Contemporary and Classical Musical Theatre- Which one am I (Am I Both?)

One of the most frustrating questions I am asked as a musical theatre fanatic is if I prefer classical musicals over contemporary or vice versa- what happens if you are both. I decided to talk about the question here. I will talk about a number of the musicals I love and the ones I am interested in seeing.

Classical

  • These are musicals people tend to think of that come before the 21st century. I will talk about the ones that I love that come before then.

Music Man

  • I love Music Man for how light-hearted and happy it is. I love its song and plot.

Sound of Music

  • This was and still is a childhood meaningful musical. The songs are fun and very easy to sing along to. Its plot is very easy to fall in love with. Sound of Music is very easy to fall in love with.

South Pacific

  • One of the things that drew me to South Pacific is the fact that it is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Its songs are both fun and emotional. This musical is a romance, and like any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, it focuses on two couples- one of which is more light-hearted and the other of which more serious.

Singing in the Rain

  • I love Singing in the Rain for some of the same reasons why I love Music Man. It has the light-hearted and fun nature. You want musicals like that to help balance out musicals out.

Oliver

  • This is another musical I quite enjoy. It has a collection of fun and emotional songs. I love it when songs in musicals (like South Pacific) are home to positive and negative emotions. Incredible plot- after all, this is based off Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Fiddler on the Roof

  • Like all of these musicals, I love the songs in Fiddler on the Roof.

Annie

  • This musical, like Sound of Music, is a meaningful childhood musical. I have always related to Annie. I think that is why I always loved Annie. Its catchy songs, and its incredible plot are reasons why I love Annie so much.

Les Mis

  • There are several reasons why I love Les Mis. I love how powerful, epic, powerful, and highly emotional it is. I love how so intricate its plot- literally if one thing is out, the entire plot is ruined. The characters are so interconnected that they directly and indirectly impact each others’ lives. Usually in a musical- I know my favorite song, but in Les Mis- there is no way I can pick. Les Mis is the reason why I am passionate about musicals. Les Mis always makes me an emotional wreck- either by songs alone, the film, or the stage show. It disproved many things I thought a musical was growing up.

Phantom of the Opera

  • I love the spellbinding and mysterious nature of Phantom of the Opera. Its’ love triangle is dark, suspenseful, angelic, and beautiful. This musical is hauntingly beautiful in so many ways. I was spellbound and choked up when I saw it.

Beauty and the Beast

  • It is quite an enchanting and magical musical. Its characters are extremely memorable- from Belle to Beast to the enchanted objects. Its songs are extremely energetic, but at the same time there are the more emotional songs at times.

Lion King

  • I love how the animals are created in Lion King. Also love the energetic and emotional nature of the songs in this musical. It has such a memorable plot.

Contemporary

  • Now we are in the more contemporary musicals. It sounds like I love a number of classical musicals- there are other classical musical I love (just gives you an idea). Now we are into the musicals of the 21st century

Mamma Mia

  • Just like Music Man and Singing in the Rain, it has the overall light-hearted nature. I love how fun the numbers are- that is the main reason why I love Mamma Mia.

Wicked

  • Of all the contemporary musicals, Wicked is my favorite. Wicked was responsible for sparking my love for musicals. I love that the two protagonists in Wicked are two strong females. The story is about Elphaba (AKA The Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda’s relationship. Everything- from songs, to costumes (everything) feels OZian. Wicked was the reason why I knew what an emotional connection was; what it meant for a musical theatre character and plot to be complex; and where I learned the emotional side of musicals. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. Wicked is home to my favorite musical theatre love triangle. The only characters I emotionally connected to in Wicked are Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Newsies

  • Newsies is one of the newest musicals of my life. I love the bond all of them share especially the intimate one found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. I love seeing characters who stand up for what they believe in. The dancing I saw in Newsies was mind-blowing. The songs are energetic and emotional.

Frozen

  • While I still haven’t seen the stage show, I still love the musical. It all started with the film- I fell in love with the movie; the plot, the characters (except for some- the bad guys are the ones I did not like), and the songs from the film. When I first heard it was coming to stage, I was excited. I eventually began to listen to some of the new songs, and I fell in love with the new songs I listened to. I believe the stage show will be more emotional, which will mean it will be stronger and more believable, than the movie. I recently heard that Fall 2019, a US Tour be launched- cannot wait- hopefully in Charlotte’s 2019-2020: Frozen will be part of it.

Other Contemporary Musicals I Want to See

  • Anastasia- got interested after hearing some songs in 2018
  • Something Rotten- got interested after some songs as well (don’t remember what year

Conclusion

  • So, about am I a classical musical theatre fan or about a contemporary musical fan? I believe I am both. I know, I have seen more musicals that are pre-21st century. The musicals I see has to do with what musicals are on tour- and which ones I choose to see during the season. I am both- just doesn’t seem that way.
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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. 

Must-See Musicals

What are Musicals people should see their lifetimes. That depends on what they are looking for. I am a musical theatre fanatic, who does have an idea on what a musical is, which is mainly based on what I grew up with. However, I do not mind if musicals do not match those. So this is my list of must-see musicals.

  1. Lion King – If you loved the movie, check out the stage show. Even if you never saw the movie, check out the stage show. It is a family friendly musical. The way they create the animals is spectacular. You will get hooked into the musical from the opening number. That scene is breathtaking. It everything you think of when it comes to a musical- it has the spectacle, the dance, the comedy, the romance, positive and negative emotions in the score, and a strong emotion connection. It has characters you easily fall in love with. There are a number of characters to fall in love with: Rafiki, Mufasa, Zazu, Nala, and Simba.

2. Les Mis- This is the longest-running musical in the West End. If it lasts that long, then there has to be something special in it. If you want a musical with a ton of emotion, Les Mis is the musical to see. It is filled with emotion- from love to hope to compassion to heartbreak to guilt to hopeless to etc. If you want a truly “human” story, Les Mis is the one to visit. The story is epic, powerful, and passionate. It is tragic and inspirational in so many ways. All the characters all feel like they belong in Les Mis because they directly and indirectly impact each others lives. All I am saying is that if you want a filled with emotion, Les Mis is the way to go. In this musical, it is so difficult to choose your favorite song or character- that is how amazing the characters and songs are. 

3. Wicked- This is another popular musical. If you want another spectacle and dance filled musical like Lion King, Wicked is another musical like that. If you want a story with a strong female protagonist, Wicked is perfect- after all it is not filled with one female protagonist, but two. It is another powerful musicals- it is about a beautiful friendship formed between Elphaba and Glinda.  

4. Phantom of the Opera- If you want a musical filled with mystery and darkness, Phantom would be a good option. It is overall a love triangle. It has this haunting feeling to it, but at the time, it has this incredible beauty to it.   

5. Beauty and the Beast- while it hasn’t been touring for a while, it is still an incredible musical to check out. It is home to this independent, brave, and unique, and caring protagonist. It teaches you that beauty comes from within. It is a very magical musical in so many ways.  It is very magical in the fact that the castle that Belle becomes prisoner in is enchanted- she meets enchanted objects like Lumeire, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. 

6. Newsies-while home to basically all males, it is based of a true story, the 1899 Newsboy Strike. It is home to mind-blowing dance, which is worth watching. It is incredible watching their bond- they are basically one big family. Yes, I said, basically all males, but love that the reporter is female. Like a number of Disney musicals, there is romance: Jack, the leader and main character of Newsies, falls in love with Katherine, the reporter of the strike. It is so worth it in many ways.  

7. Sound of Music- I mean, who would not love this musical when they see it? Songs that are easy to sing along to and so on. See what I mean? It is worth seeing. 

What are must-sees? I know some some of these haven’t been on tour or exist on the West End of Broadway as of now, but still worth seeing at some point. 

Challenge of 7 musicals

musicaltheatrelivesinmesite recently did a challenge on wordpress that seemed interesting and quite challenging so I decided to give it a try. I don’t know how accurate this will show up, but will be my best- I know it will be mostly accurate.

Here were the rules:

“You must select your seven top shows, then explain why you chose them in 100 – 200 words for each show”.

I mean selecting my top seven shows is difficult. I know what my top two musicals were, but those two musicals share that top spot, but everyone is convinced I know what my favorite musical is, but too afraid to admit it. I decided to go up for the challenge. I had to really think about it.

  1. Les Mis- I had a rocky start with Les Mis. Now, I can’t imagine a time where I did not love the musical. I am obsessed with the musical. It is the West End’s longest running musical. It is a musical about hope, love, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption in the midst of tragedy and heartbreak. These characters feel so “human” and touch your heart and soul in such a way that you are emotionally moved by their stories. The storyline has this beautiful underlying spirituality. It has the spirituality journey Valjean goes on, it has the tragic story of Fantine, the love triangle of Eponine, Marius, and Cosette, and the rebellion- all of them move me. The score is epic, passionate, powerful, and highly emotionally moving. It is so powerful- I mean it is a show that gives you goosebumps and reduces you to tears. I mean- it is hard to describe the power of the show- you have to see it to understand what I mean. It challenged everything I once knew about musicals- it showed me tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. It turned a love of musicals into a passion.

2. Wicked- Tied with Les Mis. Wicked sparked my love for musicals. It was the only show I saw on Broadway since I live in NC. What makes Les Mis hard to push past it? It has its bonuses. Everything about Wicked feels OZian- its score, the name of characters, and costumes all feel like they are OZian- you feel transported. Wicked is all about friendship- that is the center core. Elphaba and Glinda’s story is powerful and beautiful. The love triangle between the girls and Fiyero adds a fascinating texture. Those three characters are the only characters I am emotionally connected to. Those two storylines are the main ones I focus on. Elphaba is the character that matter most because I relate to her so strongly. That is a bonus- relating to a character. Wicked has incredible dance and spectacle to watch. Wicked was when I finally understood what it meant to have an emotional connection in a musical and what it mean for a musical character and plot to be complex. In addition, I began to understand the emotional side of musicals as well. I have been changed for good because of Wicked.  

3. Annie-  Before the green girl entered my life, Annie was my favorite musical. I actually did have an emotional connection to the character of Annie, but I did not know. I was optimistic as a child. There is something special about loving a musical as a child and continuing that love to your 20s. In 2014, I finally saw the stage show. I felt like a child again watching it live. It is at the 3rd spot because at one point Annie was my favorite musical. So it has been with me for so long. I love it more than ever. It is a very special musical. After all, it has that childhood nostalgia attached to it. 

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4. Sound of Music- Just like Annie, Sound of Music is a childhood musical. I remember “Edelweiss” being my first piano recital song. It is such a family friendly musical. There is something about it. It is so fun to sing to, and once again it has that childhood nostalgia attached to it. 2015 was my first time seeing the stage show. I felt like a kid, and began to love it more. “Edelweiss” gained an emotional nature it never had before. It was fun being able to see it unfold on stage. From seeing the movie as a child to seeing the stage show as a 21 year old is quite wonderful. I did feel like a child watching the stage show. It was different on stage- additional songs for instance. I am a bigger fan of Sound of Music now than I was as a child. 

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5. Phantom of the Opera- I fell in love with it by music alone. It is a hauntingly beautiful musical. The story is basically a mysterious and dark and angelic and beautiful love triangle. There is so much suspense found in there. You easily can get caught up in the Phantom’s spell. When I saw it, I was spellbound from start to finish and got choked up. I love Christine and Raoul as a couple. Phantom is a character you feel for even if you may not like his actions. It is a gorgeous musical to look at- it is a purely beautiful musicals. The songs are both haunting and beautiful.

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6. Rent- It is hard to confess I love Rent. People do not understand why I love since it is so controversial in subject matter. However, that doesn’t stop me from loving it. It is the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. I love the community that Rent has. The community that the 7 friends have is wonderful. The message of living in the moment and measuring your life in love is why it is meaningful. I love that message so much. It has one of the best closings to a musical. I understand people might be put off by a musical dealing with HIV/AIDS, the LGBT community, and a drug addict- I get that, but you just can’t ignore the message it is selling. I love those songs it has. It is an emotional musical, and I do connect to the community.  

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7. Newsies- This is a very new musical in my life. I loved it since I saw the tour two years ago. I loved this inspiring story of how the Newsies stood up for what they believed in. The Newsies share this brotherly love for each other. I especially am in awe of the bond between Jack and Crutchie. An energetic, fun, and at times emotional score. The dancing in this musical is mind-blowing- it is amazing to watch- the tricks are incredible. I love the lines in “Seize the Day” that go “Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear”. Two weeks after I saw the tour, the moment I heard those lyrics, I knew Newsies was a meaningful musical. I love the fact that this is actually based of a true story. 

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I now challenge you do to do this challenge. Use only 7 musicals- it is crazy after all since two musicals are tied for the top spot.

Musical Songs I Love Singing To

Even though I can’t sing well, I do love singing to musical theatre songs. They are fun to sing to. I even try to sing to songs I don’t any words to, and I feel like a dying moose or something to those songs. It doesn’t matter what emotion the song is: the song can be exciting, sad, heartbreaking or romantic: it doesn’t matter. What are some of the musical songs I love singing to?

Possible Spoilers:

1. “Popular”- I sang this song for an acting class in school. For a general ed requirement either take public speaking or acting I. No way did I want to be stuck in public speaking so acting it was. The assignment was to do something that showed a different side to ourselves. I choose “Popular” because it was my favorite song from Wicked when I was 12, which is why it is still my favorite song from Wicked.

2. “I’m Not That Girl” – I remember it being Fall 2015, and I was like I now know all of the words to one of Glinda’s songs. I want to memorize one of Elphaba’s songs- “I’m Not That Girl” had the simplest melody and the fewest lyrics. I was thinking “does the first song I have to memorize that belongs to Elphaba have to be a sad song?”. Memorizing the song proved to be a big moment for the song- I did not know how much insight the song had- lyrics like “I wasn’t born for the rose and pearl” go beyond the unrequited love so there is more to the song. I had already connected “On My Own” to “I’m Not That Girl”. So memorizing the lyrics and “On My Own” made me realize “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking. I love singing this song and feeling the emotion that goes with it- it is tricky when I know Elphaba is going to end up with him in the end.

3. “Do You Hear the People Sing”- this is the first Les Mis song I memorized. I choose to memorize this song. This song was stuck in my head leaving the movie theatre- after my 1st time- when I didn’t know if I liked Les Mis or not. It is such a passionate and hopeful song that you can’t help but love singing it

4. “On My Own”- I did not memorize the lyrics by choosing to. I memorized them by listening to it so many times. I love singing this song in my room. I formed a beautiful bond to Eponine- a huge reason why I love singing this song. If it wasn’t for this song, “I’m Not That Girl” would still be just be a sad song.

5. “Finale/Do You Hear the People Sing (Reprise)”- Once again another Les Mis song I did not memorize choosing to.

6. “One Day More”- A lot of Les Mis songs I have memorized the lyrics just by listening to them so many times. When it gets to the huge overlapping part- I tend to sing Eponine’s part- I know when she comes in and what lyrics she sings at that section.

7. Other Les Mis songs- yes, I love singing other Les Mis songs. Some I want to be able to sing to, but when I try, I can’t- get too emotional trying to.

8. “Do Re Mi”- This is the first musical theatre song I ever memorized. Once you know do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do, you literally know the entire song. It is so easy to learn. It is a very very fun song to sing along to.

9. “My Favorite Things”- I love singing along to this song as well. Sound of Music’s score is one of the easiest scores to memorize some of its songs. I love singing along to its songs.

10. “Edelweiss”- The nostalgia behind this song- it not only is my favorite song in Sound of Music, but my first piano recital song. It is a sweet-sounding song. It has a bittersweet feel to it- I didn’t know that when I was young. I discovered the sadness behind the song when I saw the show live 2015.

11. “Tomorrow”- Such an incredible song to sing to. It has the same nostalgia all the Sound of Music songs have. Annie has been in my life since elementary school- to love a musical that song.

12. etc- others can fit here

What are musical songs you love singing to?

The Power of a Pause in Theatre

There can a lot of power in a pause in theatre. They can help bring out emotion. They can set up an upcoming emotion. Below I will give two examples of two actors I have seen who did give a pause. Each example helped with the emotion the song portrayed.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Ben Davis was my Captain when I saw Sound of Music in 2015. Sound of Music ended my year of musicals in 2015. His pause happened during Edelweiss. There is a moment in Edelweiss when he stopped singing. He took a pause, and Ben did a nonverbal, and that nonverbal allowed sadness to enter the song. The nonverbal only lasted a few seconds. It was in between the moment he stopped singing and the children joined in. Taking that pause was just enough for the song to have a bittersweet nature about that.

Joshua Grosso was my Marius in the US Tour in 2017. I already mentioned multiple times on this blog where this pause took place. It was right at the end of “A Little Fall of Rain”. At the end of the song, Joshua ended up pausing at the end for about 5 seconds- to me that showed he was stunned at Eponine’s death. After that pause, he ended the song with the “grow”- he didn’t sing it- he said it in a heartbreaking way- the pause allowed the emotion to build up. That one word showed just how heartbroken he was- crazy how one word can show all that emotion.

Those are two examples of how there is a lot of power in a pause in theatre.

Favorite Songs From Sound of Music

Sound of Music is a musical that has been a favorite musical of mine since childhood. So it is a very special musical. Like Phantom, I don’t know if my favorites take up ten or not.

1. Edelweiss- a huge reason why this is my favorite song from Sound of Music because one of my memories associated with it is that is was my first piano recital song. The first time I saw Sound of Music live (2015), the 2nd half of the song I actually cried, which has never happened to me before

2. Do Re Mi- I mean who doesn’t love singing along to this song. It is a very easy song to learn the lyrics to. It is a wonderful moment Maria has with the children. She and the children finally find a bond with each other.

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3. My Favorite Things- once again, who doesn’t just love singing along to this song. It is another fun loving song. The melody is very energetic and the lyrics are very wonderful that it is just fun to sing along to.

4. Sound of Music- of course the title song is one of my favorite songs. It gets you to start to know Maria. It shows you just much she is connected to nature and music.

5. Something Good- I just love this romantic song found between Maria and the Captain. I love how the Captain’s heart has finally softened. He used be very stern, but through Maria, he was able to learn how to soften up. It is a very beautiful love song found between the two of them.

6. Climb Every Mountain- I don’t know what it is, but something about it makes it one of my favorite Sound of Music songs. It is just of my favorite act I closers

7. Sixteen Going On Seventeen- this is another romantic duet, but filled with more innocence since it is for a more younger couple

8. Lonely Goatherd- just a fun song no matter on stage or screen. One stage, it happens during the thunderstorm, but on screen it is during a puppet show so either way just a fun song.

9. So Long Farewell- once again a very fun song

So you see, Sound of Music’s score is very fun score. But it does have an emotional song towards the end and it is Edelweiss. That particular song does have a tinge of sadness in it and I didn’t know it had that tinge of sadness for several several years; I had to see the stage show first.