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2015年5月31日 星期日

Re-imported Music á la France: Broadway Français (法式出口回流的音樂--百老音樂劇)

Many people in Hongkong now listen to some kind of jazz music, including some Broadway, but I'm quite sure that not very many of them may know that American jazz might have part of its roots in the traditions of the funeral marches of southern France, with strolling players of  funeral marches reverting to much brighter and livelier music on their trumpets and drums on the return journey from the graves to lighten up the mood which in time was cleverly woven with the work song and blues of the African slaves in the cotton, corn or tobacco plantations of the American south or that the place where all the European and African musical elements making up early jazz  came together was New Orleans, a town in Missouri full of French influence. So it might be said that in a sense, no jazz, no Broadway. And with Randall Fleisher, jazz made a round trip back to France at Broadway Français. And what a hodge podge we had.

What did we have? The list is long: before the break, Frank Loesser's Overture to Guys and Dolls, Cole Porter's : "Another Opening" from his Kiss Me, KateIrving Berlin's" No Business like Show Business"   from his Annie, get your Gun; Lerner & Loewe's "I Could have Danced All Night" from their My Fair Lady; Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow" from his Wizard of Oz; "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Stephen Sondheim & Jule Styne's GypsyOscar Hammerstein & Jerome Kern's Show Boat Medley ; Meredith Willson's "76 Trombones" from his The Music Man;  John Kander & Fred Ebb's "All that Jazz" from their Chicago; Cole Porter's "You're the Top" from his Anything Goes;  George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" from his Girl Crazy. After the break, we had Howard Ashman & Alan Menken's "Be Our Guest" from their Beauty and the Beast; Frank Lehár's "Vilja" from his The Merry Widow; Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty's "Speaking French" from their Lucky Stiff; Lerner & Loewe's Gigi from their musical of the same name; George Gerswin's An American in ParisLeonard Bernstein's "Glitter and be Gay" from his Candide; Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Bring Him Home", "I dreamed a Dream" and "One Day More" from his Les Miserables, "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Music of the Night" from his The Phantom of the Opera.


For vocalists, we had Christiane Noll, Debbie Gravitte, Doug LaBrecque, Alex Tam, Apollo Wong. The first three came on stage with very professional jazz gestures: flickering of the hands, body swings, shakes, steps and kicks as the occasion required and all in sync with the jerky jazz rhythms. But again, the effect of their sound could have been much better were it not for the total lack of sensitivity of the sound technician or engineer.  But despite such handicap, they really knew how to capture our moods and made everything swing and come alive.















































And for encore, we had Mama Mia! Everyone seem happy and many joined in singing the closing song. It was an evening of fun.