Arhiva lunara: decembrie 2007

The Sound(s) of Music

I confess…I fall in love easily when it comes to music. I always discover new artists and new songs that I like and let myself be carried away by them. I think music is the most wonderful expression of our feelings, it’s the gift made by God to rejoice in when we’re happy and find soothing of the soul in when we’re sad.

Lately, I’ve fallen in love with so many songs that when I turn my iPod on the choice is overwhelmingly hard. Since I live in London I’ve been going to so many musicals that it’s now hard to imagine my life without them. Musicals are a WAY OF LIFE. Indeed…it’s all about the joy of singing, about expressing everything from loathing to love through songs…about feeling your soul vibrate along with the stories presented to you on stage. And this is something I had never experienced before.

Here are some of the musicals I’ve seen in London:

AVENUE Q – quite an original musical, with singing, dancing and…tadadam…puppeteer-work. I’ve never been into Muppets and Sesame Street so I was quite biased at first, thinking that it will be just one more boring show for kids. Well NO. It was one of the greatest and funniest shows I’ve ever watched. It’s incredible how those actors could sing and maneuver the puppets…it looked like true magic. GREAT, GREAT SHOW.

My favorite song from this musical (although most of the songs are funny and cheerful, this is the only sad one and I liked it because it’s amazingly true and deep).

There’s a fine, fine line (sang by the character Kate-Monster)

There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ‘til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There’s a fine, fine line between love
…and a waste of time.

There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between „You’re wonderful” and „Goodbye.”
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
…and a waste of your time.

And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity, I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…
Oh…

There’s a fine, fine line between together and…not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime…
Cause there’s a fine, fine line between love
…and a waste of time…

WICKED
The untold story of the witches of Oz. Based on „The Wizard of Oz”, it recreates the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West. An incredible musical! Just like Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels, which are thought to be children’s books but there are so deep and meaningful…WICKED is not a play for kids. Not in the least. It’s something that you have to watch and hear with the heart and the mind, not only with the eyes and ears. The characters are incredibly real, real people…with ups and downs, with happiness and sorrow…the narrative is so true and so well-anchored in everyday life, although it’s about princes and princesses. It’s about the perceptions that make up our lives, about fitting in and sticking out of the crowd, about being accepted or not, about following a dream and being crushed to pieces by people. It’s an amazing experience, indeed.
Two of my favorite songs are „I’m not that girl” (about finding love and knowing that it’s not for you…)and „No good deed”(an incredible song…so deep, so symbolic, about the way our actions are seen by people, about the way the balance between the good and the bad is tipped by…again, perceptions).


„I’m not that girl…”
(sang by character Elphaba)

Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be „THAT” boy
But I’m not „THAT” girl…

Don’t dream too far
Don’t lose sight of who you are
Don’t remember that rush of joy
He could be „THAT” boy
I’m not „THAT” girl…

Ev’ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who’s winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That’s the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I’m not that girl…

Don’t wish, don’t start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl
There’s a girl I know
He loves her so
I’m not that girl.


NO GOOD DEED (Sang by character Elphaba)

No good deed goes unpunished
No act of charity goes unresented
No good deed goes unpunished
That’s my new creed…
My road of good intentions
Led where such roads always lead
No good deed
Goes unpunished!

Nessa!
Doctor Dillamond!
Fiyero!
Fiyero!!

One question haunts and hurts
Too much, too much to mention:
Was I really seeking good
Or just seeking attention?
Is that all good deeds are
When looked at with an ice-cold eye?
If that’s all good deeds are
Maybe that’s the reason why

No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges should be circumvented
No good deed goes unpunished
Sure, I meant well –
Well, look at what well-meant did:
All right, enough – so be it
So be it, then:
Let all Oz be agreed
I’m wicked through and through
Since I can not succeed
Fiyero, saving you
I promise no good deed
Will I attempt to do again
Ever again
No good deed
Will I do again!

LES MISERABLES
Comments are useless. It’s the timeless story of Victor Hugo, made into a musical. The longest running musical in the world. Beautiful songs, superb acting, a setting that vividly recreates the French Revolution. GREAT! Also very deep in terms of the ideas conveyed by the plot. It goes beyond Hugo’s work and extrapolates the social class differences after the French Revolution. It SO reminded me of the world we live in now…of the people who are now personalities and persons to look up to…people who have no depth, only a superficial and attractive outside.

MARY POPPINS

An exceptional musical. From all points of view. All these wonderful actors flawlessly singing and dancing for 3 hours, LIVE! Amazing special effects, with Mary Poppins floating over the public attached to almost invisible strings, Bert singing and DANCING on the ceiling (no joke!). I would even dare to say that some of the special effects were better than those from the actual movie. No flaws, no flat-singing, no wrong step. PERFECT.

My favorite songs are „Feed the birds”(classic one) and „Anything can happen if you , let it”. In that theater hall I couldn’t help not thinking of my childhood…of how much I adored Mary Poppins-the movie. Of how I had dreams of seeing all the wonderful places in which Jane and Michael were going with Mary Poppins. Well…guess what? I’m in London now and watching the Mary Poppins musical. Those of you who say it’s not true that „anything can happen if you let it…”…I dare you! Bring it on! :)

Also, I’ve had a moving experience at St.Paul’s Cathedral, because I had always pictured that place related to the old lady in Mary Poppins, selling packs of crumbs for birds. There was no lady there…however there were a lot of pigeons and even in the church, there was one poor pigeon who had a hurt leg and was living inside St.Paul’s. He would sit on the bench with you, while you were praying, looking at you with his gentle eyes. It really touched me. If divine signs exists, and I know they do…this was definitely one of them.

Anything can happen if you let it

Anything can happen if you let it
Sometimes things are difficult but you can bet it
Doesn’t have to be so
Changes can be made
You can move a mountain if you use a larger spade
Anything can happen, it’s a marvel
You can be a butterfly
Or just stay larval

Stretch your mind beyond fantastic
Dreams are made of strong elastic

Take some sound advice and don’t forget it

Anything can happen if you let it

Will soon seem certain
Thought at first it may sound clownish
See the world more upside-downish
Turn it on its head then pirouette it

If you reach for the stars
All you get are the stars
But we’ve found a whole new spin
If you reach for the heavens
You get the stars thrown in

Anything can happen if you let it
Life is out there waiting so go and get it
Grab it by the collar, seize it by the scruff
Once you’ve started living life you just can’t get enough

Anything can happen, it’s official
You can choose the super or the superficial
Sally forth the way we’re steering
Obstacles start disappearing
Go and chase your dreams you won’t regret it
Anything can happen
(Anything can happen)
Anything can happen
Anything can happen
If you let it!

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TEHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

Based on the biblical story of Joseph, who is Abraham’s favorite son and whom is sold as a slave by his envious brothers. However, the story is only the background and the pretext for superb music, composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Special effects, jokes, dancing, music…and a beautiful idea…of pursuing one’s dream, no matter what.

My favorite song: „Close every door to me” (sang by Joseph, in prison)

Close every door to me…

Close every door to me,
Hide all the world from me
Bar all the windows
And shut out the light
Do what you want with me,
Hate me and laugh at me
Darken my daytime
And torture my night
If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world…

Close every door to me,
Keep those I love from me
Children of Israel
Are never alone!
For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind
For I have been promised
A land of my own

Close every door to me,
Hide all the world from me
Bar all the windows
And shut out the light

Just give me a number
Instead of my name
Forget all about me
And let me decay
I do not matter,
I’m only one person
Destroy me completely
Then throw me away…
If my life were important I
Would ask will I live or die
But I know the answers lie
Far from this world

Close every door to me,
Keep those I love from me
Children of Israel
Are never alone
For we know we shall find
Our own peace of mind
For we have been promised
A land of our own


MAMMA MIA

Based on the songs of ABBA (a group that I always loved and always will). The show is amazing! I wasn’t expecting that much when I went, but it’s totally worth its fame. Actually, they are presently turning it into a Hollywood movie, starring Meryl Streep. The story is hilarious, the songs are INCREDIBLY fitted into the plot, one would swear they were written for „MAMMA MIA-the musical”. Basically, Sophie is the main character. She’s lived with her mother for her entire life and never knew her father. Now she’s getting married and her biggest dream is having her father give her away at her wedding. She secretly reads her mother’s diary and she figures out that 3 men can be her possible dads. So…she sends all three of them invitations to her wedding, hoping that she will find out who her real dad is. The situations deriving from it are hilarious and in the end…somebody else will end up tying the knot. Wonderful musical, great songs, GREAT dancing and…most of all…FUNNNY!!!!

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
The classic story of the most famous musical ever written. One of the finest pieces of work ever composed. That says it all!

And plays:

THE MOUSETRAP
– The longest running PLAY in the world, based on Agatha Christie’s police story. Great suspense, twists and turns of the plot…a totally unexpected ending. GREAT!

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
At the National Theatre, a very modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s work, starring ZOE WANAMAKER (for Harry Potter fans, among whom I don’t include myself, she is one of the teachers at Hogwarts). Exquisite actress and very nice play. I’m not too fond of Shakespeare’s comedies, I like the dramas more, but it was nice.

Moreover, on Saturday I’ve been to the Royal Albert Hall, at the WHITE CHRISTMAS CONCERT. One of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. Christmas carols, people singing along with the choir and the soloists (incredible singers, all of them). GREAT!

While living here, I’ve also gotten to know and love singers such as Michael Buble (he is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Think Jazz + Dean Martin + Frank Sinatra…and you got Michael Buble), Travis (search on YouTube „Why does it always rain on me”, „Sing”, „Love will come through” or any other of their songs), Manic Street Preachers (Welsh group, their songs are profoundly social, they sing about the world and about people, as they really are. My favorite song is „If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”. Look it up on YouTube, it’s worthwhile), Loreena McKennitt(Irish and amazing).

Everything revolves around music here, for me… My title (taken from The Sound of Music) reflects that…cause my dreams are really awake to the sound of music.

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