I feel like January was a fast month. For me, January felt like a theater-themed month. It is time for my January in review now that it is February.
Well, my birthday is in January. In terms of dinner, I always want Boeuf Bourgeion (French Pot Roast) and Creme Brûlée- so we always have to go out. Well, all of my presents were musical-theatre themed- a word search, a musical-theatre bag (my 2nd one I can take to the theaters), and a shirt that says “There was once was a girl that really loved musicals. It was me. The end”.
Come From Away
My first musical of the year came pretty early- January 12th. For Christmas, Santa put “Come From Away” tickets in my stocking. It was my first time seeing the show, and loved our seats- in the balcony (even at Belk, love those seats). I laughed quite a lot and what a heartwarming story of kindness, compassion, and humanity.
Crazy how just one week before this opera, I saw Come From Away. What a switch- from musical to opera and from comedy to tragedy. That was quite a switch. Actually my family was not planning La Bohème- Opera Carolina was doing La Bohème, but because of Come From Away, none of us were going to go. I had to wanted to see the opera live for quite some time. I was not expecting for my mom and I to be given tickets- literally- a surprise for me.
Just like Come From Away, I did get the laughter, but that laughter was more of comic relief. We are talking about a tragic love story- I almost literally lost it at the end-partly had to do with who I had as Rodolfo and Mimi-I fell in love with those two that I literally did not want things to end tragically (that is the struggle with watching a tragic love story). I love La Bohème- I especially love the music written for Rodolfo and Mimi and what I love about the story is that they truly did love each other despite some complications. You truly saw just how much they loved each other when it was too late. With La Bohème, we got the 11th row from the stage.
I love both La Bohème and Rent- without La Bohème, Rent would NOT exist. That is because Rent is based off of La Bohème. How different is Rent from La Bohème-obviously both are sad, but there still are differences?
Rodolfo vs Roger
In La Bohème, the main male character is Rodolofo. He does fall in love with the fragile and vulnerable Mimi. He is a poet. Many characters in La Bohème are living in poverty, are artists and are bohemians. He is living with Colline, Schunard, and Marcello.
In Rent, Rodolfo ends up becoming Roger. So, he is a struggling musician living with his best friend, Mark. He has HIV and is dealing with depression at the beginning of Rent after his recent girlfriend killed herself after finding out she has HIV (that is how Roger found out he has HIV). His main goal is to write one last song before he dies. He is kind of scared to enter a new relationship and is unwilling to leave the house.
Mimi vs Mimi
La Bohème is a tragic love story, so Mimi is the other 1/2. It is Rodolfo and Mimi’s story. She is the most fragile and vulnerable of the two. It is Mimi, who ends up dying- you know for a fact from the time Rodolfo met Mimi to her death that they had true love for each other.
In Rent, they do not change Mimi’s name- Roger and Mimi stay the main couple. They have a struggling relationship. Mimi is a drug addict, dancer, and has HIV. Mimi is what allows Roger to finally come out of his shell. They had love for each other all long- they are my favorite of all three Rent couples. I do think Mimi from Rent is the most fragile and vulnerable of all of them. She has a slightly different fate then Mimi from La Bohème- Mimi ALMOST died in Rent, but survived.
Marcello vs Mark
Like I already said, he lives with Rodolfo, Schunard, and Colline. He is an artist. In La Bohème, he is in a relationship with Musetta.
In Rent, Mark is the narrator and a filmmaker. He recently broke up with Maureen. He is one of those who does not have HIV, but still affected by it since he has to see his friends suffer from it. After all, Roger is his best friend and they live together-he actually has four friends who deal with HIV (Roger, Angel, Mimi, and Collins).
Schunard vs Angel
It took some time for me to figure out who was Angel’s counterpart in La Bohème, but soon figured it out. Angel’s last name was Schunard and Schunard in La Bohème did end up killing a parrot (doesn’t that sound familiar to the dog in Rent?). Schunard actually doesn’t even have romantic partner.
A major difference between Schunard and Angel is that Angel now has a romantic interest. He and Collins become a couple- those two make every moment count since they both have HIV. Roger/Mimi and Maureen/Joanne struggle and fight at times or go in and out of the relationship even though things eventually work out in the end. They are one of the few non-heterosexual couples I have seen in a musical.
Colline vs Collins (still feel like I barely know him in both)
The best thing I know about him in La Bohème is that he is friends with Rodolfo, Schunard, and Marcello.
Collins, in Rent, has HIV and ends up in a relationship with Angel. He is gay.
Musetta vs Maureen
Musetta, in some ways, does provide some moments of comic relief in La Bohème. She is crazy and in a relationship with Marcello. She can be a sweet person, but still crazy. She was sweet with Mimi when she was at her weakest. The craziness is how I was able to figure out her counterpart in Rent.
Maureen, is crazy-no joke about that. She is a performance artist and is in a relationship with Joanne, but she can’t help but flirt with other boys, which annoys Joanne. Maureen still has her sweet side-like when everyone thought Mimi was dying, you do see it and in other moments. She is bisexual.
( ) vs Joanne
Here’s the thing about Joanne, she has no counterpart in La Bohème. She was added to Rent. That is what allowed a third couple to enter-Maureen/Joanne are a couple, which is the most problematic couple in Rent. They are the two who are fighting the most. Joanne is a lawyer. Another non-heterosexual couple.
Bonit vs Benny
Bonit is basically a minor character in La Bohème, but he is the landlord of Rodolfo’s apartment.
What Rent did with Bonit is make him a major character. Benny still is a character and still the landlord of where Roger, Mark, and Mimi live (that is who lives there), but serves more as the antagonist. He actually is much more of a character in Rent than La Bohème.
There are some differences with the plot. Both are still sad.
Different time periods and locations: La Bohème (France-1830) and Rent (East Side of NYC-1980s or 1990s).
Disease change: Tuberculosis to HIV/AIDS- that had to do with time period change.
Number of relationships: 2 to 3: (Rudlofo/Mimi and Marcello/Musetta) to (Roger/Mimi, Angel/Collins, Maureen/Joanne)
Death: that changed. Mimi died in La Bohème while it was Angel in Rent. However, Mimi ALMOST died in Rent.
Animal- well, Angel (Schnauard) killed a parrot in La Bohème, and it was a dog in Rent
What does Les Mis, La Bohème, Phantom of the Opera, and Newsies have in common? They all take place during the 1800s and they are musical shows (either a musical or an opera). All of them, but Newsies, take place in France. Newsies is the one looks out of place- it is Disney and takes place in Manhattan. However- Newsies still takes place in the same century as the other three. I do love all four shows- will try to explain below.
It is obvious by now that Les Mis holds a lot of meaning. Strong emotional connection. Tragic and inspiring storyline. Powerful, emotional, epic, and passionate songs. While a tragedy- still has its’ themes of compassion, hope, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. The characters are so interconnected that they directly and indirectly impact each others’ lives. Les Mis is so carefully planned out that if you get of one small thing- even one tiny thing-the entire thing starts unraveling itself. Those songs are emotional to the point of getting goosebumps and reducing you to tears- that is what they have done to me.
This is an opera- but still fits under the umbrella of telling a story through song. La Bohème is the tragic love story of Rodolfo and Mimi set in France in the 1830s. The songs between Rodolfo and Mimi are beautiful and truly brings out their love for each other even in the end-no matter the complications that come up in their relationship, they always had true love for each other. La Bohème so far is my favorite love story despite it being tragic.
Phantom of the Opera
Now, going further into the 1800s- as in late 1800s, we move into the Paris Opera House. This is truly a hauntingly beautiful musical. Phantom of the Opera is a love triangle found between Phantom, Christine, and Raoul. It is full of suspense, mystery, revenge, beauty, and love. While Christine and Raoul truly love each other, it makes Phantom not react well to his unrequited love, which makes it angelic and beautiful, but haunting. The music is haunting at times and beautiful at times-which fits perfectly into Phantom of the Opera.
Yes, Newsies is a 1800s musical, and it is set in 1899 in Manhattan. It is about the Newsboys Strike of 1899, and yes this event really did happen. When Pulitizer raised the price of newspapers, the newsboys went on strike. Eventually, this event was known through the musical, Newsies. There are a lot of reasons why I love Newsies- the mind-blowing dance, the energetic and at times emotional songs, the characters, and the story.
I love the Newsies mostly Jack Kelly (their leader) and Crutchie, and part of that comes from their intimate and special bond. When you see Newsies, you will see dance that will blow your mind: it did win Tony Award Choreography, and you will understand why once you see the show. Due to it being a dance-natured show, it has to have energetic songs, and “Seize the Day” is my favorite song in Newsies (there is one moment, they are dancing on Newspapers). There are even more emotional songs (“Santa Fe” is a sad song). Eventually, once it had a tour, they added in “Letter from the Refuge”, Crutchie’s solo- it used to be just “Santa Fe”, that was sad, but “Letter From the Refuge” fits that too-now both are used for all productions. The storyline is so inspiring- the fact that these newsboys stood up for what they believe in, despite barely having much, and never gave up is incredible.
These are a collection of blog posts I have written throughout the everyday inspiration course. I decided to focus on a certain theme and I decided to focus on musical theatre. True, I included a review of an Opera, but if you think about it Operas are a part of musical theatre.
Last night, I went to “The Metropolitan Opera: La Bohème ENCORE” with my mom yesterday. Ever since I heard of this opera I wanted to see it so much. That was because of my love for the musical Rent, which is based off of La Bohème. That is why I did not need to do too much research about the show when I saw it yesterday. I was aware that La Bohème was going to be similar to Rent, but at the same time I know things were going to be different.
La Bohème is the tragic love story between Mimi and Rodolfo in France during the 1830s. It was a time when France was blossoming with the arts and love. The characters in this Opera celebrate the Bohemian lifestyle. Even disease and poverty are relevant to France in this time period. All of the main characters also are some kind of artist. They range from seamstress to painter to poet to philosopher to musician. Another love story is part of this opera, which is between Musetta and Marcello, but the story is really about Rodolfo and Mimi.
Later on in the Opera, we learn about Mimi’s poor health, which is what will make the love story tragic. At this point, Rodolfo wants to separate from Mimi because he is scared to be in a relationship with her because of her illness. However, Mimi convinces him to stay in the relationship and Rodolfo agrees because their love for each other is so strong. The show ends with Mimi dying, but gets to die surrounded by friends and next door to Rodolfo.
I loved this Opera. The sets and staging was just incredible. The artist’s loft was incredible, which was where Rodolfo, Marcello, Colline, and Schaunard live. It reflects the poverty that the four are struggling with. The sets also reflect the town where the show takes places, which is where Rodolfo buys presents for Mimi and the cafe where all the main characters hang out. The set was also incredible outside of a tavern, and the snow looked so real. The main set is really the garret where the characters live, which was the highlight of the different sets.
The acting was truly incredible especially on Mimi. That is due to the fact that there was a scramble the day before. It was just learned that the actress who usually plays Mimi fell ill and they needed a replacement fast. They ended up using an actress who just played Butterfly the day before. In less then a day, that actress had to learn everything from staging to costume fitting to music. She had to have played the part before in order to remember everything. The fact that she was able to go from two different plots in just a short period of time is hard to believe. Even the other leads were incredible especially Rodolfo and Musetta. Musetta was so crazy and funny and even loved how she was so nice to Mimi on her deathbed.
Even the songs were beautiful. The ones I loved the most were the ones sung between Mimi and Rodolfo. I think the love the two have for each other is one of the biggest reasons why La Bohème is one of the most famous Operas ever. If it wasn’t for Rent, I never would have interested in seeing this Opera in the first place. I never would have discovered the Opera or have wanted to actually see one. Throughout the show, I kept on finding references from Rent. Each opened up on Christmas Eve, Mimi and Rodolfo met in a similar way that Mimi and Roger met, the scene at the end of act 2 in La Bohème is similar to the end of act 1 in Rent, the whole parrot incident is similar to the incident of the dog, there is a scene in La Bohème that is similar to Goodbye Love in Rent, which is when Rodolfo and Marcello are arguing with Mimi listening to everything they are saying, there are similar relationship struggles between Rodolfo and Mimi and Mimi and Roger. Understanding Rent allowed me to understand La Bohème. Even character names are similar.
Just by seeing La Bohème, I was able to pick up on differences between Opera and musical. The two are very similar, but still are portrayed quite similar. In Opera, actors are singing without the help of a microphone, but in musicals the actors sing with help. Even the sounds and styles of singing are different.Even the language is different because Opera are always sung by the language the show was initially written in. Unlike musicals, Operas have a reputation for being tragic. Just through La Bohème, I can already see how differently tragedies are portrayed. In tragic opera, death scenes take even longer because in La Bohème, Mimi’s death scene takes an entire act. In musicals, death scenes don’t take as long. Most musical deaths are quick, but some are drawn out, but not quite as drawn out as Opera.