One of the things I love about the pops concerts I've attended is how they expand my interest in types of music. This often moves into the world of movies, particularly since pops concerts often feature music from movies and musicals.
My first experience with Pops was "Those Glorious MGM Musicals" (NACO-Everly conducting, March 2003). After this concert I wanted to see all the movies the wonderful songs came from. It wasn't until about a year ago I was actually able to embark on this mission. Although, after re-watching "Singin' in the Rain" I got side tracked by Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly (Great entertainers! Just check out: Sitting Dance, Shall We Dance?, What Chance Have I With Love etc.) and went looking for their other movies (unfortunately not all of them appear to be available :( More on my movie musical watching in another post). Other classics have made the consistently growing list as well. One of these was "Guys and Dolls", with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
I first watched this movie (starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine-reprising her role of Adelaide from Broadway) a while ago and honestly didn't like it very much. I was waiting almost the whole movie for the one song I knew, "Luck Be a Lady", and was rather disappointed that it wasn't sung by Frank Sinatra! Although, the set of the New York street was recognizable from "That's Entertainment" which was neat.
However, this past week I took the 1992 Broadway cast recording (Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, Nathan Lane, and Josie de Guzman) out of the library. For two days I listened to it repeatedly and discovered something interesting. I actually started to like the music more and more! Frank Loesser is certainly worth a second listen. Some of his most famous songs I've liked for ages without knowing the composer. For example:
Luck Be a Lady
Heart and Soul
Baby It's Cold Outside
A Bushel and a Peck (also from Guys and Dolls, but dropped out of the movie version).
The melodies and lyrics are enjoyable and quite witty at times. "If I Were a Bell", "Guys and Dolls" and "Adelaide's Lament" are now added to the list of songs I quite enjoy.
Having a new appreciation for the music I re-watched the movie. It was much more enjoyable this time. The music fit and even advanced the plot, the characters were more interesting, and I will never cease to find it amazing how in the span of two hours a man and woman can go from hating each other to getting married. Aww, the wonderful world of movies. :) I do wonder how much of the plot was changed from the stage show...obviously the core would be the same, but was there a brawl in the bar in Havana on stage?
Conclusion: Guys and Dolls grows on you and I'm very much looking forward to the NACO's "Guys and Dolls In Concert" in February!