Behold… It’s a personal concert!!

In lieu of the fact that there is a Ramin Karimloo concert going on tonight about an hour away from my house (and I’m not there… *sobs*), I’ve decided to host my own Ramin concert, complete with videos, compliments of YouTube.

Enjoy. : )

Till I Hear You Sing from Love Never Dies
Here’s a wonderful song to start us off. It’s the first song I heard Ramin singing and I fell in love with his voice the moment he started singing! Great song from an otherwise not-so-great musical…. : )

The Phantom of the Opera/The Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera
These are two of my favorite songs from Phantom! I love this version from the 25th Anniversary Concert because Sierra and Ramin are so great together! (And Hadley isn’t afraid to yell, either…. C πŸ™‚

Wandering Child from Phantom of the Opera
I can’t say how much I love Ramin’s version of this song! No words for how much I love the way he scoops the notes…. Pure bliss! (And this version has Hadley’s part [whoops, I mean Raoul…] in there, too! Also, check out Hadley’s face when the men are saying “Secure!” He looks so scared!) And I love Ramin’s evil laugh…. : )

Comparing Phantoms – just to prove that Ramin is one of the best Phantoms ever!! (And that last one…. Ick.)

One Day More from Les Miserables (Hey, might as well start with the best!)
Ramin is the best Enjolras I’ve ever heard! He comes in with a BANG! right after everyone’s parts lead up to his perfectly. : )

One Day More (Encore) from Les Miserables
I love the look on Colm’s face!

Bring Him Home from Les Miserables
I just found this song…. Love, love, love! : )

(If you want to find out what “never happened on the barricade,” click here. Love the look on his face – HA!!)

A Little Fall of Rain from Les Miserables
Didn’t know he sang this, did you??? (Sure beats a Certain Version I know of…. *cough, cough*)

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables
Another recently-found-yet-already-in-love song!!!

And… to be completely random yet totally awesome….

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning! from Oklahoma!
(And, yes, he is playing the banjo, and, yes, that is Hadley Fraser in the matching shirt jamming out with another guitar!)

Hope you enjoyed listening to all of these Ramin Karimloo songs as much as I did!!!!

The June Crusade Tag!!

This tag looks like a fun one!! Anne gave me questions to ask my characters, and they’re going to answer. (Let’s see how crazy this gets….)

I’m going to do this with my two main characters (yes, you CAN have two main characters – “I believe I just did.”), Nikki (15) and Alec (17).

(FYI, they’re brother and sister. Clearing up a little boyfriend/girlfriend rumor that’s going around…..)

Do you want a hug?
Nikki: Yes, please. All of this nonsense you’ve put us through has made me feel in need of a hug!
Alec: You? Hug… me? A writer hugging a character?! Talk about weird… I think four thousand words in three hours made you a little… um…. Oh, look, a shiny quarter!

Do you have any kids?
Nikki: No way!
Alec: Silly girl. You should know – you invented me.
Me: Heehee… that’s true…

Have you killed anyone?
Nikki: No… unless hating counts…
Me: I don’t think that’s what Anne-girl meant.
Nikki: Then no. And I don’t plan on it. Even though I feel like seriously wounding Liam and Kylie…
Me: Watch it, Nick. Alec?
Alec: Nope. Next question.

Love anyone?
Nikki: Besides Alec and Dad? No. Although… you’ve made Dylan start being friends with me and that’s totally weird.
Me: I’ll make him leave for a Christmas vacation.
Nikki: Thanks.
Me: Alec?
Alec: That’s a personal question.
Me: I already know who you love.
Alec: That’s because you’re the writer. Duh!

What is your job?
Nikki: Oh, great. Um, I don’t have a job. I’m a sister and a competitive ice dancer… very competitive.
Me: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Nikki: Just wait til Nationals. *rubs hands gleefully* Liam and Kylie are in for it.
Me: I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow…. Alec?
Alec: My job? I don’t have a job, either. I’m Nikki’s brother.

What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Nikki: I think you had me going to Natalie’s house. Or… um… something else. I was talking to Kate.
Me: Yeah, you were. No idea what you’re doing next.
Nikki: Oh, great. That’s just perfect. So I have to decide for myself?
Me: That’s about it. Yeah.
Nikki: Then I’ll take a nap.
Alec: I’m going to talk to Dylan. (Purple shotguns, heehee…)
Me: You can’t talk about purple shotguns yet! That’s later! With Nikki, remember?
Alec: How am I supposed to remember it if it’s later?!
Me: Good point.

What is your greatest fear?
Nikki: Personal much?!
Me: Well, it’s on the list! Be a good girl and answer, please.
Nikki: Ugh, fine. My greatest fear is that *whispers* Alec won’t remember something.
Alec: Huh?
Me: I know what she’s talking about, and you’re not supposed to… yet. Your greatest fear?
Alec: That I won’t be able to remember anything.
Me: You’ll remember.
Alec: Really? Ooh, goody – spoilers direct from the author!
Nikki: Oh, shush!! Don’t tell him any more! Next question!

What do you think of your parents?
Nikki: I love Dad a lot, and I loved Mom a lot. Didn’t I just tell Kylie how much she meant to me?
Me: Yeah. That was good. *high five* You, Alec?
Alec: Well, at this point in my life, I have no idea who my parents are. (No idea who I am, actually.) So I can’t really say what I think of them.
Me: This is a sad question. Thanks for making me tear up. Moving on.

Any siblings?
Nikki: *coughs*
Alec: Um…. Didn’t you say that you were my sister?
Nikki: Yeah.
Alec: Then we’re siblings.

Eye color?
Nikki: Um…. *runs to a mirror*
Alec: What about it?
Me: What color are your eyes? Don’t be difficult, Alec.
Alec: Who’s being difficult? I’m just asking. Goodness. I always thought that my eyes were red, but I think they’re green.
Me: No, they’re not. They’re brown. Nikki, yours are blue.
Nikki: *comes back* Okay, thanks.

Are you good or bad?
Nikki: I have my good moments, and I have my bad moments. I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God.
Me: Good answer! Alec?
Alec: Uh…. From what I gather from Nikki’s conversations with Natalie that I’ve read –
Nikki: Hey!
Alec: – I was mostly bad. But I’m working on myself. Being good and all.
Nikki: He’s more like the old Alec now… and that’s great.

Favorite season?
Nikki: Winter. I can practice on ice better than I can on roller-skates.
Alec: I don’t know. Summer, I guess?

Who’s your best friend?
Nikki: Natalie Fraser. Hands down.
Me: Did you know that she was named after Hadley Fraser?
Nikki: You’re weird. Been watching too much of the 25th Phantom?
Me: No. Well…. I think I named Natalie right after I found out that Hadley was in the 25th Les Miserables. *coughs*
Alec: That’s disgusting. I thought you liked Sir Percy!
Me: Who I like is of NO concern to you. (Although you are correct – Sir Percy is farther up on my heroes list than Hadley because Hadley isn’t a hero. He just has a really good voice and does an amazing Raoul and a deep Grantaire. Moving on.) Who’s your best friend?
Alec: I’ve recently discovered that Dylan was my best friend. (Unless Allie counts….)
Me: No, she doesn’t.

Nikki: I love ice dancing. And watching period drama films – you discovered that a few days ago. (Beating carpets?)
Alec: I don’t know what I like, heehee, so I’ll just say that I’ve liked reading whatever book I’m reading right now. You never named it, did you?
Me: Uh, no…. Wait!! The List by Robert Whitlow.
Alec: Oh, yeah! It’s good. Intense and suspenseful – isn’t that what I said?
Me: Yeah.

Do you care what others think of you?
Nikki: Yeah. More than I should, probably. I’m an introvert, and that probably doesn’t help much.
Alec: Sort of. Right now I’m just trying to figure out what I think of me.

Was this interview fun?
Nikki: Yeah, I guess so. It was a good break from all of that nonsense you’ve put me through.
Me: Deepest apologies. Alec?
Alec: *yawns* Yeah, but it’s made me tired. I’m ready to go home.
Nikki: Me, too. Can we go home now?
Me: Yeah, whenever I have time to write it.
Nikki: Good. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Alec: Me, neither. Hopefully I’ll remember soon….?
Me: We’ll see. I’ve been getting a little long-winded, heehee.

Wow, that was fun! Now for a little break before I start at it again. I just passed 35k this morning – woot! – and can’t wait to finish!

BUT! Due to some news my family got on Wednesday, I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish my novel in time. We might have to take a sudden, long trip. (Exciting, exciting!!!) Any prayer would be great and appreciated! I’ll have more news whenever I get more!


Random Projects

Hello all! I’m back from camp. : (

Anyway, I have two more days to blog about, but if you guys don’t want to see pictures of us at Stone Mountain or whatever (Haley…? : P), then I won’t post it. Comment away.

Moving on.

So! I have a lot of different projects going on right now – three, namely.

First of all is me and my brother’s Lego project. Well, it’s not really a project, but it’s something we’ve been excited about for forever. (Well, not forever, but a really long time!!) Anyway, we’ve decided to save up our money and buy ALL of the Lord of the Rings Lego sets and the video game. (Yes, I’m seventeen and love Legos. Your point is…?) We’ve been waiting and waiting for them to come out and we finally got the first two sets yesterday!! Wahoo! Shelob’s Lair and Weathertop were finished yesterday in about two hours and would have probably gotten them built faster if we weren’t quoting the movies and laughing and slapping each other – playfully, social services. It’s a slap of endearment, people.

So, without further ado…

I know I have some non-LOTR fans reading my blog, but you have to admit… the spider’s pretty cool. All of the legs are moveable and only took three seconds to make! : ) (Also, each set came with extra One Rings, so now we have six One Rings! HA!)

Heehee… Doesn’t little Frodo look scared?!

Now, before I move on, let me just say that I’d like to sue Lego. If I had a lot of money and personally knew a lawyer like Robert Whitlow (LOVE his books!), I would think a little more about it. What is my problem, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

There is no Faramir Lego man.

Need I repeat it?! ARGH!!! I can’t believe it! There’s a Haladir, whoever he is (yeah, I know who he is…). He’s not NEARLY as cool as Faramir! And I’m not just saying I like Faramir because I picked Eowyn as my online username and they get married in the end. Far from it. Faramir is my favorite character – by a lot. Talk about sacrificial love! When my friend came over to have a Lord of the Rings Extended Edition marathon with us, she screamed for Legolas, I screamed for Faramir. That’s just the way it works around here. Anyway…. I’ll have to do a post on him soon…. Hmmm…..

Moving on.

Project number two is an actual project. Some of you may recall (besides the strange affair of the Phantom of the opera, a mystery never fully explained… Whoops. Sorry. I had that memorized the second day after I saw Phantom… heehee) the fact that I’m doing a huge history project.

No? I never blogged about it? : P

Well, I am. The history course I’m doing (well, heehee, DID, because I started in eighth grade and now I don’t have to do history my senior year, WOOT!!) has a few projects you do in each year. A poem, a character essay, a thesis paper, and a persuasive paper, to name a few – all with a certain amount of pages you have to use. The last project of every year is called The 40-Hour Project. *cue creepy music* It has to take – surprise, surprise – forty hours and can be on anything you want, you just have to incorperate something you’ve learned into it. A few of my friends made diaramas, one made a wooden ship, one did theirs on Theodore Roosevelt… I’ve even heard that someone made a sword. Like, metal and seven times purifying it and everything! (You can bet that took forty hours!) Anyway… I’ve done two. Four years of history equals to projects… how did that happen? Well, the first year, I did it on Jane Austen. Researched her with friends, made a slideshow presentation, and sewed Regency dresses. We even learned a few Regency dances and taught them to the class!! (Interesting story… there were more guys dancing than girls. I’m not kidding. We had girls standing to the side while guys had to not dance because the girls didn’t want to. I’ll save my true feelings on that subject for later…) Then we moved and I just focused on actually listening to the lectures and doing the other projects.

Anyway. This year, since it’s my senior year of history, I’ve decided to actually DO it. Like, forty hours and all. I’m doing it Scottish-themed. I’m going to research my family’s Scottish heritage, research and make a real Scottish meal (minus the haggis…), and, last but not least, make a dress. : )

Now, we decided that this dress had to be able to go Scottish and Lord of the Rings because The Hobbit is coming out near my birthday and I’d like to do a Hobbit-themed party. (Not sure that will happen, though…) So we found a pattern that we think will work and got some fabric.

Isn’t it pretty?! (This is my actual fabric that I took a picture of, by the way…)

I can’t wait to see how it turns out! After last year’s Dixie Ball dress project (which turned out fabulously!!), I was really excited to start a new project… even though my sewing attention span is insanely short and I hate every minute of it. (We were cutting out the pattern and Arwen goes, “Yeah, the cutting part is the boring part. Sewing is fun!” That’s Arwen. I’m just like, “I prefer wearing it.” That’s me. : P)

I’ll let you guys know how it turns out!

And my third and final project… The June Crusade.

I almost stopped writing during camp. Yes, I had my laptop, but there were so many other things going on, I didn’t get in bed until midnight and then it was too late to write…. : P Anyway, I’m at 16,000 words. It doesn’t sound like much (actually, it isn’t much!), but I think I can get done in time. The greatest thing is that my novel is just coming along swimmingly!! It’s so great to watch it get longer and longer and I’m liking it more and more and enjoying every minute of it! I’m falling in love with my characters… yes, even the main guy character. : )

I think I might even be very brave and post a few excerpts… what say ye? WHAT SAY YE?! (Sorry, random quote from Return of the King… my favorite one! What can I say? All of this LOTR stuff is getting me into a LOTR mood!)

Well, that’s about it. My answers to The June Crusade Tag Questions are coming up. I’m going to attempt to post it in the queue (or whatever it’s called) and let it post in a few days. The spacing always gets messed up, but I’m going to try something different this time. Hope it works and I’m sorry if the formatting is wrong – I’ll fix it as soon as I can!!


Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah… Days Three and Four

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.

Still here at camp. I’ve been here four whole days, and we see the end coming closer and closer. “The awful thing about vacations,” says Sallie McBride from Dear Enemy, “is that the moment it begins, your happiness is already clouded by its approaching end.” Too true. We’re having as much fun as possible under the circumstances, though. (This is where you say, “Do tell!” Whoops. Sorry. Been reading a little too much of Right Ho, Jeeves!)

Yesterday, we got up fairly early after a late night, had one of Honey’s Big Breakfasts, and headed off to the bowling alley with all of the campers. Another cousin of ours joined us this year and had a blast. We’re going to see him again tomorrow when we go swimming again.

We all perfected our bowling swing… or whatever it’s called…

… but some of the campers still haven’t gotten the fact that you throw the ball, not kick it. (Kidding, Shultz! He was just throwing it…. Funny picture enclosed.)

MagicMan, the alias of The Other Cousin, decided he wanted to bowl backwards. He won the second game. (Which puts me in mind… why is it that whenever we bowl and play mini-golf, I always – for the past quite a few years – have gotten the lowest score on bowling and the highest on mini-golf?! I think my mind is messed up and thinks I should score that way…)

Little Bit, which is what the grandparents/camp counselors call my little brother – isn’t that cute?! – had a good time bowling, too, even if he didn’t bowl the whole time. Those with railings let him bowl in their stead – after all, they had throws to spare!!

Afterwards, the great grandparents treated us all to eight tokens each in the arcade. My winnings – 35 tickets – earned me a Jolly Rancher and an Airhead. (I won’t be able to eat any more without thinking of Cosette from Les Miserables now…) Li’l Bit enjoyed “playing,” too.

We came back to the campground, watched some interesting shows on TV (including “Toddlers and Tiaras” – I can only stand that show for so long, then I start yelling at the moms – and “Say Yes to the Dress” – which I only turned on because Arwen wanted to watch it), then ate hamburgers – YUM!!!

After dinner, we walked to two of Grandma’s friends’ houses and met them. We organized in order of height and sang that song from “Peter Pan.” It was fun!

Then, we all went to bed early because we had to go somewhere early – the big surprise of the year. Arwen and I attempted it – I even got in bed at half past nine, Mother dearest! – but, heehee, you know how girls talk. We stayed up until a little past midnight… and I think I paid for it the next morning. (There wasn’t any breakfast left, so instead of oatmeal, I got cereal. Yippee.)

We were all really excited to see what the surprise was. (Of course, I already heard what it was, but I was excited anyway.) We went to the movies to see Dolphin Tale! We’d never seen it before and it was only a dollar per person (that just screams BARGAIN!!), so we went. It was really good! Grandma cried for a solid hour, and I felt like I was on the verge of tears for the entire movie. Arwen and I both agreed that the little boy who played the main character, Sawyer, will probably be in a lot of other movies pretty soon! I’d tell you more about it, but… that might take a while. I’ll wait ’til I get home. BUT, before I move on… Arwen and I agreed that you guys are GOING to watch it sometime soon!

Afterwards, we went to downtown… somewhere, but not Atlanta, and ate at a really good homestyle Southern restaurant that had been there for forever. It was delicious! The grandparents met us there, which was a surprise.

The campers only get one phone call a day. I haven’t had my allotted call for the week. Guess you’re glad to be rid of us and are having fun with my aunt and uncle! : D

We had a lot of fun taking pictures of all of us!

It took forever to get Little Bit to smile. I hope you enjoy the enclosed work of art. : )

Then, we let them get their Funny Picture taken. They had a blast! (I think I took more pictures in that thirty minutes we sat at the restaurant than I have the entire week!)

Ooh! Funny story. We got stopped by two people in the line asking about our t-shirts (homemade and proud of it!) and one lady even said, “That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen!” We had to explain to them what exactly Camp Grandma-Honey was and what we do to keep us occupied. (They actually asked!) Then, as I was taking my tray to our table, I got stopped by an older lady who asked, “Now, is this a summer camp?” I just smiled and told her all about it all over again. Heehee… but before that, we were standing in the looooooooong line to see Dolphin Tale and I heard the lady behind me say, “Aww, such cute shirts! Oh, and look – those people have the same kind of shirts! I wonder if they’re in the same group?!” Then, as Honey and the guy cousins walked up from their car, she seemed so excited – “They are!!” Then, Arwen turned around and explained what we were. Yup, we’ve gotten some stares, but it’s fun. : )

Little Bit has really gotten to be good friends with one of the other cousins, and even asked if he could hold his hand as we walked down the street! He also requested to sit in this cousin’s lap during the movie! I snapped the enclosed picture while we were walking down the street, looking at the shops and random painted horses.

Heehee… I saw a shop sign and just had to snap a picture of it! This letter will probably cost me a fortune to send, but I just wanted to show you how cute it was!!! Notice the bottom, please – I think it’s the funniest part!!

I really liked this horse – and not just because it was green or had the word “horse” in Irish and painted a beautiful dark green color. Well… maybe that is the only reason why I liked it. : )

Then, we came back to the campground and let Little Bit take a nap. (He was SO tired, and even told us he needed a nap!) While he slept, we all went to play games at Grandma and Honey’s church. It was a lot of fun!

Tonight, we’re going to break out the chocolate fountain – WAHOOOOOOOO! We’ll be having healthy food with it, though – pineapple, strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows…. : ) Then, we’re probably doing to do our annual viewing of Mary Poppins!

‘I must go… they’ll wonder where I am.’ : )

Your daughter,

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah… Days One and Two

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.

Here I am at Camp Grandma-Honey. Camp is very entertaining (or, should I say, the campERS), and they say we’ll have some fun if it (literally) stops raining.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and, for the first camp activity, got our hair cut. Well, the guy campers, at least.

We all watched pictures of Grandma and Honey’s recent trip to Yellowstone. I think I enjoyed it the most because it was so pretty!

Afterwards, the younger campers immediately started playing with toys while the older campers – those that lasted the first five minutes, that is – started tweaking the design for our t-shirts.

I enjoyed getting to know the other campers. Within five minutes, Arwen and I became fast friends. We’re even sharing the same bunk! (Please notice my t-shirt in the enclosed picture, if you will!)

A few of the less protective parents (that’s y’all!) left, and we had spaghetti and salad for dinner. I thought I’d get a break from eating gluten-free and what does the cook bring before me? Imagine that…

That night, the other campers had to go to a going-away-party for themselves and the older campers stayed home and watched half of the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom of the Opera. It was really good… even though I’ve seen it a half dozen times already! We stopped right after “Wandering Child” because some campers had to go to sleep. Arwen and I stayed up and talked about ice dancing. (I’ve been writing my novel, you know, and had my two main characters pair skating instead of ice dancing! Imagine my horror after a few minutes of research!) The campers came back at about eleven, and Arwen and I stayed up talking to the more protective parents until midnight. (We didn’t want to stay up any longer – we had church the next morning!)

Today, we got up earlier than normal and had a big cereal breakfast. (Don’t worry, mother, I had coconut milk and gluten-free cereal.)

We attended Grandma and Honey’s church – just the Sunday school – and then the other campers parents left. (We practically booed them away…)

After a quick stop at Wal-Mart for provisions (chicken, broccoli salad, iron-on transfers, and candy to be precise), we had a big lunch of chicken, broccoli salad, rolls, carrots, and green beans. (Healthy Food Day… we’re about to die from healthiness…)

Then, we all packed up and hopped into the car so that we could swim before it rained. I rode in the boy’s car and worked tirelessly in the ten-minute ride to get the work of art I’ve enclosed.

Then, we went SWIMMING!!!

I had a great time getting action shots…

… and pictures of random flowers.

A camper and I posed for a picture while he took a break from swimming and wanted to see what I was reading (She Stoops To Conquer). I knew what he was doing without even looking (sisterly intuition?) and made a face to compete with it.

We spent the entire three hours relaxing at the pool. It was a blast!

It started to trickle and we hopped into the cars right as it started to pour. (It takes two this year! Eight cousins and two grandparents – I mean, campers and counselors/cooks/everything else…)

I started reading the camping literature (Sir Percy Leads the Band and Right Ho, Jeeves!) and am very excited about the media that we will see during camp, especially Mary Poppins and the rest of Phantom of the Opera!

Must run – we’re off to tie-dye t-shirts!

Don’t take me home… even if it doesn’t stop raining.
Your darling daughter,

PS: To all of my readers besides my parents, here’s a little explanation. I’m here at my grandparents’ house with my cousins until Thursday for our annual get-together, Camp Grandma-Honey! We do lots of fun things – bowling, put-putting, puzzles, and watch movies! There’s even a chocolate fountain… which, sadly, only makes it’s appearance once a camp. All other posts – including my Les Miz experience, which I can’t wait to tell you the rest of! – will be on hold until camp is over. Meanwhile, enjoy my letters home!

Writing Update!

Sooo… I’ve been working on my June Crusade novel. (Heehee – that’s actually what it’s called right now.) I’m at about eight thousand words, which is a leeeettle behind schedule.

Anyway, I was watching my copy of the Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Performance and I realized that the two main characters in my novel, Nikki and Alec, are Christine and Raoul! It was a really weird but cool feeling. : )

I had a blast screencapping from ‘Masquerade’ and ‘All I Ask Of You’ for Alec and Nick’s dancing scenes, and I made a collage of pictures. Take a look!

I also did a few collages with quotes from The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I want to tweak it a little before I post it.

Heehee – my two favorite musicals collide!!!


Les Miserables, Part Three: Our Cast

(Me (left) and Arwen, right after the performance… Notice our ecstatic smiles!!)

Wow. This is quite a task – to write an entire post on our cast without boring you with teeny-tiny details and a fangirlish amount of exclamation points. Well, here goes nothing.

I’m starting with who I believe is the main character (Valjean, duh) and going on in no particular order from there. It’s too hard to pick a favorite of any of the characters – just thinking about it gives me a headache! I think it’s more like their rank in main-character-ness in the musical. (I’ll just say that if I were ranking them in the order of my favorites, Jean Valjean, and Gavroche would be taking first place and Marius, Javert, and Eponine would be in second.)

I already put a few video links in my last post, so I won’t bore you with any more. Just click on the link and find the videos again yourselves. : )

I’ve also already talked about these characters a little in my last post, so this one will be a little shorter than that one. But only a little. : )

Peter Lockyer (Jean Valjean) – Whoa. This guy had some major talent and only looked about twenty-three! He’d only just joined the cast in March or April – before, it was Mark McVey. I really think that his version of ‘Valjean’s Soliloquy’ was almost better than Colm Wilkinson’s – I’m sorry, but it’s true. I am a huge fan of Colm (I like him only a little better than Alfie Bowe…), but Peter… he blew it out of the water. He sang with such passion – he even fell to his knees at the end of the song! ‘Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!’ Powerful and wonderful. That just about describes Peter’s rendition of every single song he sang – ‘Valjean’s Soliloquy’ (aka ‘What Have I Done?’), ‘Who Am I?,’ ‘Bring Him Home,’ and ‘Finale’ being a few of the highlights. I wish there were more videos online of him singing, but I shall be content with ‘Bring Him Home.’ Muchly hoping that Hugh Jackman will do a good job in the movie version coming out in December because he’s got some big shoes to fill. (Or however the idiom goes…)

Andrew Varela (Inspector Javert) – Yes, I know I’ve already done a post featuring Andrew, and, yes, I know I’m biased, but… I mean, really. He’s soo convincing as Javert – so twistedly awesome. (Also as the Phantom, but that’s another post for another time…) His version of ‘Stars’ and ‘Javert’s Soliloquy’… Really quite amazing. I haven’t heard Russel Crowe’s version of either song, but if I were a betting girl (which I’m not), I’d bet that his version is better. Yes, Philip Quast and Norm Lewis were quite amazing, too, but… *sigh* Can’t decide. I guess you’re tired of my gushing. What can I say? I’m biased.

Max Quinlan (Marius Pontmercy) – Yet another favorite! Seriously, peoples. He had some talent. Like, majorly. I’m so bummed out that I can’t find a video of him singing ‘Empty Chairs’ anywhere! My friend and I both agreed that he looked like he was about to start sobbing at the end as he blew out his candle. And he’s very good at doing the whole AWD thing. (Amazing Wounded Distress, to borrow a phrase from Alexandra.) I have a picture of him and Mark McVey during The Sewers in my program and I’m always like, β€œPoor guy!” because he actually looked like he was shot! He also put a lot of personality into his singing, including, but definitely not limited to, that few lines I expounded on in ‘A Heart Full of Love.’ (Another really good song was ‘Red and Black.’ ‘Black – my world if she’s not there!’) Again, we’ll have to see how Aaron Tveit does with Marius in the movie, but… there are so many different versions that I like better (soary, but Nick Jonas is NOT one of them and Michael Ball IS!), he’ll have to do really good to even make it on my list. Right now, it’s a tie between Michael Ball and Max. (By the way, for a really good post on Michael Ball vs. Nick Jonas, please, please, please read this. Amy and Peyton did a really good job nailing down exactly why Michael Ball IS Marius and Nick Jonas is NOT! Now… to whether he’s β€œmy” Marius… read on, Lizzie!)

Chasten Harmon (Eponine) – Now, I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something that I didn’t really like about the way Chasten played Eponine. Her voice was almost too pretty to be singing ‘On My Own.’ I really can’t say what it is, but I just didn’t like Chasten’s version. I’ll see if there are some videos somewhere so I can figure out what it is, but for the time being I just really, really like Lea Salonga’s Eponine better.

Lauren Wiley (Cosette) – Wow. Now, this version of Cosette I liked. (More than Judy Kuhn and maybe more than Katie Hall!) My sister, Arwen, doesn’t like it when people… what’s the word? I guess ‘swing’ the notes. You know, when they sing the note below the one they’re supposed to be singing, then swing up to the one they’re supposed to be singing. She says they have β€œtoo much ‘pop’ in their voice.” (Arwen also doesn’t like Ramin Karimloo’s version of ‘Wandering Child’ from the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom of the Opera. She and I disagree – I love his version!) I like it when people sing like that, and that’s what Lauren did. It’s how I sing ‘A Heart Full of Love,’ and I was really happy when she started singing it that way. : ) Anywho, she did a really great job of acting like she’d actually fallen in love with Marius in those two seconds they met eyes in the market! I really liked her interpretation of Cosette, and wish, like with Max Quinlan, that there were videos of her singing online!

Betsy Morgan (Fantine) – I told Arwen after the show that I couldn’t decide which I thought was more of a brilliant choice for whoever cast everyone – Max Quinlan, Peter Lockyer, Andrew Varela, Lauren Wiley, Joshua Colley, or Betsy Morgan. I really think that it’s Betsy now. She was sooooo good. Her one line, ‘Then it all went wrong…’ was almost haunting. As much as I love Lea Salonga and Ruthie Henshall, I have to say that Betsy Morgan is my favorite. (Hard decision, but I think it’s true…) Not only was she very good at singing, but she was absolutely amazing at becoming the Fantine that utterly despises the person she’d become. When she sang ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ you can just feel the passion and anguish in her voice. I was so sad when the Really Sad Thing happened and I knew she wouldn’t sing again until the very end of the musical. Also, not only could she sing, but she could act, too! ‘Lovely Ladies’ – wow. Her part was the only part I liked in that song. Almost made me tear up as the mean old guy kicked her around. : ( Then Javert almost arrested her… but Valjean saved her!! Until I watch the 25th Anniversary Concert in it’s entirety (Nick Jonas is the one that’s kept me away; Ramin Karimloo is the one that’s kept me coming back and reconsidering…), I’m going to have to say that she was my favorite Fantine ever. Hands down.

Jason Forbach (Enjolras) – I can’t decide if I liked him or not. I do know that I LOVED Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras from the 25th Anniversary Concert and liked Michael Maguire from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast, but I can’t say which I liked better. Glad he wasn’t a blonde, though, like whoever the original US Tour Enjo was! (The pictures in my souvenir program show a BLONDE guy as Enjo, and I’m like, β€œThat is not Enjolras.” SO glad it’s not him!) : ) I think Jason was more like Michael Maguire from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast, and maybe I was expecting someone with a little more punch than how he delivered his lines. However, Ramin’s got to be my favorite Enjolras ever…. By far! He sings with SO much force and passion for his cause, you can’t help but like him! (Well, that… and his Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness and Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness!)

Joshua Colley (Gavroche) – Oh, my stars. If he were just a hint less cute, I think his death wouldn’t have been as bad as it was. I didn’t think Gavroche was going to be that important to me – don’t know what possessed me to think that! – but after his first solo ‘Look Down’… I was taken. Joshua did such a good job – I don’t think I can say it enough! He didn’t look more than eight or nine, but he sang with as much emotion in his voice as Peter or Andrew or Betsy or any of the other cast members! True, I don’t think he was quite as cheeky or cute as Robert Madge from the 25th Anniversary Concert (who was about seven years older than Joshua, by the way!), but he was definitely better than Adam Searles from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast! And so good at acting… Especially the reprise of ‘Little People.’ I didn’t actually start crying, but I did get a little teary-eyed. Why must the cute die young?!

Grantaire (Joseph Spieldenner) – I liked Joseph’s voice much more than the guy in the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast. I didn’t even know how much of a part Grantaire had – the only thing I’d heard of him was, ‘Grantaire, put that bottle down!’ and ‘Give me brandy on my breath and I’ll breathe them all to death!’ He had such a bigger part than I thought – including one of my favorite lines in one of my new favorite songs, ‘Drink With Me.’ *tears up* Then he had to go and die… : ( He and Gavroche had become really good friends – I think he was the one that felt the most when Gavroche died. (He fell to his knees after the last shot. Really sad…) Anyway, Grantaire was almost a surprise character because I just didn’t expect him to be that important. Joseph did a great job with him – especially his greasy hair. : P However. I just found out that Hadley Fraser, who is MY Raoul and played him in my favorite version of Phantom – the 25th Anniversary Performance and was absolutely, stunningly awesome! (If you haven’t seen that version yet, please do so. Certain clips are on YouTube, but the DVD of the entire performance is at Target for $15. More than worth it, because you get to hear Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom – minus his Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness, but still his Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness, heehee – Hadley Fraser as Raoul, and Sierra Boggess as Christine. Highly, highly recommended. But this is about Les Miz, not Phantom.) Where was I? Oh, yeah – Hadley as Grantaire. Oh, yeah. Well, I just watched clips and… he might be β€œmy Grantaire.” Absolutely loved him. Anyway, Joseph was still pretty good and was my Grantaire before I saw those clips. : )

Minor Characters
Erin Cearlock (Young Cosette) – I didn’t like her singing much. : P She had a British accent for the first line, then forgot it and stared down the middle aisle as she sang. I didn’t really pity her much, which is not good.
Timothy Gulan and Cathryn Basile (The Thenardiers)… I didn’t like them at all. Even when they said something that was actually funny and not crude or disgusting, I couldn’t laugh. Not cool. Not a good feeling. Everything they sang was nasty, and the things going on in the scenes with them were disgusting. Definitely going to take a strategic bathroom break during ‘Master of the House’ in the movie this December!! (That, and ‘Lovely Ladies’. Un-lovely is more like it…) Although… hehehe. Their funniest line was in ‘Waltz of Treachery,’ when Valjean is trying to basically buy Cosette from them. ‘Let’s not haggle for dar-liiiing Colette!’ ‘Co-SETTE!’ ‘Cosette!’ That I laughed at.

Okay, now that all of that’s over, let me do a little fangirlish bit.

*begins fangirlishly squealing*

Oh, my stars, everyone was SOO GOOD!! I can’t believe it!! I’m so mad that there aren’t any videos of most of them singing – but I am endlessly thankful to whoever uploaded the video of Betsy Morgan singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ on YouTube. If only they’d make a recording of all the people I saw. I would TOTALLY BUY IT!! : ) If only they’d replace everyone from β€œmy” cast for the people in the movie – Peter, Andrew, Betsy, Max, Joshua, everyone – I’d buy that on DVD, too, and the soundtrack!

*ends fangirlsishly squealing*

I’m done. Thanks for letting me do that. : )

Wow. Now that I’ve read what I’ve written, it seems like more of a comparison between β€œmy” cast and the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast and the 25th Anniversary Concert. Let me re-read it and make sure I agree with myself about whatever I said.

I do. : )

And please – don’t hate me for liking, say, Max Quinlan over Michael Ball. To defend that opinion, let me just say that I love Michael Ball’s voice. It’s just his emotions and facial expressions while singing that I don’t like so much. He looked way too happy while he was singing ‘Little Fall of Rain’ with Lea Salonga. (I mean, he’s supposed to be really sad!) That, and his age. Nick Jonas is the other extreme – almost too young! Anyway, I think Max is β€œmy Marius” because of his voice, his age, and his acting. He literally burst into tears after Eponine’s death and I totally believed him.

Here I stand. Let the comment war begin!