This or That: Broadway Edition

One of our shared interests is Broadway musicals. Despite that, we’re still two unique individuals with our own opinions. To see how well our Broadway preferences matched up, we did a “This or That” video about Broadway-related topics.

Man Crush Monday: Corey Cott

In our Man Crush Monday series, we will feature a man whom we are fans of and admire. In our first installment, we’re featuring one of our favorite Broadway performers, Corey Cott.

Who is our MCM?

Corey Cott is an American actor and singer from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, who is best known for portraying Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies the Musical on Broadway.

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Santa Fe from my Broadway Debut.

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After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in spring 2012, he joined Newsies as the Jack Kelly alternate and, in September, replaced Jeremy Jordan, Broadway’s original Jack Kelly. Corey remained in the role until Newsies closed on Broadway in August 2014.

Corey is also known for originating the role of Donny Novitski, a pianist/songwriter and World War II veteran, in Bandstand on Broadway, which opened in April 2017 and closed in September 2017. To portray Donny more authentically, he even learned to play piano for the show’s Broadway run.

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Broadway Adventures: Our Favorite Broadway Princess Party Performances

Once upon a time in Midtown Manhattan, Princess Laura Osnes and her Fairy Godfairy Ben Rauhala invited their royal friends to gather and sing princess songs, celebrating the inaugural Broadway Princess Party. Little did they know they had just created a magical event that would bring them new adventures and a growing Princess Posse.

In the four years since that evening, the Princess Posse has ventured outside of New York, bringing magic to places all across the country.

Adam Jacobs (Broadway’s original Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Broadway’s original Princess Jasmine), Susan Egan (Broadway’s original Belle), Ashley, Amanda, Laura Osnes (Broadway’s original Cinderella), and Ben Rauhala (Fairy Godfairy)

We had the honor of attending a Broadway Princess Party last year in Schaumburg, Illinois, at Princess Courtney Reed’s homecoming show. Since then, our love for BPP and its royal family has only grown. We often find ourselves reminiscing about our experience with the show and enjoy watching the various BPP performances posted online.

In honor of BPP’s royal anniversary, we’re recalling some of our favorite performances.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Courtney Reed

In our Woman Crush Wednesday series, we will feature a woman whom we are fans of and admire. In our first installment, we’re featuring Broadway actress Courtney Reed, who recently celebrated her birthday!

Who is our WCW?

Courtney Reed is an American actress, singer, and dancer best known for originating the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin the Musical on Broadway. She was Jasmine on Broadway from February 2014 to  January 2018 and had been in the role since its initial staging in Seattle in 2011. Before Aladdin, she made her Broadway debut as an the ensemble member and understudy in Mamma Mia!. She later took on the roles of Carla, Nina, and Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. Continue reading

Broadway Adventures: Trouble and Trombone Dreams at ‘The Music Man’

Amanda and Ashley in front of the Goodman Theatre's "The Music Man" photo backdrop

Not long ago, the only things we really knew about The Music Man was the song “76 Trombones” and that its story centered around a con-artist traveling salesman. We had never heard “76 Trombones” in full, and we had never watched the movie either. But when we learned that Geoff Packard (who would get to continue the trombone dreams—more on this later) would be starring in The Music Man at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, we were sold and decided to finally see what the show had to offer.

We first watched Geoff perform two years ago when he portrayed Wayne Wright in the Broadway musical BandstandBandstand is one of our all-time favorite musicals, and Geoff did a tremendous job in the show. Knowing this, we didn’t want to miss out on what would surely be another great performance by him, nor did we want to miss out on an opportunity to support him while he’d be in our area.

Goodman’s production of the show began previews in late June, opened in July, and had its run extended TWICE. We chose to go Tuesday, August 6—just days after its original closing date of August 4. Continue reading

Music Monday: Our Favorite Alan Menken Songs

In honor of award-winning composer/songwriter Alan Menken’s birthday, we’re featuring his music in our first Music Monday post. We had the pleasure of seeing Alan Menken live in concert earlier this year in March and got to hear quite a few of our favorite Disney songs there.

Menken is best known for his work on many Disney films, including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and more. He’s also done several musicals, such as Little Shop of Horrors and A Bronx Tale. With such an extensive resume, it’s no surprise he has won numerous Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammys, and one Tony Award.

Like most people, we discovered Alan Menken and his work while we were kids by watching Disney movies, so most of our favorite Alan Menken songs are from Disney movies. Quite a few Disney animated movies have been turned into Broadway musicals, and songs are often added for the stage version. Even though we have yet to watch a Disney Broadway show, we love many of the Broadway-exclusive songs. We can’t wait to see what new songs Menken will release next, such as those for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. But for now, we’ll keep listening to the following favorites. Continue reading

Broadway Adventures: Things Musicals Have “Ruined” For Us – Part One

We were going to write an introduction for this post, but in the midst of trying to find GIFs to include in this post to make it more fun and less word-heavy, we discovered this Tumblr post, and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

The one thing we would like to add, however, is that we make so many references to Broadway musicals that we started a “Broadway reference” jar in an attempt to stop making so many allusions. Every time we make a reference to a Broadway musical, we have to put at least 50 cents in the jar. It’s been months since we began the jar, and it has only helped slightly. Continue reading

Our Adventures of May 2019

May has been the most eventful month of 2019 so far with three trips to the opera house, four trips to the movies, a trip to the theater, and more.

West Side Story at Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Broadway Adventures: How Lyric Opera Made Us Say ‘Te Adoro, West Side Story’

Ashley and Amanda at Lyric Opera of Chicago for West Side Story

In middle school, we were obsessed with High School Musical. We bought all the magazines, every edition of all the movies, got all the soundtracks, and made our mom buy us all the shirts. We learned the songs and could sing them by heart. We learned the dance moves and would perform them as the movie played. It was the first time we loved a musical. But, despite our love for the High School Musical trilogy, we surprisingly didn’t develop an interest in musical theatre because of it.

It wasn’t until 2011 that we first became a fan of a non-Disney musical/movie musical, West Side Story. In season three of Glee, West Side Story was the musical being performed on the show, so we were exposed to the show’s basics and some of its songs. Sometime after that, our brother bought Amanda a DVD of the West Side Story movie, so we got to fully experience that story. It was cool to hear the songs in the context of the show’s narrative instead of song covers in the context of Glee’s storylines. A few years later, we had expressed an interest in seeing a live production of the show when the national tour returned to Chicago, but it never became a reality. Instead, nearly a decade would pass until we got to see a live production of the show.

On May 2, we saw our first live production of West Side Story when we were invited by Lyric Opera of Chicago to attend the final dress rehearsal as social media insiders for their production of the iconic musical. We had been waiting for this production for over a year and were thrilled to finally see the show live—especially considering our relatively newfound love for Broadway musicals. (It only took us a decade to finally realize how great musical theatre is, but better late than never, right?)

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