Well, originally I did not keep the playbill. So there are some productions where I have no clue who was in my cast. So, which playbills do I actually own. I decided to make a list of them below.
Mamma Mia- 2009
La Cage- June 2012
Godspell- September 2012
Les Mis- CPCC (November 2013)
Phantom of the Opera- May 2014
Annie- December 2014
Music Man- March 2015
Les Mis- West End (July 30th, 2015)
Sound of Music- November 2015
Wicked- January 2016
Newsies- Blumenthal (August 2016)
Rent- September 2017
Les Mis- Greenville (November 5th, 2017)
Grease- June 2018
Newises- CPCC (July 2018)
Lion King- 2018
A Christmas Story- The Musical- December 2018
Fiddler on the Roof- February 2019
Aladdin- September 11th, 2019
Les Mis- November 3rd, 2019
Come From Away- January 2020
Of all of these, I was in culture shock with my West End playbill. In the US, audience members don’t buy the playbill: we are given it at the door. In the West End, you have to buy it: that was total surprise to me. I also wasn’t expecting a big playbill. Below I had to include the movie poster of Mamma Mia because I don’t have a picture of the playbill yet.
So, what playbills are missing- some I know when I saw it.
Lion King/Seussical/Cats- know it was elementary school, but don’t know which year
Wicked- Broadway (August 2006)
Oliver- Summer 2007
Wicked- 2008 (I think)
Addams Family- October 2011
Porgy and Bess- Summer 2014
Scrooge- December 2014
Little Shop of Horrors- February 2017 (I wanted to collect one, but Gardner Webb ran out- so my university did not print out enough playbills), but at least I actually knew some of my actors/actresses
La Bohème- January 2020: here’s the thing, I wanted to keep it, but lost it
So, it really took a long time to want to collect the playbills. Mamma Mia may have been the earliest, but some were left out. So, in the shows I saw growing up, I have no clue who I saw in some of those shows. I really started to collect them in 2012: but even some musicals after that don’t have a playbill. I really try to collect them. My snow-globe collection is just as amazing.
So do you collect playbills? If not, what do you collect?
Blumenthal Performing Arts is home to about seven theaters. Their main theater is Belk Theater. At Belk, you can see operas, musicals, symphonies, and ballet. I saw Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Lion King, Newsies, Pippin, Rent, Come From Away, Mamma Mia, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage at Belk. As for operas and ballet, saw La Bohème and Nutcracker there.
Despite Belk being the main theater, it isn’t even the largest. That really surprised me when I learned that Ovens is actually bigger- Belk may have more levels, but Ovens is wider and deeper. If Ovens didn’t exist, there is a good chance many musicals never would have made it to Charlotte. Ovens is able to host musicals when something is happening at Belk. So Ovens allows for a lot more availability.
While I did not see many musicals at Ovens—–I am glad that Ovens does exist or else none of them might have made it to Blumenthal. I saw Addams Family, A Christmas Story-The Musical, Les Mis, and Wicked at Ovens. Whenever I think of Ovens, I think of Wicked: I was able to catch that musical three times on tour. The latest time I saw Wicked, I was watching it with my school. When I saw Les Mis at Ovens, it was a date with my mom: that was our 2nd date to Les Mis: the 1st was in London.
I did not like ALL the Blumenthal shows I saw, but defiantly liked most. Addams Family, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage were musicals I did not even like.
If you live outside of a place that isn’t well known for musical, there still has to be a way to exposed to musicals. Well, this is when musical movies and filmed stage shows come in handy. In addition, musical movies are one of the easiest ways to fall in love with musicals especially during this crisis. What are some of my recommendations.
Well, the 2012 movie was how I fell in love with Les Mis. What I really loved about this movie is how the actors were singing live on set. It has a combo of film actors and stage actors. Yes, the plot can seem confusing at first or even too heartbreaking. But if you search deeper, you will realize the musical is also uplifting and inspiring. It is the easiest to start with the movie: to get used to the plot and fall in love with the songs.
Phantom of the Opera- 25th Special
Well, I saw both the film and 25th special. The 25th is the actual stage show- as in the Original. You have incredible actors. Les Mis may have the 25th and 10th concert films, but not the best way to start with Les Mis. Phantom of the Opera is hauntingly beautiful- the songs show that.
The Greatest Showman
Even though it is not a stage musical, it still is an incredible movie musical. Hugh Jackman really shines at P.T. Barnum: he actually was better in this role- he was Jean Valjean in the Les Mis movie, but shines a lot more as Barnum. The spectacle, the talent, and the songs together are why I would recommend this musical.
Newsies- The Filmed Stage Show
The stage show is SO much better than the movie. It makes the main character, Jack Kelly, more complex and with the addition of Katherine, you get a strong female voice in a cast that is extremely male-based. The filmed stage show has some Original Cast Members. It also is home to mind-blowing dance.
Sound of Music
If you want to start with Rodgers and Hammerstein, I would recommended Sound of Music. It has the incredible Julie Andrews playing Maria. From its exciting numbers to the heartwarming story about music and family to the incredible batch of characters. If you actually fell in love with this movie, I would recommend heading towards Oklahoma, South Pacific, Cinderella, and King and I. Nothing can go wrong with Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Aladdin- Live Action
Disney is an incredible way to start seeing musicals. What I love about the live action movie is that it actually develops well-loved characters further. With the addition of “Speechless”- it makes Jasmine a much stronger character. The actors who play Jasmine and Aladdin are incredible. It is one of the most magical Disney films.
Beauty and the Beast- Live Action
This is such a magical movie. It really shows how “beauty can from within”. It mostly takes place in a castle with enchanting objects. The dance between Belle and Beast is one of the most magical scenes in Disney. With the addition of “Evermore”, it makes the Beast even more complex.
Rent-Final Broadway Cast Film
Rent is truly a story about how to live life. It is talking about living your life in the moment and in love. It focuses on a life of friends in a year during the HIV/AIDS epidemic . Because this is the Final Broadway Cast, you have an incredible cast. It is extremely relevant to now- considering the crisis we are in the middle.
If you are looking for a feel good story, then Mamma Mia is for you. Based on the songs of ABBA, you have an incredible collection of songs. Played by incredible actors. In addition, if you are looking for another feel good story, I would recommend Singin’ in the Rain as well.
I included a lot of incredible musicals to start with. It has the musicals from the feel good stories to more heartbreaking stories. I also can recommend the musical movies of Oliver, Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof. That is what I have for now.
I fell in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein when I was a child. I fell in love with Sound of Music- it has a wonderful cast of characters, an incredible plot, along with fun and exciting songs. I love more than just Sound of Music- there are other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that I love. Just the others did not get in my life in childhood. I know I fell in love with two more when I was still a student at Central Piedmont Community College. I feel like nothing can really go wrong with this duo. These are Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have seen.
Sound of Music
I already stated I love Sound of Music. Maria is such an incredible protagonist. Julie Andrews was my first Maria. I love the songs from “Do Re Mi”, My Favorite Things”, “Lonely Goatherd”, “Something Good”, “Edelweiss”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and “Sound of Music”. Sound of Music actually was the final musical the duo did together.
This is a musical romance. Like almost all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, there is a double romance. The main story is between Emelie and Nellie, but the subplot is between Liat and Joe Cable. It is weird to think that this musical could almost be a tragedy if the main romance was between Liat and Joe Cable. From “Some Enchanted Evening”, “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Younger than Springtime”, “There is nothing like a Dame”, and “I’ve Got to Wash that Man outta my Hair”. I feel like the antagonist of South Pacific is actually a theme: Racism. Through, “You Got be Carefully Taught”, you realize that you are not born racist, but are taught it: that is something I love about that song. This is a SPOILER: but Joe Cable does die in this musical- that is why if the romances were switched, South Pacific would be a tragedy. But due to being between Emelie and Nellie, South Pacific is a happy musical.
This musical romance also has a double romance. It took be a while to realize this, but this musical is home to two love triangles. Curly and Laurey is what the musical is between, but Jud does add the third thing: but he is the antagonist of Oklahoma. The other love triangle is between Ali Hakim, Ado Annie, and Will Parker. However, these two love triangles are a bit weak: due to two characters fighting in both. However, the couples become who you want them to be: meaning it will end up as Curly and Laurey and Ado Annie and Will Parker. This is noticed through song and through characters. Considering that Jud is abusive, you know you want Curly and Laurey together- Curly does everything he can be with Laurey.
Songs like “Oklahoma”, “Kansas City”, “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”, “People will Say we’re in Love”, and “Oh, What a beautiful Morning”. People think Oklahoma is basically revolving around the dance, but in reality not true. It is about Curly and Laurey’s relationship, Oklahoma becoming a State, and between Ado Annie and Alik Hakim.
I don’t know why this keeps on happening, but for some odd reason I keep on forgetting about their Cinderella. The past Friday, I saw the 1957 televised recording of the musical, which stars Julie Andrews as Cinderella. The only problem with it was that it was way out of sync and has some annoying background noise.
Cinderella become popular through Disney. I love the songs, “My Own Little Corner”, “Impossible”, and “Ten Minutes Ago”. I love Cinderella- as in both Disney adaptions: I really love the live action one with Lily James as Cinderella. If Disney did not create the original Cinderella, it is hard to think that this story wouldn’t have become that famous.
Still, don’t know why I keep on forgetting about this one. I think that might have to do with being associated with Disney. I still love this musical- Rodgers and Hammerstein are extremely good at creating memorable songs.
King and I
I don’t exactly love this musical, but I don’t really dislike it either. I actually can parallel Anna with Maria. They are both strong-willed and called difficult women. They play a similar role: as in one being governess and the other a teacher. Both teach children. King and I still has some songs I love: “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance”, and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”.
Of all Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have been around, Carousel is my least favorite. It has to do with plot and partly due to songs. Like expected, there is a double romance- Bill and Julie, and Carrie and Mr. Snow. Julie and Carrie are best friends. The plot really really confuses me. I keep on forgetting about the songs.
Originally, my parents only wanted to watch Hamilton. So they had to buy Disney Plus. However, there are a lot of movies to pick from: Pixar, Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. We are able to see movies we have not seen for a while, and new ones.
What are some of the new ones?
Homebound Bound: Well, this is a movie I haven’t watched for ages. So it was fun being able to watch it again.
Sword in the Stone: I don’t think I ever saw this movie. It is basically is King Author in animated form. Author in this movie is only a child. This movie basically was cute and fun,
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: I have not seen a lot of the classic Disney princesses lately. I only remember a few things about Snow White. The poison apple, the dwarves, and a few songs. Snow White was one of the earliest Disney princesses that existed.