Who is The Leading Player?

I started with a character from Pippin because Pippin is a musical that is rarely talked about on this blog. The only character I can really analyze from that musical is The Leading Player.

The Leading Player is the antagonist and narrator of Pippin. She opens up the musical. She is very crafty, manipulative. and playful. In “Magic to Do”, she is full of surprise and is quite playful but at the same time there is a tad bit of evil in there. But once it transitions to “Glory”, you get an idea of how dark the Leading Player really is. She knows what she wants to do with Pippin, which is quite dark and evil. Even though she knows what she wants do with Pippin, she does not make it clear to the audience making her quite shady.

She is very playful around Pippin making Pippin believe that he can trust her. That allows him to listen to her so she is able to easily manipulative him. Not only does she it make it not that obvious to Pippin, she also makes it that not clear to the audience. So she tricks both the audience and Pippin.

She is this shady, crafty, dark, and playful character and is so intriguing.. Eventually Pippin eventually goes against the Leading Player’s wishes. The Leading Player is so complex. Everything I know about the Leading Player is based off of Lisa Karlin’s just brilliant performance of the Leading Player: when I saw Pippin May 2015 I was much more intrigued with the Leading Player than Pippin and part of that was because of the portrayal.

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2018 Tony Awards

Last night, I watched the 72nd annual Tony Awards. Usually, I am not able to watch the Tony Awards because for the longest time, my family was at the Pops Symphony. So I was so glad I got the chance. I was looking forward to Frozen’s performance the most. I really wasn’t quite familiar with the other new musicals. I knew I would be familiar with some of the revivals. Even though Frozen only was nominated for best musical and best book, I hoped it would win at least one. I love the Tonys because I am able to get exposed to new musicals. I don’t have easy access to New York because I live in North Carolina so the Tonys gives me a introduction to musicals I may not be that familiar with.

The Performances: 

Mean Girls- It did have amazing choreography. Except I did not what to think of the song. It was hard to tell if I actually appreciated the song or not. It was one of the new musicals. I just was trying to figure out why others were loving the musical.

Spongebob– Okay! Here’s the deal, I thought this was not going to make a very good musical at all. I have no idea why. However, the performance was very quirky and the costumes were colorful and they did wonderful with the costumes. I can see why others were loving this musicals. I still don’t think I would want to see this musical, but it was a wonderful performance though and the guy who played Squidward was wonderful.

Frozen– This is what I was looking forward to. It was a combination of “For the First time in Forever” and “Let it Go”. I loved this performance and still just dying to see Frozen. The “Let it Go” portion was magical and love how they were showing Elsa’s magical powers.

Band’s Visit- This musical takes places in Israel and either the two actors got the accent down or the two are from the region. Sometimes it was hard to understand what they were saying. But it was a nice performance.

My Fair Lady– This was one of revivals I was familiar with. It was a combination of “The Rain in Spain”, “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Get me to the Church on Time”.

Carousel– Another revival that I was familiar with.  The song they did took place on a ship, which represented the choreography of the piece. I felt like the song they did was a song that was only on stage but not in the movie. The dancing was wonderful.

Once on This Island- This is the last revival that was nominated. I was not that familiar with with the musical. Throughout the song, I really did not know if I really wanted to ever see this musical eventually or not.

Dear Evan Hansen– The cast of this musical sang one of their songs in memorial of some of the actors, directors and other theater workers who have recently died. I thought that was a nice touch to the Tony Awards.

It was an interesting mix of performances from a wide mix of shows that varied in many different ways.

The Awards: 

The Bands Visit– It dominated many Tony Awards. It won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical. I didn’t really know this musical before. It is a new musical, but I honestly did not know anything about this musical. It was nice getting a snippet through their performance.

Why I Love Man of La Mancha

One musical I never mentioned on this blog is Man of La Mancha. It is one of my favorite musicals. I first discovered the musical when I first heard of the book, Don Quixote. I read Don Quixote summer of 2016. I do not know what semester it was, but I did a project on Don Quixote once and had the class listen to “The Impossible Dream”, the title song.

Man of La Mancha is an underrated musical. It is not that well-known. It is a musical that has the concept of a show within a show. The character of Don Quixote can be a bit confusing as he is a tragicomic character. I love the pairing of the knight-errant, Don Quixote, and his squire, Sancho Panza. The songs sound hispanic and make you believe you are in Spain. My favorite song is “The Impossible Dream”. The other lead character is Aldonza, who Don Quixote believes is Dulcinea. A lot of why I love Man of La Mancha is my love for Hispanic Culture.

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Have you heard of Man of La Mancha?

 

 

Musicals that do not get enough Attention on this Blog

While many people know I love musicals, there are some musicals that do get enough attention on this blog. I will write a list of some of those. I hope that I will spend more time on those musicals and have people get to understand why I love them. Below I will list what they are. Some people actually do that know that I love some of the.

  1. Man of La Mancha
  2. Pippin
  3. Music Man
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. South Pacific
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Fiddler on the Roof
  8. Etc….

I spend a lot more time with musicals like Les Mis and Wicked instead of ones like Man of La Mancha.  I hope I will focus more on the ones I rarely talk about to add much more variety to this blog.

Oklahoma Review

Oh What a Beautiful Morning’

Oh What a Beautiful Day

On May 3rd, my mom and I had our 5th theatre date. We ended up seeing Oklahoma at Central Piedmont Community College. As a college graduate, there is something special about seeing a musical at that school. Six years ago, I graduated from high school. In 2012, I started college at CPCC and saw my first show, Godspell, in September there. Then I saw Les Mis November 2013 and both shows were amazing. So I was well aware that CPCC can make their musicals feel professional. So as a college graduate, it felt like things came full circle by going back to CPCC to see a musical.

Here is my history of Oklahoma. I saw the movie, 2014, during a big snow storm, when class was cancelled for about 4 days, and the movie was leant to us. This was when I was still a student at CPCC. As years went by, I forgot about my opinion of it. Did I love it or did I not? I am glad I finally got to experience it in the theatre, and I knew that CPCC would do a fantastic job at it because they have a strong theatre program.

When the overture started, I could tell they had a wonderful orchestra. The moment I heard Ashton Guthrie as Curly start singing “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'”, I knew there was a talented cast. His Curly showed he had a crush on Laurie throughout act I even though Laurey couldn’t tell if she was in love with him. He was a very strong lead.

Steven Martin as Jud Fry was wonderful. His Jud Fry frightened me a couple of times and that showed he did the role well. He really brought out the abusive side of Jud perfectly especially in act II. But sometimes the costumes were confusing when it comes to Jud. Sometimes I couldn’t tell who he was. I got so used to his first costume that I couldn’t recognize him in his other costumes. That was my only problem.

The entire ensemble along with the other principals werewonderful and brought out and was perfect. Songs like “Oklahoma” and “The Farmer and the Cowmen” were delivered wonderfully by the ensemble. This entire cast made me laugh a couple of times.

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I love the various dances throughout the show. It worked how the actors changed the set pieces as the show continued. The transitions happened through background music. The costumes matched the time period and showed. The wonderful thing about Oklahoma in musical theatre history is that Oklahoma really was the first musical of what we know musicals to be. Oklahoma is a wonderful musical with wonderful songs like “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’, “Surrey With the Fringe on Top”, “Many a New Day”, “People Say Will Say We’re in Love”, “Farmer and Cowman” and of course the anthem, “Oklahoma”.

 

Newsies 1992 Movie VS Newsies Stage Show

I decided to compare and contrast the stage show and say which is better.

Denton or Katherine: 

Denton is the reporter in the 1992 movie and Katherine is the reporter in the stage show. Katherine is the better for the two for my opinion. She gives more female voice in an entire cast of boys, and is Jack’s love interest. Plus, she has an incredible solo, which is “Watch What Happens”. She also is Pultizer’s daughter, which adds to the stakes even better so she helps deepened the story even more.

I prefer Katherine a lot more because she is young and a strong love interest for Jack. Having another female character helps balance out a huge cast of boys even more.

Jack and Crutchie’s Relationship- Should it be there? 

This relationship is only found in the stage show. They have such a personal and intimate found. Jack and Crutchie are best friends who sleep on a rooftop. Jack is very protective of Crutchie knowing just how vulnerable his friend is. I don’t like how this relationship is lacking in the movie. It is shown through “Santa Fe (Prologue)”.

In the movie, it is more Jack and Davey. But I prefer Jack and Crutchie. Jack and Crutchie is the relationship that made me automatically emotionally connected to the musical.

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Relationship Between All the Manhattan Newsies: 

I feel like the relationship found between all the Newsies is even stronger on stage as well. The dancing does help with that aspect among other things. For example, in the movie at the beginning, they do not even have a leader. I feel like there are other things that make their relationship stronger such as stronger dancing.

In the stage show, Jack is already their leader. He becomes an even stronger leader as the story continues.

Brooklyn’s Involvement in the Strike:

I noticed something about the movie. Brooklyn was much more involved in the strike in the movie than the stage show. The stage show and the movie have this big fight and both involve the Manhattan Newsies. In the stage show, the Brooklyn Newsies are not part of the action. Brooklyn isn’t even in the plot quite yet: they are not even in Manhattan yet: they first show up in act II. In the movie, Brooklyn has a much bigger role in the movie. Jack actually visits Brooklyn in the movie and during the big fight, Spot Conlon, the leader of the Brooklyn Newsies, and the rest of the Brooklyn Newsies arrive and help the Manhattan Newsies so they have a bigger involvement in the strike. Just something I noticed.

The versions of Santa Fe: 

Below are two versions of Santa Fe.

Movie: 

In the movie, Jack sings “Santa Fe” as the 2nd song of the movie singing about the hopes of going West to Santa Fe. Later after being sent to the Refuge after being caught by Synder after a Rally, he sings the song again as a reprise, but is instead a song, but wants  to go to Santa Fe more than ever.

Stage Show: 

Santa Fe (Prologue) opens up the show. Like I said earlier when I talked about Jack and Crutchie’s relationship, this song talks about it. This song also brings up the fact that Jack is a dreamer. Just like the movie, it brings up his dream of going West. It is sung again as a solo after a big fight breaks out right after the strike begins and Jack sees all of his brothers getting hurt and Cruthcie getting arrested. This hurts him a great deal, and he sings “Santa Fe” again, but this time as a solo, but not as a reprise like the movie, but an entire song. “Santa Fe” is a sad song due to how hurt Jack is at this moment, and this leads Jack to go through inner conflict. I feel like stage Jack cares much more about his brothers than movie Jack.

Romance: Sarah or Katherine 

Here is the thing about Sarah. I found here just to be there. I found here to be shallow.

I prefer Katherine for Jack Kelly. Katherine is more complex and a lot of why I love Jack and Katherine is because of “Something to Believe In”. Both Jack and Katherine are complex characters. Jack may not seem complex, but he actually is. I think stage complex is much more complex than movie complex.

Identity of Jack: this sounds like an odd one 

Here’s the thing, I watched the movie. It said that Jack Kelly isn’t his real name. Plus that his father is jail and stuff like that.

However none of that stuff is in the stage show. I would rather go with the stage show. I think Jack Kelly is his real name. Don’t forget I have always been a fan of the stage show. I love that Jack is a dreamer and a leader. Another reason why I prefer his identity on stage is because he is also a wonderful drawer and painter on stage. Jack starts the story as an leader and once the strike begins he becomes a stronger leader and when he goes through some inner conflict, he is almost ready to give up, but doesn’t in the end.

Songs: 

Overall, I prefer the songs in the stage show. Even the songs from both the stage show and the movie. Songs like “Seize the Day” for instance are better. They have better lyrics and better energy and longer and more equipped for dance. That is just my opinion. They had to add songs to further develop character such as Pulitzer because he had no songs in the movie. Plus, Katherine was added and they had to add songs for her. Then I loved that they decided to make Jack have a stronger relationship with Crutchie, and they showed that through a song.

Dance: 

Part of why the songs were longer was to add more dance. The songs have dance breaks in them. After all, Newsies became a Broadway show, and that is what happens to Broadway shows. I still love the dancing in the movie, but I prefer watching the dancing in the stage show.

Overall Opinion: 

I am more of a fan of the stage show. There is better development on stage between the Newsies. The romance is much stronger. I love the songs even more because there is more energy, fun, and emotion and more songs. Some of the additional are “Something to Believe in” and “Watch What Happens”.

 

Newsies 1992 Movie Review

Yesterday, I watched the 1992 Newsies movie. I love Newsies a lot, bu the stage show. However, the 1992 movie is somewhat different. It still is about the Newsboy Strike of 1899. It still has Jack Kelly, Davey, Les and Crutchie, but some things are quite different. So I will review this movie. I decided to try not to compare this movie to the stage show.

This movie began with “Carrying the Banner”. By starting with the group, you get to know their relationship very quickly. In some of their songs like “Seize the Day”,  there were lyrics that were different and songs that were much shorter. They were amazing at the dance and singing.

You actually saw the Newsies going straight to Brooklyn. Brooklyn got so much involved in the strike in the movie. In the big fight, Brooklyn helped  the Newsies out. It was interesting seeing how the other districts of New York helped the Manhattan Newsies in the strike. In this movie, Brooklyn helped during the big fight and helped print and pass out the paper during “Once and For All” so Brooklyn had a much more involvement in the strike than in the stage show.

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About Denton, I almost liked him as a reporter. It just was a bit different having a male reporter. It just was interesting seeing the character that Katherine paralleled. Denton was just a hard character to adjust to. I just really didn’t know what to think of him at all.

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I missed the romance that Jack used to have. The romance Jack has here seems to be a bit shallow. The main songs this one has is “Carrying the Banner”, “Santa Fe”, “King of New York”,  and “Once and For All”. For me overall, it was interesting seeing the beginning of where the stage show for Newsies came from. If it wasn’t for this movie, the stage show of Newsies wouldn’t have happened. So I am so thankful that this movie even existed.

Yes, I prefer the stage show and prefer the overall plot along with characters. In addition, I love the lyrics from the songs more. Even though this movie flopped at the box office, at least the dedicated fans allowed it to eventually convince Alan Menken to make it into a stage show.

Next goes more into detail about the differences?