The World of Plays and Musicals

In today’s post, I will talk about both plays and musicals. I will explain why I am drawn to musicals more than plays. I am experienced both in my lifetime and have studied some in school.

In my opinion, plays are more boring and less interesting than a musical. I have studied them and been to them. But I am not quite as drawn to them. The emotions feel even less interesting and harder to get to know. In high school, through the likes of Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth, I treated them poorly just because they were tragic. I thought tragedies were just a mess of sadness. They never seemed to interest me, but then again never took the time to get to know them. However, there is one play I studied in high school that I did enjoy, which was Taming of the Shrew, a Comedy.

Throughout college, studying and seeing plays continued. I did study Death of a Salesman and did not like it. One year I think it was 2013, my parents took me to see Mousetrap and I enjoyed it. Throughout my time at Gardner Webb, I saw plays such as Full Moon Over Montmarte, Servant of Two Masters, I Ya Ya Yo, Glass Menargarie, and Trojan Women, and #8. Servant of Two Masters was the most enjoyable.

I hated #8 so much. It gave me a very negative experience. It was a play dealing with the Holocaust. All I felt in that play was negative emotions and there never seemed to be light. I was so uncomfortable that I honestly wanted to leave. But I had to stay due to being required to. I do not want to experience the negative emotions in a way that actually is quite harmful to the experience.

I honestly struggle with having emotional connections to a play. Just spoken word is sort of boring. So what is the real reason why I love musicals over plays? Well, musicals are way more than spoken word. They have dance, song, and spectacle, three aspects that allow you to fully invest in the story and the character’s stories. The dance and spectacle is fun to watch and helps you believe in the story.

The songs in a musical are the main reason why I emotionally connect to well in a musical. In a play, there always seems to be an emotional disconnect. In a musical, due to the power of song, it is easier to find an emotional connection. It allows you to easily fall in love with positive and negative emotions. It is easier to cope with negative emotions in a musical due to beautiful songs that create these heartbreaking and bittersweet moments.

The negative emotions in a musical do not cause any harm in a musical experience. They actually support a musical experience. They actually strengthen your emotional connection to characters and actually make you love musical characters even more. They are supposed to feel real and are capable of so much and can drive you to tears at times, but they actually give you a positive experience.

So in conclusion, I find plays boring due to just having spoken word. The regular spoken word makes it hard to emotionally connect to characters. But in a musical, the songs actually make it easier to find an emotional connection and allow you to find joy in both positive and negative emotions. The dance and spectacle is another reason why musicals are betters than plays. The dance and spectacle is entertaining. Musicals are intended to be joyful.

What are your thoughts? Why do you love musicals more than plays?

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One Hundred Story Home Review

A True Story about Finding Faith in Yourself and Something Bigger

The Hundred Story Home leads you on an inspirational journey that begins with a questions, “where are the beds?” and ends with over one hundred formerly homeless people living in home of their own.

Kathy Izard was a graphic designer, wife, mother of four daughters, and volunteer at Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center when an unlikely meeting with formally homeless author Denver Moore (Same Kind of Different As Me) changed the course of her life. Inspired by Denver’s challenge to do more than serve in the soup kitchen, Kathy quits her job to take on what seemed like an unimaginable task in her second half of life-to build housing for Charlotte’s homeless

Women together in this motivational story of a call to social action of Kathy’s personal journey to define the meaning of home. Read the book that not only makes you believe you can change the world, it will also end up changing you.

-Unknown

One Hundred Story home was the third book I finished this summer and also my third genre I read this summer. This time I read a nonfiction book. I am not a big fan of nonfiction, but my mom bought it for me knowing of my passion to help the homeless when I am older. I throughly enjoyed this book and was so inspiring. It actually made my dream of opening a theatre to help the homeless feel like it is possible. I want the homeless to act in plays and musicals and possibly even get the chance to work backstage.

At times, Kathy thought that there was no way she can ever house the chronically homeless because it seemed impossible. But through the motivation of people such as Denver, Dale, her husband and children, it helped her get through many hurdles she had to face while getting this started.

By reading the book, I realized just how hard it is to get a nonprofit started. The reason why I want the homeless to be involved in theatre is because I have a passion for musicals. The homeless have hidden talents that we do not know about. I know how much theatre has changed me and I cannot imagine how much more it would impact the homeless.

I am hoping the theatre will help give the homeless purpose in their lives and will help a community they might feel like they are missing. Even Kathy’s purpose took a lot of work especially when raising enough money to build the apartments. Lots had to be done before construction of the apartments could begin. It all started out with a sample program to see if her idea would work out.

So what I am saying is that this book made me realize that the theatre has chance of possibly working out. It shows me that it will happen even though it will take a lot of work. It shows you that some days will be harder then others. Even though I honestly just do not like nonfiction that much, I loved this book. I sometimes wonder why I am deeply connected to those living in poverty and homelessness. Kathy says that when you discover your calling, go for it. Even when people tell me my dream job is impossible, there will be people who will help you. I know I cannot get this theatre opened alone and will need more than just God to help me. The book shows that you can make a difference in the world.

Reason why millions see Les Mis

Once again, another Les Mis post. Yes, I must admit I am obsessed as many know. Yes, I am also a Les Mis walking talking encyclopedia.

Les Mis is one of the most successful musicals in the world. I understand the sensation that it is and even I cannot describe why it is. Millions of people have experienced this epic, powerful, and emotional musical. Though tragic, it truly connects you to the material and the characters. Les Mis knows how to make you truly about every one of the characters  including characters you don’t like. It is just there is something about it that makes it so personal and meaningful at such a very deep level. It is truly about humanity, love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, and redemption. The complexity, honesty, insight, and truth the characters provide is so wonderful. As every fan knows, it is very hard to describe why Les Mis touches them so much.

There is just something about Les Mis that just makes it so special and personal. I know what that it is, but there is no words to describe. The show is wonderfully real and human. It is just so universal and reflects life in a grand and strong and powerful and epic way.

Possible spoilers:

The  Transformation of Jean Valjean is truly incredible. He is so complex and truly changes. He starts out as an angered, hardened and harsh man all because of being in prison for nineteen years just for stealing a loaf of bread for the sake of his family. Five of those nineteen years was just for stealing bread and the rest is for trying to escape.

He quickly figured out that even society does not trust him and treats him poorly. He was given kindness and mercy by the bishop who gives him a place to sleep and food to eat, but Valjean out of desperation steals the bishop’s silver. But the bishop forgave him and gifted him with a set of candlesticks. After the example the bishop set for Valjean, Valjean decided to start his life over and decided to live a life for the sake of the Lord. After breaking parole, Javert becomes obsessed over recapturing Valjean and sending him back to jail.

Fantine lives such a heartbreaking and tragic life. She has a young illegitimate daughter who she shows unconditional love towards. Cosette’s biological father abandoned Fantine and Cosette, which left Fantine in a very desperate situation. She ends up working at Valjean’s factory and is fired by the foreman after learning about Cosette. Fantine eventually becomes a prostitute in order to provide for her daughter. She becomes deathly ill and eventually an abusive customer harasses Fantine and as a matter of defense she attacks him. This incident causes Javert to want to arrest her, but Valjean pleads to Javert to take her to the hospital. As Fantine was dying, Valjean agrees to raise her daughter as his own.

Young Cosette was the first person Valjean ever loved. We learn that eight year old, Cosette, was terribly abused by the Thenardiers and Cosette hopes for a better life.  Valjean rescued her and it is such a challenge considering the fact that he is an ex-convict.

Another story to note is the young love triangle between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine. Both Eponine and Cosette love Marius, but Marius only has eyes for Cosette. Marius continues to be oblivious to Eponine’s deep unrequited love, but Eponine finally confesses her love for him during her death scene at the barricades. As a matter of fact, Marius truly cares about Eponine and is the only light in Eponine’s miserable life. She has probably some of the worst parents ever, who don’t care or even love her. They terribly abuse her and she was raised to be a criminal and the only light in her life is Marius, which is why her unrequited love is so deep and extremely emotionally painful.

There is even the story of the barricade boys. They plan to start an uprising due to the weak government. This group is end by Enjolras, the most passionate of the group. This group of boys are college students.As noticed, it is very hard to describe the plot of Les Mis. It has multiple storylines. These storylines eventually fuse together. It can be hard to see beyond all of the heartbreak, misery, and suffering, but those parts become more worth it once you see the hope.

As for the songs, they wonderfully reflect the storyline. The songs are so powerful and grab you. All you have to do is hear the first note and you are automatically immersed into the storyline. It gives you the feeling that the show is so powerful. The songs reflect the deep emotional nature of the story and the souls and hearts of these wonderful, complex, and well-developed characters. These songs are covered with several emotions and the emotional impact is why Les Mis is so special and unique.

“To love another person is to see the face of God”

Why do you think Les Mis is so successful?

List of Happy Musicals

This is a list of happy musicals. From experience, I am fully aware that most musicals are happy. This list includes shows I have seen either by movie or stage and shows that I haven’t experienced at all.

  1. Wicked
  2. Wizard of OZ
  3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  4. Music Man
  5. Pippin
  6. Sound of Music
  7. Annie
  8. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
  9. Singing in the Rain
  10. Hairspray
  11. Mamma Mia
  12. Cats
  13. South Pacific
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Annie Get Your Gun
  16. Newsies
  17. Lion King
  18. Beauty and the Beast
  19. Aladdin
  20. Little Mermaid
  21. My Fair Lady
  22. Mary Poppins
  23. Meet Me in St. Louis
  24. Easter Parade
  25. Fiddler on the Roof
  26. Grease
  27. White Christmas
  28. Godspell
  29. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  30. White Christmas
  31. Kiss Me Kate
  32. Bye Bye Birdie
  33. An American in Paris
  34. Anything Goes
  35. Funny Girl
  36. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  37. Guys and Dolls
  38. Kinky Boots
  39. Throughly Modern Millie
  40. Fantastiks

Things I love About College

  1. The Community- everyone is so nice
  2. Campus Civitan- my club, it is a service club and they are like family to me
  3. My friends
  4. The Gathering- student-led worship service
  5. Feeling of Independence
  6. Discovering more of who I am
  7. Outings beyond my college
  8. The social activities
  9. Theatre- enjoyable going to shows at my school

Trojan Women Review

Last night it was my second night selling tickets at Trojan Women, a Greek tragedy by Euripides. It is about the aftermath of the Trojan War. At this showing, I was given permission to watch it.

I got to say it was a well done production. The set looked like the ruins of Troy and represented Greek Tragedy well. The costumes reflected the time period. One of the most fascinating things about this production was the shadow interpreting. My school is well known for their ASL program. While people were talking on stage, there were interpreters on stage signing the lines. That was very fascinating to watch and I am glad the ASL program was honored in that way. I loved the incredible acting from the cast. One of the oddest things about Greek Tragedy is the chorus, which is very difficult to pull off, but they did a wonderful job.

One of the reasons why I am so glad I watched the show is because Ancient Greek shows is where theatre truly began. Greek tragedy is very different from what we know as tragedy today. In Greek tragedy, the main character is not an ordinary person. Instead, the main character is of nobility. There is only one plot, one setting, and one time. There is the odd chorus, which sometimes does not make any sense. I may be a musical person, but it is quite interesting being exposed to plays. Even though I am not as emotionally connected to a play, going to a play can be enjoyable.

Moving Up in Theatre

Tonight shall be quite exciting. Starting in 2013, I began to get more involved in theatre. Over the Fall, I signed up to be a usher at my community college. Coincidentally, the first show I ushered for was “Les Mis”.  I first saw the movie of “Les Mis” in December of 2012, but I became obsessed with the musical in 2013. So it was quite fitting that “Les Mis” was the first show I ushered for. I ushered twice for that show and later would usher at “Some Enchanted Evening”, which honors Rodgers and Hammerstein’s songs.  Starting in Fall of 2014, I decided to become an usher for Children’s Theatre. Now two years later, I am taking a different role in the theatre. Tonight, Gardner Webb is putting together a Greek Tragedy, Trojan Women. I am going to be selling tickets for all four days. I never thought I would be able to move up like that.