09 March 2011

A letter to Mandy

I am at my parents' house. We are watching some movie. The song "What Can You Lose" plays in the background of the movie. "That song is from Dick Tracy," I say. Someone mentions something about Mandy Patinkin's irritating vocals, and I say, "Yeah, what is he, a castrati [sic]?" Then I pick up a pen from the end table and mime writing in the air while I recite my imaginary letter:

Dear Mr. Patinkin,
You have a very distinctive singing style. I was wondering how you came by your unusual singing style. Is it just a lot of training? Or did you actually get castrated? It [your singing] is very annoying. Please stop.


I loved the movie Dick Tracy; it is the first (maybe the only) movie I ever saw twice in the cinema. I bought every piece of merchandise you can imagine: posters, caps, buttons, magazines. I had the Madonna album I'm Breathless on cassette; just last month I finally got around to purchasing an mp3 version of it so I could hear it again. (Who has a cassette player any more??) I also have the piano book for that album. (It's all Sondheim, very good music.) A few weeks ago I decided to start learning/relearning some of the songs in that book.

The movie came on some cable channel Sunday afternoon and I watched it again for the first time in years. I still loved it. I especially loved Madonna's musical numbers. I also discovered that after all these years, I still find Mandy Patinkin's singing in that movie as annoying as ever.

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