There are a LOT of musicals that exist. There is a chance you will find both musicals you love and musicals you don’t like. I decided to talk about the ones I don’t like today.
I saw this at Ovens Auditorium in October 2011. I actually had to do some research to figure out when I saw it. I knew it was in October in the 2nd half of high school-meaning either 11th or 12th grade. Out of all Blumenthal Theaters, Ovens is the biggest. This was the last stage show I saw before entering college. I came away from the theater just thinking it was just weird. There also was a bit of a song complication- as in not good songs.
This is a musical I really don’t want to see. I am not judging it in the same way I used to view tragedies. I am not being close-minded here. One day on television, my mom and I saw some clips from this musical. I was a bit too grossed out. I feel like this musical would be way too dark and grotesque to my taste.
I saw this musical a few days after graduating from Fletcher. That would be in June 2012- still can’t believe that high school ended eight years ago. Fletcher will always mean something to me. La Cage had a song problem- if that happens, that leads to not liking the musical.
Into the Woods
Well, I believe, that the movie was well-done. But did not even like the musical. There were not enough good songs to draw me in.
Porgy and Bess
This was seen in Summer 2014. While I could enjoy it, the songs just didn’t work for me.
Jesus Christ Superstar
I actually saw this on “Shows Must Go On”. I did not really like many of the songs.
Love Never Dies
This musical was one that NEVER should have been made. I love Phantom of the Opera, but it does not deserve a sequel. Love Never Dies made the characters not themselves. Nothing made sense one bit. I never wanted to see this musical, but decided to check it out on “Shows Must Go On”. The Original is perfect just the way it is. There are sequels of other musicals that do much better than this one.
Just because you are a massive musical fan does not mean you have to like every musical. The songs are what make me know if I love it or not- if I don’t like them, then I don’t like the musical. Even plot can play a role: if the plot is terrible, then I defiantly wouldn’t like the musical.
One of the most questioning things during this pandemic is if theater will die or stay alive. I actually believe that after, theater will find a way back.
If you think about it, theater began in Ancient Greece. Since then, there have been other epidemics and pandemics. Each time, theater managed to stay alive. Opera and Plays were the main kind of theater early on. Musicals did not really begin until the 1900s. Musical roots are in comic opera- both comedy and romance are trademarks for the genre. If theater can continue after Ancient Greece, I believe we will still have theater after- plays, operas, musicals, and ballets will find a way back.
Its just means a lot of patience. True, some shows we wanted to see got postponed living many theater fans disappointed and frustrated. Theater is slowly making a way back. Broadway, now, is still black until 2021. Blumenthal, now, is trying to get theater open again as soon as possible: Charlotte’s Blumenthal Performing Arts is a combo of ballet, opera, Broadway Tours, symphonies, and musicians. There is a reason why the word, performing arts, come after Blumenthal: it uses different kinds of performance.
Just because things are dark now does not mean theater will be gone for good. Just not when we want it to. With Blumenthal, saw Come From Away, La Bohème, Aladdin, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Nutcracker, Newsies, Wicked, Rent, Pippin, Sound of Music, Lion King, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Porgy and Bess, La Cage, Addams Family, and Mamma Mia. Did not like all of them, but most.
In Les Mis, there is a reprise of “Do You Hear the People Sing”. Below are the lyrics.
Do You Hear the People Sing
Lost in the Valley of the Night
It is the Music of a People Who are Climbing to the Light
For the Wretched of the Earth
There is a Flame that Never dies
Even the Darkest Night and The Sun Will Rise
They Will Live Again in Freedom in the Garden of the Lord
They Will Walk Behind the Ploughshare
They Will Put away the Sword
The Chain Will be Broken, and All Men Will have their Reward
Will you Join in Our Crusade
Who will Be strong and Stand with Me
Somewhere beyond the Barricade is There a World you Long to See
Do You Hear the People Sing
Say do You hear the Distant drums
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes
Will you join in Our crusade
Who will be Strong and Stand with Me
Somewhere beyond the Barricade is There a world You long to see
Do You Hear the People Sing
Say do You hear the Distant drums
It is the future that bring when tomorrow comes…..
Finale Les Mis
Before this reprise, Jean Valjean (the main character) dies with Cosette, his adopted daughter and Marius, his now son-in-law. The lyrics “Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise” is extremely relevant now. Those lyrics are similar to the bible verse: “Those who have Walked in Darkness have seen a great light”.
Right now, the world is living in the middle of a crisis, the Corona Pandemic. It is a dark time right now due to that. But, there is still hope that they we will get through this. Things we wanted to do got postponed, etc…… That is why those Les Mis lyrics are so relevant today. That reprise, in my opinion, represents heaven. It is filled with hopeful lyrics, and a huge part of why Les Mis is inspiring, uplifting, and hopeful.
Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day in America. I decided for this post to mention places and things that hold some meaning to me. I will try to explain what makes some meaningful.
1. God- He is one of the things that motivated me. My spiritual journey has been incredible, which started at Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center. From Parish Weekends to Thanksgiving to Winterlight. The Gathering at Gardner Webb added to the spiritual journey. The Bristol Pilgrimage was a huge part of the spiritual journey- which was five years ago. The motto that was very helpful at GWU was “Trust the Lord with All your Heart”
2. Gardner Webb University- I knew that I was meant to be at GWU. Filled with a lot of incredible memories. Candy and Critters, Pinterest Night, The Gathering, Hikes, Seeing the tours of Les Mis and Wicked, Skate Night, Campus Civitan (a service club), Glow Zumba, Formal, Disney, etc….. I ended up being a Sociology Major with minors in Theatre and Spanish Cultural Studies.
3. Fletcher- While Fletcher does not mean as much as GWU does, it still is meaningful. I went to Fletcher from 6th-12th grade. Prom, Overnight Trips, Christmas Parties, Middle School Dances, Being part of the yearbook team, book projects, Fall Festival among other memories. One of the biggest things I took away from Fletcher was a piece of advice I was given by one of my English teachers: “Just write, don’t think about it”. That was helpful in papers and eventually the books I am writing. Can’t believe I graduated there eight years ago. My theme song in high school was “Don’t Stop Believing”, which really helped during finals.
3. Musicals- that is pretty obvious. While God and my family may be some of my heroes and role models, musical characters are as well. Musicals have been part of my life since childhood. In three words, I can describe my journey with musicals: family, Wicked, and Les Mis. It was my family that introduced me to both movie and live musicals. Wicked did spark the love while Les Mis changed that love into a passion.
4. My WIPS- as many know by know, I am working on writing three books. The most committed I am working on now is “Tale of the Cattail Forest”. I am still developing Lizzy the Lizard and Greatest Discovery. The picture below does show where my inspiration from “Tale of the Cattail Forest” comes from. It is the same boardwalk next to Fairy Creek. I just was walking on that Greenway with my mom, and right when I saw that location, I thought “Cattail Forest”. “Greatest Discovery”, I think, subconsciously was inspired by NYC, and it also was inspired kinda by the 8th grade girls.
5. This blog
6. My family- they mean a lot to me. We have had a lot of amazing times together.
7. Kanuga- This Episcopalian Conference Center is located in Hendersonville. Ever since I think either 1996 or 1997, I have been going almost year after year. The churches my family went to in Atlanta, Winston Salem, and Charlotte all had Parish Weekends there. It truly was Holy Comforter where I found a special meaning in the place. It was where my spiritual journey really began- that was how I found God. By hiking and singing from 2003-2008 made me realize that God was real. Eventually, my dad I became hiking leaders for the Parish Weekends. Outside of the Parish Weekends, I went there for Thanksgiving and Winterlight (a high school youth conference from Dec. 27th -Jan. 1st). Kanuga is where my love for contemporary christian music came from.
That picture where I look the youngest is actually from my first Kanuga hike. My favorite hiking trail is to Eagle Walk, the hardest and steepest trail. Even hiking to Long Rocks is fun. But now, going to Long Rocks is the only hike to go on. There even is one around the lake- the easiest. During Thanksgiving, I made baskets and my own hiking stick. During Winterlight, everyone sang three times a year, service project, a banquet, and New Year’s Dance.
8. My Family Church- Holy Comforter does mean a lot to me. I love going to church every Sunday. Parish Weekends to Kanuga, The Bristol Pilgrimage, Loaves and Fishes, etc….all connect to the fellowship found there.
8. Charlotte- of course, my hometown is meaningful. My memories at Smithfield and Fletcher are memorable. So are the visits uptown (yes Charlotte calls downtown uptown)- from Belk Theater to Museums, to having lunch with dad, to events like Charlotte Shout, to Central Piedmont Community College (they make musical feel professional). There also are the independent bookstores, mall, places like Amelie’s, The Greenways all make Charlotte a wonderful place. Even places outside of Charlotte like Great Wolf Lodge. Great Wolf Lodge has an incredible Waterpalk and has MagiQuest. This hotel allows parents to relax while kids are playing MagiQuest. In MagiQuest, you have to run up and down stairs to figure out where clues are headed: basically a scavenger hunt where you eventually become a Magi (kinda of like a Witch or Wizard). You have to initially buy a wand and get a small booklet to start.
9. The United States- I was born and raised in America, and still live there today. Love the higher education, how states vary, the fact that there are beaches, lakes, mountains, and forest.
Florida- Florida is a 2nd home to me. Ever since I was born, I have been going to Florida almost every year.
St. Louis- St. Louis also holds a lot of importance. I have going there a number of times. The Fox Theater, Powell Hall, City Museum, City Garden, Busch Stadium and the Arch are incredible places in St. Louis.
NYC- It was only 14 years ago when my mom and I went there alone. We went to places like American Girl, Hersheys, Toys R US, Central Park- zoo, Balto Statue, Natural History Museum. Last but not least, Wicked on Broadway. Little did I know when I stepped foot in Gershwin that Wicked would change me for good. Wicked truly was the beginning of my musical theatre journey. Through Wicked, I discovered emotional connection and the emotional and complex side to musicals. Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda are highly important to me especially Elphaba. To this day, Elphaba is my favorite musical character. Crazy enough, those same places are where the six orphans in Greatest Discovery are going to.
Well, there are both sad books along with those in the theatre world. To me, there is a wrong way and a right way to feel during those type of stories. This will focus on plays, operas, and musicals. Growing up, I was blind to sad musicals and opera, but starting in 9th grade- I discovered tragedies. I actually interpreted them wrong- I was thinking “pure sad”. Now a lot has changed. I can truly show the difference between two sad shows that exist.
I actually saw BOTH #8 and Les Mis the same year. However, there is a HUGE difference. That year was 2015- that was an exciting year. Gardner Webb, Chicago, and the Bristol Pilgrimage happened that year. My family went up two days early to England just to get used to the time difference and to get more out of London. July 30th was exciting in more ways than one: saw Les Mis in The West End, a dream come true. I thought it was incredible that while my mom and I were seeing Les Mis, my dad and sister got their own date. I actually thought it was fitting that I saw Les Mis due to it being Valjean’s spiritual journey, and the next day starting my own.
Well, this show takes place during the Holocaust. Ushers were dressed up as Nazis and you did see pictures from the concentration camps during the show. I was so uncomfortable that I badly wanted to leave the theatre, but couldn’t due to being a required show. It basically felt like watching “Lovely Ladies” for the entire show. I badly hated this show- that is how I don’t want to feel in shows. As being too depressing that you are given a miserable experience.
While heartbreaking like #8, there is still a gigantic difference. Les Mis is actually the musical that made me realize tragedies exist in musical theatre. I was blind to heartbreak and the genre of tragedy growing up. Well, in Les Mis’ case—-you aren’t miserable. It is heartbreaking, but spiritual, uplifting, and inspiring at the same time. It is full of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. Some of those themes are hard to notice, but will be if you look deeper. With a powerful story, characters, and songs, Les Mis is one of the best musicals. It is one of the few musicals that makes me an emotional wreck. But, in a positive way. My emotional connection is so strong that I want to feel the emotions. Now, this is how I want a sad show to be like.
There are big differences when it comes to the pure sad shows and the more inspiring and uplifting shows. Les Mis, La Bohème, and Rent may ALL be heartbreaking, but I am able to hold on due to their positive side. I also can hold on due to an emotional connection. It is easier to bond with inspiring sad shows unlike those that make you feel miserable.