The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King- Movie Review

Here we are at the end of the trilogy. It can be hard to know where the film begins. You might think it would be like Two Towers where it continues where Fellowship ended. However, Return of the King started as a flashback as to how Gollum got the ring and how he became the creature that he is- that might be a bit confusing to first time viewers.

While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarms out to conquer all Middle Earth, Frodo and Sam struggle deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the One Ring, ruler of all the accursed Rings of Power, must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way is impossibly hard, and Frodo is weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, he begins finally to despair.

Major or Minor Spoilers:

As with the other films, Middle Earth comes to life. That is one of the best things about this series. They know how to make this fantasy world come to life. You really feel like you are in Middle Earth. You are always introduced to someplace different in each film. In this one, Frodo and Sam finally enter Mordor, and the biggest battle finally happens.

The “hidden passage” to Mordor is actually a spider’s lair- I was worried and scared for Frodo- despite knowing what is going to happen. I knew it wasn’t right to trust Gollum, but at the same time, Frodo and Sam never would have made it into Mordor without him. Most of the time in this film was spent outside of Frodo’s plot- it spent most of it’s time preparing and being at battle. Boy, the good guys were outnumbered- all of the films, I did not like Middle Earth attacked like that, but they never lost hope. Sam continued to be loyal to Frodo in his quest to destroy the ring, such as carrying him when he was too weak to continue up the mountain.

Just like with all Lord of the Rings films, the music helped a lot. It set up all the scenes. It told you when danger was coming- I loved how it set that up. It did give you a sense of worry.

This was the longest Lord of the Rings film, but was worth it. It was the darkest film, which was the strongest during the battle. You could easily see at Mordor that the Ring was becoming even harder on Frodo and making him weaker. He wouldn’t have made it that far without Sam. I was satisfied with the ending- even though Frodo had to leave Middle Earth. His quest was a huge burden on him and left him scarred for life- he still hadn’t fully healed from what happened to him during to the Quest- those are reasons why he had to leave.

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Lord of the Rings: Two Towers- Movie Review

Yesterday, I review the first movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In that one, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and other’s have gone off on a quest to destroy the One Ring to destroy, it, which is Frodo’s job. At the end, the Fellowship is separated. Now it is just Frodo and Sam- they are continuing the quest to destroy the Ring.

The Fellowship is scattered. Some are bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some are contending with treachery with the treachery of the wizard Sauruman. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the One Ring, ruler of all the accursed Rings of Powers, to be destroyed in Morder, the dark realm where Sauron is supreme. Their quite is Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring

This movie continues exactly where Fellowship of the Ring ends. The ring is starting to became a bigger burden on Fordo, but Sam still stays loyal to Frodo no matter what. When Fellowship of the Ring ends, you wonder what will happen to this characters- for me, I especially care about the Hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Sam.

Major and Minor Spoilers

When Sam and Merry were captured in Fellowship, I was scared something would happen to them. I was scared then those bad guys thought about eating them, but Gimli, Leoglas, Aragorn was coming to their rescue. These sheer had their storyline, while Merry and Pippin had their storyline going on, and Frodo and Sam had theirs.

Things have gotten darker. The ring has had become a bigger burden on Frodo. It is also is heavier. Good thing, he has Sam- he couldn’t have made it as far as he had without Sam. Then Gollum shows up- his voice is scary- I literally want to tell Frodo not to trust him- (knowing the books)- even though Gollum is the only one who knows the way into Mordor. Even Sam knows not to trust Gollum.

Even Gimi, Aragorn, and Legolas has a lot to deal with. They have a big fight to deal with. They are saying to protect the humans. They are way outnumbered- even with help. Even with the human fighters and the elf helpers- still way outnumbered.

So this movie has an emotional effect on me as well- last like the first one those. That is because I already formed a strong love for Middle Earth and for the characters. I know I in particular love the Hobbits the most- but I do love characters such Leagolas, Aragon, and Gimli as well- you formed a connection with them in Fellowship of the Ring. Lord of the Rings series is very strong in does that to you. You want them to succeed- you want Middle Earth to survive- not be destroyed. The music does the same thing- tell you when danger is about to happen.

A line that same Sam and Frodo said is interesting- is something around- I hope people know our story- I am like I am watching your story being told.

Just like Fellowship, Middle Earth comes to life. In all of mountains and you finally get an idea of what Mordor looks like. Gollum lead them to the black gate, but it is nearly impossible to get in. Right when Gollum says, I know another way- I don’t want Frodo to listen- I know what it leads to- I don’t want Frodo to go that way. I care about these characters so much. Frodo does have his flaws- there are times he does act on impulse or ways that does seem like Frodo and so on- a lot of that is caused by the ring- you have to remember that. The ring is such a burden.

I think I might actually want to own this movie series.

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings- Movie Review

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smith, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all other. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages, it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose

After I read the books, I always wanted to watch the movies. It was the length of the movies that kept me back.

One of the things I love about this movie is the prologue. It tells you about all the Rings were made and what the One Ring was made. It tells you about how it fell in the hands of Bilbo. If it didn’t have the prologue, the rest of the movie would be confusing. You have to understand all of this to understand why Frodo must go on this quest. From the prologue alone, you can tell this is such an incredible film.

Then you actually move into the plot. I knew exactly who Frodo was even though you just saw a Hobbit in the opening. I knew the one Hobbit you saw had to be Frodo all because he is the main character of the Lord of the Rings series. That was how I figured it out. I even was able to figure out who else went on the journey- in terms of Hobbits. You start to care about them pretty quickly. You even care about Gandalf- he is quite wise. Merry and Pippin are the youngest Hobbits on the journey and are troublemakers- you can tell.

I loved all of the action scenes. You worry for these characters. They have a lot to go against. I do know it is more than just Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin- it is like 8 of them. They have to fight those were on the dark side- you always hope they make it. It actually is the Hobbits I care about the most- especially Frodo. That does show he is a main character worth rooting for. The ring does have an emotional toll on him at times, but at the same time has to deal with rough times when those dark creatures try to attack them because they want to kill them. I am like “don’t kill him or don’t hurt him” even though I know they will not- after all I read the books. I love Sam a lot- I love his loyalty to Frodo.

In terms of music, it is wonderful- it does make you aware if something bad is going to happen. This film does an incredible job of creating Middle Earth. From the Shire to the other locations, it looks like Middle Earth. You love looking at all of the different locations. Can’t wait to see all of this in the next movie. What will happen to Frodo next? Will I own the movie- yes I will.

One of my favorite Composers- Stephen Schwartz

Today I decided to talk about one of my favorite composers: Stephen Schwartz. It will talk about all three musicals I love of his: in the order in which I love them: ending with my favorite. This post will be able to give focus on a musical I don’t think I ever talked about on this blog.

Godspell:

  • I first heard about Godspell when I started college at CPCC in 2012. They were doing a production of it, and it was either my mom or dad who told me that I will love Godspell. I ended up seeing CPCC’s production of Godspell- I fell in love with the musical when I saw it. The songs were why I love it: from “Prepare Ye” to “We Beseech Thee” to “Light of the World” among others. It was the telling of Christ in his last days in a more modern setting. There were costumes in this productions that ranged from a Hippie to someone wearing a Pink Dress (so even the costumes were not biblical). I started to realize that CPCC’s productions were more than community college productions- as in they felt stronger than community college productions.

Pippin:

  • I love Pippin more than Godspell. I loved Pippin since May 2015- my mom got tickets the week before the show- there was only one day left with seats together. So Pippin almost didn’t become part of my life. When I first heard “Corner of the Sky” either a year or two years before 2015, I knew I had to see Pippin- I loved that song so much- that song told me exactly what Pippin was about. Then after seeing a preview of the revival, I wanted to see the musical even more. It was the “spectacle” musical of 2015. By intermission, I ended buying the soundtrack- I was loving the musical so much. There is a lot of mystery in Pippin especially because of the Leading Player- she was the true standout of that night.

Wicked:

  • Wicked is my favorite Stephen Schwartz musical. It has been in my life the longest out of all three- 12 and 5 months. I was 12 when it first entered my life. I was 12 when I first saw it- I was in NYC with my mom, and all I remember about seeing it on Broadway was that “Popular” was my favorite song. Despite not having vivid memories, the impact clearly shows. Wicked sparked my love for musicals- Wicked was where I realized what it meant to be have an emotional connection and where I began to understand the emotional and complex side of musicals. So it was beneficial to a number of things in musical theatre. It has meant a lot to me over the years- like the song says- “I have been changed for good”.

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. 

My Outstanding Understudies I Have Seen

I have talked about this a couple of times on my blog. I have talked about the importance of the understudies and mentioned who mine were. I thought I would dedicate this one to just those understudies I have seen who were outstanding. That means some of my understudies will be left off.

Lisa Karlin: Leading Player

I saw her in May 2015 when I saw Pippin as a date with mom. The unique thing about her is that when I saw her is that I was exploring the Leading Player for the first time. Everything I know about the Leading Player comes from only one portrayal. In “Magic to Do”, she was very playful, but I still could detect a small hint of evil so it was very obvious she was the antagonist of the piece. Then “Glory” hit and she decided to change up her voice to be much darker. However, each time she was around Pippin, she was very playful to hide the fact that she was leading him on the wrong path. She was quite manipulative, playful, crafty, and dark. I was so intrigued by her that she ended up being the true standout of the evening.

Adam Bayjou: Jean Valjean

I could not believe I had an understudy for Valjean in the West End. I was kind of nervous, but the moment he opened his mouth, I could not detect he was an understudy. The entire time he was on stage, I never knew he was an understudy. He felt like he was the main Valjean. I truly saw his transformation on stage. I am so glad he was my West End Valjean. To get an understudy and not realize they are an understudy: that is true talent right there.

Below: Picture of me at Stage Door with Adam Bayjou

IMG_0449

Mary Kate Morrissey: Elphaba

She was not a understudy, but a standby. Standby are basically similar to understudies, but the difference is they are not in the ensemble every night. Having someone cover Elphaba makes me almost a bit more nervous than having someone cover Valjean. That is only because Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. She embodied Elphaba perfectly- in act I her voice was innocent and young, but starting at “Defying Gravity”, she changed Elphaba’s voice to be more mature. She brought out all the emotions I previously saw in Elphaba, and brought out some new ones as well. I had to approach “I’m Not That Girl” fresh- the past times I had seen Wicked, it was a sad song, but this time, I came in knowing it was heartbreaking, so my actress had to make me feel more than sadness in that song. She made me find some kind of appreciation in a song I don’t like- “No Good Deed”- I felt the energy, and she made me feel emotions in the songs for the first time ever. Basically she embodied perfectly- what made her outstanding performance even better is that she was paired with an outstanding Glinda and an excellent Fiyero.

She is my favorite Elphaba.

I thought it was a good idea to just talk about outstanding understudies. It shows the TALENT that understudies are capable. Look at the talent all three of these actors and actresses showed me. No way was I able to tell they were understudies, and that one was a standby. For two of them, I was exploring the character again, and the other I was exploring for the very first time. Each time you hear you have a standby or understudy, realized they have the same talent as everyone else.

What is Fascinating About the Actors and Actresses We get in Musicals

I think one of the most powerful things about musicals belong to the actors and actresses. They shape our views of the characters and our views of the musical itself. If we are seeing a show a second or third or even fourth time, we find something new. Our first actor or actress in a role gives us our first impression of a character. Every audience member sees the same actor very differently. I might absolutely love a particular actor or actress, but the audience member next to me might not. There is nothing wrong with that: we just are interpreting it differently.

The actors and actresses we end up with is based on many factors: when we see the musical, where we are seeing it, the country we live in, the musicals we want to see and the time plus whether or not we get an understudy. Must If you get an understudy, RESPECT them no matter what. Our first impression of a character is usually important. If we see a musical more than once, we end up combining actor’s portrayals: that is the case for Les Mis and Wicked characters. I have seen those musicals more than once. Wicked was seen four times on stage. Les Mis, I watched the film, the 25th concert, and three stage casts. So my first impression of the characters of Les Mis belonged to the film. There is usually a certain actor or actress that makes us fall in love with a character.

Here are some actors and actresses that have made a lasting impact on me: movies and stage

Lisa Karlin- She was my Leading Player. She was the standout when I saw Pippin. I loved the way she presented herself. Like in “Magic to Do”, she was very playful, but I could detect a small amount hint of “evil”, Then in songs like “Glory”, she got rid of the playfulness and showed her craftiness and darkness more. She was playful around Pippin to make it seem that he could trust her. She played her as very crafty, manipulative, dark, sneaky, and playful. She even can trick the audience into believing that she was leading Pippin on the right path.

Joey Barreiro- He was my first Jack. I have seen two fantastic Jacks after him. But still to this day, Joey is still my favorite Jack. I fell in love with Jack all because of Joey. He had this incredible dreamy, romantic, and innocent nature. He showed Jack’s inner conflict perfectly and was able to act as a leader.

Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly

Samantha Barks- she was my first Eponine. She was the reason why I developed a beautiful bond with Eponine in the first place. She is such a very talented Eponine. She perfectly showed how alone Eponine is. She was very believable as that girl. If it was not for her, I do not know if I would have fallen in love with Eponine. To this day, still is my favorite Eponine.

Samantha Barks as Eponine in the movie during "On My Own"
Eponine

Mary Kate Morrissey- True, I fell in love with Elphaba before her, but she is the Elphaba I remember the most. I saw her as standby on tour in 2016. She embodied Elphaba perfectly. She was able to bring something new to the role. She understood the role perfectly. She made me appreciate a song I always hated, and for once felt emotions in “No Good Deed”. She even altered her voice: in act I, her voice sounded innocent, but in act II, her voice was mature.

Amanda Jane Copper- She was in the same cast as Mary Kate Morrissey. you NEVER can have a brilliant Elphaba without an excellent Glinda and vice versa. Amanda was an excellent Glinda, which meant “For Good” was perfectly. Her Glinda kept on making me laugh in all of Glinda’s funny lines and she perfectly expressed Glinda’s pain in act II.

Ashley Parker Angel- I loved what he did to the role. He acted the lion cub scene as if he had a crush on Elphaba, but deep down does not seem to know it. So act I had some foreshadowing going on. I wanted to get to the bottom of this love triangle plot twist. He already decided to make his chemistry weaker with Glinda then with Elphaba.

Ashley Parker Angel as Fiyero in his "As Long As Your'e Mine" costume
Fiyero

Jeremy Secomb- I saw him in the West End. I struggle with Javert so much. Jeremy is the only Javert I have seen that I have felt sympathy for, and that is why he had a lasting impact on me.

Jeremy Secomb as Javert
Javert

Joshua Grosso- I already made this clear. He became my favorite Marius. What happens when your favorite character in the Les Mis love triangle is Eponine, but your strongest actor is Marius? That is what happened in November of last year. He was charming and awkward. He treated falling in love with Cosette like “I’m in love, but what to do with it”. At the barricades, people might think he isn’t showing enough emotion during “A Little Fall of Rain”, but it works. He focused more on comforting Eponine. Wait till the end- he almost acted a bit stunned- he did not say a word until about 5-10 seconds- then said “grow” and the way he said it hurt. So he still was able to show his hurt. His “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was very heartbreaking. So he embodied Marius perfectly and changed my perception of him.

He made Marius nearly a core favorite Les Mis character. I saw something in his Marius that made him shine.

Joshua Grosso as Marius during the 25th anniversary staging of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Marius

I could have talked about all actors and actresses that have had a lasting impact on me, but the list could have taken too long.