Showing posts with label Broadway Musicals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broadway Musicals. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is an Easter Classic

This classic Easter picture book has been with us since 1939 and has stood the test of time. I still have the hardcover edition of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes I received when I was just learning to print. It no longer has the dustjacket because little girls don't always know how important the dust jacket is if they grow up to become booksellers. They also don't realize that proudly printing one's name in big letters on the front pastedown to show possession decreases the value of the book. 

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward


As I look now at that proud possession about 68 years later, I see that the cloth binding is frayed at the edges and almost completely worn off the bumped corners. It is evident that this book, like the famous Velveteen Rabbit, has been loved very much. 

I Loved The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

In this book, children learn that there are really five Easter Bunnies -- not just one. They must be the five kindest, swiftest, and wisest bunnies in the world. All the bunnies know this. They also know that when an Easter bunny becomes too old to run fast anymore, The Grandfather Bunny, who is old, wise and kind and lives at the Palace of the Easter Eggs, will pick a new Easter Bunny from all the bunnies in the world. 

So every bunny tries to become fast, wise, and kind with the hope of getting picked someday. One of these young bunnies was a country girl Cottontail bunny. She told the other bunnies she would grow up to be an Easter Bunny someday, but they all laughed at her. 

She grew up, got married, and had twenty-one baby Cottontail bunnies. She put her childhood dream at the back of her mind.  It no longer seemed possible that it could come true. The elegant white rabbits and the jackrabbits continued to laugh at her, telling her, 'What did we tell you! Only a country rabbit would go and have all those babies. Now take care of them and leave Easter eggs to great big men bunnies like us.'

Cottontail did take care of her babies, and she trained them well to help her with everything that needed doing to take care of the house. They worked in teams of two, usually a brother and sister together, doing household chores, garden tasks, and even singing and dancing to entertain their other siblings as they worked.



When the little rabbits were half grown, Cottontail got word that one of the Easter bunnies had gotten too slow and everyone was gathering at the Palace of Easter Eggs to see whom Grandfather Bunny would pick as the next Easter Bunny. Naturally, Cottontail took her little Cottontails to watch the fun, but she was sad, knowing that she was only going to be able to watch some other rabbit get the job she'd always wanted. 

As the larger rabbits showed how fast they were, the Grandfather Rabbit wasn't happy. He could see they were neither wise nor kind. Then he saw Little Cottontail Mother with her children and started asking her questions. 

Did having all those children take all her time? No. She had trained them so well that they did most of the household work. Grandfather Bunny determined she must be very wise to train them so well. 

Did her children always look so happy? Yes. Her household never had tears or cross words. Grandfather Bunny decided she must be very kind to have such happy children. 

Surely, though, having all those children must not leave her time to practice running to be swift. Little Cottontail Mother whispered to her bunnies and they all raced away in different directions.  She quickly rounded them up and they stood again in front of Grandfather Bunny. He appointed her as his fifth Easter Bunny. 

But what about the little gold shoes? Little Cottontail was awarded those after quite an adventure. You'll have to read the book to see how she got them. 

I felt quite insignificant as a child. I did not yet have any big dreams. But Little Cottontail demonstrated that even an ordinary person like me could accomplish great things if she learned to be wise and kind. 

The illustrations by Majorie Flack have stayed with me for a lifetime. The introductory image shows the Cottontail family standing in front of the Grandfather Bunny at the Palace of the Easter Eggs. My favorite pictures were of the bunny sibling pairs doing their chores, Mother Cottontail rounding up her children to demonstrate how fast she could be, and most of the illustrations that show her earning her little gold shoes. I would pour over those pictures often as I relived the story, and not just at Easter time.


A Remarkable Book When It Was Published


This story by DuBose Heyward, who is more famous for his novel  Porgy, which inspired the musical Porgy and Bess, was written long before most people were thinking about women's issues. Yet many many women today believe The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes proves that women are just as capable as men, even as Easter bunnies.





Although DuBose Heyward was an aristocrat himself, he pokes fun at aristocrats in this book. I see that as an adult reader. Adults will see deeper meaning in this book than very young readers will. 

Heyward was a Southerner who lived from 1885 to 1940. He was one of the first writers from the South to portray blacks without condescension in a novel. He was able to see beyond race and class to show people as they were without prejudice. Find out more about DuBose Heyward in DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and BessFind all the books mentioned on this page and others by Heyward on eBay.

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review of the Musical & Play "Wicked"

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-of-musical-play-wicked.html

A few years back, I had the pleasure to attend the Broadway musical production of Wicked.  As a child, I loved the movie The Wizard of Oz and I will admit, I had never given much thought to what happened before the infamous tornado when we were all hurled into the land of Oz.  I didn't realize that the book, The Wizard of Oz had a prequel until I saw the musical Wicked.

What caught me even more by surprise was that it was funny and extremely entertaining!

This is definitely a production that I could recommend to anyone of any age.  It would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a child to Broadway and to musicals.  Oh, lest I forget to tell you later,  you simply must wear green to the production.  And, fear not, the Wicked musical is definitely child friendly!


 

The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz 



Only a teaser, I will not give away the whole story

Like me, you may wonder what to expect, and like me, you may also be surprised by your reactions.  You will be amazed at how your heart will react to a young Elphaba, a child who has an unusual birth defect.  She was born green.

You will be humored when a very unpopular Elphaba becomes friends with the very popular Glinda when they are forced to be roommates at Shiz University.  You will follow their friendship as it struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints.

You will discover how Elphaba becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West, how Glinda becomes the Good Witch of the North and the true identity of the Great Oz.



via Wikimedia

You will even be surprised by who the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow really are and how they were changed.  The best one word description for this musical is "spellbinding."

 


Highlights of Wicked 


The Music 


For this production, the music was perfect!  It was mostly light and entertaining.  Often very humorous.  Apparently very catchy because the little girl sitting behind us during the play, sang along.

The song "Popular" (video featured above) is one of the lighthearted songs and does an excellent job of reflecting and portraying the personalities of the two girls.  Glinda was Popular, but Elphaba defied expectations.  

The song "Defy Gravity" gives you insight into how the two friends reached a crossroads and must make the choices that will forever change their future.




Costumes


via Wikimedia Commons
The costumes and stage effects were outstanding.  Throughout the production, the outfits matched the characters personalities and the scenes.  Even the drab, darker costumes like Elphaba's black "witch" costume, were totally appropriate, and supplied the perfect compliment to her green skin.

All of the costumes were wonderful but my personal favorites were the costumes worn by Madame Morrible, the head mistress of Shiz University.  The brilliant colors and elaborate details of her gowns stood out among the navy, blacks and whites of some of the other costumes.







Madame Morrible Photo by Emily Darline on Pinterest

Conclusion


As I stated in the introduction, I was actually surprised by how much I really enjoyed this musical.  I didn't really expect to be so thoroughly entertained.

While I might not list this as my #1 musical, I would place it at 3rd, just behind Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.

I would highly recommend this musical to families with children or anyone who is simply looking for a fun night at the theater.

Oh!  Do remember to wear green!


Wicked: The Soundtrack, The Book, and a Great Way to Wear Green to the Musical





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Romantic Broadway Musicals

I dearly love going to the theater to see a Broadway musicals even if I have seen the same musical a dozen times before.

When I was a teenager, I volunteered to usher at our local community theater just so I could see the plays for free.  I was always enchanted by the musicals.  

Night after night I would sit totally engrossed in the play and the music.  Occasionally, I would be so moved by the actors that I would forget that I actually had responsibilities during intermission and after the production ended.  I really just wanted to sit there, close my eyes and try to memorize the scenes, the lyrics, the lines, simply everything that I had seen.


Broadway Musical Favorites

The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast)
 As an adult, I am still captivated by the stage, and I am still especially fond of musicals.  I shall never forget the first time I saw Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Phantom of the Opera" or the incredibly fantastic version of "Les Miserables" featuring the music by Claude-Michel Schonberg. 

While those two Broadway musicals stand out in my mind as my personal all time favorites, I have seen many other remarkable musicals including Beauty & The Beast which I just happened to take in while visiting Chicago.  I had always considered it a child's play, but I found it incredibly enchanting and entertaining even as an adult.


 Hello, Dolly! (1994 Broadway Revival Cast)
 Many years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing some of what I consider to be the Broadway Musical classics.  I mentally danced along with Anna and the King of Siam in The King & I, I explored the mountainside and fell in love right along with Maria in The Sound of Music.  I played a serenading violin in my mind as I absorbed Fiddler on the Roof and I shall never, ever forget seeing Carol Channing up close and personal in Hello Dolly.  I was gifted front row seats for that musical and Miss Channing was beyond incredible!

I remember some of the musicals plays I attended in my youth better than others, but I very much look forward to seeing their revivals in upcoming productions.  I often seek out reviews of Broadway musicals prior to purchasing tickets to determine if I really wish to see a particular production.  That is especially important in difficult economic times when we need to be a bit more discerning about how we spend our money.  

Therefore, I would love to read your reviews of your favorite romantic Broadway musicals!  If you have previously published a review, please leave the link in the guestbook below.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X