College Musicals

What do I mean by college musicals? These are the musicals I fell in love with during my years at college. Some of them come to mind a lot. A good chunk of them are meaningful. I am going to make a list of what musicals they are.

1. Les Mis- this is the most obvious. I fell in love with it in my first year of college and that was in 2012-2013. First saw the movie December 2012 and was confused and shocked due to it being a tragedy and did not what to think of it. So had to give it a second chance until I could fall in love with this musical. By summer, I was obsessed with it. In 2013, I saw my first stage production of it 3x due to being an usher. In 2015, I saw the musical in the West End with my mom with an understudy as Jean Valjean. In 2017, I saw the stage show a 5th time in Greenville with my university with an understudy as Eponine. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that I used to be 100% blind to heartbreak in musical. I learned that tragedies are so much more than I once thought.  There are so many wonderful reasons to love Les Mis. All because of Les Mis, I have a passion for musicals.

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2. Rent- I fell in love with it Fall 2012 through music alone. I don’t when it was, but I soon realized the plot. This musical like Les Mis is sad. It took five years till I saw the musical live. Prior, I saw the film of the final broadway cast doing the stage show. But last year really was my first time seeing the stage show. It teaches you how to live life. It teaches you to live in love even in the face of fear and to live in the moment. My favorite couple in Rent is Mimi and Roger. Last year, I was an emotional wreck watching it.

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3. Phantom of the Opera- this musical started to enter my life 2013. My mom told me about Phantom of the Opera, and I automatically requested the song on Pandora. I fell in love with the songs and I wanted to eventually see the stage show. That Christmas I got a ticket in my stocking and so did my mom. In 2014 in May, my mom and I went to Greenville to see Phantom of the Opera. I was spellbound the moment the show began, and in the first act, I did not move until the chandelier fell. I was choked up watching it.

4. Newsies- this is one of the newest musicals of my life. I first heard the songs I think summer 2016, but I only enjoyed them. I first saw the stage show August 2016. Before seeing it, I heard it was Tony Award winning choreography, so I decided to not watch the dance ahead of time. This was the only show I have seen that is all males (well there are a couple females, but not much). I was mind-blown at the dancing: they were flipping, dancing on newspapers, jumping over each other and so many other amazing tricks. The story is so inspiring. The fact that these Newsboys stood up against Pulitzer is incredible. The relationship found between the Newsies is beautiful: they are basically one big family, and the intimate relationship between Jack and Crutchie is special. After seeing it live, I learned to love the songs.  I love how Jack is so protective of his brothers especially of Crutchie. He cannot bear to see his brothers hurt, which eventually leads him to go through an inner conflict.

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5. Music Man- this was a musical I saw at my university my first semester. Music Man was a musical that started my best year of musicals. I just love how light-hearted it is. It is one of the most light-hearted musicals I ever saw. I love how this con-man (Harold Hill) transformed this town. The romance between Harold Hill and Marian helped bring an emotional element to this show since the musical focuses on positive emotions a lot. So the romance helps bring an emotional element that the show needs.

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6. Pippin- I don’t when it was, but my dad had me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. The moment I heard the song, I wanted to see Pippin. Then I wanted to see it more after seeing the trailer. It seemed like they were doing a circus version of the show and I wanted to see it even more. Then I heard it was a Stephen Swartz musical and I knew that Pippin would be amazing because after all, he wrote the music to Wicked. I got my chance in 2015 when I went with my mom and we were lucky because when mom got tickets, there was one day left with seats together. This show had the antagonist as narrator and I loved Lisa Karlin’s portrayal of her. In “Magic to Do”, she was very playful with a small hint of evil. But during “Glory”, her voice represented darkness. She was very playful around Pippin to manipulative him in making the wrong decision so Pippin makes a lot of mistakes throughout the musical. The Leading Player is very crafty, dark, playful, and manipulative and I gained all of this from Lisa Karlin’s portrayal. After just one act, I wanted the soundtrack even after not hearing the act II songs.

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7. South Pacific- when I was still a student at community college, there was school cancelled due to snow days. A friend of my parents leant my family and I about six or so musical movie. South Pacific ended up being one of them. The main story is a love story between Emelie and Nellie during World War. It is a very romantic tale. It is my 2nd best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: the first is Sound of Music. It songs are fun, romantic, and emotional. Like expected with Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, there is a 2nd love story, which is between Liat and Joe Cable. It does have an underlying story of racism.

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So here are some of my college musicals.

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Dates With my Mom to Musicals

Four very special theatre dates are the ones I went on with my mom. They are Wicked on Broadway, Phantom of the Opera in Greenville, Pippin in Charlotte, and Les Mis in London. On this post I decided to talk about each of these theatre dates.

The earliest date I been to a theatre with my mom was Wicked. My mom and I went on a trip to NYC together. It was just us two and that is what made that trip so special. During the trip, we saw a show on Broadway, and it was Wicked. That was back in 2006, and I was 12 at the time. Little did I know the impact Wicked would have. All I remember was being with my mom, and that “Popular” was my favorite song. However, the impact clearly shows throughout the years. I just cannot believe Wicked has been part of my life for 12 years.

Wicked changed me “for good” and really was the beginning of the journey with musicals.  I wish I remember more about seeing Wicked on Broadway. I was lucky that at the age of 12 I was able to see a show in NYC. Wicked was the earliest theatre date I remember.

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In 2013, Santa gave my mom and I tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in May of 2014. I wanted to see the musical live since falling in love with the songs early 2013. The Peace Center is a gorgeous theatre, and we sat in the orchestra nineteen rows back. I was spellbound once the show began, and I remember during the overture not taking my eyes off the chandelier. I got choked up watching the production. In the first act, I did not move until the chandelier fell, and during that scene I jumped back a bit. That scene was just so thrilling.

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When I first heard “Corner of the Sky”, I wanted to eventually watch Pippin. When it first toured to Charlotte, I did not see it. Pippin was very unexpected. It was 2015, and my mom got tickets the week before. When she bought tickets, there was only one day left with two seats together so I almost didn’t get to go. The tickets had seats with five rows back from the stage. I felt like I was watching a circus during the show, and I loved the moment when they let us sing along to one of the songs. It was filled with illusions and several circus elements. Right after act I, I wanted the soundtrack even though I still had not heard the 2nd act.

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I saw Les Mis in the West End the same summer I saw Pippin. Ever since 2013, it was a dream to see Les Mis in London. I knew my church was going to go to England to be in residence at Bristol Cathedral, and I knew a pilgrimage was planned around that. It just didn’t occur to me my family was going to go up two days early to get more of London. It was 2014 in December I think when I found out my family was going up two days early. That is when I started nagging my mom to take me to see Les Mis. They eventually told me that I was going to see a show in the West End, but I wanted to know which one it was. It just had to be Les Mis and nothing else.

All Spring semester 2015, I was getting impatient about which show it was going to be. June 2015 comes along, and my mom texted me french flags and musical note emojis, but it did not make sense to me at all. My mom then told me to check my email. When I saw the words, Les Misérables, I ran to my mom and started crying. My dream of seeing Les Mis in the West End was coming true. I feel like seeing Les Mis in London with my mom was full circle after seeing Wicked on Broadway. After all, Wicked and Les Mis are neck and neck tied for my favorite musical. To see both of them at a large theatre district is very special.

We saw the musical July 30th, 2015. My mom wanted to make sure I got the best seats possible and they were. We were nine rows back from the stage. When I saw the theatre all the way to seeing the sets, it did not feel like reality at all. I knew I was going to see an understudy (Adam Bayjou) as Jean Valjean. The moment I heard the first couple of notes, I knew this was reality, and that it was going to be more than expected. The cast was epic, passionate and powerful. While Adam was an understudy, he made me forget I was watching an understudy, and that shows just how good he was.

Going to the theatre with my mom is quite special. Part of why I love each of these musicals were the dates I had with my mom. The dates added a meaningful part to each musical. I saw Wicked when I was 12, Phantom of the Opera when I was 20 and I saw Pippin and Les Mis when I was 21. My mom and I both love musicals. I hope I get to go to NYC and experience Broadway again, but this time want it to be a theatre-themed trip. Cannot believe that all four musicals were seen in different cities. Glad I experienced both Broadway and the West End.

Favorite Leading Player Actress

I have wanted to see Pippin since I first heard “Corner of the Sky”. I missed Pippin the first time it toured to Charlotte. When I saw Pippin, I was quite lucky because when my mom bought tickets for the two of us, there was only one day left with seats together. I managed to see Pippin in May of 2015.

I was very intrigued by the Leading Player than Pippin. A lot of that was because the actress playing the Leading Player was stronger than the actor playing Pippin. I saw Lisa Karlin that night and everything I know about the Leading Player comes from her performance. She was able to show in “Magic to Do” that she is a playful character, but at the same time, she was to some kind of evil in her voice. So her voice was playful but at the same time had a hint of evil. But in “Glory”, she changed her voice to be much darker and whenever she was around Pippin, her voice was more playful. So she kept on changing her voice depending on the situation. With Pippin, she was quite crafty and was manipulating him and he couldn’t tell due to her voice.

Lisa played the Leading Player as manipulate, playful, crafty, mysterious and dark. Even the audience couldn’t detect what her real motives are. She kept on leading Pippin in the wrong path and she was able to trick the audience into thinking that Pippin was heading in the right direction, but that wasn’t the case. She did trick me like that. Even though she was the antagonist, she was at the narrator and was intriguing and it can be hard to understand why she had those dark motives. It really looked like Lisa enjoyed playing the Leading Player. The fact that she can trick Pippin and the audience really shows just how manipulative she really is. She only really shows her darkness whenever she isn’t around Pippin.

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Musicals I Have Seen That I Remember

As many people know, I have seen a lot of shows live. Below I will write a list of each one I remember and will only consist of those by professional companies. do not necessarily have to be all shows that I love. There are actually some musicals I have seen that I didn’t like. I will sort it out based on city.

St. Louis : 

  1. Annie- loved it, have loved it since seeing the 1982 movie. In 2014, I finally got to see it and I saw it with my grandma and we got to sit in the front row.

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Greenville: 

Phantom of the Opera- this was the first musical I saw at the Peace Center and the year was 2014. We were sitting about 19 rows back from the stage. I wanted to see it ever since hearing the songs in 2013. I was spellbound from start to finish and I was choked up.

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Les Mis- I saw it in 2017 with my school. We were sitting up in the balcony and I had an understudy (Talia Simone Robinson) as Eponine and it was the 25th anniversary production. As expected, I loved it and loved the production. The cast was quite powerful and passionate and I was an emotional wreck watching it. This was my 5th time seeing it live and 1st time seeing it on tour.

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Charlotte: 

Wicked- saw it three times in Charlotte: once with my sister and mom, once with my dad and once with my school. Seeing it 3x does show how much I love Wicked. Below picture on the left is from my time with school and picture on the right is time with my dad. I saw it with my dad in 2013 and with my school in 2016.

Sound of Music- 2015, I have loved it since elementary school. In 2015, I was surprised I got to see it live. Seeing the stage show made me love Sound of Music even more. Edelweiss made me cry and I wasn’t expecting that.

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Pippin- I saw it in 2015 as a date with my mom. It was a musical has that the nature of a circus. Its songs were amazing and at one point we were asked to sing along.

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Rent- I waited since 2012 to see Rent and I finally got to see it September. I love its overall message of living in the moment and in love. Waiting five years was worth it.

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Newsies- I saw this musical about the Newsboy Strike of 1899 in August 2016. It was filled with mind-blowing dance, wonderful songs, and incredible characters with an inspiring story. My favorite Newsies were Jack and Crutchie. Its songs are fun and at times emotional.

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Mamma Mia- I saw it with my family in 2009.

New York: 

Wicked- yes I already mentioned Wicked but this was another time I saw it live. My first time I ever saw the musical was in 2012. I was in NYC with my mom and the two of us went and saw Wicked on Broadway. Little did I know the huge impact it would have on my life. It was the show that sparked my love for musicals and I began to understand the emotional and complex side of musicals. I do remember that at the age of 12 “Popular” was my favorite song. I may not have vivid memories, but the impact cellar shows.

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Les Mis- in 2015, I finally fulfilled my dream of seeing Les Mis in London. Yes I already said Les Mis but this is another time I saw it professionally. It was so much more than expected. I may have had an understudy as Jean Valjean, but I am glad that Adam Bayjou was my Valjean because he was that good- as in so good that I forgot I was even watching an understudy.

Now on to the ones I did not like or fully enjoy: all were seen in Charlotte

Porgy and Bess- I do remember seeing it, but honestly did not enjoy it to even own the songs. So this one is not really important.

La Cage- this was one I remembered but was one of those I did not like

Addams Family- I saw this one with my family about October 2011 and did not like it

So you can be a musical fan with not loving every single musical

What Makes me Want to See a Musical

Each time the season comes or you have a dream of seeing a musical or musicals, what makes you want to see that particular musical. This post will talk about why I wanted to see of the musicals I wanted to see. There will be repeats as to what made me want to see them in the first place.

1. The songs- if I knew one or a couple of songs before I have seen the show, they can have a part in why I want to see a musical. I don’t when it was about it was 2013 or 2012 or something like, my mom or dad made me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. Just by listening to that song alone, I automatically thought, I want to see Pippin. someday.

Songs continued- The same thing happened with Phantom of the Opera. When I fell in love with the songs, I automatically wanted to see Phantom of the Opera. The songs from both Music Man and Newsies also encouraged me to want to see them someday. I was enjoyed the Newsies before really falling in love, but I enjoyed them enough to want to see Newsies some day. Plus with Music Man, I was already starting to fall in love with some of the songs before deciding to see it at my school in February of 2015.

2. Recommendations- sometimes I choose to see a show based on recommendation. That is another reason where Phantom of the Opera comes into play. If my mom never would have recommended Phantom of the Opera to me, I never would have started listening to the songs in the first place.

3. Spectacle/dance- while “Corner of the Sky” was my main step towards wanting to seeing Pippin, spectacle and dance added one more factor to wanting to see Pippin. I did watch the trailer of Pippin and I realized the level of spectacle it would have and I wanted to see Pippin even more because spectacle/dance is one element I want in a musical. The week my parents got tickets to my entire family to see Newsies, my mom told me they show won “Tony Award Choreography” so I know the dance was something special and it made me want to see Newsies even more and I purposely did not look up anybody that showed the dance.

4. Love for a show- That is the exact reason why I love seen both Wicked and Les Mis more than once. When I saw Wicked on Broadway 11 and 1/2 years ago, I never would have imagined I would have seen it seen three other times. My 3rd time comes along and I learned it was touring again and knowing my dad never saw Wicked before, I went for him, so my dad and I had a date and even though he never saw it, I was still given the better seat. Then when I learned my school was taking students to see Wicked in Charlotte, I ended up signing up due to my love for Wicked. Right after I saw the stage show of Les Mis for the first place, I developed a dream for seeing Les Mis in the West End. So those two have seen more than once due to my love for those shows. Than when I knew Les Mis was touring starting last year, I wanted to see it yet again because I really wanted to see the 25th anniversary production and also wanted to be able to see the show on tour at some point.

5. Desire to see a show again- I already touched this on reason four, but in a way this is different. For instance, I want to see both Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. It is just I had seen both of these back in elementary school, but don’t remember seeing them. Beauty and the Beast reentered my life last year. So this desire of seeing shows is again is more like “I saw the show, but don’t remember seeing it so I want to see them again”

I know cast is some reason to want to see a musical, but it isn’t one of mine. That is mostly because I usually don’t know what the cast is until I arrive. I may not even know the names of anyone in the cast until I arrive or might know names of the cast, but may have never heard any of them sing before. Also you never know what cast you are going because of the possibility of an understudy. But the cast has no effect on whether or not I see a musical. I dreamed of seeing Les Mis in the West End in 2013 so there was no way of knowing who was going to playing the main leads or when cast changes or and so on. When I saw Newsies  or each time I saw Wicked, or Pippin or Annie or Phantom of the Opera, I did not even know any of the cast names until I actually went to the musical. While I may have discovered some of the names of Les Mis in the West End, Les Mis on tour, or Rent on tour, that still wasn’t a factor into why I love them: it was all because of other factors. I had seen videos of the Rent and Les Mis recent touring casts rehearsing,  but once again not a factor. With Rent, I wanted to see it since Fall of 2012 so last year I was finally able to get a chance and with Les Mis, it wasn’t the cast either. So cast never has been a factor in what leads me to see a musical.

What reasons draw you to want to see a musical?

My Favorite Musicals and Why I Love Them

Today will I be writing my second Mega post. Today, I will write about many of my favorite musicals and my reasons I love them. They will not be in order of where they rank. Some of these musicals will have a longer explanation and some will be quite short.

Spoiler Alert:

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There are several reasons why I love Les Mis and even that is hard to describe. There is something special in Les Mis that is not seen is many musicals. It has these brilliant songs, which are powerful, passionate, epic, revolutionary and highly emotional. It perfectly complements the characters and plot. It has this incredible story about how Jean Valjean, an ex-convcit, and his journey on becoming a better person when he is given a second chance at life.

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Valjean came out of person as this hardened and angry and hateful man and felt even more anger as he recognized the injustice he was going through due to how society treated him since he was an ex-convict. But when the bishop gave him a place to stay and food to eat, Valjean stole from him. However when he was caught and sent back to the bishop, the bishop forgive him and Valjean was taught the ways of the Lord. This act of mercy is what caused Valjean to turn his life around, but to do that he had to break parole, which led Javert to want to capture him to return him to jail.

He eventually becomes mayor and indirectly caused the firing of Fantine, a single mother struggling to provide for her child. This led Fantine to turn to prostituion, but when she was attacked by a man and she attacked him in self-defense and Javert wanted to send her to prison, but Valjean saw the whole thing and showed Fantine an incredible act of compassion by preventing her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to care for her child, Cosette. When Valjean picked her up from the abusive Thenardiers, Valjean realized she was quite a broken child and he ended up becoming a father in the most unexpected of ways and Cosette was the first person he loved in the most unexpected of ways.

On to the love triangle between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius. One of the most fascinating things about Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette. Cosette started out as this broken child who was horribly abused by the Thenardiers and forced her to be a servant. But Eponine was spoiled and appeared to be loved by the Thenardiers, but as the girls get older the tables are turned. Now Cosette has a father that loves her and her life improves. But with Eponine, her life has gotten worse due to living in poverty and being unloved by her parents. But look what happen when both fall in love with Marius.

Eponine ends up with unrequited love for him, but she would do anything for him to make him happy so she protects him no matter what and makes sure Cosette and Marius end up together. She protects Marius when the Thenardiers try to rob Valjean’s house. She is quite brave and risks her life several times for him. Her love for Marius is her greatest strength even though it leads to her death at the barricade. When Marius was about to get shot, she took the fatal shot herself, but died in the arms of  Marius.

On to the students now. The last important story is the one between the barricade boys. The Friends of the ABC is led by Enjolras, the most passionate of the group and Marius is this part of the group. They are planning an uprising to stand up against the weak government. They are quite hopeful and even when they know they are going to die, they stay passionate towards the cause. Marius is the only who loves due to Valjean because his adopted daughter loves Marius so he does everything for the sake of his daughter.

So you see the plot of Les Mis has a lot to it. I know I went on and on about why I love Les Mis. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. There is just so both to explore in Les MIs. The story is complex that if you take out an important detail, the musical just falls apart. So Les Mis is a tragic story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice and redemption.

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On to Wicked, which is tied for Les Mis for favorite musical. This musical focuses on the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda. How far will they got to keep friendship alive when they both fall in love with Fiyero.

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Everything about Wicked feels OZian. The costumes are so magical and fun and feel like they belong in Wicked. The Shiz costumes all have the blue and white stripe but each looks different. The set looks OZian as well. The dancing in Wicked also feels like it belongs in OZ. The costumes are fun and sometimes emotional. I have less reasons that I love Wicked than Les Mis, but they are still tied. At the end of the musical, Glinda and Elphaba realize that they have changed each other for the better. Below is a picture of the set and an example of a Shiz costume.

Next musical I will talk about is Phantom of the Opera.

I love it due to how beautiful it is. It is also quite haunting. The overall story is a mysterious and dark love triangle which is also angelic and beautiful. I know why I love it, but is hard to think of reasons why I love it. You have one love which is beautiful and angelic and innocent, but you have another one which is dangerous and haunting, but saddens you. Phantom is quite an emotional character because he has such a tragic past and deals with unrequited love, but he is so filled of anger that he acts in revenge and terrorizes the opera house. But the love between Raoul and Christine is beautiful considering the fact that they used to be childhood sweethearts, but eventually fall in love. Raoul treats Christine better than the Phantom and Christine and Raoul deserve to be together.

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Annie is another favorite musical of mine. It is about an orphan girl named Annie who gets to stay at Daddy Warbuck’s house for a week over Christmas (Fourth of July in Movie). She is so optismtic and basically adopts a stray dog and names him Sandy. Eventually she gets adopted, but I have loved it since I was a little girl.

Sound of Music is another favorite musical of mine. Just like Annie, I have loved it since I was a child. It is about Maria and how she becomes a governess to seven children. She teaches them to sing. It is about family and music. It has very memorable tunes that many know. Its songs are so fun and sometimes emotional.

Next up is Newsies. It is such an inspiring story of how a group of Newsboys went on strike when Pulitzer raised the price of their papers. They are so passionate about the cause and they have this wonderful brotherly love that they are family. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares for all of his brothers especially to Cruthcie. Crutchie is the most vulnerable of the batch due to his bum leg. They dancing is mind-blowing and the songs are fun, exciting, and at times emotional.

Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical Disney musicals. It revolves around Belle. When you father is imprisoned by the Beast, who is under an enchanted curse, Belle agrees to take her father’s place. But Gaston wants marry Belle, but Belle has no interest in him. Belle in the castle meets several enchanted characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip. It is how Belle learns to see Beauty from within. The Beast eventually learns to love and the two slowly fall in love with each other.

Next up is Rent. Rent like Les Mis is sad but its story is inspring. It is about a group of starving artist and their life in a year. It is about how to live life to the fullest. It is about living the moment and measuring your lives in love. Its the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. But it is set during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This group of friends is like a family and deals with three couples, who are Mimi and Roger, Angel and Collins, and Maureen and Joanne. The main relationship is between Mimi and Roger. Mark is the narrator of the entire story. The songs are so emotional, but teaches a lot about life. It reminds us of how precious life is.

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Next up is Pippin. Pippin is about discovering where you belong. It is about Pippin and his journey on discording his “Corner of the Sky”. He gets help from the Leading Player, but without him knowing, the Leading Player is causing him to make several wrong decision and even the audience can’t detect it until the end of the musical. It is like watching a circus that has singing in it. Its song are fun and catchy and teaches you that we all have a “Corner of the Sky”. At one moment in the show, we are told to sing along to one of the songs, which is “No Time At All” because Pippin’s grandma tells us to.

The last musical I will talk about is Music Man. It is such a fun show that is very light-hearted. Its songs are fun and you always feel positive emotions with its song. It is about conman, Harlod Hill, who says he will create a boy’s band but in reality he will just buy them the instrument and leave, but Harold Hill eventually does create the boy’s band and he helps transform River City. He falls in love with Marian. Winthrop is another fun character who has a lisp, but Harlod Hill helps him. So he helps transform the entire town.

I know this is quite a long post, but it goes to show my love for musicals. It shows that I have wide range of favorite musicals. From the very happy ones to the very sad ones, they all bring me joy. The only emotions they all share are positive emotions. Below I will include pictures from when I saw these musicals.

Musicals I Love That I Have Seen on Tour

Today, I will write a list of musicals that I ended up loving on tour, which means those I remember seeing.  I will include where I have seen them and why I loved them. There is something special about seeing a musical on tour and I rely on them the most since I live in North Carolina so I am thankful that touring productions exist. What is cool about touring productions is you can see them in different theaters and different cities, which affect the nature of the musical.

  1. Wicked (3x): Charlotte- I loved this one because of the beautiful storyline of friendship and the texture added by the love triangle between Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda. I saw it on tour in high school, at age 19, and at age 22. Ever since Broadway at age 12, each time I saw it my vulnerable level increased while the emotional level deepened. Everything about this musical feels OZian.

IMG_08812. Les Mis (1x): Greenville- this was my 5th time seeing the stage show. It had to live up to the West End production and it did in its own way. This was the 25th anniversary production so there was no revolve. I loved the different projections, which brought a bit more Victor Hugo into the piece.  The set moved very smoothly so the transitions worked very well. The cast was incredible and I had an understudy as Eponine. Like I expected, I cried throughout the show. I even ended up with goosebumps. I loved how they added the candles during “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and I loved that staging of the song more in this version and even “Javert’s Suicide” was improved upon.

Nick Cartell was one of the best Jean Valjean, Melissa Mitchell played Fantine as naive and that still worked, Joshua Grosso might have become my favorite Marius, Jillian Butler has a beautiful soprano voice, which works perfectly for Costte, Allison Guann and Anthony Crane were just hilarious and even the ensemble was incredible.

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3. Rent(1x): Charlotte- I had to wait five years till I got to see this live. It had a wonderful cast and our seats were perfect. I ended up being an emotional wreck watching it. I love that Rent has this wonderful message about living your life in love and in the moment and that is one of the biggest reasons why the show is meaningful. Waiting five years was so worth it.

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4. Newsies(1x): Charlotte- I remember first hearing of Newsies through the songs. I only enjoyed them, but not enough to make me love. But when I heard the show had Tony award winning choreography, I knew I wanted to see Newsies. I remember during the show just being mind-blown by the dance in this show. They were literally dancing on newspapers at one point and dong moves such as flipping and other fancy moves and that is one of the biggest reasons why I love the musical. I love the bond shared between all the Newsies and the bond between Jack and Crutchie. The story was so inspiring and the dance made me love the songs even more. This musical is still quite new in my life because its only been one year since I fall in love with it.

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5.  Sound of Music (1x): Charlotte- I have loved the musical since I was in elementary school, but never go to see it live. I waited until 2015 to see it live. I love all of the music and my favorite is Edelweiss and I remember crying during that number. I remember just feeling like a kid again. Seeing it on tour was so special and was the best way to end that musical year, which consisted of seeing four musicals.

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6. Pippin(1x): Charlotte- seeing this musical almost didn’t happen. Mom bought the two of us tickets the week before and there was one day left with two seats together. The song, “Corner of the Sky”, was what made me decide that I just had to see Pippin. After seeing the trailer I wanted to see it even more due to the circus elements. It was wonderful and at point, were asked to sing along. The story is so universal because it is about finding out where you belong.

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7. Annie(1x): St. Louis- Just like Sound of Music, I have loved it since elementary school. I got to see it with my grandma in December of 2014. I felt like that kid again and the cast was so well-cast. Before Wicked became a part of my life, Annie was my favorite musical. The musical means so much to me and I ended up loving the musical even more after seeing it live.

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8. Phantom of the Opera(1x): Greenville- I first fell in love with the songs early 2013 due to Pandora. I wanted to see Phantom of the Opera ever since. I was spellbound from start to finish and I was choked up. I couldn’t even move until the famous chandelier scene. It was just so beautiful. I remember during the entire overture not being being able to take my eyes off the chandelier.

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What are you musicals you saw on tour that you loved?