Thanks For The Movie Musicals, But I Want Proshots

As you should have read in my Monthly Look Ahead, September brought unto me a lot of musicals, which is wonderful, and honestly, all the other months should step up their game and do the same. Now, I’m not someone who’s great at critiques, but I wanted to talk about some of the content we’ve gotten this month and why some of it hasn’t been as great as I wanted it to be.

This is not your best work gif.

Dear Evan Hansen is a good musical. I’ve seen it on stage and I do love it. The music is great, the story is interesting, and I think Ben Platt was great in the role…six years ago. Ben Platt reprised the awkward teenage role at age 27 for the movie version of the musical that came out this month, and it was not stellar. Even from the trailer, it was clear that this movie was not capturing the magic of the Broadway version. One tweet I think about a lot said it looked like a low-budget Christian movie, and that’s very accurate, despite big names in the cast. Maybe it was poor direction or maybe it was just that such a heavy show couldn’t translate to a movie as well, but the movie was lackluster. From cutting out the opening song to Evan’s constant whispering to the slight plot change at the end, I have some qualms. I’d see the show live again in a heartbeat, but I’m certainly not itching to see the movie anytime soon.

Ben Platt in the Dear Evan Hansen movie gif.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a story similar to Dear Evan Hansen in many ways, but its movie was a lot better. I still missed some of the cut songs, but I think the changes they made to adapt it to a film were mostly well done. Why did Jamie succeed when Evan failed? I can’t say for certain, as again, I am not a critic.

What I do know, though, was a proshot of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie already existed. The movie was good and all, but if you want to see the musical in the way it was intended to be seen (without actually seeing it live), go watch that. Proshots are underrated forms of consuming theater, and I’m mad they’re not more available. The Come From Away proshot came out this month and it’s wonderful. The show is wonderful, and seeing it in HD is great because you still see the magic of the production but close up and without losing aspects to a movie format. The stage allows for a big performance, so it can get more dramatic or silly when it needs to be because we expect and enjoy it on stage.

Show me the good stuff gif.

There’s this big argument that’s often thrown around when talking about the b-word (bootlegs) and it’s that the reason why proshots aren’t too common is because of all the licensing fees and contracts and stuff that’d be needed for proshots to exist. And I’m sure that’s all true, but—and people are welcome to correct me here—it seems like a more cost-effective way of getting musicals into the world than making a full movie musical. No expensive actors, no building full sets, no rewrites, just filming/editing a show people already love and want to see in the way people already love and want to see it. And it can still be shown in theaters like Newsies was years ago.

At the end of the day, as much as there are some great movie versions of musicals in existence (I will defend Mamma Mia until the day I die), something is always lost in translation, and it’s unfortunate that in some cases, like Dear Evan Hansen‘s, it will ruin the reputation, no matter how good elements may be. Movie musicals should be for the fans and while I can’t speak for all of them, I feel like most of the fans just want to see the musical, not the artsy, stunt-casted watered-down version that we often get from these things. Case in point: Cats.

Cats Movie GIF.
Zero people asked for this. Zero.

What are your thoughts? Are you running to theaters to see Dear Evan Hansen? Are you disappointed with the quality of some movie musicals? Do you not care as long as we’re getting some musical content? Comment below your opinions!

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

Monthly Look Ahead: September 2021

Well, this summer has flown by. But I’m not too sad about it because, as you’ll see from the first three bullets I have here, September is a very musical month, and it should not be news to you readers that I do love me some musicals. There’s actually a lot of interesting media out this month that I’m looking forward to. Usually I try to have at least one not-media thing on this list, but not this time!

monthly look ahead logo

  • A recording of the musical Come From Away, starring most if not all of the original cast, is out on AppleTV on the 10th. I love this show so much, and I highly recommend getting a box of tissues and watching it. It’s so sweet and so well done in a simple way.
  • The Dear Evan Hansen movie is coming out on the 24th. It’s kind of weird that Ben Platt is still playing a teenager, and I’ll be interested to see how this show translates to a movie given that the music is kind of deep and not as dance-y as most, but I’m still excited. I do really like this show.
  • After getting delayed several times because of the pandemic, the movie of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is finally coming out via Amazon. I only got into this show last fall, but the music is very good, and it’s a fun show, so I’m looking forward to it! (Also on Amazon this month but it doesn’t warrant its own bullet is a Cinderella musical. No one asked for another live action Cinderella, and I can’t say I’m a Camilla Cabello fan, but it is a musical, so I likely will watch it eventually).
  • Though I know very little about the character, Marvel’s Shang-Chi is out on the 4th, and I am excited to see it because a) there’s a dragon(!), b) it’s starring a Canadian, and c) it’s Marvel, and Marvel movies rarely disappoint.
    The dragon in Shang-Chi.
  • On the small screen, The Morning Show is back for a second season. As heavy as the first season was, it was very entertaining for my mother and I, so we’re looking forward to more. Other small screen returns this month include A Million Little Things and Doom Patrol.
  • I can’t even believe it’s time for fall TV already! Maybe because Arrowverse shows aired all summer it feels like there wasn’t a break (as if 2020 wasn’t a break in itself), but I’m looking at the calendar and yes, new shows will be starting! There are only a few I have my eye on, though, including The Big Leap on the 20th, and maybe a few NBC shows that I’ve yet to see trailers for.
  • The Emmys as well as a weird, delayed, and chopped version of The Tonys are this month.

Aaand that’s it (or, that’s all I can remember to include. It is 1am at the time of writing). It’s wild that this was supposed to be the month where I get my second vaccine, but Canada expedited things so I’ve been in the clear for a while now! I’ve been to a party!

What’s revving your engines this September?

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

My Least Favourite Songs From My Favourite Musicals

There are so many great musicals out there. My list of favourites only keeps growing, but it’s okay because my heart and ears have no limit. Of course, just because I love a musical, it doesn’t mean I love every single song, and today I wanted to discuss which songs are my least favourite in the shows I hold closest to my heart. Not every song can be amazing. These are just my opinions and just a fun way for us to discuss musicals.

that's my opinion gif.

‘When All Is Said And Done’ from Mamma Mia (Listen here)
This song isn’t in the stage production, but it is in the movie, and it is without a doubt the boring-est song of the show. We all know that Pierce Brosnan is not a spectacular singer, but this song really highlights this whereas it’s not nearly as evident in songs like ‘SOS’. Not to mention that it really doesn’t do much in terms of the plot.

‘Dear Old Shiz’ from Wicked (Listen here)
Wicked‘s great songs are really great but the other songs are honestly not anything amazing, and this song in particular is really unnecessary and slow and doesn’t really have any sort of lasting melody to hold on to. Plus, the musical barely focuses on Shiz, so I find it unnecessary.

‘Letters From The Refuge’ from Newsies (Listen here)
I’m technically cheating with this song as it was added to the show for the national tour and therefore was not on Broadway or the soundtrack, but still. As much as it was sweet to hear from Crutchie, using the same ‘Santa Fe’ melody again kind of made the song forgettable and we kind of already knew the refuge was not a great place anyway, so the song doesn’t really help much in getting that point across. I don’t think it needed to be added to the show at all. (If I had to pick a least favourite song from the soundtrack, it’d probably be ‘That’s Rich’ for no reason other than I love the other songs more).

Crutchie writing his letter to Jack.

‘Meet Me Inside’ from Hamilton (Listen here)
As someone who is not a huge fan of rap/hip-hop, there are a few songs on this soundtrack that musically don’t thrill me but they advance the plot well or are well written, but this song is not one of them. I can’t describe the heartbeat-esque sound that’s happening in the second half, but it makes me uneasy. Plus, this song just really shows how much of an idiot Hamilton can be.

‘Legally Blonde Remix’ from Legally Blonde (Listen here)
This is supposed to be a big moment in the show where things turn around for Elle, but I just don’t enjoy how this song was done. They add up the tempo of the song ‘Legally Blonde’ that was so deep and heartbreaking, made the lyrics so disjointed by having so many parts to it that feel so rushed, and then had this long dance break that isn’t fun to listen to unless you’re watching it on stage. Like, we get it, she’s legally blonde. You don’t have to say it 5000 times.

‘What A Woman Wants’ from Kinky Boots (Listen here)
I find this song annoying. The “whatta man, whatta man” bits are so annoying and the salsa-dancing vibes feel out of place in the soundtrack. I just skip this song whenever I listen to the soundtrack because I just do not enjoy it.

‘Climbing Uphill’ from The Last Five Years (Listen here)
I adore so much about The Last Five Years, but I cannot stand this song. I don’t mind the first part (though I don’t love it by any means) but when it turns to Cathy’s audition, I just hate it. I understand what they were trying to do, but I just don’t like it. And then the song does shift back to tolerable parts, but the Anna Kendrick version ends so suddenly, which is just awkward to listen to. Of course, is the Broadway version where it ends with Jamie snapping at Cathy better? Unsure. It’s bad all around.

Cathy at her audition.

‘Requiem’ from Dear Evan Hansen (Listen here)
I just find this song boring. It’s sung well and all, but just boring. And especially compared to other songs in this show that are just so powerful. I know a lot of people dislike ‘To Break In A Glove’ but I kind of like that one more.

‘Club Knocked Up’ from Waitress (Listen here)
I debated whether or not this 46-second nonsense really counts as a song, but it does. It’s annoying and an instant-skip for me.

‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ from Come From Away (Listen here)
This show is so music heavy and every song has so much info and flows together so well that it’s hard to pick one that’s a least favourite, but I picked ‘Lead Us Out Of The Night’ because it’s kind of slow and haunting and uncomfortable. I know that’s the goal, but compared to the other songs, this one is weaker for sure.

‘Those Canaan Days’ from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Listen here)
I know this show jumps around in style a decent amount, but the French vibes in this song just don’t do anything for me here. Plus this song is far too long and droning. It’s the fourth longest song of the show, and all it’s saying is that Joseph’s brothers are not thriving. Pass.

Those Canaan Days.

If you’ve yet to see/listen to one of these musicals listed, don’t let this post deter you. Truthfully, while these songs are my least favourite, most are not at all bad and if it weren’t for this post where I actually had to pick them, I wouldn’t really have least favourites. Does that make sense?

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you agree with my choices for least favourite? What are some of your other least favourite songs in your favourite musicals?

That’s all for now!

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’ / Goodreads

Monthly Look Ahead: June 2019

Juuuuune. Here we are. It came so fast and I have a feeling it’ll go by really fast. Next thing you know it’ll be July. And then what? August? Ridiculous.

Anyway, Junes are usually decent months for me, and that’s not just because they are my birth month. So let’s dive into what I’ve got coming up. And then tell me (in the comments or in your own post) what you’re looking forward to in your June.

monthly look ahead logo

  • The Tony’s are on the 9th. They’re always a fun show to watch because a) performances and b) they seem less political and more fun and joyful. Just a bunch of theater nerds geeking out, ya know? But what do I know; I watch from my couch. Anyway, every year I try and watch to find bootlegs for the big shows nominated so I can have some basis of knowledge for the evening. I’ve yet to watch a few, so I gotta get on that.
  • As I said, my birthday is coming up on the 16th. That’s Father’s Day this year, which is neat because I was born actually on Father’s Day, and the days only align every eight years or so. I’m glad my birthday is not on a weekday so I don’t have to spend it alone at work and I can instead spend it alone at home.
  • For my birthday, I asked for tickets to Dear Evan Hansen because really I want to see it and it’s playing near me for a few more weeks only. We’re actually going before my birthday, but that just means I get to see it sooner. I am very excited. I adore the soundtrack and can’t wait to see it live.
    Dear evan hansen.
  • Season 3 of Jessica Jones is out on the 14th. This is the last of Marvel’s Netflix shows, which is kind of sad. I hope it ends on a great note, but I’m not too optimistic given that I thought JJ‘s second season was kind of bad. Of course, Daredevil had a sucky second season too yet surprised me with a fantastic third, so I never know.
  • Toy Story is back with a 4th installment (a fourquel?) and though Toy Story is not my favourite Pixar series, they were all good movies. I’m a little wary for this new one on the 21st, but based on the trailers, it doesn’t look bad. I won’t be lining up to see it right away, but I do want to see it eventually.
  • Last year a Superman prequel show called Krypton aired, and it wasn’t that great, but I watched it and now its second season is starting on the 12th. I’ll probably watch that too because a) it’s the summer so I don’t have much else to watch and b) I found myself thinking about the show a weird amount. So, yeah, bring it on.
  • The radio station I listen to at work is hosting an 80’s dance party this month, which sounds like a whack of fun. I bought two tickets, but haven’t yet confirmed who’ll be using the second ticket.
  • Another movie that looks alright is Yesterday. It’s about a guy who gets injured and wakes up in a world where the Beatles didn’t exist, so he capitalizes on that for his own music career. I’m not a huge Beatles fan by any means, but I think this is a clever movie idea, so I definitely want to see this.
    Yesterday movie poster.

Anyway, that’s my June. See, seems like it could be fun overall, right? Junes be like that. (Do y’all remember those books called Junie B Jones? Man, I was obsessed with those when I was a kid).

That’s all for now!

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’ / Goodreads

7 Songs That Made Me Cry

Grab some tissues because I don’t mess around.

I’ve probably mentioned it before but I don’t cry often. Like sure, I’ll cry at series finales and when beloved characters die, but there are a lot of movies or deaths or scenes where I am not even a little weepy.

Songs are powerful, we all know that, but for a song to take a person and make them cry in approximately three minutes is insane, and especially when that person is me. But they’re so good that I keep listening and keep crying. The circle of suffering. So I figured I’d share these heartbreaking songs for two reasons. One, so you can cry with me.  And two, to introducing y’all to new music that I love. If you’re brave enough or got that waterproof mascara on, click play and listen to these songs that I managed to break through my shell and punch me in the heart.

Image result for listening to music crying gif

‘Supermarket Flowers’ by Ed Sheeran

Ed has such a lovely voice but this song is haunting. So slow and sad with those “oooooohs”. You can just hear the heartbreak. The moment that gets me: the change in tense at the end because that’s a moment, when it comes to people dying, that makes it real.

‘So Big / So Small’ from Dear Evan Hansen

Rachel Bay Jones deserves that Tony solely for this song. I’m not a mother so I can’t even relate on that level, but even imagining what this character felt in that moment makes me cry. The whole musical is about being alone as a teenager and Evan’s hardships but this is a moment where you see how much adults like his mom struggled and still struggle. The moment that gets me: when little Evan asks if another truck will take his mom away too.

‘Christmas Shoes’ by NewSong

I love Christmas music but this song is not a cheery one at all. As soon as I hear that piano at the start I know I’m in for a ride. Christmas is a time for joy and this song is a stark reminder that it’s also a time for giving and sharing because it can really make a difference. The moment that gets me: when the choir sings in the background and then when the kid sings at the end.

‘Me And The Sky’ from Come From Away

This musical is full of sad and sweet stories and moments that’ll make you tear up, but none more than this song. The first three quarters of the song are positive and inspirational (which, if I’m being honest, makes me cry a little too, but happy tears) and then it just shifts and becomes so much more and so much more real and you can’t help but cry as you hear this character’s perspective on such a tragedy. The moment that gets me: when she mentions the bomb and the music just stops.

‘If You Say So’ by Lea Michele

Okay, I was a huge Glee fan, so when Cory Monteith died, it changed everything. And then a few months later Lea Michele, his girlfriend and co-star, releases this song and it’s just so real and as a fan I can’t help but cry. His death was tragic and amid such a fun album, there’s this song that was added late but holds so much emotion. And it’s based off of their real life last conversation, so it’s even more heartbreaking. The moment that gets me: the bridge because it gets faster like a rush of emotions.

‘It’s Quiet Uptown’ from Hamilton

All the rap and revolution in this show, and then there’s this song: slow and soft and just heartbreaking. The harmonies are perfect and having the ladies sing some parts and the men sing other parts make it so much more deep. The death of a child is something no parent should go through, so having to hear Alex and Eliza go through it is just so sad. The moment that gets me: when it slows down again Angelica sings some more.

‘Piece By Piece’ by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson has a beautiful voice and it makes this song so much more sad. When she sang this on American Idol, it was so moving. The arrangement on the piano is perfect and I’m so glad they released a studio version of it. The moment that gets me: when she sings about her daughter and how she’ll have a better life.

I’m not ashamed to admit that these songs made me and some still make me cry. They’ll probably make you cry, too after a few listens. Pay attention to the lyrics because they are what got me. And because I shared my sad songs, if you’ve got a song that makes you cry, let me know so I can listen to it. Spread the tears!

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Bloglovin’