1. What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why? Beauty and the Beast; and if you'd like to know why, please read THIS post. I think I covered all the basics there.
2. How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")? I was first introduced to Beauty and the Beast at a very young age by watching the Disney film, and I instantly loved it. But it wasn't until about a year or two ago that I was searching BatB (abbreviated for my convenience) songs on Youtube and discovered a video containing clips from the movie during Gaston's proposal put to a song called Me. After listening to it only once, I was hooked. It was that awesome. From there, I found out that BatB had been turned into a full-fledged musical a few years after the film had been released, so I looked up the cast recording on Amazon and listened to all the 30 second snippets the site allowed. And now I have the entire CD on my computer. And yes, the snippet I have for my title is from Me. *grin*
3. If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be? Definitely Me would fall first on that list, followed then by....hmm... so many, so many... No Matter What and Home. All three of those songs aren't in the animated Disney film, but they're all beautiful.
4. What's your least favorite song from your musical? Hmm... the first one coming to mind is Prologue where the narrator tells the backstory of the Beast (a.k.a. Prince Adam). It's not really that I *don't* like it, but there are more songs that I prefer due to containing singing rather than just talking.
5. Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)? Lumiere, Clogsworth, and Belle. The first two because they're so hilarious together, and then of course, we couldn't leave out the main character.
6. Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite? Actually, I've never *seen* any adaption of the musical other than the 1991 Disney film, but I've got that basically memorized, and I've done loads of research on the Broadway musical so I think I've got some right to boast. The most popular version is the Original Broadway cast which ran in 1994, featuring Susan Egan and Terrence Mann as the lead roles.The other big recording in the 1997 London Cast recording with Julie-Alanah Brighten as Belle and Alasdair Harvey playing the Beast, but I have yet to listen to all of that recording. The funny thing is that both those casts had Burke Moses playing Gaston!
As for my favorite, I'd have say that although I love the extra songs in the musical, that position would fall to the actual animated movie. Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson pretty much captured the iconic Belle and Beast voices, and I love listening to them sing.
7. Is this your favorite musical of all time? If not, what is? Nope, it's not. But I can't tell you which one is. Why? Because I have too many favorites! I don't think there is actually just one that sticks out and stands above all the others. Besides BatB, I love Cinderella, Les Mis, My Fair Lady, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Singin' in the Rain, The Happiest Millionaire, etc. etc.
8. Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most? Truthfully? I think that's actually been Alan Menken's The Little Mermaid featuring the Original Broadway Cast with Sierra Boggess and Sean Palmer. At least, the most I've listened to recently. I don't endorse that story, nor do I recommend *all* the songs from that recording (I think I have barely over half of the tracks in my Media Player), but Alan Menken composes such beautiful songs! Part of Your World, Her Voice, One Step Closer, and If Only are my favorites and probably the ones I've played the most from that recording.
9. What is your favorite costume from your musical? No contest there! Belle's blue dress!
|Belle from the Broadway tour|
10. If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change? Probably the fact that there's kissing on-stage and also a few low costumes. Other than that, I'm good!
11. Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage? So many choices! Actually, I learned not too long ago that they're turning one of my favorite animated movies into a musical: Anastasia. 20th Century Fox made this film back in 1997, and again, while I don't whole-heartedly endorse it, it's a beautiful musical, and the two songs Anastasia sings (Journey to the Past and Once Upon a December) are absolutely beautiful, and I'd love to sing those on-stage! However, I don't know what other songs Anastasia would be required to sing, so I can't say that she's my biggest dream role.
Eponine from Les Mis is more my voice range because I sing better lower than higher, but other roles I fancy include Meg from The Phantom of the Opera, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (what? we said dream roles, didn't we?), Belle from BatB (duh!), Eliza in My Fair Lady... pretty much any role that wouldn't require me to do something I consider wrong (kissing, swearing, immodesty) just because I love acting and singing. However, I will say that roles such as Christine from PotO and Cosette from Les Mis would be less desirable because I don't like those high notes, mostly because I cannot hit them.
12. If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play? Haven't given them much thought... it would be interesting to see Aaron Tveit play the Beast; he's a great singer and I'd love to hear him do If I Can't Love Her. By the way, does anyone know anything more about Aaron Tveit singing the part of Dmitri in the Broadway Anastasia that I mentioned above? I know he read for the part, but I haven't heard anything else since.
13. Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals? "In general" doesn't even cover it. If it's a musical with good music, I'll love it. I have a bunch of favorite musicals, I have many more favorite songs, I.. yeah. I can be picky with absolute favorites, but music is an occupational hazard.
14. Are you tired of the word "musical" yet? Never. How could you even suggest that?!
15. 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? Who Am I? from Les Mis, A Bit of Earth (Reprise) from The Secret Garden, and I Whistle a Happy Tune from The King and I.
Who Am I is from the 2012 film and is sung by Hugh Jackman; I don't have this song memorized yet, so it's not the best Les Mis song, in my opinion, but I do enjoy hearing Hugh Jackman sing this. The conflict he fights with himself is so... wow. It's not every day that someone can put that much emotion into a song. Definitely part of my most-listened-to list.
A Bit of Earth (Reprise)... well, I quite forgot about that musical. I heard someone sing A Bit of Earth and couldn't help thinking, "Wow! That sounds like it should belong in The Secret Garden!" So, I looked it up, and guess what? It's from the Broadway musical, The Secret Garden! The reprise is barely a minute long, but it is very nice to listen to. Good, but not an absolute favorite.
And finally... I Whistle a Happy Tune my family says is my motto. I am constantly whistling, and yes, I think I'd break into whistling to prove I wasn't scared. Marni Nixon sings this song from the film, and I will admit that this is probably one of my two favorite tracks from The King and I. The other is Shall We Dance? This song ranked? Favorite.