Alternative “Phantom of the Opera” Musical

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of The Phantom of the Opera is one of the best known, but it’s hardly the only version in existence. Before Webber’s version we had the Ken Hill version, which supposedly inspired Webber to make his (although the two are very different). I’ve heard clips, and honestly I haven’t been overly impressed. But there was one really good song I wanted to share here, “While Floating High Above”. It has the bonus of being performed by John Owen-Jones, who was one of my favorite Phantoms in the Webber musical. To me this just proves that no matter the composer, he is the Phantom.

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Ash Wednesday 2019

Lent is upon us once more, and this year I come to you with a Gregorian Chant playlist specifically designed for Lent!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1IokGMZAM88OW3qqLFKfnR

Enjoy!

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Latest Discovery: Babylon 5

This isn’t my “latest” discovery per se as I started watching sometime last summer, but it was only recently that I finished the first season (yes, I’m slow). Oh. My. Goodness. How did I go so long without watching this show!? It’s amazing! It’s an excellent blend of philosophy and science fiction, something I haven’t seen in a very long time. And from what I understand, it only gets better, which boggles my mind a bit because I honestly can’t picture it getting any better than it is now.

Babylon 5 is the story of a space station that was established to help humans and aliens work out their differences and disagreements on neutral ground. Commander Jeffrey Sinclair is tasked with keeping it all from falling apart at the seams. Fortunately he has two loyal helpers in the forms of his First Officer Susan Ivanova and his Security Chief Michael Garibaldi. The ambassadors come from far and wide representing the needs of their people, and naturally they don’t always see eye-to-eye. But in the midst of their everyday grievances, there are hints of something much bigger at play, something that will either force them all to work together or drive them apart as they take separate sides.

The first season ends on a cliffhanger–a mysterious force has wiped out an entire Narn outpost, and Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari has enshrouded herself in a cocoon-like structure, hinting at some sort of impending transformation. It’s pretty impressive stuff, and I won’t be delaying starting season 2. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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There’s a Tolkien Biopic Coming in May

I have so many mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, yay, it’s a biopic on Tolkien! On the other hand, I have been burned by Hollywood ruining potentially good projects too many times to fully trust this. I want to be more excited; I’m just so afraid they’ll end up ruining it!

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Love’s Definition for Valentine’s Day

I know I share this video every year for Valentine’s Day, but it’s something I think needs to be shared every year. All around us, people are in bad relationships and think it’s perfectly normal and acceptable. It’s good to be reminded of what a relationship should really be like.

“It’s giving life that counts. Until you’re ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love in; it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else–it isn’t going to bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”

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New “Dracula” TV Show in the Works

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have finished writing the scripts for a new Dracula adaptation, and they hope to begin filming it soon. In ordinary circumstances, I would be dreadfully concerned about a Dracula TV show, but this is Moffat and Gatiss. They did well with Sherlock–much better than I had expected, anyway–so I hope they continue to do well with Dracula. An interesting note is that they will not be modernizing Dracula like they did with Sherlock; the story will take place in its original time period.

I do greatly miss Sherlock, but I hope that this new Dracula project more than makes up for its absence…even if it only has three episodes again.

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A Really Awesome Book

So there was a book I got for Christmas, and it was amazing, and I wanted to share its existence with all of you. It’s called Never Leave Your Monastery by H. G. Potter. It’s a world similar to ours except with a whole lot more magical menaces–it’s a dangerous world out there, which is why the novice Jacob Magister is cautioned to never leave the monastery he calls home, but does he listen? Nope. Well, he left, but then he went back, and then he got sold into slavery, and it all kind of devolves for Jacob from there. With both natural and supernatural problems to worry about, all Jacob really wants is to stay alive, not get involved in quests with elves and dwarves and fight demons. Unfortunately for him, that’s exactly what happens.

Never Leave Your Monastery is a lengthy read, but it’s very rich and layered and well worth the time it takes to get through it. Jacob is an unusual hero in that he vacillates a lot between whether or not he actually wants to be doing this–sometimes to the point where I want to slap him and tell him to make up his mind–but I think that makes him more relatable in a way. So, long story short, this is a book I highly recommend.

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