Gleeful Movie Musicals
By Barbara Bietz
Fans of all ages are passionate about Glee, the musical television show.
If the “Gleeks” in your family want to experience musical entertainment at its best, check out the movie archives for some classic DVD watching. Some of the best musicals are decades old, but their musical brilliance has not faded over with years. Your kids might be surprised at the songs they recognize.
West Side Story (Full Screen Edition) (1961) Even your teenagers will be drawn to this contemporary (set in the 1950’s) Romeo and Juliet love story. Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno had stellar performances. This classic movie won 10 Academy Awards! Tissues recommended.
Mary Poppins (45th Anniversary Special Edition) (1964) Mary Poppins brought us magic decades before Harry Potter! Currently a Broadway show, the joy of a supernatural nanny appeals to kids of all ages. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are fun and engaging. Their songs and dance numbers are sublime. No matter your age, Mary Poppins is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Funny Girl (1968) Barbra Streisand portrays comedienne Fanny Brice in this timeless story of success and struggle. This is the movie that launched Barbra as a star. Some of the themes are best suited for older kids. After more than four decades, Funny Girl retains its charm. “People” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” continue to be popular songs for today’s singers.
The Music Man [Blu-ray] (1962) A playful film about a charming con man who promises to bring music to a small town, features little Ron Howard singing “Gary, Indiana” and the incomparable tune, “76 Trombones.” Even the crankiest kids will fall under the spell of this musical celebration.
My Fair Lady (1964) Audrey Hepburn is irresistible as Eliza Doolittle, a young streetwise flower girl who is transformed into a real lady by the Henry Higgins, a linguistics specialist. While the plot may be old fashioned, the music is timeless.
If your kids enjoy contemporary music performances, introduce them to the history that helped create today’s trends. Many classic DVD’s are available at the library. Pop in a movie that will have the whole family singing!
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