From my perspective, I believe that most musicals are part of the comedy world. I mainly know that because of what I grew up with. All the musicals I grew up with were happy musicals. They ranged from “Seussical “to “Cats” to Disney ones to “Grease” to ” Annie” to “Sound of Music” to “Wicked” to “Hairspray” and “Mamma Mia”.
In fact, musicals were capable of more things that I had known. They were capable of both positive and negative emotions, but both kinds developed at different rates. The positive emotions were growing faster than the negative emotions. The emotions that stood out the most were joy, love and sad. By high school, the emotions reached a point where they stopped developing. Without me knowing, the emotions would soon develop in such a way that I thought was impossible. Sad was this emotion that was always felt at the surface and never had layers to it. I saw the strength of love and joy even more. I was aware of multiple love and exciting songs. Besides those three emotions, there was also excitement, funny, and anger. I also learned they were capable of spectacle and dance. Wicked was that musical that would spark my love for musicals because it was when the emotions had much more meaning in them.
It was a hard change when the happy musicals had to change from all musicals to most musicals. That was at the time when tragic musicals became a part of my life. I know this post focuses on happy musicals, but it is important to know what made most musicals happy. I still remember what it was like when every musical was happy, but I am thankful for the shift. I discovered “South Pacific”, “Oklahoma”, “My Fair Lady”, “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Music Man”, and “Pippin”. I have seen all of those in some way or another. In addition to those I was aware of “Little Shop of Horror”, “Cinderella”, “Funny Girl”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Kiss Me Kate”, and “King and I”. I know there are other happy ones besides those.
It feels as if the happy musicals never seem to stop increasing. I might not have seen some of the happy musicals that I discovered, but at least I am aware of the existence. Out of all the happy musicals, “Wicked” is the best. Because of what I grew up with and what I am discovering now, I know the musicals are mostly happy. In addition, I also am aware of the history of musicals. Originally the origins came from vaudeville and comic operas, and musicals were called musical comedies because that is all that existed for quite a while. They always had more emotions that I realized growing up. The emotions were stronger than I originally believed. The negative emotions can be quite sneaky because they easily can be forgotten and can be part of a happy song.
The happy musicals are more like leaders now. Growing up, the basis of all the emotions were created, even though the emotions were not that complicated. The way I react to the negative emotions now in happy musicals has shifted. I recently saw “Sound of Music” on stage and I cried during “Edelweiss” and it was the first time sad was part of that song. Than I memorized the words to “I’m Not That Girl” from “Wicked” and learned it was sadder than I thought and now when I listen to it, the emotion is felt much deeper and once in a while has reduced me to tears.