Dealing with the Corona Epidemic

Yes, the Corona Virus is affecting everyone. Yes, it is putting things at halt. It is putting highlights and events either postponed or cancelled. For all of us, it is having us under a lot of stress. We have to find a way to deal with how it is affecting us. That means if it is cancelling church: how do we worship, if it is cancelling anything- how do we still stay true to ourselves. In some ways, it feel like this gigantic stress ball before this enormous final in some way. Well, I have found some ways. Let me bring up some of the things that mean something to me, and how I dealt with them: some of which I only am beginning to realize how to.

Worship

Well, I love going to church whenever I can. Well, church got cancelled. Many people on this blog do know I am a massive musical theatre fan- did you know I love contemporary christian music just as much? The way I am finding my worship through those songs- songs like “Sanctuary”, “Great Are you Lord”, “Fierce”, “Servant Song”, “Power to Redeem”, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”- just a few example. Those are songs I have either discovered through Kanuga (Parish Weekends and Winterlight) or The Gathering- listening to them on Sunday has become my church.

Theatre

There are some theatre plans that have been postponed. Anastasia was going to come to April. In March, I was going to go to the informance to get discount tickets, but it got postponed. Then, North Carolina got put on lockdown- that is now telling me no Anastasia. That was one of my top musicals I wanted to see this year. I have no idea how the virus is going to affect Blumenthal for the rest of the year- there are still two more musicals I want (Frozen: which I already have tickets for) and Wicked). How in the world do I keep that love alive.

Obviously, I have the blog, but how do I keep it alive outside of the blog. Well, there was one time, The Met Opera streamed some of their operas from the past- I watched La Bohème during that time period: that was the one opera I love.

Look: In terms of musicals, I have my Broadway soundtracks, and I have my love for them in my heart. Don’t forget, musicals don’t just exist in live theatre. They are found in movies: I own Les Mis (both the movie and 25th concert), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), My Fair Lady, Singing in the Rain, Frozen—–I even own some of the sequels like Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. Those aren’t the only musicals that my family has-just naming some.

Loaves and Fishes

The distribution of food has changed. Each week this month, it feels like it keeps on changing. So, that confuses me. I just have to remember what we are there for—–that we are making a difference. Two of my gifts I was given are a strong spirit and Outreach- that is why I do so well at Loaves and Fishes. Going there also keeps my worship alive.

March in Review

It is now the beginning of April. March was NOT at all what I wanted it to be. My main highlight I originally wanted did get postponed. So, I will have to try the best to do this March in Review.

La Bohème-Met Opera

Yes, I saw La Bohème in January. However, my family streamed this version. That actually made up for the postponed Anastasia Informance. That was due to my love for theatre and my love for La Bohème.

Blumenthal

What Blumenthal Performing Arts began doing was giving us clues to the 2020/2021 season. I always look forward to that moment.

Past Characters I Created

I thought for fun to talk about some of the characters I previously created. As in—-before I created this blog and before I had the three book ideas. They are characters that actually come from my childhood. I actually was a storyteller and at times was told to write my stories down. I think that does connect to why I love musicals. Some of those characters—-I still remember.

Super Meg

Literally, I made up a superhero and named her after me. However, she wasn’t a character as in book character. She had super speed and super strength. She does have a blue cape that has a white bunny on it- that was based on the blanket I put on myself when I became Super Meg. She actually was how I saw Harry Potter for the first- I put the cape on.

Meg and Emma Family

They have a family- so put them here. Now let me bring up the entire family.

Meg: 2nd grade superhero; twin. Their bedroom is at the basement of their house.

Emma: 2nd grade superhero; twin to Meg. They share the same bedroom

Benny: One of their younger brothers

Chris: The other younger brother.

  • I know Meg and Emma have two younger brothers, and at least one of them is adopted.

Pad: Yes, I named their 16 year old sister a strange name. I was quite young at the time.

Outside of family

Kit: She is their best friend

The characters from Meg and Emma are the most memorable to me- something tells me those are the stories I told the most.

If I was to recreate Meg and Emma, I would recreate some things. As in, I might need to do some name changes, etc—now that I know more about writing a book.

Beauty and the Beast- Song

Today, we have another Disney song. Just like A Whole New World, it has that same kind of feeling. What is it about them? They seem to carry this special kind of nature about them. They have this sort of innocence and magic- you can easily become attached to them. Just like A Whole New World, I was drawn to the song since childhood. It is my favorite song from the musical, Beauty and the Beast.

Live action film of Beauty and the Beast- Beauty and the Beast Song: Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson)
Beauty and the Beast

In simple terms, Beast is a prince disguised as a Beast and Belle is prisoner in his castle after taking her father’s place. The spell at the castle can only be broken if the Beast falls in love and be loved in return. It took some time, but eventually Belle and Beast fall in love- “Something There” was when you start to notice they do have feelings for each. It is officially at “Beauty and the Beast” where you know for a fact that they have fallen in love. There is something about the combo of song and the dance that makes it so magical to watch- the past couple of times, I saw the live action film, I found myself crying during “Beauty and the Beast”. I usually do not tear up during happy numbers- but this one did- truly a wonderful moment to witness.

Tragedies- The Struggle

I think when the genre of tragedy is introduced, I think it is very easy to fall into the exact same trap that I fell into. It is easy to see them as just a pure sad genre. I think is why it is easy to say “I will NEVER love a tragedy”. While tragedies have to be heartbreaking and sad, you need to fully understand them to be able to love them. What I am trying to say is that tragedies are more than being sad and heartbreak. They have “catharsis”- that feeling of hope and relief that you just went through all of that heartbreak and pain. If you do not at least have something at the end- that “catharsis”- you failed- it has always been part of tragedies- ever since the genre was created.

I still had to learn the hard way- by watching a musical film not once but twice. That’s right, I had to see Les Mis two times. The first time, I mistakenly (unknowingly) called the musical TOO DEPRESSING. The 2nd time, I did not use those two words- I felt uplifted at the end, and I was shocked- literally, I had just seen a tragedy and I felt uplifted. I wanted to know WHY. So it turned out my 2nd time of seeing the Les Mis film made me fall in love with the musical. As I dug into Les Mis- I found the answer I was looking for: Les Mis’ spiritual themes: love, compassion, hope, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption: that was why it was inspiring and why I felt uplifted. You still need to understand where those moments are- that is where you need to examine the characters more closely. In a short period of time (which is uncommon), I knew an amazing amount about Les Mis-usually all of that takes at least five years. The ending lyrics of Les Mis are “tomorrow comes” and its most well-know lyrics (the ones a lot of people think of) are “to love another person is to see the face of God”- I think that say a lot.

So, there are still things that all tragedies require. All of them require heartbreak, grief, and pain. They all require the tragic hero, and that the tragic hero must have some tragic flaw that will eventually lead them to their demise. They all require ultimately the catharsis. For me, I want tragedies to at least have something to give you a break- comic relief for instance.

1800s Shows- Part Two

Yesterday’s post did make mention of musicals and operas that I do love that take place during the 1800s. As the day went by, I realized I left one off-one that I shouldn’t have overlooked.

Oliver

How in the world could I have overlooked that Oliver was set in the 1800s? I knew the book, Oliver Twist, was set in the 1800s due to being written by Charles Dickens. The musical, Oliver, is based off of the book, Oliver Twist. Literally, this was one that I never should have forgotten was an 1800s musical. I like Oliver as a musical—I did see it once on stage (which I forgot) and did see the movie musical.

From the fun numbers like “Consider Yourself” to the eventual heartbreaking “As Long As He Needs Me”- it has a mixture of emotions. It has a strong story, a fun cast of characters, and fun dance numbers. It is actually one of those classic musicals that needs to be seen. It is classic in two ways: 1) for being a classic musical and 2) the book itself is a classic. So you would be exposed to be a classic novel by the musical.

Most of the 1800s shows I can think of are French- but only two are not. To summarize yesterday (including today): Les Mis, La Bohème, Oliver, Phantom of the Opera, and Newsies.

La Bohème Review

Yes, I am at heart a musical theatre fan. There are moments where you want to see something else. One of the musicals I fell in love with was Rent. Not only is Rent one of my favorite and meaningful musicals-it led me to wanting to see something else. I soon learned that Rent was based off of the tragic opera, La Bohème. Ever since, I wanted to see that Opera- yes, you saw that right- someone who loves musicals really wanted to see an Opera.

Opera Carolina does use Blumenthal Performing Arts, and this year, they decided to do La Bohème. When I found out about that, I know what I was thinking. While I still wanted to see the musicals, I still wanted to see La Bohème- that was something that felt like forever. La Bohème is the tragic love story between Rodolfo and Mimi.

Cast:

Adam Smith: Rodolfo

Stefanna Kybalova: Mimi

Peter Morgan: Colline

Keith Harris: Schaunard

Giovanni Guagliardo: Marcello

Corey Raquel Lovelace: Musetta

Songs-Spoilers (even though expected)

When it comes to the La Bohéme songs, the ones I loved the most were the ones that Mimi and Rodolfo sang. No joke- after all, they are the main couple, and it is their story after all. These two truly do love each other, and that is strongly expressed in their songs; even in the end. I nearly almost lost it in the end right when Rodolfo knew Mimi was dead- seriously, I did. I literally did not want it to end that way- I wanted them to stay together-their songs truly made me not want to end like that. Tragic love stories are rough.

Storyline

Like any storyline, it needs to be one you need to stay invested in. La Bohème’s works. There are the emotions of grief, pain, and heartbreak. There are moments of comic relief- one of which comes at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. Literally, Rodolfo, Colline, Schunard, and Marcello were having a happy time in their apartment right before Mimi arrives dying (Musetta arrives too). So- just the right time. What I love about the ending (despite taking forever)- is that at least Mimi dies with Rodolfo by her side. These two truly did love each other despite some complications- that is a HUGE reason why I love their relationship and this storyline.

Acting

For some reason, which was good, I was most attached to Adam and Stefanna- the Rodolfo and Mimi. That was probably why I wanted Rodolfo and Mimi’s relationship to not fail despite knowing it was to be. Out of everyone in the group, Mimi is the most vulnerable and fragile. Literally at the end, Rodolfo was extremely devastated- I could see it, and I literally nearly lost it.

Sets

Well, each act; which was four acts to my surprise. Each act ended up being a completely different set- that was why those all of those acts. I loved all of them from the loft where Rodolfo and his friends life; the market; and outside of where Musetta lives. You actually can see it snow.

Overall Impression:

Okay, I love La Bohéme. Beautiful love story- what I love is while it mainly is a tragic love story is that there is a second that is lighter in nature. My favorite Opera. Here’s what I can say: tragic operas are not the same as tragic musicals. Only saying that due to operas’ reputation for being tragic.

For some reason- I feel like tragic love stories can be more difficult than a typical tragedy see unfold. Especially if you have fallen in love with the couple and the story itself.