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Shakespeare and Show Tunes

Reading books at night is like the dessert on the day. After whatever hard work defined the day, to read is a sweet relief.

Shakespeare and Dickens are my favorite authors on standby. Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy are the runners-up.

What surprises me about the movie versions of Shakespeare's play is that they follow the script, and I, the viewer, get just about as complete a story as if I read the play myself.

Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew are my favorite plays to watch in movie version. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton crack me up as they play their parts against each other. He's a perfect Petruchio, and she, a perfect Kate.

The movie versions of the stories by Dickens, Austen, and Tolstoy are, of course, cut down to fit within a 2- to 5-hour time frame, and depth of the characters and the story is lost to the necessarily shortened story for the movie. That's why I always would rather read the story before watching the movie. Then I know if the script-writers cheated on the story at all.

Tonight was the community choir practice. I went there straight after I closed shop today. Kris and the kids had the pot roast I'd made earlier in the day for dinner. Choral singing is so much fun, I wish it would never end! Dr. Gornto at PHS is a fabulous guide in pulling these songs together to be coherent and pretty. We aren't allowed to chew any vowels. Open jaws wide. We can't hold onto the "s" sound. Watch the cut-offs. No sliding around to find the right note. Hit it straight out of the gate. Watch the stems that go up, and the stems that go down.

One song has the word "ain't" in it. I had to learn how to say that word since I never do, and my hair stands on end a little whenever I force it out of my mouth.

Did you know "ain't" only has one vowel sound in it, not the 16 vowel sounds a Southerner, or a Peru-Indiana-er, would use to decorate the pronunciation? Interesting.

If Dr. Gornto had choir all year round, I would go. Nothing rejuvenates me the same way singing my heart out does, even though my kids get sick (and tired - because tired always follows sick) of hearing the alto part of show tunes. It sounds good in my head because I can hear the other parts, but in real life, hearing a song with only middle C, and the D, E, and F above middle C, can get a little boring, but those are the only notes altos get to sing. Some songs are all E, with a little F for variety.

Off to bed for me. This is getting crazier the longer I stay up. Thank you for reading!


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