This will be quite an interesting post. At first, I did not realize that there was a dark side to the comic musicals. Growing up I did not notice the dark side at all, but I did know about the emotion of sad. I think that it is because I was younger and would not be able understand the darkness of musicals. In addition, I was only connected to one sad song and that emotion was growing at a snail’s pace.
Comedies do a good job of hiding up the dark side, which makes it easier for people of all ages to enjoy musicals.I soon discovered the dark side of comedies, which was after the tragic musicals started to become part of my life. After those musicals, I soon saw more of the negative emotions in the comedies.
The dark side of comedies deals with elements such as unrequited love, animal abuse, death, racism and discrimination. It is hard to understand why a comedy will have all of these elements because comedies are supposed to be funny and filled with entertainment. But the dark elements of comic musicals makes characters more interesting. The most interesting musical characters go on a very vulnerable and emotional journey.
(Minor Spoiler Alert): One of the comedies has a tragic love story in it, which would be “South Pacific”. One of the main themes in “South Pacific” is racism and it clearly shows through the two main love stories. In fact, that show easily could have been a tragedy. It seemed like it at first especially after Nellie left the one she loved and Emelie went on a very dangerous mission. They are the main love story in the musical and if Emelie was not rescued, the musical would have been a double tragic love story. The other love story is tragic because it does end with death of one of the characters.Besides the one in “South Pacific”, there are other comic musicals that have death in it which includes “Lion King” and “Oklahoma”. Death is an odd concept to have in a comedy, but it is present.
I like having darkness in comic musicals because it helps add texture. If “Wicked” did not have the love triangle, it would not be the same. On top of the love triangle, there is lots of discrimination and animal abuse, which is not really thought of. When I watch “Wicked”, I mainly think about the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba. The love triangle is quite complicated in “Wicked”, but I love the way it develops. Growing up I used to hate “No Good Deed” from “Wicked” because I never clearly understood it and I did not really connect to it even though I connected and related to Elphaba so much. But after seeing the show a fourth time, I finally loved the song because I was able to see the song for what it was.It become an important song for once and I could find a lot of anger and frustration in the song because I finally connected to the song. Characters are much more interesting if you see them go through positive and negative emotions. I prefer those musicals more than the ones that have no darkness at all. If “Lion King” did not have death in it, the show would have been able to reflect its theme of “Circle of Life” and Simba may not have been able to have as emotional as a journey.
There is nothing wrong with the negative emotions in musicals because those emotions make a character real and it makes it easier to connect with them. Recently I had to learn to work with a tragicomic character and I did not know how to handle that idea. It was Don Quixote from “Man of La Mancha” and I soon realized I know more about what makes a character tragic than what makes a character comic, which surprised me. I am so used to comic and tragic elements coming together separately, but not in one character. To figure out what makes a musical character both is knowing what makes a character comic and what makes a character tragic and see how to fuse the two ideas together. “Man of La Mancha” is a musical comedy with Don Quixote, but I am thankful for that because it tested my knowledge of comic and tragic characters.
I am so glad that I was able to unlock the darkness of comedies. I may not have been able to find it if is was not for the tragic musicals. As of right now, there are not many of the tragic musicals, but they have such a large impact on the comedies. That is similar to how the tragedies rely on the comedies.I find it interesting how the happy and sad musicals work together in order to allow musicals to be capable of so many things. It is hard to describe how joy is always with you even if you are feeling sad or heartbroken. Because comedies have tragic elements, there is an even amount of comic and tragic elements in musicals.
Before the tragic musicals, I was aware sad was one of the core emotions. Because I was aware of sad in comic musicals, it helped me get used to sad in tragedies. I already accepted the emotion even though I was only connected to one sad song. I love that most musicals are comedies because it allows them to be accessible to people of all ages including kids.