I have seen various different kinds of families found in musicals over the years. Some are biological while some are not. This post is only going to focus on loving families and not any kind of broken or dysfunctional families.
First up is the family from Sound of Music. I love this family even though the Captain is very strict and runs his house like he is Captain of the navy or something like that. Maria helps the children and the Captain so much. By teaching the children to sing, Maria makes the family feel whole again. It make the house full of music. To me, the two most core things about Sound of Music are music and family.
Next up is the relationship between Valjean and Cosette. Yes, this family isn’t biological, but yet the two still make up a family. Valjean had to end up taking care of Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. Her mother, Fantine, was fired from Valjean’s factory after the foreman discovered that she had an illegitimate child. She soon had to turn to prostitution and she blames Valjean for why she was fired because after all it was his factory. Well, Javert was about to arrest Fantine because she attacked a man even though it was self-defense. Valjean intervened and prevented her from being arrested and demanded she be sent to a hospital. As Fantine was dying, Valjean promised to her that he would raise Cosette as his own.
So Valjean became father to Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. He learned that Cosette was quite a broken child because he learned she was being terribly abused by the Thenardiers. He rescued her from that life and became a loving father towards her. It can be tough raising Cosette because he is an ex-convict always on the run from Javert. He even is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s and that is why he rescues Marius from the barricade due to his daughter loving him. It is hard for Valjean to let Cosette go because she is the main happiness in his life.
There is another incredible family in Les Mis. I find the relationship between all of the students like this kind of family. They are like brothers and literally take in Gavroche. They become like Gavroche’s family. In this group of friends, Enjolras is the leader. This is a political group in Les Mis and they planning an uprising to stand up for what they believe in due to a weak government. They stay so passionate towards the cause and stay hopeful.
Thinking of the students from Les Mis, they can remind me of the family found among all the Newsies. They are like this one big family with Jack Kelly being the leader. In a lot of ways, all they have in life is each other. Some of them are orphans while others are runaways or actually have a family. Davey and Les are the only ones in this batch of brothers in this group who actually have a family. When Pultizer raised the price of papers at the Newsies expense, they ended up going on strike to stand up for what they believe in.
Another family I find in musicals is the relationship between the characters in Rent. Yes, another family that isn’t biological. The relationship found between Mark, Roger, Mimi, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, and Angel is an important one. They are literally this family in a lot of ways. They make the most of life even in the midst of fear due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which Mimi, Roger, Collins, and Angel are battling.
Another family is found between Annie and Daddy Warbucks. He invites an orphan to stay at his house for a week for Christmas (Fourth of July in the movie). Annie ends up being the one selected. Later in the story, Daddy Warbucks eventually adopts Annie.
While I brought up loving families that exist in the world of musicals, there is another important family that is part of the musical world. Well, it is my family as a matter of fact. I don’t just love musicals due to the dance, spectacle, song, and emotion. It is also due to the fact that going to the theatre is something my family likes to do. Whether it is my entire family or only three of us or even a date with a parent, it is something I will always remember. It is an important piece of what my family likes to do. I saw Wicked with my dad and I saw Wicked (Broadway), Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and Les Mis (West End) with my mom.
I grew up seeing musicals with my family. Growing up with musicals is a huge part of why I love musicals. Through the musicals I grew up with, I was able to learn what a musical can be capable of which ranges from spectacle to dance to song to four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad to understanding the importance of emotional connection and comedy. All of that I discovered is still important in musicals today, but all of them expanded especially in the emotions thanks to discovering a fifth main emotion, which is heartbreak. Seeing musicals with my family will always be memories that I will cherish.