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.
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.
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.
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.
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.