Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘Les Miserables

Somethings that Make Me Tear Up Everytime

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So, I’ll be honest with you. I’m a person who is pretty dead when it comes to being emotional in front of people. Part of this may be due to my raising because in the south boys aren’t supposed to cry. Part of it may also because I am just a person who understands that there is a time and a place for emotions. For example, I don’t think that everyone should share the dirty laundry of their break up with people that they might at best consider acquaintances. It’s just a thing. Perhaps, I suffer alone without rhyme or reason. I don’t know. However, I will continue to do such because it’s ingrained in my nature now.

There are a couple of things that get me every time though. Both of them are musicals. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, music is the great emotional manipulator in my mind. Why? It mixes the strong emotions of the world with music.

 I am a sucker for music. It is a great love of mine. I love music from classical to contemporary because it hits on so many levels within my psyche. It manipulates me like no person will ever be able to. I am a wimp when it comes to musical manipulation or surprises (don’t get me started on this…the end of Atonement , a movie, and Next to Normal, a musical).

The main things that get me are musicals. It’s because of the music. It’s the one thing that will get me time after time. It breaks down all the barriers and makes me feel at ease before it shatters the barriers that I put up to contain my emotional baggage.

Recently, there have been two musicals that have done this to me. Next to Normal and Les Miserables cause me much grief as I listen to the beautiful heartache that is contained within the melodies and harmonies of each. They each have a great overarching story that makes me sad (what with a bipolar mother and the effects on the family and the French Revolution). However, each of them presents their sad tale in the form of a musical drama. This is the worst/best part for me. I love the music of each musical (matter-of-factly, N2N is brilliant across the board musically).

They set me at ease and then take me into the depths of despair. They each leave me with hope and allow me to face emotions that I would never think about pouring myself into. They make me think which is pretty phenomenal for anything that is supposed to be as superficial and candied as a musical. I find myself starting to get into the action and feel with the characters every time with these two musicals. Quite frankly, I suggest that if you haven’t heard/seen them that you do so as soon as possible because they are an experience not to be trifled with.

Elaine Paige Vs. Susan Boyle….no competition…please…

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Recently, I have been doing a lot of web surfing, and in my searches for Les Miserables songs, I came across several that were comparing Elaine Paige to Susan Boyle all because Susan Boyle dropped Elaine’s name in Britain’s Got Talent (BGT). Susan said that it was her dream to be like Elaine Paige and commenced to sing “I Dreamed a Dream” (a Paige specialty). She sang it beautifully for someone who is on a talent search type show. However, it is not really a fair comparison to make for Susan and for Elaine.

First off, Elaine has been a singer for some 40 years professionally. Susan Boyle is a TALENT SHOW sensation. I’m not saying that I dislike her, but she does not have the experience that someone of Elaine’s caliber does. Look at her acting career http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Paige . It speaks wonders of her experience.  She has appeared in Hair, Cats as Grizabella, Evita as Eva Peron, and other notable musicals. How can you compare that to Susan who was a virtual unknown until summer of last year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_boyle

Secondly, Elaine Paige supported Susan. There are many people out there that think that Elaine just bashed Boyle. However, did you ever think of why if this were true would she sing a duet of “I Know Him So Well” from Chess (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF1hIaHKANk)? Elaine Paige is one of the few genuine people left from that age of Broadway/West End Theater. She is a humble and nice star. Why can’t people see that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua-vKRx8MsA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s96NZoeDs68

My final thought on the whole matter is this: how can you critique something if you have never seen or you don’t know the show that it came from. Last night while looking through the plethora of vids of the “SUSAN VS ELAINE” vids, I came across so many misinformed people’s comments that it made me irritated beyond belief. Elaine Paige has a style that rivals other Broadway Greats like Bernadette Peters, Patti Lupone, Angela Lansbery and many others. Also, it’s musical THEATER for God’s sake…you are supposed to act and sing and dance. That’s the whole concept of it all. I mean true Susan does have an alright singing voice; however, she has no stage presence. She seems like a scared puppy at times.

You can’t compare them is my main point. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. Elaine is a polished performing goddess with 40+ years of experience. Susan is a Cinderella Story for BGT (and I wish her well in her endeavours), but really, that’s all she’s got. Both are good in their own rights. One just has the street cred to back up all that she’s done.