Who is Mark?

Just like Mimi and Roger, I barely know Mark.

Possible spoilers:

I feel like it is very hard to get know all the Rent character. Mark is the overall narrator of Rent. He is also a filmmaker and Roger’s roommate and his best friend. He recently was Maureen’s boyfriend, but Maureen has left him for Joanne. Mark keeps on encouraging Roger to leave the apartment, but Roger always refuses. Marks seems to videotape everything instead of being part of the action himself. He is one of the character who doesn’t have HIV. He is lonely in the fact that he is one of the few who is not in a relationship. I still wish I knew Mark a bit better, but for whatever reason the Rent characters are very hard to get to know.

AnthonyRappMarkStage

Advertisements

Who is Mimi?

I will do the best I can to analyze Mimi. I just feel like I barely know her. I already analyzed Roger, but Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent despite how flawed that couple is.

Major Spoilers:

Mimi is a drug-addict and is HIV-Positive. You first meet her when she comes into Roger’s apartment wanting someone to light her candle. These two are neighbors. The two are automatically attracted to her. Mimi wants to enter into a relationship with Roger and all throughout act I, she keeps on trying even if Roger keeps on pushing her away. There is something sweet about Mimi. She is always trying to live in the moment. She works as a dancer at a club. She is very vulnerable, which is especially shown throughout act II. Even though she is a drug addict, there is more to her than that. She nearly died at the end, but at least she lived. I wish I knew Mimi a bit better, but I don’t.

ARTS_Rent_091417.59b92d20afca0

Who is Roger?

Possible Spoilers:

Roger is a HIV- Positive musician who is roommates who Mark. His main goal is to write one great song before he dies. When you first meet him, he is basically dealing with depression. His latest girlfriend committed suicide after she discovered she had HIV-Positive, which is how Roger discovered he had it. So he is basically cooped up in his apartment. He does not want to leave his room even though Mark keeps on convincing him.

However, it is his neighbor, Mimi, that gets him out of his shell. She stops by to light his candle. He immediately is attracted to her and finally finds some sort of joy. During the entire “Light My Candle”, he discovers she is a drug addict. He is afraid of entering into one because of what previously happened. Mimi keeps on trying to convince him to start a relationship with her, but he always refuses. Eventually Roger leaves the house and tells Mark about Mimi. Soon enough, Roger invites Mimi out. At the life cafe, the two of them discover that they are both HIV-Positive and Roger finally confesses his feelings for Mimi.

He keeps on entering and leaving a relationship a Mimi. I never can seem to understand that. They keep on fighting it seems. It seems to be a very realistic relationship. I am still trying to figure out some of Roger’s actions at times. He is still one of my favorite characters from Rent.

What I find interesting is that his great song is about Mimi. But it happens at a very inconvenient time. Mimi seems to be dying and getting weaker, but Roger sings it to her. She survives during this scary time. This was one of the hardest analysis’ I did during this series’ because I feel like I barely know Roger. I love Roger, but I feel like I barely know him.

2751E70FA-0434-F48E-30F2C22A4294C263

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.

bring-him-home-6

2. Rent- I fell in love with it Fall 2012 through music alone. I don’t know 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.

2751E70FA-0434-F48E-30F2C22A4294C263

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.

7cc30141cb08bc55a973c76396b4e6c6

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.

images

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.

maxresdefault

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.

unknown

So here are some of my college musicals.

The Talents of the Actors and Actresses I Have Seen

One thing that really impresses me is seeing the talent I have seen on stage when I have seen musicals. Some of the ones I have seen are understudies and standbys and those can really impress me. I have had understudies for characters such as Eponine, Christine, Jean Valjean, Elphaba, Leading Player and Katherine Plumber. Those actors have to work harder than anyone else. I just cannot believe how talented all of the different actors and actresses I have had over the years. I have seen more actors than actresses mainly because of Newsies. Newsies has a cast of mostly males and that is why I have seen more actors.

Les Mis was the last musical I saw and I loved that cast. You had the very powerful and passionate ensemble with some talented principals. It was lead by Nick Cartell and he was wonderful as Jean Valjean and his “Bring Him Home” was so soulful and truly sounded like a prayer and he quiet enough for what the song required and strong enough for what the song required. Another standout was Joshua Grosso as Marius, and he brought this unique nature of awkwardness to the role and of all of the actors in the love triangle, he was the strongest, and I never expect Marius to be the strongest actor because I always expect Eponnine to be the strongest actor, but this time it wasn’t the case. Jillian Butler’s Cosette somehow was able to connect to Joshua’s charming but awkward Marius. My Eponine, Talia Simone Robinson (understudy), was impressive. The fact that she was an understudy made her work harder than anybody else. She had some impressive scenes and some scenes needed some work. She was very playful around Marius and was quite strong during “A Heart Full of Love”, and she was very believable during “A Little Fall of Rain”.

Matt Shingledecker was my Enjolras, and he truly brought the passion and leader side of Enjolras. Even the ensemble was very talented. They were so epic passionate and powerful. The ensemble is very impressive when it comes to musicals and they are a huge part of a show: after all they take up most of the cast.

During Rent, I was impressed with the actors. Kaleb Wells brought out quite an emotional “One Song Glory” and showed his unwillingness to get into a relationship with Mimi. Lyndie Moe, my Maureen brought out her craziness perfectly and she made me laugh during “Over The Moon”.

Newsies was a musical I saw August 2016. It was lead by Joey Barriero, my Jack Kelly. It is hard to describe why I loved Joey. I loved how he showed his bond to Newsies especially his bond to  Crutchie. He brought out the inner conflict that Jack eventually went through. He was able to bring out the emotion felt in “Santa Fe” and the song to me was innocently sad. I don’t know if the innocence felt in the song was how Joey wanted to portray the song or if it was because this was my first time seeing the show. The actors in this show were triple threats. They were very impressive in the dance. They were flipping about two or three times in a row, dancing on newspapers among other amazing tricks and able to act and sing at the same time. The dancing was mind-blowing. The picture below is Joey Barreiro as Jack.

7cc30141cb08bc55a973c76396b4e6c6

Highlighting all of the talented actors will take a while. By showing some of the actors, you can tell that I have seen a lot of talented actors over the years. I still have not yet seen the same actor or actress in more than one  lead role. I am glad that each time I see a musical, I am exposed to new actors. I am always thinking how on earth have they memorized everything and they make it seem easy, but in reality it is not easy. It takes a lot of work and acting it much harder than it seems. They are doing the best they can and when you get an understudy or standby, you can get a bit nervous, but I alway regret it.

For example, Mary Kate Morrisey (standby) as Elphaba embodied everything about Elphaba, but brought something new. It felt like she was the main Elphaba. Another understudy that comes to mind is Adam Bayjou as Jean Valjean. He was my West End Jean Valjean, and he played the role so well that I forgot I was actually watching an understudy. So respect the standbys and understudies. You have no idea how much harder they have to work.

Favorite Roger Actor

I first saw Rent live last year in September. I waited five years to see Rent. My favorite Roger was Kaleb Wells, my Roger from last year. I still do not know exactly why I love Roger, but he is one of my favorite characters from Rent.

Possible Spoilers:

Kaleb Wells was able to really show strong emotion during “One Song Glory”. I actually got quite emotional during the song. I felt the heartbreak found in the song. Considering the fact that this was live and the fact that Kaleb was able to express the emotion so well, it shows how wonderful he is as Roger. I could really feel just how unwilling he is to get into a relationship with Mimi. It just is hard to explain why I loved him as Roger so much. He also actually looks like a Roger in my opinion.

2751E70FA-0434-F48E-30F2C22A4294C263

Waiting five years was worth the wait.

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.

IMG_0109

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.

10354149_10203791645890941_4955988638206113711_n

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.

IMG_1511

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.

12313922_10208036915980040_8420821246463856467_n

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.

11350834_10205766151186542_7374983499699817482_n

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.

FullSizeRender.jpg

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.

13958231_10210190759304777_1214951112279127057_o

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.

London: 

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