Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's Up With French Mobs??

Ok, has anyone else ever noticed the constant presence of French mobs? In every musical I know of that takes place in France, there's a mob of some kind.

First of all, there's Les Mis. This one is probably the most prominent with all the revolution going on. I mean, this French mob has got it all: the flag, the barricade, the rousing call to arms with "Do You Hear the People Sing." How can you go wrong?

Phantom of the Opera: This mob is less prominent, but it's a mob nonetheless. How can it not be a mob when they're shouting/singing, "Track down this murderer; he must be found!"and the like.

Hunchback of Notre Dame: It's been quite a while since I've seen the movie or the musical they used to have at MGM Studios, but I remember distinctly there's a mob of some kind.

Marie: I saw a ballet once that was based on the life of Marie Antoinette, and ohhh...that mob. That was not a pretty one.

Beauty and the Beast: This one should get a special reward because they actually have a song called, wait for it.... "The Mob Song" !!!

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any at this time. If anyone can think of other French mobs, leave a comment!

My Fair Lady rehearsals are going very well. We had the first big stumble-through last Saturday, and it went surprisingly well considering all the people who were out of town. I have to say that my favorite role in the musical (I have three, Maid 1, a cockney chorus girl, and a woman at Ascot) is my cockney girl. I mean really, the cockneys get all the fun songs: Loverly, Little Bit O' Luck and Reprise, and Church on Time. And my character is the one who spends most of her time philanderin' with Doolittle, so I'm in all of those. Score! Plus, cockney is an 'ole lot more fun ta speak than proper British.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This is a Total Bloody Disaster!!!

I found that whilst looking for inspiration for my own choreography for that number and just had to share... That's gotta be the silliest version of that song ever.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Phantom of the Opera --- ON STAGE

Well, recently I had the amazing privilege of seeing The Phantom of the Opera live on stage, and there are many words that come to mind to describe it: amazing, fantastic, gripping, tragic, beautiful. But a review that just describes something in such pithy undescriptive tones would be boring, so I'll try to think better ways to relay my awesome experience. As always, spoilers are a constant presence, so beware. Also seeing the musical makes me even more suspicious of the sequel, as I posted about earlier.

Times I cried in the whole show: four.
Three times in Act 1 and once in Act 2, though that time was rather...extensive, we'll say.

Favorite scenes:
Chandelier going up:
We were in the mezzanine, so we had a spectacular view of the chandelier and how it ascended from the stage, over the heads of the orchestra pit and people in the first few rows, then all the way up the theater.

When Christine and Meg were singing Angel of Music:
The ballet chorus girls kept making hilarious mistakes. There is always the constant question of whether art imitates life or life imitates art: I think in this case, art imitates life because I've made many of the same silly mistakes those girls have made when dancing.

Title song: There are no words sufficient enough to describe this scene. This one in my mind was the thing I had anticipated the most, and it did not disappoint. Think of how the movie version had an elaborate set, then stuff it down to moving platforms, fog, candles that come out of the stage, moving boat, and the Phantom himself. With a hat! I'm so used to the movie, I always forget that he has an awesome hat in the musical. Add to that the music itself and the actors singing it, and... ugh! I'm flabbergasted trying to explain, so I'll just move on... Well wait, before I go on I have to say something: I was obsessed with Spamalot before I was obsessed with many other Broadway musicals, Phantom being one of them. But seeing "Phantom of the Opera" (individual song) on stage made me completely get how brilliant "The Song that Goes Like This" was in parodying it in its staging. I don't think I'll ever be able to choose my favorite musical.... It's either Spamalot, Phantom of the Opera, or Les Miserables...such a decision...but moving on.

Music of the Night:
Rocked. His high light note literally made me and a friend I was seeing it with gasp in amazement.

All I Ask of You and its Reprise:
This Raoul actually wasn't annoying! It's amazing how this has happened two times in a row... the Lovesick Tenor in love with the Main Soprano usually never fails to annoy in movie versions or soundtracks. In both Les Mis and Phantom, their Marius/Raoul and Cosette/Christine were not completely annoying!
Phantom lowered down on the statue: completely amazing.

And of course, the Chandelier Crash.
Really, it crashes. Right back onto the stage. And it rocked.

Past the Point of No Return to the end:
I'm really coming up with nothing descriptive that wouldn't completely ruin the musical for someone who hasn't seen it, so I'll just say this: it made me cry pathetically.

Overall, I had an incredible time, and I was so blessed in that I got to see it with some of my dearest friends and family, which made the time even more amazing.

To leave y'all, here is the condensed title song and Music of the Night as performed in the Tony Awards in 1988, by Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, the original Phantom and Christine. This'll give you a tiny taste of the awesomeness of the set, especially the title song.

Ok, a mini-speech... I always find it interesting how as an actor, I've always been taught never, Never, NEVER to turn my back on the audience, yet in shows like Les Mis and Phantom, there are times when a performer has his back on the audience for long stretches of time... I just find that amusing...

After note: See my review of the movie that started my obsession here, and review of the book continuing my obsession here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love May Never Die, but Love For Sequels Often Does

Ok, I really am trying to keep an open mind about all this, but...

I'm very skeptical about a Phantom sequel.......still.

And other than Meg (MAYBE....), this feels all wrong... I'm sorry, but it does.