On this day in classical music: Sigmund Romberg was born in Hungary in 1877. He came to the United States in 1909 and became well-known as a composer of popular operettas. Among his numerous hits were the operettas “The Student Prince” (1924), “The Desert Song” (1926) and “The New Moon” (1928). Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy were devoted champions of Romberg’s music and frequently performed his songs. Romberg died in New York City in 1951 at age 64. Listen to Gordon MacRae sing “The Riff Song” from “The Desert Song.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHAQYJrhxuU
On this day in the musical theatre: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” closed on Broadway in 2007 after a phenomenal 13-year run. Despite being shunned at the 1994 Tony Awards — it only took one award, for costume design and received mixed reviews — “Beauty and the Beast” resonated with the public who helped make Disney’s first Broadway musical the eighth longest running show. The first national tour was also well-received and like its Broadway counterpart, highly profitable. Listen to Burke Moses of the original Broadway cast sing “Me.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y5riINpUx8
Musical musings: In 2001, theater maven Peter Filichia came up with a month’s worth of lessons that “Beauty and the Beast” explores. There are lessons here that anyone would be prudent to adopt.
1) Don’t be deceived by appearances.
2) It’s okay to be different from the rest of the people in your town.
3) The handsomest guy is not the best.
4) Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty.
5) Be kind to your parents.
6) Sacrifice for your parents.
7) You can’t force love.
8) Home is where the heart is.
9) Books take you to wonderful places.
10) Ignore what people say about you if you like yourself.
11) Parents should take pride in their children.
12) Be polite to those you don’t like.
13) Be sincere.
14) Control your temper.
15) Ordering people around is rude.
16) Say “Please.”
17) Say “Thank you.”
18) Might does not make right.
19) Don’t give up.
20) Give people a chance.
21) Give people a second chance.
22) Act like a gentleman.
23) Learn to say you’re sorry when you’ve done something wrong, even if you did it inadvertently.
24) A good person is better to his enemies than a bad person is to his friends.
25) Learn to control your tongue.
26) Teach those who don’t know what you do.
27) Books can take you away and make you forget for a little while.
28) An unpopular person only needs to find one other to feel a great deal better.
29) Speak from the heart.
30) If you love someone, set her free.