11 June 2014

The days we went to see Musicals!

There was a party to announce next year's Dallas Summer Musical's schedule last month.  They announced the titles for next year's musicals and let you but tickets ahead of time.  Don't let the name "Dallas Summer Misicals" fool you: these musicals are not just in the summer.  Don't ask me where the name came from.  This post contains spoilers so if you were hoping to see any of these plays for the first time and be completely surprised, skip the section for that musical.


It all started when our friends, who had season tickets to the Dallas Summer musicals, gave us a free pair of tickets because they were sick.  (We made sure to thank them accordingly.)  It was for Flashdance: The Musical.  Which I keep confusing in my head with Footloose.  

[us before Flashdance: The Musical. I guess we weren't cool enough to take our photo with the playbill yet. Incidentally, we saw a Sleeperstar concert earlier that weekend and I felt super artsy!]

We went, not expecting much, and were blown away!  We loved it! Just before intermission they dumped water on the main character like the opening scene in the movie!  The set design was fantastic! Our friends were sad they missed it because of our wild rewiews, so we borrowed the movie to watch with them. 

And we were immediately sorry we did. 

Now, don't let it fool you, Flashdance: The Musical has a similar story to the movie, but is infinately WAY less creepy.  (Just an FYI before you go out and rent the movie.)  In the musical, the love interest of the main character is her age (instead of a few generations older) and he is the "good guy" at the company fighting to keep as many jobs as possible.   They were both fighting for something they believe in! If you get a chance to see it, you won't regret it!

Our friends with the season tickets mentioned that Disney's The Lion King was coming and that they could get us discounted tickets.  We got so excited!.  I HAVE WANTED TO SEE THE LION KING SINCE FOREVER!  I wanted to see the animals dance, the colorful costumes, and the beautiful backdrops.

We went out to dinner before and we VASTLY underestimated the amount of time it would take to find parking at the music hall (at fair park) while the state fair was going on.  

Had we known we got into the state fair for free with our tickets, we would have skipped dinner and eaten a corn dog at the top of the ferris wheel. (Well, I would have at least suggested it!)  We were all in nice dresses which felt funny next to the people in flip flops and tank tops at the state fair. 

[us before The Lion King: you can see our excitement!]

The play did not disappoint.  The children playing Simba and Nala were spot-on!  So cute! The scenery was beautiful.  The costumes were (as I'm sure you've heard) fantastic!  The way they make all the animals move and look real is so artistic and creative!  We bought our tickets late and so our seats were almost as far away as you could get, but they even had (human-moved-puppet) birds that flew up by us!

After having so much fun, we decided to buy season tickets of our own! There were two plays I was REALLY looking forward to: The Wizard of Oz and Mamma Mia! The rest looked like they would be good, definitely worth seeing.  So we took the plunge and got season tickets! You get to pick what night (we picked 1st Sunday showing last year) and what seats you want. Our friends had front-row balcony seats the first time, but they moved closer to the stage. We moved with them :)

[us at White Christmas, the first Musical]

White Christmas:  So, this story was new to me, and I thought it was beautiful.  There was this adorable little girl who did a fantastic job.  At the end, they blew snowflakes (I think they were just tiny bubbles that looked like snowflakes) out over the audience.  

We saw it just before Christmas and it was perfect to help us get in the Christmas spirit. I don't remember much of the story, but the costumes and songs were great!

[us at Ghost: The musical, and my friend Amberlee too. They're the ones that got us started on the musicals]

Ghost: If you've seen the movie Ghost, you've seen the musical.  Whenever a musical uses a screen to set up the sceen, I feel like it's cheating.  

The coolest thing about the musical was that the ghosts actually walked through walls.  I have no idea how they did that!  

I think the musical was really well done, everyone was very talented, but I think I'm biased because the whole storyline of Ghost is just a little sad.  However, flowing by the same logic, if Ghost is one of your favorite movies, you will LOVE the musical.  Our friends really enjoyed it!

[us before We Will Rock You]

We Will Rock You (Based on the music of Queen):  Our friends thought this was hilarious.  The beginning reminded me of the movie The Fifth Element (if you haven't seen it, I would highly recommend it).  It was all futureistic, and while they did a great job, I felt like it was a bit cheezy.  I immediately fell in love with the two main characters though, they really kept the musical going.  There were some songs that didn't really fit well, but overall it was a good musical.  I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as some people, but probably because Queen isn't my favorite band. I mean, they have great music, but I didn't know most of the songs.  

The ending redeemed the play though!  They all came out to sing after the curtain call and it felt like an encore, super fun! 

[me before The Little Mermaid, which may have come before We Will Rock You, but it's ok if it's a little out of order...]

The Little Mermaid:  I'll be honest.  I went in with super low expectations: how are some people going to dance across the stage and make this feel like under the sea?  I thought it would be super-lame.  

But I shouldn't have doubted Disney.  

The mermaids "swam" through the air!  The costumes of different fish were The-Lion-King Quality!  Huge jellyfish!  Ursela's eels had long arms and moved around on heely-style shoes.  Flounder moved around on one of those self-move flipboard things (like a skateboard- I'm doing a poor job describing it, but you get the picture).  

There were a TON of little girls there to see it in ariel-style dresses.  I was totally going to dress up in my mermaid dress, but at the last minute I decided against it.  I would have fit right in with all the 4-8 year old girls though.  Next time.  

[us before The Wizard of Oz. Gotta have the red shoes!!]

The Wizard of OZ:  Again, a FANTASTIC show! I had never seen the movie (gasp!) so the entire story was a bit new.  I mean, I had seen so many clips of the movie, and heard so many sound bits that none of it was a surprise.  

My favorite part was probably Todo!  They had a real, live puppy playing Todo!  And, I think that is his full-time job because he has a real name and a professional picture and everything. 

The costumes were fantastic!  One of my favorite parts was when Dorothy's dress changed mid-scene from blue and white checks into green and white ones.  I had a checked dress that I almost wore, but changed my mind at the last minute because we were running late and it was colder out.  I still wore my red shoes to support dorothy though!

[us before Evita]

Evita:  I didn't want to ruin the ending for you, but the play kinda does that in the first scene.  Evita dies.  And then they spend the rest of the time telling you all about her life.  Our friends missed part of the beginning, and they were a bit confused by the play. I didn't miss any of the play and I was also a bit confused. They sang EVERY word, so I must have missed something.

It took me half the play (well, until I asked at intermission) that Eva Peron and Evita were the same person.  We met Eva, but I kept wondering when they were going to introduce us to the Evita person.  Which, after just working in a job where I spoke Spanish more than half my day, you would think I would know that "-ita" was just a demonstrative suffix. 


My friend's husband is Argentinean, and I used to dance some Argentinean tango, so I thought I liked all things Argentinean.  But this story just did not qualify for my favorite's list. 

Again, the costumes and dancing and set design were fantastic! I grew up listening to the music (I think we had Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hits or something) so I can sing you some of the songs, I like them that much.  I loved the way they did some of the songs!  Overall, I probably wouldn't see it again though.

[us before Mamma Mia! Notice the background...]

Mamma Mia!  Incidentally, this was the only true "summer" musical.  All the others occurred before May or after August.  I was super excited for this play and it was all I hoped it would be!  The music was fantastic, but that was a given.  Costumes were beautiful.  I thought they could have done a litle more with the set though.  They had a double sided background of the white walled geometric "classic Greek" skyline and they turned it back and forth for each of the scene changes.  While that was super creative, I sometimes had a hard time figuring out if we were in the taverna or if we were in a bedroom or if we were outside somewhere based on the scenery.  My favorite part: they all sang at the end after the curtain call and it was just like being at an ABBA concert after the musical!

The cwowd at this musical was heavy in the "middle-aged female" range. Everyone had on flowey, tropical outfits. (Ryan and I fit right in, which I planned for!) I felt like I was there, in Greece, by the ocean. It was wonderful and relaxing. I enjoyed the play even more than I thought, and I would see it again in a heartbeat!

Nice Work...If you can get it!  We haven't seen this yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  I don't think it is based on anything (A book or movie) so it should be fun and original.  I've seen that it has won some awards.  It is supposed to be really funny. I think I'll add the picture in later. 


Are we ready for next year's line-up?! Here's what's coming for the 2014-2015 Dallas Summer Musicals 75th Season!! 

A Christmas Story: I'm not a huge fan of the movie, mostly because I think the little boy sounds like he's always wining. I have high hopes for the play though because they showed some clips and it looks great!

Kinky Boots: I'm not sure what it's about. The older gentleman that was introducing it said it has good reviews, which I guess says something about it's ability to reach a broad audience. I think it will be enjoyable, but I'm a bit nervous that it will be odd...because the older gentleman announcing it also had on taller-than-knee-high red boots. Probably for the first and only time in his life. He hobbled around in them and I feared for his safety!

The King and I: this should be great! A classic! I'm imagining beautiful costumes! What fun! I'm excited to see it, especially because I don't really know the story.

The illusionists: While I love magic and I'm really looking forward to this, I'm not exactly sure if this is a musical. It apparently was sold-out in Australia because it was awesome, so I'm looking forward to it!  We just watched the movie Now You See Me (which I also highly recommend!) and all I can think of is these people robbing a bank and giving bus the money, which however unlikely, would be fantastic and might help me forgive the fact that this isn't a traditional misical. And if they sing during the magic it might make it worse...

Cinederella: Oooh, another Disney musical, I'm excited! I may have to wear my prom dress so I can fit in with all the little girls in their Cinderella dresses. I'm really looking forward to this one!!

Dirty Dancing: This is one of my favorite movies! I own the 20th anniversary edition and the soundtrack! (Which Ryan bought for me super early-on when we were dating!) I know we're going to love this musical! And by "we" I mean the girls. And maybe the guys too.

Pippin: I've never heard of this, but it looks like fun! There are apparently amazing acrobatic stunts and a very circus-like feel (I'm picturing something like Cirque de soleil, which I've wanted to see for a long time, but haven't gotten around to!) 

If you want to see any of these musicals, let us know! We would love to have you join us!!

You won't regret it!!

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