Thursday, 8 July 2010

VCB 29: Life's candy and the sun's a bowl of butter

So today I am writing my blog in San Franscico (well Oakland because we are cheap) and on the 7 hour drive James and I were thinking about things to write in my blog today. We went through several ideas but the one I decided on was musicals! I am a big musical lover and although I haven't seen as many as I'd like here are 5 (in no particular order) that I have seen and loved.

1. Blood Brothers - I saw the touring production of this in Nottingham with James and my friends Michelle and Paul. What a brilliant production. Everything from the get go tell you that it is a classy, sophisticaed and unique muscial.

Unlike most musicals which simply burst into song at the drop of a hat the lyrics are much more storytelling. It seemed darker and grittier than other musicals because it took away the lighter, fluffier songs you are used to. It is SO difficult to explain so please just go and see it!

2. The Lion King - This was the first musical I saw on the West End in London. I went with my sister and my aunt, and my friends Karen and Michelle. This is probably the most visually incredible musical I have seen. As you can see from the picture below the animals are created by a mix of costume and puppetry which is so well done. It really allows the actors to bring their characters to life.

The best part of the whole show was the entrance scene i.e. the Circle of Life song. The animals/people all come in up the aisles towards the stage. Seeing them close like that along with the singing coming from all around not just out from the stage was just amazing. I think we all had tears by the end of the scene.

3. Billy Elliot - This musical I saw with my sister and my friends Michelle and Sarah. We were very lucky to see one of the preview performances (which we hadn't realised when we got the tickets) and as a thank you all got a free Billy Elliot DVD. Woop!

The musical is grittier than the film taking a more political dip into the miners strike. My favourite scene was a riot with the miners and police on opposite sides of the stage taunting each other. I think you might benefit from a bit of backround knowledge about the strikes of the 80s before seeing this but just like the film it is emotionally a very powerful production.

4. Wicked - James and I saw this in London together when he came to stay in Sept 09. We had both been itching to see it for years and already knew quite a few of the songs such as Popular and Defying Gravity. It is one of our most memorable dates and we absolutely loved it! We want to see it again though!

I really enjoyed finding out the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked is set before and during the Wizard of Oz if you didn't know). It gives you a different perspective on the whole story. On the plane over here I watch the Wizard of Oz for the first time since seeing Wicked which was really fun. I wish they would do a film of the production so everyone can enjoy it.

5. Chicago - For James' 30th birthday I bought him tickets for us to see Chicago in the London West End. I expect most people have seen the film and the musical is just as raunchy, sassy and sexy. The red and black costumes/design is really powerful but of course the best thing is the style of dancing as originally choreographed by Bob Fosse.

Fosse's style is quite unique and very hard to explain. I suggest looking him up on Youtube. It is based on jazz and sex I would say, as is the film Chicago - it is very razzle dazzle but looks so good for something so unnatural. As I said, I can't explain. Just go and see it.

My answer: I would love to see the Wizard of Oz in London when it starts next year. James and I watched the TV show Over the Rainbow to find the lead girl and she is really fantastic. We will definately be purchasing tickets at the earliest opportunity!