July 2019 in Review

Lake Tahoe was one of the biggest highlights of July. I did not spend time with just my family. It was a trip with cousins as well. Lake Tahoe is on both Nevada and California, two states I never visited. The lake is a beautiful, clear, and multicolored. Most of my time was spent in California. I still got to spend time in Nevada- the main hike was spent in that state, and that was where the M.S. Dixie Cruise began. On the top of Gondola, you quickly can go back and forth between both states. It was a fun vacation.

At the very end of July, I finally saw the “live action” movie of Lion King. I wanted to watch it since I found out about the film. I do love the musical, and that was why I wanted to watch it. I wouldn’t call the film okay- I would call it good. It had a few disappointments- but the rest was well-done.

I wonder what August will bring.

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Lion King (2019) Review

When I found out about the “live action” movie of Lion King, I wanted to see it. Lion King is one of the musicals I love. Lion King would be one of the hardest ones to do- after all, it is a musical where the characters are animals. I already had fallen in love with the live action versions of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Would the same happen with Lion King?

The opening scene, “Circle of Life”, did give me a lot of hope into how well done the rest of the film would be. Those animals and the African Savanah looked “real”. You never could have guessed it. That is one of the best openings to a movie musical.

We all know that scene. I was in tears when Mufasa died. I knew when it was coming. I don’t even remember if that scene affected me that way when I was a child. If it didn’t, I do know I began to feel the emotions in that scene when I saw the stage show last year.

One of the biggest disappointments I have with this film is “Be Prepared”. It is Scar’s number. In both the cartoon and the musical, it actually felt like a intense song meant for a villain. In this movie, it didn’t feel like Scar was actually singing- it was like he was talking all the lines. “Be Prepared” is the main disappointment I had with Scar.

As far as the other main songs go, they were spot on meaning they did not disappoint me. I already said my opinion about “Circle of Life”. There is something special about Disney love songs- it doesn’t seem to matter who sings them- but no matter what, the magic and innocence and nostalgia (if it is a childhood musical) is always there- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” defiantly had that.

In both Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, I loved their original songs, Evermore and Speechless. Lion King’s original song, that belonged to Nala, did not set the bar for me. However, I still thought it was a well-done movie: just a few disappointments.

Favorite Disney Musicals

One of my favorite kinds of musicals are the Disney ones. They fall under two categories- classical and contemporary. For the most part, the start out as film and eventually become stage productions. Here are some of my favorite Disney musicals.

Lion King

  • The memorable opening number makes you fall in love with Lion King quickly. It has memorable characters, and a villain to hate. The costumes, set, and lighting are incredible. You truly see Africa coming to life in front of you. Simba is our protagonist- who is meant to be king, but struggles with who he is after the death of his father, Mufasa. The additional songs are amazing- examples are “They Live in You”, “Shadowland”, and “Endless Light”. They develop character further- which strengthens character.

Newsies

  • This musical is successful, but underrated. It is based off of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. It is a high-energy dance musical. I love that the main cast is male. The brotherly bond that the Newsies share is like family. In addition, I love the intimate and strong bond found between Jack Kelly, the Newsies leader, and Crutchie, the most vulnerable Newsies. It is high-energy in both dance and song. I do love the inclusion of Katherine- it gives the show a female voice and a love interest for Jack. The songs are high-energy and at the same time gets an emotional feel at times.

Beauty and the Beast

  • Tale as Old as Time- we know the story. It is a tale as old as time. The Beast is actually a prince who was transformed into a beast because he was selfish and unkind. The castle was enchanted- everyone who worked there was turned into talking teacups (Chip and Mrs. Potts), a talking candle (Lumiere), etc. The spell could only be broken if the beast could only love another and be loved in return by the time the last petal falls by an enchanted rose. Our protagonist is Belle, an independent, unique, and brave young girl, who takes her father’s place at the castle. It is a tale as old as time. I still have not seen the stage show of Beauty and the Beast- only see the cartoon and the live action movie.

Aladdin

  • This is another classic. It is about street-rat Aladdin, who wants so much more and his love for Jasmine. The magic carpet ride is an iconic part of this musical. I still have yet to see the stage show of Aladdin. In September, I might be able to see the stage show of Aladdin- Blumenthal Performing Arts is bringing Aladdin to Charlotte.

Frozen

  • I already love Frozen. I have loved it since I first saw the animated film. I loved how the true love was through the sisters not through the romance. I did love all the animation and I am not sick and tired of “Let it Go” (I still love that song). I love the characters-except for those characters you are not supposed to. Ever since hearing it was going to be a stage production, I was dying to see it. I did hear some of the new songs, and the ones I heard sound amazing. I have a feeling that I will love Frozen even more once I see the stage show. October 2020: Frozen is touring to Charlotte.

June 2019 in Review

Movies:

Aladdin- I got to see the live action movie of Aladdin this month. Ever since hearing it was going to be a movie, I wanted to see it. I loved it. Ever since last March- I did know Blumenthal was bringing Aladdin to Belk Theater. Aladdin was on my list of shows I wanted to see in person. Seeing the live action movie made me want to see the stage production more than ever. Now- it is even harder to know if I will Aladdin in September or not.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/a-whole-new-world-review/

Tonys:

Tonys– Well, June 9th was Tony’s night. What the Tony’s did was they got be fascinated by a brand new musical. I am now fascinated by Hadestown- a tragic love story, but it is a tragic love story that a myth. I love mythology. I love gods, goddesses, quests, and adventures- reasons why I love mythology. It got be thinking about high school, and what would have happened if I was exposed to a tragic myth- would that have got be interested in tragedies sooner? I am just curious.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/2019-tony-awards/

POPS Symphonies:

Do you know what June means? Symphony in the Park. My family went to two. Star Wars and Broadway all represented the symphonies. Each theme was for a different Sunday. It was with family and friends. It was Broadway that meant the most- I am a musical theatre fanatic after all.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/star-wars-night/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/broadway-night/

Volunteering:

This month was a lot of volunteering. I still did the regular volunteering at Loaves and Fishes on Fridays. In the final week of June, I was a helper at Vacation Bible School for the 1st-3rd grader. So, June had a lot of volunteering in it.

Conclusion:

Let’s see what July does. All I know about July is Lake Tahoe. My family is going to Lake Tahoe to spend time with cousins. Lake Tahoe is on both Nevada and California, two states I haven’t been to. You don’t visit the Western states much if you live on the East like I do.

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?

Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. This post will bring up loving fathers- my father and musical theatre fathers.

I love my dad. We have had created many wonderful adventures together, and some have been shared with my mom and sister. Just like I love my dad, he loves me. At Kanuga Parish Weekends, the two of us have been the hiking leaders. We once had a date to the theater to see Wicked- that was my 3rd time, and I wanted to go to give my dad a chance to see it, but he still gave me the better seat. There was a time my family went to Kanuga for Thanksgiving, and he helped me make a hiking stick. He was among the 72 pilgrims on the Bristol Pilgrimage- that is a lot of pilgrims (which includes the choir). Memories are shared with my family with Kanuga and Bristol (as you can see), but also in Florida and Missouri and other states- family memories.

What about the musical theatre dads? Are there loving dads there? MAJOR SPOILERS

Valjean- whenever I think of dads in musical theatre, my mind hops to Jean Valjean. He had to became a dad in the most unexpected of ways. He adopted Cosette out of compassion to her mother (it was promise he made to Fantine). He promised to Fantine on her deathbed that he would take care of Cosette. Cosette was horribly abused- she needed someone like Valjean in her life. Valjean kept his promise to Fantine- he raised her even though that would not be easy- he was an ex-convict.

Jean Valjean and Young Cosette in the film of Les Misérables (2012)
Jean Valjean and Young Cosette

Mufasa- another incredible father. He is father to Simba. Not only is he an incredible father, but an incredible King, but that time was short-lived thanks to his jealous brother, Scar, who killed him. Mufasa taught Simba life lessons that were important and how to be a good king.

Maurice- everyone in the town calls him crazy, but Belle never saw her father this way. Maurice loved his daughter a lot. He wanted to protect her- he didn’t want to lose her. Yes, I can understand why people of that town would call him crazy- after all raving about a beast and winter in summer-that is unlikely, but it is true what he saw. He wanted people to help him after Belle was taken prisoner. He was a little overprotective-yes, but he just wanted her safe.

Maurice and Belle in the stage show of Beauty and the Beast
Maurice and Belle

What other musical theatre fathers do you love?

A Whole New World- Review

One of the 2019 movies I wanted to see the most was the live action movie of Aladdin. I didn’t want a carbon copy of the cartoon- I wanted to be original. Like Beauty and the Beast, I had to relearn Aladdin in so many ways, but in so many ways I still knew Aladdin. The “Whole New World” is the song that I looked forward to the most.

Aladdin was worth it, and grabbed in you quickly. If a movie grabs you in fast, that does say something.

Songs:

Still has all the songs I know- One Jump Ahead, Friend Like Me, A Whole New World (favorite Aladdin song), Arabian Nights, Prince Ali.

The new song, Speechless, made me love Jasmine more. It was a lovely addition to her character. It made her stronger. I loved that this song was included.

Plot- Spoilers (little or possible spoilers):

This story is basically a story being told- on a ship. There is a slight difference about when Aladdin and Jasmine meet. “One Jump Ahead” usually happens before those characters meet. At the beginning of the story, after “Arabian Nights”- Aladdin and Jasmine meet. So “One Jump Ahead” occurs right after the two of them met. As expected-Aladdin and Jasmine get together.

I don’t remember this at all- but something happened in Aladdin. The Genie and Dalia do fall in love. I saw it happen. I only think of Aladdin and Jasmine- its all because of “A Whole New World”.

I am not going to say the entire plot- still basically the same plot, but a few changes.

Characters:

Aladdin: Mena Massoud

  • How can you not love Aladdin? Yes, street thief, but does he do it for selfish or selfless reasons? He has to survive somehow. There is more to him than being the street rat everyones him to be. It is just him and Abu, his funny and curious monkey. He is clever and does have his flaws. He is loyal when it comes to Abu. You can see that all in Mena’s Aladdin, and he does have an incredible voice as well.

Abu:

  • You can easily fall in love with Abu. It is Aladdin’s monkey pet. Abu is funny and curious, which can get Aladdin in trouble at times. There is no way to dislike him- it is impossible.

Genie: Will Smith

  • Will Smith is defiantly not a terrible Genie. He is an incredible Genie. The Genie is one of the characters I love in Aladdin. I love the magic and charm of the Genie and Will showed that. He was an incredible singer, which I first noticed during “Friend Like Me”.

Jasmine: Naomi Scott

  • Aladdin and Jasmine are one of my favorite Disney couples. Now, I love the two of them even more. I don’t know what it was- did it have something to do with Naomi and Mena or was it because it was live action?”. I don’t know know why. Part of why I loved Naomi as Jasmine had to do with “Speechless”. That song added a strength and complexity to Jasmine I never knew was in her- making her a better princess. In addition, she was able to stand up to Jafar- showing that strength and complexity even further.

Jafar: Marwan Kenzari

  • As expected, don’t like Jafar. Don’t like Iago either- they are connected after all. I don’t know if Marwan seemed like a villain or not- even though he was supposed to- but in some ways it worked. That means, Marwan was hiding the truth to others.

Magic Carpet:

  • Why did I even put Magic Carpet here? Yes, both the cartoon and the live action have the Magic Carpet. In this version, the Magic Carpet actually acted as a character in this version. I loved that was more of a character- I love the use of it. I love it the most during “A Whole New World”, the love song. Still, seeing it play off as character made it have more personality.

Costumes/Set:

Set

  • Together, I loved seeing it. They perfectly created Agrabah in my opinion- from the palace to where Aladdin lived to the market. Even where Jafar banished Aladdin to. The Cave of Wonders- what when you walk in, there is no treasure- so you are wondering what is so “wonder” about that cave? You walk further down, and then you see only see one thing- just one. At the very end- that is where the most treasure is- combo of the gray you just saw and all the treasure- I was expected a lot of golden- and none of the gray I just saw. Does make those though- it is a cave after all, but at the same time full of wonder.

Costumes

  • Beautiful especially Princess Jasmine’s
  • Love Aladdin’s- both of them, but love the Aladdin look the best
  • Beautiful for Genie
  • All of Agrabah
  • It is hard to dislike costumes in their home

After watching this movie, I want to see the stage show more than ever. I still don’t know if I am seeing Aladdin at Belk Theatre in September, but want to. Aladdin is one of my favorite musicals.