What is it about musicals that make them so appealing?
Because I am a massive musical fan, I understand the success of musicals. The thing is in musicals actors must be able to dance, sing, and act. That is a lot of talent to do all of that, which means doing the same thing night after night after night. Whenever I go to see a musical live, I am always impressed what actors are able to do. They truly turn into the characters that they are portraying. Seeing children in musicals is just mind-blowing because they are only children and still believably portray their characters.
In a play, it seems to be much harder to connect to the character’s emotions. All they are doing is speaking their lines. But in musicals, it is so much easier to care about the character’s journey. Adding songs that support the plot truly add to the joy and excitement of musicals. There is something about song that makes it easier to feel the emotions. Because a story is being portrayed, there are so many emotions that show provides. The emotions can be anything ranging form excitement, joy, love, sad, and heartbreak. There is no way to describe the emotional world of musicals because each show looks at them differently. Some shows do not take their emotions as seriously as others, but that really depends on what you make of the plot. The more light-hearted musicals want you to feel the emotions in a more entertaining way, but in the ones that are a mixture of light and dark, you need to feel the emotions with a bigger vulnerability.
On top of the songs, there is also dance and spectacle. There is nothing wrong with these two elements being in musicals. In fact, those two elements adds to the wonderful beauty of musicals. The dance and spectacle have been used for many purposes. For example, in “Wicked”, these two elements help you believe that you are in OZ. They even help with the storytelling aspect as well.
But what about the musicals that are not big on dance or spectacle? They do exist, but still manage to have the same awe and wonder that other musicals have. They just show it quite differently. “Les Mis” is that kind of musical that is different then what you except when you go to a musical. The songs are very different, but that is a good thing. Even the plot is tragic, but once again it works. The songs in that musical are just soaring, captivating, breathtaking, moving, empathetic, powerful, and emotional. Even the orchestrations leave you in awe and wonder. The moment you hear those first notes, you can tell the musical is something special. Seeing actors portray these wonderful complex tragic characters is unbelievable.
So overall musicals are really good at storytelling through song, dance, and spectacle. The awe and wonder really comes from what musicals are capable of. They have been capable of comic and tragic elements, different kinds of dance and spectacle, several emotions and various types of characters. Part of the awe and wonder comes from the fact that actors have to portray the same characters night after night after night. I am always thinking “how can they do that?”. That is the most impressive with the most complex characters and the most vulnerable characters. I believe that a musical is way more then just the genre. If you see beyond the genre and see more of the meaning, the experience will be worth it even more. The same thing happens when you see all the emotions through joy, which is what makes the negative emotions worth feeling.
These are pictures from when I went to see a musical. “Pippin” and “Les Mis” were from last year. “Les Mis” was in London and that was a dream come true. The picture of me in the black dress was from when I attended “Annie” with my grandma two years ago.
So, in your opinion, what makes musicals so appealing?