Meaningful Musicals of 2012-2016

Today’s post will be dedicated to the meaningful musicals from 2012-2017. Those are the musical I refer to the college musicals. All of those musicals are still so fresh in my life. The meaningful musicals of that time period are Rent, Les Mis, Pippin, Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific and Newsies though there might be a few more.

I learned to love Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Rent around the same time period. My journey with Rent begin in Fall of 2012 and it became meaningful before knowing what the musical is about. My journey with Les Mis began in December of 2012 though I didn’t became a true fan until Spring of 2013. I fell in love with Phantom of the Opera in Winter of 2013. I can easily explain why Les Mis and Rent are meaningful, but cannot fully explain why Phantom of the Opera is on the meaningful list.

Les Mis is a musical that literally changed musicals forever. Coming into the movie, I was a bit unsure if I would like the movie or not. Even after the movie ended, I still did not know if I liked it or not. But something must have hit a chord in me since I automatically started researching the musical afterwards. The first time I watched it being quite confused and shocked since I didn’t know it was going to be a tragedy. I labeled the musical as too depressing and did not see the true beauty of the musical.

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I am so glad I saw that movie a second time. I was able to calm down and was able to realize that there is something special about Les Mis. I wanted to know why such a heartbreaking musical always uplifted me. I dug deeper until I found the answer. In spite of all the heartbreak, misery, and death, Les Mis is ultimately a tale of hope, compassion, love (existing in many forms), forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. With Les Mis, I was able to explore musical emotions in a fresh light.

Before I had no clue that heartbreak was a musical emotion. I was able to finally understand what it meant for a song to be heartbreaking. I learned that tragedy is not pure sad like I once believed. I realized musical emotions had more potential than I once believed. Before Les MIs, I was a fan of musicals, but no where close to being a musical fanatic. I could go on and on about why Les Mis is meaningful.

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This sounds ironic, but Les Mis wasn’t the first sad musical I ever loved. It was Rent due to falling in love with it before seeing the Les Mis movie for the first time. But I didn’t know Rent was sad until months after I had already fallen in love with it.  Rent is such a meaningful musical due to its message. Because of Rent, I learned the importance of living in the moment and living your lives in love and reminded me of how precious life is. Yes, the musical is very mature and adult and controversial, but it does show that this is what happens in life sometimes. Like Les Mis, Rent is also sad, but at the same time inspiring. Both have incredible messages and both are way more than the sadness that they present. I will finally be seeing the stage show

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Pippin is another meaningful musical. I don’t know exactly why it is meaningful. Pippin had a kind of spectacle that I had never seen before. It made spectacle look fresh by turning the show into a circus. Pippin has a very universal message due to Pippin trying to discover his corner of the sky, which is where he belongs. But he kept on making wrong decisions, but never realized it until the end. I remember being so intrigued by the leading player’s protyral and though I didn’t like the character, I truly believed in her.  At one moment in “No Time At All” the audience was able to sing along.

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Newsies is the most recent musical that became meaningful to me. I experienced it for the first time in August of 2016. I was familiar with four of its songs and knew there was Tony Award winning choreography. Knowing that the choreography won a Tony Award, it made me look very forward to seeing the dance. My emotional connection with Newsies began in the very first scene and that is always a good sign. I automatically fell in love with Jack Kelly and Crutchie and I just love the close bond they have and it is quite intimate. I also love the relationship between all the Newsies and they are like this one big family.

The fact that this story is based off the actual Newsboy Strike is amazing to me. The fact that these Newsies stood up to Joseph Pulitizer after raising their price of papers is so inspiring. They went on strike to make a point and that took a lot of courage. One lyric that I have close to heart is from “Seize the Day”, which is “Courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face of fear”. This musical showed the importance of courage when facing your fears. The dancing was mind-blowing to be and to me was worth the price of the ticket alone.

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Phantom of the Opera is a musical I fell in love with in a similar way that I fell in love with Rent. Just like Rent, I fell in love with it by listening to the songs through Pandora. That means I feel in love with Phantom of the Opera before knowing the show is about. I don’t know why this musical is meaningful. This musical is hauntingly beautiful. I feel like even the kind of score Phantom of the Opera has is rare. All of this songs are slow-paced and usually there is some fast-paced song in a musical or one with a high level of energy. But Phantom of the Opera doesn’t display a single one.

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There is also South Pacific. It has become meaningful. I first saw the movie in 2014 when musical movies were learnt to my family when school was cancelled due to snow and South Pacific happened to be one of them. It has a very romantic feeling to it especially during “Some Enchanted Evening”. It focuses on two romances and one is tragic while the other is not, but easily could have been. The romance between Liat and Joe Cable doesn’t end too well and that plot is only a sub-plot. Than there is the main romance between Emelie and Nellie, which almost didn’t work out but in the end it does. Even I don’t know why this musical is meaningful.

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Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

47 thoughts on “Meaningful Musicals of 2012-2016”

      1. I love it when a musical’s journey reaches a certain milestone. Like last year, Wicked reached its tenth year of being part of my life. As far as the most recent ones go, Rent and Les Mis both started their journeys five years ago

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      2. Yep! Those are super awesome moments! It kinda just struck me that even though I generally view Les Miz as a more recent addition to my treasure trove full of favorites, but it’s already been five years! It doesn’t even seem that long ago!

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      3. Definitely! It never ceases to amaze me how fast time seems to fly by now in comparison to how it seemed to pass when I was younger! Newsies is probably the newest meaninful musical to me in my life as well!

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      4. In the case of Newsies, I realized it was meaningful when I was listing to “Seize the Day” one day and I heard the lyrics “Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear” and in that moment I realized Newsies is meaningful

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      5. I love that line! I think that sometimes some musicals are a lot more meaningful to me than I initially realize. But a lot of times, when I’m just listening to a song really carefully or when I’m writing, I realize that they are more meaningful to me than I first thought.

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      6. For me it tends to be a combination of things and when a musical is new, the show is like a baby due to the level of inexperience coming in and eventually when you become experienced in it, the show becomes an adult. The meaningful musicals are the ones that going to stay with you and never leave. There are the truly meaningful ones and there are the ones that are just meaningful

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      7. Definitely. I think that there are definitely musicals that are meaningful to me now that will kind of lose their charm and meaningfulness to me over time. But the truly meaningful ones that hold a lot of emotional value to me will, like you said, never leave. And I think that’s definitely an amazing thought

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      8. Les Mis has already proven that it is a truly meaningful musical and it hasn’t even been a full five years. I am at conflict with the journey with Les Mis. The journey definitely began 5 years ago, but I didn’t become a true fan until 4 years ago, so it is hard to know exactly how long that musical has been part of my life.

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      9. That makes sense. I kinda have a similar situation with Oliver! which has been in my life since I was five. But although it’s been something I’ve adored since I was five, I don’t think that I was a true fan of the show until middle school

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      10. Part of that comes from the fact that the movie came out in December of 2012, which is towards the end of the year. I didn’t even get to see the movie a second time until the following year

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      11. Yep. My Les Miz timeline in relation to my life is pretty jumbled. I remember being kind of “meh” towards Les Miz after the first time. The second time was more of “You know, I think I really like this.” And then, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, “Man, I love this musical.”

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      12. That sounds similar to me. The first time I was thinking “I don’t know if I like it or not”, than second time, “there is something special about Les Mis and I do like this musical”. Summer of 2013, I knew that I really love Les Mis and I think that was when I had the dream of seeing it in the West End. I am still questioning on what it is about Les Mis that made me obsessed with it.

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      13. Yep, me too! I’m not sure if I’ll ever know either. I think that the moment I knew that I really loved Les Miz was when my family was going to watch the movie and it hadn’t even started yet, but “Do You Hear the People Sing” was playing when we got to the Main Menu and I just started crying a little because I guess I was so emotionally overwhelmed

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      14. Mom thinks that the reason why I am obsessed is because of all the reasons why I love it. The songs, the characters, the songs, everything is so brilliant and knows how to capture the heart and soul. I feel like Les Mis picked the perfect timing

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      15. My mom seems to think that my obsession with Les Miz greatly stems from my love of history and how it frequently coincides with what I study and stuff like that. I’m not so sure that that’s entirely accurate, but I suppose that that might be a part of it. I think that the reason why Les Miz is the subject of much obsession is likely because of my attachment to stories that hold emotional weight

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      16. That definitely makes sense! Les Miz just seems so… relevant, the characters just barely out of reach. Les Miz is one of those musicals that has completely changed the way I see things. The plights of the characters are so very real. And in most of my favorite musicals and characters there is a struggle, a conflict that is so real–something that I can oftentimes see in the world around me and even in myself

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      17. It is just very human and its not just one character that has loads of conflict to deal with. Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Eponine, Young Cosette, Marius, Enjolras and the students all have loads of conflict to put up with. Usually in musicals, you can mainly find one character having an real conflict going on, but in Les Mis multiple characters have to deal with very difficult things

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      18. Les Mis still has room to develop and mature. It is not just Javert that can develop. I think other characters can develop and mature over time as well. Emotions shift and change with characters and you might pick up on an emotion that you never felt with a character before

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      19. Definitely. One character I view completely differently now is Enjolras. I used to see him as the hero of the rebellion, the ideal leader, but nowadays, I see quite a few problems with him in that department and my faith in him just kind of dwindled

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      20. I think that my realization that he is flawed makes me like him more but have faith in him less. While Enjolras is a great leader of the rebellion, he’s not exactly who I would want running a government

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      21. He is only just a college student and still quite young. He is leader of this rebellion and even though the rebellion failed, he stays the most passionate till the end. Even though it failed, he is still quite a good leader

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      22. Yep! 100% agree. He had the spirit that really carried the students through the rebellion. However, it’s more the fact that in the book, he seems to look up to people like Maximilien Robespierre (and maybe Marat) that set off warning bells in my head

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      23. Surprising about that. There are characters where I would rather not learn about. The members of Thenardier’s gang I would rather not learn about while I would prefer to learn about Thenardier. The Thenardiers tough to a crack and I do understand their motives in the musical are money and survival. But where did this despicable side come from in the first place-that is the most complicated thing ever

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      24. I feel like Montparnasse is very much like Enjolras but very different at the same time in this weird, complex way. Victor Hugo likes parallels so I’m beginning to wonder if they’re supposed to be parallel characters… probably not but it’s an interesting thought.
        The Thenardiers are characters that are just utterly despicable but nonetheless, there’s still a certain element of pity to be had for them

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      25. In the book, I did start to feel for them after learning of how bad their poverty is. I am beginning to wonder did something happen in the past that made them act the way they did. They can be a struggle and I get so frustrated and annoyed at them and its crazy having a love/hate relationship with those two

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      26. Yep. There is actually quite a lot that I’d like to learn about the Thenardiers. People have written Les Miz retellings from Éponine’s POV and such (I’ve never gotten around to reading them), but I think that seeing the events from the Thenardier’s POV would be really interesting and yet horribly frustrating at the same time

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      27. I feel like a lot of what I know about the Thenardiers comes from Eponine, but it seems even though she does not talk about them much in the musical. But you do learn what her life is like and she has to carry the burden of being a Thenardier. Understanding her outside of Marius is very important to her story

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      28. For me, because I love Eponine, it makes me interested in learning about the Thenardiers. Even in the stage show, you may see her with Marius most of the time, but there are still traces of what her situation is like when it comes to her parents

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      29. For me, it is quite important to understand Marius and the Thenardiers in her story. As a matter of fact because all of the characters are connected, they all inspire you to want to learn about all of them

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