Would Les Mis have entered my life without Wicked?

Think about this. Would certain musicals have entered without others? That is kind of a deep question. I can describe my musical journey through the musicals that are meaningful. There are two musicals in particular that are the most important in making me a musical theatre fanatic. They are Wicked and Les Mis. Wicked sparked the love while Les Mis turned the love into a passion. The question is would Les Mis have been in my life without Wicked?

My answer is no. There is no way Les Mis would have in my life without Wicked. It had to do with what I learned from Wicked. Plus- before Les Mis, I was against tragedies. I was only 12 when Wicked first entered my life- that was 13 years ago.

What did I learn from Wicked? For starters, I discovered emotional connection. Why is an emotional connection so important in a musical? The emotional connection is key to everything- it is our DESIRE, WHY, and WANT. There has to be a reason to want to go on the journeys of the characters and to feel what they are feeling. I discovered something else in Wicked, which is connected to emotional connection. It belongs to the emotions. I NEVER knew about the emotional and complex side of musical before Wicked. So emotional connection and the emotional and complex side of musicals were discovered all because of Wicked. There were four core emotions that were at the forefront: excitement, love, joy, and sad: the only four I thought would exist. I knew about spectacle, dance, romance, and comedy- everything that musicals have were ALL in Wicked. I had no clue all of that would be challenged, disproven, and tested- meaning things will change by a landslide.

Enter Les Mis. So- emotional connection. I already knew about that. However, that WANT and DESIRE would have to be extremely strong in a musical like Les Mis. So, “you think there are four core emotions- let us add one”. If I didn’t already already know about the core emotion of sad, I would be extremely confused about HEARTBREAK entering the picture. So Wicked would teach me things that would have to get stronger in Les Mis. Yes, in Wicked, I have a personal relationship to Elphaba, but not a personal relationship to the Les Mis character. However in Les Mis, it is constant HEARTBREAK- so you have be STRONG with the emotional connection. See if I didn’t discover some of those things in Wicked- I would have been extremely confused by a number of things that would be going on in Les Mis. In Wicked, I already was strongly attacked to a love triangle- I knew about that concept so I was able to easily find it in Les Mis. So if it wasn’t for discovering emotional connection and the emotion of sadness in Wicked, I would be very confused in Les Mis. I don’t think I would have wanted Les Mis in my life.

US Tour of Les Mis
One Day More

Les Mis would soon pay its favor back to Wicked- by the love triangle. “I’m Not That Girl” was only a sad song in the beginning- I didn’t call it a sad love song. I thought it would stay that way. “On My Own” would tell me unrequited love songs are heartbreaking- that song was sad for only one year (from 2013-2014). “On My Own” helped me realize “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking, which made Wicked’s love triangle even more complex. Wicked’s love triangle is more complex and is my favorite one- I might be slightly biased because it is the first one I emotionally bonded with.

Do you feel this way? Would have some musicals not have entered your life without others?

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Greatest Discovery Characters (Part 2)

This is an updated list about the main orphans of all six protagonists. This is about the fraternal twins, Olivia and Ella.

Olivia:

Age

  • Book 1: 8
  • Book 2: 9
  • Book 3: 10

Backstory

Age: 6.5

How: Car Crash

  • Olivia and Ella were in the car at the time, and still got injuries, but unfortunately both parents died. Right away, she wanted to know if her sister survived. Olivia and Ella were in the car at the time, and still got injuries, but unfortunately both parents died

Physical Description:

  • Eye Color: light blue
  • Hair Color- brunette, curly, goes down to shoulder
  • she is small for her age

Personality:

  • Olivia is into drawing and crafts. She is optimistic and while young, she acts as the older sister despite the two of them being twins

Family:

  • She was in an artsy and loving home.
  • She is best friends with Ella. She helps Ella get through the loss of mom and dad. She did receive love and affection. They did get to explore NYC- places like Central Park, American Girl, etc.… they did get to experience before the wreck. She knew what love and compassion was like. Now that is gone- the only family she has now is from her sister.  

Other Relationships:

Mrs Adams: most likely that last name will change.

  • She is their caregiver now. She does struggle at first to connect to her. Especially in the beginning. 

The four orphans

  • They become Olivia and Ella’s friends. All of them do know what it is like to lose parents. That is why all six of them connect in the way that they do.

Birthday:

  • February 8th, 1999

Ella:

Age:

  • Book 1: 8
  • Book 2: 9
  • Book 3: 10

Backstory:

  • Age: 6.5
  • How: Car Crash
  • Olivia and Ella were in the car at the time, and still got injuries, but unfortunately both parents died. The incident was extremely traumatic for her. She struggles with it a lot more than her sister.

Physical Description:

  • Eye Color: light blue
  • Hair Color: hazel, straight, goes down to chin
  • Height: just like Olivia small for her age

Personality:

  • Ella is into princesses, dolls, and sparkle. She has a wild imagination. 
  • Innocent, curious and stubborn.

Family:

  • Before the crash, she grew up in an artsy and loving family. She did receive love and affection. They did get to explore NYC- places like Central Park, American Girl, etc.… they did get to experience before the wreck. She knew what love and compassion was like. Now that is gone- the only family she has now is from her sister.  

  • Olivia and Ella- they have a close relationship. They are best friends- Olivia helps her get through the loss of both parents. Before the crash, she grew up in an artsy and loving family. She did receive love and affection. They did get to explore NYC- places like Central Park, American Girl, etc.… they did get to experience before the wreck. She knew what love and compassion was like. Now that is gone- the only family she has now is from her sister.  
  • Olivia and Ella- they have a close relationship. They are best friends- Olivia helps her get through the loss of both parents. 

Other Relationships:

  • Mrs Adams- Just like Olivia, it is hard to connect to her caregiver at first when she first meets her. After all, Olivia and Ella are so used to their parents. 
  • The four orphans- They become Olivia and Ella’s friends. There is a reason why all six girls connect to the way that they do. They know what it is like to lose their parents.

Important Props:

  • Bobbie- It has a doll that is wearing dress that her mom made. The colors and sequins on the dress were added by Olivia. That dolls Is special to Ella, and it is something she needs. It helps her deal with the loss of her mother and father. 

Birthday:

  • February 8th, 1999

Broadway Night

Last night was the 2nd night at the Pops. This time, my family and friends were treated to Broadway songs. When it comes to Broadway, it is a Pops I don’t want to miss. I ended up wearing the Les Mis shirt I got in the West End to this symphony. I was wondering what musicals they were going to do.

First up- Sound of Music, a childhood favorite. They played all of the songs I thought they would. It included two from the stage show, which never made it to the movie. The songs included “Sound of Music”, “Climb Every Mountain”, “So Long Farewell”, “Edelweiss”, “My Favorite Things”, “Do Re Mi”, “Lonely Goatherd”, “Maria”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, and “How Can Love Survive”.

Second up- My Fair Lady, a musical that entered my life in college. The symphony played a good collection of those songs. From “I Could Have Danced all Night”, “Wouldn’t it be Loverly”= among others. I still don’t know the names of the songs well enough to be able to recognize songs without the lyrics.

Third up- Grease. It played “Hand Jive”, “Summer Nights”, “Greased Lightening”, “Beauty School Dropout”, and “We Go Together”.

Fourth up- Carousel. All they played from this musical is the “Carousel Waltz”.

Fifth up- Les Mis. The symphony started with the overture. “At the End of the Day”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Master of the House”, “On My Own”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing” were the only songs they did. Even with just the melody, I still cried.

Sixth up- Oklahoma. “Oklahoma”, “I Cain’t Say No”, “Farmer and the Cowman”, “Surrey with Fringe on Top”, “Kansas City”= among others. Just like My Fair Lady-still barley know names of songs and even the melodies themselves to pick up on songs.

Seventh up-Wicked. “No one Mourns the Wicked”, “Popular”, and “Defying Gravity” were the songs the symphony used.

Eighth up- Music Man. The very last song was “76 Trombones”.

If I Could Choose one or the Other

New followers don’t this, but four years ago, I did go on a Bristol Pilgrimage. The adult choir at my family church was singing at the Bristol Cathedral for a week. The spiritual areas we went to were day trips outside of Bristol. The pilgrimage actually began in London- that lasted only 2 and 1/2 days.

This year, the choir got to sing in Italy in Venice, Florence, and Rome. That was the pilgrimage I didn’t go on. It was due to the price. It was more expensive to go.

If I could pick one or the other, which would I choose?

I would choose England. For starters, there is no language barrier. Second, there is home base. All the pilgrims had their day trip and then afterwards got to back to Bristol each day. So, there was time to relax. There are many many many reasons why England meant a lot to me.

Let’s start at pre-pilgrimage. Yes, my family went up two days early. That was to get used to the time difference and to get a little bit more of London. That allowed me to see a musical in the West End. It wasn’t just any musical- I saw Les Mis in the West End that summer. The date was July 30th, 2015 where I ended up with an understudy as Jean Valjean. So, seeing Les Mis in the West End fit perfectly into pilgrimage- Les Mis is Jean Valjean’s spiritual journey- so I went from his spiritual journey to my own. This cast was epic, brilliant, powerful, passionate, and highly emotional. I still remember what it was like the moment I saw the theatre- I thought I was pretending- I didn’t know I was living it until I heard the orchestra.

“I Dreamed a Dream”

Do you think seeing Les Mis was the only thing that made England special? It wasn’t- there was a lot of other things that made the Bristol Pilgrimage what it was. After all, Les Mis wasn’t part of the Pilgrimage. It happened the day before. The fellowship that was created between 72 pilgrims was strong- “we are pilgrims on the journey. we are travelers on the road. we are here to help each other. walk the mile and bear the load.” That quote from the servant song was something I realized much later on explained all of us perfectly- we were pilgrims, we were travelers, and we did help each other.

We did go to unknown places. Leaving London was scary. I did not know anything about Bristol. I did not know if I would like it. I already had fallen in love with London- I only spent 4 and 1/2 days there- with the group, we had seen Windsor Castle, gotten a walking tour, had Evensong at Westminster in the quire, and attended Eucharist at St. Paul’s Cathedral under the dome. Leaving Bristol to me was going into the unknown- we arrived to Bristol in the Evening. Little did I know how much I was going to love that town.

By the end of the week, I had gone to Berkeley Castle, Bath, Stonehenge, Old Sarum, attended Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral, Tintern Abbey, and Chepstow Castle. In total, our flock of Shaun the Sheep went to 21- that is how we found we found out of 70. At Bristol Cathedral- I went to six Evensongs and one Eucharist. I did not think I would go to all of the church services, but I did. Here’s how I know how transforming the entire pilgrimage was- it was at the final Evensong. It was during the anthem, and I was crying- it was happy tears, and that reaction told me how much I was transformed during that trip.

What was my mountain-top moment? It was Stonehenge.

What was the best part of the pilgrimage? It was the Fellowship. If the Fellowship wasn’t that strong, everything that happened wouldn’t have mattered as much.

What was the best part of the entire trip (that is both the pilgrimage and the two extra days)? Les Mis

Stonehenge-the Mountain Top Moment

So, if I could actually could choose between Italy and England, I would still pick England. England was so transforming in so many ways, and because it happened- I heard the people sing. After Italy, my mom told me I would not like Italy because it was constant on the go- you do not get a moment to relax period. England it still my way to go. I loved where I went with England- since I was a pilgrim, I searched deeper in those scared places- that is what a pilgrims does- they search deeper in themselves to find the sacredness of a certain place.

Musical Characters I am Particular about which Actors/Actresses play them

We all love favorite characters. We do want them to be played well. However, there are certain characters that we can be particular about which actor/actress can play certain characters. I barely have some- I only have two: that is it: it really is one, but it does come down to down (you will soon come down to two).

The character I am particular about who plays the role is Elphaba. My reasoning is due to the fact that she is my all-time favorite musical theatre character. Why do you think I am particular about who plays her? Each time I see her, I am always seeing an actress I am not at all familiar with the actress who plays her. But still particular about who plays her- as in how she is portrayed. She has to be embodied perfectly- I can see an excellent Elphaba, but that still isn’t enough.

This comes to the second character I am particular about. That is Glinda. Here’s the thing- Elphaba can never throughly be brilliant without Glinda just like Glinda can never throughly be portrayed brilliant without an excellent Elphaba. It just will not work. Those two after all are like super glue- both have to be embodied incredibly. I am not joking.

My last Elphaba and Glinda were like that. Mary Kate Morrissey (standby Elphaba) and Amanda Jane Copper (Glinda) were a perfect fit. It made Mary Kate Morrissey’s excellent Elphaba stronger. I already knew she was excellent, but if Amanda Jane Copper’s Glinda didn’t fit like glue into her Elphaba, something would have totally wouldn’t have felt like that. I need those to come first- not Mary Kate Morrissey’s Elphaba and Ashley Parker Angel’s Fiyero (that comes 2nd). You need “For Good” to hit you harder than “I’m Not That Girl”.

Elphaba and Glinda during "Popular"

Elphaba means more to me than a number of other musical theatre character. She is one of the hugest reasons why Wicked is still hanging there at my favorite musical. Why do you think Les Mis is still tied? Elphaba is not just a character I have an emotional connection to, but a character I strongly relate to. It will be hard for other Elphaba’s to be at the same level as Mary Kate Morrissey’s. For starter’s- she was paired with the right Glinda. Same with the voice- it was altered from innocent to mature. Pretty much embodied everything.

So, the characters I am most particular about belongs to Elphaba and Glinda. You never can have a brilliant Elphaba without a brilliant Glinda and you never can brilliant Glinda without a brilliant Elphaba.

I can tell you this- after the tour, Amanda Jane Copper ended up playing Glinda on Broadway along with Ashley Parker as Fiyero after they left the tour- so the tour can lead actors and actresses to Broadway. Mary Kate Morrissey ended up being the main Elphaba on tour- she deserved it. Those three will ALWAYS be my favorite Elphaba x Fiyero x Glinda. I don’t even remember my three Elphaba x Fiyero x Glinda’s before them, but I do know this- who those three characters are today are a combo of all four.

It is true. A lot of times-I do end up seeing actors/actresses in principal roles I am not at all familiar with. So, I have NEVER once seen the same actor/actress in more than lead role- unless you count college productions.

What characters are you particular about who plays them?

First Day of Summer

I realized in the middle of this morning that is the first day of Summer. Hard to believe it is Summer already. I actually began my Summer volunteering- something my dad and I do on Fridays at Loaves and Fishes.

Volunteering at Loaves and Fishes

There are still two more Pops Symphonies to go in Summer- two my family usually goes to. Each has a different theme, and I love both themes. The first is Broadway and the second is Celebrate America. After all, it is a well-known fact I am a massive musical theatre fanatic and live in the United States.

What else do I am doing in Summer? I am going to a part of the States I still haven’t gone to. Living in the Southeast would mean I barley go the Western part of the United States. Every couple of years, I see my extended family on my mom’s side. This year, it was decided to go to Lake Tahoe, which is on both Nevada and California, two states I still didn’t go to.

In terms of musicals-I want to see Aladdin in September at Belk Theatre. Last March 2018 when I discovered Blumenthal’s 2018-2019 season, I wanted to see Aladdin, but after seeing the live action film, I wanted to see it even more. Don’t know if that will happen yet- but strongly hoping it will.

Can a Musical song be Memorable without being easily Singable or Hummable?

There is a difference between a memorable song and a memorable song that is easy to sing along to, in my opinion.

I will start by saying this: I am not a good singer. If you are not a good singer, songs you love will not be easily singable. Back to the original question: “can a musical song be memorable without being easily singable or hummable?”

Another thing to say: when you love so many musical theatre songs, there are lots of melodies to remember. Basically- if a song is unmemorable, the song will be forgettable. That would mean you no longer would have the interest to listen to it. Yes, a number of songs I love in musical theatre are singable- examples: Do Re Mi, My Favorite Things, Do You Hear the People Sing, For the First Time in Forever, Beauty and the Beast- yes, that was part of why I fell in love with them.

Can you still love songs that aren’t exactly singable or hummable. Songs with tough melodies are what we are talking about. Songs like “Speechless” fall under this category. Are they memorable despite not being singable? They are not that singable for those who can’t sing well or that good- for people like me. I loved “Speechless” and “Evermore” when I saw the live action movies of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. So, yes, a song can be memorable without being hummable or singable. “Speechless” and “Evermore” aren’t the only ones that are like this. What about “Shadowland” and “Endless Light” in Lion King?- same thing.

We know when we love a musical theatre song. It is a combo of melody and lyrics. So- they are not forgettable. If we want to keep on listening to them- we do know we love the song. Ever since I saw the live action Aladdin- I keep on listening to “Speechless”, and what it does is make Jasmine a stronger character.

Disney does this all the time- when it goes to stage, it adds new songs to strengthen the plot. Look at the live action movies- it does not make an adaptation of the stage shows- it makes an adaptation of the cartoons and adds a song- to do the same thing the new songs in the stage shows do- strengthen characters.

See what I mean- songs can be memorable without being necessarily singable or hummable.

Do you agree? Can a musical theatre song be memorable without being singable or hummable?