Howard Ashman and Hans Christian Andersen
Lyricist, playwright, producer and director Howard Ashman poses in front of a statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1989. This was in the same year that Disney’s hit animated musical The Little Mermaid was released; Howard Ashman was the author of the lyrics to the songs for The Little Mermaid (later receiving an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy), as well as some additional dialogue. Hans Christian Andersen was of course the author of the original Danish fairytale Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid). Ashman “gave a voice” to Andersen’s iconic character of the mermaid, bringing the heroine and her story into a new context, successfully ushering in the legendary Disney Renaissance.
Happy Birthday Howard Ashman! (May 17, 1950 – March 14, 1991)
Happy Birthday to the Academy Award-winning visionary that directed and wrote the book and lyrics to Little Shop of Horrors (as well as the screenplay to its 1986 film adaptation) and the lyrics to The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and half of Aladdin before succumbing to AIDS. Rest in Peace, Howard Ashman. You are truly missed.
… And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Happy Birthday, Ellen Greene!
Okay, followers. This is one that I’ll admit I’m less familiar with. It is a song called, “How Can I Be Sure?” from the television film Glory, Glory! that I believe premiered on HBO in 1989. However, I seem to be having trouble finding information on the film and have not seen it myself. From what I can gather, Ellen stars as a character who is not entirely dissimilar from Reno Sweeney from Anything Goes!, I think? The song is very 80s, and again, I don’t fully understand the context of it. Regardless, hardcore fans seem to consider this film a milestone in her career, so I felt it should be represented today. Enjoy!