Circle of Life- Lion King Review

On September 4th, I went to see Lion King at Belk Theater with my mom and sister. We sat in the orchestra right at the aisle. I was the one closest to the aisle. Those made for the most perfect seats. I first saw Lion King in elementary school, but I don’t remember seeing it. For me, it was like seeing Lion King for the very first time. Many people do not understand why I couldn’t remember Lion King the first time: I just was so young to remember so I am glad I will know have a memory of Lion King I will remember. People thought Lion King will take over the rank of Wicked, but it didn’t. Wicked is still the same ranking as it always has been.

At this performance, we had Gloria Manning as Young Nala and Salahedin Safi as Young Simba. On top of that, I had Ntomb’Khona Dlamini as Rafiki. So I had an understudy in the role as Rafiki. So the pattern continues- now from 2014-2018, have had understudies.


Possible Staging and Plot Spoilers:

“Circle of Life” took my breath away. This is why our seats were perfect. Animals literally walked down the two aisles. Birds and a Rhino walked down our aisle while an Elephant walked down the other aisle. Then on stage, Rafiki started out the cry that the new king, Simba had arrived: the different smoke changed colors symbolizing the time in the day. Just one of the best musical theatre openings ever.

About Rafiki, she had an incredible voice. I knew her voice was wonderful just by “Circle of Life” alone. She kept on making me laugh. She had this incredible wisdom throughout the musical. I love Rafiki as a character.

About Young Simba and Young Nala, I loved them. It is amazing how children can memorize their lines, and perform on stage. I loved those two on stage.

Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa was wonderful. He was so wonderful that I wished he was on stage for a little bit longer. He acted like both a wonderful king and dad so convincingly. At the time of his death, I was so close to crying: I just wanted Mufasa to live longer than he did on stage. That was how much I loved him as Mufasa.

Mark Campbell as Scar: I do not like talking about Scar. His “Be Prepared” number terrified me. The hyenas came down the aisle to get to the stage. I got mad at his Scar. He played the part of villain very well.

Nick Cordileone as Timon and William John Austin as Pumba were an incredible pairing.

Jared Dixon as Simba- I loved his entrance: swinging on a rope. That makes quite a fun entrance. He played the emotional parts of Simba extremely well. He showed all of that emotion during “Endless Night”. his solo number. In “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, he had wonderful chemistry with Nia Halloway as Nala showing their love for each other. In the end, when he walked on Pride Rock becoming king, he walked like a king with such strength. I loved his Simba so much.

Nia Halloway as Nala- I also loved her Nala as well. She was able to show her relucantace towards being Scar’s Queen. In Shadowland, she started out innocent showing how young Nala is. Then as the number continued, she showed just how strong Nala is. Like I said with Jared, wonderful chemistry during “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.

The way they showed many scenes was clever like the Stampede or like I said earlier “Circle of Life”. I loved the way they represented the animals: it was through puppets. In terms of Simba, Nala, Scar, and Mufasa, they used a lion’s masks that they put on their head- same was true with the other lions. You end up seeing both the person and the puppet. As for souvenirs, I bought a Lion King Snowglobe and the soundtrack. Do I like Lion King? No, because I love it. Each time, I learn to love a musical, I am always asked where does a musical rank if I love it: I do not know where Lion King ranks: I think in my top ten. Lion King is a childhood musical of mine: I just do not remember seeing the movie or the stage show. So it reentered my life when I saw it a couple days ago.


Who is Anna (Frozen)?

Since Frozen recently came out a few months ago on Broadway, I decided on this series to analyze one of the Frozen characters.

Major Spoilers:

I see a lot of myself in Anna. She is the younger and outgoing sister of Elsa. She wants to have a stronger relationship with her sister and keeps on trying. She does not always think before she acts, which sometimes leads her to make some not smart decisions. Her bubbly personality is why I love Anna so much and why I relate to her. She ended up going on a journey with Kristoff to find her sister to bring her back. She kept on thinking that Hans is her true love, but later realizes that is not true. She is courageous in the fact that she sacrifices herself to save Elsa when Hans is about to kill her, and Anna realizes that Kristoff loves her.At the end, Anna finally got the relationship she wanted with her sister.

Frozen, the Broadway musical

Courageous Characters Found in Musicals

Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear.

-Seize the Day, Newsies

What does the word courage remind me of in the world of musicals? Well, in musicals, you come across many brave characters who show their bravery in many ways. I decided to make a list of various characters who do show courage. I will do my best to explain why they are brave in the first place.

Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Newsies- Even though they have to survive off of Pulitzer’s newspapers, they still stop buying papers. They end up going on strike to go up against Pulitzer to say this isn’t right. They stay passionate towards the cause. Going on strike was a brave thing to do because if they don’t buy papers, they will barely survive, but still go on strike to make a stand.


Les Mis: 

Friends of the ABC- they are very similar to the Newsies. They have a cause as well and are planning an uprising to go up against the weak government. They stay passionate towards the end even when they know they are going to lose and know they will most likely die.


Eponine- She risks her life several times. Even though she loves Marius, she does anything for him just to make sure he is happy and safe. At one point, she goes up against her father when he tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius is there and ends up screaming to protect the one she loves. Then at the barricade when Marius is about to get shot, she protects him by sacrificing for life so he could survive. She does not have a very good life, but yet risks her life several times for the sake of Marius.


Jean Valjean- he is an ex-convict. He ends up turning himself in when an innocent man is “Valjean”. Than at the barricades, he goes there to protect the one that his adopted daughter, Cosette, loves. When Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean takes Marius to safety even the only way to is go through the sewers.




Elphaba- she is brave in many ways. She goes up against the Wizard even when he is spreading “rumors” and “lies” about her. She always true to herself no matter what people say about her.

Beauty and the Beast


Belle- she ends up saving her father when imprisoned by the Beast. She ends up taking his place as prisoner. Then towards the end when Gaston and the citizens want to kill the Beast, she goes back to warn the Beast and wants to make sure he comes out alive.

Beast- when he falls in love with Belle, he lets her go. Then when Belle returns, he protects her by fighting Gaston. So because these two would protect each other, it makes them such a beautiful couple.


Can you think of other courageous characters I did not put on this list?


Excitement in Musicals

Poem of Excitement in Musicals:

Strongest emotion when younger

Never really changed

Exactly the same as always

An emotion found in many ways

Found in experience and in show

The world of dance and spectacle

So comes with wow factor

Due to fancy tricks and dancing

But not always with dance and spectacle

Makes experience stronger

So allows all emotion to be worth it

Excitement in experience

Allows for positive experience

Not a negative one


Love Musical Songs: Not Just Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I decided to write a list of love musical songs. I did this kind of post on Sunday, but this time will have romantic song along with any sort of love. Once again, I will bring up unrequited love or breakup songs.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Santa Fe (Prologue)- this song highlights the intimate and special bond found between Jack and Crtuchie. It highlights their friendship really well and shows that they are best friends.


Carrying the Banner (just any group number really)- Carrying the Banner really highlights the friendship and brotherly love all the Newsies have for each other. It is the first time you notice their bond. But than again any group number shows their relationship, but is the strongest when Jack is there since he is the leader of all the Newsies.


Something to Believe In- this is the romantic duet between Jack and Katherine. There is just something beautiful song that just pulls you into and makes you love the two. They are perfect for one another. There is just something magical about Disney love songs.


For Good- this song is the most emotional song in Wicked. It really shows just how much Elphaba and Glinda mean to each other. It shows just how special their bond is. They are best friends who have changed each other for the better. The friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda is the very core of the musical.


As Long As Your’e Mine- this is the romantic song from the musical. Elphaba and Fiyero’s love for each other is unexpected. This song really shows just how much these two have matured. Elphaba had unrequited love for Fiyero at the beginning of act I and somehow ended up with Fiyero. In act II, Fiyero was able to notice that he does truly have romantic feelings for Elphaba.


I’m Not That Girl- This is an unrequited love song that Elphaba sings. She literally sings it right after finding out she is falling in love with Fiyero. She accepts her situation right away and I don’t blame her since Glinda is her best friend. Her love for Fiyero isn’t that strong at that point.


Suddenly- this is the original song from the movie of Les Misérables. It highlights Jean Valjean’s love for Cosette. This is the first time Jean Valjean has become a father. He never thought he would be a father. But when he had to become a father after her mother dies, he had no idea just how much impact Cosette will have in his life.


On My Own- this is the 2nd unrequited love song on this post. This is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius. Eponine’s continually shows true love towards Marius. She will risk her life several times to make sure Marius is safe and happy. On My Own highlights her life outside of Marius and just how strong her love for Marius is.


A Heart Full of Love- this song beautifully conveys the love triangle. It mostly is a duet between Marius and Cosette, but towards the end Eponine joins in making you want to feel for all three of them.

Drink With Me- I couldn’t decide what song best represents the students in Les Mis. They have this beautiful friendship. It reminds me of the friendship found between the Newsies. This in particular shows the vulnerable side of their relationship. They are just showing their love for each other in such a special way. By this point, they know they are going to fail and know they will most likely die and are wondering would their loved ones remember them. But there is something about this song that shows the vulnerable side of the students.


A Little Fall of Rain- I wanted to somehow express the friendship found between Eponine and Marius. For whatever reason, Eponine’s death came to mind. It shows just how much Marius loves Eponine as a friend and shows that he does care about her. Eponine loves Marius unrequitedly and she recently took a bullet for him and that is why she is dying. But for whatever reason, this does highlight their friendship. Marius is extremely devastated in this scene, but still shows Eponine compassion by never leaving her side and stays brave for her. If Marius was never kind to her, Eponine’s life would be much darker and she never would have fallen in love with him. It is weird how I would pick this song in particular to represent their friendship, but for whatever reason it works.


All I Ask of You- this is such a gorgeous duet showing the love of Raoul and Christine perfectly. It shows how much they love each and how they are perfect for each other.


All I Ask of You (Reprise)- Yes brought up another unrequited love song. This shows the unrequited love that Phantom has. It shows us how hurt he is, but he can’t seem to accept the situation. This song makes you feel sorry for him, but is not enough to forgive him for all the harm he has caused.


If I Can’t Love Her/Evermore- these two songs are very similar to each other. The Beast knows that if Belle doesn’t love her, he will be cursed to stay a beast forever. In If I Can’t Love Her, he has no idea if he will love Belle or not, but he has softened up but when he sings the song for a second time, he has already fallen in love with Belle but has no idea if Belle loves him. He has made the ultimate sacrifice by letting Belle go. Evermore is very similar to If I Can’t love her in many ways. It carries the same kind of heartbreak and proves that he does love Belle and will always keep him in his heart.


No Matter What- this highlights the love Belle and Maurice have for each other.


Beauty and the Beast- this is the moment where you realize the two have fallen in love.


Something There- this is when Beast and Belle start to notice they have feelings for each, but the two have no idea it will turn into them falling in love. But it is one of the first steps to the two fallen in love.


Some Enchanted Evening- this is one of the most romantic numbers in musical theatre. Emelie is singing about his love for Nellie.

This Nearly Was Mine- at this point Nellie has broken in love with Emelie. So Emelie feels heartbroken. I feel like the emotions associated with breakup are similar to those found in unrequited love.


Younger Than Springtime- as excepted, Rogers and Hammerstein musicals tend to have two romances. The second relationship in South Pacific is found between Liat and Joe Cable. The result ends up being tragic. But Younger Than Springtime highlights their love for each other. They accept each other, but little do they know it will eventually have tragic results.


Something Good- this song is so beautiful and really shows the love the Captain and Maria have for each other.


Sixteen Going on Seventeen- once again Rogers and Hammerstein go with the double couple route. This song is between Lisel and Rolf and shows their relationship.


I Should Tell You- this is the moment where Roger is willing to be in a relationship with Mimi. He struggles with wanting to be in a relationship with Mimi due to what happened in his last relationship. But he finally wants to be in a relationship with Mimi. This song perfectly highlights their love for each other. While they may not be a perfect couple, they are a realistic couple. Both of these two have HIV, which makes their relationship difficult at times.


I’ll Cover You- just like Roger and Mimi, these two have HIV. But knowing they are both going to die, they make the most of their relationship.


Till There Was You- this song brings an emotional element into Music Man. Marian helps Harold Hill become a better person. They finally are able to express their love for each other in this song.


Can You Feel the Love Tonight- just like Something to Believe In and Beauty and the Beast, there is something magic about this love song that pulls you in.


A Whole New World- like already mentioned on this post, A Whole New World is another magical Disney love song.


Finale B- I had no clue how to express their friendship that well. But I feel like their friendship and bond can easily be shown during Finale B. Previously, Mimi had a near death experience and survived. But this song just highlights their bond in a beautiful way I believe.


As Long As He Needs Me- this is an extremely heartbreaking song. Nancy is in love with Bill Sikes, which is not even close to a healthy relationship. Bill Sikes constantly abuses her, but she never leaves him. As long as Bill needs her, she will stay in a relationship with him. She continues to stand by his side no matter what. This song highlights her love for Bill even though it is too dangerous for her in stay in relationship with him.


Somewhere- yes, I don’t love West Side Story. But I do love Somewhere from the musical. As this musical continues the songs gets sadder and sadder. This is one of the most heartbreaking songs from the musical. After all, West Side Story is based off of Romeo and Juliet. This happens after Bernado and Riff are killed during a massive fight between both gangs. I just really love this song.


So here is wonderful list of what love is like in the musical world. Here showcases love for a friend, romantic love- including breakup and unrequited love song, and familial love. I wish I could have brought up other aspects of love, but couldn’t think of a song to represent it.

Is it Possible to be a Musical Theatre fan and not love every Musical?

This is a fascinating question. Can you be a musical theatre fan and not love every musical? Yes, is is possible because there are so many musicals out there that it is hard to see all of them. Surrounding the Hamilton hype, some of those fans think you are a ‘fake’ musical fan if you do not love Hamilton. That is so not true at all. I am a musical theatre fanatic and don’t have an interest in seeing Hamilton due to the hip-hop or rap nature of the musical. Being a musical fan does not mean loving every musical. It means understanding them and understanding what they are capable of.

After all, this blog proves I am a massive fan of musicals. I have been seeing them since I was a kid and the love was sparked in middle school due to Wicked and turned into a passion due to Les Mis in my first year of college. I may have first began to understand the emotional and complex side of musicals through Wicked, but Les Mis took things a step further.

In a nutshell, musicals are capable of dance, spectacle, complexity, comedy, romance, positive and negative emotions in the score and strong emotional connections. All of those aspects are what musicals are known for. You don’t have to love certain musicals just to be a musical fan such as Hamilton for instance. When I saw both Addams Family, which was about 2011, and La Cage, which was 2012, I did not like any of them. So you see there are musicals that I have seen but have not liked at all.

But if you look at the list of ones I love ranges from Wicked, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Pippin, Music Man, South Pacific, Sound of Music, Annie, Newsies, and Beauty and the Beast. That range really shows a lot of what musicals are capable of and the wide range musical emotions can be and how different musical characters and plot are along with songs. The musicals I love combined are comical, tragic, fulled of dance and spectacle, romance in different ways, filled with different emotional levels, and emotional connections are different. Themes are wide-ranging as well. But what is common about all musicals I love share the same thing in common: the songs I love, the characters I love, the plots I love and the positive experience I have with them.

So why do people feel like to be a ‘true’ musical fan, you have to love Hamilton? Being a ‘true’ musical fan does not mean you have to love every single musical. That is silly in my opinion due to the fact that there are just so many that there is a chance you will come across some musicals you do not love or even like and there is nothing wrong with that. You being a fan of musicals has to start somewhere and mine started quite a long time ago. Musicals are an escape to me and you end up escaping in the world of the characters and their emotions. They have this certain kind of magnet that pulls you in, which is the most effective for those you love. I have proven that I am a massive fan of musicals through this blog and due to listening to musical songs everyday and talking like the characters are real. Songs really are key to me deciding whether or not I love a musical: if I love them, I usually love the musical, but if they are not so good, I usually don’t even love the musical.

What do you think? Can you be a musical theatre fan and not every single musical?

The Magic between Beast and Belle

This is my 2nd Disney couple post I did. Unlike Jack and Katherine, Belle and Beast are more recognizable. The Beast was a bit selfish at the beginning, and as a result, the enchantress put a curse on him to turn him into a beast. It affected everyone living the castle as well. The only way to break the curse was to fall in love with someone else and be loved in return, but had to happen before the last petal falls on an enchanted rose. Beast eventually fell into despair and felt like there was no hope for the curse to be broken.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Belle is only staying at the Beast’s castle because she agreed to take her father’s place after Beast imprisoned Belle’s father so Belle took his place. That moment shows just how brave Belle is. Lumiere and some of the other enchanted objects believe that Belle is the girl to break the curse. Beast acts out sometimes against Belle and has a hard time controlling his temper. So it doesn’t seem likely that Belle is the girl for him.

But one day after Belle leaves Beast’s castle after she went to the West Wing, Beast realizes his mistake. He ends up going after her and protects her from wolves. Beast has softened up a bit at this point. Both Beast and Belle are arguing, and Belle is defiantly not in love with him.


But over time, Beast learns to control his temper. Belle teaches the Beast how to love, and that is part of why he falls in love with Belle. During “Something There”, their relationship starts to blossom. Eventually Beast invites Belle to dinner and a dance in the ballroom. During “Beauty and the Beast”, you finally get to realize that the two have fallen in love. Because of Beast’s love, he lets Belle go after Belle discovers that her father is in trouble. So Beast makes a big sacrifice even though Belle is the one to help break the spell. But back in the town, Gaston and the citizens plan to hurt the Beast and eventually kill him and in that moment, Belle realizes just how much she loves the Beast so she goes back to try and protect the Beast, but what Beast does is protecting Belle. But things turn out okay in the end even though Beast almost dies.

Just like “Something to Believe In” from Newsies, “Beauty and the Beast” pulls you in with this kind of magic. That is part of the beauty of Disney love songs. With Belle and Beast, their love develops over time. That is because Beauty and the Beast is a love story. Belle does not start to fall in love with Beast at first. But when Beast starts to change and learns to love, Belle finally starts to fall in love with him. Yes, Beast imprisoned Belle and loses his temper at Belle at times, but at least he learns to love.