June 2020 in Review

At the beginning of this month, I had no clue what highlights would exist. I actually did not have any preexisting highlights at are. So, I would wait for them to happen. What were some of those June highlights.

10th Concert of Les Mis

By this point, already seen two concerts of Les Mis- the 25th and the 2019 concert. I could easily find a way to watch both of them, but I did think it wasn’t possible to even watch the 10th. For the 25th, I actually had to rent it on iTune. Then when I first heard about the 2019 concert and discovering I saw a lot of the same actors/actresses before, it literally did feel like I would never watch it. I said that because I don’t live in the UK, but the US. So, after finding out it would come to cinemas in the US, I knew there would be a chance. So, the 2019 concert was my first experience seeing a Les Mis concert in cinemas, and it was my 3rd date with my mom seeing Les mis.

So, in June I finally owned a copy of the 10th concert. Just like the other two concerts, a fantastic version. I got to see some of the original cast members- Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, Micheal Ball as Marius, and Micheal McGuire as Enjolras. I have seen the other actors (most of them) before (one of which never in Les Mis)- due to the 25th, film and 2019 concert- I was able to see Micheal Ball, Lea Salonga, Jenny Galloway, Colm Wilkinson, and I saw Alun Armstrong before, but in Nicholas Nickelby as Squeers. I only heard Judy Kuhn sing as Cosette from the Original Broadway Soundtrack- just not seen her in any production.

So, seeing some of the Original London Actors/Actresses were amazing. Then being able to revisit the West End Production in some scenes brought me back to July 30th, 2015- it has been five years since I saw Les Mis in London. The concert literally at moments showed scenes from that particular production. Colm Wilkinson is now one of my favorite Valjean actors.

Well- fantastic cast of actors/actresses. Seeing Colm as Valjean was such a delight. I NEVER get to see any Original Cast Members due to living in Charlotte, NC, which is far from NYC. That is what was amazing about seeing Micheal Ball as Marius, Alun Armstrong as Thenardier, and Micheal McGuire as Enjolras. Like usual, the most moment I truly was in tears started at “I Dreamed a Dream”, and that is what was amazing about Ruthie Henshall’s Fantine. Here is what I believe about Lea Salonga’s Eponine- she was better as Eponine than Fantine. Saw an abusive and despicable nature about the Thenardiers- something I loved about Alun Armstrong and Jenny Galloway as those characters. Seeing that actually strengthened Eponine, and due to that, you saw their abuse on Young Cosette- the switch that happens between both girls has always intrigued me. Well like all Enjolras actors- incredible.

Thinking of Eponine and Cosette, it is time to bring up Micheal Ball’s Marius- while I couldn’t really believe in act I due to some cuts, I was able to love him in act II. In this concert, those cuts in some ways weakened Marius. But “A Little Fall of Rain’ and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was incredible. I always love seeing how Marius and Eponine play “A Little Fall of Rain’- there are so many ways to portray that scene.

Film Productions of Les Mis I Own

Below is actually a review of the 10th: more in detail.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/10th-anniversary-concert-les-mis/

Call of the Wild

Ever since hearing about the film, I wanted to see it. But could never see it in cinemas due to the pandemic. So I had to really wait still I could see this film. I loved this film. I loved how the animals actually looked “real” and I really love Buck as a character and seeing his development does show. That has to do with seeing his spirit animal show up a couple of times in this movie. Below is my review.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/call-of-the-wild-review/

Florida

Due to the Pandemic, it felt like there was no way to get away from North Carolina. Florida is a 2nd home to me even though I am more of a mountain person. I have been going to Florida almost every year in my life. We couldn’t do everything we usually do thanks to the pandemic, but we still were able to to show ‘old’ and ‘new’ traditions. We still spent time at the beach, and I actually love walking on the beach to find sea glass- I collect sea glass.

I even collect Shark’s Teeth, which my mom is an expert on finding. One of our new traditions is having dinner at CAPS, which is one the Intercoastal Waterway. We wanted a sit outside, and we did—-that restaurant was able to social distance by having tables spread out and having only about a 50% capacity rate. There were less places to sit at CAPS than usual, but at least we still were able to keep that tradition along with visiting the Beach. The Beach my family visits isn’t fully crowded- it is a private beach. We still ate lunch at the pavilion.

At least, Florida happened. I may be a mountain person, but there are some things I love about the beach. Actually what I usually do at the beach has changed a lot throughout the years. It wasn’t until high school or college that I started collecting sea glass and shark’s teeth. In one of Fletcher proms, the theme was casino night, and I came home with a glass cup, which is home to my sea glass. At the top, there is actually a stuffed Falcon, which is Fletch ( the name of my high school mascot). Our mascot works: Fletcher Falcons- it sounds like the two belong together along with name of our mascot. Fletcher may be a small K-12 school, but it still meant a lot to me.

I also visited the Jacksonville Zoo. I saw gorillas, giraffes, elephants, black bears, lots of birds, Komodo Dragon, lions, tigers, and cheetahs- saw more than that. Just can’t remember the names.

Les Mis Collection (Part Six)

Well, this is yet another post of my Les Mis collection. It once again grew. The photo above really shows that it has. With the soundtrack, four tickets to the stage show, a page to screen book, Les Mis colored pencils, two filers (one for CPCC and the other for the West End), five playbills (only one belongs to a production I did not see), two Les Misérables novels, two Les Mis shirts, a book about the first couple of years, a signed souvenir program that was given at a Les Mis party and Eponine. Only most of these make sense- but what about Eponine. I named that stuffed bear, Eponine- look at her brown color scheme, the heart-shaped patches that happen to have stitch marks around- doesn’t that remind you of the character.

Well, I own all of these. The first one I ever bought was the Les Mis film. Then, soon enough owned the 25th concert, and now this year have the 10th concert. Actually that is my 2nd copy of the Les Mis film- wore it out pretty quickly. Love all three- in their own ways.

Well, some of these do seem kind of odd. At the Queen’s Theater, I did end up buying a poster (also bought the playbill and a t-shirt: two things that were see in my massive picture of Les Mis stuff). Well, I do own the Les Mis piano book. When Gardner Webb was advertising to take students to see Les Mis in Greenville, they put up a massive poster-which they eventually gave me. I actually designed my university graduation cap: Les Mis-themed. At a Pinterest Night, I did this theatre-themed painting where I included Eponine. In my 1st semester of GWU, one of the R.A.s on my floor painted me two Les Mis paintings.

My collection truly is a collection that keeps on growing. That does show how much I love Les Mis.

Childhood Musicals- The Importance

There are different phases when it comes to musicals, which it was for me. So far, it was the childhood musicals, middle school/ high school musicals, and the college musicals. Those combined are way I am the musical fan I am today.

Yes, the childhood musicals are the beginning of what I know them to be. After all, it is very hard to not to be exposed musicals after childhood. After all, several of children are exposed to Disney, which makes an amazing chance they will come across a musical at least once in my life time.

While Wicked truly was the beginning of my musical theatre journey, those childhood musicals still made a part in my love for musicals. Due to being born in 1994, I was around the classic Disney musicals: Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Aladdin were the ones I remember the most. It was their main love song that stuck with me the most- I fell in love with “Beauty and the Beast”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “A Whole New World” are a huge reason why I know I saw those musical movies. It was the childhood musicals that made me want to see Dance/Spectacle in musicals, and they started one of the core emotions: the one of excitement.

It wasn’t just Disney musicals I fell in love with in childhood. The ones I remember the most outside of Disney were Annie and Sound of Music. “Tomorrow” and “Edelweiss” are my favorite songs from those musicals. Now that I know of emotional connection in musicals, I now have realized why I loved them and why both of them are meaningful. I was connected to Annie’s optimism- I am also an optimistic person. So without knowing, I already formed an emotional connection with Annie. Just like Annie, I couldn’t figure what the meaning of Sound of Music, but after picking up on emotional connection, I know exactly why it is one of the meaningful musicals- it belonged to family and music. They also formed a role in the foundation of musicals.

I really don’t remember if love was also was an emotion I discovered in elementary school or middle school. While three love songs stuck with me in elementary school, I honestly don’t know if I picked up on love. So, that was a huge reason why I usually say excitement and joy began the first core emotions, and at the time had no idea there were five of them. Some of my childhood musicals had sad or heartbreaking songs, but I honestly had no idea.

There is something about childhood musicals that can’t be expressed in other musicals. After all, when I see them I feel like a child again, and then of course there is the nostalgia. I love all of them more than ever now- now that I am aware of the five core emotions. Those musicals really started the foundation of what I want in a musicals. So, they played a huge part in my journey before the love was sparked.

What do you think makes childhood musicals so special?

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Review

Yesterday, I FINALLY saw Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. I have wanted to see the latest movie in the latest trilogy since Force Awakens came out. I actually became a fan of Star Wars in 2015. I love Star Wars due to the planets, the droids, the creatures, the Jedi, etc….. I even think Star Wars is better than Marvel- I am not joking here.

About the latest trilogy- I fell in love with Rey, the moment I saw her. I did love the fact that they added a female Jedi to the fix, and I think that is part of why I love her. She is the protagonist of this particular trilogy. She actually is my favorite character of Force Awakens, Last Jedi, and Rise of Skywalker. I loved seeing her development.

Now on to the movie: There might be SPOILERS:

The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak bringing the Skywalker saga to its end

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We are back to Poe, BB8, Finn, CC-30 (I always forget the time), Chewy and Rey. They are on this quest on to find this Wayfinder in order to find this hidden talent in order to defeat Palpatine once and for all. It actually was quite intense- filled with plot twist- as in “you can’t do that”- some of the characters you thought were DEAD, but in reality NOT (among other plot twists).

I knew there was going to be a battle between the Residence and the Sith- like usually happens. I literally thought it was going to be a LOST cause on point, but in no way that was going to happen. The Sith were way outnumbered and Rey used a lot of her powers on Palaptine and so did Kylo Ren (who by that point, redeemed himself and changed his name to Ben Solo).

This movie was actually an incredible end to the trilogy. Had no idea how they were going to include Leia in this movie- but the way they worked it out was impressive. What is interesting about the Star Wars movies is that you always seem to be introduced to brand new planets and creatures each time.

The trilogy was actually my first time seeing Star Wars in a movie theater so I loved being able to see the special effects and everything on the BIG SCREEN- not on the small screen like the others.

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.