The Nature of the Happiest of Musicals

In today’s post, I will be talking about the happiest of musicals. Even though the best musicals tend to have those negative emotions in the songs, I don’t want all musicals to have those emotions. Some of my favorite musicals are just a collection of positive emotions. Musicals like Singing in the Rain, Mamma Mia and Music Man fit under this category. I love all three of them due to how happy they are.

This does sound a bit misleading because other musicals I love are partly due to the fact that the positive and negative emotions do exist. But the musicals I Just listed are still incredible musicals. I love the songs of all three of those musicals and even love the plots of them as well. You need a nice balance spread throughout all musicals, which is why you need musicals like Mamma Mia, Music Man, and Singing in the Rain in the mix. Those plots just don’t have the need to have those negative emotions. Just by bringing them up, it really shows in a way the wide range that musicals have when it comes to the emotions.

The negative emotions start to exist in happy musicals when the right amount of conflict and complexity enters the plot and the characters. That is when they are necessary, but all three of those musical’s plots don’t have enough complexity or conflict to fit the negative emotions in the plot. The only emotions that all musicals have in common are positive emotions. If the negative emotions were in every single musical,  they would become too overwhelming and everything would be completely off balance.

So I can love musicals that have just positive emotions. I associate musicals with the happy musicals/comedies because most of the musicals I have seen in any sort of way or heard of fit under that category.

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Trusting in the Lord

“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day”

-Psalms 46:5

This quote really shows how much God is part of our lives. It shows that God will not give up. He will help us when we are broken and will help us when we are not. He lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit. Throughout college, I have found ways to help strengthen my spirituality. Every week, I attend our student-led worship service and singing those songs really enter and fill me up with the Holy Spirit. By attending weekly, I am able to develop my strong spirit and you can feel the energy from all the students singing. Sometimes I have to be reminded that God will always be a part of my life and one place I find that is through the sunsets and sunrises that I see. When there is a test, I look up to God and trust Him that I will get through them.

God is highly important to me. He  teaches us the importance of love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. He helps show us the light in the midst of darkness. He helps guide us so that our dreams will come true. He guides us in the midst of trouble and when we are heading in the right direction. Everyone has God-given gifts and we must use them to our advantage. We might feel broken at times, but God will always look over us.

 

Favorite Musical Movies

As everyone on this blog knows by now, I am a huge fan of musicals. The musical movies are how I have seen the most musicals. Listed below are some of my favorite musical movies, which includes non-stage movie musicals.

  1. Les Misérables- favorite current movie musical
  2. Annie- favorite musical in elementary school
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Aladdin
  5. Lion King
  6. Sound of Music
  7. High School Musical
  8. South Pacific
  9. Singin’ In the Rain
  10. Enchanted
  11. Grease
  12. Frozen
  13. Tangled
  14. Mamma Mia
  15. Fiddler on the Roof
  16. White Christmas
  17. Man of La Mancha

What is your favorite musical movie and what are some of your favorites. Many of the ones on this list I have fallen in love with through their movies.

Importance of the Orchestra in a Musical

Before I start this post, I want to say that this blog has reached 150 followers and my goal is to get 500 by the end of the year.

The orchestra is something I have not actually described on this blog yet. The orchestra in my opinion almost seems like a character in a musical. The orchestra actually opens up a musical, which is why the first emotion that I feel is excitement and joy. The opening of a musical is always an overture of sorts. The orchestra gets you all pumped up and ready to feel all the different emotions. The orchestra is one of the biggest reasons why feeling the positive and negative emotions are worth it.

The orchestra is the main driving force of a musical because when the orchestra starts playing, you get excited about listening to another musical number. The melody in a musical is just as important as the lyrics.

I love hearing the orchestra play while an actor is singing because the singing voice and the orchestra are a wonderful mix. Even the melody of a song can explain a lot about the actual emotion of a song. If a song is slow, it tends to be either a sad or heartbreaking or even a love song. If the orchestra starts out slow and than speeds up, the song tends to be an exciting number.

Describing the importance of the orchestra is quite tricky. But the orchestra is just as important as the story, characters, and the songs. The songs are driven through the orchestra.

Core of Musicals

What is at the very core of musicals? What makes them so enjoyable to watch?

Musicals are a very joyful, unique, and emotional world. They know how to make you find pleasure in all the emotions you feel. There are five main emotions, which are excitement, love, joy, sad and heartbreak. But of all of those joy, love, and excitement are the strongest. I am not saying not that negative emotions are worth less than the positive emotions.

Excitement, joy, and love are not just naturally part of a musical itself. They are also part of the actual experience of seeing the musical. I feel like all musicals literally depend on each other. I know why they depend on each other, but even I cannot explain the reason. But I can explain part of why they depend on each other. Growing up, I was just learning about what makes a musical a “musical”. They were a world of comedy, spectacle and dance, an emotional world of excitement, love, joy, and sad, and a world of emotional connections.

Once Wicked entered my life, I began to realize that there is an emotional side to musicals. At that point, it wasn’t just spectacle and dance that mattered to me in a musical. Musicals began to be more about the emotions. By the end of high school, all musicals were still happy and there was still the same four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad. I remember really loving the exciting songs and that is the emotion I remember the most from those years. I associated musicals with songs like “Dancing Through Life”, “Do-Re-Mi” and any song that were like those. So the musicals I grew up with provided a framework for musicals.

Than 2012 came along and musicals  drastically changed. It was December and the moment I saw that Les Mis movie, I was super confused and didn’t know how to respond to a heartbreaking musical. It wasn’t something I was used to and didn’t actually accept the fact that tragic musicals existed that time around. Sometime in March of 2013, I accepted those tragic musicals. Les Mis was how I discovered a fifth main emotion, which was heartbreak. Les Mis’ emotional impact went above and beyond what I thought musical emotions could do. Through the realization of heartbreak, I started to realize that it was much easier to find the darkness and negative emotions of other musicals. So everything I just said sort of explains why all musicals depend on each other.

All of the musicals I call meaningful help shape musicals the best. Whether that is Sound of Music, Annie, Wicked, Newsies, Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin, Les Mis  or even Pippin, they  all shape musicals into what they are. Through their spectacle, dance, comic and tragic moments, wonderful storylines and songs and characters, they all help shape a musical. Their emotional worlds vary a lot and even I cannot explain that.

But even today, I still associate musicals with comedies. The very heart of musicals is why I get so much joy, love, and excitement from watching them. They know how to emotionally connect you and know how to allow you to find pleasure feeling both positive and negative emotions. For me, I sort of feel like the songs are at the heart of a musical even though everything else is also at the heart. But without songs that you appreciate and love, there is no way you can actually enjoy watching a musical. Because musical songs are so story-telling oriented, it allows you to truly care about the characters in a musical. Since different characters sing all the different songs in a musical, I associate songs with different characters. So whenever I listen to a musical song, I am no longer feeling my own emotions, but the actual characters. If you are feeling the characters’ emotions while watching a musical, what exactly are your own?

I still feel like the positive emotions are stronger than the negative emotions. They are in every single musical while the negative emotions are not. The simple shows are more likely to not have the negative emotions due to having less conflict than the complex musicals. The positive emotions are not just naturally part of the musical itself, but they also are coming from yourself.

Those negative emotions can be hard to work with, but I know through experience just how beautiful and wonderful those emotions really are. They are hard to work with because they hurt and that varies a lot as well. It has varying levels of fragility, vulnerability, strength, power, and even those emotions have an epic and heart-wrenching quality to them.

What do you think is at the very core of a musical?

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Little Shop of Horrors Review

This weekend, I have been busy house managing my college’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. The first two nights during the show, I sat in the lobby just listening to the show. From those two nights, I could tell it was a well-done production due to how incredible the singing voices sounded. But last night, actually watched the entire production and I throughly enjoyed it.

Before watching it, I knew about the characters of Seymour and Audrey. I also heard the songs “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Skid Row”, “Grow for Me”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Suddenly Seymour”. I knew that it dealt with a man eating plant and I also knew that this production used four different puppets when it came to the plant.

Possible Spoilers:

The opening of Little Shop of Horrors drew me in right away. Those three singers who open up the show were incredible. Those three had to sound perfect together and in a lot of ways, those characters were sort of like the narrators of the production. The set was very effective and just wonderful.

The cast in this production was incredible. I especially loved the actors who played Audrey and Seymour. They were a wonderful pairing and especially loved during “Suddenly Seymour”. Audrey and Seymour are actually my favorite characters in Little Shop of Horrors. Seymour and Audrey work at Mr.Mushnik’s  Floral Shop and Seymour has a crush on Audrey. “Suddenly Seymour” is the love duet between the two characters and it also is my favorite song from the show.

Orin was very convincing. This is one of the characters that I don’t like. I just don’t like how he treats Audrey and is quite abusive when it comes to her. I even don’t like how he works as a dentist. But, I still loved the acting and singing coming from him.

I loved what the actual plant looked like even though I didn’t love that plant as a character. Its taste for blood and human flesh is bizarre. The most bizarre on-stage deaths I have seen have come from being eaten by this extremely manipulative and very rude plant. In this production, the plant ate Orin, Mr. Mushnik, Audrey, and Seymour. All of the leads were eaten by this plant. Coming in, I basically knew the plant was going eat all of these characters, but that is part of the “fun” of this musical.  I was the least affected by the deaths of Orin and Mr. Mushink. But it was the deaths of Audrey and Seymour that affected me the most because they were my favorite characters. l literally wanted to cry at the death of Audrey. Seymour saw her being eaten by the plant and pulled her out, but she was mortally wounded thanks to the plant. She got to die in the arms of Seymour and I literally had the urge to tear up at that scene. That plant was so particular about what it ate.

Loved seeing how it grew over time. The plant is the reason why the floral shop has had a lot of success. But the voice of the plant was extremely incredible and quite convincing

So overall Little Shop of Horrors is a horror comedy. It was throughly enjoyable. The acting and singing was incredible. It was such an enjoyable experience and loved the choreography. The production picked some of the best puppets for the plant. While Little Shop of Horrors is not a favorite musical of mine, I still think it is a good show. This was actually the first time I ever fully experienced this musical.

Disney Musicals

Disney musicals are a very important part of my life. I grew up with some of the most famous Disney musicals ever. I grew up with musicals like “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin”, and “Lion King”. I also grew up with Disney musicals that are not stage musicals. In middle school, I fell in love with Enchanted, which is my favorite Disney movie. There was a time when I actually sort of forgot how much I loved “Lion King”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”, which made me sort of forget some very important plot points of each and some of their emotions.

The only songs I remembered from those three shows are “A Whole New World”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. I basically forget that some of these had negative emotions found within their songs. Its crazy because by the end of high school, I knew sad was common in musicals, but basically forget which shows that emotion happened to be in, but never forgot it was in Wicked.

Even in the college years, I have fallen in love with newer Disney musicals. I did watch the movies of both “Tangled” and “Frozen”. My dorm room has a bit of a Frozen theme in it. It has a Frozen pillow and a stuffed Olaf and Sven. Recently, I fell in love with the stage version of “Newsies” because it has mind-blowing dance, an incredible score, and memorable characters. I feel like I need to eventually revisit some of the Disney musicals sI grew up with and relearn them and watch them fresh and that is why I hope to see “Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” live again someday.

The Disney musicals are a big reason why most musicals are happy to begin with. If you actually count the non-stage musicals, it makes the happy musicals increase even faster. I may have lost some touch with some of the Disney musicals growing up, but I am so glad I want to revisit them. When I went to Disney World last year with my school for a leadership experience, my love for Disney strengthen. Outside of the leadership classes, we were let loose and allowed to explore the parks without a chaperone. Due to having character meals everyday and experiencing the magic of Disney again, I found more love for Disney. Because of the two leadership classes where we learned more about Disney and went behind the scenes, it made me love Disney more.