What am I Looking For in a Musical Cast

So, I have never talked about on this blog what exactly do I want in a musical cast.

For me, that honestly depends on the musical. Some musicals require cast members to be incredible at dancing such as Newsies. Some musicals require a cast that is entertaining such as Music Man. But all musical casts need to be able to bring out the emotion in the show, which varies from show to show. Some shows just have positive emotions so you need to see that in the cast, but the only time the negative emotions will be there will be the speaking moments. Then there are the casts that need to be able to bring out both positive and negative emotions in the score. Shows like Wicked, Newsies, Les Mis, and Rent need to be able to show positive and negative emotions when it comes to the songs.

What I am saying is that a musical cast needs to show the audience the nature of the musical. Les Mis for instance needs to be home to an epic, passionate, and powerful cast that can tackle its wide range of emotions. Newsies being a dance heavy show needs a cast that will be excellent at dance and to me the dance in that show is mind-blowing. The Wicked cast needs an Elphaba and Glinda where the friendship is really strong and Fiyero plays a role in their relationship. You need to show what the musical is. I just want a cast that will impress me and that can tell the story quite well. I also need a cast that works well together.

What are you looking for in a musical cast?

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My View on Tragedy in Literature

I decided to talk about my view on the genre of tragedy. I will start by talking about my high school view of tragedy and then talk about my college view of the genre.

My high school view of tragedy was very negative. It was when I first discovered the genre when it comes to theatre. When I heard the word tragedy, I automatically assumed the genre was pure sad and nothing else. So each time I knew we were reading a tragedy in high school, I ignored it and told myself tragedy does not belong in theatre and told myself I will never love a tragic show.

My college view of tragedy has this kind of split view. In a way, I have a negative view of the genre, but at the same time have a positive view of the genre. It was December of 2012 when I saw the movie of Les Misérables for the first time not knowing it was going to be tragic. So while watching after the first death, I realized Les Mis was a tragedy and I was like tragedies do not belong in musicals. I did not know how to respond so I was quite shocked and confused that I wasn’t paying fully attention. By the end of the movie, I had no clue if I liked it or not, but started researching the musical anyway.

Then 2013 comes along and I decided to watch that movie musical a second time. That was when I realized there was something special about Les Mis. I was able to calm down and tell myself that it is a good musical. I honestly wanted to know why it made me feel uplifted so I dug even further and finally found the answer. I realized it was a tale of hope, compassion, forgiveness, love, humanity, sacrifice and redemption. I realized tragedies are not pure sad like I once believed. But instead can be filled with so much joy and hope. So after telling myself I will never love a tragedy,  Les Mis proved me wrong. Another sad musical I love is Rent and it has this incredible message of living in the moment and living your lives in love.

maxresdefaultSo where does this negative view of tragedy come from? Well, I can be very particular of the genre. Some sad movies and plays are pure sad and those are the kind of movies and shows I do not want to watch. I had one very bad experience with a sad play. I saw #8 in Spring of 2015, which I was required to watch. It was a play about the Holocaust and a  family winning a lottery to escape through a truck. But I was way too uncomfortable watching it that I wanted to leave. They showed pictures from the camps, the ushers were dressed as Nazis. It just was too much to handle and I do not want sad shows to be pure sad and just not have a break. I was so uncomfortable that I wanted to leave after act I, but I had to stay. The second act made it hurt even more. By the end, I called my mom right away and I was crying. So my negative view comes from the fact that I am not that much of a tragedy fan and can be particular about which ones I watch.

Musical Characters and Adjectives to Describe Them

Today, I decided to write a list of musical characters I love with adjectives describing. Some of the characters I love I don’t exactly know some of the adjectives that describe who they are.

  1. Elphaba- complex, strong, brave, loyal, big-hearted, unique, smart, determined
  2. Glinda- funny, loyal, strong
  3. Fiyero-complex
  4. Jean Valjean-complex, angered, harsh, hateful- strong, compassionate, saintlike
  5. Fantine- loving
  6. Eponine- complex, brave, loyal, strong, unloved, heartbroken, lonely
  7. Enjolras- passionate, courageous
  8. Gavroche- heroic
  9. Students of the ABC- passionate, courageous
  10. Jack- protective, courageous, complex
  11. Crutchie- passionate, unique
  12. Newsies- courageous, passionate
  13. Annie- optimistic
  14. Belle- bookworm, courageous
  15. Beast- complex
  16. Maria (Sound of Music)- loving

It seems that a lot of these seem to have a pattern. A good chunk of them I am listed as either complex or courageous. I wish I could put more characters on this list, but cannot seem to think of adjectives for them.

What are some adjectives that describe some of your favorite character?

Posters and Paintings in my Room

In my room at college, I have posters of Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Pippin and two paintings with quotes from Les Mis. I love all four musicals and they all bring something unique to the musical world. In this post I will talk about why I love each of these musicals.

Wicked- this was the musical of the four that I have loved the longest. It has been part of my for eleven years and was the first musical I saw on Broadway. Everything about this musical feels Ozian. The dancing, the spectacle, the songs, character names all feel Ozian. Now I love the musical for the dance, spectacle, songs, characters, and story. The center core of Wicked is friendship, which is between Elphaba and Glinda and then on top of that there is the complex, mature, and strong love triangle where the two best friends are involved, who are both in love with Fiyero. These three characters are the characters I find the biggest emotional connection to.

I have such a strong emotional connection to Wicked. I began to understand the emotional nature through Wicked. So Wicked has changed me for the better and sparked my love for musicals.

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Phantom of the Opera- I first heard the songs in 2013, but did not see the musical until 2014. I find this musical to be both haunting and beautiful. The plot is basically a dark and mysterious and beautiful love triangle between the Phantom, Raoul, and Christine. Its songs are gorgeous and is spellbinding and when I saw it for the first time, I was choked up. Raoul and Christine make up such a beautiful couple, which is part of the reason why I love both of them. What makes the Phantom so interesting is that he is so mysterious and dark.

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Pippin- I first saw this musical two years ago. It was “Corner of the Sky” that got me interested in seeing the musical. This musical uses circus elements for the spectacle and that is one reason why it is unique. Like Wicked, it is a Stephen Swartz musical so it has an incredible score. Its antagonist, the Leading Player, is the narrator of the piece, which is interesting and she is such an intriguing characters because she is so crafty, manipulative, dark and at times playful. She is even more intriguing then the protagonist, Pippin, who is trying to find where he belongs.

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Les Mis- there is lots to say when it comes to this musical, which would turn my love of musicals into a passion. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and yes, I already discovered the emotion of sad before Les Mis, but this musical brought me to the emotion of heartbreak. It has an emotional nature that is so powerful that it is so hard to describe its capability level. This story feels so human so I find the center core of this musical to be about humanity. Its score is brilliant and well-crafted and reduces me to tears. Its characters are so complex and incredible, which range from the ex-convict and compassionate Jean Valjean, the obsessive and strict Javert, the loving and tragic Fantine, the innocent Cosette, the sweet, revolutionary and romantic Marius, the brave and loyal Eponine, the greedy and neglectful Thenardiers, and the passionate Enjolras . There are so many ways I love this musical.

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But what do all four of these have in common? For starters, the most obvious is that they have songs I love, which is the first step to loving a musical. Found within the story is a romance aspects-only one of them does not have a love triangle, which is Pippin. They all share the emotions of excitement, love, and joy. It is amazing how varied their plots and characters and songs are. One of them has a score that feel Ozian, one has a score that is so haunting and beautiful and the other one has a passionate, epic and powerful score.

My Weekend in Review

I decided to talk about this past weekend. The reason why is because I have been so busy this weekend. I will talk about each day separately.

Friday: I had three classes, which were Deviant Behavior, which I had a test in, Geology, and The Community. But the real fun wasn’t until 9:00 at night. I got to watch the live Beauty and the Beast movie on the QUAD. I got to watch it on a blanket and there was popcorn. Due to captions being up, I got to sing along to the songs. I still love this movie and hope to own it.

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Saturday: Part of the day was spent studying. For lunch, I ended up going to a Mexican restaurant with one of my best friends. But for dinner, I went to her suite and had some Lasagna before heading out to a football game and saw it with other friends. I am not a big fan of watching football games, but glad I went and stayed for only the first half and the halftime show. I ended up getting cookie dough Dippin Dots.

Sunday: in the morning, I went to a worship service that Gardner Webb had at their Dover Chapel. Glad I went to that. I also spent part of the day studying and just spending time with suite-mates. Then later that night, I went to Bingo at the suites. I ended up getting an unlucky set of cards because I did not win anything, but it was still fun. But the most inconvenient thing that happened that night was that after going to bed around 11:30, the fire alarm went off around midnight-oh well.

So it turns out, that this weekend was filled with fun. One of my main goals of this Senior Year was to make the most of it. I have other fun weekend coming up. This coming weekend I am volunteering at Miracle Hill, a homeless shelter to serve lunch with my club. The following weekend, I am going home to Charlotte to see Rent live for the first time with my mom and dad. The weekend after that I am house managing the first show of this year. But on that same weekend on Saturday, I am participating in the homecoming parade and being house manager. Then the first weekend of November, I am going to Greenville with my school to see Les Mis.

Describing Musical Soundtracks

Today, I decided to describe some of my favorite musical soundtracks.

  1. Les Mis- revolutionary, passionate, epic, heart-renching
  2. Wicked- fun, exciting, Ozian
  3. Sound of Music- exciting, heartwarming
  4. Newsies- passionate, exciting, fun
  5. Beauty and the Beast- fun, exciting, magical, romantic, heartwarming
  6. South Pacific- exciting, romantic
  7. Pippin- exciting
  8. Man of La Mancha- hispanic-sounding
  9. Annie- exciting, optimistic
  10. Music Man- fun, exciting, light-hearted
  11. Phantom of the Opera- haunting, romantic, beautiful
  12. Rent- life
  13. Grease- exciting, fun

How would you describe some of your favorite musical soundtracks? Are the words I picked accurate?

Beauty and the Beast on the Quad

Throughout the years at Gardner Webb, they tend to allow students to see movies on the Quad. Yesterday I went because the movie was Beauty and the Beast, the live action one. They showed it at 9:00 at night and they served popcorn and it was a bit chilly. This was the second time I watched the movie and still love it. To see the movie, I ended up bringing a blanket to sit on, which added to how much I loved seeing Beauty and the Beast on the Quad.

During this movie, the captions were up. Because the words were up, I was able to sing along to these funny, romantic, heartfelt songs. The story in Beauty and the Beast is heartfelt and so romantic. You discover that beauty comes from within. It has a beautiful collection of characters ranging from the Beast, Belle, Gaston, LeFou, Maurice, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. So glad I got to experience this movie on the Quad last night.

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