Friday, June 22, 2018

The Greatest Showman - This and That

Circus Arena Ring Manege Fun Show Entertai  Sorry, I am running a bit late today but I just flew in from Germany and arrived home around 1 AM after flying for over 14 hours and going through something like 10 time zones.

While I was off, I used my iPad to prepare columns while in Germany but it was so much harder than using my computer so I never really got a head.

In addition, I had to so some fancy maneuvering to put pictures in it.  The bottom line is that it took so much longer to do things and I was off touring through the Heidelberg area with family members. I still have a couple things I want to share but I'm so tired today, I've chosen to review a movie I saw on the airplane coming back to the states.  I'll save the other two things, including information on the apothecary museum in Heidelberg.

On to a look at "The Greatest Showman".   I chose to watch it because I'd seen almost all the other movies on my to checkout list.  I didn't even realize it was a musical.  I tried to watch LaLa Land last year but it never appealed to me.  This one I found much more interesting.

Where do I start when discussing this.  Hmmmm.  The dance caught my eye with its variety of styles ranging from something you might see in Carousel to the flash of Kenny Ortega's choreography in Newsies, to the funky style in The Knights Tale.  The styles meshed together quiet well from the first number showing PT Barnum has a child with his dreams, to the final number when the assistant takes over.

This was one of those types of musical with tons of musical numbers and not too many spoken lines.  I love the way they used one song to convey the growth of PT and Carolyn from youngsters to newly weds to having children.  The variety of musical styles reviles the styles of dance.  All song and dance number were highly energetic.  They made me want to get up and join in.

However, the musical chose a few events to focus on.   It looked at his creation of his American Museum and the tour of Jenny Lind, one of the most famous European singers of the time. In addition, it showed his group being invited to Britain and their visit to Queen Victoria.

So what did the writers not talk about?  He was born in Connecticut, moved to New York City to pursue his dreams.  He was a salesman, ran a boarding house and so many other jobs before striking it rich with creating a market for oddities.  He created the American Museum in 1841 and it ran till 1868.  In the movie they show the museum burning down but that wasn't quite correct.  The building did burn down in 1865 but he opened it up in another building soon after.  It burned down again in 1869. In 1871, PT Barnum launched his traveling circuses with his midway acts and elephants under the name of "The Worlds Greatest Show". 

The incident shown where they visit Queen Victoria is correct but that was during their European Tour.  He did arrange for Jenny Lind "The Swedish Nightingale" to tour the United States.  He offered her $1000 per concert for 150 shows.  The tour went so well,  PT Barnum netted over $500,000 for the tour.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie with its great dance numbers and wonderful singing.  It is pure escapism.  Just remember, it is not to be taken seriously and it is only entertainment, not historical. 

If you've seen the movie, let me know what you think of it, I'd love to hear.

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