2018 in Review

2018 was been a very exciting year for me. Parts of it were tough. Parts of it were unexpected. It is time to talk about highlights in 2018.

January

Spring 2018 semester was my final semester at Gardner Webb. I knew it was going to be tough- I was stuck in Western Civilization II (one of the hardest General Ed. classes at Gardner Webb).

Birthday Celebrations- one of the things I love about the opening of each year is that it celebrates my birthday. I had two birthday celebrations- one was with my family, and the other was with my suitemates. With my suitemates, we went out to lunch, and while we were out, their boyfriends decorated my room. Later that day, we watched the live Beauty and the Beast movie. My suitemates gave me a present- a snowglobe, which has a picture of all three of us in it.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/01/10/birthday-fun/

Snow Day- There was a snow day in January. There were no sleds in the suite, so one of my best friends (Sydney) decided to use the cushions in our suite. We covered them with a grocery bag and used them as a sled. After sledding, we made snow creme. The next day, I made a mini snow man.

Sight of Snow from my Suite
Snow Creme
My Little Snowman
https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/snow-days-delight/

Big E- The Big E is in Gaffney, SC. At 11:00, they close it off to Gardner Webb students. Students can choose from a number of movies to watch and I choose Greatest Showman. I ended up falling love with the movie musical.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/greatest-showman-review/

February

Candy and Critters- Every year around Valentine’s Day at Gardner Webb, there is an event called Candy and Critters. You make a stuffed animal and make a box of candy. This time, when I was a stuffed animal, I planned to name the stuffed animal after a musical character, but here’s the catch, the stuffed animal had to resemble a musical character plus it had to be a musical character I love.

I ended up making two stuffed animal. Someone at student activities said if we stayed long enough, and if there was enough animals left, we could make another one. My first stuffed animal was Eponine, who was named after Eponine from Les Mis: the bear had a brown color scheme with heart-shaped patches that had stitch marks around the patches- which to me resembled the character. The other bear was named Tiedye. Eponine means a lot more to me- those who know me know about my obsession with Les Mis and my love for Eponine.

Here are friends and I with the stuffed animals we made.

Eleemosynary- This was the first play I saw in the Spring 2018 semester. It only consisted of three actresses.

March

Spring Break- I went to Ponte Vedra, Florida. I ended up visiting the Guana Preserve, and went to the movies to see “A Wrinkle in Time”.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/a-wrinkle-in-time-review/

Asheville- One of the things that happened in March (but unexpectedly), two of my friends and I went to Asheville after class. We drove part of the trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and walked a little bit in Downtown Asheville. It seems crazy that a determined college student would literally go for a little adventure like that (after all Asheville is an hour away from Campus).

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/adventures-outside-of-campus/

April

Big E- This had another Big E event. This name I choose to watch “I Only Imagine”. Most students picked horror movies, but I choose “I Only Imagine”, which is about how that song got written. There were only about 15 of us who went to that movie.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/i-can-only-imagine-review/

Peter and the Starcatcher- this was the last show I saw at Gardner Webb. I wasn’t expecting this, but I was asked to usher. Turns out they didn’t have enough ushers, so I was asked to usher. This was one of my favorite shows they did.

May

Spring Formal- this was a real highlight. The theme was Casino night. It is always nice to have Spring Formal as a break from studying for finals.

Graduation- for a good chunk of the semester, it almost seemed as if Graduation was not going to happen. It was all because of Western Civilization II. There were times when it seemed like I wasn’t going to pass the class- but I managed to pass that class in order to graduate.

Other Gardner Webb 2018 Memories

Skate Night- I participated in Skate Night this semester

The Gathering- Almost every Tuesday, I made sure to attend the Gathering, Gardner Webb’s student-led worship service.

June

Oklahoma- My first musical of the year. It was a date with my mom. It felt nice going back to Central Piedmont Community College. After all, it was the beginning of the college journey. I already knew what to expect from CPCC’s musicals- I had in the year’s 2012 and 2013 seen Godspell and Les Mis- so I knew just how strong their musicals can be. When I went to see Oklahoma, I wondered would I see any of the actors or actresses I had seen previously at CPCC. Turns out I did see two of the actors previously (those who played Laurey and Will Parker (they both were in Godspell and the one who played Laurey was also in the Les Mis ensemble). They used a minimal set, and it was the actors who moved the set pieces, and the show moved smoothly, and like excepted- it felt way more than a community college production.

Sugar Mountain- my family went to Sugar Mountain for a few days. It is near Banner Elk, Boone, and Grandfather Mountain. Part of the trip was exploring nearby towns and a little bit of hiking.

Grease- I saw my 2nd musical this month. I ended up seeing it with my sister and one our friends. I had seen the movie, but never seen the stage show. I did not know how different the stage show would be. When the show started, I realized how different it was- there were songs that are not in the movie. CPCC got special permission to use four songs not originally in the stage show.

Pops Symphonies- every June in Charlotte, there are outdoor Symphonies. I went to two. The first one was Broadway-themed and the second was Celebrate America. I took one of my best friends (Sydney) to the Broadway one).

Broadway Symphony
Celebrate America

July

Newsies- My 3rd and final CPCC production. This was the most UNEXPECTED musical. I wanted to see it at CPCC so badly this year- I saw Newsies on tour two years ago- I mainly wanted to see how CPCC could handle the dance element. I kept on convincing my mom to buy tickets, and she never seemed to buy tickets (even during the week of production). After Friday, I accepted the fact that Newsies wasn’t going to happen (or was that true).

Saturday- earlier in the day, my mom was having me try on dresses to look for job applications. She was not letting me take the last one off. My best friend, Sydney, showed up (I didn’t know she was coming). She asked me do you know what we are doing (I said I have no idea). I told her we could go to the mall. I did not find it strange that she was getting dressed into something different in the car. I soon said all I wanted to do this week was see Newsies at CPCC. When I realized we were close, she was asking me to direct her to CPCC- she was telling me I want to see the Campus. The next thing I knew we were heading towards the theater. The next thing, she said was I want to see the theater- I said only those seeing Newsies can see the theater- we were in will call line at that point- I was telling her ask an usher to see the theater- guess what, we were in will call line for her to pick up tickets for Newsies- it was her graduation present to me- my family (including my sister), and Sydney kept that a secret for me from me for a month. I was 100% convinced Newsies wasn’t happening- so there’s that- my 3rd musical for the year. My Jack Kelly of this production was also Curly from Oklahoma.

Lake Hartwall- I ended up spending some time with my third cousins. Yes, I have third cousins. I ended up helping bake a blueberry pie. I did not spend much time on the lake. I only was the on the lake once

July or August

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again- I don’t remember when I saw it in July or August. Usually I don’t think musicals should do sequels. Usually musicals struggle as a sequel. But this one is an exception in so many ways- a number of sequels just don’t work.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/mamma-mia-here-we-go-again-review/

August

I do not know if I have anything exciting that happened in August or not

September

Kanuga- after a two year break from not being at Kanuga, I finally got to go back. Kanuga is an Episcopalian Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. Every year, my church has a Parish Weekend at Kanuga. Kanuga is where I began to believe in God. It is where I found my enjoyment of hiking. It is one of my “happy places”. I have missed that place, and was glad I was able to go back- my church went over Labor Day. It consisted of singing, some alcohol ink art, hiking, square dancing, and fellowship, etc.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/my-labor-day-weekend-at-kanuga/

Lion King- after CPCC, I finally saw my first tour. This would make it my fourth musical. You would think Lion King would be my first “professional” musical. To tell you the truth, CPCC’s musicals do feel “professional”. So technically, Lion King is the fourth “professional” musical I saw- but by definition Lion King was my first professional production. The reason why I wanted to see Lion King was because I don’t remember seeing it my first time. This was a girl’s night out- that meant it was my mom, sister, and I. At Belk Theater, all three of us were in the orchestra at the aisle.

October

Sugar Mountain- I went back to Sugar Mountain, the same place to went to over the summer. We hiked two trails: the Viaduct and Linville Falls.

Viaduct
Linville Falls

Halloween- Obviously October is Halloween. I wasn’t planning to dress up. Last October, I was Rizzo for Homecoming (which was Broadway-themed), and for Octoberfest. I still had the Jacket I made for Rizzo, so I decided that day to be Rizzo for Halloween.

November

“A Christmas Story, The Musical” Informance- during the summer, I joined Club Blume, a young adult group for those interested in theatre. When I saw “A Christmas Story” on the shows coming to Charlotte for the 2018-2019 season, I wasn’t interested in the show- the only ones that interested me was Miss Saigon and Aladdin (nothing else). I still decided to go the informance to start getting involved in Club Blume. I was kinda of aware of the movie. The moment I heard that those who wrote the music for Greatest Showman also wrote the music for A Christmas Story, I was interested in seeing this musical. I picked up a voucher after the show- in order to get the discount rate on the tickets.

Church Services- there were two special church services that happened this month. Evensong and the Installation of our new rector. Evensong is very special to me- whenever I go to Evensong, I am reminded of Bristol so Evensong is connected directly to the Bristol Pilgrimage.

Thanksgiving- my family and I went to Burlington to have Thanksgiving with my grandpa and his sister.

December

A Christmas Story, The Musical- This ended up being my 5th and final of my year. 2018 ended up being my record of number of musicals in one year. The average tends to be 1-2 musicals a year- not over 3 musicals. After Lion King, I was 100% I wouldn’t see another musical. Don’t forget, I wasn’t convinced I would see A Christmas Story. I would go to a pre-party- which was basically appetizers and drinks- that was due to going with Club Blume. The musical is a good musical- funny and has energetic and emotional songs- emotional (not as in sad emotional, but a different type of emotional).

Putting up Christmas Lights- my dad and I putting up the outdoor lights on the bushes and the trees.

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindewald- love this movie. After seeing the first movie, I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters especially Newt. Love the series a lot.

Hay Ride- we went on a hay where we did some carols

10:45 Candlelight Service (December 24)- This service is my favorite service all year. All year, you only hear the organ, but at this service, you hear the organ with string with a trumpet with an oboe. You are given a candle. You is a very beautiful. The candle is used for Silent Night- the lights are off, and the candles are lit. It is hard to beautiful how beautiful it is.

Christmas- despite going to bed late, still going to bed early. I grabbed my stocking at 6:00. Then went to bed and woke at 6:30- stayed up then. I decided to open my stocking at 7:00- I secretly hoped there was going to be a musical ticket in my stocking. In my stocking, there was some chocolate, time turner necklace, block that said “when something bad happens you can let it define you, let it happen, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you”, and 3 tickets to Miss Saigon- the other 2 tickets were for my mom and dad. Some other presents I got (that were not in my stocking) were a book of Christmas Classic, Creating Characters book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD, and Mamma Mia: Here to Find Them DVD, etc. 24- that is a lot of people, but Christmas Dinner worked out.

Other

One of the things I want to add is that I finally started to write my first book- over the summer. The reason why it doesn’t belong in a single month is because I worked on it in a number of months. Summer was basically my first draft. I made it through my second draft. Part of my time was spent trying to figure out what my characters look like.

It was crazy in the fact that during the first half of the year that I was still a college student, and in the second half I was no longer a college student.

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Musicals of 2014, 2015, and 2018

I decided to talk about the years where I saw over three musicals- those years belonged to 2014, 2015, and 2018. 

2014– this year is strange. It does not feel like I saw over two musicals. This was the year I saw Phantom of the Opera, Porgy and Bess, Scrooge, and Annie. This year for some reason only feels like I saw only two musicals- but it was a year of four musicals. 

Phantom of the Opera- I fell in love with Phantom of the Opera in 2013 when my mom recommended it to me. I requested the songs on Pandora, and instantly fell in love with songs. The songs were why I wanted to see the stage show in the first place. Hearing the show was going to the Peace Center in Greenville (I did not wait for it to come to Charlotte) in 2014, I asked Santa for tickets to the musical. Santa did get me my ticket, and he also got my mom a ticket as well. 

The Peace Center in Greenville is a gorgeous theatre. My mom and I were in the orchestra in the 19th row (I think). I was spellbound from start to finish and got choked up by the beauty of the production and the talent of the actors and actresses. I do remember having an understudy for Christine. So glad I got to experience Phantom of the Opera at such a gorgeous theatre. 

Little did I know that one of the actors in the ensemble was going to become one of my leads in a future production, and I would go back to the Peace Center 3 years later. The reason why I was at the Peace Center in 2017 was because I saw Les Mis: Nick Cartell was the actor in the ensemble of Phantom of the Opera who became Jean Valjean, a very talented Jean Valjean. Just a fun fact. 

In front of a Phantom of the Opera poster at the Peace Center

Porgy and Bess- Part of why this year did NOT feel like I saw four musicals was because of this musical. I remembered seeing it, but a few years later (maybe two years), I had forgotten what year I had seen it. So 2014 felt like I only two musicals. Porgy and Bess was a musical I enjoyed seeing, but not a musical I exactly liked- do you understand what I mean by that. 

Scrooge- This musical I think was another reason why 2014 did NOT feel like four musicals. I do remember seeing Scrooge, but FORGOT the year- this year I was reminded it was 2014. I do remember being moved by one of the songs that Tiny Tim sang, but don’t know what song that was. I was an usher for Scrooge at Children’s Theatre in Charlotte. I am a Christmas Carol fan so of course I loved watching Scrooge- don’t remember much of it- just remembered being moved by one of Tiny Tim’s songs. 

Annie- Annie is not JUST a musical. It is not meaningful in the way Les Mis is. There is something about the childhood musicals that makes them extra special in a way- understand what I am talking about. Annie was my favorite musical up until Wicked entered my life. My mom told me Annie was going to be playing at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I ended up flying up to St. Louis alone to spend a week with my grandma- so Annie was a theatre date with me and my grandma. Watching Annie made me feel like a child- my grandma and I were in the front row. I only saw the movie of Annie- the 1982 version. I never saw the stage show- it has been in my life since elementary school. The Fox Theatre is another gorgeous theatre to see tours in. Annie means a lot to me- the childhood musicals have a different kind of meaning than the musicals that enter our lives much later in life. 

At the Fox Theatre in St. Louis getting ready to see Annie.
Fox Theatre in St. Louis

2015– NOW this year feels like FOUR musicals, and I really love the order of the musicals. Half of the musicals are what I would inexperienced, and the other half are what I would call experienced. 

Music Man- I transferred to Gardner Webb University Spring 2015. I knew they were doing a production of Music Man coming into Gardner Webb. So I already knew I was going to see Music Man. All I knew about the show was that the main character was a conman creating a boy’s band, and that there was romance, and I had heard about four to five songs. For me, I was curious about how Gardner Webb could handle musicals- after all I transferred from Central Piedmont Community College, a college that can do well-done productions that feel professional, so my question was how well can Gardner Webb pull a musical off. I loved Gardner Webb’s production of Music Man. I love how light-hearted Music Man is, and is the best start to the beginning of 2015’s musicals. Little did I know what 2015 had in store for musicals. 

Pippin- I knew Pippin was coming to Charlotte on tour for a 2nd time. I missed Pippin the 1st time. I wanted to see Pippin so badly because of how much I love “Corner of the Sky”. A preview convinced me further- I knew it was a circus-natured revival, and that it won a Tony for best revival. It got closer and closer to Pippin’s opening in Charlotte, and I kinda got the feeling that I WASN’T seeing Pippin. I almost thought Pippin was sold out. Then the week before Pippin opened, my mom decided to get tickets- GUESS WHAT- she managed to get the last two tickets with seats together. That was a close one- I almost didn’t get to see Pippin- Pippin almost didn’t become a part of my life- that is kinda of a strange thought. 

Pippin was darker than Music Man. It was due to the Leading Player, the antagonist of the musical. Think of the revival as a circus with songs- that is the best way to describe it. I had understudies for BOTH Pippin and the Leading Player with me being more intrigued by the Leading Player. That’s a first- being much more fascinated by the antagonist- then again Lisa Karlin was the true standout of the cast- everything I know about the Leading Player comes from her. My mom’s last minute tickets got us seats in the 5th row in the orchestra. Pippin was what I would call “the spectacle show of the year”.  The revival version of Pippin has one of the best openings ever. Right at intermission- I bought the soundtrack. Pippin would be the last inexperienced musical of 2015. Coming in, I knew I would love Pippin- after all already fell in love with Wicked and Godspell, two other Stephen Schwartz musicals. 

In front of a Pippin sign at Belk Theater. 2nd of 4 musicals in one year.

Les Mis (West End)- this could take a while. I developed my dream of seeing Les Mis in London in 2013. In that year, I was aware of the Bristol Pilgrimage my family church was going on- the choir was in residence at Bristol Cathedral, and parishioners were allowed to go, but I did not think of the possibility of Les Mis- only because there was no talk of going up early or staying extra days. I was interested in the pilgrimage because of Stonehenge and the castle.

Fast forward to Nov. 2014- my parents said my family is going up two days early- that is when I started convincing my mom and dad to take me to Les Mis. Then Dec. 2014- I was told I would be seeing a West End show- but I wasn’t told which one. I badly wanted to know- it just had to Les Mis- it couldn’t be any other musical. I transferred to Gardner Webb Spring 2015, and all semester was nagging my parents to tell what West End show- after all seeing Les Mis in London was my dream. Then it became June 2015- my mom texted me French Flag emojis and musical note emojis- I texted her back saying “I don’t get it”. I was told to check my email- the moment I saw Les Misérables- I ran to my mom crying. I couldn’t believe- two years after seeing Les Mis on stage for the first time, I was seeing Les Mis in London. 

July 30th, 2015- show day. The moment I saw the Queen’s Theatre, I felt like that couldn’t be real. It felt that way when buying souvenirs, when seeing the set and when sitting down and noticing how close I was (we were in the 9th row). I knew I had an understudy for Jean Valjean. The moment I heard the first note of the orchestra- I knew that I was living a dream- that note also told me this is going to be more than expected. I am that girl who does treat the orchestra as a character- it was more than expected- the orchestra, the cast, and staging. It was epic in scope, full of such passion and emotion, and powerful. It felt like winning the lottery. I mean to live a dream is crazy- it is quite special to you- it seems surreal at first, but something does tell you it is real- it was the first note. I could on and on about what day was like. You get the picture. 

In front of the Queen's Theatre before seeing Les Mis in the West End- a dream come true
“I Dreamed a Dream”

Sound of Music- Here’s the thing, I was so convinced Les Mis was my LAST musical this year. Turns out I was so wrong. It wasn’t my last musical. It would be Sound of Music, another childhood musical. Both Sound of Music and Les Mis were the experienced musicals. The thing with Sound of Music was I only knew the movie. I never saw the stage show before. I remember it being about October (I think)- I think being in my dorm room-  my mom telling me I was seeing Sound of Music. I saw it with my mom and sister. 

Sound of Music had a different order of songs- one such surprising moment was at “Edelweiss”. Sound of Music never had sadness in its songs for me- turns out I felt it during “Edelweiss”- it seemed to be a combo of the actor and the nostalgia attached to that song- “Edelweiss” was and still is my favorite song from the song. So I cried during two musicals this year- Les Mis and Sound of Music. Sound of Music NEVER had sad in its songs before- so I was shocked that it entered- but it entered in the middle of “Edelweiss” at a short pause- that moment was so short, but so powerful- it was right before the children started singing.

In front of a Sound of Music sign at Belk Theater

2018– This was my 5 musical year. I graduated from college this year. I did not think it would end up with 5 musicals. 

Oklahoma- This was my 5th theatre date with mom. I was back at Central Piedmont Community College, the college where I started my college journey. I saw Godspell and Les Mis there in the years 2012 and 2013. As expected, Oklahoma was a well-done production. It had minimal set, and the actors moved the set pieces, and things flowed smoothly. It felt nice to see a show again at Oklahoma: two of the actors I seen previously at CPCC were in Oklahoma- they played Laurey and Will Parker, who were in Godspell and fun fact: the girl who Laurey was also in the ensemble of Les Mis. 

About to see Oklahoma at community college.
Oklahoma

Grease- This time at CPCC, I saw Grease with my sister and one of our friends. Just like Sound of Music, I had seen the movie, but not the stage show. So I did not know different the movie was. CPCC had gotten special permission to use four songs that were not originally in the stage production. The moment the show began, I knew CPCC did it again with shows feeling professional. I could easily tell just how different the stage show was than the movie: the songs- some songs that are in the stage show are not in the movie. 

Driving along in the Grease car. Fun musical.
Grease

Newsies- I have been a fan of Newsies since I saw the tour August 2016. So basically 100% convinced not going to see it: Best friend from college shows up at house: drives to CPCC: saying want to see campus: then saying wanting to see theatre while in will call line: all to pick up Newsies tickets. That is basically what she did: her graduation present to me was tickets to Newsies at CPCC. I just wanted to see Newsies at CPCC to see how they could handle the dance knowing how complicated it is. Fun fact: my Curly was Jack Kelly. 

Looks like I am in a newspaper. Newsies surprise!!!
Courage cannot erase our Fear. Courage is when we face our Fear. -Seize the Day

Lion King- I only wanted to see Lion King on tour because I DON’T remember seeing the stage show the first time. My mom, my sister, and I went to see it. We had orchestra seats at the aisle. The opening draws you in right away. I had an understudies for Rafiki and Pumba. I ended up getting a Lion King snow globe and buying the soundtrack. I already knew I would love Lion King. 

Girls Night Out. Lion King- in front of a Lion King poster.
Lion King

A Christmas Story, the Musical-I saw this with Club Blume, a young adult group interested in theatre. This might sound like a not good idea for a musical considering that its based off of a movie. The composer/lyricst team are the same team who brought you Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and Greatest Showman- I know this because of an informance I did in Nov. through Club Blume. The musical was funny and good and so were the songs. It was such a delight. Just like 2015, I was 100% my 2nd to last musicals was my FINAL musical- well it wasn’t. When I saw what musicals were in the 2018-2019, I saw A Christmas Story, I was not interested- then at the informance when I heard it was the same team who did Greatest Showman I wanted to go. 

In front of A Christmas Story, The Musical sign
A Christmas Story

There is a reason why I talked about 2014, 2015, and 2018. I saw over 3 musicals each year. My average tends to be 1-2, but those years were over 3. That doesn’t happen much. You might think 2018 was the best year I ever had for musicals, but it wasn’t. 2015 still is my favorite year for musicals: it had to do with the musicals that came with it: the new musicals- Music Man and Pippin were ones that I love and have the songs for. What really makes 2015 the best musicals was Les Mis in the West End- that was my dream- I lived it that year, and even words alone cannot describe what that night was like for me. 

2018 Musicals in Review

This year, I saw more musicals than expected. This year, I saw the most musicals than any other year. I saw five musicals total: Oklahoma, Grease, Newsies, Lion King, and A Christmas Story. The first three I saw at Central Piedmont Community College and the other three I saw on tour. Each of these musicals had something special attached to them. I saw Oklahoma as a date with mom, Grease with my sister and one of our friends, Newsies with a best friend from college, Lion King with my mom and sister, and A Christmas Story with Club Blume- so it was fascinating with who I saw them with.

Oklahoma- I first saw the movie in 2014 due to a snowstorm, but over time forgot my opinion of Oklahoma. By the time I learned it was at CPCC, I had forgotten when certain songs happened in the musical. I saw Oklahoma with my mom, my 5th date to the theatre with my mom.  Oklahoma was basically the start of modern musicals- it was the beginning of what we know musicals to be. I loved being at CPCC- I saw Oklahoma in June, one month after graduating Gardner Webb. CPCC was the college where I started my college journey. I had seen Godspell and Les Mis at CPCC, and as a result I was aware of how well done their shows could be. Entering Oklahoma, I was wondering if I would see any of the same actors from Godspell or Les Mis since I was back at CPCC- CPCC does not use just students from the school- it uses the community as well. Turns out Oklahoma was home to two of the actors I had seen in Godspell- the Laurey and the Will Parker were in Godspell- fun fact: the Laurey was also in the ensemble in Les Mis. I loved being able to experience Oklahoma on stage- I had to relearn when certain songs happened and so on. Oklahoma is literally a double love triangle plot- with one being lighter than the other. 

Oklahoma had minimal set, and when set pieces had to be moved, the actors would move it. Things would move so smoothly. CPCC did it again- felt professional- the strength of CPCC comes from combining students with professionals with the community. They always use professionals in their productions. CPCC’s productions never feel like a community college production. 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/oklahoma-review/

Grease- I also saw Grease at CPCC. In elementary school, I saw the movie of Grease, and my favorite song was “We Go Together” due to the silly lyrics. I saw it with my sister and one of our friends. The thing is we saw it in row S- row S: that was exactly two rows back from where I saw Les Mis- when I saw Les Mis with CPCC with my family in 2013, I was in row Q- so almost in exactly the same row. Just like Oklahoma, minimal set, but it works. I never saw the stage show so I did not know how different the stage show would be from the movie. The moment the show began, I realized just how different the movie was- I realized there was a HUGE song difference because the opening song I knew wasn’t in the movie. Fun fact: CPCC got special permission to use four songs that were not originally in the stage show. 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/summer-nights/

Newsies- I am still a new fan of Newsies. I have only been a fan of it since I saw the tour August 2016. I knew they were doing the show over the summer. I badly wanted to see how CPCC could handle the dance aspect of Newsies. The show was going to happen in July. I constantly was encouraging my mom and dad to get tickets, but never seemed to have any luck- no SIGN of seeing the musical. The week of the production came, and as the days went by, I continued to convince them- and NOTHING. After Friday, Saturday was the final production. Saturday hit- Something told me I was NOT going to see Newsies at CPCC.  

This happens. Earlier in the day, my mom was having me try on nicer clothes for the possibility of looking for job applications that day. Then, one of my best friends from college shows up at my house. I was thinking “I was not expecting that- what is she doing here”. She asked “do you know what we are doing”. I was like “No”. She did ask me earlier- what are you doing today- I was like “NOTHING”.  We were basically heading on our way downtown in the same direction of CPCC- I eventually said I did want to see Newsies today, but it is not happening. When I told her, we are near where CPCC is- she told- “can you direct me there- I want to see the campus”- nothing clicked in my mind”. She was having me direct her to Halton Theater- the same place where Newsies was playing. She said to me “I just want to see the theater”- I was like “only those seeing Newsies can see that theater”. We were standing in the will call line, and what do you know- she was there to pick up two tickets for Newsies- that was her graduation present to me.  She hadn’t seen a musical live in years- so at intermission, she thought the show was over since the lights went on- I said there is another half- I had to explain the lights let you know when it is intermission. 

Believe it or not: my Curly from Oklahoma also played Jack Kelly. I believe over the summer season- the same actors and actresses are in more than one musical.  I am so glad this production had the towers. It was incredible watching Newsies at CPCC- the show I thought wouldn’t happen. My family and Sydney had somehow kept it a secret from a musical theatre fanatic. 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/newsies-surprise/

Lion King- When I heard this was going on tour, I knew I wanted to see it. I first saw Lion King in person in elementary school. I only knew that because my parents told me. I don’t remember seeing Lion King the first time, and that is why I wanted to see it when it toured to Charlotte. I saw this at Belk Theatre. I ended up with understudies for Rafiki and Pumba. I felt like I was watching Lion King for the first times, and the seats were perfect- in the orchestra at the aisle. It is home to one of the best openings, and that is a huge reason why my seats were perfect. I ended up getting a Lion King snow globe and the soundtrack. So glad I saw Lion King again- now I have a memory of Lion King I will remember and not forget. 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/circle-of-life-lion-king/


A Christmas Story, The Musical- I am a part of Club Blume, a group of young adults interested in theatre. It got its name from Blumenthal Performing Arts- Blumenthal Performing Arts is how shows true through Charlotte. I first went to A Christmas Story, The Musical Informance. When I first saw A Christmas Story on the of the musicals coming to Charlotte in the 2018-2019 season- I was not interested in seeing it. Then I joined Club Blume, and the informance of A Christmas Story was a good event to get started. What got me quite interested in seeing the musical was hearing who wrote the music for A Christmas Story. The same composer/lyricist team who wrote the music for Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and Greatest Showman wrote the music for A Christmas Story. Seeing that I love Greatest Showman, I knew I wanted to see A Christmas Story. At the end of the informance, I got a voucher giving me a discount. I ended up in the Mezzanine at Ovens Auditorium. I only could say Mezzanine- I had no say of where in Mezzanine so I hoped I was somewhere center. Club Blume members get to go to a pre-party before the show. 

A Christmas Story, The Musical was an amazing start to the Christmas Season. Turns out my Mezzanine ticket was in the center in the 3rd row. The main thing that annoyed me was I had no clue who my Ralphie was- the playbill did not make it clear- so I have no idea who played the main character. The musical made me laugh a lot. One of the funniest parts were the dogs. Glad I ended up going to A Christmas Story, The Musical. It was a good musical. 

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/a-christmas-story-the-musical-review/

Below is a picture of all the playbills from this year. Three of them look identical- those are my CPCC playbills. I thought that was odd because my Godspell and Les Mis playbill are not identical-looking- the front makes it so clear which musical it belongs to. There is a reason why on the front, I had to check mark the musical- so I knew which musical each belonged to. When you open up the playbill, and get to the cast list- that is when you see the name of the musical and the individual actor. 

What was your 2018 musical theatre year like? What do you hope your 2019 musical theatre year will be like? 

Halloween 2018

I did not think this Halloween I would be dressing up. Last year for Halloween, I dressed up as Eponine. Around the same time time, I dressed up as Rizzo for Octoberfest. My club picked Grease as our theme for Octoberfest. This year, I still had my Rizzo jacket and so I was able to dress up as Rizzo.

Dressing up as Rizzo is way different than dressing up as Eponine. I love Grease, but it is not hugely meaningful. It is just a musical I love. It is a musical that is not exactly in the meaningful musical category. So two Halloween years in a row, I dressed up as two musical theatre characters. The thing about musical theatre characters is that you have to make the costumes. Rizzo’s jacket was made out of a man’s bottom up shirt, and the letters were ironed on. I am glad I kept that jacket from last year. At home, my mom and I found black leggings and a black t-shirt. Rizzo is the leader of the pink ladies and is the tough one.

Below are pictures from me dressed up as Rizzo and Eponine. The Rizzo costume did not come from this year, but was the outfit from Octoberfest, but basically the same costume from this Halloween.

“Summer Nights”

June 16th, I got to see Grease at CPCC. So in one month, I saw two musicals at the same college. I was expecting CPCC to also do an incredible job with Grease as well. About my history with Grease, I saw the movie in elementary school, and I remember that my favorite song was “We go Together” because of the silly lyrics. I was glad that I actually saw it live. When I saw Les Mis with my family at CPCC five years ago, we sat in row Q, but for Grease, we were in row S so it was crazy how I was in almost the same row.

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Just like Oklahoma, Grease used a minimal set, and it worked. They moved the set pieces on and off. I loved the lighting they used, and at different times throughout the show, the different lights changed colors and I loved seeing that.

About the cast, the moment the show began, I heard the ensemble start singing and they just were incredible. Just by hearing that opening, I knew I had once again another cast that I would love. CPCC knows how to cast a wonderful cast. It was like seeing Grease for the first time. There were songs I never heard before like “Freddy my Love” and “Magic Changes”, and those were incredible. CPCC got special permission to use songs that were not originally in the stage show and I am glad that they did. It made this production unique. The different costumes were wonderful and I loved the T-Birds the Pink Ladies costumes.

Grease is just a fun and exciting show to watch. It is different than watching the movie.

2017 Year in Review

Yes, today is 2018 and Happy New Year, but I think today I shall write about last year.

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2017 was a tough, but wonderful year. I don’t remember some things that happened month after month, but will do the best I can.

January- all I remember about this month is my birthday. I don’t remember anything else. Part of 2017 consisted of being in St. Louis visiting my grandma over New Year’s.

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February- I remember two things about this month. I was house manger of my school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and got to see a production of it. Plus, every year at my school around Valentine’s day, we are able to make a stuffed animal and I made a rainbow dog named rainbow.

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The bunny in this picture is Beatrice Rose, my stuffed animal I made at school in February of 2015. Rainbow is the dog next to her.

March- I have no clue what happened in March. Spring Break might have happened in March, but I just don’t remember.

April- this was when Gardner Webb’s Easter egg hunt happened. Each student is limited to just on egg. In both 2015 and 2016, I never managed to find one. But this year when I was looking at the prizes prior to the Easter egg hunt, I was eyeing this gigantic stuffed bunny. This year right when I saw the email that said it started, I immediately got dressed and started looking. The prize you are given is based off the number in the Easter egg. I actually found an egg this year and because I was the first one to redeem my egg, they gave me the gigantic bunny so they did not base my prize off of the number. I ended up naming the stuffed animal Chester.

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The last school production of the semester was in April. I was house manger of Full Moon over Montmartre, the school production and got to watch one production, but I found the show to be quite boring.

May- what happened this month was the Les Mis party. Since I knew the party was coming, but not surprised like 2016, I got to dress up as a character and I decided to dress up as Eponine.

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May- August- I grouped these together to talk about all the books I read over the summer. I ended up reading nine books in one summer and that is a lot of books. I read Oliver Twist (5/5), Clearing in the Forest (4.5/5), 2 Land of Stories Books (both 5/5), Queen of the Tearing (3/5), Five Little Pigs (3.5/5), 150 Years of Musical Theatre (5/5), Hundred Story Home (5/5) and Same Kind of Different as Me (5/5).

June- something my family does every year is going to a weekly Sunday Symphony in the Pops. Each year outside, we go to this outdoor symphony and each week there is a different. Earlier in the day, we lay out a tarp to reserve the spot. My family and friends spend time at this yearly event and everyone brings food and we have dinner like picnic style.

One of the symphonies is also dedicated to Fourth of July. Songs that represents America are played at that one and one of them honors solider and the songs each play each of the division’s hymn and when the veterans hear their hymn, they have to stand up and it is a wonderful thing to watch. At the end of that entire symphony, there are fireworks.

Another June memory was hearing my church’s choir sing at Duke Chapel. Hearing them sing at Duke Chapel reminded me of the time they sang at Bristol Cathedral.

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July- my family went on vacation to Ponte Vedra, FL.

What also happened in July was a day visit to Asheville. First stop was having lunch at Moose Cafe. What we do in Asheville is walk around and one of the stops usually involves getting ice cream at Kilwin’s. One place I love going is Malaprops. One section I love stopping at is the “mystery” book section. It is so much fun because the books are wrapped up in brown paper and adjective are written on it and we have to select the book based off of the wrappings and it is a lot of fun discovering the book we have picked and we are not allowed to open it till leaving the store.

August- that was the month I entered my last year at Gardner Webb. I made the move from dorms to suites, which ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. August also consisted of going to a wedding.

September- I think September was when my school did a production of  Real Inspector Hound and I was house manger of that show. At the end of the month, I got to watch Rent with mom and dad. I have loved Rent since Fall of 2012, but never got to see Rent live. So I finally got my opportunity. I ended up buying a poster and t-shirt. We sat in the Mezzanine towards the center and those were perfect seats. The production was amazing, but the only complaint I have is that the couple next to us were talking the entire time and even though they were whispering, they were still taking and that was annoying. But other than that, I loved the show and became a bigger fan of Rent and it was so good that I was an emotional wreck.

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October- This is Halloween month. There was Pumpkin painting this month, and painted it Gardner-Webb themed. There was Octoberfest and of course Halloween and dressing up. For Octoberfest, I was dressed up as Rizzo from Grease since our club choose to do a Grease theme, which was our club’s homecoming theme in September, but I am not exactly sure if homecoming was in September or not. For Halloween, I was Eponine, my 2nd time this year and I was dressed up as her about 3 to about 10, so that was a long time to stay in my costume. I cannot believe I went to the Gathering dressed up as Eponine. This time as Eponine, I made myself look a bit dirtier and it was fun dressing up as her.

November- I ended up seeing Les Mis in Greenville with my school and I also participated in Pinterest Night. That same week, I went to the Big E, which was closed off starting at 11 and I saw Murder on the Orient Express, which started at 11:30, but think I fell asleep during part of it. Since it was November, I also celebrated Thanksgiving with family and I met family members I had no idea existed. I also was house manager of my school’s production of God of Carnage

This was my first time seeing Les Mis on tour, but 5th time seeing the stage production and 2nd time seeing it with a professional company. Just like Rent, I was an emotional wreck. It had this incredibly powerful cast with wonderful advanced staging, which gave Les Mis a fresh complexity. I had an understudy as Eponine during this production. I love  this 25th anniversary production and it allowed things to flow smoothly and some scenes were improved upon from the West End production. The production and the cast had a lot to live to after seeing the West End production in 2015, but this cast and production lived up to it in its own way and so did the cast in their own way.

December- the first half of December was not that exciting as it was time for finals. However, Winter Formal was during that time and I literally came looking at Glinda. The dress I wore reminded me of her “Popular” dress so my suite mates made me look like her during that  particular scene. In December, I got to decorate a Gingerbread house and visit Santa.

But the second half was Christmas Break. I ended up seeing the Man Who Invented Christmas, read two classics, and of course celebrated Christmas. The classics I read were Hunchback of Notre Dame and A Christmas Carol.

Outside of the two classics, a good church family friend gave me six classics since she was downsizing her book collection. So I have a lot of classics to read, but these books were be read after reading Nicholas Nickleby this coming summer and right after that book will be David Copperfield. After David Copperfield is when I will start reading these books.

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I went to two parties in December. One was when we were at a Christmas party at a friend’s house and it was the usual batch that we tend to be with at Christmas dinner. The second December party was for New Year’s.

Honorable Mentions:

Glow Zumba- I have no idea what month this happened in.

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Going to late night trips to Cook Out to get a milkshake

Trips to FATZ and a Mexican restaurant with friends

I had a wonderful 2017, but cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Just spending time with college friends

How was your 2017?

Dressing up as Rizzo, Eponine, and Glinda

This year, I have had the wonderful opportunity to dress up as three musical characters. They are Rizzo from Grease, Eponine from Les Mis and Glinda from Wicked. My knowledge of these characters differ and some of them have more meaning than others. I will talk about each of the characters I dressed up as and when I did and will bring up the meaning of them.

First up is Rizzo. The knowledge I have of her is very slim. But still I loved dressing up as her. I dressed up as her for the homecoming parade and for Octoberfest. The theme for Homecoming was Bulldogs on Broadway and my club choose Grease. Rizzo is the leader of the Pink Ladies and she is complex, tough, and quite badass.

Next up is Eponine, who I dressed up as for a Les Mis party and Halloween. Unlike Rizzo, Eponine plays a much bigger role in my life. She is from Les Mis and that is actually a musical that has a lot of meaning in my life. Eponine is one of the best musical characters in existence. She is a girl who doesn’t have a lot of good things happening in her life. Her world is quite dark because she was raised to be a thief and criminal and her parents do not even love her. The only good thing in her life is Marius, the only person who treats her kindly, and that is why she loves him. He only loves her as a friend, but he cares about her. He is the light of her life and that is why she responds to her unrequited love in the way that she does and she will do anything for him. She is strong and quite brave and complex. So my knowledge of Eponine is so much stronger than my knowledge of Rizzo. I have loved Eponine for four years now.

Next up is Glinda, who I dressed up as for formal. The dress I wore to formal reminded me of Glinda’s “Popular” dress and that song has a lot of meaning in my life. My suitemates took the time to make me look like Glinda from that song. That is why there is the flower in my hair and why my hair is curled. “Popular” was my favorite song from the musical when I was 12.

Glinda is popular, outgoing, funny, and quite complex. She ends up becoming Elphaba’s best friend. The “Popular” scene is really when the two become best friends. They end up falling in love with Fiyero, which helps strengthen their friendship. Glinda goes on quite a journey throughout the musical. Yes, she is comical, but she eventually has to deal with pain,  which happens throughout most of act II. In act I, she was in a relationship with Fiyero, but he breaks her heart in act II after he realizes his true feelings for Elphaba. She also has to hear all of these rumors spread about her best friend and she knows they are not true. Than later, she realizes that only one friend truly mattered, which was Elphaba and the two realize they have to part way. Glinda like Eponine is from quite a meaningful musical. I have loved Glinda for eleven years now.

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So of all these characters, Eponine and Glinda are the most meaningful. They are characters from Les Mis and Wicked. When it comes to those two musicals, they are the musicals that really helped me become the musical fan I am today. Wicked, which I first saw on Broadway, sparked my love of musicals and I began to understand the importance of  strong emotional connections and the emotional side of musicals. So I started to understand musicals as a whole because of Wicked. The emotions that come to mind are excitement, love, joy, and sad. I started to understand sad all because of Wicked.

Les Mis took the emotional nature a step further, but it wasn’t something I was used to in the order of musicals. I had no idea the emotions had that level before. Les Mis showed me that yes, I may have started to understand sad before, but I was 100% blind to heartbreak. Les Mis turned my love of musicals into a passion.