We’ve got some catching up to do on this amazing Christmas 2018 gift where Cathy promises to see one movie every month with me with “no whining.” So on Saturday, off we went to see the Judy Garland biopic Judy, starring a very convincing Renée Zellwegger.
So here’s a brief review.
A) Renee Zelwegger is VERY convincing and I’m sure she’ll get nominated for whatever the awards are.
B) I am not convinced that the onstage band is actually playing the arrangement we’re hearing. This is a risk when you have violins and trombones on stage. We can tell by the way their arms are moving whether they’re faking.
C) Here’s a crazy idea. How about a movie about a famous musician who did NOT have a difficult and depressing life? After learning about Freddy Mercury and Elton John and Don Shirley during this journey, I’m ready for a great story about a musician who had a happy childhood, worked hard and became a success without alienating everybody or turning to drugs.
Hmm. Maybe we need an Anne Murray movie next.
bonus live theatre – The Band’s Visit
The following day we went to the Ed Mirvish Theatre to see the Tony Award winning musical The Band’s Visit. I had offered to Cathy that – given the price of the tickets – maybe this could count for the July/August/September movies that she still owes me, but she graciously declined, meaning we still have some movie catching up to do.
I loved this musical.
I loved the original film, and this production included Sasson Gabay reprising his role as the leader of the Alexandria Police Ceremonial Orchestra who wind up in the wrong small town in Egypt.
It’s the story of a talented group of musicians who think they are bringing culture to a sophisticated place, only to discover they are among a group of dullards in an exceedingly boring backwater town. No, wait, that was the last time Argonotes visited Hamilton.
It was a great musical on a small scale, that I enjoyed much more than many of the huge productions we’ve seen lately.
And since we were in row 4, I had a pretty good opportunity to decide if the on-stage musicians were actually playing.
I’m suspicious about one clarinetist, but everybody else was playing, even the trumpet player although he barely new enough of a scale to play the opening part of My Funny Valentine, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he’d taken trumpet lessons just for this show.
I’m excited about seeing The Music Man on Broadway starring Hugh Jackman in 2020! THEY better be playing, although it will be very hard to top this 2000 Broadway production where the entire cast learned enough trombone to make for a spectacular encore: