Monday, June 20, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 8

For day 8, I am to post a song by my favorite male singer in a musical. I have to say, that for the moment, my favorite singer is West End star Ramin Karimloo. He's played the roles of Chris is Miss Saigon, Enjolras in Les Miserables, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera, but it wasn't until he played the lead role in Phantom of the Opera (at a young age, I might add) that people really started to take notice. He brought a fresh perspective to the role by portraying the Phantom with Asperger's Syndrome. Coupled with a slightly rock-type voice, he brought a different kind of edge to the role. Andrew Lloyd Webber has said that he is "a very sexy Phantom." Which is why when Lloyd Webber premiered his new musical 'Love Never Dies,' he chose Karimloo to headline the cast. And so I bring you, my favorite song from 'Love Never Dies' entitled 'Til I Hear You Sing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 7

Hello everyone! I put the 30-day Musical Theater Song Challenge on hold because I went on vacation, but now I'm back to blogging. For Day 7, I am to post a song sung by my favorite female singer in a musical. I have to make a confession. I'm very biased towards male voices. For a long time now, I always prefer songs sung by men with lush baritone voices, so I don't really have a favorite female singer. However, that doesn't mean that I can't recognize a good female voice when I see one. So for this day, why not post a song by Ms. Lea Salonga herself? You can't deny all the accomplishments she has achieved. She even performed in both the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts of Les Miserables! It just makes me so happy. So I leave you with a song from the musical that started it all for her. I leave you with 'I'd Give My Life for You' from 'Miss Saigon.'

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Broadway is Not Just for Gays Anymore!

The Tony Awards 2011 was just aired recently, and I have to say that the opening number by host Neil Patrick Harris (from How I Met Your Mother) is just awesome (LOL)! What a great way to start the show.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 6

For day 6, I am to post a song that makes you sad/teary, so we're going back to the serious musicals once again. One song at the top of my list of sad songs is 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables. Seeing Valjean pray to God to spare Marius and take him instead can really touch a person if sung well. So, here I bring you one of my favorite renditions of the song: J. Mark McVey from the Hollywood Bowl presentation of the musical last August 2008. This is one of the most touching renditions I've seen. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 5

For day 5, I am to post a song which makes me happy. For this day, let's stray away first from the serious musicals I've shown you and go to a musical that's more light-hearted. When I need a pick-me-up, 'Good Morning Baltimore' from the musical Hairspray is one of my go-to songs.

So for now, I leave you with Nikki Blonsky's 'Good Morning Baltimore' from the movie adaptation of Hairspray! Have a great day!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 4

For Day 4, I am to post a song that demonstrates how overrated you think a musical is. I hate to say this, but for me, personally, Evita is an overrated musical. I've never seen the actual musical, so I can only base my opinion from the movie, but I found the general storyline a little dragging and the score, unmoving. I do know that this is one of the works that made a name for Andrew Lloyd Webber, but it's just not my cup of tea.

And since I can't find a good quality clip of something from the stage production, give you 'High Flying Adored' from the Evita movie by Madonna and Antonio Banderas.

Friday, June 3, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 3

For day 3, I am to post a song that demonstrates how underrated you think a musical is. Today, I will leave you with a video of Lily's Eyes from The Secret Garden. This musical truly is underrated. Even though some of the speaking parts are a bit dragging, it has a beautiful score. It's a shame this didn't get more popular than it did.

This video has some generation loss, but Philip Quast and Anthony Warlow, two giants in Australian musical theater, did a wonderful rendition. I can't think of a better recording of this song than the Australian cast recording. This is possibly my favorite male duet of all time, so enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge: Day 2

For Day 2 of the 30 Day Musical Theater Challenge, I am to post a song from your latest musical obsession.

My latest musical obsession is Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical 'Love Never Dies,' which is the sequel to his biggest musical ever (he himself admitted this) 'The Phantom of the Opera.' As you can see, Phantom of the Opera is one of my most beloved musicals, and I know that ALW has been working on a sequel since God knows how long (he formally announced it in 1998). Luckily, I was in the US last year when the cast album came out and I was so excited to get my grubby little hands on them. When I read the plot, however, I was horrified--they have deformed the characters beyond recognition, especially my favorite character Raoul.

Raoul has always been my prince charming. When I was younger, he was my dream man--he was dashing, handsome, and he moved heaven and earth to rescue his beloved Christine. The Raoul in Love Never Dies was a complete opposite. How DARE they turn him into a scruffy, bitter drunkard who gambled his fortune away. How dare they! Madame Giry and Meg Giry's characters also took a turn for the worse, and  I, until now, for the life of me, can't understand what reasons Meg's character would have to do what she did in the events before Love Never Dies. The change in the characters, coupled with the very different feel of the music, made me want to literally throw my CD into the air. However, as I listened to it more, it grew on me. Score-wise, it still cannot compete with my all-time favorite musicals, but after I watched the video of it (which cannot be found in Youtube), I was converted. There were moments in the musical that had an intensity I have never seen in any musical before. I do not adore ALW, but for this musical, he has truly composed the right music for the staging he had imagined. The end result just left me breathless. Sure the plot is blah, and the libretto is no where as lyrical as the original, but its finished product makes up for some of the clunkiness.

I will leave you with the opening sequence from the new production of Love Never Dies which just started it's run last May 28. It includes my favorite song of the moment, 'Till I Hear You Sing' sung by Ben Lewis.