A musical about signing the U.S. Declaration of Independence may not sound cool, but it involves a lot of cool, cool, considerate men, such as founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson, the latter of whom performs this minuet. Okay, they were probably about as cool and considerate as the chain-smoking, sexist advertising execs from TV series Mad Men which premiered on this day in 2007. Despite the human failings of the characters, you’re going to have a good time with either critically-acclaimed show.
Music: James Taylor Lyrics: Graciela Daniele & Matt Landers
Translated from Spanish, the title of this rueful number is “A Better Day Will Come.” With a soothing lull that could put anyone at ease, it is sung by migrant workers in this musical about the jobs people have to do in order to survive every day. Whatever hardship you have to deal with today, stay strong and keep in mind its hopeful message.
“Disneyland” – Smile Music: Marvin Hamlisch Lyrics: Howard Ashman
“Happily Ever After” – Once Upon a Mattress Music: Mary Rodgers Lyrics: Marshall Barer
Disneyland opened on this day in 1955, putting a smile on everyone’s face and making them believe in happy endings. In “Disneyland” from a musical about beauty pageants entitled Smile, a contestant passionately sings of how her happy ending involves getting to Disneyland. But everyone wants a happy ending, even non-Disney* princesses like Winifred from Once Upon a Mattress, a musical fairy tale based on Hans Christian Andersen’sThe Princess and the Pea. In fact, living happily ever after is all she wants, and it’s almost impossible not to root for the scrappy princess Fred as she belts out her desire in the sensational “Happily Ever After.”
*Incidentally, Disney produced a film version of Once Upon a Mattress for television in 2005.
Ponte Vecchio means “Old Bridge” (unless my italian is super off). This enclosed bridge still has shops peddling their wares from these bridge-top buildings. The bridge dates back to at least 996 CE, but was reconstructed in 1333 CE.
It’s the middle of summer. Time to forget your troubles and enjoy yourself. Shimmy to this entertaining wallop of a tune and you won’t soon remember them. The number from this show featuring the music of Yoko Ono harkens back to the early days of rock and roll and a time when it seemed all problems could be solved through song.