I created a tag?
This week the novelization of the musical Dear Evan Hansen is being released. The YA book by Val Emmich, takes this beloved musical and bringing it to a wider audience. Earlier this year, I read the book for the musical—essentially, the script that included the lyrics to the songs—and I really fell in love. I then scoured the internet and watched all the clips to the show I could find and listened to the soundtrack incessantly. The novelization is just the next step in the obsession.
I have never been in any kind of theater production—I always said you could put me on a stage to dance in front of thousands of strangers, but open my mouth to talk or sing? NO WAY. However, I do have a great love for musical theater that has only grown since the openings of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. For the release, I thought answering questions about my love of musical theater would be fun. There are probably musical theater tags already out in the universe, but I put together these questions myself. Let’s begin:
- How Many Shows Have You Seen (if you can, name them):
I’ve technically only seen one musical in NYC on Broadway (Grease), but when I was living in LA, we had a lot of opportunities to see different shows. However, I watched many movie musicals so I included those too.
Stage: The Lion King, Grease, 42nd Street, Movin’ Out, Stomp (this counts, right?), Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Finding Neverland, Chicago, An American in Paris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Bat Boy, Urinetown, Seussical, Aladdin, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Billy Elliot
Film: Funny Face, Rent, Grease, Singing in the Rain, Cabaret, An American in Paris, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Hairspray, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, The Producers, Nine, Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar, On the Town, Les Miserables, Annie, All That Jazz, all Disney musicals
That’s all I got, but I’m probably missing some.
2. First Show You Saw:
My dad showed me Grease the movie version at about five years old and I was obsessed, but my first live show was The Lion King at age nine. It blew my mind! My favorite Disney Movie was turned into this beautiful and colorful stage show, what more could I ask for?
3. Last Show You Saw:
The last show I saw was Aladdin in Los Angeles. I’m on the email list for when tickets go on sale for Hamilton in Jacksonville for the 2019/2020 season
4. Bucket List Shows:
Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress (both of which I saw bootleg versions on YouTube), Heathers, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast
5. Dream Casting:
Hands down, original cast of Hamilton. I don’t know what could be better than that.
6. Favorite Obscure Show:
It may not be obscure but I’ve never met anyone else who has even heard of this show but Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out. I saw this when I was 13 and I think the main reason why my parents took me to this was because all the choreography was done by Twyla Tharp, a goddess in the dance community. I remember Act 1 being really cool, but Act 2 was kind of out there and weird. But the dancing as a whole was incredible.
7. Favorite Female Role:
Eliza from Hamilton gets me every damn time. I also think that Christine in Phantom of the Opera is one of the hardest roles to play.
8. Favorite Male Role:
Collins from Rent, Evan from Dear Evan Hansen
9. Best Soundtrack:
If you had asked me this five years ago, I would have said Rent, Chicago, and Wicked, but Hamilton kicks all their asses ten times over. Very few soundtracks can I sit there and listen in full.
10. Favorite Song:
“Candy Store” from Heathers is CONSTANTLY stuck in my head and I love it, “Turn It Off” from The Book of Mormon is genius, and the triplet of Schuyler Sisters songs from Hamilton: “The Schuyler Sisters”, “Helpless”, “Satisfied”.
11. Favorite Film Adaptation:
Nothing can compare to Cinderella starring Brandy and Whitney Houston. I also think they did a really great job of adapting Chicago for the screen. It’s a hard show to make translate in a movie setting, but it’s amazing.
12. Most Overrated Musical:
Cats. I mean I’ve never seen it but everything I know, I just don’t get it.
13. What Musical Made You Cry:
I was really REALLY obsessed with Rent for a while and it would always make me cry, but once again, Hamilton wins
14. Made You Laugh:
Book of Mormon, come on.
15. Best Choreography:
Mia Michael’s choreography has always been some of my favorite pieces of work from her time on So You Think You Can Dance and bringing it to Broadway was a little risky. However, it added so much whimsy to Finding Neverland, I loved it. An American in Paris is another one where the dancing is so important to the overall story. I remember sitting there and wishing I was up there dancing that classical lyrical jazz that is so rare nowadays.
16. Favorite Show Experience:
For my college graduation present, my family went to London. It was my first trip to Europe and I was beyond excited (it still goes down as my favorite trip I’ve ever taken).
We got tickets to Billy Elliot on the West End and I was ecstatic. I had been dying to see the show for years and to see it in London was a dream come true.
Another incredible experience was when I got to see Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal (the original Mark and Roger) in Rent. They were performing in LA for only two weeks and my sister and I got tickets. It was especially great because the first time I saw Rent it was pretty disappointing.
Oh, and Grease because it’s the only show I’ve seen on Broadway. Such a full-circle moment.
17. What Song Makes You Cry When You Hear the Opening Bars:
Oh, so many! “I’ll Cover You Reprise” from Rent, “Words Fail” from Dear Evan Hansen, “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress, and of course, “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton.
If you’ve never seen this performance of Chris Jackson singing “One Last Time” from Hamilton at the White House for President Obama, you are seriously missing out.
18. All-time Favorite Show:
It’s so hard to really pick a favorite because I’ve matured throughout my life and my favorites have changed through the years.
Nostalgia reasons: Grease
Middle school time: Rent and Chicago
High School time: Wicked
If you couldn’t already tell, I really like Hamilton…