Monday, September 23, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Kickoff and Tag

Yet Another Period Drama Blog

Welcome, everyone, to Yet Another Period Drama Blog's Celebrate Musicals Week!  I'm incredibly excited about everything we have in store for this week, and I'm looking forward to the spectacular posts you guys have been working on.  To start things off, let's have... a tag!

I've written this tag to mainly center around the musical you chose to spotlight this week (see here for more details than that-- and if you're late to the party, by all means go ahead and join in now!), but there are a few wild-card questions thrown in there to jazz things up a little.   My answers can be seen below, and if you scroll to the end of the post, the questions are all there for your taking.  Please feel free to fill this tag out on your own blog and then follow the instructions at the end of this post for linking up.  Thanks!

1.  What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?

I chose Phantom of the Opera, because it's become one of my absolute favorite musicals in the last year (despite my rather ignorant abhorrence of it a few years ago :D) and I wanted to showcase it here on my blog.  This may or may not have been the reason I hosted the Celebrate Musicals week in the first place.  Ahem.

2.  How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?

I fell in love with POTO very gradually-- the process started when I first heard "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," which is still one of my favorite songs from the show.  After hearing so much about it in the blogging world, I watched a few clips from the 25th Anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall (and enjoyed each one immensely) and after hearing from a friend about the part that needed skipping (yes, unfortunately there is one scene that's rather inappropriate) I took the plunge and watched the whole thing.

And I kind of loved it.

And then I watched it again (and again) and created Phantom stations on Pandora and listened to the original cast album in its almost-entirety a lot of times (ahem) and bought the 25th anniversary album and listened to (and watched) an awful lot of bootlegs on YouTube.

And now?  Yeah, now I'm a Phan.  It's a silly name, but I've always been rather partial to silly names.  I really love this story, despite my scorning it when I was younger.  It's dramatic, it's romantic, it's heartbreaking, it's hilarious at times, it's a gorgeous spectacle, it features some of the best music ever to grace live theatre.  (I should note here that it's also a darker story than some of my other favorites, and for that reason I don't recommend the musical for young children.)

Oh, and I am totally Team Raoul.  Just for the record.

3.  If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?

"Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "All I Ask of You," and "Final Lair." (The track I call "Final Lair" is listed on the 25th Anniversary album as "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer" but I prefer "Final Lair."  It's simple, it says it...)

4.  What's your least favorite song from your musical?

Definitely "Point of No Return."  I actually haven't heard the whole thing, but believe me, you miss nothing if you skip it.  There's way too much ick in that song.  I think the plot could have moseyed along quite nicely without it.

5.  Who are your favorite characters in your musical (choose up to three)?

Raoul and Christine, obviously, and then Andre-and-Firmin.  Yes, they count as one.  Stop looking at me like that.  And all you Erik fans can just put down your Punjab lassoes.  Sure, I feel sorry for the Phantom and all that, but the guy is an obsessive murderer.   I feel a tremendous amount of pity for him, but that doesn't excuse his actions, and I think Christine definitely made the right decision in choosing Raoul.  (More on that later in the week.)

6.  Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?

I've seen the 25th Anniversary Royal Albert Hall production and the 2004 movie (skipping certain parts), and I've listened to the Original Cast Recording as well as too many other versions of various songs to count. (Seriously, it's like every theatre singer EVER has covered "Music of the Night" at some point in their career.)  Plus dozens of clips on YouTube.  Michael Ball does a pretty amazing "All I Ask Of You," for the record.

7.  Is this your favorite musical of all time?  If not, what is?

Nope, though it definitely ranks in the top five.  The prestigious honor of Miss Dashwood's Favorite Musical to End All Favorite Musicals goes to... say it with me, guys...


8.  Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?

That would be the TAC-- the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert.  No shame.  :D

9.  What is your favorite costume from your musical?

Christine's "Wishing" gown, hands-down.  I want it for my owwwwwwwwn.

10.  If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?

I'd cut out "Point of No Return" (like I said, it's stupid and unnecessary) and give Christine and the other slave girls something more than a grass skirt to wear during "Hannibal."  I really love some of the costumes in this show (post coming on those later in the week, too!) but with others there are some serious modesty issues.  And don't get me started on the movie.  Eeeeeeeyuck.

 11.  Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?

For the past year and eight months or however long it is since I first heard the cast album, my dream has been to play Eponine in Les Mis.  Seriously, she's the PERFECT role.  Her songs are all within a comfortable mezzo range (no struggling with super-high notes),  she has one of the best solos in the history of theatre (I fell in love with "On My Own" from the first hearing of it and yes, I know it's become a teenage girl cliche but hey, it's a great song) she gets to die onstage and sing a heartbreaking duet while doing so, and she doesn't have to kiss anybody.  Wins all around.

My second choice would be to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady because that would just be awesome.  She also has some pretty incredible songs, plus she gets to do an awful lot of screaming onstage, plus she gets to wear fabulous clothes, plus she ALSO doesn't have to kiss anybody.  Oh, and doing a Cockney accent is fun.

12.  If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?

I really want to see James Barbour play the Phantom--  I think he'd do a beautiful job.  (Stay tuned for my dream casting later in the week! Yes, this post is a shameless plug for Upcoming Features.  That's what happens during blog parties.)  His version of the ubiquitous "Music of the Night" is one of the best I've ever heard.

13.  Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?

I am definitely a musical theatre geek.  No doubts there.  I've never yet had the privilege of being in a show, but I can identify with practically every one of those Thespian Peacock memes.  Heehee.

14.  Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?

I'd better not be, because it's going to turn up on this blog many more times before the week is out.

15.  Turn your iPod or MP3 player on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have a music device) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating!  How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?

~"The Perfect Nanny" from Mary Poppins (the film).  I love this movie (and the stage musical!) and proudly know all the songs in it by heart, but this one isn't necessarily a top favorite.
~"The Embassy Waltz" from the My Fair Lady film soundtrack.  I love this piece, but again, I don't listen to it all that often.
~"ABC Cafe/Red and Black" from the TAC.  This one is definitely the favorite/most-listened-to of this list at least.  Nobody does "the color of despair" like Michael Ball.

And here's the list of questions for your own blogs!

1.  What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?
2.  How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?
3.  If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?
4.  What's your least favorite song from your musical?
5.  Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)?
6.  Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?
7.   Is this your favorite musical of all time?  If not, what is?
8.   Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?
9.   What is your favorite costume from your musical?
10.  If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?
11.  Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?
12.  If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?
13.  Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?
14.  Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?
15.  Turn your music playing device on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have one) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating!  How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?

Please fill out this tag at any time during the week and tag your post with the phrase "Celebrate Musicals Week."  Once you've filled out the tag, you can come back here and leave a comment with the URL for that tag (as explained here.)  Then be sure to tag all your other musical posts throughout the week with that same tag, so that anyone who follows the URL can see all your posts in one tidy spot.  Make sense?  I'll link up to everyone's URLs at the end of the week.

*Please note: While I realize that some musicals out there are not necessarily appropriate for all ages and that some of your posts may cover shows that are not for children, I ask that you please be discreet and keep your language family-friendly at all times.  I will not publish a link to any post I have not pre-read and feel comfortable with, and I reserve the right to not link to your blog if I feel there's something inappropriate in one of your musical posts.  I'm not trying to offend anyone here, but this is my blog and I want to keep a good environment here for the little ones who read it.  (And yes, there are some under-13's reading this blog, so let's keep them in mind while writing, okay?)  Thanks!*

All righty then.  The tag is now open and Celebrate Musicals Week has had its official kick-off!  On your mark... get set... go!


Miss Jane Bennet said...

OK, enough. Anyway. SO excited for this week! I love your header.
As soon as I'm done commenting, I'm off to fill out that tag. Have a great week, everybody!! :)

Una Mariah said...

WHOHOO!!!! ...actually I totally forgot this was the kick-off day and I think I had a mini-heart attack when I realized it was. XD *goes to fill out the tag*

Molly said...

Yay! This week is going to be fun!

Una Mariah said...

here you go! :)

Miss Jane Bennet said...

I filled out the tag! Here's a link to it:
And here's the URL for the CMW label:
Thanks for doing this! :)

Sereina said...

Yay! This is going to be fun!

I just got my first post up:

Miss Melody Muffin said...

YAYAYAYAY!!!!! This will be SUCH FUN!!!! I'll fill out the tag later today!

Natalie said...

Is it too late to join in? I'd love to be a part of this!

Eva said...

Squeeeeep! I've been waiting for this for so long!

Anyway, here's the link to my tag post -

Mizzie-Me said...

Celebrate Musicals Week has been started at Music & My Mind! Voilà the URL:

I put in some words of warning about the musical's content, I hope I did it properly.

Katherine Sophia said...

Okay, I'd love to join...and I'm hoping to fill out the tag this Friday. :D

Caroline L. said...

Well, welcome to the Phandom of the Opera, Miss Dashwood!

You lost me at "I'm totally team Raoul." *shakes head* Okay, if you are watching the 25th, Hadley Fraser is pretty cute (as usual with him), but otherwise nuh-uh. *Caroline needs a blog so she can do a phantom post*

I actually like the song "Point of No Return." While it might be a more *ahem* mature song, it's nothing explicit like Lovely Ladies, for instance. There are so many layers and dimensions to the emotions swirling through that point of the story that PoNR showcases. Mainly, Erik's changing feelings in relation to Christine, going from obsessive to affection and tenderness shown in first his written song they are performing to the spontaneous reprise of All I Ask of You. *again feels need of blog* And the music for this song is utterly gorgous, regardless of anything.

Andre and Frimin are my sister and I. We are they. They are just the two of us in a 19th century opera house. Hehehe.

Ohhhhh yes!Christine's wishing gown! Me wants it! Well, pretty much all her clothes, really. And her hair. And her voice. Which is why Christine Daae is my dream role.

Oh my! I'm quite looking forward to your dream casting!!! I several different dream casts for Phantom, and actually, most of them have been done. The 25th anniversary casting was close to perfection.

Lovely post. Looking forward to more! =D

Quinlyn said...

Woo hoo!! Here's my first post!

Eva said...

Ooops - I forgot to put up the URL to the tag category :P Here it is -

Melody said...

So, first of all, where you said "here" as if there would be a link there, there isn't. Just thought you should know. ;)

UGH, you're calling yourself a Phan? Good grief. :P I think I probably like POTO almost as much as you do in my way but still I wouldn't want to call myself that. It groups one with the Raoul-haters and who knows what. :P (And I like silly names but I consider that one to be rather dumb. *cough cough* You used to, too. *cough*)

But then, that was when you didn't like POTO in general... haha, I still remember being a little surprised when you said you disliked it. I just thought you would. ;)

AIAOY and Final Lair are definitely my favorites... not sure about a third. I really like Wishing but I also really like Think of Me, and always have before I even really knew what POTO was, so it kind of has fond connexions for me. Haha. ;)

SHOCK OF SHOCKS. We none of us knew that Les Mis was your favorite!!!!

Heehee, the "I want it for my owwwwn" MMG.

Ahhh, so you DO want to be Eponine. I was going to ask you about that. :D I figured it was probably the case buuuut sometimes I figure things which prove incorrect. :P

And yes, Eliza!!! I always think about whether a character has to kiss or not too, LIMM...

Oooh, I wanna hear James Barbour sing Music of the Night. Send to meeee. (Bossy? Me? :P)

Ooh, The Embassy Waltz. I know from experience that when it's great if that song pops up when you're doing housework. :D (Fast waltzes are generally good for housework, in fact...)

This tag looks like WAY too much fun... I shall definitely be doing it. :D Sometimes I read event tags and I'm kind of like, eh, whatever... but you're too clever for such things. ;)

Jess Dunlap said...

Oh so exciting!!!! :D here is mine!

Indigo Montoya said...

Here's my link, Miss Dashwood! Really hoping that you'll enjoy my writings this week.

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

"All I Ask of You" is one of my favorite duets ever...and Andre-and-Firmin are a hoot. And you can count another person in favor of Raoul on your side. Easy decision for me too. :) Have you ever read the book, by the way?

Eliza Doolittle would probably be my first choice for a role to play, too. All those wonderful soprano songs—and it's just such a great part all the way around! To be honest, though, I don't know if I've got the dramatic skills to carry it, even though I could certainly sing the part. My second pick would probably be Hodel in Fiddler On the Roof. That I could do. And it goes without saying, either Maria or Liesl in The Sound of Music would head the list easily if it weren't for that bothersome kissing business.

Molly said...


Catie Dunlap said...

Here's mine!

Ruby Danderfluff said...

Whew! That was fun!

Miss Melody Muffin said...

Finally finished mine!!


I'm with you. Team Raoul all the way!!

Yeah, Point of No Return- blech.

Yes, yes, Christine definitely made the right choice.

Have you seen MB's version of All I Ask of You with Rebecca Caine? I like that one a lot. (Not so keen on his version with Sarah Brightman.)

Heehee, I'd love the 'Wishing' gown! (Someday, I think it would be awesome to make a version of it.)

Looks like many of us would like to play Eponine. :D

James Barbour? I don't think I've heard his version yet.

Sierra Bailey said...

Here's mine!

I've absolutely loved reading everyone else's posts.

Sarah said...

I am Sarah from A Basket of Pansies. Here is my link:

beastsbelle said...

This was so much fun! :) Thanks for hosting the party. Here's my contribution:

I don't know that I'll be able to do additional posts...I just realized Celebrate Musicals Week was this week, and I'll be leaving for my church's Ladies Retreat in a couple of days. I hope to get at least one more post done...but I'm not sure that I'll have the time. :} Hope you don't mind that I participated anyway.

Lady Éowyn said...

So excited!!! Here is my link:

Lady Eowyn

Kiri Liz said...

There are so many things my brain wants to write in this comment box, but considering it would all look like the following (ASDFWQPOIHSAOI!JWODSFA!!!JIFSUDKHJSDK!!!!!!) I've decided to skip all of that and just leave my URL. :D

Liza Morales said...

My Link!

Anonymous said...

The URL for my tag is and the one for all of my Celebrating Musicals Week is:
Thanks so much for the party, Miss Dashwood!
~Hannah S. from A Cowgirl And A Dream

Hamlette said...

Oh, I so wish I had time to participate! But I'm just too busy running my Tolkien blog party :-( I'm having fun reading entries, at least. Please do this again next year, not during Tolkien Week, so I can play too?

I first heard POTO when I was 13 or 14, and just looooooooooved it. Got the sheet music, read the original book, everything. While it's not in my top 10, I still really enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

I love the movie of Phantom of the Opera but I always thought Phans referred to people who wanted the Phantom to marry Christine rather than Raoul?

I must defend Past the Point of No Return. It is a bit ew in parts but it is a pivotal part of the story. Although Phantom and Christine are acting their parts in the Phantom's "Don Juan", they are playing out their own story at the same time. The music is supposedly written by the Phantom himself and it's interesting to note that it's full of dissonance and discord - a reflection of his life. The song is the Phantom's big onstage moment to show everyone his talent but SPOILER that doesn't quite happen END SPOILER. It's not my favourite song but I do think they all belong in there! :)

Enjoyed reading your post, Miss Dashwood!

- The Elf

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I just did the tag. Not sure if I'll be able to participate in other ways but this week should be fun to read!

My Answers:

Natalie said...

So glad I can join in, even though I'm a little late!
Here's my link:

Anonymous said...

I did mine!


Banríon An Gheimhridh said...

Here's mine:

Liza Morales said...

Oh, and here's the tag link (I posted my just the direct link before)

Hayden said...

here's the link to mine:

sorry it's taken me a little while to do it!

Maddie Rose said...

This is so fun! Too bad I'm getting into it a little late, but better late than never. I'm doing The Sound of Music

Sarah said...

Finally!!!! Here we are...

Awdur said...

Here's mine! It's taken me quite a while to even get the minimum posts - such a busy week!

Anne-girl said...

Miss Brandon said...

A Year Late but here you go! :-)