Musings of a Museum Fanatic: November 2014


5 Musicals That Try But Fail

Like any entertainment genre, musicals definitely have had their flops. These five are not the cream of the crop but some definitely have their moments and maybe aren't quite so floppy. What's your favorite terrible guilty pleasure musical?

Sorry Maria this was just not good. Those outfits! I know it was sort of the style but it was a total caricature yech! Plus what was with that swipe of silver paint everywhere? Don't get it.

Even though this has a great soundtrack and top notch cast (Gene Kelly what!) the 70's camp and roller disco-ness of this musical is just too much. Plus the plot is just a bit crazy. I will say when we saw this one at Drury Lane last year it was pretty fantastic on stage and the story wasn't so campy.

Not terrible but not necessarily great, just ok.

Rock of Ages
Not gonna lie I actually really enjoy this one! It's definitely terrible but in an awesome 80's hair metal kind of way. Not going to lie some of the costuming and looks drive me nuts. They are more like the 80's inspired clothes you see today not actual 80's clothing and styling.

From Justin to Kelly
Becky and I rented this during our senior year of college. Let's just say that was one of the biggest mistakes we made during our college careers! I'm pretty sure Blockbuster owes us money for paying full price (aka like $4 back in the day!) to rent this loser. It was just bad!


Ariel Turns 25!

Earlier this week, November 17th to be exact, The Little Mermaid by Disney turned 25. It's amazing to think such a wonderful movie has been around 25 years now! I can remember early in my childhood just being mesmerized by The Little Mermaid. Watching it all the time with different friends. Not realizing until we were much older how dirty the cover of our precious VHS tapes were!

The Little Mermaid was kind of a big deal for the Disney Studios. After Walt and Roy's deaths in the late 60's and early 70's Disney went into a slump. One of Disney's long time animator's left in the early 80's to start a rival company (think An American Tail and Land Before Time). While Disney was cranking out enjoyable movies like Oliver and Company and The Great Mouse Detective there were definitely some flops like the totally underrated and somewhat scary Black Cauldron. Even with some success the rival company's out performance and internal struggle kept Disney in the Dark Ages.

Then came the Renaissance for Disney which started with a little red-headed mermaid. Disney had been developing The Little Mermaid since the 1930's but when they revisited it in the late 80's it was decided to make it into a musical. The awesome talents of Howard Ashmanand and Alan Menken were brought on to the project and The Little Mermaid as we know and love her was born.

So Happy 25th Birthday you old seadog! Go rent yourself a car with those stems of yours : )


15 2000's Songs You Totally Forgot Existed

One of my favorite things is when I've got all my music in one large playlist and I hit shuffle. It's almost like a treasure hunt because you never know what is going to pop up. It can start out with one of your favorite current hits but all of a sudden an old school obscure song from the 90's comes up that you haven't heard in forever. Almost like pop rocks for your ears!

The 2000's haven't been that long gone but with the ever moving forward music industry it seems like everything is always on to the next thing and never looking back. It's sad because there are so many great songs that only exist when we open up our own archives and hit that shuffle button! I could probably expand this list to like 50 songs but I thought I'd limit myself : ) Some of these are those first hits by artists that have grown since, some are one hit wonders and some are in between. I was even able to get Kevin's picks tonight!

What was the latest forgotten gem that popped up on you playlist recently?

Wherever You Will Go by The Calling

Boyfriend by Ashlee Simpson

I Wanna Be Bad by Willa Ford

Dance With Me by Debelah Morgan

Right Thurr by Chingy

Why Can't I? by Liz Phair

Chain Hang Low by Jibbs

Here (In Your Arms) by Hellogoodbye

Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall

Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm

All Around The World by ATC

Buttons ft. Snoop Dogg by The Pussycat Dolls

Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink

The Way I Are ft. Keri Hilson, D.O.E., Sebastian by Timbaland

Without Me by Eminem


All time Favorite Museums

Throughout the past couple of years of blogging I've shared this post through guest posts on other blogs but never here on my own home turf! To me knowing someone's favorite museums shows a lot about them. I decided to take you to my top three favorite museums I have ever visited.  If you know me even a little bit (or have just stopped my blog too) number one is quite obvious ... The Field Museum!

I was an intern/volunteer there for a little over three and a half years.  Who knows maybe sometime someday I'll actually end up back there and they'll be paying me! The photo above is actually the view I see when I used to come in.  It was so awesome to walk past that view!  I love it every time. This is a photo of Stanley Field Hall.  I took this one the first winter I was there waaaaay back in 2009.  This is the coolest museum in the Chicago area and definitely gives you the most bang for you buck!

My second favorite is Colonial Williamsburg.  I know some people might consider it a cheat but it is actually considered an open air museum.  I visited CW way back in the summer of 2007 for my annual family reunion, one of my aunts and uncles lives in Williamsburg.  My absolute favorite part of CW is the fact that the staff are in period dress and they are doing  first person interpretation, acting as if he or she were an actual person from the era or culture he or she is representing.  As someone who always always felt they were born in the wrong time period this has always appealed to me!    

Here are some photos of my parents and I in the stocks!  What can we say we're trouble makers.  I can't wait to go back and visit again, there is so much we missed the first time around. They have historic hotels to stay at, two museums on the property and tons of events that go on throughout the year. Around Christmas time they have so many historical Christmas events going on it would be the perfect time to visit. 

My final top 3 favorite museum I've ever visited was the British Museum I went as part of a school group EF Educational tour to London & Paris the summer of 2003 after I graduated high school. I had taken French for four years and was really going for Paris but fell in love with London and am dying to go back for a visit.  The British Museum was amazing! It is a museum dedicated to human history and culture with over 8 million objects in it's collection.  Check out A History of the World in 100 Objects, a very cool page I found playing around on the website.

The photo to the right is of the Rosetta Stone.  It is an amazing piece of history, it has three different languages written on it, Greek, Demotic script and Egyptian hieroglyphs.  Since all three portions of script say pretty much the same thing this allowed Egyptian hieroglyphs to be translated, which had previously been impossible to do.  The one below is of my good friend Rachel.  Like typical high school students of course when you find something neat you have to act like a dork.  Gotta give the first bump to the large fist of course.  She was not actually touching the object though no worries!!    

Here is a quick look at my top three favorite museums in the world .. I have a feeling there are some pretty amazing ones I have still to visit though! What's your all time favorite of favorites museum?!


6 Must Hear Songs from Recent Musicals

Woo! It's week three of my tribute to the lesser appreciated songs from musicals.  I'm sharing from musicals from 1990's to present day. A number of people will I'm sure agree but throughout the more recent years there have been some pretty big busts as far as musicals go *cough cough From Justin To Kelly cough* but here are six that made the cut! What's your take on the modern musicals?

Cell Block Tango from Chicago
This is my favorite song from this movie! It's got a lot of dramatic feeling to it and gets over looked for the more popular namesake song or the ballads I feel.

Santa Fe from Rent
Holy cow my friends and I were obsessed with this soundtrack when it came out. Especially this song. Seriously we may have re-enacted this on the L once ...

El Tango De Roxanne from Moulin Rouge

And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out) from Evita

I've Just Seen A Face from Across the Universe
Taking a modern spin on the rock opera and musical hybrid Across the Universe has amazingly well done Beatles songs. Seriously even Beatles songs I don't particularly enjoy I love in this movie. If you never saw this when it came out at least listen to the soundtrack it's awesome.

Waterloo from Mamma Mia
I know Mamma Mia gets mixed reviews but I enjoy it so it's on my list. I just have a few words for this video ... Firth and Brosnan in those suits OMG


8 songs from 70's & 80's musicals you should hear

While the middle part of 20th century was dominated by the big name musicals the 1970's and 80's birthed some of our most iconic as well plus those wonderful under appreciated tunes.

I Want It Now from Willy Wonka
If you haven't been living under a rock you probably know most if not all of the songs from Willy Wonka.

Little Girls from Annie
Yes we know all the songs that Annie sings but Ms. Hannigan has two of the catchiest tunes from the soundtrack. Plus the amazing Carol Burnett just brings down the house with her over-exaggerated portrayal.

Surprise Surprise from A Chorus Line
We all know the main theme song and the hit tune "I Hope I Get It" but "Surprise Surprise" is full of attitude and fabulous dance moves.

Skid Row (Downtown) from Little Shop of Horrors

Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In) from Hair
One of my absolute favorite movies and soundtracks!! This song (and the video) gets me every time. The despair that Berger shows and feels when he realizes he's accidentally in a deployment going to Vietnam is heart wrenching. If you've never seen Hair see it now!

Greased Lightning from Grease

Willkommen ("Welcome") from Caberet

You Can't Win from The Wiz
What more can you say about The Wiz besides Michael Jackson as Scarecrow?