Musicals That Make Me Cry

One thing that makes musicals unique is that they are capable of reducing you to tears. I am not a typical crier so that kind of reaction in a musical is not common for me. I will talk about the musicals that actually have made me cry. The interesting thing about this list is that some of these musicals took quite a while till I had that kind of reaction or a few months  or even just one days.

Of course, I will talk about Les Mis. I want to say Les Mis is the first musical I ever cried during. I first saw it through the movie, but I honestly do not think I cried the first time. I did not know how to react to this tragic musical. But it was the second time when I realized there was something special in Les Mis. I believe I started crying during the second time and to this day I still do. I honestly do not know what it is about the songs that make me have that kind of reaction.

Les Mis is home to many heartbreaking scenes full of misery. Characters deal with things such as unrequited love, prostitution, abuse, survivor’s guilt and so on. Characters die throughout the musical. The songs are extremely powerful and touch your heart and soul in such a way that make you tear up and I still do not know what it is. This musical has songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream”, “A Little Fall of Rain”, “Come to Me”, “Drink With Me”,”On My Own” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”

Similar to Les Mis in a way is Rent.  It is also a sad musical and powerful. Rent does not make me cry as much as Les Mis, but it still has it moments. It takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and four of the eight main characters have the illness. Songs such as “Will I?” , “Your Eyes”, and “Without You” are tear reducing moments.

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There is only one song in Wicked that made me cry the fourth time I saw it. That song would be “For Good”. That song is the most emotional song in the entire musical. The story revolves around the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda. My reaction during the fourth viewing goes to show just how brilliant my Elphaba and Glinda are and just how meaningful and vulnerable Wicked has become. To be honest, I do not know if this song made me tear up before the fourth viewing or not, but I did know just bittersweet and special the song is.

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Sound of Music was the most surprising when I cried. I first fell in love with the musical in elementary school. I remember always loving Edelweiss, my favorite song from the song. I saw it live two years ago. During Edelweiss, my emotional connection and vulnerability grew in a way I never saw coming. Sad entered the picture in the middle of the song and I cried from the halfway point till the end. So it took from elementary school all the way to 2015 to realize Edelweiss has some sadness in it.

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Last but not least is Oliver.  Just last week, I saw the movie musical of Oliver. I came in aware of just how heartbreaking “As Long As He Needs Me” is even though I had never seen Oliver before (well I have, but doesn’t count since I do not remember). I cried during that number. This is an example of tearing up during the first try.

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I honestly do not know what makes you cry during a musical. I know it has to be a combination of things. Your emotional connection plays a role in your reactions, but there are other musicals where I have a strong emotional connection, but do not drive me to tears. Sometimes it can be the staging of a number or it can actually be how an actor portrays a character. I honestly have no idea. Ever since Les Mis entered my life, how I view musical emotions is different. With Les Mis, I love it when a musical drives me to tearing up.

What musicals make you cry? Why do you think certain musicals make you cry?

What Does It Mean to Feel Vulnerable in a Musical?

Vulnerable: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

What does it mean to feel vulnerable in the musical world? That is a very tough question. Vulnerability deals with emotions such as love, sad, heartbreak, loneliness, desperation, guilt, and devastating. Vulnerability has to do with being open to emotions and not being closed off to them.

In the more emotional musicals, you have to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness in a musical. In an emotional musical, feeling vulnerable shows you have an emotional connection.

Wicked is one of those more emotional musicals. My journey began as a 12 year old. . I saw it four times in year. Each time I may approach it as a 12 year old, but my vulnerability level kept on increasing each time. That was because my knowledge of the characters and emotions deepened.

Two emotional moments in Wicked are “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good”. “For Good” is even more emotional since the core of Wicked is friendship and that song is bittersweet because the two friends have reunited but it is the last time they will see each other. I feel like the fourth time that moment was really special to me. I was seeing it with Gardner Webb, a school that has changed me for the better, so that added meaning to the musical and I had an incredible Elphaba (understudy) and Glinda.

“I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song that wasn’t always interpreted as a heartbreaking song. It started out as being interpreted as sad and I knew that each time I would see Wicked, I would feel more vulnerable when it comes to that song, but I never could see beyond it being sad. That was because growing up I was 100% blind to heartbreak in musicals and because Elphaba’s story does not revolve around unrequited love but instead her friendship with Glinda.

So “On My Own” from Les Mis, another unrequited love song, was key to picking up on “I’m Not That Girl” being heartbreaking especially because Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love unlike Elphaba’s story, which revolves around her friendship with Glinda. It is tricky actually feeling heartbroken in “I’m Not That Girl” if you know Elphaba is going to end with Fiyero in the end, which is kind of an odd situation in a way since it started out with Fiyero and Glinda being a couple.

My knowledge of “I’m Not That Girl” being heartbreaking isn’t the only reason why my fourth time was the most vulnerable. It had to do with “No Good Deed” as well. I never felt vulnerable in this song the first three times at all. I never liked the song and I do not know if I ever saw the right portrayal. or was it because of my dislike towards the song? Well, the fourth time I saw Wicked, I felt vulnerable in this song for the first time able to finally felt its emotions and they actually stuck. Wicked is one such example of a musical becoming more and more vulnerable

Even in “As Long As Your’e Mine” I have to feel vulnerable. It is a love song and in a love song you have to feel vulnerable at times. Fiyero and Elphaba are a very mature, young couple and quite unexpected.

Rent is another emotional musical, but there is a difference between Wicked and Rent. I find Wicked to be a happy musical. But I find Rent to be sad. Rent is sad due to the time period that it takes place in: the HIV/AIDS epidemic and four of the main characters are struggling with living with it. Roger, who is struggling with it, is also battling depression as well and Mimi ,who is living with HIV, is also struggling with a drug addiction but those struggles makes those two characters real.

In songs such as “Will I?” , “I Should Tell You”, “Without You”, “I’ll Cover You (Reprise), “Life Support”, “One Song Glory” among others, you have to feel vulnerable because they are either heartbreaking or love songs.

Possible Spoilers:

An even sadder musical than Rent is Les Mis. That musical has an extreme vulnerable level. I have to feel vulnerable a lot because that musical is covered with negative emotions scene after scene it seems. In the first scene, you see the injustice that Jean Valjean is facing, which is shown up until the bishop scene. Throughout all of Fantine’s struggle, you see the unfairness of women during France of women at the time. She may die at the end, but she dies knowing her child will be cared for by Jean Valjean.

Fast forward to the next scene and Cosette is facing abuse the Thenardiers. So you see, Les Mis is covered with sad scene after sad scene, but faced with an incredible spirit of hope and light in the midst of darkness. Fantine isn’t the only one to loss her life in Les Mis. Like Fantine, many of the other characters die happy. Eponine dies in the arms of Marius, the boy she loves unrequitedly, after being shot, the students and Gavroche die standing up for what they believe in and Jean Valjean dies with Cosette and Marius by his side.

Les Mis has several scenes you have to feel vulnerable. Many characters have to face horrible conditions. Valjean has to deal with the injustices of an ex-convict. Fantine has to face how unfairly a woman will be treated if found out you have an illegitimate child. Cosette has to face abuse by the Thenardiers as a child. Eponine has to deal with horrible abuse by the Thenardiers growing up and discovers that her parents don’t even care about her and they teach her the ways of being a criminal and she faces the pain of unrequited love. Marius has to face the pain of survivors guilt after losing all of his friends at the barricade.

Other moments that are important to feeling vulnerable are “As Long As He Needs Me”, a heartbreaking song in Oliver, and Edelweiss in Sound of Music. I just saw the musical movie of Oliver last week and “As Long As He Needs Me” made me cry. I connected so well to Nancy at that moment and that situation is quite heartbreaking.

Just two years ago, I saw the stage show of Sound of Music for the first time and that musical is one I grew up with the movie. My favorite song of all time was “Edelweiss” and I was shocked in the middle of the song that sad decided to enter the picture and the rest of the song made me cry and that discovery made me feel vulnerable in the second half of that song and increased my emotional connection and vulnerability level in Sound of Music.

What I am trying to say is that feeling vulnerable in a musical is key to the negative emotions and some of the positive emotions. There is lot of romance in musicals and there is vulnerability in that aspect. Heartbreak feels more vulnerable than sad is, which is true when it begins at the moderate level, which is anything from “I’m Not That Girl” and beyond. It is quite difficult to describe what it means to feel vulnerable in a musical. It is important for character development, which in turn is important for emotional development as well.

What do you think? What does it mean to feel vulnerable in a musical?

My Broadway Puzzle

Last Christmas, one of my presents was a Broadway-themed puzzle. This summer, I finally got to put it together. It was 1000 pieces and below is the finished work. It represents several musicals and some I have seen in some shape and some I have not. There are even some I may not have seen at all, but might have picked up on them on the puzzle. I actually own two Broadway puzzles. I actually am able to focus better on these puzzles and I think that is because of how much I love musicals.

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Some musicals I have seen either by movie or live on this puzzle are Cats, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, King and I,  Beauty and the Beast, Oklahoma, Man of La Mancha, Kiss Me Kate. Annie,  South Pacific, Hairspray, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story Phantom of the Opera, Music Man, Wicked, and Les Mis. Some musicals I recognize on this musical but have not seen are Miss Saigon, Chorus Line, Matilda, Kinky Boot and Billy Elliot and so many others the names are already there.

From what you see on this puzzle, which ones have you seen?

My Journey With Rent

One of the meaningful musicals of my life is Rent. Rent is based off of the opera, La Bohème, and written by Johnston Larson who tragically died the night before previews. It takes places during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is dealing with characters from the LGBT community and features a drug addict so Rent is a very adult and mature musical, but its message is so universal.

I first fell in love with it in Fall of 2012. I was listening to the songs through Pandora and I fell in love with them without knowing the plot. At that point, I had not clue I was falling in love with a sad musical. Ever since 2012, I honestly hoped to see the stage show someday despite not knowing the plot. It is crazy falling in love with a musical through songs alone and I already found it becoming meaningful without knowing anything about the plot.

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The following year I finally got around to seeing some version of Rent. In 2008, Rent did a special version of the Broadway production. They put together a film of the final Broadway cast. The musical consists of filmmaker Mark, HIV positive and musician Roger, HIV positive and dancer Mimi, drag queen, gay and HIV positive Angel, gay and HIV positive Collins, bisexual and performance artist Maureen, lesbian and lawyer Joanne and landlord Benny. Mimi and Roger are a couple, Angel and Collins are a couple and Maureen and Joanne are a couple. Mark is the narrater of the musical.

It actually was a really well done cast. They captured the family of the friends really well. The emotion of Rent was brought out nicely and so was the overall message.

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Possible Spoilers:

I have two emotional connections to the musicals. One emotional connection I have is found among the relationship between the family found among between all the friends and despite relationship struggles between Mimi and Roger and Maureen and Joanne, the friends still remain a strong family. My other emotional connection is very personal, but I feel like in some way I can relate to some of the struggles some of the characters have. When Angel died, it seemed as if the family would fall apart, but it never did.

The message of this overall message is what to do with the life that you have. It teaches youth preciousness of life. It teaches you to measure your life in love and live in the moment. No Day But Today. Rent it truly inspiring and celebrates life and teaches you the beauty of life. The message is one of the biggest reasons why Rent is meaningful to me.

Les Mis and Rent are the only two meaningful sad musicals of my life. They both go beyond their sadness. They both are quite powerful with wonderful messages. Rent was the first sad musical I feel in love with, but I didn’t know it was sad until after I had already seen the Les Mis movie. Rent is not quite as sad as Les Mis is, but Rent is still sad.

In September, I will be seeing the musical live for the first time.

Do you love Rent? If so, why do you love the musical?

 

Opinions I Once Had About Musicals

This is a list of beliefs I had about musicals at one point my journey. I will talk about why I had those options and will talk about why I no longer have those opinions. But now, each of those points have been disproven by Les Mis.

Possible Spoilers:

My first opinion was all musicals are happy. I only said that because that was all I had seen and due to that I believed every musical is happy. Les Mis disproved that and even Rent did the same thing. But it really was Les Mis that disproved it. I saw the movie musical back in 2012 and that was my first full exposure to the musical. While watching I discovered Les Mis is a heartbreaking musical and did not know how to respond. Over time Les Mis became such an important part of my musical journey and my life. I realized NOT all musicals are happy like I once believed.

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A second opinion I had about theatre in general is that I will always hate tragedies and will never learn to love one. Both Les Mis and Rent disproved that opinion as well. I love both of them. Both of them are sad and I can be particular when it comes to tragic musicals. I love them because they have amazing songs, characters, and storylines. Both go beyond their tragic nature. Les Mis has this underlying spirituality due to its forgiveness, compassion, love, hope, sacrifice, humanity and sacrifice and Rent has the message of living in the moment and measuring your life in love.

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A third opinion I had about theatre is that a death scene can never be memorable. Prior to Les Mis, I have seen death scenes in musicals, but I have forgotten about some of them and overlooked some of them. All of the death scenes in but Javert’s are memorable in Les Mis. Those memorable deaths happen to characters who do not die alone and they all have some kind of joy in their death scenes. Fantine dies with Valjean by her side who promises to her that he will raise Cosette as his own. Eponine, despite being shot, dies in the arms of Marius, the man she loves even though that love is unrequited. Gavroche and the students die standing up for what they believe in. Valjean dies with Cosette, his adopted daughter, and Marius by his side.

So far, the only memorable death scenes in musicals happen to be from Les Mis. The fact that Javert is the only character to die alone shows just how memorable the other deaths are. All of my favorite characters are dead by the end of the musical. But they still have a wonderful fate.

A fourth opinion that formed is that every musical must have some dance or spectacle element and those two are still part of my musical vision. Once again, Les Mis disproved that point again. Through Les Mis, I realized just how incredible a musical can be without a dance or spectacle element.

A fifth opinion I had is that negative emotions can never go beyond sad. I started to understand the negative emotions in middle school. By high school, I knew sad was common and was important. But I believed the negative emotions could never be more. Les Mis once again disproved that point. I realized there is more to sad when it comes to the negative emotions. I had no idea I was 100% blind to heartbreak. It isn’t just heartbreak that entered: it is just how deep the heartbreak actually is in Les Mis.

This might be connected, but even other emotions changed as a result of realizing heartbreak is musical emotion. It affected joy and love as well. Look at heartbreaking love songs and look at heartbreaking song with joy in it. Look at just how insightful and truthful and powerful they can be. Prior to Les Mis, I don’t remember if a musical song made me cry, but in Les Mis, I cry each time I listen to the song or even watch the musical in any way.

So Les Mis really showed me a side of musicals I had never seen before. I had all of these opinions only because of what I had known about musicals. It had to do with what I remembered. It had to do with how I interpreted them. Since happy musicals used to take up every single musical, I ended up calling most musicals happy and calling all musicals joyful. It makes sense why I thought a death scene could never be memorable. So in many ways, this post shows a huge reason why Les Mis played such a huge part in my musical journey.

What are some opinions you once had about musicals and did anything disprove them?

Pops Symphony: Round Two

Last Sunday, I went to a Jazz Themed Symphony in the Park. This time, the theme was Star Wars. I actually am a newer Star Wars fan. I may be only 23, but I didn’t start watching the movies until 2015. I am not a big fan of action movies, but I love Star Wars. I love the Galaxy it takes place in with the crazy creatures, the droids, and love the Jedis. The action sequences are fun to watch with the lightsabers and when things blow up, it is funner to watch then than things blow up in a superhero movie. They actually played songs from The Phantom Menace all the way to The Force Awakens.

This Pops Symphony was fun. In my family’s group, it consisted of so many people. Friends of our friends came and there were about fifteen or eighteen people. One of the songs that was played was the Theme Song and the night ended with the ending credits of all the movies.

Next week’s theme will be Broadway and as a musical fanatic, I am quite looking forward to that week.

Are you are a Star Wars Fan? If So, why do you like the movies?

Below is a link to my post from last week’s Pops Symphony

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/pops-symphony/

The World of Plays and Musicals

In today’s post, I will talk about both plays and musicals. I will explain why I am drawn to musicals more than plays. I am experienced both in my lifetime and have studied some in school.

In my opinion, plays are more boring and less interesting than a musical. I have studied them and been to them. But I am not quite as drawn to them. The emotions feel even less interesting and harder to get to know. In high school, through the likes of Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth, I treated them poorly just because they were tragic. I thought tragedies were just a mess of sadness. They never seemed to interest, but then again never took the time to get to know them. However, there is one play I studied in high school that I did enjoy, which was Taming of the Shrew, a Comedy.

Throughout college, studying and seeing plays continued. I did study Death of a Salesman and did not like it. One year I think it was 2013, my parents took me to see Mousetrap and I enjoyed it. Throughout my time at Gardner Webb, I saw plays such as Full Moon Over Montmarte, Servant of Two Masters, I Ya Ya Yo, Glass Menargarie, and Trojan Women, and #8. Servant of Two Masters was the most enjoyable.

I hated #8 so much. It gave me a very negative experience. It was a play dealing with the Holocaust. All I felt in that play was negative emotions and there never seemed to be light. I was so uncomfortable that I honestly wanted to leave. But I had to stay due to being required to. I do not want to experience the negative emotions in a way that actually is quite harmful to the experience.

I honestly struggle with having emotional connections to a play. Just spoken word is sort of boring. So what is the real reason why I love musicals over plays? Well, musicals are way more than spoken word. They have dance, song, and spectacle, three aspects that allow you to fully invest in the story and the character’s stories. The dance and spectacle is fun to watch and helps you believe in the story.

The songs in a musical are the main reason why I emotionally connect to well in a musical. In a play, there always seems to be an emotional disconnect. In a musical, due to the power of song, it is easier to find an emotional connection. It allows you to easily fall in love with positive and negative emotions. It is easier to cope with negative emotions in a musical due to beautiful songs that create these heartbreaking and bittersweet moments.

The negative emotions in a musical do not cause any harm in a musical experience. They actually support a musical experience. They actually strengthen your emotional connection to characters and actually make you love musical characters even more. They are supposed to feel real and are capable of so much and can drive you to tears at times, but they actually give you a positive experience.

So in conclusion, I find plays boring due to just having spoken word. The regular spoken word makes it hard to emotionally connect to characters. But in a musical, the songs actually make it easier to find an emotional connection and allow you to find joy in both positive and negative emotions. The dance and spectacle is another reason why musicals are betters than plays. The dance and spectacle is entertaining. Musicals are intended to be joyful.

What are your thoughts? Why do you love musicals more than plays?