Friday, May 3, 2013

Barbra Streisand as an ESPer = Good Musical?

Dear Muse,

It's finally May, and everything is bursting into bloom. What makes it ironic is that yesterday I checked out a musical about things bursting into bloom (in more ways than one). For the past few weeks, I've been delving into a lot of 1960s musicals (a.k.a Promises, Promises and The Apple Tree), but none have given me much material to write about. That is, until yesterday's discovery of 1965's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

On a Clear Day is a rather obscure musical about an unusual heroine - that is, a reincarnated ESPer/clairvoyant with low self-esteem who uses her psychic powers to help plants grow. (Good luck finding other musicals with this premise.) The ESPer (Daisy Gamble) goes to a psychiatrist (Mark) who places her under hypnosis, learning that she's the reincarnation of a seductive minx named "Melinda Wells" who died on a shipwreck in the 18th century. He becomes infatuated with Melinda, while Daisy (misreading his behavior towards her) starts falling for him. And when she discovers the truth...well, how would you like it if you found out that your crush was in love with the person you "used to be"?

Despite how convoluted the story is, Daisy's musical numbers are stunners. Especially "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here," which revolves entirely around Daisy encouraging flowers to bloom through the power of SONG. Both Barbara Harris (original cast) and Barbra Streisand (1970 movie adaptation) do an excellent job of it. Skeptical? Just watch this clip of Streisand performing the song.

Of course, since you don't actually see her making plants grow, you might deduce that it's just Streisand singing in a flower garden. Either way, I love it.

Also, after watching this, I couldn't help but think the following:

"If you combined Layla from Sky High and Giselle from Enchanted, it's only logical that Daisy Gamble would come out of it."

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

Come on, it totally makes sense.

The most that I can say about On a Clear Day so far is that it's OK - that is, I like about 3 or 4 songs from it. Fellow blogger Ken Anderson gives a more in-depth review of the film adaptation, so I'd recommend checking out his take on it. I've also included music players of Barbara Harris' version of "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here," as well as the title song (sung by the psychiatrist) below. Listen to these, and then decide which Barbara is the better Daisy.

                                                                   'Till next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment