Man, I had a hell of a time sleeping last night. I didn’t get to bed until after midnight and it took what I thought was forever to fall asleep. I woke up around 3 and was up for a bit, trying to figure out what I was going to do about my thesis stuff and figuring out the wording of the email I would send my thesis chair later in the day. I somehow fell back asleep and was up for good after 7. I stayed in bed for awhile and then dragged myself upstairs to let the dogs out. (btw – that small animal that was trying to get into my room last night was a sparrow. It was stuck under the netting over top of the window well outside my window. I told my dad and he got the bird out.) I had on a hoodie and sweatpants and thought I’d be okay when I let the dogs out, but it was friggin’ freezing outside. It actually flurried several times today… so much for May Day.
After taking care of the dogs, I grabbed some cold pizza and an orange (breakfast of champions, yo) and settled down onto the couch to watch the rest of Starship. I was very, very pleased with how this show turned out. I will expand on my opinion of this show in a bit… but first about the rest of my day (which was super uneventful…).
I made a couple more mix CDs today… a Starship/StarKid one and then a Glee/current music one. Now I’m done with new mix CDs for my trip… I made 7 CDs in the past week, so that will definitely keep my ears busy on the road.
I also did more laundry and started packing for my trip today. Really, I just threw a couple pairs of jeans and some shirts into a suitcase. I’ll need a bigger suitcase, but at least I kinda got started. I hate packing for trips… I’m always afraid I’ll forget something, so I usually over pack. Oh well. I also cleaned my bathroom and did the dishes today.
During lunch I started to watch another episode of My So Called Life. I’m still up in the air about this show.
I did email my professor today to inquire about if he sent the notes he said he was going to mail last Monday. I wrote the email this morning and then sat on it for awhile before I sent it so I could reread it a few times and make sure I hadn’t written anything I would later regret. I thought it was a well written email, so I sent it. We’ll see what happens. I have a bad feeling about this whole thesis thing. And that really upsets me.
My mom came home today! She got in around 3:45… we were all happy to see her, especially the dogs (Moose jumped up on her and almost knocked her down with Moose kisses). We had pizza for Pizza Sunday and watched some Matthew Broderick movie. I fell asleep during most of it because I am beyond tired. Right now we’re watching The Amazing Race. Poor Zev and Justin are still trying to dig out their dummy. I want the Goths to go home because I’m sick of Kent’s complaining.
So… Amazing Race is over – and Kent and Vyxsin (sp?) went home because of a penalty!!! I like the four remaining teams, so I will be happy for whoever wins next week 🙂
Okay, so Starship time!!
(SPOILERS for those who have not see Starship but plan to in the near future… which you should b/c it’s awesome)
I don’t know where to begin… there’s just so much good stuff to talk about.
Here is a quick summary of the plot – A bug named Bug wants to be a Starship Ranger, but he’s a bug and bugs are assigned jobs at the hive. (The whole is more important than the individual in this society.) While at work, Bug saves a ditzy scientist from having an egg implanted in her chest and she mistakes him for a Starship Ranger. Her colleagues get sent down to the bug planet to rescue her and they have a run in with a bunch more bugs. Meanwhile, a scorpion named Pincer convinces Bug to mind meld with a cryogenically frozen Starship Ranger so he’s now a human and goes with the scientist back onto their ship. The head bad guy, Dr. Space Claw, has a son named Junior who is mad b/c the ditzy scientist did not get implanted with the egg, so he tries to get the robot, Mega-Girl to destroy the other Starship Rangers while he goes back to the bug plant to take the Over Queen in order to bring her eggss back to Earth so they can make a bug army. Mega-Girl ends up falling in love with one of the Starship Rangers, Tootsie Noodles (from Farm Planet). Commander Up (the leader of the Starship Rangers) and his Starship Rangers fight off the bad bugs while Bug fights off Pincer. He goes to sacrifice himself so that the bug planet is safe and so the Starship Rangers can survive. His human body is destroyed, but he is still alive, though back in bug form. The Overqueen thanks him for what he did and lets him be an ambassador between the bugs and humans. He still ends up with the ditzy scientist, even though she formerly hated bugs.
There are obviously more plot points and character development than this, in addition to a bunch of songs, but this is the basic jist of the show.
The bugs, cast and music were really the highlights of this show.
BUGS – There were large 2D bugs that actors held and moved around the stage, but then there were also puppet (think Avenue Q) and much larger bugs that the actors themselves were attached to (kinda like Timon in the stage-version of The Lion King). The puppets were amazing. The puppet for Roach, Bug’s best friend, was super cute! And I thought that Pincer was amazing… props to Dylan Saunders for holding up the head and various cast members for really making those pincers expressive.
CAST – There were a lot of familiar faces from StarKid shows past, but also some new faces who I really was impressed with.
Joey Richter (Bug) – Though I am most familiar with Richter from playing Ron in AVPM and AVPS (as well as himself in Me and My Dick), he was extra amazing as Bug. Richter is a very, very capable leading man (and bug). He’s funny, he’s handsome, he has great stage presence and spot-on comedic timing. Also, his voice is well suited for musical theater because it’s easy to understand him when he sings, and it’s just really pleasant to listen to. He had me laughing a million times over, but his monologue toward the end when he was fending off Pincer was really heartfelt and extremely moving. I can’t wait to rewatch this so I can further appreciate his performance.
Lauren Lopez (Taz, Bugette, other bugs/pincer claw) – Did somebody say Draco Malfoy? Lopez could have been pigeon-holed into the cute girl role she played to a T in Little White Lie, but she excels at taking on some pretty crazy roles, such as Draco Malfoy and now Taz. Taz was part Rambo, part Scarface and a whole lotta tough gal. She had some of the best lines in the show and she friggin’ commits to her characters. I have a lot of respect for her and her talent.
Joe Walker (Commander Up, other bugs) – Joe Walker is definitely one of my favorites. He was amazing as Voldemort, great as Umbridge, awesome as Dick and just plain killed it as Up. Here’s another super talented actor who 100% commits to his always flawed character. He reminded me a lot of Jake Gyllenhaal in this show, for some reason. But Walker is a force – he’s super funny and has impeccable timing as well. His monologue about being half robot and the Shoe song had me doubled over with laughter.
Joe Moses (Krayonder, other bugs) – I’m so used to him as Snape, it was kinda weird seeing him out of that black wig and cape. He provided some great one-liners and was a solid addition to the Starship Rangers.
Julia Albain (Specs, other bugs) – She was hilarious, and I almost didn’t recognize her as Specs! Another example of someone who just completely commits to the role. Her costume itself was a stitch and she just owned it all.
Dylan Saunders (Tootsie Noodles, Pincer, other bugs) – OMG, I think I’m in love. He played two completely different main characters and dominated them both. He was part of two big musical numbers as well and I just fell in love with his voice! While he was amazing as Pincer, I really loved when he was Tootsie Noodles. As Noodles, he had some extremely choice/hilarious bits of dialogue, but also provided a venue for some of the more heartfelt moments of the show. Only he could have pulled off Tootsie’s infatuation with Mega-Girl 🙂
Brian Holden (Junior, Mosquito, other bugs) – Ah, Lupin. Brian Holden is just that guy who can play the jerk, but there’s just so much secondhand embarrassment, that you can’t completely hate him(i.e. when Junior chokes on his pot while wearing those pink sunglasses 🙂 ). I was kinda impressed with his singing voice, since he hadn’t sung in AVPS.
Jamie Lynn Beatty (Mosquito, other bugs) – I am a huge fan of hers from AVPM, AVPS, and Me and My Dick. I was hoping she’d have a bigger part in the show, but alas. She was great as a mobster-esque mosquito, though 🙂
Jim Povolo (Mosquito, Overqueen, other bugs) – Same as with Beatty… I was hoping he’d have a bigger role. I mean, he was the Overqueen, but besides his booming voice, I think he’s a great presence on stage because of his height. I am a fan, though… the guy uses his voice well for comedic purposes.
Nick Lang (Caller Bug, Mister Bug) – He’s the unsung hero of this show, as he’s a co-writer, AD *and* designed the 2D puppets, in addition to voicing some key bugs. I am in awe of his work, and the work he’s done on prior StarKid shows. I am continually impressed with the amount of creativity that flows out of his person.
Brant Cox (Roach) – ADORABLE! Oh my goodness, I loved Roach and Brant 🙂 I could totally see him in a production of Avenue Q after watching him as Roach. His singing voice is great, and he was just an amazing presence as Roach. I look forward to more from him 🙂
Denise Donovan (February) – While I was not a fan of February as a character (Bug can do better than a ditzy scientist!), I thought Denise Donovan was really great. She really played up February’s ditziness, but at the same time you never hated that character for it. She had a good arc, and it was great to see her come around with regards to the bugs.
Meredith Stepien (Mega-Girl) – Not *enitrely* new to StarKid (she was in Little White Lie), but this was her first really big role with them, and I thought she was well cast as Mega-Girl. She had some great lines and it was nice to see her character’s arc as well. Aw, robots.
So, as with most of the other StarKid production, the songs were written by Darren Criss. That boy is talented… which is the understatement of the century. This show had a fair few big production numbers and the variety of song genre, as well as the lyrics and music itself, was impressive.
“I Wanna Be” – Bug’s anthem about wanting to be a Starship Ranger. This theme and lyrics would pop up again later in other songs, but the overall message was Bug’s story for the show – he wants to be a Starship Ranger and is going to do anything he can to achieve that because it’s everything he is. This song would fit into any Broadway show where the protagonist is self-motivating to achieve his/her goals. It’s upbeat and really catchy. Plus, it sets up Bug’s need to get out and Roach’s contentment to stay with the hive.
“Get Back Up” – Taz’s song to Commander Up about getting back up and into the swing of how things used to be. Brushing oneself off and moving forward, etc… This song starts off a little bit like a Jerry Lee Lewis song (not quite “Great Balls of Fire,” but there are some piano licks in there, as well as some good guitar), but then ends with kinda a gospel feel (clapping and keyboards).
“Life” – Bug’s “No Good Deed” moment, in my opinion. The song has some ominous/repetitive piano action, as well as some mysterious/building percussion. The lyrics are simple, yet profound. Ex: “There’s no choice involved in what you are given / One mind, one voice, one body to live in.” At the end, there is a piano-only reprise of “I Wanna Be” that’s very effective.
“Hideous Creatures” – It’s a rock (metal?) equivalent of “What is this Feeling?”. Two opposing sides (Starship Rangers vs. bugs) who are repulsed by the other side for pretty much the exact same reason. This is a funny song because it’s just so ridiculous and wonderful all at the same time.
“Kick it up a Notch” – Pincer’s song convincing Bug to put his mind into a human’s to become a Starship Ranger and bring the other Rangers to him… it totally sounds/feels like a combination of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”. (I kid you not.) I dig it. Dylan Saunders completely sells this song and then Joey Richter joins him later on after another reprise of “I Wanna Be” (love it!).
“Status Quo” – One of my favorite songs from this show! It’s Bug’s anthem about saying no to the status quo and being content with being different and not following the norm. My favorite, favorite, favorite verse is,
“I’ll kick down the walls around me
They don’t know how strong I am
I’m not defined by boundaries
They will never understand
I’m so much more”
And the best part is, I love Joey Richter’s version just as much as I love Darren Criss’s version from his livestream. (Btw – you can listen to all of these songs and be able to hear Darren singing them… even though they completely fit the characters, you can totally hear Darren’s influence on all of them, from his choice of words and phrases for the lyrics, to the rhythm and cadence of each line. He is a very gifted song writer.)
“The Way I Do” – My other favorite song from the show! Oh my goodness, this is where I really fell in love with Dylan Saunders and his voice. I am a total sucker for songs in 3/4 time, and this song is no exception. My favorite, favorite, favorite lines are when Tootsie Noodles sings, “Now I may be dumb, but where I come from / Folks say they’re fine when I know that they’re blue. / But you don’t know you the way I do.” That is such an amazing line for his character because it shows that even though he’s not all that smart, he’s not all that dumb either, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. This is a really, really sweet song and I plan on listening to it a bajillion times.
“Kick it up a Notch (reprise)” – This is really where the “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” vibe really shines for me… and again, I dig it. Brian Holden singing this just makes me laugh 🙂
“Beauty” – It’s a lesson about bugs and acceptance all wrapped up into a sweet little song sung by a sweet little bug named Roach. The lyrics scream “I was written by Darren Criss” (EX: We don’t got / Any kind of worry / Our way of life is laissez-fair / No wealth, no poor / Or hypocrisy / Just beauty / Beauty everywhere). This song is beautiful because it celebrates inner beauty and outer beauty, which is one of the main themes of the show.
On a whole, j’adored Starship. I can’t wait to rewatch it 🙂 I can’t wait to see the StarKids at the Digitour… hopefully they’ll sing some Starship songs and it’ll be totally awesome 🙂
See Starship. Seriously… it’s really good.
(END STARSHIP TALK)
Well, I should get going… gotta be up early for work tomorrow. Boo
Have a good one