sigelphoenix: (excited sokka)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 05:46pm on 14/04/2012 under ,
I got to see Lea Salonga in concert last night, and she was amazing - sassy and gorgeous and in charge of the stage. I just wanted to wrap myself in her voice like a blanket. I have recordings of her that must be 20 years old, and I've been listening to them for over 10, and she just sounds even more vibrant and rich singing live.

The audience was wild about her too - she came out on stage and immediately went to the mike for her opening number ("Feeling Good" from The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, though her rendition sounded more like the Muse cover), but people kept whooping and cheering. Her response was, "It's the tux." XD (And she did indeed look hot in her sleek, black, neckline-down-to-here tuxedo.) Some people came in late, getting led by the usher's flashlight, and when she ribbed them they made a dig at Filipino time. XD

Lea performed numbers from her most iconic roles, like "I'd Give My Life For You" from Miss Saigon, "On My Own" from Les Miserables (which was also her audition piece for Miss Saigon), and "Reflection" from Mulan. And speaking of "Reflection," there was a very enthusiastic audience member who hollered for it while Lea was introducing another song ("Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal," the title song from her first movie, which sadly was the only Tagalog song she performed), and Lea proceeded to sass him about it the entire night. In fact, she said that she needed a volunteer to sing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, and rather than ask for a volunteer she said "Reflection Boy" had to do it.

Well, it turned out that "Reflection Boy" was an actor who had just played Jafar in an Aladdin dinner theater production (I think?), and he was positively giddy to sing with her. He shook her hand when he got on stage, but she insisted he give her a hug so he swept her off her feet in a bear hug. Then, despite his giddiness (and the fact that he didn't know the lyrics that well), he really hammed it up and made Lea burst into laughter mid-song.

Lea did a couple more Broadway numbers at the end: "For Good" from Wicked, dedicated to the audience for changing her for the better; and "Everybody Says Don't" from Anyone Can Whistle, in defiance of the naysayers (such as those who said to her - before she embarked on her 20+ year Broadway career - that she couldn't do it because she's Asian). It was at that point that she mentioned she was sick, to explain why she wouldn't sing "Defying Gravity" ... which kind of blows my mind. I could ... maybe hear where a couple of high notes sounded thin, maybe, but not anything that was anywhere near bad.

It wasn't all Showtunes and Disney, though. At one point she broke out a lounge-y rendition of "Poker Face," which she then finished up at the original Lady Gaga tempo. Then, for her encore, she sang an original song ("The Journey") and then finished up with Cee Lo Green's "Forget You." XD

In conclusion, Lea Salonga is awesome. XD Next month I get to see Kristin Chenoweth in concert, then Idina Menzel in June, so my little musical-loving heart is quite happy.
sigelphoenix: (tarepanda wiggle)
The Palazzo: It earns the 5-star hotel rating with its giant suites and ridiculous number of flatscreen TVs. Unfortunately we were running around so much that we didn't get to fully enjoy the luxury of the room. I was glad of the cushy bed and elegant bathroom, though.

Phantom of the Opera (or "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular"): I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. Phantom has never been one of my absolute favorites, so I didn't expect to be affected as much as I was. It probably helped that our seats were in the dead center of the front row (though that meant I had to crane my neck to see the chandelier special effects) and the Vegas production is all about the fancy set effects. But I enjoyed the cast, particularly the Phantom, who clearly put a lot of effort into his physical performance along with his singing (imitating genteel gestures, facial expressions, trembling when Christine kisses him). And he made "Stranger Than You Dreamt It" actually tragic, and his final lines made me tear up.

I was momentarily knocked out of the spell of the show when Raoul showed up to rescue Christine at the end, and his white shirt had somehow become conveniently ripped open to display his manly cleavage. XD

Le Cirque: I went to this restaurant last year, and brought [personal profile] ratzeo this year because I wanted him to experience a fancy/expensive restaurant that was actually worth the cost. The food was as delicious as I remembered (they made a cucumber soup flavorful and tasty), and the atmosphere was not too you-only-matter-for-your-money.

O: I've seen 3 Cirque du Soleil shows now, and O is my favorite for overall experience - I was enthralled by every scene (with the exception of the comedic clown interludes, which were just okay - but I never seem to be won over by their comedic scenes). I like Ka better for its music, and for the spectacular scene where the Sister and the Firefly Boy use the sashes (which, sadly, was a type of act that didn't feature in O). But O has ridiculous use of rings, trapeze, parallel bars, diving, etc.

[profile] shadawyn and [profile] irishninja's wedding: It went off without a hitch! I think they're glad it's over, though.

[personal profile] ratzeo's and my first honest-to-goodness vacation together: ♥ ♥ ♥

The cats: We were only greeted with a minimal amount of vomit upon our return. Also, Drannor was very sweet; I picked him up when I walked in and he licked my forehead in greeting. Later when I took a nap, he spooned with me the whole time (he's usually a love 'em and leave 'em type who will cuddle for a few minutes and then find his own spot on the bed). Kershach, on the other hand, played it cool and didn't act impressed with our return. He didn't actively shun us, though, and now, 8 hours after I got home, he has finally flopped and showed his belly for me.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
Because it's been way too long since I've made one, and I really ought to right now for all the things that are weighing on me (nothing catastrophic, which is even more reason to focus on the good things).

1. I'm at work and getting paid for it. This is a happy thing for many reasons, both irreverent (I'm stealing a few minutes to write a blog post, for one) and not (I have income, health insurance, other benefits ...).

2. I went to see Wicked at The Paramount on Sunday with [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo, [insanejournal.com profile] lunapome, and [insanejournal.com profile] music_enforcer. We had great seats, the cast was fantastic, and I had as much fun as I did the first time I saw it live (I was wondering if the effect would be lessened by the fact that I'd seen the show two years ago).

3. My copy of The Mermaid's Madness, second book in Jim Hines' princess series, arrived yesterday, when I expected it wouldn't be released for a few more days yet.

4. I've recently been working on creating epic-level abilities for my D&D character (based on Crusader schools from The Book of Nine Swords, if anyone is interested), which is the most creative activity I've done in awhile. It's been nice, and gives me confidence that I might get back to creative endeavors yet.

5. I'm off to eat my lunch, which is a leek and potato soup I made after [insanejournal.com profile] shadawyn's entry reminded me of how much I like it (plus linked to a nice and easy recipe). It turned out a little too thick, I think (more like ... very light mashed potatoes than soup), but it's tasty and the weather is perfect for it.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 12:59pm on 20/10/2008 under , , , ,
5 happy things for a Monday:

1. Work didn't explode last week! Which ... granted, I didn't really expect it to, but I'm glad that my hopes were proven correct over my paranoia. :P The next few weeks and months are tough, but definitely look more doable from this vantage point.

2. Kershach had a check-up at the vet on Saturday, and he managed pretty well - more curious than nervous at being taken outside, and only slightly pouty when we got home. Also, the vet said he looked good, and is fattening up nicely from his stray weight. :3

3. A wonderful articulation of why I am allowed to be angry without being shut down by condescending cynics. (Please note that, despite what some commenters seem to think, this sentiment condemns neither those who are too weary to share in my anger, nor does it promote anger as the best/only way to respond to injustice.)

4. On Saturday [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo and I used the tickets I got him as a birthday present, and watched Spring Awakening with [insanejournal.com profile] music_enforcer and [insanejournal.com profile] lunapome. Unfortunately ... we weren't really impressed with the show. :/ Fortunately, the performers were good, even if the show itself wasn't that great, and it provided plenty of conversation material as we dissected it. ;) Then we stayed in for the evening and watched Juno, which was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

5. On Sunday evening, [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo and I were both worn out, so we spent a quiet evening in. Just the two of us (plus cat), with dinner, wine, and Mario Galaxy. It helped me face Monday morning. ♥
Mood:: 'hungry' hungry
Music:: "Away From the Sun," 3 Doors Down
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 09:26pm on 27/02/2007 under
For anyone who shares my music interests (which are, admittedly, pretty random - but you should find one or two things that interest you):

-Onitsuka Chihiro, whose last single was released in 2004, will release a new single and album starting in the early summer.

-Sakamoto Maaya will release a new album, "30 minutes night flight," at the end of March.

-Lea Salonga is currently playing Fantine in the Broadway production of Les Mis. She originally played Eponine over ten years ago. What's weirder is that the actress she's replacing as Fantine is Daphne Rubin-Vega (the original Mimi). O_o

-For those who are curious about why Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker did not reprise their roles as Mimi and Joanne in the Rent movie, the Wikipedia articles report that Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time of the filming, and Walker and director Chris Columbus decided that she was too old to play Joanne again. (Sort of old news, but I never knew.)

-Idina Menzel apparently has another solo album coming out this year.

P.S. Most of this information comes from Wikipedia, so I don't know how reliable it is. But it's all probably at least partially true.

P.P.S. How obvious is it that I'm avoiding homework? :P
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 11:30pm on 15/11/2006 under
Technically I'm writing an English paper that's due tomorrow. But I poked YouTube and goodies came out, so. :P

Random searching won me this: Lea Salonga performing "Defying Gravity."

I don't know if that means anything to anyone out there - "Defying Gravity" is, of course, from Wicked, and Lea Salonga is a prominent Broadway performer who's done roles such as Eponine in Les Miserables and Kim in Miss Saigon. You may have also heard her vocals from Disney movies like Mulan or Jasmine from Aladdin. She has a gorgeous voice, and she's also Asian (Filipina). So basically I've wanted to be her since I was about thirteen.

I have no idea what this performance was for, though the notes on the video say it was at Carnegie Hall. Finding it at random was pretty awesome.

Like Shoshana Bean in the performance I saw, she goes falsetto at the end instead of belting it out as fully as, say, Idina Menzel. I don't know if I'd want to see her actually play Elphaba - but this is still lovely to hear. (Be warned that the quality is pretty poor, though you can still hear her decently well.)

For more Lea Salonga goodness, here's a video of "Too Much For One Heart," a song that never made it to the final cut of Miss Saigon. (If you know the show, its melody is used in "Please.") And just for the heck of it, here's a video of Lea performing "The Last Night of the World," my favorite song from the show. (Dubious treatment of race aside, Miss Saigon has beautiful music.)

I also found this bit of Les Mis-related goodness: Ruthie Henshall performing "I Dreamed a Dream." She played Fantine in the special 10th anniversary performance several years ago, and I've always liked her portrayal; this performance is pretty recent, and I think is even better.

Now I'll get to work. I swear.
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 10:30pm on 26/09/2006 under
Why no I'm not riding a Wicked high just because I saw the live show two nights ago why do you ask? XD XD XD

I really wanted to share with everyone the awesomeness of the cast I saw on Sunday, and it occurred to me to check YouTube - which, incidentally, is brimming with clips from Wicked performances. (And I know it's against the rules to bring recording equipment into a live show, so I know that's bad ... but then again, it's not like these could in any way replace a live viewing. And besides, I've already shelled out cash for the show. >D)

So here we go:

Here's a taste of what I saw )

And, just because, here are some of the original cast )

And some other cast members )
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 03:25pm on 25/09/2006 under , , ,
Okay, it's been several hours since the show, so I can come up with something more coherent than, "WICKED AHHHH WICKED AHHHH!!" :P

The review! )

Speaking of Wicked - [insanejournal.com profile] rivendellrose or [insanejournal.com profile] nekokoban, does one of you have my copy of the book? I lent it to your household last summer for one or both of you to read, but I keep forgetting to get it back.

Also, this is kind of random, but worth noting: after the show, we wandered around Barnes & Noble to kill time while the line for parking validation went down. I had worn a red qipao for the show, and a man commented to me that it was pretty. And it was ... nice. A polite compliment that wasn't at all invasive or creepy. He just said, "That's a very pretty dress," and then I looked at him and he met my eyes and smiled. That's all. No leering, no smirking, no sense of entitlement to anything just because he said something nice to me.

It was just a great example of how easy it is to give a nice compliment in a non-sexist, non-privileged way. So if anyone tries to say that it's hard to compliment a woman without it being mistaken for harassment: it's not. Even this crazy man-hating feminazi didn't misread it. XD;;
sigelphoenix: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 01:25pm on 05/06/2006 under ,
Tickets for Wicked (playing at The Paramount Theatre in late September) will go on sale this Friday!

You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster. They range from $30 to $75, and weeknights are a few dollars cheaper. If, like me, you're cheap and are getting the lower-priced seats, I would order them ASAP so that you can get the best ones possible (i.e., front row of the upper balcony).

I just bought tickets for me and [insanejournal.com profile] ratzeo using a promotional code I got from the Paramount mailing list that gave me access to an online presale - if you want to get in on that, I can send it to you.

Wicked performed live, whee! XD XD XD
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posted by [personal profile] sigelphoenix at 11:45am on 02/03/2006 under
Last night I decided to forgo (some) sleep and break out my brand-spankin' new RENT DVD. (I actually bought it last week, along with Serenity, but never got around to watching either.) The extras include cut scenes (yes, including "Goodbye Love") and a documentary called "No Day But Today" about Jonathan Larson and the making of RENT (stage and movie). Some highlights:

"Halloween" and "Goodbye Love": I've heard Chris Columbus' justification for cutting these, even though he loved them, and I'm pretty well convinced. I don't think they would have ruined the movie, but I understand how he wanted to maintain the pace and cut down on the emotional saturation. That said, I *loved* being able to see them. Anthony Rapp (Mark) steals my heart. T_T These are some of the best Mark bits, and I'm sad they couldn't be in the original movie. (Not to mention the one moment of Benny being a non-dick.)

Alternate ending: Originally the final number was done a bit differently. Again, I can see why the change was made, but it's awesome to see what the first version was.

"No Day But Today": This sucker is long, so I only watched about half of it, skimming through to see the bits with the cast. XD Daphne Rubin-Vega (original Mimi) and Fredi Walker (original Joanne) make appearances, so yay. Also, you learn tidbits about the cast, such as Adam Pascal (Roger) sucked at remembering lines. You know how "One Song Glory" is pretty much Roger with his guitar sitting on a table? It was made that way so they could write his lines there and he could read them. XD;;;

Oh man, such a fangirl ... This movie actually makes me love Chris Columbus. How weird is that? :P

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