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.

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Waiting five years was worth the wait.

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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.

Missouri: 

  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.

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.

 

 

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 do I Love about Roger and Mimi

In Rent, there are three couples and that is unique. Other musicals tend to have only one so having three is part of what makes Rent unique. Mimi and Roger are the main couple from Rent. They have always been my favorite couple from Rent and have a hard time knowing why. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they are the main couple.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

These two first find a connection in “Light My Candle”. Roger and Mimi both have HIV and Mimi is a drug addict. Roger is currently dealing with depression after his latest girlfriend, April, committed suicide after finding out she has HIV. So Roger just does not want to get involved into a relationship. It is towards the end of act I where Roger finally decides to commit to a relationship. Mimi is what help brings light back into his life and she did help him come out of the house. Roger finally asked Mimi out. Then at the end of “La Vie Bohme”, Roger finds out that Mimi has HIV and finally decides to commit to a relationship with Mimi. “I Should Tell You” is the first time you realize the two are in love. That song allows you to love them as a couple.

These two do fight a lot, but yet still love each other. Their relationship in a way is like a “normal” relationship because in real life couples love each other, but sometimes don’t get along at times. It can be hard for them to stay in a relationship due to them both having HIV because at the time period it was basically a death sentence if you get the disease. When Roger leaves for Santa Fe, he just realizes how much he needs Mimi in his life. His song that he wanted to write before he dies is about his love for Mimi. But when he sings it is at a very inconvenient time. Mimi is dying (I think) during “Your Eyes”, but it is about Roger’s love for Mimi. Mimi almost died in Rent, but she does live. Roger’s love for Mimi gives her a second chance at life.

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Rent has some of the most controversial couples, but they still are unique. I still don’t fully know why I love Roger and Mimi the most out of all three, but at least I have a better idea.

Actors and Actresses I Have Loved That I Have Seen in the United States

Most of the musicals I have seen are touring companies in the United States. I have seen touring musicals in Missouri, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Those are the only states I remember seeing musicals in on tour. So I decided to make a list of those I have seen in The United States because I live here. I already did a list about actor and actors I have seen in both the United States and in the West End, but this time only talking about those I have in the country I live in. Some of these actors have the character names because I don’t know who I saw as them, but know I loved them.

  1. Matt Shingledecker
  2. Jasmine Easler
  3. Phantom
  4. Ashley Parker Angel
  5. Talia Simone Robinson
  6. Joey Barreiro
  7. Pippin Ensemble
  8. Nick Cartell
  9. Amanda Jane Copper
  10. Sound of Music Children
  11. Raoul
  12. Anthony Crane
  13. Kaleb Wells
  14. Lisa Karlin
  15. Raoul
  16. Allison Guinn
  17. Lyndie Moe
  18. Les Mis Ensemble
  19. Mary Kate Morrissey
  20. “Annie” Children
  21. Joshua Grosso
  22. Rent Ensemble
  23. Annie Ensemble
  24. Sophie Knapp
  25. Skyler Volpe
  26. “Annie” Miss Hannigan
  27. Phantom
  28. Mellissa Mitchell
  29. Phantom Ensemble
  30. Sammie Ferber
  31. “Sound of Music” Maria
  32. Christine (Understudy)
  33. Jillian Butler
  34. Aaron Alcarz

The link below is my entire post of the actors and actresses I have seen professionally in both the West End and the United States that I loved so in that post have Les Mis actors in both the United States and the West End.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/actors-and-actresses-i-loved-in-musicals/

Actors and Actresses I Loved in Musicals

This  something I never did in musicals. I want to make a list of actors and actresses I love in the world of musicals. Some are obvious what musical they were in when I saw and some are not so obvious I will mix them up as will not put actors from the same production together. These only will be from professional casts. Some people on this list are understudies. Just to be honest, all of these names are people I have only seen once.

  1. Nick Cartell
  2. Kaleb Wells
  3. Phil Daniels
  4. Mary Kate Morrissey
  5. Rachelle Ann Go
  6. Lisa Karlin
  7. Newsies Ensemble
  8. Matt Shingledecker
  9. Skyler Volpe
  10. US Touring Les Mis ensemble
  11. Joey Barriero
  12. Adam Bayjou
  13. Lyndie Moe
  14. Joshua Grosso
  15. 2013-2014 Phantom
  16. Allison Guinn
  17. Amanda Jane Copper
  18. 2013-2014 Raoul
  19. Carrie Hope Fletcher
  20. Rent Ensemble
  21. Annie Ensemble
  22. Sophie Knapp
  23. 2013-2014 Christine (Understudy)
  24. Annie Children
  25. Kathy Secombe
  26. Ashley Parker Angel
  27. “Annie” Miss Hannigan
  28. Pippin Ensemble
  29. Sound of Music Children
  30. Bradley Jaden
  31. Sammie Ferber
  32. Anthony Crane
  33. Sound of Music Maria
  34. Talia Simone Robinson
  35. 2013-2014 Raoul
  36. Melissa Mitchell
  37. Phantom Ensemble
  38. Jasmine Easler
  39. West End Les Mis Ensemble
  40. US Touring  Christine
  41. Jillian Butler
  42. Aaron Alcarz
  43. Jeremy Secomb

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 powerful. 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?