Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Phantoms by Shana Galen



I just finished a novella that should be out from Sourcebooks next Fall. It’s tied to my Lord and Lady Spy series and has sort of a Phantom of the Opera theme.



As I was working on the novella, I thought a lot about Phantom as well as other musicals I enjoy. My love for musicals started when I was eight, and a friend’s mom took me and her daughter to see Evita. I’m sure my mother was sorry she agreed to allow me to go because I became obsessed with Eva Peron. I saved up thirteen dollars to buy the soundtrack, I checked out every book in the library on Evita and ordered more via Inter-Library Loan. And when we had to do a report on a famous person in 4th grade? Yep. Mine was on Eva Peron. I’m sure my teacher wondered what my parents were teaching me.



My next love was Cats. We performed it in choir in middle school, and though I’ve still not seen it on stage, I listened to it so many times, I feel as though I have. After that came Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Miserables, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. There are more, but these are my favorites. Basically, I was an Andrew Lloyd Webber junkie.



In high school, I performed in Annie and Little Shop of Horrors, found Stephen Sondheim and Sweeney Todd, and grew to adore Cole Porter.

Do you enjoy musicals? I love theater, and I love musicals more than any other sort of performance.

24 comments:

  1. My enjoyment of musicals came much later in life. In August, I saw the Phantom of the Opera in New York and fell in love. Really beautiful.

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  2. Wow, Tracey, I bet Phantom in New York is really good. I'm envious.

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  3. My DH and I took the train to NYC last year to see Phantom. This fabulous production has been running for over 25 years!

    My other all time fav is LES MISERABLES, which we saw in London in a Victorian jewel of a theatre. After seeing this monumental story of redemption, I had to read the doorstop of a book.

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  4. I'm a theater geek at heart. I did a bunch of performing in college but the inly two musicals i did were Evita and Company. My favorite musical is Les Miserables. Can't wait to see the upcoming film!

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  5. How cool, Tracey!!! I saw Phantom, Sweeney Todd, Dracula, and many others on Broadway when I was stationed at Fort Monmouth, NJ. I loved them! But I also loved Texas! in the Palo Duro Canyon. :)

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  6. Mia, I saw Les Miserables in London's West End too. I also read the book and think I'd rather stick with the musical! It's always amazing to me how composers and lyricists manage to tell such wonderful stories with so few words.

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  7. Sara, I'm definitely looking forward to the Les Miserables film. I saw the one from a few years back and was unimpressed. That's interesting that you did Evita. I wouldn't think that was a popular college production.

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  8. Terry, it sounds like you love musicals as much as I do!

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  9. Two of my hoard of DGK (Dear Grand Kids)absolutely LOVE musicals. Graycyn Rose just had her 15th birthday party a couple of weeks ago and my house was all done up in Phantom of the Opera, complete with the guests wearing gorgeous masks. She'll be going to see the musical in Dallas in December. Have to admit the only musicals Husband and I are drawn to are those with George Strait or Blake Shelton...and I don't think that's the kind of musicals you are talking about!

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  10. My introduction to ensemble music was playing pit piano in seventh grade for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (Sondheim). We usually mention jazz as the quintessential American contribution to music, but the musical is another.

    So are we going to do a Les Mis pj party at one of the future RWA Nationals?

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  11. Shana, I LOVE MUSICALS! They are so great. Growing up in California we have so many opportunities to see productions. We had the PCPA (Pacific Conservatory of the the Performing Arts) basically they would perform musicals and plays and they would bring in some real performers to be in the play to act along with the students. I have seen some really good shows. I also went down to the LA area to see Cats. However, my all time favorite is Les Miserables.

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  12. Carolyn, your granddaughter certainly is a theater lover! A Phantom birthday! How fun!

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  13. Grace, I'm really not a big jazz fan. Give me a musical any time. I like the catchy tunes. A Les Mis pj party sounds fun. What did Jean Valjean wear to bed?

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  14. Melody, I feel lucky to live in a big city, where I have the opportunity to see so many great productions. But I grew up in Michigan, a little town, and we used to have to drive to Toronto to see any theater.

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  15. Count me in for a Les Miz pajama party at RWA Nationals! We can sing the soundtrack together! I've listened to it so many times I can sing it front to back.

    Minneapolis has a Broadway Theatre Season which features all the touring shows and, occasionally, such as in the case of The Lion King, a show's pre-Broadway tryout run. I've had season tickets for about 20 years now. This season features The Book of Mormon and War Horse; I can hardly wait!

    My favorite musical of all time is Wicked.

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  16. Tamara, I saw Wicked in New York the year RWA was there. It was great.

    I'm all in for the Casablanca Les Miserables sing-a-long.

    Have you seen this? Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel sing Confrontation from Les Mis? They are really good. I mean, they know all the lines.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhXsJjVdj1E

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  17. I love musicals too, and Evita has always been one of my favorites. If there is crying in the house, I still sing "Don't cry for me Argentina."
    Growing up we listened to Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, and anything with Julie Andrews. I saw both Cats,and The Secret Garden in New York a million years ago, but have regretfully never seen The Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables.

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  18. My first musical that I fell in love with was The Sound of music. I've been lucky to see some wonderful musical broadway shows, many of the ones you mentioned. I saw Phantom twice and Jesus Christ superstar twice and The King and I with Yul Bryner was marvelous. Les Miserables is one I've missed and I hope to see it some day.

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  19. LOL! Gayle! Does your daughter get the reference to Evita? And you need to see Phantom or/and Les Mis. You would love both of them.

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  20. catslady, the King and I with Yul Brenner? Wow! I once saw Camelot with Robert Goulet (sp?) That was cool.

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  21. I love the Phantom, though I really am not big on musicals. The feelings are just so strong I can't help but get swept away.

    Exciting to hear you have a novella tied into your Lord and Lady Spy!!!

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  22. Hi Shana!

    I come from a musical family and grew up with both a piano and an organ in our family room!

    My sister were both proficient at both but when I was in grade school my oteacher "suggested" to my mother that I find something "other" than the piano to study!

    While my sisters both gracefully played the piano I ended up in the band playing the clarinet!

    I always loved music and fortunately when I was in High School I was accepted into "All City Choir"!

    I think that's one reason I love musical so much and am fortunate to have settled down in Rhode Island which not only has Water Fire up in Providence and great concerts but also in our little seaside town we are lucky enough to have the independently owned Teater By The Sea which every summer has wonderful musicals in fact last year my husband and I attended Don Quixote and this year we got a chance to see the old "classics" The Sound of Music and Nine to Five: The Musical (hum, maybe that ones not quite a "classic" but it is really funny!).

    It's a wonderful low cost way to see the starts of Broadway performing with "locals" who always surprise you with a wonderful performance.

    Unlike a movie theater they have a "half time break" where you can stroll the gardens and even have a glass of wine!

    Whenever I go it reminds me of the "musical" troops that traveled the English countryside bringing the "arts" to the local populous!

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  23. I grew up listening to Broadway and movie musical soundtracks. Two of my parents' favorites were Camelot and My Fair Lady.
    One of the first musicals I saw was Richard Kiley in a revival of Man of La Mancha.

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  24. Hi Shana! I saw Cats, and really enjoyed it. Fun Post!

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