An evening pause: From the 1955 movie, Oklahoma. This Broadway musical is one of the best examples of the fundamental differences between American culture and what preceded it. In the past, all music, drama, fiction, etc, revolved around telling the stories of the powerful, the nobility, the rulers, and the great. In the United States, “of the people, for the people, by the people,” literature, art, drama, and music has focused instead mostly on the lives and concerns of ordinary people. In this musical, for example, the story is about how two ordinary cowpokes decide to give up their roaming ways to settle down and become farmers, all for love. And in doing so, Rogers and Hammerstein end up also telling the story of the American west as it transitioned from the wild west of gold rush boom towns and cattle drive cowboys into a settled society of cities and families.
An evening pause: An evocative song from a musical that is presently in development.
What I like about this video is how it reminds us that every image, every movie we see, especially the older ones, can only show us a image of a human being that no longer exists, and is essentially nothing more than a ghost to us.
An evening pause: The finale of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Just before the song begins, Candide says this:
We will not think noble, because we are not noble. We will not live in perfect harmony because there is no such thing in this world, nor should there be. We can only promise to do our best, and to live out our lives. Dear God, that is all we can promise in truth. Marry me, Cunegonde.
An evening pause: Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin sing “Move On” from Steven Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George.
Stop worrying where you’re going.
If you can know where you’re going,
Just keep moving on.
I chose and my world was shaken.
The choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not.
You have to move on.
An evening pause: From Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overture, the song “Someone in a Tree,” from the 1976 Broadway production.
It’s the fragment, not the day
It’s the pebble, not the stream
It’s the ripple, not the sea
That is happening.
Not the building but the beam
Not the garden but the stone
Only cups of tea
And someone in a tree.