I have just returned from my annual jaunt to the Ohio Light Opera. Last Friday I posted three-panel summaries of the first three plays I saw there, and today I am inflicting four more of them on you.
Everybody knows My Fair Lady, right? Right?
This is possibly the weirdest and most hysterical operetta I have ever seen - and I've seen a lot of weird operettas. Composed by Victor Herbert, the first act is a pretty disjointed collection of comic scenes and songs. However, the real pay-off is in the second act, when, for no apparent reason, the entire cast puts on a half-hour spoof of Wagnerian grand opera, complete with magic swan, ponderously self-important music, and totally inane lyrics.
Take it from me: you haven't truly lived until you've seen an entire operatic chorus bellow "TAN TA RA TA TA TA TA BING BING!" at full volume.
That was one of the best half hours of my life. I am in mourning now, because I will, in all probability, never again see such a masterclass in egregious over-acting again in my lifetime. It was a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
You might have seen the 1953 film version of this musical, starring Ethel Merman. If you haven't you ought to. It's a lot of fun, and has some classic Irving Berlin tunes in it, such as "The Hostess with the Mostes'" and "You're Just In Love".
Incidentally, the alternate version of this strip is as follows:
- Kenneth sings "It's a lovely day today".
- Kenneth sings "It's a lovely day today" again.
- Kenneth sings "It's a lovely day today" and the audience members have to have the tune forcibly removed from their ears.
Seriously, the guy will not stop singing that song.
With music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by P.G. Wodehouse, this prime example of early American musical theatre relies heavily on a non-stop stampede of hijinks, misunderstandings and mistaken identities. You know... like most Shakespearean comedies.
Anyways, if you're in the Midwest I highly encourage you to check out the Ohio Light Opera next summer. Because it's SO MUCH FUN.