Thursday, March 18, 2010

RIP Peter Graves 1926-2010

Peter Graves died this last Sunday at the age of 83. He's probably best remembered for his roles in the "Mission Impossible" tv show and as Captain Clarence Oveur in "Airplane". He also starred in another movie I love, "The Night of the Hunter" with Robert Mitchum.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

An Evening With Richard M. Sherman

Last Saturday evening I attended An Evening With Richard M. Sherman at the El Capitan theatre in Hollywood. Richard and his brother Robert are the famous songwriting team behind such classics as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. They also wrote music for Disneyland, including It's a Small World and the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Word to the wise. Don't ever get front row seats to a live show at the El Capitan. You'll only see half the performance. The first half of the show was Richard performing songs from his amazing career followed by a live stage show of song excerpts from the musical, Pazzazz, written by Richard and his friend Milt Larson. Milt is known for creating the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Here's Robert, Richard on the piano, and Walt Disney performing "It's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from the Disneyland attraction Carousel of Progress. Walt gave the brothers a 16mm copy of this footage and said "here's something to show your grand kids one day."
L to R: Richard Sherman, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, and Robert Sherman on the set of Mary Poppins. They won two Oscars for this film. One for the score and the other for their song "Chim Chim Cher-ee".
There's a great documentary out on the brothers, called "The Boys''. It's a fascinating look at how different the two are, and how that friction helped them create their music. You can find out more at: http://www.theboysdoc.com/