Hugh Jackman is a very talented actor, probably best known for his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men series. But did you know he was a great Broadway actor as well? Towards the beginning of his career, he was Gaston in the Broadway Beauty and the Beast. In fact, there is a little known story about his role in this play. During one performance, he had to urinate, but was onstage. Rather than interrupt the performance, he hit a high note and wet his stockings! That is dedication.
Another well known performance actually made it to the movies. He played Jean Val Jean in the movie Les Miserables. The director ordered that the actors sing more like ordinary people, so it did not get as many rave reviews. However, he did sing well and conveyed Val Jean’s pain and defiance well.
Jackman’s fellow actor Russell Crowe is another talented actor who is also a great musician. Known for many great roles such as Gladiator, Crowe also has his own band. Crowe played Javert in Les Miserables.
John Travolta, who is famous for many roles including Pulp Fiction has been in a very well known Broadway turned movie. He became an icon as Danny Zucko in Grease. “Greased Lightening” has become one of the most famous songs known to the average person because of this.
Matthew Broderick is known for many roles, especially Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was fantastic in The Producers. He played Leo Bloom, a neurotic pencil-pusher who helps try to write the worst Broadway ever. His co-star Nathan Lane played Max Bialystock, who gets Bloom in on the scam. He is known for many roles, including Timon in The Lion King where he also exercised his vocals.
The list doesn’t just stop there. Many actors are this multi-talented.
Music and Religion
The main religions have differing attitudes towards music, some approve of it, some do not mind, while others are not keen on it. Some music can be used for religious purposes and other types not so much. Some religions have a more uniform approach to how they regard music, and even how they use it. Faiths such as Christianity have many different sects with differing opinions about the role of music in religion. Thus some parts of a religion approve of music while other parts do not.
Music as a good thing
The majority of religions would regard music as a good thing if it sent out the right message. So songs that shared the values of a religion would be accepted by it. Such music or songs may even be used for worship or services. On the other hand music that is secular or has opposing values to religions will not be approved of.
Pop or rock music is not often seen as been good or bad in relation to religious faith. It is the lyrics as much as the music that decides if music is seen as good or bad in relation to religious faiths. Some music artists have decided that their music should have religious or spiritual themes or words. Such themes may make it possible to use certain music in services.
Music and songs in services
For many religions past and present music has been widely used during their services. Music is seen usually as a positive thing to use. There have been musical features within worship for thousands of years. The bulk of classical and pagan religions for example used it. The religions that had, or still have a lot of rites or ceremonies within their services are more likely to use music as an important part of worship. Hindus for instance have festivals that use music, and are an important part of their beliefs and practices. Christians and Jews also use music for important events such as Christmas or Passover. On the other hand Islam is far less likely to use music for worship though it can be used as part of the calls to prayer.
Chants, hymns and songs
Perhaps the religion most linked to the use of music during its services is Christianity. Christians whether Orthodox, Protestant, or Roman Catholic are more inclined to use song and music. The majority of Christian sects are active in using music during church services. Music is seen as a means of praising God and as a vital part of worship. The more traditional churches will use organs either to play recitals or to accompany hymn singers. Hymns often relate to parts of the Bible and full of praise to God. There are even hymns for different parts of the Christian year such as Lent, Easter, or Advent. Perhaps most famously there are carols for services in and around Christmas time. Christmas is also the time when most churches will use choirs to sing during services even if these are not used in most other months of the year.
Music in Exile is a recording project that gathers songs and tales from folks removed by humanitarian turmoil. Alex Ebsary, a participant of the Music in Exile staff, explains that its decree is straightforward: “What we do is go around, either to refugee camps or to places that we know there will be refugees or internally displaced Iraqis, and try to find musicians,” he says. “They can be anyone, from somebody who knows how to sing a few songs to professionals.”
U.N. Report: ISIS Is Committing Genocide Against Yazidi
One of the artists showcased in the project is Barakat Ali, a Yazidi male who fled from ISIS strikes on his birthplace of Khana Sor. He says the past handful of years have transformed the method he addresses music.
” Sometimes, I feel very sad about what happened to Yazidis,” he says. “So I’m just playing this music and singing to forget myself, to not be so worried and cry about these things. And sometimes I’m crying while singing.”
Ebsary and Khalaf discussed these and other stories with NPR at the link below: