#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 #16: Yentl

Overview: A young Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy in order to study the Torah. Problems arise when she falls in love with a fellow student and can’t confess her love. Yentl is then forced to marry a young woman because of Jewish law and find reasons to keep from consummating their marriage.

Opinion: I understand that it is traditional for Jewish women not to study religion, but I find it a tad sexist. Women should be able to learn what they want the same as men, that doesn’t mean that women will give up their “womanly duties” they will just be able to have a better conversation with their male counterparts. Is that a bad thing? Not unless you enjoy a dull and boring life.

That said, this musical is wonderful in challenging the archaic laws put down for women of the times, pre-world war I, and shows that woman came be just as good as men. Even if it portals Yentl’s thirst for knowledge stems from the fact she was raised by a single father. The storyline reminds me much of Disney’s Mulan, where a daughter runs off to fight in place of her father. In both cases it was illegal for women to speak their minds or fight wars or study religion. These women taught girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to and I think that is great. I remember when when I was younger, this was my favorite musical by Barbara because of the strong message behind it.

I do find it sad that because of the life Yentl chooses, she has to give up finding a husband and having children with the man she loves. Had she been able to be a scholar as a woman, things would have turned out differently. Obviously it would not have made as good of a story but still makes you feel for her.

Barbara is spectacular as always. Not only is she a beautiful woman, but makes a handsome man. Pulling off both parts well. One thing I’m not quite sure about is the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love her voice, but it seems as if the songs are actually one long song. There is not much difference in tempo or melody. At least to me it all seems the same just different words.

Papa vs The Way He Makes Me Feel

Because of that I find it difficult to pick a favorite song. And as there is no dancing there is no favorite choreography. Which I feel was a bit of an justice because I love Jewish dances. Actually for a long time I’ve loved different cultures and one prominent in my mind is the Jewish culture so not having a lot of dancing I find was a disservice and would have enriched the musical.

#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.

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.

#Musical Monday Review #14: Oklahoma!

Overview: Life in Oklahoma territory is simple, and the biggest enjoyment are parties called box socials. Everyone in town is going and Curly has come to ask his reluctant sweetheart to go with him. She refuses, and ends up going with Jud her hired hand. As everything is spread out, everyone stops at Laurey and Aunt Eller’s place for a little rest and clean up before going on to the box social. The girls go inside to change into their dancing dresses and gossip, while the boys feed and water their horses. Jealously appears as another woman starts hanging on to Curly, but Laurey puts on a brave face, saying it’s no big deal. At the dance there is an auction to raise money to build a school house, the items for sale are basket dinners the girls put together. Jud and Curly get into a war over Laurey’s basket causing Curly to sell everything he has in order to win. Curly succeeded, but Jud was still bound and determined to take Laurey no matter what. After confronting Laurey, Jud is fired and vows revenge. She runs to Curly, who proposes marriage. After the wedding, Jud sets fire to some hay bales and tries to start a knife fight but ends up dying. They ride off in the morning sun on a train for their honeymoon.

Opinion: These two are the most stubborn people ever! Laurey seems to push him away because she enjoys it, but deep down loves him. She also acts a little childish and selfish. Curly’s only mean to her, because that’s how she treats him and has him all confused. Aunt Eller is awesome! She is a tough cookie and don’t cross her at a party.

Ado Annie. Aside from being a bit ditzy, anybody notice she’s a bit of a hussie. It is implied that she sleeps around because she can’t say no to men. She is a bit of an unconventional character, because usually you don’t see a character like that in shows from back in the day. It wasn’t that she was a complete slut, but she certainly wasn’t the prim and proper girl you would expect.

Kind of creepy that Curly tries to lure Jud into committing suicide. Jud may have been a little crazy but serenading him into thinking it would be better for him to die is a bit drastic.

One scene I have yet to understand, is the Saloon dream sequence. She seems to age a bit and is happy with Curly but then he disappears and she is stuck with Jud. We know Jud is a scoundrel but it almost implies if she doesn’t choose Jud she will become a saloon girl. Then it seems if she chooses him, he’ll cheat on her. When Curly reappears, if Laurey doesn’t pick Jud, he’ll kill Curly and take her by force. I’m just not sure what exactly is going on there.

Favorite song would have to be “Kansas City.” The choreography is light and playful, the lyrics talk about how far they have come and find it amazing. Makes us think about everything we have now compared to then. Plus I’m a little bias, Will had just come from my home state.

#Musical Monday Review #13: Hercules

Before I start, I’d like to say today is my one year anniversary!! 1 year ago today, I started this blog. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Overview: The narrators of the musical are 5 muses and open with the story of the gods and how they came into power. Then jump to the birth of Hercules and learn about his uncle wanting him dead and ties to turn him mortal. As Hercules is now mostly mortal, he has to live on Earth and go through his childhood. He learns that he is a demi-god and his father is king of the Gods, Zeus. In order to shed his mortal life, Hercules must become worthy of being a god and Hades wants to stop him so he can be the next ruler. Throwing different monsters at him, Hades tries his best to kill Hercules, who has been trained by a satyr named Phil, a famous (or infamous) hero trainer. In trying to destroy him, he finds a weakness and exploits for everything he can almost bringing an end to Hercules and the fall of the gods. Hercules saves the day, but decides to stay on Earth instead of joining his parents on Mount Olympus.

Opinion: While it is a good fish out of water and under dog story, I also see elements of other Disney movies in it. Tarzan, boy found and adopted by another species (humans instead of gods), Lion King (Uncle has to kill nephew to rule), Mulan (clumsy protagonist has to train to prove himself), Aladdin (becomes so cocky its a downfall). I don’t know a lot of Greek mythology, but this is a sweet story. Of course the true story may be darker, as Disney made a reputation for taking dark stories and making them light. I don’t know Hercules’ true story, but this version is better geared toward children than the other incestuous, bestiality-filled Greek god stories. Disney usually has hidden meanings or a moral behind their movies, an in this one I’m not quite sure what it is. With hero stories it is normally that anyone can be a hero, but here the hero is a god turned mortal. It could be love is worth fighting for  but that doesn’t sound right either. Or that famous isn’t the same as being a hero.  So history aside, the songs are pretty good for a kids movie. I particularly like “Never Admit I’m in Love.”

#Musical Monday Review #12: Phantom of the Opera

Overview: The Opera Populaire is up for auction in 1919. The broken chandelier is raised, blowing a wind that transports the patrons back in time to 1870. The troupe members are doing rehearsals for a show when the new owners, Monsieur’s Firmin and Andre, are being escorted around by the old owner. While introducing their new patron, the Vicomte de Chagny (Raoul), the leading soprano becomes upset and quits. She is then replaced by a chorus girl, Christine. Showing she has tremendous potential, Christine becomes the permanent replacement. The Phantom makes his first appearance and demands for how his threatre is to be ran. During the performance, Raoul realizes Christine is his childhood sweetheart and rushes to her after the show. However the Phantom whisks her off to his underground home, seducing her to stay with him. He allows he

r to go back and sing in the operas and makes new demands of the new owners, but they do not wish to comply and bring back Carlotta, the original diva. A stagehand dies, and operas are sabotaged for their disobedience. Christine opens up to Raoul, who brushes it off and proposes to her. After weeks of no sign of the Opera Ghost, there is a masquerade where he appears and demands they perform a new opera written by himself. For this they comply and Christine is once again taken into the bowels of the theatre. In an attempt to save her, Raoul is trapped and threatened with death if Christine chooses to leave with him. Telling the Phantom she would never love him, he releases the two realizing his mistakes and disappears into the night never to be seen again. We are brought back to 1919 and Raoul is taken to Christine’s headstone. He places the music box he bought at the auction next to a red rose with a black satin bow. The Phantom’s calling card.

Review: The world’s most recognized opera, expresses the battle between light and dark. Raoul is light, where most people live and thrive. The Phantom, seductive darkness, where people are free to be themselves without consequences of society. Some may view this musical as a fight between good and evil, but the Phantom was not evil. He was simply a disfigured man who fell in love. He was not shown much compassion himself growing up so of course he is going to go about expressing his love awkwardly.

I have seen and heard a few others perform the part of Christine, and in my opinion Emmy Rossum is the best so far. I have ear issues, and most soprano high notes hurt them. The notes tend to sound screechy and almost like a scream, causing an immediate headache. However Emmy’s voice is so nice and clear voice and her work in “Think of Me” clinched it for me. The last twenty seconds or so were magnificent. Emmy is the only one I have heard perform those note jumps so beautifully and crisply. Most go through slides in order to reach the notes, but Emmy hits them precisely without the use of runs. Now I’m not saying she is perfect, because there were spots where her voice hit some rough spots for me, but she is the best.

Now Gerard Butler, dreamy! Honestly I think he is a big part as to why I fell in love with the musical so much. I usually enjoy baritone voices more then tenors, but his voice has a nice mix of the two and is perfect for the dark and brooding Phantom.

Maybe I am just more in tune with the darkness, but I hate Raoul. He is just another rich guy, where the Phantom is one of a kind. He loves her and wants to be loved. He should have been the one Christine ended up with.

I first watched this musical in choir and band classes. Having them back to back I literally had to watch it twice in a row, which was OK with me because I fell in love with the darkness of the story. It was amazing how both classes bonded so well with the music and storyline. After we completed the video, we begged to perform a medley at our spring concert both for choir and band. Even after the concert, we would use the medley to warm up as we were so attached as a class to this one musical. It is actually one of the things that brought me and my high school boyfriend together. We would spend hours talking about it.

My favorite song has always been “Masquerade” but I’m not sure why. It it always the one that gets stuck in my head for days and the choreography is interesting. It tickled me to see a performer doing a little popping while surrounded by lords and ladies dancing something more traditional, but it still didn’t seem out of place.

Together, my ex and I dare say the class as well, had a deep seeded love for “The Point of No Return” as well. It is up to this point everyone believes that Christine belongs with Raoul, but once the song belongs you can see that it is The Phantom who is her soulmate. Even Raoul is so overcome with the passion shown between the two. Sadly the moment is shattered when she is reminded of Raoul through a reprisal of “All I Ask of You.”

I did have a song that I don’t really care for. It could be because it was too sappy or it was too slow, but I never have cared for “Wishing You were Somehow Here Again.”