Summer Lovin’

Grease-image-3“Summer Lovin’” is my favorite song from the musical GREASE.  In case you’ve forgotten the lyrics or music, here’s a link:

Next, fave? “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” – that title brings out the bad girl in me, I guess.

When the musical debuted in 1978, I fell in love with it, and have seen many productions of it, but my most enjoyable one was produced by my daughters’ high school drama department.

I know, I know.  High school performances are at best tolerable, but this one was fabulous.  Lots of hip swinging, cool dancing, and great singing.  It was during that performance that I realized how naughty the words were.  Did I really want my daughters chanting provocative lyrics and dancing to sexy beats?

Then I realized that they had the same naive attitude I did when I first saw John Travolta and Olivia Newton John playing the lead roles and I gave myself permission to enjoy the sheer fun of the musical.Les Miz

So I was thinking.  Summer is a wonderful time to slow the pace of 100-plus degree weather and cool off in front of the boob tube.  Or if it’s freezing where you are, to huddle up in a quilt with a warm fire and said same boob tube.




I wondered if I were trapped in my house or cabin with three choices of musical videos to entertain me, which ones would I choose?

Tough choice as I really enjoy musicals:  I’d pick Les Miserables (especially if I had the book to read too), West Side Story, and GREASE.


What about you?  Which three would you choose?  Or if musicals aren’t your thing which three TV series or DVR movies?


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  • Amy Conley says:

    I’ve paid more money to see GREASE than any other movir I’ve ever seen.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Jo,
    I wish I could afford to see all the Broadway musicals and plays. I’m going to choose some TV series to keep me occupied. I’ll probably go with Spartacus, Strike Back and 30 Rock.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Good choices, Jane. I don’t know STRIKE BACK. Can you tell us something about it?

      I love the Spartacus stories, however, from the old Charleton Heston one to the recent series on television.

  • Amy Conley says:

    GREASE, Rogers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA with Stuart Damon and Lesley Ann Warren, and SILK STOKUNGS with Fred Astaire.

    • Deb says:

      I remember seeing that version of Cinderella when I was a girl. I loved it; then hated it that Stuart Damon was a bad guy on General Hospital, LOL! The filming and lighting was not good, but probably good for that time period. I still remember it fondly.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, that Fred Astaire one is a classic, Amy. Who was the female lead in that one? Was it Cyd Charisse?

      • Amy Conley says:

        No, I think it was Lesley Caron. And the R&H CINDERELLA was the very first show I saw totally in color, on television.

        • Jo Robertson says:

          Ah, right, Lesley Caron! I’d forgotten about her. It seems like Fred Astaire was always paired with either Ginger Rogers or Cyd Charisse. Of course, my memory’s fading … :-))

    • Amy & Deb, I also saw that production of Cinderella and loved it! I had a huge crush on Stuart Damon.

  • Jo, what a fun post. I love musicals. The first two films I ever saw in the cinema as a wee girl were musicals – The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Classics, both of them.

    I haven’t seen the movie of Les Miserables although I’ve seen the stage show lots of times. They’ve put together a new production which is going to be touring Australia. Have a feeling I might go down for that! So if I can have a filmed version of a really good stage version, I’ll take Les Miserables, the Sound of Music and that all-time classic Singin’ in the Rain!

    • Deb says:

      You know what’s sad, Anna? I made a reference to flying kites this last spring, sang the song, and over 10 kids in my class had never, NEVER, seen MARY POPPINS! What a…travesty. It’s a classic, and a wonderful film.

      • Amy Conley says:

        Those parents need to be punished! After I posted my three Mary Poppins came to mind as well as Sound of Music. Mary Poppins is the first movie I remember going to the theater to see.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Oh! That IS sad! That’s the best scene, isn’t it? “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height…”


        Why yes, I have seen it umpty-million times. And both my boys have as well. Grins. The difficulty, early on, was convincing them that OUR chimney did not need them as sweeps.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, boy, Singing in the Rain has the two best male dancers of all time, in my opinion. To have Fred and Gene Kelley together — delightful. And wasn’t that Debbie Reynolds debut as a 16 year old?

      Les Miz is so stirring. I think it has to be seen on stage to get the full effect, although I did like Hugh Jackman in the film production.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      You must really like Julie Andrews, Anna. I loved her performances in both those musicals. She’s iconic!

  • Jo –

    I LOVE Musicals. My three would be Wicked, Les Miz and probably Mama Mia as it’s a good sing along musical.

  • Helen says:


    This is a good ide I would choose

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    The Sound of Music

    I love these movies although I also love The Rocky Horror Picture Show which I have seen 3 times live back in the 70’s 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Deb says:

    Hi, Jo.
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE musicals!!!
    I saw a professional live performance of CATS once. Wasn’t crazy about the play, but the music was great.

    Our little high school is very musical and performs a musical play every spring.

    My daughter’s Jr./HS performed THE SOUND OF MUSIC 2 years ago. My daughter tried out for the part of Marta (she was 12 and in 6th grade), and got the part out of 32 girls who auditioned (memorizing a poem and singing one of the songs). She was amazing, and not just because she is my daughter! (This is the girl that wouldn’t look anyone in the eye until she was almost 11.)
    Last year’s play was ANNIE and she was an orphan; good, okay, not awow play. The kids want to do GREASE this next year.

    I have so many faves, I am not sure how I could choose which to watch. THE SOUND OF MUSIC; wouldn’t you just love to be Maria on top of that mountain singing?! SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS is another fun one; it might be fun to be captured by a rough Oregon woodsman. OKLAHOMA, and Curly singing his heart out on a beautiful morning. Those are my top 3, but I have at least 5 more come to mind.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Deb, I’m with you on Cats. I love some of the music (not a fan of Memory, unlike most – too depressing), but the play? Like herding said cats, in my opinion. Grins.

      LOVE Seven Brides. :>

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, White Christmas with Bing Crosby, and On The Town with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

  • Patty L. says:

    Grease, Sound of Music and Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

  • Loved GREASE, Jo! I was in nursing school when it came out and loved all that hip gyrating badness. (Go Greased Lightening was so naughtily bad!)

    My choices?
    1. SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. (All those ginger men dancing and singing! And Howard Keel…swoon.)

    2. Aladdin (Disney) because I love all the Robin Williams parts as the genie. 😀

    3. The Newsies. (Again by Disney). It had a very young Christian Bale. My kids knew the songs by heart.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Deb, how lucky you are to have such talented granddaughters!

    I loved the way schools had money to produce those big musicals back in the day. It seems now that when budgets are cut, music is one of the programs that goes. I think it teaches kids so much — responsibility, discipline, commitment.

    It sounds like your granddaughter found her “voice” with singing!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Ooops, sorry, Deb. Looks like my comment to you got out of order.

      I was thinking, too, about how many catch phrases and lines that kids use today came from those older musicals, but they don’t even know that!

    • Deb says:

      Shary is my daughter. 🙂 I’m an older mom…

      • Jo Robertson says:

        Oops, I’m sorry, Deb. Even more reason to be proud. I loved to watch my girls try out for plays and musicals and was so excited for them when they got a part even if it wasn’t what they’d auditioned for. Good times!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    No one’s mentioned “The King and I” have they? I remember being totally in love with Yul Brenner back in the day and that story tickled my fanciful imagination.

  • Amy Conley says:

    These posts should have “like” buttons.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Jo, what a fun, fun post! For those of us who are musical fans, this is like chocolate. Grins.

    Everyone’s reminding me of fabulous musicals I’ve not seen in a while, or that I love, or that I adore parts of (King and I). It’s delicious!

    My first instinct was to list as my #1 entry – Sweeny Todd with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury (Dark and despicable, but…) However, having that going whilst trapped in a house or cabin MIGHT be a little much. Grins. It still remains as one of my all time favs, however.

    So for the snowed in/stuck list…

    1) South Pacific (the Mitzi Gaynor version) – so bouncy and fun for the most part even though some very serious issues are tackled.

    2) White Christmas, because no matter what time of year it is, it’s all about Sisters. Grins.

    And a tie for third:
    3) Frozen (For all it’s flaws, the music and story are fab and Olaf the snowman makes me laugh)
    2) Alladin (Like Suz, the sneaky humor gets me every time)

    There are SO many others I adore, but like Sweeny, I’m not sure I’d want them whilst stuck somewhere. Ones like King and I, as I said. I also love Man of LaMancha (First musical I ever heard a recording of, and finally saw years later) but the story is so sad…
    And The Directors, and Spamalot, and Wicked…

    OMGosh, I could just keep going….

  • catslady says:

    I love musicals. In addition to all those mentioned above I would add Phantom of the Opera and Cats.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, I’m not surprised you picked CATS, Catslady! I love some of the songs, but never quite took to the lyrics of T.S. Eliot.

      But thanks for reminding us of “Phantom of the Opera”; that’s another great one whose music chills me to the bone!

  • Becke says:

    When we went to NYC, we started going to Broadway plays and that got me started. Since Grease was in my hay-day, I loved it.

    1- Mama Mia Great fun on Broadway
    2-Lion King- best Broadway production we’ve attended
    3-Sound of Music ( my first play in Chicago)
    4-Fiddler on the Roof
    5-Jersey Boys
    6-The King and I ( my first Broadway play with Yul Brenner)

    Yeah, so I can’t count. I also love movies with great sound tracks like Flashdance, and Footloose.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Great list, Becke. I saw LION KING off Broadway and the costumes alone are worth the seeing of it.

      Our Church did a production of “Fiddler” that was actually quite good for amateurs; we had one of the King Cousins (if anyone remembers them) play the female lead.

  • Shannon says:

    I know that Les Miz is my current favorite. I concur with South Pacific and Beauty and the Beast.

    Of course, I saw a local theater production of Spamalot last Sunday, so those songs are still running through my head.

    Last summer, it was My Fair Lady. I still want to waltz to I could have danced all night someday.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I think you’re the first to mention MY FAIR LADY, Shannon. The Henry Higgins character is great.

      Also, one of my favorite, probably because I saw it when I was 16 was WEST SIDE STORY. I thought it was sooooo romantic!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Oh! LOVE My Fair Lady!!

      “Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait…”

  • Jo, I enjoy musicals but was drawing a total blank until I skimmed other answers.

    I loved Camelot. I’m a sucker for anything Arthurian, and the look of it is so lush.

    Little Shop of Horrors was great onstage, so I’ll assume the movie us.

    I didn’t love the movie of Les Miz. For me, hearing the music live has a kick I just don’t get from the movie. So I think I’d just take the soundtrack CDs to that.

    Or maybe the soundtrack of Wicked, which doesn’t have a movie counterpart.

    As a kid, I loved Walt Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire, so it would be a good alternative.

  • Mozette says:

    Oooh.. great post!

    Seeing I’ve sung in a choir, I gotta say, it’s a lot more fun singing these things than it is watching them; so I’ll tell you girls my favourites in singing them onstage.

    Miss Saigon – a wonderful production; and I loved singing the score of it!

    Les Mis – If you want a true tear-jerker, this is it! I could barely hold it together once I knew what the lyrics were… so sad.

    Phantom of the Opera – what a love story! Brilliant! And I loved it – even though the score was hard to get my voice around, it was fantastic.

    Grease – such fun! I loved singing this one; especially seeing we had dance steps to incorporate into it!

    yeah, that’s about it. I loved singing these musical scores more than I do watching them on tv or stage… I know that sounds weird, but actually knowing your section and part is better than anything on earth – and knowing how to sing something is so much fun! 😀

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, that’s quite a resume of performances, Mozette!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      I know just what you mean, Mozette! Singing them is SO much fun! chorus or lead, it is just so freakin’ much fun to be IN the production. :>

      Our community used to do a 350+ massed voice choir from all the churches around, and we’d have 4 rehearsals then perform Messiah at Christmas. It was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever experienced to be in the middle of that group of voices, lead or harmony and just let the music sing through me. :>

      • Mozette says:

        OOOOOH!!!! One of my friends in the UK got involved in ‘The Messiah’ too! She loved it! She lived in Leicester at the time and had to travel into London’s Albert Hall to sing with the massive choir. But she did say she learned so much from just doing it and taking part. Hannah did say she’d never do it again; as it burnt her out by the time she arrived back home.

        But what a buzz it must have been! 😀

      • Jo Robertson says:

        Cool, Jeanne. When I was a teenager, just out of school our community did an annual production of “The Messiah.” So moving. I loved doing that every Christmas.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Great choices, Nancy. I never saw “Shop of Horrors” on stage but the movie production was super!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Hey, folks, I stand corrected. Apparently Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire never danced together in “Singing in the Rain.” That was Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Gotta mention “The Wizard of Oz” because that’s the only musical I every had a part in — non-singing, though; I was Auntie Em.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Final question: “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No” is running through my head!

    What musical is that from?

  • Great post, Jo!

    Musicals ?

    The Phantom of the Opera (LOVE Gerard Butler in it!)

    My Fair Lady (One of my all time favorites!)

    Les Miserables (I was amazed by both Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe!)

    Television series?

    Ripper Street

    Criminal Minds

    Pride and Prejudice

    North and South

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Great choices, Louisa. Thanks for sharing.

  • Laurie G says:

    Favorite musicals:

    Phantom of the Opera

    My niece went to see The Lion King and raved about it.

    I’d love to see Beauty & the Beast.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    I’m dying to see RENT, Laurie; it’s one of the few I’ve missed.