Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Peter Pan (Original Cast Soundtrack)

To be honest, I have had zero inspiration for blog posts these last couple of weeks. My mind has been so stuck in Secret of the Hazel Tree that every time I have free time to waste on the computer, I'm researching for the story or writing it. But... I'm reaching a compromise with myself. Since I have no ambitions for great posts at the moment, I will be making myself write up reviews to all the millions of musicals I've been listening to lately. There are some real gems out there, folks! And the sad thing is... most of them are going unnoticed by the greater crowd. 

So... first on the list, the musical that delighted me while I washed the dishes this morning: 

Peter Pan (Original Cast Soundtrack)

1. Medley: Opening Titles/Tender Shepherd - This song starts the musical out with a glorious overture full of tunes that immediately stick in your head. Mrs. Darling says good-night to her young children, and the narrator warns of a certain Peter Pan who is coming after the parents leave the house. The Tender Shepherd song is a lullaby-like song, soft and beautiful.

2. I Gotta Crow - Once you get past the odd fact that Peter Pan is played by a girl (Cathy Rigby in this soundtrack, but she does a rather good job of playing the all-famous Pan), this is a fun song. Peter sings of himself and all his cleverness, boasting his accomplishments, and all in all being very proud of his shadow. Definitely one of my favorites.

3. Neverland - "Peter, where do you live?" This song is really pretty and another favorite; Cathy Peter sings of Neverland, showing Wendy all the wonders of the island.

4. I'm Flying - Peter teaches Wendy, John, and Michael how to fly. Michael's "CANDY!" always makes me laugh during this song, and the lyrics are spot-on. You can imagine just what is going on without even seeing anything. "You try, and you'll fall flat on your face. I told you, Wendy." But visuals are always fun, so here you are.

5. Medley: Opening Act Two/Hook's Tango - "The lost boys were out looking for Peter, the pirates were out looking for the lost boys, and the Indians were out looking for the pirates." The narrator says this straight out of the book. Don't you just love it when adaptations do that? :) Hook's Tango introduces us to the villainous Captain Hook and his despicable crew, and in a fun, Carmen-like ballad, Hook tells of his plan to kill the lost boys. 

6. Indian Dance - Look out! It's Tiger Lily and the Indians! This song is mostly instrumental as the Indians go on the warpath, with a few cries and chants thrown in. In my personal opinion, Jules Styne did a great job of capturing the different elements of the island in this musical, because this song sounds very Indian.

7. Wendy - Peter and the lost boys want Wendy to stay to be their mother, so they build her a house to live in. "Peter, wait! We forgot the chimney!" Very fun.

8. I Won't Grow Up - How could it be a Peter Pan musical without the famous opinion that Peter thrives on? This is one of those catchy tunes, and even if you do want to grow up, it's hard not to sing along with Peter and the lost boys. And poor John fails epically in trying to fix Peter's grammar. "I won't grow up! Not me!" "Not I!" "Not me!" :)

9. Hook's Tarantella - Hook had a tango before, and now he requests a tarantella. This song is short, but it's got one of the best moments in the musical. Just listen to it, and once you get to the pirates', "To the ship! To the ship!" you'll know what I mean.

10. Ugh-A-Wug - Another Indian song, with lots of drums and hardly any lyrics. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's nice to have lots of lyrics to sing along to. While I'm still not sure what "ugh-a-wug" means, the lost boys and the Indians make peace during this song. ;)

11. Distant Melody - Another one of my favorites, a duet between Peter Pan and Wendy as they recall the mothers they left behind on the mainland. 

12. Farewell - The above video is 8 minutes long, and it includes Distant Melody and Farewell. I couldn't find another video of Cathy Rigby singing, so I had to go with the long video. Wendy and her brothers want to go home, and the lost boys wish to accompany them. Yet, Peter cannot leave Neverland. 

13. Hook's Waltz - Not many villains get to choose their own songs, but Hook is no ordinary villain. He's the slimiest rat in the pack, the unlovable, the one who would stoop to the lowest of tricks in the book, the creepiest creep in the world... yes, him. Captain Hook. And this is his song. He's in his element, you know.

14. I Gotta Crow (Reprise) - Peter takes down Captain Hook, and now everyone sings his glory. They all love him, and they all clamour for him to teach them how to crow. After all, can anyone not admire Peter Pan?

15. Finale - Wendy brings her company (i.e. brothers and lost boys) back to her house as Mrs. Darling breaks into a reprise of Tender Shepherd. Mr. Darling sets a few ground rules for his new children, and they're all happy to grow up together (reprise of I Won't Grow Up sung as I'm Going to Grow Up). Peter promises to come back for Wendy, and mistakenly does so when she's all grown up. When Wendy tells him she's forgotten how to fly, her daughter Jane takes her place to go to Neverland with Peter. Peter belts out one last reprise (Neverland) as he and Jane fly off towards the second star to the right.

16. Medley: Bows/End Titles - And here we are, suddenly at the end. How to describe the end titles except a fantastic conglomeration of all the wonderful songs from the musical that make you wish they were the opening titles all over again? 

And that's it! A five-star soundtrack all around! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite musicals, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

God bless!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Today I Am {4}

As much as I can on Secret of the Hazel Tree. That's one reason why I've been so scarce these last few weeks on the internet. I unofficially attempting a personal NaNo this month and while I have no idea if I'll hit 50K (the story may end before I do), I'm very glad with the progress I've made so far. This morning I hit 144,000 words, and I'm nearing the end! So exciting! I'm hoping to wrap everything up in another 20K... and then it's on to the dreaded task of editing. 

Other than Little Dorrit, not very much. I haven't made much time for pleasure reading since I've been so busy, but LD is almost finished (wow, Dickens is a fantastic author!!), and I'm anticipating getting into the all-famous Fly Away Home. *grins*

Right now I'm listening to the HTTYD soundtrack as I'm writing this... ah, nope. It just switched to Balto, and earlier I heard the scores for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Nim's Island, Thumbelina, Captain America, Frozen, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I've been playing the genres of musical and soundtrack almost nonstop on shuffle mode all month, and it's been wonderful. I may or may not have overplayed the particular albums of Cinderella (2013 Broadway) and Fiddler on the Roof (1971 film) at least once a day. *cough* But how can I help it? They are both incredibly gorgeous!

Fiddler on the Roof! I saw this old musical for the first time this week, and loved it immediately! Honestly, I knew hardly anything about FotR before this week, and until I watched it, I would have said "ehhh" to anyone attempting to get me to acknowledge it. Now, I'm in the midst of memorizing all the songs, and it's quickly climbing to my top five favorite musicals. For anyone who doesn't know it, YOU MUST KNOW IT! You won't regret it! And for those who loved it before I did, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT BEFORE??

HTML. Imagine that. Me.... learning HyperText Markup Language. Kiri is becoming technical, readers!! So, watch out! And I'm so proud of myself for remembering that name... HyperText Markup Language. *winks* In the last couple of weeks, I've learned how to do things with text and code (whichever the correct terminology is) from paragraph breaks to drop down menus. It's actually a lot of fun, if I can dare to say that. I feel like I'm learning a foreign language... which technically, it is pretty much that. My dad is a web designer, and I'm happily in his employ. And that's another reason why I'm invisible right now... I have been swamped with work and that's taken away from any free time I'd fritter away on the internet. My apologies, folks. I know you'll survive without me. *grins*

Hungry. Is it lunchtime yet? Snacktime is incredibly boring when you're soy-free. I wouldn't recommend you try it.

A dee-lightful visit from our CBCs (save for the eldest in college) next week! They're coming up for our maple sugaring season, and we are all insanely excited about it. Yes, we're excited to sugar, too, but cousins around always make it more fun. Time for Pumpernickel Pancakes! *happy and clumsy attempt at a pirouette*

MUSICALS! Fiddler on the Roof and Cinderella are the two big ones in our house lately, as my sister Jessa and I have been on the biggest musical kick in history. Well, maybe not history, but we're loving musicals right now. All those good ones, in addition to FotR and Cinderella, like Singin' in the Rain, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, The Secret Garden, Beauty and the Beast, The Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and so many others! I don't endorse certain songs/themes/language in some of these, so please use your own discretion when listening to them. But may I just say -- if you don't know them, you're missing out!

Okey dokey, now it's back to work! I have to fix text formats on a half a dozen web pages this afternoon, so I'd better get cracking!

Oh, yes... and thank you for putting up with Ken the other day. I have no idea how he got access to the internet to put up a blog post, but he managed it somehow. Ken's really a.... mischievous kid. I haven't the foggiest what I'm to do with him. *sigh*

God bless!

Friday, March 14, 2014

'Ello, This Is Ken

For those of you who don't know me, I am Kiri Liz's evil twin and alter ego.

Don't worry... I haven't kidnapped Kiri (although that idea is intriguing) like Jack's characters did recently. She is only doing lots of internet work for her dad and doesn't have time to write a blog post. And she has a fever in addition to asthma. So, I'm just being a nice evil twin and letting you all know.

I know she doesn't speak nicely of me on this blog, because I've read her posts, but you all should know that I'm not that bad. She's not happy with me right now because I'm the reason she only wrote 700 words one day instead of 2,000, but hey... that's what twins do. She hasn't gotten this whole sibling thing down yet. Which you would think she should... considering she's got five others. But I'm a good kid. Kiri doesn't know how lucky she is to have me as a twin. I do lots of things for her, and all she does is glare at me like I'm sour milk. 

Oh, and she's also been really busy for the last month practicing for a concert that she and her cousin did yesterday. Her cousin played epically, but Kiri made some mistakes, and I thought about uploading a video to embarrass her, but the internet won't let me. Shame, huh? 

Anywho, I'm done! Hey, I like this blogging thing! I should do it more often!

Because I like Bilbo. So does Kiri. Proof that we're twins, eh?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February Snippets

If you've noticed a lack of posts around here, you're very observant. Pat yourself on the back and have some virtual gingerbread. That's because I have been endeavoring to write as much as I can on Secret of the Hazel Tree. It is my wish to finish up the first draft by the end of March, and this morning I reached 117K words. Yes, I am glad of it, but there's still a long way to go. But we'll get there. I am determined to finish this story. Even if it kills me in the process... which, it won't, I'm sure, but you never can tell what some of your characters might do if they get a hankering.

Anywho, I'm taking advantage of Katie's Snippets of Story to share with you some of what I've been writing on SotHT. I *think* these are all from February, but there could be some of January and March mixed in... *cough* 


 “Then why did ya shriek ta wake the dead, Miss Georgettica?”
Georgettica's face adopted a light flush. “You heard that?”

“Aye, and so did most 'o Iron.” Ahna threw her hands onto her hips. 


The duchess was already annoyed with the world, and mostly Veroniscen, by the time the carriage rolled to a stop at the front door later that afternoon, and seeing Georgettica giving her a sly grin as she exited the carriage didn't help one bit.


 “Silver skies, darlin'!” Ahna nearly fell over when the door thudded open. Her face went white when she caught Celesta's pained gaze. “What's it? Someone 'urt? Sick? 'Armed ya? The magpie? Do I need ta spit? On who? Tell me!” She leaped forward and dragged Celesta by the arm to a hard-backed chair. “Sit. Spill. Now.”


Celesta made certain her hands did not tremble as she scooped steaming vegetables on each plate. Georgettica made a face at the pile of green staring up at her, but apparently she'd heard enough of her mother's lectures on healthy eating and the benefits of such, and so said nothing. Veroniscen, however, parading on her status of favorite daughter, could not hold her tongue.
“Is this all, Mother? Peas and lentils?” She raked her fork across her plate, scattering peas in all directions. “I will wither away on this diet, and then the prince will never look at me.”
“That's because he was looking at me.”
Veroniscen snarled. “Hush, Jetta! No one cares about that!”
“But it is true!”
“Girls!” Duchess Nicolinabeth slapped her hand down on the tablecloth. “That will be enough. Georgettica, I do not want to hear such things from your mouth again, do you understand me?”
Georgettica understood and pouted.
“Didn't you make anything else?” The duchess directed her question towards Celesta as though she were to blame for the sour moods.
“O-oh, Ahna put together some gingerbread and a glazed nut cake.”
“Marvelous!” Veroniscen glowered her triumph down upon her lentils and pushed her plate away. “Fetch the cake, Cinderella.”


The bowl Veroniscen had thrown was evidently beyond repair, and the fragments of its former glory gleamed among the ashes and dusty spheres of vegetables. Celesta bit back a groan. The duchess knew as well as she that picking the peas and lentils from the heap would take sufficient time; the task had only been given as a deterrent. She really didn't want her lowly stepdaughter to accompany them to the ball. How could the prize of meeting the baron compare to the insult of bringing a servant to the prince's masquerade?
Celesta shook the thought from her head. “For Mother's sake,” she said softly.
As she reached for the first pea, thunder rumbled in the distance.
A storm was on its way.


Julien pushed himself out of the chair and crossed the room, with the motive of distracting himself from the upcoming festivities, to a large structure over which had been thrown a large but thinly woven blanket. He tugged the cloth from its place with gusto, revealing the golden gleam of parallel bars making up a fine cage, in which sat a hunched bundle of feathers. With the blanket gone, and light streaming freely into the cage, the feathers ruffled and rearranged themselves to their proper position, leaving in the place of the bundle a magnificent sparrow hawk.
“And shall your bird ever grace the royal aviary with his illustrious presence, Your Highness?”
Julien flashed a wry grin at the musketeer. “Only until my mother deems it necessary for him to be housed within my own chambers.”
“My prince is incorrigible.”
Denstan did not look the least perturbed at Julien's use of his personal favorite word, for it was not often that the prince found opportunity to toss it back at the musketeer.


The queen had insisted on several last-minute etiquette lessons for Julien, claiming that he was in desperate need of polishing himself up before presenting himself at the ball. Personally, Julien would have preferred to forfeit all polish and arrive at the masquerade in a wrinkled shirt and the dirt of the training yard plastered on his face, much to the horror of Sir Perradd and his own royal and particular delight, but he knew it was pointless to go against his mother.


Julien and Veroniscen had made a few turns about the room before more couples joined them. While the prince was determined to prove himself most disagreeable in any manner than might seem advantageous, his partner was settled in her own mind to make the most of this first dance.
“Your Highness is looking remarkably well this evening,” she began.
“Hardly,” Julien responded, keeping his face as stone-like as possible. He counted himself lucky to have learned so much from Denstan all these years.
“May I say that I was deeply grieved to hear of the loss Your Highness underwent this morning. How awful it must have been to loose your eagle.”
“Sparrow hawk,” he corrected blandly.
“I cannot imagine how hard it was for you, to loose such a friend, even one so...” she tittered, “inhuman, if I may say. You can be assured, however, that you will not a friend among this company, myself greatly included, and we shall all stand by your side. You shall never fear for a loss again, I am certain.”
“Provided I claim this company as friends.”
The remark was blunt, but Julien didn't regret it as a sudden shock passed over Veroniscen's face. But in a moment, she had recovered.
“My, Your Highness, do not think me a vain flatterer, but you certainly are a most wonderful dancer! I don't think I can claim to have ever had such a delightful partner whose grace and lightness of foot were so excelled. Indeed, it is a rare pleasure.”
Julien thought her a toady and resolved to drag his feet. 

God bless!