One of the most fun things about seeing a musical is that you can be taken off guard. That means you discover something new you just never saw coming with a character. You begin to question whether or not that new discovered emotion or personality trait even fits the character. Below I will mention some of the moments when I have been taken off guard.
Marius and an added “Personality Trait”: well I started with him because he was the most recent. Prior to Joshua Grosso, I always knew Marius to be a brave, sweet, kind and compassionate young man. But Joshua added a new personality trait that I never saw coming. He decided to portray Marius as awkward. Awkward that personality trait I never saw in Marius so I was surprised. However that new personality trait made Marius even more wonderful and complex. Another thing that took me off guard with Marius is that Joshua Grosso was the strongest actor in the love triangle. I always expect the actor who plays Eponine to be the strongest actor, but this time around it was Marius.
Elphaba and “No Good Deed”: My 4th time seeing Wicked was two years ago. Coming in thought “I’m Not That Girl” would have the biggest emotion change due to finally realizing it was heartbreaking prior to seeing it the 4th time. But in surprise it actually was “No Good Deed”. “No Good Deed” had always been a song that I strongly disliked and the emotions never seemed to stick so the song always seemed emotionless and I always forgot about that particular song. But when I saw Mary Kate Morrisey, she finally made me pick up on the song’s energy and the emotion. I actually felt anger and frustration at that number and instead of forgetting the emotions, those two emotions actually stuck. That was really surprising considering my history with that song. This was probably the most surprising emotion change I ever saw in a musical song.
Eponine and “On My Own”: I was in the West End at the time. I came knowing “On My Own” was a heartbreaking song. I knew it had heartbreak, sad and loneliness. But Carrie Hope Fletcher brought in an emotion I never thought would ever be in that song or even in the character. Her Eponine had anger in “On My Own” and at first I was thinking does that emotion even fit. Soon I realized that it does and that emotion made the song even more complex and same with the character. I realized “On My Own” can be portrayed in so many ways.
These sort of changes can be very questioning. When they happen, you start to question if they work. That means does it fit the character or not. In these cases, I agreed with all of them. However, some took a while till I knew if it fit. With “On My Own”, when I first felt that emotion, I did not think it fit Eponine but as the song continued, I realized that it does. Considering the fact that Joshua was awkward in more than one scene, I realized that it is part of Marius’ personality and it actually made him a much more developed character. Elphaba and her emotional change in “No Good Deed” was the most shocking of all these especially because the emotions never seemed to stick so the song basically had no emotions in it so I am glad that the song finally does because it makes Elphaba even more complex and more believable.
Has this ever happened to you in a musical? Have you ever been taken off guard? What do you think is more surprising- being taken off guard due an emotion or taken off guard due to a personality trait?