Friday, May 12, 2017

"It's a Musical!" Blog Tag

I was looking for a blog tag a while ago that had to do with musicals, since I'm just a liiiittle bit obsessed with them lately, and I couldn't find one that was quite what I had in mind. So what did I do? I created one. It's a little weird, because it's like I'm interviewing myself, but I can't wait to see the answers from other people. Let's gooooo.

1. "I Dreamed a Dream" (your dream role)

If I weren't such a scaredy cat about singing by myself, these would all be roles I'd love to have:
1. Angelica Schuyler in "Hamilton" (because Angelica is a badass and I want to be her when I grow up)

2. Eponine in "Les Misérables" (because despite being a more minor character, she totally steals the show)

3. Roger in "Rent" (because he has the coolest songs in the entire show, and yes, yes I do realize the most obvious reason why I could never play him)

2. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (your favorite musical, stage actor, and musical-to-movie adaptation)

Favorite musical: "Hamilton" (Did anyone not see that coming?)
Stage actor: HOW CAN I CHOOSE ONE?! Why do I come up with these difficult questions?! For now, I'll go with Adam Pascal for an actor and Reneé Elise Goldsberry for an actress, but those are subject to change on an hour-to-hour basis.

Musical-to-movie adaptation: "Rent" and "Les Misérables" were both pretty spectacular.

3. "Hard to Be the Bard" (your favorite lyricist)

Lin-Manuel Miranda!!! You can dissect his lyrics for days and still find new references, recurring themes, and intricate wordplay. It's what makes his work such a treat to revisit.

3. "Think of Me" (a song that describes you/fits you perfectly)

"Hard to Be the Bard" was the first one that came to mind, minus the more annoying/arrogant bits that Shakespeare sings. But I think most writers can empathize with these lyrics in particular:

"And you're trying to find
An opening line or a brilliant idea
And you're pacing the floor
And hoping for just a bit of divine intervention
That one little nugget that one little spark
Then Eureka! You find it you're ready to start
So now you can write, right? Wrong!
You're not even close, you remember that damn it,
Your play's gotta be in iambic pentameter!
So you write down a word but it's not the right word,
So you try a new word but you hate the new word
And you need a good word but you can't find the word
Oh where is it, what is it, what is it, where is it!
Blah-blah-blah, ha ha, ah-ha -UGHHHHHHHH!"

"Something Rotten!" is a treasure and you should all go see if it you ever get the chance.

4. "Those Were the Good Old Days" (the first musical you were exposed to)

I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure it's "My Fair Lady." My parents tell me I loved it when I was little, but I don't remember that far back. "Damn Yankees" and "The Sound of Music" are both movies I remember watching pretty young, too.

5. "Out Tonight" (musicals you’ve seen live)

Within the past couple years, I've gotten to see a few on Broadway or through touring companies that came close to where I live, and they've all been amazing experiences, each one for different reasons:

1. "Les Misérables"
2. "Something Rotten!"
3. "The Book of Mormon"
4. "Hamilton"
5. "Into the Woods"
6. "Company"
7. "Rent"

My mom and I also have tickets to see "Waitress" next week with Sara Bareilles!!!

6. "Sincerely, Me" (your favorite musical protagonist)

Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" would definitely be toward the top of the list. She's bookish and smart and doesn't care if she strays from the crowd to follow her heart. I also love Hamilton from "Hamilton." Even though he drives me crazy and I want to slap him during multiple parts of the show, he's an incredibly complex character who's tons of fun to watch/listen to.

7. "Dancing Through Life" (a musical with great choreography)

Again, "Hamilton" was pretty amazing here, especially during songs like "Satisfied" and "My Shot" when there was so much going on. I never knew where to look because there was always something happening on different parts of the stage.

You've probably seen it already, but in case you haven't, here's a little taste of the choreography from the Tony Awards last year when the cast performed "Yorktown."

8. "The Story of Tonight" (the musical soundtrack you have on repeat right now)

"Beauty and the Beast" since we're coming up on dress rehearsals for the show I'm in and the songs I'm in are the fastest/most complicated (like "Gaston" and "The Mob Song"). I also have "Waitress" and "Rent" on a lot.

9. "What You Own" (autographs you have from Broadway actors)

I really, REALLY love the autographs I have and I fangirl over them frequently.

From "Les Mis," I have an autograph from Ashley Dawn Mortensen, who played Madame Thénardier (she was great and hilarious and super nice when we went outside to meet her).

From "Something Rotten," I have one from Adam freaking Pascal, who reached over a crowd of adults to grab my program and sign it for me. I managed to somehow formulate the words "I loved you as Shakespeare and also in 'Rent!'" to which he smiled and shouted "Thank you!" back over the crazy big mob of people also trying to get autographs.

From "Hamilton," I got an autograph from Nicholas Christopher (at the bottom of the star) who played George Washington. He was super happy and great with the fans (and there were lots of them). Then I got one from Michael Luwoye (to the left of the Hamilton silhouette), who played Burr in the particular performance my family saw, and he was just as nice. He had to fix his coat and find his pen before he could sign my autograph, and in that time he complimented the Gryffindor scarf I was wearing, which just made him that much cooler.

10. "On My Own" (a song you sing in the shower)

I usually hum whatever's in my head at that time without even realizing I'm doing it. Sometimes I go through a whole medley of songs from different musicals.

11. "The Mob Song" (a song you love to sing with friends)

A bunch of friends from writer's camp last summer and I sang "Non-Stop" all the way from our dorm rooms to the cafeteria for breakfast, and it was epic. Much better than me trying to sing all the parts by myself, which never ends well and usually involves me doubling over for breath at some point.

12. "It Only Takes a Taste" (a musical you fell in love with from the very first song you heard)

I'd love to say "Hamilton," but the first time I listened to it I was in the middle of doing schoolwork and only halfway paying attention, so by the time I got to "The Schuyler Sisters," I was mostly confused and had no idea what was going on. Technically I'd heard the first song during the Grammy Awards, but at that point, my only thought was "this is pretty cool, I could get on board with whatever it is they're doing."

However, after becoming a Lin-Manuel Miranda fan, I fell in love with "In the Heights" from the first few notes. I was so glad to have something else by him to listen to.

13. "Right Hand Man" (your favorite supporting musical character)

I think we've already established Angelica Schuyler as being amazing.

14. "Words Fail" (lyrics you misheard)

In "Alexander Hamilton," I heard "took up a collection just to send him to the mainland" as "took a book collection just to send him to the mainland," which I always thought was kind of weird, but never thought too much about it until I read the lyrics. I guess I figured Hamilton read and wrote a lot, so maybe he brought a bunch of books with him to America?

15. "Turn It Off" (your least favorite musical)

"The Wiz." Oh so cheesy. Oh such terrible lyrics. Oh what a drag of a movie.

16. "It Takes Two" (your favorite onstage couple)

Collins and Angel from "Rent" and Nigel and Portia from "Something Rotten!" Both couples are super sweet and adorable together.

17. "Never Ever Getting Rid of Me" (a song that always gets stuck in your head)

It's hard to pick just one, because I think every musical has at least one earworm on their soundtrack, but "I Know Things Now" from "Into the Woods" was in my head for weeks after seeing the performance, and trust me, that song gets annoying fast if it's on repeat in your mind.

18. "One Song Glory" (your favorite powerful solo song)

Depending on my mood, "Burn," "On My Own," and "One Song Glory" are all on my list.

19. "Popular" (a musical everyone else likes that you're underwhelmed by)

Ironically, "Wicked." I like it well enough, but I'm not obsessed with it like a lot of my friends are.

20.  "Left Behind" (a character death you're still not over)

Spoilers for "Les Mis":

21. "Blow Us All Away" (a live performance from an actor that blew you away)

John Owen-Jones as Jean Valjean, Adam Pascal as Shakespeare, and basically the entire cast of both "Hamilton" and "Rent" were phenomenal.

Tag, you're it!


Zelia said...

Le Mis is my second favorite musical . My first is Man of La Mancha. Totally loved this post.

Boquinha said...

I love that you made up this blog tag (add it to the book notes if you haven't already!). This is awesome.

A musical!! (That opening picture? Thanks. Now that's in my head.)

And now "So the American Experiment begins" is in my head (and you know what comes in soon after that!!)

I love all the gifs and pictures you've got on here, too. You're cute when you're obsessed. :P

Speaking of wordplay and writing, LMM tweeted this the other day and I thought it was actually pretty inspiring:

Had an idea for a thing that might be terrible. Or transcendent.
No way to know but to write the f*cker.
*cracks knuckles*
- Lin-Manuel Miranda

Fair My Lady!!

I'm so excited for next week!!

It took me WEEKS to get "Rent" songs out of my head.

I'm hoping we add some fun autographs to your collection after Waitress. :) Mention Gilmore Girls for an extra treat. You got Adam freaking Pascal - maybe Sara Bareilles will next! I love all the stories you have about getting these autographs,too.

I love this whole post and may tag you up on the tag!!

Siths and Jedis said...

I thought he said "Took a book collection, too!" I also love the gif of Lin. ;)

The Magic Violinist said...


Thanks! :) Les Mis is my second favorite, too, with Hamilton being at the top.



Hehehe, that was my intention. :P

"With my friends all scattered to the winds! Laurens is in South Carolina, redefining bravery--(We'll never be free until we end slavery!)"

I had many more I could have included, but things would have started to get a little crazy if I didn't exhibit some self-control.

I saw! That's a really cool way to look at it. Maybe I should try writing more of my terrible ideas before dismissing them.

I definitely think we will. And who knows? Lin used to come out to sign autographs, maybe Sara will, too.


@Siths and Jedis

Ah, so it wasn't just me! I forgot to add this to the post, but I also thought Washington in "Cabinet Battle #2" told Hamilton to "drop a statement of neutrality," but he said "draft a statement of neutrality." I like the first one better. :P

Jimmy said...

Before we go discarding The Wiz, let's pause and acknowledge that MJ was a great Scarecrow and the movie is worth watching just to see him play that role with genuine childlike innocence.

The first Broadway Musical I saw was The King and I, but like you, I only remember it vaguely because I was so young. After that, I didn't see another one on Broadway until my Junior year in high school, and that was Big River. I highly recommend it.

I would also name Wicked as one I don't get as far as why it's so popular. The story line, the green face, the music--none of it really works for me. I'm glad I saw it though. And honestly, Phantom of the Opera is another musical that I'll take a pass on. Just not crazy about the music.

I'm still smarting from the dis of The Wiz. Ease on Down is fun, right?

The Magic Violinist said...


Ehhh, I guess we could say he was pretty good in that role. I just didn't buy most of the characters or their dialogue. Wizard of Oz is already pretty cheesy, so this take on it made it worse.

I haven't even heard of "Big River," so I'll have to check that one out. "The King and I" touring company is coming near us, so we'll be seeing that one soon. :)

I'll agree with that, too. A lot of the music from both "Wicked" and "Phantom" blend together for me. I'd have a hard time picking out more than a song or two from memory.

Fun, sure, but that's about the only song I even mildly enjoyed. xD

Boquinha said...

I'm so with Jimmy on "Phantom." Just not one of my favorites at all. Don't understand the hype.

Anonymous said...

This was a fantastic post. With your writing skills and some anecdotal research, I could see this as a book for theater lovers.

I won't try to comment on all of your categories, although they were all interesting to think about. Here are some of my thoughts.

I can't choose 1 favorite musical because there are so many great ones for many different reasons. If my wallet does the voting, then some favorites that I have seen 3 times each, and would pay to see again: Les Mis, 1776 and Secret Garden.

Favorite stage to movie: Fiddler on the Roof

Favorite stage actor: Gary Foley :-) Loved him in over 20 different titles.

Best describes me: Cellophane from Chicago

Would sing if I Could sing: Hold On from Secret Garden

Most underwhelmed: Phantom

Fell in love at first hearing: I was in the kitchen washing dishes, TV on in the family room. Someone was being interviewed on a talk show. He started singing and I had to drop everything. I stood in front of the TV, mesmerized, tears streaming down my face, thinking I have GOT to see this show. Bring Him Home from Les Mis. I have since seen it 3 times in 3 different venues and decades and it still moves me.

Rain said...

Yes! I love musicals! Have you heard the Heathers soundtrack? It's GLORIOUS!
...I may have to steal this tag...

The Magic Violinist said...


Thank you! :) My mom and I are writing a book of blog tags like these together, so I think we'll probably include this one, too.

Ooh, I think "Secret Garden" is coming back to Broadway soon! I've listened to some of the music, but not too closely. I'll have to add it to my growing list of musicals to check out.

I'd love to see Papa in something. I don't think I've ever even seen recordings, but I'm sure he's great.

Looks like a lot of us were underwhelmed by "Phantom." It's weird that a show so popular either has huge fans of a lot of people who just say "meh."

Ooh, I totally should've mentioned Les Mis. You can't help but fall in love with that one right away! That's such a cool story of how you discovered it.


You're the third person within a week to tell me to go listen to the "Heathers" soundtrack, so I may just have to do that sometime soon. xD

Yes, definitely, steal it!!

Jimmy said...

Kate! But, but...his scarecrow walk!?

Boom! Redeemed it! You're welcome. :)

On a more serious note, I was in Bernalillo, NM last summer and someone told me about your Grandpa's acting/singing. Crazy, huh? My wife is cousins with Talisa Kipping and at their family reunion Talisa was telling us how much they'd loved living in Benicia and how great the church members were there and somehow I remembered that your dad grew up there and long story short she mentioned your grandpa and how talented he was.

Ok, I'll ease on down the road now to other topics.

Heather said...

Ah, I love musicals so much. :D I think it's especially cool that you got an autograph from Madame Thenardier. I realize she's a minor character, but I always adore her role in the story because she is complicated and hilarious! I also don't blame you for wanting to be either Angelica or Eponine on stage, because their songs are so good. So, so good. And I'm also glad for the shout-out to Into the Woods. That one is my best friend's favorite musical so I always support it by proxy. :) Thanks for sharing!

The Magic Violinist said...


I do, too! She doesn't tend to get enough credit, but for how relatively little she's on stage, she absolutely makes up for it with her humor. There are a few lines from her in "Master of the House" that never fail to make me giggle when I see her facial expressions matched with her sarcasm.

I enjoy "Into the Woods" more and more each time I listen to it. Lots of clever wordplay and complicated lyrics, especially with songs like "Your Fault."