Non-Tour Musicals I Saw

True, I have seen mostly musicals on tour. However, there have been a select amount of musicals I have seen either through school, local, or through Broadway/West End. This post will bring up those musicals and will try to be in order.

  1. Wicked- 2006
  2. Oliver- 2007 (don’t remember seeing)
  3. Godspell- 2012
  4. Les Mis-2013
  5. Les Mis-2013 (as an usher)
  6. Les Mis-2013 (as an usher)
  7. Scrooge-2014
  8. Music Man- 2015
  9. Les Mis-2015
  10. Little Shop of Horrors- 2017
  11. Oklahoma- 2018
  12. Grease-2018
  13. Newsies-2018

This is a combo of Barter Theater, Pease Auditorium (which no longer exists), Halton Theater, Dover Theater, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Gershwin Theater and Queen’s Theater. Of that list- the only musical I have no memory of seeing is Oliver at Barter Theater. The rest are musicals I remember seeing.

Musical Death Poem #1

Just two days ago, I wrote a poem about death in musicals. Now I decided to write a poem about one musical at a time. Lets see if you can figure which one I am talking about.

Death Poem #1:

Odd way to see a death

Just so funny and bizarre

How can death be so funny at all

That is what you get when a plant exists

That feeds on humans and blood

Still the oddest and funniest deaths there are

Analysis of Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, and Les Mis

In 2017, I saw three musicals live. They are Little Shop of Horrors at Gardner Webb, Rent at Charlotte, and Les Mis in Greenville. Today I will take about each of them and what I thought about. The interesting thing about them is the order in which I saw them since they literally in order of how much I like them.

First up is Little Shop of Horrors, my least favorite of the three. I saw that musical in February of this year. It was a well-done production at my school. The singing was incredible and so was the set. I am not a big fan or even love the show, but some of the songs are incredible.

Here is a proper review of Little Shop of Horrors:

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/little-shop-of-horrors-review/

Next is Rent, the musical that defines this year of musicals. I like this show a lot more than Little Shop of Horrors. Rent is actually one of the meaningful musicals of my life. The reason why I said it represents this year’s musicals is due to the wait. I have been waiting five years to see it live and I finally got my chance. I was an emotional wreck watching Rent and my parents and I sat in the Mezzanine towards the center and those were just perfect seats because I could see the entire set. The timing was perfect because I fell in love with the musical five years ago in the Fall so it was interesting I would see the show in Fall. Seeing it live made me a bigger fan of Rent and more emotionally connected to the material.

Here is a proper review of Rent: https://wordpress.com/posts/megsdailymusings.wordpress.com?s=measured+

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You would think Les Mis would represent this year of musicals because of all three it was the best. The one with the best songs, the best characters, and the best plot. But due to my wait with Rent, it makes sense why that one represents this year. I saw the musical in Greenville on November 5th with Gardner Webb. Just like Rent, I was an emotional wreck watching Les Mis. I remember crying and feeling goosebumps. This cast had a lot to live up to due to my West End cast. This particular cast delivered and brought all the unique things about Les Mis to life.

This was my 2nd professional cast and my 1st time seeing in on tour. I was able to see the brand new 25th anniversary production and I loved it. The use of the projections was wonderful and the way the set flowed. Even at the barricade, sometimes I could hear a gunshot hit the back of theatre. I was sitting in the balcony in one of the first couple of rows and despite being so high up, I still could see everything. The ensemble was just incredible and loved the leads especially those who played Jean Valjean, Marius, and Enjolras.

I had an understudy as Eponine during this production, which is a bit of a coincidence because when I saw the show in the West End, I had an understudy as Jean Valjean. It is interesting that I would see Les Mis in November because the first time I ever saw the stage show, which was four years ago, I saw it in the month of November.

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Here is a proper review of Les Mis: https://wordpress.com/posts/megsdailymusings.wordpress.com?s=review+of+L+

 

My Feelings On Death in Musicals

I have mixed feelings when it comes to a death in a musical. The ones that have existed have been either bizarre or funny, constantly overlooked, or memorable and emotional. The thing is growing up I always thought a death would always not be interesting or even worth it. I did see musicals where a character did die growing up, but those kept on being overlooked or I completely forgot what happened in the musical.

For a warning: this will be a spoiler heavy post

For starters, musical deaths can be overlooked. One of the most overlooked deaths comes from a musical I have seen live four times. Wicked has a death involved in it, but I always overlook it all the time. Nessa, Elphaba’s sister dies in act II after a house lands on her after a tornado. I know it happens, but to this day, I still overlook it, which is kind of odd because I have such a personal bond to Elphaba so why would I overlook what happens to her sister? But then again, all do you is hear about her death, not exactly watch it, which is why I might be overlooking it and I keep on being so involved in the friendship story and the love triangle story of Fiyero, Elphaba, and Glinda and as a result, I keep on forgetting about things that happen to both Boq and Nessa.

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So, I just called some musical deaths bizarre and funny. How in the world can you call a death bizarre or even funny, which sounds a bit ironic. Well, the musical, Little Shop of Horrors, does have the antagonist of a man-eating plant so it does eat characters throughout the show. Just watching the plant eat certain characters is funny and in a way quite bizarre because this musical has some of the most unrealistic deaths ever. I find it funny seeing both Orin and Mr. Mushnik fed to the plant.

In the stage show, Audrey and Seymour are eaten by the plant too, but in the movie they are not. So I don’t know what to think when it comes to both of their deaths. Of the entire musical, those are the only two characters I love. When I saw Little Shop of Horrors this year, I wanted to cry at Audrey’s death, but I didn’t. Seymour ran into the shop and saw Audrey about to be eaten by the plant and did pull her out, but the plant did fatally wound her and a reprise of “Somewhere That’s Green” is sung and she dies in Seymour’s arms and in the end after she died, Seymour did feed her to the plant. I wanted to yell at the plant constantly throughout the musical. Still I don’t know how to describe Seymour and Audrey when it comes to death when they die in the stage show and live in the movie, which makes no sense to me one bit.

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When I saw Man of La Mancha in 2015, I already knew there was going to be a death in the musical due to a Spanish project I recently completed. I learned that Don Quixote is a tragicomic character and I knew he was going to die in the story. When I saw that scene, I remember crying. But I have seen some deaths that are more memorable than his.

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So far the most memorable and emotional deaths come from the same musical. Les Mis has some of the most memorable deaths ever. It does have a high death toll in it, which is hard to get used to at first. There is something about Les Mis that makes me really care about these characters. Most of these characters do not die alone, but they are with someone at the time of their death, which gives them joy, peace, and comfort and sometimes shown compassion. These deaths have made me get emotional and have even reduced me to tears due to the love I love at the songs that happen at their deaths and the relationship I have created to the characters.

Fantine is the first to die in Les Mis and she dies of sickness. She dies with Valjean by her side. Valjean shows compassion in two ways: 1) he stays with her till she dies and 2) he promises to raise her daughter, Cosette as his own. Good thing there is a big gap between her death and the second one. Fantine dies early in the first act, but you don’t get another death until act II, which is when the barricades are. “Come to Me” does play a role her death being memorable.

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The second character to die is Eponine and she gets to die, despite being shot, in Marius’ arms, the boy she loves, and he ends up showing her compassion by staying with her till she dies even though he is quite heartbroken. Her death is memorable and “A Little Fall of Rain” is a reason why I love this death. It sounds crazy that you actually “love” seeing a favorite character die-well, yes seeing a favorite character die in a musical can be devastating, but I still am moved and touched and I actually am happy in Eponine’s death as well because I am happy seeing her happy for once in her life.

The students and Gavroche die for what they believe in and all of them lose their lives except for Marius, which really shows just how unsuccessful the June Rebellion of 1832 was. Gavroche was just a kid, but he still died for what he believed in. The students stayed passionate even in death.

Javert actually in my opinion has the saddest death because he commits suicide so he is the only character who actually dies alone, but from my point of view, his death is the least memorable and it is hard to feel for Javert throughout his story. I just have a hard time finding common ground with him. But you can find actors who make you care about his journey. The only Javert who has managed to do that even at his suicide scene is my Javert in the West End.

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The last character to lose their life in all of Les Mis belongs to Jean Valjean. He ends up dying with Marius, his now son-in-law and Cosette, his adopted daughter by his side. He truly has become a better person throughout the years. While Valjean dies at least he gets to die in peace and at least he gets to see Cosette one last time. So many characters lose their lives in Les Mis and you feel like you personally get to know them and their deaths are so memorable. Part of it has to do with the songs that are sung as they are dying and part of it has to do with how well you get to know the characters.

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I have many opinions about deaths in musicals. It can be hard to watch a favorite character die especially if you feel like you grow close to them. The overlooked deaths are crazy because I know they happen, but I still overlook those-part of that comes from lack of songs and focusing on a different part of the story when you watch it-that is what I do with Wicked.

I cannot believe I once told myself, A DEATH CAN NEVER BE MEMORABLE-part of why I told myself that is that I couldn’t exactly remember the deaths I had already seen and there were no songs for the deaths to be memorable. I also told myself A MUSICAL SONG CAN NEVER BE ABOUT DEATH.

Turns out Les Mis proved me wrong and I learned that even at a favorite character’s death, you can be touched. It seems as though songs like “A Little of Rain”, “Come to Me”, and “Finale” make those deaths memorable and so worth it and the fact the students die for standing up for what they believe in. The bizarre and funny deaths sounds odd, but that is where the fun of Little Shop of Horrors comes from. Death is just a hard thing to watch in a musical, but Les Mis makes it easy to cope with the deaths due to the songs.

What are your feelings of death in a musical?

Favorite Female Musical Characters: Part One

I recently talked about my favorite male musical characters. Now its the time for my favorite female characters. As a matter of fact, my favorite musical character is female and I will identify which she is. So here is my list of favorite female characters.

  1. Elphaba- Favorite
  2. Glinda
  3. Eponine
  4. Young Cosette
  5. Fantine
  6. Annie
  7. Grizabella
  8. Female Von Trapp Children
  9. Christine
  10. Mimi
  11. Belle
  12. Katherine
  13. Maria- Sound of Music
  14. Anna- King and I
  15. Audrey

These are my favorite female characters I can speak of right now. The next post will go into some of these characters more into detail and explain why I love them. About the the last two, they are two characters I love, but are not from musicals I love.

Little Shop of Horrors Review

This weekend, I have been busy house managing my college’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. The first two nights during the show, I sat in the lobby just listening to the show. From those two nights, I could tell it was a well-done production due to how incredible the singing voices sounded. But last night, actually watched the entire production and I throughly enjoyed it.

Before watching it, I knew about the characters of Seymour and Audrey. I also heard the songs “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Skid Row”, “Grow for Me”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Suddenly Seymour”. I knew that it dealt with a man eating plant and I also knew that this production used four different puppets when it came to the plant.

Possible Spoilers:

The opening of Little Shop of Horrors drew me in right away. Those three singers who open up the show were incredible. Those three had to sound perfect together and in a lot of ways, those characters were sort of like the narrators of the production. The set was very effective and just wonderful.

The cast in this production was incredible. I especially loved the actors who played Audrey and Seymour. They were a wonderful pairing and especially loved during “Suddenly Seymour”. Audrey and Seymour are actually my favorite characters in Little Shop of Horrors. Seymour and Audrey work at Mr.Mushnik’s  Floral Shop and Seymour has a crush on Audrey. “Suddenly Seymour” is the love duet between the two characters and it also is my favorite song from the show.

Orin was very convincing. This is one of the characters that I don’t like. I just don’t like how he treats Audrey and is quite abusive when it comes to her. I even don’t like how he works as a dentist. But, I still loved the acting and singing coming from him.

I loved what the actual plant looked like even though I didn’t love that plant as a character. Its taste for blood and human flesh is bizarre. The most bizarre on-stage deaths I have seen have come from being eaten by this extremely manipulative and very rude plant. In this production, the plant ate Orin, Mr. Mushnik, Audrey, and Seymour. All of the leads were eaten by this plant. Coming in, I basically knew the plant was going eat all of these characters, but that is part of the “fun” of this musical.  I was the least affected by the deaths of Orin and Mr. Mushink. But it was the deaths of Audrey and Seymour that affected me the most because they were my favorite characters. l literally wanted to cry at the death of Audrey. Seymour saw her being eaten by the plant and pulled her out, but she was mortally wounded thanks to the plant. She got to die in the arms of Seymour and I literally had the urge to tear up at that scene. That plant was so particular about what it ate.

Loved seeing how it grew over time. The plant is the reason why the floral shop has had a lot of success. But the voice of the plant was extremely incredible and quite convincing

So overall Little Shop of Horrors is a horror comedy. It was throughly enjoyable. The acting and singing was incredible. It was such an enjoyable experience and loved the choreography. The production picked some of the best puppets for the plant. While Little Shop of Horrors is not a favorite musical of mine, I still think it is a good show. This was actually the first time I ever fully experienced this musical.