Friday, February 17, 2017

10 Favourite Musicals Link-Up!


Christine Eyre over at Overflowing Mind and Pen is doing a Favorite Musicals Link Up on her blog, and invited me to join. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. It's a musical Link Up! I can't say no to that.

Anyone can participate in this. It runs until February 28th. The Rules can be found on Christine's blog, HERE.

She had a cool little Button, but for some reason it won't show up on my blog. 8-(

Here are my top ten favorite Musicals:

1.) The Phantom of the Opera
2.) A Tale of Two Cities
3.) Ghost
4.) The Secret Garden
5.) Finding Neverland
6.) Jekyll and Hyde
7.) Newsies
8.) Jane Eyre
9.) Les Miserables
10.) Mary Poppins

 You can post about as many or as few as you'd like to per day.  Which is awesome! By this point I'm sure all of you know exactly why I love TPOTO and ATOTC so much. I've posted about both of them enough times to relay how I feel about these beautiful musicals.  So today I'm going to post about TPOTO and Ghost. If you want you can skip my thoughts on Phantom and jump down to Ghost. It made make it more fun for you.

Reasons I like The Phantom of the Opera.

This is easy. I grew up on The Phantom of the Opera. I don't remember when it wasn't a part of my life. I think by  the time I was four years old I was already familiar with the music, and by the time I was eight I was singing along with most of the main songs. It was a big part of my life. The musical that played when a big sister did my hair in the morning. The songs that blared out in the car when we drove down to Barnes and Nobles. The songs we sang together when we did dishes or chores. Yeah. It was everywhere, and I got attached to it fast. The older I got the more I loved the music, the composition, and the characters. It was obviously worth the fame it had.

He welcomes you to his Opera House, and requests that you continue to keep Box 5 empty for his use.

The Phantom of The Opera is still my favorite musical. In the past few years I've become even more in love with it. One of my favourite elements of Phantom is the love story between Christine and Raoul. There are plenty of arguments made against this beautiful pairing, some being that Christine should be with the Phantom, (ew) others being that Raoul didn't deserve her, or vise versa (what?) and some being that they barely knew each other so they couldn't be in love.

That last point is silly. Yes, when the musical first opens Christine hasn't seen Raoul in years. They were best friends in childhood but it's been a long time since either of them have spent time together. There's obviously still a spark between them right off the bat, but it would be a bad call to say they still knew each other after so much time had passed.



HOWEVER. Between the time that Raoul proposes to Christine at the end of Act One, and the Phantom taking control of the opera house and presenting an opera in Act Two, six months pass. The two characters have plenty of time to date, to catch up, to learn each other all over again. And it's pretty obvious at the beginning of Act Two that they are happily engaged and very in love. So, the argument that they don't know each other is invalid. I'm just saying. Throughout Act Two they are together as often as possible and fiercely protective of one another. Especially Raoul. He's like, You hurt Christine, I'll smash your face. It's precious how much they care for each other.




Anywhere you go let me go to.


Of course the other brilliant element of this story is the Phantom himself. His character is beautifully written, layered, and tragic. He's creepy and insane, he doesn't seem to grasp right from wrong, and he is obsessive with what he wants. Yet there is a sadness in him that is hard not to empathize with. He had a rotten life. He was driven to insanity because of his deformity, because the world hated him, because he was a genius with absolutely no outlet. That's sad. He's sad. your heart bleeds for the poor fellow. It doesn't excuse how disturbing and cruel he can be, but it does add some depth and tragedy to his character. That's one of the reason I don't like it when an actor plays the Phantom too angry or harsh. There needs to be that underlying element of tragedy or the ending isn't as powerful. You need to see his vulnerability early on. I really love how Michael Crawford breathed that trait into his performance. Dave Willets also did an excellent drop balancing the insanity and cruelty with vulnerability, and from the bits I've seen of him John Cudia did a good job with it too. I like the Phantom to be creepy, crazy, and obviously the villain, but also have that gentle unexpected side that can love. That side is his redemption and it needs to be seen throughout the story.

The Phantom of the Opera is such a unique story, full of love, sacrifice, and redemption. It's timeless, it's interesting, it's full of gorgeous music that brings you right back to the Opera House in 1881. The vocals are incredible, the characters are well written, and the whole story is worth listening to.

Ghost.

Ghost is a new musical that I've only recently discovered. The music is a lot more modern than I usually like in a musical, but Ghost pulls it off. I listened to the OBC in September and fell in love with the story on the spot.

*Spoiler* I'd never seen the movie Ghost and I didn't know anything about it either, so I had no idea what to expect. I was upset and horrified when Sam was killed. I cried right along with Molly when she lost him. I was just as shocked as Sam when I found out who betrayed him. I was so freaking into this story! It was the first musical I'd found in a while that actually made me cry. *End spoiler*

If there's anything more I can do, I'll do it and find my way back to you.


I don't know how closely the musical followed the movie, but the story was rock solid, emotional, and stirring. The characters were great, well-written, and strong. As usual I liked the Original Cast best. The newer casts are a bit much for my taste. The original's balanced power with a soft undertone and that is really important in a musical like this. Caissie Levy did an excellent job in the role of Molly Jensen. She embraced the loud and vibrant music without becoming too brassy or obnoxious. She would belt in moments of intense anger or regret where it was obviously meant to be so, but she always brought her voice back to a gentler, softer tone. She never went over-board with her belting or her vocal power, and she balanced the anger with deep sadness and pain so that it never overwhelmed the character. I loved her portrayal of Molly. Richard Fleeshman did just as well in the role of Sam, bringing power and the modern sound to his role, but keeping a more vulnerable tone whenever possible. He got loud and sharp but he never stayed that way for long. That's why I like the Original Cast best. I don't usually like musical with modern music because it's too loud, brassy, and annoying. The vocalists sound like they're trying to out-belt each other, the tones are overwhelming and heavy... it's just too much noise and not enough technique or beauty. The Original Cast of Ghost were very aware of their power and made sure not to overdo it. They made the volume and capacity work. The newer casts aren't always so careful. Most Mollys' sound like they were Elphaba in their first life. I think a lot of them were. 8-P It's like Girl. Stop yelling.

But yeah, this musical is really emotional, beautiful, and powerful. I would definitely recommend it. I believe there is a scene near the beginning between Sam and Molly, but besides that it's pretty clean too. It's an excellent story with incredible lyrics and solid music. It's wonderful.


Oh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch.


Here ends my first official day of the Musical Link-Up. 8-) This was fun! Hope to see you all again soon!




*Swings around cape and leaps off stage*





Bella


Thursday, February 2, 2017

I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don't feel so bad.



fmab

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you're just kind of sad? Like, you're not depressed or anything, and maybe you don't even know why you're sad, but you are and you feel all melancholy and blue, and you want to curl up and look at the wall forever?

Yeah, I've had those weeks too.

A sad week is no fun. A sad day is no fun. It's never fun to have any sort of sad time. And I know sometimes it's easier to be blue and gloomy than to be happy. It's okay to have alone days where you hide, watch Netflix (or read) and eat chocolate. It's completely acceptable to have hermit days. It's healthy even. However, I thought I'd give a list of the top ten things that make me feel better when I've had a bad day, a bad week, or a rotten few months. For anyone going through a rough patch, or just having a tough time of it. 8-D

1.) Color

Adults Coloring books are an excellent form of therapy and relaxation. Even if you can't get the actually coloring books, getting a piece of paper and drawing huge flowers/and or shapes and coloring them in is very soothing. I color a lot. Usually I'll listen to a special playlist while I do, with a bunch of my favorite songs in it, and some relaxing, pretty instrumentals to help me calm down.

2.) Listen to Music

Music works for me every time. No matter what is happening, it always cheers me up. Whether you're cleaning, studying, or taking a break and resting at home, music is a great way to lighten to mood and ease stress. For sad days I usually listen to pretty music, like Mumford and Sons, Josh Groban, Il Volo, my favorite musicals, or I just look up, "Pretty, calming music" and play instrument for a while. I'll also listen to more up beat songs, like How you get the girl by Taylor Swift, or Have Mercy on Me, by Shawn Mendes. Or It's Always a Good Time by Owl City. Whatever it is, listen to something you love. It helps your mind to relax when it listens to something it doesn't really have to focus on.

3.) Watch your favourite movie or an episode of your favourite TV Show. Preferable a movie or episode you know really well. 

My go-to shows for sad days are Doctor who (preferably and episode from the first five seasons) Psych, Hunter X Hunter, My Little Pony and sometimes Leverage.  Watch a show that provides you with comfort and will ultimately make you feel better; even if it makes you cry. Sometimes crying over fictional stuff can help you deal with real problems.

4.) Take a walk.

The world is a beautiful place. Take a walk in the forest, wade through streams, smell dirt and grass. If you live in a City with tons of buildings and hardly any trees or rivers, I would recommend going to a public park and just hanging on in the grass and walking around, listening to the wind. It helps to be outdoors. When you see the trees and how much they've survived, or feel grass in your toes, or see the light making patterns in the leaves, or see the giant sky above you and how infinite it is, it helps you clear your mind. A wonderful God made all these things and somehow they are doing okay. Maybe your problems really aren't so overwhelming after-all.

5.) Step outside at night. Stare at the moon, the stars.

This goes hand in hand with taking a walk. Stepping outside to witness the beauty of our world can really help stabilize your mood. There's few things as lovely as looking up and seeing thousands of tiny lights shining down on you. You go inside feeling better and more at peace.

6.) Wrap up in a warm blanket, have tea or coffee, or your favorite drink. Maybe read a book. Relax.

Warm blankets and a good drink make everything a little easier. If it happens to be the middle of summer and it's too warm for a blanket, find a patch of sunlight to curl up in, or a stuffed animal to cuddle. Trust me. It helps.

7.) Pray hard.

God is awesome. He knows your struggling and He will always be there for you, no matter the time, the place, or the circumstances. Go to Him. He won't let you down.

8.) Spend time with your best friend or family member.

Time spent in good company usually means good memories, and a good day. A best friend, or close family member can also help you relax and feel better about life. They are also there for you if you need to talk. Don't be afraid to visit.

9.) Write a list of everything you're grateful for. Only positive thoughts. 8-)

This is something that can be hard to do, especially if you are emotionally drained, but make a list of things you are happy or grateful for, and things you enjoy. That way you can go back and read the list whenever you are feeling down, and add to it as needed.

10.) Go out and do something nice for yourself.

Buy an ice-cream cone and walk by the lake. Go to the library for hours. Find a bakery and buy yourself breakfast. Sit at the booth and drink coffee and take in the moment. Lay out in your back yard, close your eyes, and rest. Suck a lollipop on your deck. Buy a new outfit. Climb a tree and feel the wind rock you. Do something nice for yourself. There is no crime or sin in seeking the simple pleasures of life. In Christ experienced simple pleasures. He was, after all, human. And God built our world so we could enjoy it. It would be rude of us not to take advantage of this.

I hope this was helpful to all y'all! I'm sorry it took me so long to get it up. I got really sick last week. A terrible fever, which resulted in a flu. 8-( It sucked.

 
*swings around cape and leaps off stage*




 
Bella

Pile of good things

Pile of good things