As of now, most musicals are in fact happy. It is important that they have negative emotions in them. It helps balance things out and help make a story more real and characters more well rounded. There are a few exceptions because there are musicals with a very weak plot, but yet still have a sad or heartbreaking song. It is through happy musicals where I first discovered sad. However don’t remember much of what sad was like before college. I kind of had to relearn the emotion except for one show. I never forgot that sad was in Wicked. Its just that some musicals I lost track of. However knowing that sad existed when I was younger actually helped prepare me for what was about to come.
True there are sad musicals and they play a part in developing the negative emotions, but because they are still currently so rare, the best place where tragedy can really grow is through the happy musicals. The negative emotions are quite capable in the happy musicals. Below is a list of happy musicals that I know that have negative emotions in their scores and might include the songs that have those emotions. But for others, will not list a sad song. The reprises will not be listed, but will include the songs that have sad as a piece of a song. Some shows might be surprising on this list, but make sense.
- Newsies- Santa Fe
- Wicked- I’m Not That Girl, No Good Deed, For Good
- Annie- Maybe
- South Pacific- This Nearly Was Mine
- Sound of Music- Edelweiss
- Beauty and the Beast- If I Can’t Love Her
- Lion King- Endless Night
- Cats- Memory
- Fiddler on the Roof
- Man of La Mancha