#Musical Monday Review #25: State Fair

Overview: Margy is a young girl bored with country life and excited about going to the Iowa State fair with her parents and brother. Each family member has different hopes for the fair, Ma has mincemeat pies for competition, Pa is entering Blue Boyvas biggest boar and brother Wayne had planned to spend the time with his girlfriend. Wayne’s hopes are a bit dashed as his girlfriend can’t make it, but he finds ways of entertaining himself. Ma compromised her morals and added brandy to her pies. Margy meets a cute boy on a rollercoaster. Blue Boy falls in love with the competition, named Esmeralda. End of the fair and things may not have turned out as they planned.

Opinion: It is a bit slow in the beginning. A lot of other musicals seem a bit over the top and a bit theatrical, irony is not lost on me, but this one seems down home and real. Just ordinary folks going to a state fair. It is refreshing to see, or maybe I’m just crazy for fairs, I like it. Dick Haymes is my favorite, his nice low voice is very soothing. Why don’t we have Singers like him today?
Favorite song is “Isn’t it Kind of Fun?”

#Musical Monday Review #23: Drumline 2 A New Beat

Overview: Danielle is a bright drummer girl heading off to college at A&T, six years after the first Drumline, against her families wishes. She makes new friends and struggles to prove she belongs on the line while they plan for the BET Southern Classic.

Opinion: First off, who knew there was a second Drumline? Anyone? I had no clue, and half of me wishes I didn’t. It was an OK movie but when compared to the greatness of the first one, it is a pale comparison. First off the music producers seemed more obsessed with showing off than producing good music. In the first movie, it was all about musicianship, perfecting the craft, and pushing boundaries and creating art. This movie has lack luster music and focuses more on showing off. None of the characters were half as creative as any one character in the first movie. The last drum battle, was more about theatrics than the drums itself.  If you put the music aside (which is what it is supposed to be about), the movie isn’t half bad. If your looking for a great music movie, stick with the first one.

Compare the first cadence with the second. The second one is OK but again more visually appealing than musically.

Drumline

Drumline 2

#Musical Monday Review #22 Fiddler on the Roof

Overview: A Jewish family living in a poor village, just trying to live their lives. Tavye, the patriarch has five girls to we’d and give a dowry to but he just sells milk and delivers it with a lame horse and trailer. The oldest daughter is able to marry the man she loves, while a Yente tries to fix the younger girls up with eligible bachelors. They rebel their suitors and break tradition, a very powerful thing Tavye holds very dear. All while fearing the Czar doesn’t invade their little Russian town.

Opinion: I first watched this in high school, and instantly fell in love with it. Tavye is such a great dad, wanting the best for his daughters as long as it follows tradition. He is also funny! I respect the traditional dances but to an uncultured high schooler, his shimmying (can’t believe that’s an actual word) during my favorite song, “Rich Man” is hilarious.

It’s not just the dancing that he does that is funny, but some things he says or the way he says it. I particularly enjoy his questioning of God, without actually questioning his existence. It’s something I’ve always been told not to do. If you believe in God, you can’t question his actions…or in-actions.

Another favorite song is “Matchmaker.” It is the Yente’s job to find husband’s for girls. However this Yente has a problem of making matches the girls don’t like. The girls go from wanting her to find them a match to not being in a big hurry.

Tzeital, the eldest daughter, reminds me so much of Barbara Streisand. However i find the middle daughter’s voice sounds clearer.

Comedy aside, I see the tragedy of losing special traditions and tearing a family apart as the result. My family has always been close but never as close or held many traditions as those of any faith let alone the Jewish faith.

I love the choreography of the Russian dancers during “L’chaim To Life.”

#Musical Monday Review #21 Aladdin

Overview: Aladdin is an orphaned teen running around Agrabah with his best friend and pet monkey Abu. He dreams of a better life inside the palace walls. Princess Jasmine, longing for a normal life outside of the palace walls, runs away from home and meets Aladdin. The two have a romantic moment, before being caught by the palace guards and he was arrested under the orders of Jafar. Jafar is the royal advisor and sorcerer, who is on a quest to find a magic lamp. Inside the lamp is a genie that will grant three wishes (within certain guidelines). Problem is the lamp lies in the Cave of Wonders and only a “diamond in the rough” can enter. Jafar tricks Aladdin into going inside to retrieve it, but Abu gets greedy and the Cave collapses. Aladdin rubs the lamp and becomes Genie’s master. They get out of the cave, and Aladdin starts to make his wishes, but finds that he just needs to be himself to get what he wants. Jafar learns Aladdin has the lamp and attempts to steal it, takes control over everything. Then makes a fatal mistake, that aids in his downfall and giving a happy ending.

Opinion: I love classic Disney. This was one of my favorites growing up. Jasmine has been my favorite Princess because she tried to stand up for herself. She still needed help being rescued, but she had tried to fight. Plus I always thought she was the most beautiful.

This is probably my first introduction to two of my favorite actors: Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried. I loved Iago’s crotchety anger and frustration, he was such a great comedic relief. Genie was amazing at moral fiber, and friendship. I don’t know why but Robin also brought a bit of a Jewish feel to his role. Maybe it has something to do with his freedom speech and wanting hummus, but I could be wrong.

My favorite song would have to be “Prince Ali.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Then of course “Whole New World.” One of the most romantic songs ever.

#Musical Monday Review #20 Children of the Titanic

Overview: Musical docudrama about the children who were on the Titanic and survived.

Opinion: intrigued on many levels. First being whoever heard of a musical docudrama? Second, I love anything to do with the Titanic and her I’ll fated journey. The third level being, hearing stories from children that survived. In general, you know there were a lot of children on board but not too often do you hear their own words about what they saw. Hollie Steel, has a beautiful clear voice and moves you to tears with the slow ballads between the stuffy British Titanic experts.

Sadly it is only an hour long, and pretty much what one would expect from a docudrama. Little bit of singing with tons of facts thrown in. Interesting concept, but I don’t think it is something that will catch on.

#Musical Monday Review #18: I Kissed a Vampire

Overview: Dylan is bitten by a Vampire and started transforming into one. He struggles with his new fangs, weird dreams and not biting the girl he loves. Then Tray shows up to teach him how to be a Vampire and get the girl. His girl Sarah is bitten and starts changing too. She wants to embrace new life, but than also wants to find a cure, while Dylan is in denial and trying to stop it. They go to see Dr. Dan Helsing and find that the Vampire who bit Dylan wasn’t too powerful so he may not change completely. Sarah on the other hand was bitten by a very powerful very Vampire and will change as well as belong to Tray. In order to make the cure, they just need a drop of Tray’s blood. The two are pulled apart in their quest for blood and giving into their true selves. In his love for Sarah, Dylan’s powers start to emerge and we learn Tray is obsessed with Sarah because he has mommy issues. Sarah breaks the the spell and they are able to create a cure. Sarah almost died but is brought back with a kiss. The cure failed, but the couple found happiness together.

Opinion: Though the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, the music is cool. For a girl who wanted to break away from the goody-two shoes personality, she really wanted to find a cure and change back to normal. Its like here is her chance and she chickens out. I thought that was a little unrealistic or uncharacteristic of her. Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind with the duality if Sarah’s fighting good vs evil inside of her, compared to Janet’s similar struggle.

Really over all it looks like something Disney would put out during their 13 Days of Halloween. For me that’s good, I love those movies.

Lucas Grabeel shows a darker side than when he was in High School Musical. He embraces the emo look, foregoing his scary pink attire.

“Just a Little Bit of Nibble” is my favorite favorite choreography. We see Tray teasing Phillip about getting his first kiss and Phillip struggling between kissing, biting and keeping Tray away from Sarah.

“Just a Drop” is reminiscent of “Your the One That I Want” from Grease. I’m not sure why, it just popped in my head as I watched Sarah, the good girl next door type, sing about how she wants to break out of her shell and take a bite out of life (pun intended).

Note: Some people may have seen the mini episodes on YouTube or another website, but a lot of people have had issues finding the whole musical. I found it on Hulu if you are wanting to check it out.

#Musical Monday Review #17: Guys and Dolls

Overview: Nathan Detroit is strapped for cash and looking for a place to hold a floating crap game. In a desperate attempt for quick cash, he challenges Sky Masterson to take a missionary to Havana because he believes all “dolls” are the same. Nathan picked a girl so different from Sky’s usual norm, he is sure he will win the $1,000 bet and be able to host the game. In order to get Sarah to Havana he bets that if she will go to dinner with him, he will deliver a dozen sinners ready to repent in two days time. As Nathan faces problems from his long time girlfriend and an officer in New York, Sky finds himself falling in love with Sarah in Havana, but she isn’t interested in the good-natured gambler. Believing it is all part of a bet, she is only in it for the promised sinners to save her mission. In the end there is a beautiful impromptu double wedding in the streets of New York.

Opinion: Opening is great, all the gamboling and thievery going on under the cops noses is comical and sets the mood for the rest of the show. Though there is a love theme, I believe it is portrayed a bit funny. Nathan believes to be a man they hey have to have a girl by their side. Sky agrees, but any girl will do because they are all the same so you shouldn’t get tied to just one. In the end the boys learn a lesson. Though who could resist Marlon Brando? He seems to be the smoothest man  in the world.

Favorite choreography has to be when Sky and Sarah are dining in Havana. The dancing is strange to begin with, then a fight breaks out and proper little Sarah holds her own.

Sorry the video cuts the fighting part, I couldn’t find a better one.

Too many good songs to pick just one!

#Musical Monday Review #15 Mamma Mia (The Movie)

Overview: Sophia is getting married and wants to invite her dad. Problem is her mom never told her who he was, because she secretly doesn’t know. So she sends an invitation to the three possible candidates, not explaining the reason behind it. Thinking she will automatically sense the right one when they show up. When the men arrive, without mom’s knowledge, Sophia doesn’t feel a fatherly connection with just one but all three. Hidden from her mother, the men set out to find her and are surprised to find she didn’t know they were coming or why they were there. Laughter ensues as the wedding draws closer and minds are changing. In the end there is a wedding, and a few unexpected connections are made leaving the “Little Island” a bit upturned.

Opinion: Love it! But who doesn’t love ABBA? Throw in a girl who wants her dad for the biggest day of her life? It just makes your heart melt. Then who knew Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson could sing? Meryl Streep’s rendition of “Winner Takes It All” was heartbreaking.

“S.O.S.” was also frustrating and resonates too truly. So close to each other, and yet so far apart they can’t see each other right in front of them.

Of course ABBA’s most iconic song (at least for me and I wasn’t acquainted much with them before the movie), “Dancing Queen,” is in it. Performed by every extra woman they could find.

However, my favorite would happen to be “Honey, Honey.” Sophia reading her mother’s diary is so sweet and devilishly childish.

A close second would be “Does Your Mother Know?” A little secret about myself, I’ve always had a thing for older guys. So this song featuring a young man being spurned by an older woman is hilarious.

The scenery is beautiful, a Grecian island. Turquoise water everywhere and fantastic multi-colored buildings. Always wanted to go and the movie just entices that urge to travel again. While the songs don’t seem to depend on a specific local, I’m glad they chose Greece when it could have been filmed anywhere.

Pop In!

Just thought I would pop in and apologize for the past two Mondays of no #Musical Monday Reviews. I have been busy with school and preparing for Camp NanoWriMo and waiting for a beta reader to get back to me about another book. I lost track of days and realized yesterday was Monday again. I am going to try to have three reviews for this next Monday. I’m not going to promise anything as I am crazy and could forget. I still have many musicals in my grasp and can’t wait to review them.

July Camp NanoWriMo is coming up and I am working on Naturally Luna. It is my first werewolf novella and is already up to 23,000 words with a goal of 40,000. I’m excited, I might actually make this goal! As for my beta reader, I’m lost.

Naturally Luna 1

I know it takes time to read and give one’s opinion but it’s been over a month with no word from her. I have emailed just to check up on her and see how she is doing. No pressure, it was just a worried author asking nicely how she was coming along. I didn’t badger or repeatedly send emails, it was just one, and nothing. I have sent books out to others and never heard anything back as well, so either I can’t write or they haven’t had a chance to read them yet or they just wanted free books.

White Coats Ned GIF

Honestly, I’m going nuts worrying over beta readers. It drives me insane, waiting and waiting. Am I wrong in wanting to hear an update? I’m not even wanting a long, detailed update just a “It’s going well” or “Almost done.” Nothing more than three words. Is that wrong? Am I impatient for freaking out about not hearing from a beta reader, good or bad, for a month? Half a year or so in some cases? What is the standard waiting period? Is there a standard waiting period before it’s OK to freak out? All of this rolling around in my head, plus math class, creative writing class and everything that comes with school, writing, catching up on the shows I watch (by myself and those with the family), reading, life and just I’m a crazy person obsessing about everything.

May #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 21 of 65 and 30 of 65 books read. I really need to start reading books from my TBR pile again! But I have the next Night School preordered and an ARC of RSVP From Heaven to read as well. I am a failure at diving into my long list of TBR.

May books:

Night School: Resistance

Pines non-CLTBR

Wayward non-CLTBR

The Last Town non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 6 non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 7 non-CLTBR

My Camp NanoWrimo book, #LoveandDrugs has been sent off to a Beta Reader (no word back yet). If there is anyone interested in Beta Reading it, I would happily send you a copy for honest feedback!

lad

I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is still open for new clients. Sadly I think my guest post author has backed out, but if anyone else would like to step up send me a message and we can talk. Any topic you would like, I don’t mind. Also still taking author interviews!

As you saw there have been some posts from my creative writing class and I’ll continue to post them. I have also posted my poems and there may be more in the future…I’m not sure as I don’t write them that often.