2019 Musicals/Play

Well, usually every year on my blog I do a short review of all the musicals I saw. This year it a bit different- I think it is the right year to include one straight play. That list is Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Les Mis, and A Christmas Carol. Why was I allowed to include A Christmas Carol if it was a straight play? That was because of the importance and meaning of it in my life.

Fiddler on the Roof

I fell in love with this musical through the movie. I never thought I would get to see the stage musical. I actually was not expecting this to be my first musical- I thought it would be Miss Saigon. Turns out I was wrong. In the early part of February, my mom and I once again took a vacation alone to St. Louis (Yes, another place) to visit my grandma. So, I would be back at the gorgeous Fox Theater. It was worth everything- seeing a classic to start off the musicals was a great way to begin. Below is a link to the review.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/tradition-fiddler-on-the-roof-review/

Miss Saigon

My first tragedy of this year. I knew I would be crying since I knew my reaction to Les Mis. I knew that those who wrote the music to Les Mis also wrote Miss Saigon. That is exactly why I wanted to see Miss Saigon someday. This time, I was seeing it at Belk Theater. I had such a strong Kim and Chris that I really did not want their relationship to become tragic though I knew it was to be. Yes, I was in tears at times- like expected.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/miss-saigon-review/

Aladdin

I had only seen the cartoon movie and live action movie of Aladdin before seeing it live. Another musical seen at Belk Theater. Ever since hearing about Blumenthal’s 18/19 season, it was Miss Saigon and Aladdin I wanted to see the most. I was not expecting to get emotional in any song- after all Aladdin is a musical comedy. Well, in this production, I got somewhat emotional during “Proud of Your Boy”. Ever since seeing it, I want to own the Original Broadway Soundtrack. Spectacle, comedy, dance, romance, emotional connection.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/a-magic-carpet-ride/

Les Mis

Another Blumenthal Musical, but at Ovens Auditorium. This was actually the 2nd date my mom and I had to Les Mis (the 1st being in the West End). As a matter of, 5/9 of the principal cast were in the principal cast I had in 2017: Josh Davis (Javert), Jillian Butler (Cosette), Joshua Grosso (Marius), Matt Shingledecker (Enjolras), and Allison Guinn (Madame Thenardier). I would have had a sixth, but got an understudy instead- I got an understudy for Nick Cartell (Andrew Maughan was my Valjean that night).

I did get the Fantine I wanted- back in 2017, Mary Kate Moore was nothing more than the 1st cover for Fantine (that was when Melissa Mitchell was the main Fantine)- when Melissa left the cast- well Mary Kate Moore moved up to be the main one. Her story really does show how we should never underestimate understudies.

So, I saw two tragedies this year written by the same team. Two tragedies that reduced me to tears. Les Mis still hit me the hardest- my tears started earlier than “I Dreamed a Dream”- that usually says something because typically that song is where I start tearing up. This was my 6th time seeing Les Mis. For more, look at the review below.

Ovens Auditorium

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/11/04/a-new-revolution-6th/

A Christmas Carol

Yes, I am including a straight play in this mix of musicals. A Christmas Carol holds a lot of importance to me. It has been in my life for a long time- every Christmas season, my family watches the George C. Scott movie. This was the only show I saw at a community theatre (Theatre Charlotte). In many ways, I believe A Christmas Carol could have begun my love for the classics. It truly teaches you what Christmas Spirit is, why you become who are, and that you are capable to change. It does have a lot of nostalgia in it due to how long I have loved it. Its meaning to me is exactly why it can be included- I might prefer musicals, but this story is one that I love.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/12/13/a-christmas-carol-review/

A Christmas Carol Review

Yes, I have seen four musicals this year, but there is one show I saw this year that holds the same kind of importance. That would be the straight play, A Christmas Carol at Theatre Charlotte. As a matter of fact, I do not even remember if I even saw a show there (it is one of Charlotte’s community theaters). Do you know why it holds the same importance as Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, and Les Mis? That is because of the importance of A Christmas Carol in my life. A Christmas Carol entered my life a long time ago when I was either in elementary or middle school- by the George C. Scott movie. It soon became a tradition in my family to watch it every Christmas Season. So, now I would be seeing the stage show of it (I did watch Scrooge, the musical of A Christmas Carol, but do not think I remember a time when I saw watched the straight play. The difference with this show compared to any musical I saw was that my family actually knew one of the cast members- one of the main reasons why we wanted to watch it this year.

My Scrooge was Ron Law. It can be easy to compare him to George C. Scott’s Scrooge, but I did not. I was enjoying him more and more as the play continued. Who was the young Scrooge: Blake Harwood.

You also had Rick Taylor as Jacob Marley, Anna McCarty as Ghost of Christmas Past, Chip Bradley as Ghost of Christmas Present, John Rendlemen as Ghost of Christmas Future, Maxwell Greger as Bob Cratchit, Pearce Stinson as Tiny Tim, and Keyes Miller as Fred.

The ensemble was amazing- from the children to the adults. Literally, when I saw the costumes, it was like they were coming right out of the book. This is a small community theatre we are talking about. The special effects of the fog and the sounds gave the feeling that A Christmas Carol is supposed to when the Spirits come.

Meaning of A Christmas Carol

A couple days ago, I finally got to see the George C. Scott movie of A Christmas Carol. Of all Christmas Movies, that is the main one I hope to see. It is a tradition to actually see it. There is a lot of meaning in the story- what is it exactly?

For one thing- A Christmas Carol does have some nostalgia in it. That is due to the fact that I have loved the story since I was (I believe) either in middle or elementary school. So, it is quite important to my life.

It is also my favorite Charles Dickens’ story- it may be one of his shortest, but my favorite. It truly shows you the spirit of Christmas. The story has a lot of characters to fall in love with: from Scrooge to Tiny Tim; etc……It takes you on this incredible journey- Scrooge can seem can like a protagonist you can strongly dislike, but in reality, he is not. Yes, there are some characters you are around for only a short period of time, but they are important- to explain why Scrooge became the why he is. I love how Christmas Carol shows why people become who they are all the way to showing that you can change. Each of the spirits represent their particular time frame: of the past, present, and the future.

It is hard to explain why I love A Christmas Carol so much. That is what can make a good story- you somehow just know: do you know what I mean?

Christmas Movies I hope to Watch Every Holiday Season

We have our traditions. We have the things we hope to accomplish during the Holiday Season. For me, there are three movies in particular I hope to see- one of which has been watched for several years. What are those movies exactly?

White Christmas

  • While this is a musical movie, I would not watch it all year long. That is because it is holiday movie. It is kinda of hard to describe why I hope to watch this movie every Holiday Season.

Elf

  • This is one of the very few movies that my entire family watches during the Holiday movies. It is such a delight to watch. This might just be my favorite holiday movie if A Christmas Carol did not exist. It also is one of those movies that teaches you what Christmas Spirit is.

A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)

  • Yes, I am a millennial, but of all Holiday movies, this is my favorite. It has been tradition to watch this for a very long time. There is something about A Christmas Carol that strongly drives you in. It truly shows you what Christmas Spirit is. It has an incredible cast of characters (yes, there are a lot). I love Scrooge, Tiny Tim, among others. You truly can feel connected to Scrooge- especially because you see his backstory come to life due to the Ghost of Christmas Past. I love seeing all of the Spirits come to life except the Ghost of Christmas Future (which creeps me out).

Are there any holiday movies you hope to see every Christmas Season?

November 2019 in Review

Now it’s December, and that means it is time to highlight the memories of November.

November 3rd was when I saw Les Mis when my mom. It was my 2nd time with the US Tour, but this time I saw it in Charlotte, my hometown. It did have a similar cast, but the cast was slightly different (both years were home to Josh Davis (Javert), Jillian Butler (Cosette), Joshua Grosso (Marius), Matt Shingledecker), and Allison Guinn (Madame Thenardier). In addition, I saw the musical at a different theater- Ovens Auditorium. The post below explains the show more in detail- I did end up with an understudy for Jean Valjean: It was going to be Nick Cartell, but I got Andrew Maughan instead. The tears flowed, and the laughter was there: that is what I want in Les Mis. So 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 were all the years I saw the stage show of Les Mis: this would make the 6th time I saw the stage show. Well, I am still not sick and tired of the musical.

Ovens Auditorium-Les Mis

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2019/11/04/a-new-revolution-6th/

December:

  • Well, December is a month I always look forward to every single year. The Christmas songs, the lights, the spirit, the decorating, etc…. Christmas is my favorite holiday. My favorite Christmas services are Lessons and Carols and The Candlelight Christmas Eve Service. I may be a millennial, but my favorite holiday movie is A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version), and watching that movie is tradition in my family to watch. I was raised watching A Christmas Carol, and that is where part of my love for the story began- and where much of my love for Charles Dickens came from- a tradition that began quite a long time ago. Just saying- December is one of the most wonderful times of the year.

What is my favorite Christmas Movie?

I am a millennial. Millennials favorite Christmas movies tend to be movies like Elf, Home Alone, or Polar Express. However, my favorite Christmas movie is not any of those. It happens to be A Christmas Carol (George C Scott Version). It has been tradition to watch A Christmas Carol every Christmas Season for as long as I can remember. 

What makes A Christmas Carol my favorite Christmas Movie? It is hard to explain exactly. People do know that I love the classics in terms of books, and A Christmas Carol is one of those classics. It was written by Charles Dickens. It is home to memorable characters and a plot to fall in love with. I love how the spirits teach Scrooge that he needs to change- they show him just how greedy and cold-hearted he has become, and he learns through the true meaning of Christmas. Every spirit is different giving you a different feeling- the Ghost of Christmas Future creeps me out. At the end, Scrooge redeems himself and helps the Cratchit family. 

In terms of characters: I love how Scrooge changes through the story. Who can not fall in love with the Cratchit family especially Tiny Tim, who has so much spirit and hope. There are other characters to fall in love with. 

This movie just shows you the true meaning and value of Christmas. It shows the spirit of Christmas perfectly. There is something about it that makes it my favorite Christmas movie. It has an amazing plot- a good movie has an amazing plot with memorable characters. I love the foreshadowing put into this movie. 

God Bless Us Everyone

Last night, my first day of Christmas Break began. That same night, I watched the movie, “A Christmas Carol”. It is a movie I grew up with and it is also a well known Charles Dickens classic. It is truly a story about redemption and the true meaning of Christmas. Scrooge was a grumpy, greedy and old man at the beginning, but at the end he learned a lesson and become a more compassionate and thoughtful man. In the middle of the night, he was visited by three spirits, who are the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future.

The first spirit showed him why he became to be the man that he is today. Scrooge did not have a very good past and the idea of money and greed took over him. His father was not a very good man and treated Scrooge unfairly. Scrooge fall in love with Belle, but his desire for money made Belle leave him.

The ghost of Christmas present  showed him the houses of Mr. Cratchit, a poor man who works for him and the house of Fred, his nephew. Mr. Cratchit has a crippled young son, Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim has such strong spirit despite his disability and when Scrooge was visited by Ghost of Christmas Present, he learned to have sympathy for Tiny Tim and his family. It showed him the party of Fred and Scrooge never attends his Nephew’s parties, but he was reminded of the love he had for his sister.

But the Ghost of Christmas future is really haunting. This ghost shows him what will happen if some events are not altered. If he does not fix things, Tiny Tim will die and when Scrooge dies, no one will have respect for his death.

Through all of these spirits, Scrooge learned a valuable lesson. He learned to truly celebrate Christmas and he did once call it a humbug. He decided to buy Mr. Cratchit the biggest turkey ever and decided to raise that man’s salary to help his family. He became like a second father to Tiny Tim and Tim did walk again. He decided to be compassionate towards the poor and started donating to help the poor.

While watching Christmas Carol, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. They both wrote classic in the 1800s, which is the time period of Romanticism, a time period where emotions truly mattered. Their stories all have some focus on the poor and both have the theme of redemption. Considering the fact that they wrote in the 1800s, both wrote stories after Revolutionary time period, which means they were living in the aftermath of these Revolutions.

Watching Christmas Carol was a good start to break. That was like a nice transition because today I am going to start to read Dickens’ “Great Expectations”.