Classic American Musicals

A movie in the park on a warm summer evening is always a fun way to spend a night out. My daughters and a friend went to the downtown park to see the musical Grease, starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. For some undisclosed reason, they cancelled the movie at the last minute. Their disappointment turned to delight when the idea of watching the same movie at our home entered the conversation. Upon arrival, the girls discovered we did not own it. So, one of my girls proceeded to pull out movies such as On The Town, Singing in the Rain, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, The Pajama Game, and Music Man; All classic American musicals in my book. My girls asked the friend if she had seen any of the movies. The only one she could name was Singing in the Rain, with Gene Kelly. We went down the list of the other films telling her the plot and who starred in each. She had no idea who Doris Day or Fred Astaire were. Shirley Jones and Robert Preston were unknowns as well. I tried to connect the original movie The Love Bug, with Buddy Hackett, nothing. When the movie High School Musical 3 was mentioned, the friend jumped and said, “Yeah!”

Needless to say I was sorely saddened by the lack of knowledge and appreciation for the classics but reassured myself that I had already laid down the groundwork with my own family and knew their love for the classics was secure. Black and white films are not scoffed at in our home; they are embraced with enthusiasm. I can say with confidence there are other teens and twenty-something year olds that love and appreciate the classics. There is hope, and for this, I am thankful.

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