July in Review

Today I will talk about my highlights of July 2018.

Symphonies: Celebrate America Pops Symphony

Every year in Charlotte, there is an outdoor symphony series called the summer Pops. One of them is for Fourth of July, which is usually celebrated before Fourth of July. That one uses songs such as God Bless America, National Anthem, America the Beautiful and a section that honors our veterans and this symphony had a overture from the musical, Guys and Dolls.

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Trips: Lake Hartwell, Georgia

So I went to a long weekend trip to Lake Hartwell. I went there to be with members of my extended family: this sounds crazy, I was with third cousins during that weekend. I spent time on the lake for only two days. I helped bake a blueberry pie.

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Musicals: Newsies (BIG SURPRISE)

Well, I wanted to see CPCC’s production of Newsies to see how they could handle the dancing. The week came and all week, my family never seemed to tell me that I was going to see Newsies or anything. So I naturally assumed that it wasn’t going to happen.

Than this happens: Saturday: one of my best friends from college shows up at my house without her telling me. I did not know why on earth she would suddenly show up. She asked me if she where we were going: I said “no” and she was glad. I really had no idea what surprise she had up her sleeve. She drove the two of us downtown, and then we were near CPCC. We drove in the theatre parking deck: I was telling her only those seeing Newsies can park: she just told me “she just wants to see the theatre”. That made no sense to me one bit. Okay, now the two of us were waiting in the will call line and she was saying “I just want to see the theatre” and I was like “just talk to an usher”. It turns out in the end she bought the two of us tickets to see Newsies in June. So there you have it: when I totally thought I wasn’t going to their production: I ended up seeing it.

Below is a link to the Newsies review

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

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This was basically an overview of my July 2018.

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Top Ten Songs from Newsies

Now, I am on to my first Disney musical, Newsies. Newsies is the most recent musical I have seen live. I have only loved it for two years after seeing it on tour August 2016. So here are my top ten Newsies songs.

1. Seize the Day- this is my favorite song from Newsies. This is also my favorite dance number in the entire musical. It includes them dancing on newspapers. It is such a fun number, and it is truly when the strike begins. It is just a very fun number.

2. Carrying the Banner- what I love about Carrying the Banner is that it introduces you to the bond that all the Newsies share. It shows just how much they really care about each other and shows what they are all about. You are introduced to how incredible the dancing is in this musical

3. The World Will Know- once again, another dance number. This is right after Jack brings up an idea of the strike. It is when they truly form their union. You are shown another amount of dancing. Each time you see the incredible dancing, the more and more you root for the Newsies it seems.

4. King of New York- well, another dance number. This is what I like to call their big tap-dance number. This is when Katherine tells them they finally made the front page

5. Santa Fe (Prologue)- this opens up the musical. It introduces you to both Jack and Crutchie. It tells you about Jack’s dream to go to Santa Fe. It really shows the intimate bond these two Newsies share. So you quickly can get emotionally connected to the show. ┬áThis is shown as a very hopeful song.

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6. Santa Fe- this time Jack is singing Santa Fe all alone. This happens right after a big fight breaks out. Jack witnesses all of this and sees Crutchie being arrested. This hurts him quite a big deal, which makes Santa Fe a sad song. A lot of the times, the best musicals have sad songs in them. It is an incredible act one closer. He reflects on his dream again; he just wants to end the strike as soon as possible. He just doesn’t want his brothers to get hurt again, and that shows just how much he cares about them.

7. Something to Believe In- there is something magic about Disney love songs. This is a very beautiful love song found between Jack and Katherine.

8. Letter From the Refuge- this song is a song added to the tour and is now used for any production of Newsies. This song is Crutchie’s solo he sings at the Refuge. This song is heartbreaking, but it shows that he still has hopes for the strike. So he is still optimistic despite his current situation. It helps further the bond between Jack and Crutchie. I really love that this song was added.

9. Once and For All- the melody of this song shows the Newsies determination. They have sneaked into the World to use Pulitzer’s Printing to print their own paper to ask all young workers to stop working for the day.

10. Watch What Happens- This shows Katherine’s frustration at trying to write a report on the strike. This is basically a song about how passionate she is about her work and dealing with writer’s block. This really lets us get to know who Katherine is.

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As you can tell, just about all of these songs deal with the Newsies. It is very important to root for the Newsies because well the show is all about them. Katherine is rooting for them as well because she after all becomes the reporter of the strike. Newsies is a fun, dance-filled, and at times emotional musical. I said at times emotional musical due to songs like Santa Fe and Letter From the Refuge.

Contribution Understudies Put to Theatre

I talked about this before, but I feel like understudies keep on being under appreciated. Without them, so many shows would be cancelled. You have to know how to truly respect them and what they are able to bring to their roles. From the years 2014-2017, I have had a lot of understudies and throughout those years, I have truly learned to really respect them. Without them, you know how much trouble theatre would be? They would be in a lot of a lot. Below I will put a list of mine and if I remember anything about them, I will talk about them.

Possible Spoilers:

1. Grace Morgan (Christine)- I don’t fully remember her when I saw Phantom of the Opera. However, I remember getting choked up by this cast. I remember being drawn to Christine so I bet she was really good as Christine.10354149_10203791645890941_4955988638206113711_n

2. Lisa Karlin (Leading Player)- This was my first time seeing Pippin. She was the true standout in this production. Everything I know about the Leading Player was based off of her portrayal. She was able to hide her evilness around Pippin to make it seem like she was someone he can trust and to do that she was very playful around him. She was quite crafty and in “Magic to Do”, I detected a small hint of evil, and then in “Glory”, she was much more dark and evil. Everything I know about this character is Lisa Karlin. Just by one actress, I know so much about one actress: that is impressive.

3. Sam Lips- due to being so intrigued by Lisa Karlin, I don’t remember a clue about Sam.

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4. Adam Bayjou- I literally was in the West End, and I was thinking “wait a minute, I am in the West End about to live my dream and I have a understudy for Jean Valjean”. I was a little bit nervous. Here is how I can say how brilliant he was: I forgot I was watching an understudy: think about that: if you forgot you watched an understudy, that is real talent right there. Below is a picture of me with Adam at Stage Door.

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5. Mary Kate Morrissey- When I have an understudy for Elphaba, it can be kind of scary for me because Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. She was actually the standby for Elphaba. Mary Kate embodied everything about Elphaba while bringing something new to the character. She made me appreciate a song I always hated, a song that always seemed emotionless to me: “No Good Deed”. She changed her voice to fit the character: act I: her voice was so much more innocent, but in act II, she changed it to be mature.

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6. Kaitlyn Frank- I did basically forget about her version of Katherine Plumber. I got so into Joey Barreiro as Jack that I did forget about the other acting. I also got mind-blown with the talent into the dancing. However, I recently saw my original Newsies review and it did say she had incredible chemistry with Joey.

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7. Talia Simone Robinson- this was a bit of a coincidence. How is it that my 2nd professional cast of Les Mis did I end up with an understudy? I thought that was the craziest thing, but this time instead of Jean Valjean, my understudy was Eponine. Talia wasn’t the strongest actor in the love triangle: it was Marius instead. However Talia had extremely strong moments as Eponine. She did not start out that strong as Eponine, but she eventually was able to embody the role. She was flirty and playful around Marius. As I recall, I think I heard some tears at the end of “On My Own” and during that song, I got some goosebumps. Than during “A Little Fall of Rain”, each time she tried to move, she barely could showing that she was weak and just getting weaker indicting that she was dying.

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So RESPECT the understudies. They have much more talent than you realize. They are able to embody the roles more than you think. Look at all of these understudies. When I saw Lisa, I didn’t even know who the Leading Player was, and Lisa was able to get me so intrigued by that actor and usually the first time I discover the antagonist, that usually that doesn’t happen. Then at Mary Kate, she made me appreciate I song I always hated for once. I was able to respect what Talia was able to bring to Eponine even though she didn’t start out that strong; she eventually was able to embody the role. It is not easy to be an understudy: they have to work harder than anybody. You have to be aware how many productions would be canceled if they didn’t exist. Just appreciate them much more.

Newsies Surprise

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So far in the summer I had seen two shows at CPCC: Oklahoma and Grease. I had been dying to catch Newsies, a musical that entered my life two years ago. It felt like I would never get to see it. Well, one of my best friends from college literally came to my house and honestly had no idea she was coming. She had another surprise coming and managed to keep it a secret. She drove the two of us to CPCC and what do you know: she bought us tickets to see Newsies. So what a surprise that was. So: I did not know Sydney was coming to Charlotte to literally take me to Newsies at CPCC. I never known about seeing a musical very last minute like that before. I mainly wanted to see Newsies to see how CPCC could handle the dance. I just was so wowed by the surprise, which added to my experience of actually seeing the show.

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As expected with any CPCC show, I could not see as a college production. They kept the towers that other productions of Newsies has. They needed somehow to represent the rooftop where Jack and Crutchie lived, the place where the other Newsies lived along with Medda’s theatre among other things. So I am so glad the set had the towers.

Jack Kelly was played by Ashton Guthrie. He played Jack as very mature, which I liked seeing as. He gave it his all in “Santa Fe”, which got me quite emotional. It almost made me tear up. He showed the nature of being a leader and acted older than many of the Newsies. While he costume did not make him look dreamy, it did make him look like he was one of the older Newsies. I liked seeing the difference in costume. That is what is fun about college or local productions: costumes that are only in that particular costume. But in “Something to Believe In”, Jack was much more innocent to show his love for Katherine. So he was able to work with his emotions in different ways. He was able to bring out the inner conflict that Jack eventually has to deal with.

I loved the fact that Crutchie was black. It showed that CPCC was accepting of their performers. Treston Henderson was just incredible during “Letter from the Refuge”, another moment that got me emotional. He showed his optimism during that number. The only thing that seemed maybe a bit off is that Crutchie might have done a bit more dance than he should have done. After all Crutchie has a bum leg: however he doesn’t do the really really advanced dancing. Just saying. Treston was an amazing performer as well.

Collin Newton was Davey. He did show Davey’s shyness at the beginning, but soon was able to show how Davey was eventually was able to come out of his shell. Even in that one moment when thing weren’t going this actor’s way, it showed how he was able to deal with it. He got frustrated for a few seconds, but dealt with it nicely. That showed how mature of an actor he was.

Robin Dunavant was Katherine. I really loved her in both “Watch What Happens” and “Something to Believe In”. She gave it her all in her solo number and showed Katherine’s frustrations as she was struggling with figuring out to write in “Watch What Happens” and that is when Robin really started to shine as Katherine. I loved all her acting leading up to “Something to Believe In”. In “Something to Believe In”, she was very innocent, which matched perfectly with Ashton’s Jack.

About all the Newsies, they really showed their bond. It was quite strong throughout. Once again, they were quite talented at their dance. They were doing all these wonderful tricks like flipping, dancing on newspapers among other things. What was interesting about “King of New York”, instead of just Katherine, there were two other females dancing: I thought that was unique. It is just interesting seeing what other productions will do.

CPCC really knows what they are doing when it comes to theatre. Newsies has got to be one of their best.

Who is Davey?

Davey is a character I barely know. I will try my best to analyze him.

Possible Spoilers:

Davey is basically the Newsie I would like to call the “new” Newsie. He is the only one of the Newsies who actually has a family. He arrives to the newsstand with his little brother, Les. He became a Newsie because his father got injured during his job and was laid off because of it. Davey started off as shy, but as time goes by, he interacts more and more with the Newsies.

. Whenever Jack doesn’t know what to say during the strike, Davey does the talking. While Jack is the leader, I feel like Davey is second in command. Davey helps Jack deal with the inner conflict he is going through in act II at times. While Jack began the strike, Davey was the one who came up with the rally.

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Who is Katherine Plumber?

Just like Roger, Katherine is another musical character I love and barely know.

Possible Spoilers:

Katherine is the only major female character in Newsies. After all Newsies is about the Newsboys Strike of 1899. She ends up becoming the reporter of the strike and ends up falling in love with Jack. She is an complex and independent young woman. She loves reporting and we discover in act II that she is Pultizer’s daughter. I still don’t quite know why she is complex, but I know that she is. She does help Jack when he is dealing with some inner conflict in act II.

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Who are the Newsies?

The Newsies are the first group I am doing on this series.

The Newsies are a group of boys who have a special bond. Jack Kelly is the leader of this group of brothers. Overall, the Newsies are a family who stick together no matter what. They sell newspapers in order to survive. They are either orphans, homeless, or runaways. When Pulitzer raises the price of their papers, they band together and go on strike. That shows just how courageous they are. It is Jack’s idea to go on strike and the Newsies never give up on their cause. . No matter what the difficulties the strike causes, they never give up.