We were in the kitchen, grabbing something quick to eat before the Oscars started.
"Don't worry," I told Dana, "I paused it -- Hugh Jackman's the host and I just know he's going to bring it."
I let the fridge door slip from my grasp and stared at the woman I've been married to for nearly five years, wondering how she could seem so suddenly unfamiliar.
"What do you mean?"
"Well I'm just asking is all," Dana continued, "I mean, it's Hugh Jackman, the Werewolf -- what are you expecting?"
I tried to explain about his early work in Oklahoma and how he hosted the Tony's for something like 15 years in a row awhile back -- and how he even won one for his turn in The Boy from Oz. (It's worth watching this clip just to see Carrie Bradshow turn beet red.)
"Hugh Jackman?" she said, "Really?"
All the critics said this was supposed to be the worst Oscars ever -- a boring cavalcade of stuttering presenters and stilted performances. And for the most part, well, it was. How a show whose highlight is a five minute montage of dead people can survive year after year is beyond me. And a few days removed, I'm still not sure how a top hat and cane medley of Broadway's best is supposed to help the Academy branch out from its traditional core audience of gay men, housewives and me. While it was fun to annoy Dana by singing along, I couldn't help but cringe when Hugh Jackman tossed Beyonce aside and announced: "The musical is back!"
It was a nice try, but it's pretty clear: Broadway is hurting. And I don't think this helped. Peter Gabriel was right. This split second sampling is no way to showcase a good song.
So it seems like a fitting time to break out another edition of The Lullaby of Broadway -- just to remind everyone what a musical can really look like. As always, I tried to find the ones Emmeline likes or at least to pretend to like to humor me.
Oh let's just lead off with Hugh, shall we? Now that he's been named People's abs of the year or whatever, I'm sure there's more than a few people who wouldn't turn down a ride in his surrey.
MamaSxia was right the last time around. If you're looking for a new lullaby, look no more.
XBox rightly called me out the last time for not including anything from Wicked. While I love all the songs, and even got to see its San Francisco "homecoming" just a few weeks ago (doesn't every 32 year old man ask for this for his birthday?), the songs and costumes basically scared the creebus out of Emme, so I have had to keep clear.
I love that if you surf around on YouTube you can find this song dubbed in all manner of languages. Cam-Camini has a nice ring to it.
This isn't for the kids so much as you. But let's be clear about something. I did not bawl my ass off while watching this scene with Dana the other night. I did not. And I did not just do it again while uploading this stupid thing. That said, I could only find a short video clip, so here's the whole track. And yes, I actually like the Meryl Streep Amanda Seyfried version.
Just. Wow. Every time. Wow.
This is the only part of the Wizard of Oz that doesn't send Emmeline running from the room. Well, this and the munchkins.
The best part of this gang is that they "dance you in" instead of simply beating the shit out of you. I mean, any gang can pummel you for 90 seconds as proof that you're man enough to join, but it takes a real gang to perform a few grand jetes in the process.
I have a hard time watching Cabaret, because every time I see Liza Minnelli, all I can think of is her role as Lucille Austero on Arrested Development. It's unfair, I know. She's amazing (and Judy Garland's daughter), but I can't help it.
And finally, puppets. You probably saw this one coming.