even fiction (heresy, I know). Thankfully there is something for everyone and who knows, Denise, maybe if you find the right musical, you'll fall in love with at least that one. (By the way, I could live a very happy life without ever seeing The Hutcracker again).

Sorry, got carried away :-)

Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary

At 12:49 PM, Blogger K.Michelle said...

When I was a junior in high school, our AP English teacher was obsessed with musicals, so he made our class put on those musicals...In 9 months, we did "The King and I", "The Sound of Music", "Oklahoma", "Carousel", and "South Pacific." Needless to say, I hate musicals now. After 11 years, I still can't watch those musicals on TV or in the theatre.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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