Monday, July 13, 2015

Music Mondays! (There's No Way Like Broadway!)

Hello everyone! 
It's Monday again, and I know you're excited to join me in discovering new music, or listening to old favorites! 

Today's post is about Musical Theatre, a beautiful genre that I have grown to love over the past couple of years. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but as I have expressed in my about me tab, Drama and Musical Theatre are a huge part of my life. When I discovered I could connect with audiences not only with my acting, but with my voice as well, it was such a liberating experience! 

But, I digress. (Comment if you would like to read a post about my experiences in theatre!) 
The playlist I have chosen from my repertoire today is entitled "theatre time".

Let's get into it!

1. Flying Away (Finale) -Fun Home I recently discovered Fun Home after watching this year's Tony Awards. I was completely moved by Sydney Lucas' performance of Ring of Keys, and I immediately started listening to the soundtrack. The music is so well composed, and perfectly expresses the autobiographical tragicomic about the author's life (I bought it soon after). It's a musical about self discovery, and I find that to be very beautiful. This Finale brings the whole show together, with all of the Allison characters singing at once and it's so powerful. Bravo to Fun Home for winning Best Musical at the Tonys! 

2. Woe is Me - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee   I had the opportunity to be a part of this show my first semester in college, playing the role of Olive Ostrovsky and I completely fell in love with the show. It's outrageously hilarious, and at the same time has such touching moments woven into it. This song is sung by the character Logainne "Schwarzy" SchwartzandGrubenierre who has terrible anxiety because of the pressure her gay fathers put on her to succeed in everything she does, and the bullying she receives from her peers because of her dads. The musical is full of great and crazy gospel/rock influenced songs, with big numbers that are so entertaining not only to perform but to watch as well. 

3. Green Finch and Linnett Bird - Sweeney Todd  One of my favorite musicals, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a opera/musical hybrid, as is the pattern in many of Stephen Sondheim musicals. This song is sung by the character Johanna, a beautiful young girl who has been locked away from the outside world her whole life. She dreams of understanding how to be happy in her current state of captivity, and ends by singing, "If I cannot fly, let me sing" expressing her wish for contentment. 

4. Ten Minutes Ago - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella  This musical has always touched my heart, and this song is so romantic! I mean, who doesn't want to sing a duet with handsome prince with a gorgeous voice? (cue my swooning) It's a classic story that everyone loves, and can we just talk about the costume change for Cinderella during "Impossible"? Simply magical! 

5. Music of the Night - Phantom of the Opera  Another opera/musical hybrid written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, this wonderful musical from the mid 80's and is the longest running show on Broadway to date! It is about the beautiful Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a delusional musical genius, the Phantom. My favorite performance of this musical is the 25th Anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall with Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess as the Phantom and Christine. It's the number one longest running musical for a reason, guys, and if you haven't watched it I strongly encourage you to!

6. As Long as You're Mine - Wicked What's a musical theatre post without some Wicked? It quickly became popular because it showed the story from the Wizard of Oz no one ever tells--the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) and her friendship with Glinda the Good. This song is so wonderful because it talks about enjoying things while you have them, even if it's just for a fleeting moment. I particularly love this musical because from start to finish it shows the audience that the way people are treated influence who they will become. There is also a lot to say about how people judge others, based on nothing more than their appearance, and I think everyone can connect to that.  

7. If Only (Quartet) - The Little Mermaid What a moving piece! This adaptation of Disney's The Little Mermaid is fun for all ages. During this song, Ariel, Eric, Sebastian, and King Triton all sing about their wishes. If you saw in last week's music mondays post, I went on and on about my love of The Little Mermaid so of course I have the same sentiments for the Broadway show! Plus, one of my favorite actresses, Sierra Boggess (Yup, same woman who played Christine Daaé) played Ariel in the original cast. 

8. Written in the Stars - Aida This touching song about two star crossed lovers trying to deny their love for each other has recently become a favorite of mine. A rock influenced musical written by Elton John and Tim Rice (Elton John--need I say more?) It is based on the opera of the same name, and it ran for 1,852 performances until September 5, 2004, making it the 35th longest running Broadway musical. 

9. I Should Tell You - RENT I know a lot of people criticize the movie adaptation of RENT but in my opinion, Rosario Dawson does much better as Mimi than Daphne Rubin-Vega. The chemistry between the characters Roger and Mimi is so wonderful. This song is about starting something new but being afraid of showing everything about yourself. RENT is a revolutionary, inspiring show telling the story of a group of friends struggling to live in the ghettos of New York, most of them living with HIV/AIDS. RENT is loosely based on Puccini's opera  La Bohème. 

10.  Stay With Me - Into the Woods I also had the wonderful opportunity to play the role of the Baker's Wife last semester, and let me tell you, Into the Woods is now one of my favorite musicals.
(me as the Baker's Wife)
Can we just say Stephen Sondheim is a genius? In this show stopping number "Stay With Me" the Witch finds out that Rapunzel has been meeting with the Prince in her tower. This song really spoke to me because Sondheim seems to perfectly capture the love a parent has for a child when they want to shield them from the terrors of the world. This concept is really why I fell in love with this show. One of the two major themes is "children will listen", meaning no matter what you do or tell others, people will see what you do, and learn from it. It's such a clever show, and I believe that there are many things to learn from it!

Alright, that's it! If you are a theatre geek like myself, or if this was all new to you and you'd like to chat with me about other theatre related things, comment, tweet me, or talk to me on tumblr!

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