So… the NEWSIES movie was amazing! I’ll talk about that in a post some other time though because I want to get this post done first before I forget about this idea! Yesterday, I was listening to the ELISABETH cast album (like usual) and when “Ich Gehör Nur Mir” (“I Belong to Me”) came on, I thought to myself: “Man… that’s nostalgic. This was one of the first songs that I fell in love with from this musical…” and so, here I am. I’m writing a nostalgic post about the songs and/or things that first made me fall in love with a musical.
1. 2015 PRÄSENTATIONSVIDEO for ELISABETH – So… this really brings me back. I was watching this video and I just got hooked. Immediately. I think that it was when “Wenn Ich Tanzen Will” (“If I Want to Dance”) that I realized “I really, really love this musical.” And then it was when “Am Deck der Sinken Welt” (“On the Deck of the Sinking World”) showed up, I just thought to myself: “Can I catch the next plane to Germany or Austria?” If you’re even the slightest bit interested in ELISABETH, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pazuQ–rYls. It’s got English subtitles if you click the CC button at the bottom of the window.
2. 2012 MOVIE of LES MISÉRABLES – I remember when I first saw this movie. Initially, my thoughts on this movie were completely mixed and conflicting. Man… I remember being kinda frustrated with it. But the second time ‘round, I fell in love. And I’ve stayed in love ever since. While the cast isn’t my absolute favorite and I’m aware that it is flawed, I still am very, very grateful to it because it’s introduced me to one of my favorite musicals ever.
3. MUSIC OF THE NIGHT from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – I love reading and I just so happened to pick up Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera one day while I was at the used bookstore. And well… I’ll admit that the first time around, I was just not in the mood for a classic so I struggled with it. Really, really struggled. But… I did what any reading geek does and surfed Goodreads and then Wikipedia and found out that there was a musical. I immediately clicked on the first video I found and it was an old video of Michael Crawford singing “Music of the Night”. And then, I just was sold on it. Immediately.
4. GERMAN ORIGINAL CAST of WICKED – To be 100% accurate, it was actually “Tanz Durch die Welt” (the German version of “Dancing Through Life”) that first made me fall in love with WICKED. And WICKED was well… completely out of my element as it were. I wasn’t used to upbeat, funny musicals and it was something new to me. What was it that made me go for the German cast over the English cast first? Well… one of my favorite musical theatre actors, Mark Seibert, played Fiyero in the original German cast and so I chose to listen to the German version because I didn’t know any of the names attached to the English version (at the time). But I have since also fallen in love with the OBC of WICKED.
5. EINLADUNG ZUM BALL (“Invitation to the Ball”) and TOTALE FINSTERNIS (“Total Darkness”) from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – These two songs completely sold me on TANZ DER VAMPIRE. Technically, “Totale Finsternis” was the first to completely get me on the TANZ DER VAMPIRE train. Again, I discovered it because Mark Seibert sang the song and I watched the video of him singing it (it showed up on the suggested list when I was looking at some ELISABETH videos but anyways…). Then there was “Einladung Zum Ball” which I came across when I searched up TANZ DER VAMPIRE. And I was utterly stunned by the costumes and how the set worked. Loved this musical ever since. Still needing to get on a plane to Austria or Germany.
6. 5TH AVENUE THEATRE (Seattle) PRODUCTION of THE SOUND OF MUSIC – I remember when my mom took me to see THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Tickets were really cheap for the day after Thanksgiving (about $15) so (naturally) we went to get tickets. I remember my dad wanting to come along as well but my little brother and sister were adamantly against going so he said that he’d just stay at home with them. And when I saw the musical for the first time, I just fell in love.
7. DISNEY MOVIE VERSION of ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA – My grandpa’s favorite musical was always Rogers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA so as one would expect, I grew up watching this musical. Because it was the first version I ever watched, the Disney movie version with Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother, Brandy as Cinderella, and Bernadette Peters as the stepmother has and always will be my favorite version. If you like Rogers and Hammerstein stuff, I’d definitely suggest checking this one out.
8. HIGH SCHOOL PRODUCTION of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – When I was in fifth grade, my school took us on a fieldtrip to one of the high schools in the district to watch the production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST that they had playing there. I was immediately surprised by the quality of the production and how talented the actors were. The songs, too, were absolutely phenomenal and well… pretty much ruined the cartoon version for me from that point onward. Since then, I’ve seen BEAUTY AND THE BEAST multiple times live and I’ve not regretted any one of those times.
9. 1972 MOVIE VERSION of OLIVER! – OLIVER! was the first musical that I really, really fell in love with. I think that I must’ve been in Kindergarten when I first saw this movie version. And man… I fell in love with it immediately. I’ll admit that, looking back on it now, I didn’t understand a lot of the more violent parts but I mean… I’ll always be grateful to this movie for really introducing me to musical theatre. I love, love, love this musical and I’m still in love with it after all of these years. Ron Moody as Fagin is absolutely amazing and this movie is a family favorite.
10. 2013 BROADWAY REVIVAL CD for PIPPIN – I actually obtained this CD for the Broadway revival from my high school history / civics / economics teacher. He knew I liked musicals, discovered that he had accidentally bought another copy of the same CD and gave me one. And while I’ll admit that, at the time, I knew little more about PIPPIN than the fact that it had circus elements, I put in the CD and just fell in love the moment that “Corner of the Sky” came on. So… thank you to my high school history, civics, and economics teacher for my obsession with PIPPIN!
11. WITH ONE LOOK and TOO MUCH IN LOVE TO CARE from SUNSET BOULEVARD – At this point, people who have to deal with me on a day-to-day basis are probably pretty annoyed with me and my constant blabbering about the revival of SUNSET BOULEVARD. I’m actually going on a daytrip out to West Port in WA today and the first CD I packed was my SUNSET BOULEVARD CD and I got some groans of exasperation from my little brother. I know that he secretly loves it. But… we were supposed to be talking about “With One Look” and “Too Much in Love to Care” and how they sparked my love for SUNSET BOULEVARD. It was on an ALW collection disk that I first heard “With One Look” and man… that song just brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. It’s just one of the most beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Then, there’s “Too Much in Love to Care”. If I recall correctly, I was working on my first attempt at writing a novel (which I have since deleted from my flash drive because I’d rather believe that I can write better than that). And man… I was just struck with how absolutely adorable the song was and I just fell in love with the musical.
12. ORIGINAL CONCEPT RECORDING of JEKYLL & HYDE – With most musicals, I recommend people see them. For JEKYLL & HYDE, I wholeheartedly believe that listening to this original concept recording is the best way to experience JEKYLL & HYDE without seeing a live performance, of course. But this original concept recording rivals that experience in a lot of ways. It’s got songs that never made the final Broadway cut—songs that I think are among the best in the musical. So… if you’re curious about JEKYLL & HYDE, definitely try listening to the original concept recording. It’s got Anthony Warlow on it and you can find it on YouTube.
13. I’LL NEVER HAVE THAT CHANCE from LESTAT – I’ve been a big fan of Anne Rice’s books since the end of middle school and beginning of high school. And so when I found out that there was a musical called LESTAT, I checked it out. And well… this song hit me in all of the right places and made me think about some of the characters in ways I’d never really thought of them before. Prior to listening to this song, I had thought of Claudia as ungrateful to Lestat for essentially saving her life. But this song made me realize that he didn’t really save her life… he essentially just stole it. And thus I reread all of the books and fell in love with the musical!
14. TELL ME ON A SUNDAY from SONG AND DANCE – I remember when I first heard “Tell me on a Sunday”. I was listening to a CD from an ALW collection set that I have while working on a history paper on the Black Plague. And the crescendo to this song just made me stop at my typing and just listen. And cry. It moved me to tears. Oddly enough it also inspired the ending to that paper. It was a paper written in sections and I titled the final section “Crescendo”. Yeah… cheesy. I know.
15. A LOTTA LOCOMOTION from STARLIGHT EXPRESS – To be 100% accurate in telling the story of how I fell in love with STARLIGHT EXPRESS, we’d have a lot of history to cover. The funny thing about STARLIGHT EXPRESS is that, without it, I might never have been born. Now, you might say “Well, that’s just crazy.” And yeah, it kinda is. My mom first came to the US as an exchange student and that’s actually how she met my dad and how they got married. But she’d have never even thought to come to the US as an exchange student if she’d never seen STARLIGHT EXPRESS which inspired her to learn English. But why did I choose “A Lotta Locomotion” for the song that sparked my love for STARLIGHT? Well… I’d say that it’s probably because it’s the song that I first remember dancing to. So… yeah. Embarrassing but true fact about me.
And that’s it for now! What sparked your love for your favorite musicals? Tschüss!