I've decided to participate this week in something called "Celebrate Musicals Week", hosted by the lovely Yet Another Period Drama Blog. I thought it would be a great opportunity to connect with fellow musical lovers and tell you all about one of my very favorite musicals to date...
I know a lot of people will be doing Les Mis this week, but I just couldn't pass it up. I'm pretty swamped with schoolwork at the moment so I'm going to be doing three posts throughout the week, including this one. It's going to be so much fun, y'all!
Amy Dashwood posted some questions on the blog to get everybody started:
1. What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?
Les Miserables, because I've been just a wee bit obsessed with it for several months now.
2. How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?
I remember hearing the very popular On My Own a long time ago. I really liked it and sang it all the time, but as for the rest of the musical, I was pretty disinterested. I didn't even know what it was about. Then the movie came out last year, and it rekindled my interest. Historical people singing? Anne Hathaway? Definitely sounded up my alley. I can't remember exactly what the progression was from interested to loving it, but I started listening to the songs and watched the 25th Anniversary Edition when it came on TV. Another reason Les Mis is my favorite is because, even taking away the musical element, you've got a powerful story underneath. That, I think, is what makes musicals so wonderful. Not the catchy songs, but the story they represent. I'm working though the Les Mis book (all 900-some-odd pages of it) and it's quite a remarkable piece.
3. If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?
Hard question. There are so many beautiful ones, each haunting for their own reason.
- Do You Hear the People Sing, because there are so many verses to this song and it's inspirational and rousing.
- A Little Fall of Rain, because it's such an emotional song and I love Eponine's final scene with Marius. I remember crying the second or third time I heard it, because I was having a bad day and it was just so beautiful (my brother always wonders why these terribly sad songs make me happy, LOL)
- Look Down and its reprises. Again, because there are many ways to sing it and each one represents the lowliest people in the musical. First, Valjean and the convicts, and second, the peasants in the sewers.
5. Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)?
Why are these questions so difficult? :D Alright. In no particular order: Eponine, Jean Valjean, and Enjolras. Eponine because of her hard life and her love for Marius to the bitter end, Jean Valjean because he made such an epic journey from convict to loving father, and Enjolras because he started a revolution based on what he believed in and looked awesome while doing it. ;)
6. Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?
I've seen the 25th Anniversary special at the O2 theater and listened to snippets from many different shows and performers, including the movie (which I haven't seen yet, but soon!). From everything that I've listened to I have to say that, singing wise, the 25th Anniversary edition is my favorite because the singers are just. so. good.
7. Is this your favorite musical of all time? If not, what is?
Pretty much, yeah. I also really like Phantom of the Opera, Funny Girl, The Sound of Music, and The King and I.
8. Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?
I don't own any of the albums as of yet, but I listen to the 25th Anniversary and 2012 movie editions the most. Unfortunately, they never made an album of the O2 theater songs (I can't imagine why not!).
9. What is your favorite costume from your musical?
Eeeee!! I'm going to pick from the movie, because goodness, there were some lovely outfits in that thing (and I'm a sucker for historical outfits anyway). As much as I liked Cosette's puffy-sleeve dresses (I definitely think you could fit a couple of small dogs in those wedding sleeves of hers), I'm going to make it a tie between Enjolras's and Eponine's respective barricade uniforms.
10. If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?
I would have preferred if they had toned down the songs surrounding Fantine's prostitution, because although I understand that she went through a terrible ordeal (as so many women did in those times) it was not made much of in the book and therefore I think they could have done without it in the show.
11. Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?
Ahh, dreaming a dream here, I see! ;) Definitely Eponine. But then, what girl doesn't want to play Eponine? I'd also enjoy playing Gavroche, as girls often play his part and he's just so funny. As for non Les Mis characters, I'd enjoy being Lucy from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
12. Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?
I know that there are musical theatre fans way, way beyond my level so I think I'll just say a few musicals. I'm picky about musicals, and, like I mentioned above, they have to have an excellent underlying plot for me to really enjoy them.
13. Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?
No but I think the readers might be. :D
14. Turn your music playing device on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have one) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating! How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?
My music is so scattered around different places that I did one song from my Musicals playlist, one from my Les Miserables playlist, (both on Spotify, because I love Spotify) and one from my iTunes on shuffle. In order, I got:
- Glee Club Rehearsal from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. This is actually one of my favorite songs from that musical and I've listened to it many times.
- Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. I really like this one, though I haven't listened to it many times. I especially love Alfie Boe's performance of it. I like that it's a song devoted to Marius, because even though he's a bit ridiculous at times he is, after all, "only young, only a boy".
- People from Funny Girl. A classic in every way.
That's it for today's post...come back to the barricade on Wednesday for another one!