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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Closing of Another Chapter

I think most of you knew that my dear sister has finally graduated from her Bacholer of Science in Psychology last Saturday. Here's a short update of our mini celebration.

Besides Lynn, many other who transferred with us graduated too.
The only reason that I am still staying for one more semester is because if the Senior Showcase that I will be performing in New York during March. Since I am still waiting for that, I might as well just take a couple more elective classes and try to absorb as much as I can while I am in school.
Congrats to the above, Wei Jun, Lynn, Buttercup Jeong, and others who are not in the picture, Bobo, Yenni, Yih Wen, Carmen, and etc.
Wish you all well with the next step in life!

Amin, Lynn and I

Dad and Mum came all the way from Bangladesh and Malaysia to attend the graduation and help Lynn move to New Jersey for a new start.

Cheers to the Fresh Grad!
Officially a jobless person!

We took turns giving dedications and of course shots right after.
Dad and mum were awesome sports that night, they practically did everything we did!
:)

It used to be 4 people in 3 locations.
Now that Lynn is in New Jersey, our family of four is officially separated in four different places.
It's great to be together again.

That's us and Lynn's luggages.
Wish you all the best in your job searching and grad school applications, we all have faith in you.
I'll be thinking of you when I get back to Kalamazoo in my big Queen sized bed all alone at night with no body warmth beside me.
Muah.



xoxo

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Blues

Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to deal certain things that I am forced to deal with right now.
Why can't I live like most people my age, carefree and not have to think about the kind of stress that I am going through right now?

Some are just born lucky. Not that I feel ungrateful with what I am already blessed with, I just wish that some things would be different. Maybe I'm just greedy. Yea, probably so.
Oh how I wish that ..........


#$%^#$%^

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All the way from New Jersey......

HAVE A BLESSED AND WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Lots of love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cait's Bachelorette Party

I think that I have blogged about how surprised I was when I found out that people actually get married when they are 20 years old. I remember my second day of ballet class, the girl who stood right in front of me flashed her shiny humongous diamond/zircon/whatever that shiny stone or plastic ring at my face telling me that she just got engaged and she was going to get married that year. I thought, maybe she's just an younger looking older girl who is back in school for another degree or something like that. Then only I found out that she was only 20 years old, that was 2 and a half years ago!

I cannot imagine getting married at such an early age, maybe it's culture, or just the way I think, but I can never give my heart to someone, and settle down forever, and for always, until the day I die, not at least until I have a stable job and I am financial independent, probably independent enough for my future fiancee and I to buy our own property.
Too high of a demand? Hmm... I guess I am just realistic.

Anyhow, my dear friend Cait is finally getting married. She is the first friend among my age group (she's only a year older than me) to get married. I think it's cool, her current husband is already working, so it's about time. Cait has been crazy enough to plan and organize a wedding despite our intense senior year curriculum, and we just thought that we could take a little stress away by throwing her a small simple Bacholerette Party in honor of her last days of being single.


Friends, Snacks, Wine, and love.

The Pre Party was hosted by Kayla.

All of us blowing on little penis whistles. ;)

It's awesome that it was not a regular wild party of strippers during the Bacholerette Party. I think what matters most are friends and support *at least for my Bacholerette Party if I ever have one*
Cait, Emily, and I, Cabaret Buddies. We'll be performing next year in March together to raise funds for our New York Senior Showcase.

Sammy, Cait, Billy, and moi *heart*

Congrats Cait Ryan!
You are officially a married woman as I am blogging right now.

:)

Lots of Love





damn... Now I feel like getting married.ugh.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jingle Ma's MULAN

Sometimes living in a Western world really encourages you to go back to your roots. I have been a huge fan of Mulan ever since I've seen Disney's cartoon version and perhaps because it is the only Asian Disney Princess that I will have have the chance to play (if I ever work with Disney *wink*).
I got extremely excited when I heard that this was coming out in the US soon.

Faster, faster!


Synopsis:

China 450AD, the dynasty was under constant threat from ruthless Rouran tribe. With such a major security threat at hand, the Chinese army conducted a nation wide draft.

A retired soldier named Hua Hu insisted on enlisting again to serve his country. Mulan (starring Vicki Zhao Wei), his young daughter was intelligent and skilled in martial arts. But as a girl, she couldn’t be enlisted. Unable to bear the thought of her father suffering, Mulan got her father drunk, dressed as a boy and entered the army to take his father’s place.

Through the harsh military training, Mulan proved to be a courageous and unstoppable, and always helped others to fend off the army bully. She gained the attention of Wentai (starring Chen Kun), the battalion’s Vice Commander. They soon developed a mutual admiration.

However, Mulan was in constant danger of revealing her gender. When Wentai ran into her bathing by accident, Mulan was fortunate enough to escape without exposing her identity, but Wentai was determined to uncover the woman hiding among the troops. To make things worse, the army bully had lost a jade pendant and a strip-search was ordered. Terrified to reveal herself and tarnish her father’s reputation, Mulan admitted the theft and was sentenced to death. In prison, she told Wentai the truth and he promised to keep this secret till the end.

When Rourans launched a surprise attack, Wentai released Mulan from jail to let her flee. But Mulan stayed for a battle and decapitated the Rouran General. Her life was spared of this merit and even promoted to be Vice commander. Together, Mulan and Wentai fought through various battles, and their friendship gradually turns into romance.

However, the Rourans were getting stronger as their Prince Mudan murdered his father and seized the throne. Facing an unprecedented scale of attack, Mulan was vastly outnumbered, and both her love and brevity were put to the ultimate test. Would she sacrifice true love for the peace of her nation?

Movie Review:

The thundering of hooves, the clashing of swords, the battle cries of thousands… Ah, the war epic has taken root in Chinese cinema in recent years with films like "The Warlords", "An Empress and the Warriors" and of course, the seminal "Red Cliff". Pardon us if any new additions to this genre is no longer greeted with the same level of anticipation and enthusiasm- the glut of such films has diluted our excitement over any future "Red Cliff"-wannabes.

Jingle Ma’s take on the classic heroine "Mulan" arrives at such an inopportune time- even more so considering how its lead star Vicki Zhao Wei looks like she had just walked off the set of "Red Cliff" and into that of “Mulan”. Yes, there are uncanny similarities in the costume and production design of both films, though Jingle Ma has come forth to say that it is only coincidental. But no matter- while both films have something to say about war, their stories are quite different from each other.

The story of "Mulan" begins with a lesson on filial piety- Hua Mulan, the daughter of a retired soldier, takes her ailing father’s place when he is conscripted to fight in the Wei army following the invasion of the Rouran tribal people. War however turns out to be much more terrifying to Mulan than she thought, and it is through this lens that “Mulan” contemplates on the costs of war, as well as the value of patriotism.

In between, Mulan will fall in love with her battalion’s Vice Commander, General Wentai (Chen Kun) despite her father’s advice that feelings have no place on the battlefield. Of course, anyone who has watched a Jingle Ma film will know that Ma is not a subtle filmmaker- and "Mulan" is no exception. What scenes of romance between the two follow a decidedly consistent approach for emphasis- a firm hug, cue melodramatic music, and then a tear trickling down the cheeks.

Unlike other Jingle Ma films however, "Mulan" is not sunk by his perennial heavy-handed approach. The canvas Ma paints on this time is much broader and that extra breadth affords him to paint a much more complex picture of love. Against the backdrop of war, Mulan’s expression of love for Wentai becomes more than mere sweet-nothings, but sacrifice, the sacrifice of one’s life for someone you love. Love too comes with choice, as Mulan is made to choose between her love for someone, and her love for her country. Indeed, this rich backdrop lends much gravitas to Ma’s portrait of love- no doubt one of the favourite subjects of his films.

That’s not to say that "Mulan" is without its missteps- in fact, it takes the almost 2-hour long movie about an hour to find its footing. Mulan’s act of piety for her father is at a mere ten minutes of screen time too quickly glossed over, leaving Jingle Ma to focus its first half on Mulan’s gang of friends in the army- among them Fei Xiaohu played by Jaycee Chan. Unfortunately, his attempt to inject some form of humour into the story at this point falls flat, and gets tiresome after a while. But perhaps the most baffling choice he has made is to cast Russian singer Vitas as the rival army’s servant boy- the blond-haired boy completely out-of-place in the film.

Thankfully, Ma doesn’t make a wrong casting choice for his lead actress. "Mulan" is anchored by a strong performance by Vicki Zhao Wei, the wide-eyed expressive star vividly portraying her character’s sorrow, anguish, fear and terror. One can’t say the same about her physicality though, judging from the number of cutaway shots in the film during the battle scenes. This too is not director Jingle Ma’s forte, and audiences who have seen "Red Cliff" will likely be unimpressed. But one would do well to remember that Ma’s breakout film was the tearjerker "Fly Me to Polaris"- and his perpetual subject of love in his films since finds a more than comfortable home in the story of "Mulan".

Credits to: http://www.moviexclusive.com/review/mulan/mulan.html





Trailer One.




Trailer Two.



Now do you feel like watching it?

Christmas Break!

I am finally done with the semester!
Well, actually I have been done since Monday but I still worked 8 hours a day till today.
And I'm done!

:)


Now for the random little things:

Room mates' beagle puppy, Atlas because it's spots are like little islands on the map.
He loves socks and underwear; famous for climbing into our laundry basket and pulling out our bras and dragging them all over the house.


My dear sister's graduation is this Saturday.
It just struck me that we'll be apart for the first time of our lives.
I love you jie!!!!





Lastly, MOM AND DAD ARE ARRIVING IN LESS THAN 12 HOURS ZOMEFFGHEEE!!!!!
sho excited ;)

From a hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) to only ten. Gosh, I hope they don't freeze to death.






toodles*
photo credits to Ven*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Asian Sensation

Found this video.


Lady GaGa Medley, put together by Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo.


And this Michael Jackson Medley Acapella video is amazing. Sam Tsui has so much talent!!!! *drools*


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

I love how we had the longest autumn since I've been here. For two years in a row, we would have to drive in a snow storm out of town during the Thanksgiving break. Thank goodness for this year, snow came later. It wasn't until beginning of this week till it snowed.

This year for Thanksgiving, after having a luxurious all home made fine dining styled dinner prepared by none other than Jonathan Chong, we bundled up in Amin's Honda and drove to Michigan City's Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets to join the Black Friday Shopping Craze. This time, we all took turns standing in line for Coach, and can you believe it? We stood in line for 3 freaking hours in the cold, and I'm not even exaggerating. And guess what, I didn't even buy anything from Coach because I couldn't find any medium size purses that I liked. Bah*
We shopped from 11pm straight on to about 4 something in the morning and retired at a nearby inn.

3 hours later...


We drove about an hour and a half to downtown Chicago and continued our Black Friday shopping. H&M, Forever21, Victoria Secret, Aldo, Charlotte Russe... owh so sinful.

That night, we dressed up to the nines, and went clubbing at Vision, and we had no idea that it was an Asian dance club. It was an eye opener seeing 'skankily' dressed Asian American girls going crazy on the dance floor, baring their G-strings and Thongs under their skin-tight leggings and short dresses. Ugh.
An eye sore.


Dance Kaki Cheryl, Darlynn, and moi with my new 5 inch Aldo heels.

Cheryl and I had our own little podium, spotlights and fan because we were awesome like that :)

Lynn and I sipping on our Dirty Girl Scout which is an awesome mix of vodka, Kahlua coffee liqueur, Bailey's Irish Cream, and white Creme de Menthe that give a little minty taste.
Thanks Amin for the drink!

us girls

Cheryl and I walking back after clubbing and yumcha

What should we name ourselves? The Chicago Clubbing Kakis? hah! lame.
From left, moi, Yasir, Darlynn, Amin, and SimpleCheryl

Next day, we continued to explore Chicago.

Tried to do the usual High School Musical Jump...Lynn's famous *walking into the light* shot

Fantabulous Five.

Since this semester was nothing but a ride on the Struggle Bus, it was one of the happiest breaks days of this semester. We all really needed to get out of school for a while.
That excludes the fact that I spent so much that weekend, and now I'm taking extra shifts and working my butt off at the cafeteria.
Totally worth it!

*************************************************


Then, it snowed.
First, pretty flakes that lasted over night.
Then, a snow storm.
Before we knew it, a Blizzard!!!!!
And school was closed for a day because it was too dangerous for students and staff to drive to campus.


I love snow. Wait, let me correct myself, I love the look of it, and maybe when I see snowflakes, other than that, I hate the cold wind that stings my face, and the slush on the ground on roads, and black ice!!!!!!!!! Grrr.
So far, I've not fallen yet. Let's keep it that way.

Marshmallow cars

The bridge that I crossed every morning to get to campus.

Streets covered with snow.
Looks pretty, but NOT easy to drive in.
I just had my first snow driving experience 3 hours ago, and because of the snow and black ice, I got my room mate's car stuck on a slope for about 30 minutes. Thank goodness a guy came by and poured salt on our tires to melt the snow, and after a long time of pushing, and rocking the car, my roommate and I managed to push the car up the hill.

Not a fun experience, especially when the car tires get you all wet with icy cold watery mudd and slush!




Till Then.
*toodles


Monday, December 07, 2009

It Came To An End

Finally, after all those crazy shows, rehearsal, class, and work schedule combined, the semester has finally slowed down. Last week of school!!! And I'm pooped.
Today is the first day of no rehearsals, but I am still obliged to return to campus for a supervisor meeting at work. Still happy though. At least I have this little spare time to blog, and fall asleep on the bus.

This semester has been extremely insane for me. I felt that I have grown so much as a performer. I love the stage, I really do. And all I hope is to be given the chance to be able to do roles that are not expected of me. I have been terribly disappointed with the circumstances given, but I will stay strong and look at the bright side. So what if I was given a small role, or typecast? I'll rock it, and make those who think of me differently regret.


:)

Emily Sweet Pie drew this for the girls in our dressing room.
I'm sure you can tell which one is the Asian girl

Broadway Star Julia Murney, the most amazing person and performer that I have met.
Extremely genuine, and kind at heart.
I love her.

Seniors 2010!

Emily Sweetie Pie.

Open those eyes!

Us girls.






*photo credits to Emily Iaquinta



Parents are arriving in less than two weeks!!! whee*

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I Choose Enjoyment

It snowed.
I have been dreading the awful cold weather since I somehow felt that I have not had enough of Summer. Then again, I think I have forgotten how beautiful snowflakes falling can be.
I love it.
It reminds me of Christmas.
I love Christmas and I am even more excited about it this year because my parents are coming to town :)


Late Night Broadway has been a blast. I have never experienced so much support from my classmates till the past week and it made me realize that I need these people in my life because they will be the ones that I have to run to when I don't have anyone else when I get to New York.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from Julia Murney was to choose enjoyment when performing. I guess most performers will agree with me when I say that we are the hardest judge on ourselves because we never fail to criticize our little mistakes and so called failures. That's true.
I judge myself insane, and many times I see things that people don't even realize.
I have made a point to rehearse as much as I can, and remind myself of things that I have to keep in mind right before performing, and while the show is on, I choose enjoyment.
Trust, and have fun.

Thanks Mama Murney!


Mlive Theatre Review

Students, Broadway star connect with audience in "Late Night"

By Gordon Bolar | Special to the Kalamazoo ...

December 04, 2009, 2:29PM
murney.jpg
View full sizeBroadway guest star Julia Murney for WMU Theatre's Late Night Broadway.
KALAMAZOO — Director Jay Berkow and 11 student performers in Western Michigan University’s “Late Night Broadway” have wisely selected numbers that focus on characters and relationships, instead of choosing well-known show tunes that one might whistle on the way out of the theater.

The selections allowed each performer to connect with a specific moment or situation in the intimate cabaret style setting of the Williams Theatre, on opening night on Thursday.

Samuel Ramirez got the evening off the ground with a gritty and physical rendition of “Big News” and later shared a joyous energetic duet, “Two People in Love” with Caitlin Ryan.

Tiffany Dissette and Ahren Rehmel’s duet also achieved lift off with the sexually charged “Two People in Love” from the musical “Baby.” Sex within another kind of relationship is humorously dissected in “Friends” performed by Emily Iaquinta and William Casey.

Sue-Yenn Ng broke sex down from a solo viewpoint with “The Best I’ve Ever Had.”

THEATER REVIEW
“Late Night Broadway” — Graduating seniors of WMU’s music theater performance program perform show tunes with Broadway star Julia Murney (“Wicked,” “The Wild Party”)

9 p.m. Dec. 3-5, Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex. $20, $15 seniors, $5 students. (269) 387-6222,www.wmutheatre.com.

Act II featured guest artist, Julia Murney with songs she performed on Broadway and a few non-show tunes. Murney was never without a strong connection to and healthy respect for the songwriter, whether it be John Kander in “Colored Lights” from “The Rink” or the earthy strains of Tom Waits in “Rainbow Sleeves.”

Two songs by Susan Warner early in the set were standouts. “Misery and Happiness” chronicles healthy and unhealthy love relationships. With the plaintive “Much At a All,” Murney presented a woman coming to terms with the loss of a recent love interest.

Murney’s strength lies in her vocal and character range. She played the comedienne in wacky take-off on the seasonal favorite, “12 Days of Xmas.” She drew her audience in with barely audible thrown away lines, quietly announcing her relationship exit strategy in “So Anyway.”

Finally, Murney managed to “Raise the Roof” with her raucous signature number from “The Wild Party.”

The only item missing from this entertaining evening of musical theater was a program with the correct order of songs, their respective show of origin and the name of the talented pianist accompanying these performers.



That aside, heres my little solo performance recorded by Lynn.


Yes, it is what you're thinking about. I am singing about masturbation.
Its funny how people these days write songs about everything, anything, under the sun.
Hi mom and dad... thank goodness you're not watching me do this live. Lolx.

So, my goal every night is to make people feel as uncomfortable as possible and I guess I have
succeeded today because I have a bunch of older people sitting right in front on me while I was
performing. I felt so bad.
Most of the time they we looking at each other awkwardly, trying to not look uncomfortable.
I guess I did my job.
I guess I felt better when after the show I was complaining to my director and he said this one
sentence that made perfect sense.

Director: Have older people do have sex too. It is natural.

Yes, I'll keep that in mind tomorrow night.




One more show to go.
Love.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Late Night Broadway

This is how I feel, and the only song that I can relate the most to right now is.....


I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night
Tonight’s the night night
Let’s live it up
I got my money
Let’s spend it up
Go out and smash it
Like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa
Let’s get get OFF



Gosh, I am so excited. It finally hit me. I am finally a senior. Less than 6 months to graduate. Where do I go from here?
We'll be performing our Senior Showcase tonight, the same Showcase that we'll be performing in Spring in front of Casting Directors, Agents, and other important people in the industry.
OHMYGAWD I am overwhelmed right now. This is it.

We have been working with Broadway Star Julia Murney for the past few days since coming back from Thanksgiving Break and it is the most amazing educational experience that I have ever had in my entire theatre life! No I'm not exaggerating.
She's just brilliant. So specific, she's like a walking book of acting choices and ideas.
Despite being big a** Broadway star, she is incredibly down to earth and it just inspires me even more.
Love her.

Here's her short clip in Sex and the City.




:)


Till then.
Wish my legs broken!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jeph is officially a Sailor!!!!!


:)
Can't wait to see him after Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

All I needed was a chance to prove to the world, to the people around me who don't know that I have this feeling and this ability inside of me that I can do this.
I can do this.
I can do this.

All I needed was a chance.




But, no.


You know what, I will rock it. I will make you regret.

Eff the world. I am doing this on my own.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lady Gaga

I always thought that Lady Gaga was one of those same old artists who got famous because show showed her tits and had weird fashion sense.

Well, after watching this video of her at NYU before she was famous, I changed my mind.

quote:
Born on March 28, 1986, in Yonkers, New York, the eldest child of Italian American parents Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta,[3][4] at age 11 she was set to join Juilliard School in Manhattan,[5] but instead attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private Roman Catholic school.[6] Playing piano by ear from the age of 4, she went on to write her first piano ballad at 13 and began performing at open mike nights by age 14.[7] At age 17, she gained early admission to the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. There, she studied music and improved her songwriting skills by composing essays and analytical papers focusing on topics such as art, religion and socio-political order.[7][8] She later withdrew from the school to focus on her musical career.[9]


Wikipedia.com




Some people are really talented after all.




Respect.

Done, done, and done!

I am surprised that I survived these few days.
I am even more surprise that I survived today!

Had Chicago callbacks this morning/noon/afternoon/ entire day.
And I thought that it went pretty well. Everyone is dying to be in the show, and everyone brought their game. The ladies were all fierce. An observer said that if they'd send us to war, we would made everyone drop their weapons and scurry away. Which was true, the tension and energy was insane and everyone was probably at their most competitive time of their lives.



I personally thought that I did pretty well in the audition besides the fact that some misunderstanding happened towards the end because I didn't get to read the monologue of the character that I was called back for. And I was told by the stage manager that everyone did except for me, and I did get to prove myself 'worthy' for the part. I was devastated, and I cried right after everyone left.
I fell asleep at the lobby at the theatre and woke up after 30 minutes after to get ready for our last performance of Carousel.

We had a great closing show, and I was extremely happy and grateful that my framily (friends who are family) came to support me in this little ensemble role that I had. :)

After the show was done, we had to dissemble all the lights, props, and sets that was build for the show. Insane. I am exhausted.



Zzzzzz..........


Moment of truth on Tuesday when I find out if I make the cut. Pray for me.
I am and will be Velma.

I just realized that I just wrote a random post.
hah. mind me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Show Must Go On

So this past week was spent on long rehearsals, full dress, tech, Opening night, to the Sunday Matinee Show. Not that I am complaining about the long time spent in the entire process, but I would be lying to myself and everyone if I smiled and said I love every minute of this.
Right. I know that I will and want to do this for the rest of my life, but sometimes in whatever circumstances, the show MUST go on.

Last Sunday during the Matinee performance, my underskirt aka. bloomers fell on stage TWICE in the first act! And I only go on stage 3 times during the first act. Damn it.
I sang the wrong pitch (but it was when everyone else was singing so I doubt anyone heard it, but still I felt stupid), I bowed with the boys, instead on just bowing with the girls and I was the only one who did that.
There's a part when my dance partner lifted me and sat me on the table. Instead of doing that, I was rammed unto the corner of that uber hardwood table and got a fat a** bruise on my left hip bone. But that didn't happen on Sunday. Still, I was in great pain, and I had to smile my way through the end of the dance.

I don't know what was I thinking. I was just out of my mind! Bleh.
As I've said, the show MUST GO ON.

When I was in Saugatuck, I never felt exhausted in anyway because that was all we did. I loved performing every night and we did 6 shows a week for 3 weeks! I was not bored at all. Lived the life of a Rock Star. And right now, I am tired. The only thing that is keeping me for screaming at the top of my lungs is that 2 extra days off for Thanksgiving Break.

I love what I do, I am just riding the struggle bus between being so physical in my 3 dance classes, memorizing lines in a different dialect in my Acting class, work, and then go do the show at night, and continue memorizing more lines in between. By the time I get home, I don't even wanna shower anymore. I just want to pass out!

I can do this. I can do this. And this will make me a better person.

On the other hand, I auditioned for Chicago (the Musical of course) and I was one of the three girls to get called back for Velma (Catherine Zeta Jones' part in the movie). I am freaking happy!
*more lines to memorize. Wtv.*
Call backs are this Saturday. Please pray for me. I really want this. I'm going to graduate with a bang!!!!




Note to self. Keep holding on, cuz you're gonna make it through.
Things will be awesome after this week.
:)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carousel Review

``Carousel'' -- Classic American musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein that combines passion and danger to tell a story of redemption and the power of love, collaboration with Western's University Theatre and School of Music, 8 p.m. Nov. 13-14, 19-21, 2 p.m. Nov. 15, Laura V. Shaw Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, WMU. $20, $15 seniors and WMU faculty/staff, $5 students $5 (269) 387-6222.

BY MARIN HEINRITZ

Special to the Gazette

KALAMAZOO -- In the lush, sweeping Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ``Carousel,'' there is both lightness and weight: a beautiful and surprisingly dark underbelly provides an anchor to the kind of levity one generally expects in a big, sweeping musical.

And, at the hands of Director Jay Berkow and an extraordinary cast, crew and orchestra, the University Theatre's production of what has been deemed the best musical of the 20th century is exceptional.

From the first to last moments, the stage is sumptuously full; with never a lull, this 2 1/2-hour show moves beautifully, and the story and characters are revealed through action rather than relying primarily on songs to explain what's going on.

Set in a 19th-century Maine seaside town, ``Carousel'' tells the story of one flawed man's struggle to find and redeem himself and the ripple effects he has on those he loves.

Performances are solid throughout the show. The ensemble is particularly wonderful: dances choreographed by Kirsten Harvey are, at turn, balletic and acrobatic. Big numbers, like ``June is Bustin' Out All Over'' and ``A Real Nice Clambake,'' are delightful.

Individual performances vary. Ben Maters brings swagger and a strong voice as Billy; Chelsea Morgan's gorgeous voice and grounded presence create a lovely Julie, although she lacks depth of emotion in pieces such as ``What's the Use of Wondrin'?''

Secondary characters Carrie and Enoch, portrayed by Adelina Feldman-Schultz and Ahren Rehmel, are the true stars of this show, with deliciously nuanced performances. Billy Casey's sleazy yet genuinely hilarious Jigger, Ashley Travis's gorgeous Agnes De Mille lyrical dance sequence and Dru Daniels' ``You'll Never Walk Alone'' are among the show's highlights.

Musical direction by David E. Little and his orchestra are a treat. Denise Dietrich's set -- from the painted panels depicting cherry blossoms to frame the stage, to a fabulously malleable carousel and sky that opens up -- effectively creates a 19th-century New England feel, as do Kathryn Wagner's costumes in muted colors and Melanie A. Berg's excellent lights.

The mark of a good musical, it has been said, is when the audience leaves humming a song. In this production of ``Carousel,'' that song very well may be a silly and lighthearted ditty about a clambake, but that in no way diminishes or masks the superior artistry -- the real tragedy and redemption -- onstage. In addition to humming a tune, one also leaves this show feeling transformed.


credits to mlive.com

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Carousel

Yay! Tis been a great week. Although I was wishing that the weekend could quickly come even though it was Monday at that time, but I guess, with all those late 6 hour rehearsals, the week did end pretty fast. Even better, one of my dance classes was canceled yesterday because of departmental auditions.
That extra hour of sleep, certainly did make my day :)

Here's my pin curled hair effect after Opening Night. Makes me look 10 years older. I can't understand why curls make Caucasians look sexy, and all it does is add age to Asians.
And, the heavy stage make up. Bleh.

Chelsea and I with our bloomers. Also known as undergarments back in the 1800's.
I guess if we were caught walking around like that back then, we would be stoned to death! Lol.
We were waiting to put our wigs on.

Ashley applying make up.


Alicia playing Mrs. Mullin. A melodramatic and extremely funny character, with of course, crazy make up.

One of my best friends Sexy Billy the villain and I

Brian, Alicia, and I camwhoring.
Here's my Mama Geisha look.
Brian and Sammy my favorite person!

Tyler who sits right next to me in the make up room, he sounds exactly like Josh Groban.
Insane. Amazing voice. To die for!

Here's Matt, one of the Swings.
A Swing is a person who is understudying several characters. It is a gift, I personally don't think I can play a few characters with no pre-rehearsal no nothing. If someone gets hurt, you just get thrown on stage expecting to know every line, blocking, and cue.




Carousel Promo Video.


Haha, I think you can catch me in a glimpse in several parts. And of course I look extremely Asian. Not that I'm not not Asian, but that hair. Gosh. It just enhances it. Lol.

Some people have asked me how was it like to act in a play/musical over and over again. For several weeks. Don't I get bored?
Well, every show is different. The audiences are different every time. Of course we'll have to keep the show fresh by really connecting with the character and giving him/her a personal background story that is not scripted and not go on autopilot.


It was a Presidential Performance today, which means we performed for uber important VIPs of the University, the Dean, the Donors, and Sponsors. It was a great experience.
It was one of the first few times that I got extremely moved by the reaction of the audience.
It was the first time for me looking right at the audience, and seeing them sobbing and wiping tears off their faces, made tears roll down my cheeks and during curtain call, I was just smiling so much just so nobody could see my wet emo face.
Awesome. I was really moved.

I wished mom and dad would see me in this musical. Although I did not play a big character, but you would love this show. <3

Hope I do you proud mum and dad!