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 :)