Loving Moms in Stories

Considering today is mothers day, I decided to bring up the loving moms in the world of literature. That means books, operas, movies and musicals. What was interesting is that some of these overlap. This was so much harder then I thought.

Molly Weasley

Not only does she love her kids, but she also loves Harry like her own. In the Harry Potter series, she basically takes Harry in as her own.

Sarabi

She is Simba’s mother and does love him.

Fantine

She has an unconditional love for Cosette. She gets put into a difficult situation when her “lover” basically abandons her and her daughter. Now what? She had no choice, but to leave Cosette in the hands of the Thenardiers, but what she didn’t know is how poorly they will treat her daughter and that they will scam her out of money.

Yes, she finds work in Valjean’s factory, when her secret comes out, she gets fired. That all leads to her becoming a prostitute and leaving on the streets. Valjean eventually discovers this after intervening to protect her from going to jail. Valjean, out of compassion, agreed to care for her child. For once, Fantine found peace and comfort. Fantine’s hope was that Cosette would have a better life then she had.

Her demise wasn’t even her fault- it was more Society’s fault. At least Valjean helped her in the end.

Kim

Kim and Fantine are kinda of similar in their relationships to their children- that is a way they are somewhat parallel. I said that because Kim has an unconditional love towards Tam. You truly start to notice this through “I’d Give my Life for You”. She would rather give him a better life then the one she has at the moment. At the end of Miss Saigon, she sacrifices her life- that actually makes Chris realize that he still truly loves Kim. He agrees to take care of Tam, the son he never knew existed.

Tragedies in Musicals

What tragedies are in the musical theatre world? At first glance, there really aren’t many tragedies that exist with musicals. True, there are a LOT of tragic moments, but may not necessarily be in a tragedy. So, what musicals automatically come to mind?

  1. Hadestown
  2. Miss Saigon
  3. West Side Story
  4. Rent
  5. Les Mis

How do you think I discovered the genre of tragic musicals? I learned about that genre the hard way. Les Mis was the beginning, but had to be given a 2nd chance. True, I started in the movie theatre with the film, but didn’t really know if I liked the musical or not. Good thing I gave that movie a 2nd chance in March 2013- the rest is history after that. In some ways, it was more of a combo of Rent and Les Mis that made me love tragedy. I really once thought I would NEVER love a tragedy.

Rent did led me to giving opera a chance- due to it being based off of La Bohème (which is my favorite opera). Since I love Greek Mythology, it is of no surprise that I am fascinated by Hadestown- which luckily is coming to Charlotte later this year.

Importance of Ovens Auditorium

Blumenthal Performing Arts is home to about seven theaters. Their main theater is Belk Theater. At Belk, you can see operas, musicals, symphonies, and ballet. I saw Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Lion King, Newsies, Pippin, Rent, Come From Away, Mamma Mia, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage at Belk. As for operas and ballet, saw La Bohème and Nutcracker there.

Despite Belk being the main theater, it isn’t even the largest. That really surprised me when I learned that Ovens is actually bigger- Belk may have more levels, but Ovens is wider and deeper. If Ovens didn’t exist, there is a good chance many musicals never would have made it to Charlotte. Ovens is able to host musicals when something is happening at Belk. So Ovens allows for a lot more availability.

While I did not see many musicals at Ovens—–I am glad that Ovens does exist or else none of them might have made it to Blumenthal. I saw Addams Family, A Christmas Story-The Musical, Les Mis, and Wicked at Ovens. Whenever I think of Ovens, I think of Wicked: I was able to catch that musical three times on tour. The latest time I saw Wicked, I was watching it with my school. When I saw Les Mis at Ovens, it was a date with my mom: that was our 2nd date to Les Mis: the 1st was in London.

I did not like ALL the Blumenthal shows I saw, but defiantly liked most. Addams Family, Porgy and Bess, and La Cage were musicals I did not even like.

Common Trait Among Tragedies

Tragedy is a genre that can be hard to understand at first. Those stories sound like they are just sad. But in reality not true- that “catharsis” is why they are worth. I really started to notice something that is true for just about every tragic musical. Why is that just about all of them fall under the sung-through category?

The only tragic musical that is not sung-through is West Side Story, a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. This musical is dance-driven. For some odd reason, I can appreciate West Side Story and dislike the play that it is based off of.

Look at the other tragic and sad musicals: Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Rent, and Hadestown. They all just happen to be sung-through musicals. I may not have seen Hadestown yet, but for whatever reason know it is sung-through. When I read Les Misérables, the material sounded perfect for being sung-through: due to the emotional nature of the book. Both Rent and Miss Saigon are based off two operas: La Bohème and Madame Butterfly: those two operas are sung-through. Now Hadestown- yet another tragedy and still in that nature. For some strange reason, tragedies can be best expressed when the show is entirely sung. That is all because of the emotional weight tragedies bring-they have to be heartbreaking, but at the same time have so much more. Or else, they would become kind of bland and boring.

I don’t have a picture for Hadestown because I haven’t seen it. I am extremely fascinated by Hadestown especially because it is based off of a tragic myth. I have loved mythology since I was a child. Now I heard three songs from Hadetown, and love them. Charlotte is going to get Hadestown October 2021- hopefully Blumenthal doesn’t postpone the show.

Did you notice this-a lot of tragic musicals being sung-through? Why do you think that just happens to be a pattern?

Favorite Actors/Actresses in Roles

Well, now I will write a list of my favorite actors in various roles. I know some people have seen these actors before. You don’t have to agree with everything-these are only opinions. Yes, there were be some casts where I might leave a character off- that happens to be the case if I don’t remember the others or have a hard time deciding. In addition, will be missing some shows I love.

  1. Elphaba- Mary Kate Morrissey
  2. Glinda- Amanda Jane Copper
  3. Fiyero- Ashley Parker Angel
  4. Jack Kelly- Joey Barreiro
  5. Javert- Jeremy Secomb
  6. Cosette- Jillian Butler
  7. Eponine- Samantha Barks
  8. Marius- Joshua Grosso
  9. Thenardiers- Phil Daniels and Katy Secombe
  10. Kim- Emily Bautista
  11. Chris- Anthony Festa
  12. Ellen-Stacie Bono
  13. John- J. Daughtry
  14. The Engineer- Eymard Cabling
  15. Sophie- Amanda Seyfried
  16. Maria- Julie Andrews
  17. Aladdin- Mena Massoud
  18. Jasmine- Naomi Scott
  19. Babkak, Omar, and Kassim- Zach Bencal, Ben Chavez Colt Prattez
  20. Beast- Dan Stevens
  21. Belle- Emma Watson
  22. Simba- Jared Nixon
  23. Nala- Nia Halloway
  24. Joseph- Donny Osmond
  25. Leading Player- Lisa Karlin
  26. Pippin- Sam Lips

This list is all I have for now.

Some of these actors have no choice, but to be my favorite. That ends up being the case if I only have one cast or if they are the only ones I remember. A few of these are understudies: Mary Kate Morrissey, Lisa Karlin, and Eymard Cabling. A few of them were the first in a role- so that sometimes gives them a huge advantage.

What about you, what are some of your favorite actors in a role?