Importance of Ovens Auditorium

Blumenthal Performing Arts is home to about seven theaters. Their main theater is Belk Theater. At Belk, you can see operas, musicals, symphonies, and ballet. I saw Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Lion King, Newsies, Pippin, Rent, Come From Away, Mamma Mia, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage at Belk. As for operas and ballet, saw La Bohème and Nutcracker there.

Despite Belk being the main theater, it isn’t even the largest. That really surprised me when I learned that Ovens is actually bigger- Belk may have more levels, but Ovens is wider and deeper. If Ovens didn’t exist, there is a good chance many musicals never would have made it to Charlotte. Ovens is able to host musicals when something is happening at Belk. So Ovens allows for a lot more availability.

While I did not see many musicals at Ovens—–I am glad that Ovens does exist or else none of them might have made it to Blumenthal. I saw Addams Family, A Christmas Story-The Musical, Les Mis, and Wicked at Ovens. Whenever I think of Ovens, I think of Wicked: I was able to catch that musical three times on tour. The latest time I saw Wicked, I was watching it with my school. When I saw Les Mis at Ovens, it was a date with my mom: that was our 2nd date to Les Mis: the 1st was in London.

I did not like ALL the Blumenthal shows I saw, but defiantly liked most. Addams Family, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage were musicals I did not even like.

Musical Movies I Would Recommend

If you live outside of a place that isn’t well known for musical, there still has to be a way to exposed to musicals. Well, this is when musical movies and filmed stage shows come in handy. In addition, musical movies are one of the easiest ways to fall in love with musicals especially during this crisis. What are some of my recommendations.

Les Mis

Well, the 2012 movie was how I fell in love with Les Mis. What I really loved about this movie is how the actors were singing live on set. It has a combo of film actors and stage actors. Yes, the plot can seem confusing at first or even too heartbreaking. But if you search deeper, you will realize the musical is also uplifting and inspiring. It is the easiest to start with the movie: to get used to the plot and fall in love with the songs.

Phantom of the Opera- 25th Special

Well, I saw both the film and 25th special. The 25th is the actual stage show- as in the Original. You have incredible actors. Les Mis may have the 25th and 10th concert films, but not the best way to start with Les Mis. Phantom of the Opera is hauntingly beautiful- the songs show that.

The Greatest Showman

Even though it is not a stage musical, it still is an incredible movie musical. Hugh Jackman really shines at P.T. Barnum: he actually was better in this role- he was Jean Valjean in the Les Mis movie, but shines a lot more as Barnum. The spectacle, the talent, and the songs together are why I would recommend this musical.

Newsies- The Filmed Stage Show

The stage show is SO much better than the movie. It makes the main character, Jack Kelly, more complex and with the addition of Katherine, you get a strong female voice in a cast that is extremely male-based. The filmed stage show has some Original Cast Members. It also is home to mind-blowing dance.

Sound of Music

If you want to start with Rodgers and Hammerstein, I would recommended Sound of Music. It has the incredible Julie Andrews playing Maria. From its exciting numbers to the heartwarming story about music and family to the incredible batch of characters. If you actually fell in love with this movie, I would recommend heading towards Oklahoma, South Pacific, Cinderella, and King and I. Nothing can go wrong with Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Aladdin- Live Action

Disney is an incredible way to start seeing musicals. What I love about the live action movie is that it actually develops well-loved characters further. With the addition of “Speechless”- it makes Jasmine a much stronger character. The actors who play Jasmine and Aladdin are incredible. It is one of the most magical Disney films.

Beauty and the Beast- Live Action

This is such a magical movie. It really shows how “beauty can from within”. It mostly takes place in a castle with enchanting objects. The dance between Belle and Beast is one of the most magical scenes in Disney. With the addition of “Evermore”, it makes the Beast even more complex.

Rent-Final Broadway Cast Film

Rent is truly a story about how to live life. It is talking about living your life in the moment and in love. It focuses on a life of friends in a year during the HIV/AIDS epidemic . Because this is the Final Broadway Cast, you have an incredible cast. It is extremely relevant to now- considering the crisis we are in the middle.

If you are looking for a feel good story, then Mamma Mia is for you. Based on the songs of ABBA, you have an incredible collection of songs. Played by incredible actors. In addition, if you are looking for another feel good story, I would recommend Singin’ in the Rain as well.

Conclusion:

I included a lot of incredible musicals to start with. It has the musicals from the feel good stories to more heartbreaking stories. I also can recommend the musical movies of Oliver, Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof. That is what I have for now.

What musical movies can you add to this?

Simple Musicals- What makes Them Simple

While yesterday, I talked about what makes musicals complex. I decided to do the complete opposite and describe what makes a musical simple. The idea of simple and complex musicals might be confusing to some people. So what exactly makes a musical simple?

Songs

The songs in these musicals tend to just consist of happy songs. They don’t really have negative emotions in their songs. But some actually do, but the sad song most likely will not be strong enough to get a strong emotional reaction. However, I have come across one simple musical that has a heartbreaking song in it, but that is rare in the simple musicals.

Plot

Well, you can’t really find subplots in them. The only subplot you most likely will find is a romantic subplot. They range from not having a plot or having a plot, but not much to it. That means it is very easy to follow the plot and not having many things happening throughout the entire musical.

Characters

The main character usually is not that complex. There are only a few words you can use to even describe the protagonist. It can be difficult to even find a complex character, and if there is—-most likely they might be the only complex character. I tend to lean towards complex plots and characters, but I still can love a simple musical. A lot of these characters usually tend be without their flaws and only have strengths.

Emotional Connection

Just like complex musicals, it still is possible that you will form an emotional connection. But, it can be easier to form an strong emotional connection in complex musicals because the characters feel more real and believable.

Examples of Simple Musicals

  1. Cats- that is the only musical where I have found a heartbreaking song (“Memory”)
  2. Mamma Mia
  3. Annie

Can you think of other simple musicals?

Dancing Queen

I have not yet talked about this kind of musical: the jukebox musicals. If you know ABBA, you will know some of Mamma Mia’s songs. That is what a jukebox does: it forms a plot around the songs of a musician or band. What do I love about Mamma Mia?

Songs:

It has one of the most fun song list. Literally, basically all of the songs are happy . You want those kind of song lists to exist. You need that balance or else there wouldn’t be a good balance. You need the right balance in order for there to be the sad songs especially once you reach the tragic musicals.

Plot:

Yes, with the jukebox musical style, the plot is a bit weak, but it still is incredible to see unfold. It is so light-hearted. The storyline might be basic or might seem silly. The way they picked the songs does work with this plot.

Characters:

I do love the characters of Mamma Mia. I am the most connected to Sophie, our protagonist- it is the easiest to follow her journey outside of the other characters. I still feel like I am getting to know ALL of the major character despite it being 12 years since falling in love with Mamma Mia.

Conclusion:

This has been an interesting blog series. This one has been one of the hardest-it has felt like forever since I watched the film of Mamma Mia, but I still love the musical.

Favorite Song: Dancing Queen

Favorite Musicals and Favorite Songs

All musical theatre fans have their favorite musicals. In each musical, there is usually a song that becomes their favorite. I decided to write a list of some of my favorite musicals and what my favorite song is.

  1. Wicked- Popular
  2. Les Mis- (Do I have to say more); this is an exception where I can’t pick
  3. Sound of Music- Edelweiss
  4. Phantom of the Opera- either Music of the Night or All I Ask of You
  5. Annie- Tomorrow
  6. Newsies- Seize the Day
  7. Beauty and the Beast- Beauty and the Beast
  8. Lion King- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
  9. Rent- Seasons of Love
  10. Music Man- Seventy Six Trombones
  11. South Pacific- Some Enchanted Evening
  12. Pippin- Corner of the Sky
  13. Mamma Mia- Dancing Queen
  14. Man of La Mancha- Impossible Dream
  15. Godspell- We Beseech Thee