June 10, 2008

Ugly Americans

Once upon a time, my family got a copy of the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. We loved this movie to death, watching it dozens and dozens of times. We would dance around the living room during the musical numbers and we could quote nearly the whole movie. We each had our particular brother that we were most fond of. Yes, we definitely loved this movie.

In 2006, Merrick and I went to London. We wanted, of course, to take advantage of the massive theater offerings there and so, the first weekend, we looked up all the shows playing in London. To our surprise, there was a one week showing of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and tickets were only 10 pounds.

We decided to go ahead and see it, even though we guessed most of the group would think it was a bit ridiculous. And then, over dinner, when we mentioned our plans for the evening it became obvious that Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was practically everyone's favorite musical. Who knew?

We ended up going as a group of thirty. Thirty! (In fact, a few people had not seen the show but when everyone else was clamoring about it being the best. show. ever, well, they weren't about to miss out on the fun).

The theater was far away, but it was a really gorgeous old building with a spectacular theater inside and it was a very fun production.

We all danced and sang our way back to the tube station, rejoicing in our awesome London-living ways.

Then on the tube ride home, one of the boys (who was at least 22 or 23) decided it would be the world's most awesome thing to, at each stop, dash out of the tube-car onto the platform, run to the doors on the other end of the car and get back in, and continuing looping around as many times as possible before the doors closed.

Never mind that there were a good 5 or 10 people (read: total strangers of the proper British type) sitting in the car, all of which he leaped over each time he raced past. All of whom looked at him with deep disgust.

Merrick and I pretended not to know him. The term "ugly Americans" was certainly passing through both of our minds.

Be aware that if we ever travel somewhere with you and you decide it will be hilarious and clever to do stupid tricks like that, we will probably "accidentally" lose you in the station. And we won't even feel bad.

And we will certainly never invite you to come see "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" again.


  1. Great story! That is my worst nightmare when traveling. I never want to stick out as the "ugly Americans". Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a classic. I need to add it to my list of musicals to see this summer!

  2. I would never do that. Would you take me? I love that muscial so much. In fact, I tried out for it in high school and my drama teacher said, "Oh, if it had only been EIGHT brides for EIGHT brothers." Thanks a lot. It wouldn't have done any good anyway--I was hopelessly in love with brother #7 who had red hair all on his own. *Sigh*

    I love that your hubby is named Merick. We almost used that name for our baby loving all Erik names), but chose Garrick instead, after my father, who is Gary.

    PS in the Howard Keel version of this movie, the second brother, Benjamin, is the biggest no-talent slob in the bunch, but probably the cutest. I think he was cast surely on his manly good looks. The most rhythym he exerts is clapping and manages to quickly move to the back in any of the big dancing numbers. When we watch it, my sister and I say, "Look! Benjamn can smile!" or "Look! Benjamin can hold hands!" Watch for it.

  3. Ugh. I have a guess as to who that was.

    Thirty of you went to see that? I can't remember why I didn't go.

  4. Ugh...how I loathed that particular part of the night. One day we will definitely go back to London together (no matter what) and we will wear pashmina's every day, never wear tennis shoes, and possibly even fake accents just so we appear to be the true proper British girls that we know we are at heart.

  5. The best part of the evening was getting to eat ice cream in the theatre.

    And Adam's Scottish accent.

    And the joke about Mormons.

  6. And Katherine, it wasn't a Grover, despite what other antics we may have pulled.

  7. I just Tivo'ed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers recently, and haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I have very fond memories of it, but haven't watched in many years. Reading about it here just moved watching it up in my priority list. Thanks!

  8. I was a personal witness to this and I equalled your shame. And my favorite part about the play as realizing halfway through that these were British actors attempting the American accent, which explained why some ended up sounding Irish ("Look up in the baRn"). Good times!
    PS- Merrick is the sister

  9. oh bless your beautiful hide....

  10. Seven Brides for Seven brothers is one of our family favorites too. My sister and I could sing every song and recite all the dialogue. It would a very fun stage production to see.

    I remember being in London when I was in High School my sister and I were getting Ice Cream from a street vender and debating between each other which kind to get. The guy watched us in amazement and finally asked us where we were from. He love our accent. It made us laugh to think we were the ones with the accent.

  11. I loved watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when I was a kid too. I believe my family had taped it off of tv, so there were some parts that were a little scratchy. I keep forgetting to look for it on DVD so that my kids can enjoy it as well. Another thing, I'm completely jealous that you got to travel to England! I can only dream of such a thing! I too, would have acted like I didn't know the boy, and I would act as non-American as possible and respect the culture while in another country.

  12. As Monica kindly pointed out, my name's Bart. And just for the record, though I think you might be pardoned one time for using the word, "hubby," J doesn't like it. Nor does she like "prego," in case any of you ever planned on using that word either. They're five-letter words in our house.

    Me? I don't like "asinine." There are others, but they're too ugly to type.

  13. Hmm...I had to click on Merrick's blog to decide who it was, whereupon I was like, "Why is Janssen hugging a strange man?" Then I realized Merrick must be your sister, and the strange man was *her* husband.

    That explains why you would go to England with her. Another "Aha" moment brought to you by Lizzy.

  14. This is a late comment, but did the cast do a good job? Did you enjoy the production???

    Also a favorite of the girls in the family.


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