The Stars of 54 Sings Christopher Guest Movies Pick Their Favorite Musical Moments
Fans of Christopher Guest comedies and Broadway do not want to miss the one-night-only concert event that brings both together, From Guffman to Spinal Tap: 54 Sings Christopher Guest Movies. Ben Rimalower hosts the January 22 concert at Feinstein's/54 Below that will include Broadway favorites recreating and reimagining some of Guest's finest movie moments. To get us ready for the concert, the show's stars each share with BroadwayBox their favorite Guest musical moment.
I love Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard's Guffman audition duet, "Midnight at the Oasis." The matching windbreakers, their choreography, and their earnest desire to show their seasoned professionalism gets me every time.
In Waiting for Guffman, the song "Stool Boom" is an absurd celebration of musical theatre. It reminds me of every Musical Theatre senior showcase. There's also a moment where Parker Posey yells "STOOL!" accidentally when the song is supposed to be over, and it is a brilliant and hilarious choice.
When this movie came out I was listening to a lot of 60's folk so I appreciated just how brilliantly bullseye the song parodies are. Any one of them could have been released by 60's folk stalwarts like The Limelighters, The New Christy Minstrels or The Serendipity Singers. Songs like "Eat At Joe's" and "Potato's In the Paddy Wagon" are silly, tuneful perfection and "Never Did No Wandrin' is pure last-gasp folk before rock took over for good. But the best comedy grabs you in the gut and tears your heart out at the same time. So here's the lovely duet "When You're Next to Me" sung by "Mitch and Mickey", AKA non-stop geniuses Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara.
And don't miss O'Hara's Sure-Flo catheter song. Because everyone needs a catheter song in their life:
The diversity of his film music, is what is so impressive to me: the squeaky clean "up with people" of A Mighty Wind to the earnest enthusiasm of Waiting for Guffman (we all know that powerful promise when mounting a show) to the tinsel town desperation of For Your Consideration and the absolutely offensive clueless oafs of Spinal Tap, it is all only as clever and moving as it is, because of its brutally honest brilliance!
The song I would choose is "Never Did No Wanderin'" from A Mighty Wind sung by the New Main Street Singers. This is a great song performed in two different styles in the movie. The first is a kind of great, albeit tongue-in-cheek, folk song. Then later the song is performed by a large vocal group and the arrangement is insane. There are something like 9 vocalists all playing string instruments and singing their own harmony. I used to listen to the soundtrack and laugh and laugh at the tonality. Wow. I'm really a nerd.
Painfully obvious probably, but I love "Big Bottom" from Spinal Tap! The lyric "How could I leave this behind?" is brilliant and it also has that great bassline!
I'd probably say my favorite number from the Christopher Guest films is not an original song, but the audition scene where Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara perform a rousing rendition of "Midnight at the Oasis". The dialogue, the choreography, the track suits, Catherine O'Hara's bangs: EVERYTHING. If I'd have to pick an original, it'd have to be "There's a Kiss at the End of the Rainbow". The charm and sweetness in Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara's vocals make me melt every time.
Don't miss these stars and more in From Guffman to Spinal Tap: 54 Sings Christopher Guest Movies at 54 Below on January 22.