Monday, March 19, 2007

With A Name Like "Uggams," It Has To Be Scat.

My Theatre Department advisor at the University of Tennessee, the incredible Mr. Bill Black, had a saying that has stayed with me and guided me for the past... ummm...

...how long have been out of college?...

...oh yes, 2 and a half years.

Hey, if Tom Cruise can be "straight," I can be 25, ok?

Back to Mr. Black. In college, I was going on and on about some play I was doing and how I "just couldn't find the character" or some such melodrama served with a slice of horseshit and Bill said to me, calmly but to the point...

"You know, Stephen, what Mother Teresa does is important, and we do skits."

Hold "not finding your character" up beside life and death struggles and you suddenly remember why we call them "plays."

Philip sent me this clip a few days ago and I love it so hard, I can't even explain it. It's Leslie Uggams singing the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic JUNE IS BUSTIN' OUT ALL OVER and messing up the lyrics so badly that Jessica Simpson's performance of 9 TO 5 at the Kennedy Center honoring Dolly Parton suddenly seems... well... sucky but passable.

NOTE: The quality is bad but WATCH THIS CLIP NOW. YouTube and other sites have removed a better version of this clip for "Terms of Service Violations" - - which to me sounds like Ms. Uggams was none too pleased with her raping of Oscar Hammerstein's words going viral.




She's scatting Hammerstein!

Hey, that's it! SCATTING HAMMERSTEIN! That's my next cabaret show. I'll pair it with GOLDEN SHOWER SONDHEIM!

I can hear them taking reservations now...

"Did you want to see the Brown show or the Yellow show?"

God, I'm sick.

But it proves that Bill was right.

Leslie destroying a snappy musical theatre tune in front of thousands of people is still very much a "skit" when compared to today's four year anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq.

Nobody ever died from screwed up showtune lyrics.

Actors and singers and dancers and writers CAN change the world, but let's remember that we're not digging ditches and we're definitely not risking our lives for a war our country does not support. Our soldiers are the real celebrities. Give them a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

We're here to entertain. And if we screw up the lyrics to a song, it won't topple a nation, nor will it throw a section of the world into chaos.

Unless you fuck up the words - - ANY of the words - - to ROSE'S TURN. That's just friggin' SACRILEGE!!!

9 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I agree. I hate this war but I am proud of the soldiers who are willing to go fight in it. One of them was my cousin Don. He didn't approve of the war either but it's like he said to me, "When I signed up for the Guard I knew what I was getting myself into." They do their duty and we owe them our utmost respect.

"...how long have been out of college?...

...oh yes, 2 and a half years."

ROTFLMAO!!!

Stephen Rader said...

Whim - Sorry to hear about your cousin.

What I wouldn't give to bring all our troops home and replace them with every money-hungry, immoral Republican warmonger who took away a few of our rights and replaced them with legalized torture. The VIP section of Hell has been roped off and reserved in their names.

Master Aaron said...

Here's a thought...because we all KNOW it is time for a new Rader Cabaret Show...how about an evening of songs about war, with appropriate commentary...maybe some Rader-updated-pop-culture references...some refreshed lyrics, just think of all the things that rhyme with Bush...I'm hearing lots of Irving Berlin as sung by Rosie O' & Joy from The View... Entertainment and Socially Conscious Rebellion, who says you can't have it all? Or, if you don't like this idea, have a contest, ask your readers to submit cabaret proposals, and when you pick one, the author of the winning entry gets a prize. Only, here's the catch, I get to pick the prize. I'm concerned that, if I don't pick the prize, you'll be afraid to "give 'till it hurts." Come one, Rader, let's make it interesting. Let's mix it up.

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - War Song Cabaret - - I like it.

I could do my Kate Smith impersonation. And eat pizza again!!!

You think the 3 and a half people who read this blog would want to submit ideas for my next cabaret show? You know JRB would want me to do a revue of his music since he's such a big fan of my blog.

There. I killed my ex again.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

My cousin was lucky. He only served for 10 months and he hasn't been called back... yet.

Alex said...

Are you sure that's not me?

Stephen Rader said...

Alex - I know that's Leslie and not you because if they had asked you to sing JUNE IS BUSTIN' OUT ALL OVER outside in the middle of the audience, you would have told them to lick your ass!

And by the by, you sang every lyric of ROSE'S TURN perfectly every night in your run of GYPSY.

Ms. Uggams hasn't tackled the role of Mama Rose. Now we know why.

Michael said...

ah......Leslie Uggams. My great Uncle Henry used to say I looked like a little Leslie Uggams when I was a child. I'll let you fill in your own jokes here................

Michael said...
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