Musicals with Romance in It

This is another list post. Valentine’s day was last week. I know this could be a long list, but I decided to write a list of musicals with romance in it, which is quite a long list, but will only include those that are stage musicals.  Some of these have love triangles and some do not. Some of these have more than one couple. Romance is the most common theme found in musicals so it is expected. Romance creates some of the most beautiful songs and create this wide range of couples and those are reasons why I love seeing romance in musicals. This does not include every musical I saw, but includes most of the ones I have seen,, but all of them are stage musicals.

  1. Wicked
  2. Les Mis
  3. Phantom of the Opera
  4. Sound of Music
  5. South Pacific
  6. Pippin
  7. Rent
  8. Grease
  9. Cinderella
  10. Annie Get Your Gun
  11. Beauty and the Beast
  12. Music Man
  13. Newsies
  14. Lion King
  15. Aladdin
  16. Fiddler on the Roof
  17. Oklahoma
  18. West Side Story
  19. Hairspray
  20. Little Shop of Horrors
  21. Frozen
  22. Dear Evan Hanson
  23. Miss Saigion

Based on this list, there are several musicals with romance in it. Are there any other ones you can think of?

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Rules of the Theatre

One important part about going to the theatre is following the rules. There are people who just seem to break them. Today I will write a list of important theatre rules.

Turn the ringer off your phone or just turn them off- last year when I saw Les Mis, I heard someone’s phone ring and that can take something off of the experience

Don’t talk- this happened last year as well. I was watching Rent and the couple next to my mom, dad, and me were whisper talking the entire time and I could hear them. The only approbate times to talk is the time you have before the show begins, during intermission, and at the end of the show.

Arrive early- this allows you to have time to find your seat or buy souvenirs. If you arrive late, you could miss part of the performance, but there usually are times in the show where you can enter, but walking in front of people distracts their view.

Dress nicely- I know this sounds odd. But dressing up to go to the theatre gives respect to the actors. Acting is much harder than it likes, which is something I learned through the theatre classes I took at school.  Plus, the people who work backstage do a lot of work to get the actors ready and are in charge of quick changes and take care of the staging such as lights, makeup, choreography and so on.  Going to the theatre is special. I know it is okay if you don’t, but still a nice thing to do.

The rules I hate the most being broken is hearing a phone go off, talking during the musical and arriving late.

Spiritual Themes of Les Mis

Today, I decided to focus on the various spiritual themes in Les Mis and where they are located in the musical. There will be some overlap between these themes so some scenes might repeat sometimes. SO THIS WILL BE A HEAVY SPOILER POST.

Love: in various ways 

Love for God:

1. First is shown in the bishop scene. The bishop clearly loves God. It is shown through how he shows forgiveness, compassion, and mercy on Jean Valjean. The bishop allows Jean Valjean to have a second chance at life.

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2. Another obvious scene is during “Bring Hime Home”. This is the scene where Jean Valjean is praying to God to make sure Marius survives the barricade. Jean Valjean went to the barricade to protect Marius because Cosette, his adopted daughter, loves Marius.

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Love for a Child:

1 Fantine’s selfless love for Cosette- She is a single mother was abandoned by Cosette’s biological father so she is left to care for Cosette by her self. At the time was dangerous to have an illegitimate child so she leaves Cosette in the hands of the Thenardiers, but little does she know how horrible they will treat her child. After getting fired from Valjean’s factory, she literally sells her locket, her hair, and her body in order to care for her child. She is willing to die in order that Cosette has a better life. So she is selfless when it comes to Cosette.

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2. Valjean’s Love for Cosette- Valjean adopts Cosette after her mother dies. Even though Cosette is not Valjean’s biological father, Cosette makes such a huge impact on his life. It makes even more compassionate than before. She allows Valjean to be a kinder person and later because of how much she loves Cosette, he goes to the barricade to protect Marius, the love of her life. He is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s.

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Romantic Love: Love Triangle

1. Cosette and Marius – These two make such an adorable couple. They are perfect for each other and help add hope to the story. They are meant for each because Cosette represents hope and light so these two need to be together.

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2.  Eponine and unrequited love- Eponine loves Marius, but he loves Cosette. But the way she responds to unrequited love is amazing. She will do anything for Marius to make sure he is safe and happy. That is why she makes sure Cosette and Marius end up together. That is why she screams at Valjean’s house to protect Marius even though it means standing up against her father. That is also why she takes a bullet for Marius at the barricade. She is willing to sacrifice everything even though Marius is the only good thing in her life and that to me takes a lot of strength. She falls in love with Marius because of the kindness he shows her.

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Love for Friends:

1. The love found between all the students is incredible. This love found these friends is so inspiring. They have such a brotherly love for each other. They are a group of college students who are a political group who are planning an uprising against France’s weak government. At the barricade, they eventually realize they will eventually lose and die, but yet they still fight.

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Love for the Law:

1. Javert-Love for the law is quite a weird one. Javer does have this love for the law. He strictly follows it. He believes “once a crminal always a criminal”. After Valjean broke parole, which is against the rules, Javert is determined to capture Valjean send him back to prison. But once love for the law is very odd.

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Hope: 

1. Fantine- Yes, I said there will be some overlap. Fantine has hope that her daughter, Cosette, will have a better life.

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2. Eponine- Marius is the light of her life. He is all she has in life. Her love for him is extremely strong and deep. He is the only person in her life that shows her kindness. Throughout the show, she is always true love towards Marius even if it means losing him forever.

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3. Cosette- She represents hope and light. As a child, she was terribly abused. But she still has hope she will be rescued and she eventually is by Jean Valjean. When she becomes a teenager, she falls. in love with Marius.

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4. Marius- His love for Cosette is hope.The love for each other brings hope to the story. If these two didn’t love each other, Marius would have died at the barricade.

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5. Enjolras, Marius and the students- These guys have hope for the rebellion. That is mostly shown in act I. Even in act II< they hold on that hope even when they realize they are going to die and lose. But they still have hope that others will eventually stand up against the weak government. They are so passionate about the cause that they are willing to die.

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Forgivness: 

1. The bishop scene- After Valjean steals the bishop’s steal, the is able to forgive Jean Valjean and shows him an incredible act of mercy. The bishop gives Jean a second chance at life.

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2. Valjean forgiving Javert- Javert is Valjean’s enemy but is able to forgive Javert. At the barricade, Valjean lets Javert go and end up forgiving Javert and this takes Javert by surprise.

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Compassion: 

1. Valjean showing compassion to Fantine-This happens in two ways. First shows compassion to Fantine by intervening to protect Fantine from being arrested. Then as Fantine is dying, she is still concerned about Cosette and Valjean promises to raise Cosette as his own and this gives Fantine peace and comfort as he is dying. Valjean stays with Fantine as she his dying.

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2. Marius showing compassion to Eponine- This is mainly shown at “A Little Fall of Rain”, Eponine’s death scene. After Marius realizes that Eponine is shot and is dying, this totally devastates Marius, but he still decides to be with her and comfort her while she is dying. Eponine is dying because she takes a bullet for Marius. Marius totally cares for Eponine and he holds her until she dies. It it hard on Marius, but he shows comfort to Eponine.

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3. Valjean and Cosette- Valjean is able to show compassion to Cosette. He is able to rescue her from the Thearndeirs. When realizing that Cosette is being terribly abused by the Thearndiers, he is thankful that he rescues Cosette. He promised he would raise Cosette after her mother dies. Not only does he keep his promise, but he rescues Cosette from a life of abuse.

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Sacrifice: 

1. Fantine- Like I said, themes seem to overlap each other. Fantine is willing to sacrifice everything including her life in order to care for Cosette. She is such a selfless mother willing to die to make sure her child gets a better life than she had.

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2. Eponine- She risks everything for Marius. Even though he is the only good thing in her life, she is willing to make sure that Marius ends up with Cosette. Everything she does it out of love for Marius. Her love for Marius shows that she has a spark of goodness left in her and that shows she is kind of different from her parents. She is willing to sacrifice her life so that he will survive the barricade.

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3. Students- Due to how passionate these students are, they are willing to die for the cause they strongly believe in. They are college students and they all die for this upswing. Enjolras, the leader of the group, is the most passionate  about this cause, which makes his death very heartbreaking. The students also are willing to die even if they know they are going to lose.

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4. Jean Valjean- He is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s. When he finds out that she is in love with Marius, he goes to the barricades in order to protect Marius to make sure he comes out alive. When Marius gets seriously injured and falls unconscious, he carries Marius through the sewers and makes him strive the barricades. Another scene he shows sacrifice is when he turns himself in when an innocent man is accused of being the “real” Valjean and he can’t bear to see an innocent man get sent to prison because Valjean knows what is like.

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Humanity: From worst to best

1.Thenardiers- They represent the very worst of society. They only care about themselves and money. The first scene you realize they are quite abusive is when you see how they treat Cosette. Then during Master of the House, you realize they are in fact pick pockets. After Cosette gets rescued by Jean Valjean, they start using abuse on Eponine, their daughter. They raise her to be a thief and criminal and they fall into extreme poverty. AT such a young age, they kicked Gavroche, their song out of the house. Then with both Eponine and Gavroche die at the barricades, the Theanrdiers don’t even care. They do not love both of their children.

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2. Javert-He is this obsessive policeman who has a very shady view on the world. He views the world in black and right and believe that no one can change. He is further up in humanity than the Thenardiers. He always tries to do good even if it may not be the right thing to do.

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3. Eponine- She is a young girl who doesn’t have a lot of good things happen in her life. She lives with parents who abuse her and teach her the ways of being a criminal and forces her to participate in their schemes. The entire family falls in to extreme poverty. She falls in love with Marius, but that loves falls unrequited. She falls in love til him because of the kindness she shows her. I think the reason why she has s park of goodness in her is mainly because of Marius. Her love for Marius is quite strong and deep and constantly shows true love towards him. She eventually takes a bullet for Marius and dies in his arms.

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4. Students- they are a group of college students who are planning an uprising against France’s weak government.

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5. Fantine- She is a selfless mother who does anything in order to provide for Cosette. Even during her death, she is still concerned about Cosette, but Valjean agrees to raise Cosette as his own.

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6. Cosette- She represents hope and light. After Valjean rescues her, she lives a very sheltered life, but i don’t blame that because Valjean is always on the run from Javert. But Valjean gave her a better life. She is such a sweet person and she falls in love with Marius and their love help provide hope to this tragic tale.

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7. Marius- He is such a nice, sweet, and a little awkward law student. who is capable of an arming amount of bravery and compassion. His bravery comes from being willing to be part of the rebellion. His compassion is mainly shown through how much he cares about Eponine. When Eponine is dying, he ends up staying with her and comforting her and holding her while she dies even though this devastates Marius. He is the only survivor from the barricade and eventually realizes that Valjean is the reason he is alive and ends up thanking Valjean.

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8.   Jean Valjean- He starts out as being a harsh, hateful, and angry man and it doesn’t seem like he will become a better person. But then he meets the bishop who teaches him the ways of the Lord. The bishop shows him compassion and forgiveness and mercy by allowing him a place to sleep and food to eat and forgives Valjean after stealing his silver.  These actions gives Valjean a second chance at life and is determined to become a better person. It is why he rescues Fantine from being arrested, why he turns himself in when an innocent man is accused of being the “real” Valjean. He even promises Fantine that he will raise Cosette.

All of his actions he does after the bishop scene he does out of the example the bishop teaches him. He shows compassion to a number of people. He rescues Marius from the barricade. He raises Cosette. So you see as the show continues he continue to becomes a better person.

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9. The Bishop- Even though the bishop plays such a small role in the musical, his role is crucial. If he didn’t show compassion and forgiveness, to Valjean, there really wouldn’t be a story. Valjean would have stayed a hateful and angry and harsh man if it wasn’t for the actions the bishop does. He shows compassion by allowing Valjean a place to sleep and food to eat and is able to forgive Valjean.

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So you see , Les Mis deals with various levels of humanity. You have the the very worst and the very best and those in between.

Redemption: 

,1. Jean Valjean- Valjean goes on a path to redemption after the mercy shown to him from the bishop. By the end, he become a very saintlike and compassionate person despite his years in prison.

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Because Les Mis deals with so many areas of these spiritual themes, it makes Les Mis so much more than just a tragedy. It has this beautiful underlying spirituality, which is what I am able to relate to. It is why this tale is so inspirational. It is why it is not too depressing and why I am not sick and tried of it.

Why Elphaba is a Map to what I Want in a Musical Character

Elphaba is my favorite musical character and she is one of the two protagonists from Wicked. I almost feel like she is a map to characteristics I want in a musical character. That is mostly because there are many admirable characteristics that she has. I tend to lean towards complex, strong, brave and big-hearted character and those are characteristics you can find in Elphaba. In addition, I want characters to be flawed, which makes them even more real. Complexity is an important characteristic because there is so much to a character and those characters you end to find something new. In terms of bravery, it shows that they don’t mind risking their life for the sake of others or they truly fight for something they believe in. In terms of big-hearted, it shows how caring and compassionate they are for others and that is such a beautiful characteristic to have. Strong characters, like Elphaba, shows that they can make it through rough and tough situations and that they don’t care what others think of them and they tend to be strong in many ways.

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The Beauty of Touring Productions

Touring productions are one way to watch musicals. But there is an amazing beauty behind them. Even though people would love to see musicals on Broadway or the West End, not everybody has easy access to them. I live in North Carolina, which is not that close to New York. So I am so thankful for touring productions. It allows you to see musicals at different theaters. In Charlotte, there are two main theaters, which are Belk Theatre and Ovens Auditorium. The other theaters I have gone to on tour are Fox Theatre (St. Louis) and Peace Center (Greenville).

Touring productions are so incredible. The casts are always extremely talented and the staging is incredible to watch. I have been on two dates with my mom during touring productions. I have been on one date with my dad during a touring productions. Some of these times my entire family went to. But some have been just my mom, dad, and me. Others have been just my sister, mom, and me. The dates with my mom on tour were Pippin and Phantom of the Opera. With my dad, our date was at Wicked and even though he hadn’t seen it at that point and it was my 3rd time going, he still gave me the better seat.

 

Over the years, touring productions have been the main way I have seen musicals. I have seen Annie at the Fox Theatre, which is such a gorgeous theatre. I have seen both Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera at the Peace Center, which is another gorgeous theatre and I have seen Phantom of the Opera in the orchestra and I saw Les Mis up in the balcony. In Charlotte, I have seen Wicked at Ovens Auditorium three times and I have seen Sound of Music, Pippin, Rent, and Newsies at the Belk Theatre. If there wasn’t touring productions, I would not have been able to see all the musicals I have seen. The main theaters I go to are Belk and Ovens because I live in Charlotte and those are the two main theatres. It gives you the wonderful opportunity to see you to explore musicals at different theaters and each city, the show will be a bit different.

What do you think is the beauty of touring productions?

Courageous Characters Found in Musicals

Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear.

-Seize the Day, Newsies

What does the word courage remind me of in the world of musicals? Well, in musicals, you come across many brave characters who show their bravery in many ways. I decided to make a list of various characters who do show courage. I will do my best to explain why they are brave in the first place.

Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Newsies- Even though they have to survive off of Pulitzer’s newspapers, they still stop buying papers. They end up going on strike to go up against Pulitzer to say this isn’t right. They stay passionate towards the cause. Going on strike was a brave thing to do because if they don’t buy papers, they will barely survive, but still go on strike to make a stand.

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Les Mis: 

Friends of the ABC- they are very similar to the Newsies. They have a cause as well and are planning an uprising to go up against the weak government. They stay passionate towards the end even when they know they are going to lose and know they will most likely die.

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Eponine- She risks her life several times. Even though she loves Marius, she does anything for him just to make sure he is happy and safe. At one point, she goes up against her father when he tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius is there and ends up screaming to protect the one she loves. Then at the barricade when Marius is about to get shot, she protects him by sacrificing for life so he could survive. She does not have a very good life, but yet risks her life several times for the sake of Marius.

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Jean Valjean- he is an ex-convict. He ends up turning himself in when an innocent man is “Valjean”. Than at the barricades, he goes there to protect the one that his adopted daughter, Cosette, loves. When Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean takes Marius to safety even the only way to is go through the sewers.

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Elphaba- she is brave in many ways. She goes up against the Wizard even when he is spreading “rumors” and “lies” about her. She always true to herself no matter what people say about her.

Wicked: 

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Belle- she ends up saving her father when imprisoned by the Beast. She ends up taking his place as prisoner. Then towards the end when Gaston and the citizens want to kill the Beast, she goes back to warn the Beast and wants to make sure he comes out alive.

Beauty and the Beast

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Beast- when he falls in love with Belle, he lets her go. Then when Belle returns, he protects her by fighting Gaston. So because these two would protect each other, it makes them such a beautiful couple.

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Can you think of other courageous characters I did not put on this list?

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Excitement in Musicals

Poem of Excitement in Musicals:

Strongest emotion when younger

Never really changed

Exactly the same as always

An emotion found in many ways

Found in experience and in show

The world of dance and spectacle

So comes with wow factor

Due to fancy tricks and dancing

But not always with dance and spectacle

Makes experience stronger

So allows all emotion to be worth it

Excitement in experience

Allows for positive experience

Not a negative one