Meytav @ 'Carmen Jones' - I fell in love with the culture

What it's about. 

Carmen Jones is a musical about a charismatic gypsy that can’t resist making men fall in love with her until she falls in love with the wrong man. 

Editor's Note (Christine): I've always wondered, is the word "Gypsy" offensive?

My experience.

When I was around seven or eight years old there was an animated show about Carmen in Hebrew, and I remember loving the beauty and strength of her character. She was the woman that everyone loved, and the liveliness, and excitement of being a gypsy fascinated me. Ever since this show, I fell in love with the gypsy culture - which in all honesty, was mostly because of the music and the beautiful flamenco dance.

So the anticipation upon seeing this show was a chance for me to relieve and re-experience a part of my childhood. Carmen Jones was exactly what I needed to see to fall in love with this story all over again. One of the things I loved most about Carmen was her presence when she stepped in the room, she had an aura that could not be ignored, so it’s no wonder she could make any man fall in love with her. 

But, her beauty and strength didn’t mean she was perfect, quite the opposite actually. She loved having the ability to make men love her. She loved when everything always went her way. She was selfish about it too. Although, she warned her lovers that loving her would be eternal, and that she would get tired of them quickly, no one could resist her. So she would love a man for a little while, and then drop him and get a new one. It all worked out for a while, until she met a man that was overly possessive and obsessed with her even after she stopped loving him back. 

As much as everyone loves Carmen, and even as much as I love Carmen, she played with her destiny but she was willing to face the consequences because that is the life she chose to live. And that is another admirable character trait that Carmen possesses, she stood by her actions and wasn’t trying to run away from her fate. 

Sitting in the audience and remembering what’s to come surprisingly didn’t make this show any less suspenseful, because seeing it live is a completely different experience. One of the most beautiful things about this show was the simplicity of everything, how everything was staged in a black box theater with minimal set - and that is what I loved about the original Carmen I was introduced to as well. The life of a gypsy was simple, and I loved seeing it represented that way on stage as well. 

Editor's Note (Cheyanne): Looking up pictures for this show, I realized that Carmen: A Hip Hopera - a movie featuring Beyoncé and Mekhi Phifer was also based on the original 1875 opera! I was seven years old when that movie came out! Everything always comes full circle. SO COOL! :D


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