Thought

Hope Springs Eternal

12/23/2013 09:17:00 PM
Hope. It isn't a forbidden thing, is it?
Hope, verb; to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.

But what if, what if I was hoping for something that I know would never happen?
Same reason people keep buying lottery tickets.
Why do they still continue to believe in impossibilities?

Maybe for making me feel alright.
Or maybe I was too selfish to face the reality and scared to realize the fact that it will never going to happen. Unless there was a prodigy.

But I do believe what the Doctor said: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.
Maybe, maybe I'm too naive for believe in it.
But on the other hand, hope springs eternal.
It's what keeps us stuck.

People will continue to hope even though they have evidence that things cannot possibly turn out the way they want.
And people always hope for the best, even in the face of adversity.
Hope springs eternal.
Movie

I Love the Regency Era

12/07/2013 11:38:00 PM
Can I just wish I live in the Regency Era?

When we meet people at a ball, party or social gathering. Because there's no social media such thing. People really need to go out there to meet, to know or to date someone. Something that's somehow rare these days.

When a man bows and woman curtsies when they meet or leave. When a couple is forbidden to go anywhere alone without someone else there. When a man and woman only be permitted to touch hand. When the etiquette of talking about someone else is still upheld. These are things I rarely see in today's era. Not that I hate my era, but of course with much of watching period shows or movies, and reading period novels, you must want to know how it feels to be in the place where you will never experience.

Although I read every Jane Austen's novel like twice (except Persuasion), Bronte sisters' novel, etc, and watch every movie and BBC shows adaption, I still don't mastered a lot of thing about the Regency Era. Why is this and why is that. And it makes me wondering if we are actually think more rational these days or back then.

I also want to wear bonnet and victorian empire waist dress without getting misconception it's for Halloween costume party or cosplay party. Oh those lovely and pretty dress and lace I will never have.

The way you get to know some men is also unique those days. We attended a ball, we waited until someone with higher status introduce us to someone new, we curtsied, we danced (not all day long because a ball isn't allowed for a whole day), we got to know each other and planned other things to do next week or the day after tomorrow. Yes, it's more complicated than today, but it's such a well-mannered thing to do.

But the reality is we live in this whole new technology era, something that people in the Regency Era will never imagine. The internet, handphone, laptop, 4D effect, or even a glasses-phone, they could call it as 'magic'. We should all thankful too for living in this era.

Well, if I have a TARDIS or vortex manipulator, I'd definitely go and try living in the Regency Era.


Thought

In Preparation for Doing the Right Thing

10/26/2013 11:42:00 PM
It's been a long time since I write post about my regular life. First of all, high school is always busy with assignment and the drama. You know the drama, the kind of you want to avoid but it came anyway. However, don't worry I will overcome it eventually, and everything will be fine in the end. In the next ten years we're going to forget it anyway.

So, I just realized I haven't wrote a post about my sixteen birthday. For those in the US may think of a sweet sixteen but in Indonesia there's only sweet seventeen, when we are literally considered like an adult. We will act like an adult, well, kind of. We have to be as mature as the adults. We have to know what's right and wrong. But of course there's a step onto that phase, being sixteen.

I've been wondering to myself what's so special about sixteen nor seventeen and I got the answer. It's my opinion so I'm not sure the validity of it. I also may not have the years of experience yet to speak about this, but sixteen or seventeen seems to be an age of extremes. Like you're in the middle of the roller-coaster or kora-kora in Dufan.

The taste of it is like lemonade; fresh, sweet, and sour. Other than the unstable emotion inside of your body since we're still a teenager, we're also over thinking and overreacting. The kind of things that will make everything seems very complicated.

Yet this phase and year, you will be divided to be good or bad. Everyone wanted to be good, undoubtedly every parent wanted their child to be good and better than they are. This phase is when you're learning and start doing what's right in order to be good.

Almost a month ago, I turned sixteen. Right on mid-semester exam, I know, it's kind of unfortunate. Yet I still have a lot of fun with my friends afterwards. We had a birthday lunch at a mall (ofc my treat) and they gave me a 'cake surprise', what an event! Anyway, still can't forget the way they acted the storyline. I'm impressed. I love you guys.

I also realized this time is a step closer to a huge turn in my life. This few years will be the determination of what I became in the next ten or twenty years and who I really am. And who we wanted to be in the future is of course a lot of good things. Obviously everyone wanted to be a perfect, impeccable, and flawless human being. Yet somehow we often  forget no one is flawless except God.

But we can be a good, right? by doing what's right. In order to do what's right, we have to know what kind of thing they are. We have to learn not to misunderstand the bad thing into the good thing. We have to learn how to do it and how to understand it. Yeah, I know, it looks kinda hard. Yet we'll going through it, eventually.

Lucky you who have been through it all and became who you're proud to be. You're succeed in one of the lifetime achievements that you'll not regret your whole life. Because there are many who didn't. Many, many people post on their website, youtube, tumblr, or blog, a letter to their sixteen year old self. The reason they did it is because in the end they realized things they actually shouldn't think or do in those years.

The thing we thought was huge, relevant, and so important that I will cut my vein, in the end it isn't actually what we thought it was. Soon, we forget and we learn how crazy and messed was our thoughts back then. Ialso can see myself writing a letter to my sixteen years old self, too. Human flawed. I'm not a perfect sixteen year old right now. Of course there are some things I don't like in myself. Therefore I will see my ten years older self wrote a letter to my at the moment self.

But I can still hope the list isn't that long, right?

So let's hope this year I can make a starting line to learn and do what's right, to become someone I proud of for the next few years or so. Happy (not-so-sweet) sixteen to me!
Movie

I'm Addicted: Part 2

4/26/2013 04:23:00 PM
This is the second part of my post: I'm Addicted. (You can read it first if you haven't, or not. It's okay too).
The fact that my taste of musical theater has changed through the past years is changing my view of them too. So, I changed the list a bit and soon I'll add more. Not everything in musical theater I would like on the first time I noticed it. There are some kind that wouldn't enthrall me to see.

And this is the continuance of my unfinished musical-review post from last year. Just a trivia, I spent a whole week to write this. It's just me, maybe. Enjoy this review, and spend a little more time for reading the first one if you're interested.

(not in particular order)
5. West Side Story

Some people called it Romeo and Juliet gangster version. Because that is what it's all about. Everyone knows about Romeo and Juliet story. About a woman and a man from a totally different background. It's a very tragic love story that remains memorable until now. The musical is based on a book by Arthur Laurents which is setting in the mid 1950s in Upper West Side. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Favorite Songs: Tonight, Somewhere, I Feel Pretty, and Maria.

6. The Phantom of The Opera
This is absolutely my all time favorite. I remember when I first heard the story from my grandmother who happened to own the book (since she was a major in French), and I really interested in reading the book. But then I decided to watch the musical first (just like Les Miserables, I skipped the book again), and I fell in love with it; the song, the set, and the phantom. A musical genius. And I love Andrew Lloyd Webber music in it. It's the best of his work I could say (since the sequel is not equally as good, but still love it). Based on a French novel by Gaston Leroux.
Favorite Songs: All I Ask of You, Think of Me, Music of the Night, and The Phantom of the Opera.

7. Sweeney Todd 

My friend in Texas recommended it to me. I decided to watch the movie first. And I couldn't believe at the first place that I will like this type of musical. The musical is based on the 1973 play with the same title by Christopher Bond. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd who vows revenge on the judge in a matter of his wife's suicide. He teams up with Mrs. Lovett, and opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.
Favorite Songs: My Friends, A Little Priest, Epiphany, and Pretty Women.

8. Hairspray


I obviously prefer the musical theater rather than the movie for this one. The movie is fine, but in my opinion, it isn't as good as the musical. The story is definitely different, and there are lot of cuts. So the movie isn't authentic anymore (different with Les Miserables movie. It's so good, even though they cut a bit of A Little Fall of Rain, my fave part). It based on the old fim Hairspray film by John Waters in 1988. The groovy music by Marc Shaiman.  In 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s. And it has my favorite soundtrack of all time. All the songs are catchy and the lyrics are awesome. 'Cause without love, life is like a beat that you can't follow. Without love, life is Doris Day at the Apollo.
Favorite Songs: Without Love, You Can't Stop the Beat, The Nicest Kids in Town, and It Takes Two.

9. My Fair Lady


One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie. This is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist. Well speech equals well born lady, so hopefully after the lessons Eliza will become more successful than just a flower girl.
Favorite Songs: With a Little Bit of Luck, I Could Have Dance All Night, and Just You Wait.

10. Grease
Some people call it the classic of High School Musical. It's kinda true. It has a high school theme, where there are populars, nerds, and bad boys. The film is based on a successful musical with the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey in 1971. The show tackles such social issues as teenage pregnancy and gang violence; its themes include love, friendship, and teenage rebellion. 
Favorite Songs: Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted to You, You're the One that I Want, and Greased Lightnin'.

Will there be a Part 3? We'll see...
Review

A Very Potter Senior Year (and the new announcement)

3/16/2013 07:44:00 PM

The wait is finally over. A Very Potter Senior Year is uploaded on their YouTube channel. After waiting seven months since the actual show was premiered at LeakyCon 2012, the annual Harry Potter convention that took place in Chicago. And three months since the script and soundtrack released. This finale of A Very Potter saga is successfully made StarKids sobbing for saying goodbye to our beloved Harry Potter and friends.

Inspite of there's no other Harry Potter things left, we're gonna lose Darren as Harry Potter, Joe Walker as Voldemort, Joey Ritcher as Ron Weasley, and many more. It's kinda hard to leave that kind of thing, especially when it has been with you since four years ago.

Because like what I've said in my post before, that Team Starkid has successfully made three musicals that capture the essence of Harry Potter and made it a totally awesome feel-good comedy musical with a heart. And it's hard to think that there will be no feeling similar to that again. Maybe you can re-watch it over and over like what I did to AVPM and AVPS. But when you know it's over, when you know there's no more journey of Harry Potter, it'll be very mournful.

Sad, but also happy. We're very glad to watch StarKid actors came back together in Chicago and made a threequel that StarKids fans craved since two years ago. With new catchy and beautiful numbers, and an Oscar-worthy act (believe me, Voldemort's dramatic death deserves an Oscar), we're really fascinated by A Very Potter Senior Year. It's a very well-composition musical with only two days of rehearsals.

A Very Potter Senior Year is about Harry Potter's senior year in Hogwarts. The very last time they're going to Hogwarts. Harry’s last year at Hogwarts and his diminishing recognition now that he’s older and that newer things are replacing him. Like the new teacher who's a best-selling author, Gilderoy Lockhart.

I've read the script before, the story is unpredictable and the ending is so perfect. They brought things from the previous musicals, which makes us nostalgia about it. And I couldn't hold my tears when it ends, and when Snape gave his speech to Harry about sacrifice. It's okay to cry. Okay is wonderful (this quote literally makes a lot of feels).

June Saito, the costume designer for Holy Musical B@man, is held charge for the costume on this show. And it's totally awesome as always. I love how Young Tom Riddle look, with the blazer of Slytherin, and blond wig. Joe Walker is still as attractive as he's shirtless.

Three months ago Nick Lang (the writer) told us to read the script and listen to the album first, then watch the show. Which I did, and I'm very glad that I read the script first, because there are so many interesting scenes that was cutted from the real show.

My favorite numbers for this musical are When I Was, Everything Ends, Sidekick, and Senior Year. They're not only catchy, but also have beautiful meanings. But these form of songs was quite different from the first and sequel, even though some old songs is played back. Darren didn't write any new song for this show. So, it makes a slight different style in musical numbers.

And the best of the show is when I recognized every references they made. And most of them, is my favorite. Like they made reference from a famous musical, West Side Story, when Voldemort and the gangs first appear. They also made Deathnote reference. I couldn't believe they actually know Deathnote. And there are more references that I challenge you to guess, and write it on the comment below.

The unique thing is there's this trailer that placed between the video which directly caught my breath. It's an announcement trailer of their new musical, TWISTED: The Untold Story about a Royal Vizier. The poster, and the title font is very similar with Tony-Award winning musical (and my favorite musical), Wicked. So it's obviously a parody melding of Disney’s Aladdin and the Broadway famous musical, Wicked.

It premiers on July 2013 in Chicago (but I live in Narnia, why). I'm still not sure whether the show is free, and they will upload it to YouTube or not. But I'm very glad they made something for us to looking forward, that made me feel not so empty after went through a goodbye. The next thing we could do is moving on, and it doesn't make us not love it any less.
Review

Love Never Dies: Phantom of the Opera's sequel review

3/09/2013 07:49:00 PM


When I heard about the Phantom's sequel for the first time, my mind was filled with the question: should I watch it? Or should I left the story just like how they ended in Phantom? Even though they have a hanging end. But that's one of the reasons why the musical is memorable.

The Phantom of the Opera is now the longest running show ever on Broadway, but Love Never Dies never even made to it after a disastrous West End run. The London production opening in 2010 received mostly negative reviews. It's not about the cast, but it's all about the failed narrative and unmemorable songs.

So, I decided to watch the filmed version of a reworked production from Melbourne, Australia (which was shown in movie theaters across America). Based on what I watched, there's no reason this sequel shouldn't find the admiration it deserves.

When I read many critics for the musical, I began to despair of seeing Love Never Dies. But at the end, I gave it a shot, and it made me realizing how I missed seeing the Phantom. I loved the first musical so much (and Ramin and Sierra in the 25th anniversary). However, I couldn't say the same about the sequel.

The plot is about 10 years after the original Phantom. It has the Phantom (Ben Lewis) is actually hiding beneath Coney Island and having a theme park filled with music and thrill rides. He still luring Christine (Anna O'Byrne) to his side to obtain new inspiration from her. And then Christine came to America to perform on the opening theater in Manhattan. But her ten years son, Gustave wanted to go to Coney Island to learn how to swim (what a coincidence). And Christine and Phantom meet again after Christine believe he has been dead all these years, which also revealed a secret about the past ten years.

I enjoy the sets very much. Love Never Dies’ Australian production has the most magnificent sets in existence with its recreation of 1905 Coney Island in the far side of atlantic, but it’s doubtful any of its numbers will ever be more or as powerful as “The Music of the Night” or “All I Ask of You.”. However, some of the numbers became classic blockbuster songs, like "Til' I Hear You Sing", one of my favorite (but not as powerful as Music of the Night), and "Love Never Dies".

A bigger problem is the unsatisfying story. Andrew Lloyd Webber seemed to remodel the characters to be a villain. Like Raoul became a drunkard and gambler, very different from the first time we saw him. Meg and Madame Giry became the most petty character. And that's one of the reason I couldn't love this show as much as TPOTO.

Overall, I can see the revised Melbourne production was better-received. I adore the fascinating cinematic style which the style director, Simon Philips brought to it. With the cameras swooping in around the actors in rapidly edited sequences. It is the closest I’ve ever seen to a live performance translated into a cinematic experience. And the costume designer did a great job as well. Gabriela Tylesova made hundreds of marvelous costumes for the show.

However in the end, the most intriguing part of Love Never Dies is not for its story, characters or numbers, but for what it could reflect for the future of musicals in the age of new media.

(This is the Australian production that's on the film and dvd. The London production is sung by Ramin Karimloo, you can watch the official video music on youtube)

So, comment below about your thoughts of this show, I would like to hear what your opinion is :)
Movie

Movie Review: The Breakfast Club

2/01/2013 05:30:00 PM
"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all.” -Andrew, The Breakfast Club.


First of all, thanks to Nasha who introduced this movie a long time ago to me. Now I'm really grateful to know and watch this movie. We all sometimes have ever feel like we want to skip our life until our problem was over, right? But we often forget that everybody have their own problems. Not just the nerd, the popular, and the athlete.


I know this movie was released over twenty years ago. But this movie will forever be etched in our memory. The message is clear, lived by many, and easy to relate to. There's no doubt The Breakfast Club teaches us many lessons.

Although it has been more than twenty years, the same issues still exist. How people judge each other on first appearances rather than getting to know the people. We also often judge them by their labels rather than the real person is. High school is like a social club. There are cliques, groups, friends, and enemies. Kids are judging each other and wishing they were someone else. The halls are filled with peer pressure and back-stabbers.

Like most of us, each of the characters from the movie, came from a different world view. The Breakfast Club is a collection of high school students who attend a Saturday detention for each of their indiscretions. But it’s not only a movie about Saturday detention in high school. It is about how a different people with different label found a way to relate with each other.

We may be different but we are all the same underneath. We all have vulnerabilities and fear. We love and we hate. We often have to read a few chapters before we can gain interest in a book. How is it possible to know what the book will be like just by viewing its appearance or cover? In instant we can look at someone and know what we think of him or her. We can decide if we will like them just by judging their social status or how many friends they collected.

While in detention, the teacher gave them an assignment. They should write an essay about “Who you think you are.” Each person has a good idea of what the other is. Yet through some discussions and arguments, they learn that they have more similarities than at first sight.

The character, Claire is a school queen bee you can say. She's the princess; Without her, a party won't even going. Andrew is an athlete, the popular guy at school. Brian is a nerd. Allison is a loner. And Bender is a criminal. What a different labels they have. But in the end, they can find a way to relate. They have their own problems, that other people may not even know.

Each other has their own problems and as insignificant as they might appear, to a teenager, they are almost everything. This is what this movie successfully captures. If anything, the teenage years are a time of self-consciousness and angst. When we look back at it, it seems funny. However, at that point in our lives, it is important.

At the end, the brain, Brian, wrote the group's essays by saying: "...we think you're crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us...in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal."

That's certainly the way that they saw themselves at the beginning of the day, but as the day unwinds, they begin to realize that they share, deep down, the same fears, triumphs, degradations and insecurities; a common bond.

We just have to be willing to realize deep down and find a way to relate. We need to learn to care about others and accept them as individuals rather than people we just don't like. Like what John Bender said, "What do you care what I think anyway? I don't even count... Right? I could disappear forever and it wouldn't make any difference. I might as well not even exist at this school remember?"

The point is, we should be more willing to accept people because we are all human after all. This is often easier said than done and is give and take but walking a mile in someone else's shoes makes a world of difference. After watching this movie, I hope we all realize if we would all follow the theme of The Breakfast Club, the world could and would be a better place.

"...And these children that you spit on as they try change their worlds are immune to your consultation. They're quite aware of what they're going through." -David Bowie.