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Old Time Faves

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bschneid76
Broadway Legend
joined:9/19/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/19/05
Old Time Faves#0
Posted: 11/11/05 at 11:36am
I was teaching a class on Wednesday talking about Musicals and though I am still a young person (23), I totally enjoy the work of the Old Stars like Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and Carol Channing, they all have UNIQUE voices and none sound the same. I also find it frustrating to talk about these wonderful actors and actresses when all I get from the students is "Their voices suck!" or "I hate the sound of their voices" I wish they would understand that they are legends and have solid voices, I know they are entitled to their opinion but MANY young students who are involved with theatre or enjoy musicals need to know they are wonderful and there is no one else like them. What do others feel? Ms. Merman could belt like no one else, Carol was a gifted singer and comic, and Mary Martin had one of the best voices ever. I wish more people would like them as much as I do.
"Love the Art in Yourself. Not Yourself in the Art." -- Stanislavski
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hannahshule
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/24/05
re: Old Time Faves#1
Posted: 11/11/05 at 11:44am
I know how you feel. I'm 16, but I'd prefer listening to Mary Martin over Idina Menzel (not that anthing's wrong with her!) anyday. All my friends just don't seem to get it. **shakes head** it's very sad.
~And let us try, before we die, to make some sense of life~
rose&lark
Featured Actor
joined:10/10/05
Featured Actor
joined:
10/10/05
re: Old Time Faves#2
Posted: 11/11/05 at 11:52am
Maybe it'd help for your students to understand that these actresses, like Mary Martin and Ethel Merman were operating in a different musical environment. The sound equipment that they used when they were in their heyday was different than the equipment they have now. Thus, those performers were probably used to using their vocal instrument slightly differently in order to efficiently get all the songs out to the audience adequately.

(Perhaps Margo Channing here on the boards will come to this thread...the information I generally referred to in this post came from one of her responses on a thread about the earlier performers)

Plus, if you think about it, young people are GENERALLY going to gravitate to young people when they think of musical theatre. Not all, but most I think do. So Idina Menzel singing "Defying Gravity" will probably be more favorable to their ears than Ethel Merman performing "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy.
Q: What is the most weirdest or funniest thing a fan has asked you? Joe Flanigan, Stargate Atlantis: When a fan asked me for help with his grammar. I'm available.
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CaroleeFan
Stand-by
joined:11/2/05
Stand-by
joined:
11/2/05
re: Old Time Faves#3
Posted: 11/11/05 at 11:56am
I hear this Merman/Martin/Verdon/Channing bashing all the time. It baffles me. I think more people need to have a general respect for what these ladies did. I'm not asking for everyone to buy every cast recording they are on, but to simply acknowledge the huge contributions that these ladies made to Broadway.
"They hear drums, we hear music."- Passion.
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bschneid76
Broadway Legend
joined:9/19/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/19/05
re: Old Time Faves#4
Posted: 11/11/05 at 12:23pm
I totally understand. I tend to go for voices that have some kind of uniqueness to them. Like when I heard Carolee Carmello sing "The Winner Takes It All" she didn't have a "Pop" voice, which made me love the song and her performance even more! Gwen Verdon rocks! I'm not saying I don't like performances today. I like Idina Menzel in The Wild Party and Wicked, but Kristen Chen(sp) has a more unique voice which makes me like her better.

Angela Lansbury
Ethel Merman
Mary Martin
Gwen Verdon
Debbie Reynolds
Barbara Harris
Liza Minnelli
Carol Channing
Dorothy Louden (lovely singing 50% from Ballroom)

There are so many greats that people seem to spurn and go for the "pop" idol singers. Sigh.
"Love the Art in Yourself. Not Yourself in the Art." -- Stanislavski