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/

February 2019 in Review

St. Louis

The first highlight of February was St. Louis. My mom and I went to see my grandma. St. Louis means a lot to me. Part of St. Louis included seeing Fiddler on the Roof at the gorgeous Fox Theatre. I only saw the movie of Fiddler on the Roof, but NEVER the stage show. St. Louis only was long weekend- a lot of the trip was spent inside. Never thought Fiddler on the Roof would start my musical year.

Lord of the Rings Films

Yes, this sounds like a crazy highlight. I fell in love with the series a while back. I wanted to watch the films, but the thing that held me back was the length of the films. This month I finally saw the trilogy- I am so glad I watched all three films. I am glad I did- I now want to own the trilogy films.

Miss Saigon

I did think Miss Saigon would start my musical year- instead it was Fiddler on the Roof. I discovered Miss Saigon through Les Mis- after all the music was written by the same people who brought you Les Mis. The musical made me feel love, joy, uncomfortable, fear, and heartbroken. I ended up forming a strong emotional connection to Kim and Chris- they are now a new musical theatre couple that I fell in love with. Now, there are songs that I keep on listening to. It is a good musical- if it wasn’t for Les Mis, I never would have seen Miss Saigon. I have come a long way since Les Mis.

Contemporary and Classical Musical Theatre- Which one am I (Am I Both?)

One of the most frustrating questions I am asked as a musical theatre fanatic is if I prefer classical musicals over contemporary or vice versa- what happens if you are both. I decided to talk about the question here. I will talk about a number of the musicals I love and the ones I am interested in seeing.

Classical

  • These are musicals people tend to think of that come before the 21st century. I will talk about the ones that I love that come before then.

Music Man

  • I love Music Man for how light-hearted and happy it is. I love its song and plot.

Sound of Music

  • This was and still is a childhood meaningful musical. The songs are fun and very easy to sing along to. Its plot is very easy to fall in love with. Sound of Music is very easy to fall in love with.

South Pacific

  • One of the things that drew me to South Pacific is the fact that it is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Its songs are both fun and emotional. This musical is a romance, and like any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, it focuses on two couples- one of which is more light-hearted and the other of which more serious.

Singing in the Rain

  • I love Singing in the Rain for some of the same reasons why I love Music Man. It has the light-hearted and fun nature. You want musicals like that to help balance out musicals out.

Oliver

  • This is another musical I quite enjoy. It has a collection of fun and emotional songs. I love it when songs in musicals (like South Pacific) are home to positive and negative emotions. Incredible plot- after all, this is based off Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Fiddler on the Roof

  • Like all of these musicals, I love the songs in Fiddler on the Roof.

Annie

  • This musical, like Sound of Music, is a meaningful childhood musical. I have always related to Annie. I think that is why I always loved Annie. Its catchy songs, and its incredible plot are reasons why I love Annie so much.

Les Mis

  • There are several reasons why I love Les Mis. I love how powerful, epic, powerful, and highly emotional it is. I love how so intricate its plot- literally if one thing is out, the entire plot is ruined. The characters are so interconnected that they directly and indirectly impact each others’ lives. Usually in a musical- I know my favorite song, but in Les Mis- there is no way I can pick. Les Mis is the reason why I am passionate about musicals. Les Mis always makes me an emotional wreck- either by songs alone, the film, or the stage show. It disproved many things I thought a musical was growing up.

Phantom of the Opera

  • I love the spellbinding and mysterious nature of Phantom of the Opera. Its’ love triangle is dark, suspenseful, angelic, and beautiful. This musical is hauntingly beautiful in so many ways. I was spellbound and choked up when I saw it.

Beauty and the Beast

  • It is quite an enchanting and magical musical. Its characters are extremely memorable- from Belle to Beast to the enchanted objects. Its songs are extremely energetic, but at the same time there are the more emotional songs at times.

Lion King

  • I love how the animals are created in Lion King. Also love the energetic and emotional nature of the songs in this musical. It has such a memorable plot.

Contemporary

  • Now we are in the more contemporary musicals. It sounds like I love a number of classical musicals- there are other classical musical I love (just gives you an idea). Now we are into the musicals of the 21st century

Mamma Mia

  • Just like Music Man and Singing in the Rain, it has the overall light-hearted nature. I love how fun the numbers are- that is the main reason why I love Mamma Mia.

Wicked

  • Of all the contemporary musicals, Wicked is my favorite. Wicked was responsible for sparking my love for musicals. I love that the two protagonists in Wicked are two strong females. The story is about Elphaba (AKA The Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda’s relationship. Everything- from songs, to costumes (everything) feels OZian. Wicked was the reason why I knew what an emotional connection was; what it meant for a musical theatre character and plot to be complex; and where I learned the emotional side of musicals. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. Wicked is home to my favorite musical theatre love triangle. The only characters I emotionally connected to in Wicked are Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Newsies

  • Newsies is one of the newest musicals of my life. I love the bond all of them share especially the intimate one found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. I love seeing characters who stand up for what they believe in. The dancing I saw in Newsies was mind-blowing. The songs are energetic and emotional.

Frozen

  • While I still haven’t seen the stage show, I still love the musical. It all started with the film- I fell in love with the movie; the plot, the characters (except for some- the bad guys are the ones I did not like), and the songs from the film. When I first heard it was coming to stage, I was excited. I eventually began to listen to some of the new songs, and I fell in love with the new songs I listened to. I believe the stage show will be more emotional, which will mean it will be stronger and more believable, than the movie. I recently heard that Fall 2019, a US Tour be launched- cannot wait- hopefully in Charlotte’s 2019-2020: Frozen will be part of it.

Other Contemporary Musicals I Want to See

  • Anastasia- got interested after hearing some songs in 2018
  • Something Rotten- got interested after some songs as well (don’t remember what year

Conclusion

  • So, about am I a classical musical theatre fan or about a contemporary musical fan? I believe I am both. I know, I have seen more musicals that are pre-21st century. The musicals I see has to do with what musicals are on tour- and which ones I choose to see during the season. I am both- just doesn’t seem that way.

Tradition-“Fiddler on the Roof ” Review

This was my 2nd time at the beautiful Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I previously fell in love with Fiddler on the Roof about March or February 2014 through the movie. On February 3rd, I saw the stage show- was looking forward to seeing how Fiddler on the Roof would play out on stage. I had previously seen Annie at the Fox Theatre in 2014 in the orchestra- for Fiddler, I was in the balcony- so it was so cool getting to experience the theatre from both views. I was able to really see just how beautiful the Fox truly is from the balcony point of view.

I loved Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye. He had an amazing stage presence. The fact that his Tevye was amazing does say something about this Fiddler on the Roof. After all, Tevye is the main character in Fiddler on the Roof. He was amazing from the opening. I really loved his “If I Were a Rich Man”- he really shined in that number. Loved him throughout the entire show.

Ruthy Froch as Tzeitel, Natalie Powers as Hodel, and Danielle Allen as Chava were all amazing as Tevye’s eldest daughters. It really started to show during “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”. Natalie Powers’ version of “Far From the Home I Love” affected me in a deeper and more emotional way than it ever did. All three all showed that they have the desire to marry the ones the love (not the tradition that currently is in place).

Jesse Weil as Motel was an actor that was hard to fully know what to think of at first. Then when he sang “Miracle of Miracles”- I fell in love with his Motel- his singing voice was incredible. Sometimes you don’t know how amazing an actor is until a certain song.

Ryne Nardeechia as Perchik was incredible as well. He was the one who always wanted to do good. He did not like how the villagers were being treated by the Russians. You clearly saw this during Tzeitel’s wedding- when he intervened. His singing voice blended perfectly with Natalie during “Now I Have Everything”.

As for the ensemble- loved them. They were incredible in all of the group numbers. As for the sets- the sets flowed smoothly from one scene to another.

Musicals I fell in Love with Through the Movies

Yesterday, I talked about musicals I fell in love with through the music. Today, I want to talk about musicals I fell in love with initially by the movies. Movies are the easiest way to access musicals and as a result, I fell in love with more musical first by the movies more than by songs alone.

Grease is one of the musicals I fell in love with through the movie. I remember when I was younger that the song, “We Go Together”, was my favorite song as a child due to its funny lyrics. I also love “Summer Nights” as well.

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First up belong is the 1982 version of Annie. It was my childhood favorite musical in elementary school. I loved Annie due to her optimism and my favorite song was always “tomorrow”. Later in 2014, I was finally able to see the stage show. Even today, Annie still makes me feel like a kid again.

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Similar to Annie, I fell in love with Sound of Music in childhood through the movie. I always loved songs like “My Favorite Things” and “Do Re Mi” and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”.

Just like Annie, I eventually saw the stage production. I saw the stage production of Sound of Music in 2015 and it still makes me feel like a kid and my love for it grew. This musical and Annie holds a special place in my heart due to loving them since childhood.

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Next up is Beauty and the Beast. To be honest, I did love the animated movie in childhood. I loved the song “Beauty and the Beast” for sure. But there came a point where I did kind of forget I once loved the movie. It was the 2017 live movie that brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast. I never once forget about the song, “Beauty and the Beast”, in this Disney classic. Besides “Beauty and the Beast”, I also love “Be Our Guest”, “Something There”, “Gaston”, and “Belle” among others.

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Mamma Mia was a musical I fell in love with in high school through the movie. It is so happy and so fun. Complete with ABBA songs, it is a wonderful movie to watch. My favorite among the ABBA songs is Dancing Queen.

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Another musical I fell in love with through the movie is Les Mis. I never would have imagined I would fallen in love with a musical like Les Mis. I was the person who believed all musicals were happy. Les Mis showed me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. This movie is a wonderful movie and to this day still reduces me to tears. It is a wonderful tale of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. My love for the movie eventually led to me seeing the stage show both at community college and in London. I could go on and on about the importance of Les Mis in my life.

Of all musical movies, it is one of the most meaningful. I love its songs such as “One Day More”, “On My Own”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing”.

Singing in the Rain is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. It is so happy and fun. Its incredible dance numbers are fun to watch. I love watching Singing in the Rain and i love just how light hearted it is. I love songs such as “Singing in the Rain”, “Make Em Laugh” and “Good Morning”.

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I fell in love with South Pacific through the movie. It was in Winter of 2014. School was cancelled for about four days due to snow and four musical movies were leant to my family to watch and South Pacific was one of them. Through numbers such as “There is Nothing Like A Dame”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, and “Younger Than Springtime”, South Pacific is a wonderful love story.

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Fiddler on the Roof was also leant to my family during the snowstorm in 2014. I love the movie of this musical. I love songs such as “Tradition” and “Matchmaker”. I fell in love with the musical through the movie as well.

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White Christmas is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. I loved everything the two two army people did for their general. I still don’t the names of any of the songs. It is just a wonderful holiday classic to watch every Christmas.

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In either Christmas break of 2015 or 2016, I finally got to watch the movie of Man of La Mancha. My dad was got me interested in Don Quixote. In summer of 2016, I read the novel. I love the tale of the tragicomic knight. My favorite song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream”. Its song sound hispanic and is quite well.

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I recently saw the movie musical of Oliver. It was such a well done movie. True, I first saw Oliver through the stage production, but due to not remembering seeing it, that doesn’t truly count. Well, the movie was very well done. I loved the movie of Oliver. Through the fun numbers like “Consider Yourself” and the more emotional numbers like “As Long As He Needs Me”, Oliver is a wonderful adaption of Dickens classic Novel.

Movie musicals are a wonderful way to access musicals. For me, I prefer seeing musicals live over watching musical movies, but what I love about musical movies is that I am able to fall in love with a new musical quicker. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the musicals I fell in love with through the stage production.

What are some movies you fell in love with first by the movies? Did they eventually lead to the stage production?

Negative Emotions of Happy Musicals

As of now, most musicals are in fact happy. It is important that they have negative emotions in them. It helps balance things out and help make a story more real and characters more well rounded. There are a few exceptions because there are musicals with a very weak plot, but yet still have a sad or heartbreaking song. It is through happy musicals where I first discovered sad. However don’t remember much of what sad was like before college. I kind of had to relearn the emotion except for one show. I never forgot that sad was in Wicked. Its just that some musicals I lost track of. However knowing that sad existed when I was younger actually helped prepare me for what was about to come.

True there are sad musicals and they play a part in developing the negative emotions, but because they are still currently so rare, the best place where tragedy can really grow is through the happy musicals. The negative emotions are quite capable in the happy musicals. Below is a list of happy musicals that I know that have negative emotions in their scores and might include the songs that have those emotions.  But for others, will not list a sad song. The reprises will not be listed, but will include the songs that have sad as a piece of a song. Some shows might be surprising on this list, but make sense.

  1. Newsies- Santa Fe
  2. Wicked- I’m Not That Girl, No Good Deed, For Good
  3. Annie- Maybe
  4. South Pacific- This Nearly Was Mine
  5. Sound of Music- Edelweiss
  6. Beauty and the Beast- If I Can’t Love Her
  7. Lion King- Endless Night
  8. Cats- Memory
  9. Fiddler on the Roof
  10. Man of La Mancha