Tag Archives: musicals

A beginner's guide to musical theater

Photo by Gwen Ong on Unsplash

Last month, my kid auditioned for a part in “The Wizard of Oz” at a local children’s theater. Unfortunately, everything has been delayed for an undetermined amount of time. In the meantime, here are a few things that I have learned about musical theater.

5 things you should know about musical theater

  1. “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Constantin Stanislavski. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the part you want. Think of it as a learning experience. Then give your part 100% effort.

2. If you are auditioning for a part, be prepared. Know the music and the part.

3. It never hurts to be familiar with a variety of musicals. Go to shows whenever it is possible again. Watch whatever you can. Stream or rent musicals. YouTube also has a variety of theater-related videos.

Before all of the social distancing, I bought musicals at thrift stores. VHS tapes are old school but so far our VHS player works.

4. Don’t be petty. It can be difficult to work with so many personalities. So much drama. I mean, it is the theater where most people love the drama. Try to funnel all of that attitude into the acting, dancing and singing.

5. “The show must go on.”

Did you know that the saying originated in the circus. If something happened during the show, the ringmaster would try to keep the crowd entertained. Keeping things moving was a way to honor the performer that could not finish their act.

So until things go back to our regular routines, we should keep the show going. What’s the harm if the entertainment occurs in our living rooms or backyards with less than 10 people?

What are you guys doing for entertainment?

Annie: Let’s Go to the Movies

My family and I went to the movies over the weekend. We decided to see “Annie.” When I was a kid, I loved the 1982 film “Annie.”
The 2014 version is more modern and up-to-date. Quvenzhané Wallis is adorable and feisty as Annie. She lives with her horrible, alcoholic foster mom, Ms. Hannagan, played by Cameron Diaz. Daddy Warbucks is now named Will Stacks, the wealthy owner of a successful cell phone company. Jaime Foxx was cast in the part of Will Stacks.
The movie was cute. My kids enjoyed it. It’s worth watching again. I felt like Foxx and Wallis had good chemistry. I believed that he wanted to adopt her. Who wouldn’t though?
I only had three problems with the movie. First of all, I am convinced that while Diaz sings the music is just as loud as her voice. Maybe her voice is awful and they needed to hide it.

Secondly, there was some dancing. However, the dance numbers were not as good as the original “Annie.” This version didn’t have Anne Reinking  as Grace. Reinking is a hard act to follow. It’s just my humble opinion.

For the third problem, if I were the director, Will Gluck, and hired Tracie Thoms to be in my movie, which is also a musical, I would make sure that there was at least one song for her to sing. I would stay up all night writing songs for her to sing. Seriously, she has a better voice than everyone else in this movie. I felt like it was a waste of talent. Oh look, Thoms was in “Rent.” Just sayin’. Rant over.

Movie Night: NaBloPoMo

Your best friend just broke up with her partner. What movie do you bring over to get her through that first night?

This situation is rather sensitive. If I bring the wrong movie, my friend could spiral even deeper into depression. Although, I love “The Notebook,” it’s not the right movie for the first night of a break up. Just this one movie could send her down two different paths. In one case, she could decide to give up on love completely because seriously, who has a love like that in real life?

On the other hand, she could decide that her ex is her Noah, even though he’s the biggest dirtbag on the planet. So they get back together and eventually get married before she realizes that he is nothing like Noah. He doesn’t even take out the trash -much less renovate a house for her. So it’s a no on “The Notebook.” Let’s save it for another movie night in a few months. By then, she’ll be ready to get back into thinking about love as it relates to her.


My vote is for “Grease.”


There’s a love story but I don’t think my friend will get carried away by emotions. She’ll be too distracted by the music, the dancing and John Travolta’s blue eyes to think about love as it relates to her. Plus, we’ll get to watch John Travolta dance and that’s always fun. Frenchie was a woman ahead of her time. She tells Sandy, “Men are rats. The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.” It’s true enough. Maybe it will make my friend feel better for at least one night.

Here’s a Buzzfeed quiz. Just for funsies. I’m Frenchie.