Last night, there was another Pops Symphony. This time the theme was Broadway. In case anyone was wondering what a Pops Symphony was, it was an outdoor symphony in the park where people bring dinner picnic style. In this post, I will talk about the different musicals we listened to, but will talk about them in the order of which I fell in love with them, but at times they might not necessarily be in order. I sometimes might mention my favorite song and character from each if possible.
First up is “Sound of Music”. This musical is one of the most meaningful and special musicals of my life. I say special due to just how long it is has been part of my life. It goes to elementary school. We listened to songs such as “Lonely Goatherd”, “My Favorite Things”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “So Long Farewell”, “Do Re Mi”, “Edelweiss”, “Maria”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and the title song, “Sound of Music”. Of all these songs, “Edelweiss is my favorite mainly because it was my first recital song. It is also one of the more emotional moments in the musicals.
I honestly don’t really have a favorite character in the musical. It seems to be Maria and the children in this. It is one of the very first musicals I loved. “Do Re Mi” was the first musical song I memorized all the words to. This musical touches my heart in such a special way and makes me feel like a kid again.
Grease like Sound of Music is a movie musical that I saw in elementary school. But I do not remember which one I saw first. The songs that were played last night were “Hand Jive”, “Greased Lightening”, “Beauty School Dropout”, and “We Go Together”, My favorite character is Sandy and my favorite song is “We Go Together”. Grease is one of those that I nearly forgot that I loved, but I did eventually remember. I remember that “We Go Together” is my favorite song as a child due to the silly lyrics that the song has.
Now, its time to go past elementary school. Now its time to go to middle school (aged 12) and visit New York and visit Broadway. Before Broadway, I saw musicals on stage, but Broadway was special because a) its Broadway and b) because its Wicked. The songs they did are “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “Wizard and I”, “Dancing Through Life”, “Popular”, and “Defying Gravity”. Elphaba is not only my favorite character from Wicked, but my favorite character in all of musicals. “Popular” is my favorite song from Wicked mainly because it was my favorite song as a 12 year old.
The meaning of Wicked is quite important. Wicked sparked my love for musicals. Wicked became my favorite musical when I saw it on Broadway. Wicked was key to me understanding the emotional side of musicals. That show was how I began to understand the more vulnerable emotions. With Wicked, the main emotions began to be excitement, love, joy, and sad.
Elphaba means so much to me and she meant so much me from middle school on up and I spent so much time getting to know her and she and I have a lot in common and the two of us have a lot of things not in common. She is smart, talkative, determined, courageous, complex, young, unique, caring, loving and believes in equality and staying true to herself.
Each time I have seen the musical, I have felt more and more vulnerable. I have seen Wicked four times and each time is better and the emotions deepened, but I always feel like a 12 year old. Wicked carries my vision of musicals. It has spectacle/dance, comic aspects, strong emotional bonds, and strong positive and negative emotions in the score.
Now skip high school and fast forward to December of 2012. One musical would enter my life and change my life forever. Les Misérables was the name of that musical. The songs that the symphony did last night was “At The End of The Day”, “Master of the House”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing” . Well, I still don’t have my favorite song or my favorite character at all.
Les Mis was the musical that turned my love of musicals into a passion. Prior to Les Mis, all musicals were happy. That was all I had seen. By seeing the movie, I realized some musicals are tragic. I even realized I was 100% blind to heartbreak. I feel like Les Mis was the first musical I cried during. But while watching that movie, I did not know how to respond to Les Mis being tragic.
My second viewing of the movie musical, which was 2013, was important. That was when I calmed down and saw something special about Les Mis. I began to realize it makes you feel uplifted and over time I realized it is a story of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. Through the transformation of ex-convict Jean Valjean, the story of tragic and loving Fantine, the romantic and kind Marius, the brave and loyal Eponine, the brave and heroic Gavroche, the passionate Enjolras, the strict and obsessive Javert and the abusive and greedy Thenardiers. you have a wonderful nature of characters.
One more thing to note is that Les Mis has brilliant crafted songs. The songs are well-crafted to match the characters and storylines. “On My Own” for instance shows just how strong Eponine is as a character and how deep her love for Marius goes. “Empty Chairs at Empty Chairs” for instance shows all the trauma and grief Marius faces at the barricades. “Red and Black” and “Do You Hear the People” sing are passionate, which shows the passion and hope the students have for the rebellion. So while Wicked sparked my love for musicals, Les Mis turned my love into a passion.
Literally, I feel in love with Phantom of the Opera around the same time my journey with Les Mis began. It was in 2013 when my mom mentioned Phantom of the Opera and I went to Pandora and requested the songs. The songs the Symphony did was “All I Ask of You”, “Music of the Night”, and the title song, “Phantom of the Opera”. Of all the songs in this musical, “Music of the Night” is my favorite of the songs. However, my favorite character happens to be Christine.
Phantom of the Opera is such a beautiful musical. It is a romantic musical as well. The entire musical is a love triangle. I am one of those Phantom fans who want Christine and Raoul together and who sees Christine as the main character. While I don’t like Phantom as the main character, I do feel strongly for him. I honestly don’t like how he responds to his current situation, but he had a horrible past and he has to put up with unrequited love, but he doesn’t respond well to either of those.
Singing in the Rain was another musical they did. The only did the title song, Singing in the Rain for this. This was fun because they had someone actually sing the number. Throughout the number, he did not just sing. He also sang. He danced in the moments in the movie where moments of dancing usually happen. I first saw this musical in 2014.
The crazy thing is I first heard some of the songs from this songs when I was still young. I had heard “Singing in the Rain” and “Moses Supposes” before, but had no idea those two songs were from a musical. I love Singing in the Rain due to just how fun and happy it is.
I think I first saw this movie of the musical in 2014, the same year I saw Singing in the Rain. That musical would be My Fair Lady. The songs are “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “Show Me”, “On The Street Where You Live”, “Couldn’t It Have Been Loverly”, “Get Me to the Church on Time”, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”, and “With a Little Bit of Luck”
Music Man was an encore performance at the Symphony. They performed “Seventy Six Trombones”, my favorite song from the musical. I first heard the songs from the musicals I want to say maybe in 2012 because that was when I first got Pandora. But I did not get to see anything in context or actually see the plot being played out until 2015. It is an all positive emotion show just like how Singing in the Rain is.
I am going to end with On The Town. I song called “I Can Cook” was sung. I picked it last because I had never seen the musical or even heard the songs before so it had to be last.
Just by looking at these musicals, it is a nice blend of musicals. It really shows what the musical world is. There is spectacle/dance, comic and tragic aspects, strong emotional connection and emotions of excitement, love, joy, sad, sand heartbreak. Those are the main aspects of the musicals.
Just by looking at this list, you can just see that most of these musicals are happy, which is true for the entire musical world based on my interpretation. Those just happen to be Singing in the Rain, Music Man, My Fair Lady Sound of Music, and Wicked. Those happy musicals are written in order of emotional nature and level of darkness, but they are all still happy even if some may have there darkness, seriousness or tragic moments. I think On The Town fits under these musicals, but 100% not sure.
Then Phantom of the Opera comes next: I definitely do not see it as happy and due to me seeing Christine as the protagonist, I don’t see Phantom of the Opera as a tragic musical. I see it at the edge of being one, but it most certainly is not in my opinion. Then, we get up to Les Misérables, which 100% is a tragedy, but is inspirational. That is a heartbreaker. So just by looking at these musical, you can see that the emotional world is quite wide ranging.
Musical fans, what is your journey of musicals?