Things Les Mis Challenged

As a ton of people know, Les Mis is quite a meaningful musical. It is quite different from a lot of other musicals. It went against the musicals I grew up with. Here are some things it disproved:

  1. All musicals are happy and comic- I grew up with just those; I interpreted all the musicals I grew up like that. So imagine my shocking surprise when Les Mis entered my life- a TRAGEDY. 

2. You will never love a tragedy-yes, I told myself I will always hate tragedies. I thought they were pure sad: Les Mis goes beyond tragedy- it has a beautiful underlying spirituality. 

3.  Death scenes can never be memorable, especially towards a favorite character- Les Mis is home to memorable deaths. Compassion is shown at them, and they are touching and moving and bittersweet. 

4.  Musical theatre songs can never be a death scene- well look at Come to Me and A Little Fall of Rain- two songs that are death scenes 

5. About emotions, they can never push past sad- well, wrong again. Heartbreak entered the picture. Emotions have much more capability than I believed. 

6. All musicals have to be home to showtune songs- Les Mis does not have those. I was waiting for those songs- I never once heard a showtune in Les Mis. Showtune was the type of song I associated with musical- I knew about other types of songs, but showtune was the one that came to mind the most. 

All of these show part of the impact Les Mis had on my life. It disproved many things- turns out I had many misconceptions about musicals that I didn’t know I made until Les Mis. There was a reason why I was so shocked and confused the first time I saw the movie. I am glad I watched it a 2nd time- if I didn’t, Les Mis wouldn’t have been in my life. 

Did Les Mis do that to you- challenged the way you view musicals? 

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The Wicked Trap

This might sound nuts, but I always fall into sort of a Wicked trap each time I watch it. I am emotionally connected to Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda- NOT to the other characters. I know there are storylines OTHER than the friendship and the love triangle. I am quite aware of the discrimination, and that the romantic subplot is more of a LOVE PENTAGON. I know there is more in the storyline than the friendship and the love triangle- but I always overlook things. 

Major Spoilers:

Each time, I ALWAYS closely examine the love triangle and friendship. I tend to not WANT to explore the other storylines as well. It does sound crazy. After all, the main storyline is the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, and they are 2/3 of the love triangle. Fiyero completes the love triangle. There is a LOT to be explored in the love triangle- especially in regards to Fiyero. You question things about him: you wonder why the unrequited love jumps from Elphaba to Glinda. You have to closely look at Fiyero to understand that part better- I personally believe he had some kind of crush on Elphaba in Shiz, but wasn’t exactly fully aware of it- that explains part of that puzzle.  

I am like if Elphaba is my all-time favorite character- why do I always OVERLOOK her sister? That does sound odd in a way. But then again, Nessa’s song, “The Wicked Witch of the East”, isn’t on the soundtrack, and she is a supporting character. Boq is overlooked too- after all he has no song of his own. I know of their unrequited love storylines- but keep on overlooking them so I basically forget about them each time. 

I OVERLOOK the two main antagonists as well: Madame Morrible and the Wizard as well. That’s odd as well. I know what happens to them, and it is part of Elphaba’s storyline, and why she is the way she is. Still. 

See how crazy that is: I get so invested in the friendship and the main love triangle that I want to explore both more deeply each time I see the musical. That is why I fall into this Wicked trap each time. It is not like I am unaware of the other characters and storylines- I am aware of what happens to them- just overlook them. I am not just that emotionally connected to the other characters. I am only emotionally connected to Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero especially towards Elphaba. 

Has this ever happened to you in a musical? You see a musical again- closely examine the same storylines, but ALWAYS overlook the other ones you know are in there. 

A Christmas Story, The Musical Review

When I first saw the 2018-2019 season, I was not interested in seeing A Christmas Story, The Musical. For starters, I did not exactly know the movie, and it also seemed kind of unusual. That is why after Lion King, I thought it was my last musical. Turns out I was wrong. I am a member of Club Blume, and I don’t know why I went, but went to the Christmas Story Informance- which talked about how it became a movie to how it became a musical- when I heard that it was written by the same people who did “The Greatest Showman”, one of my favorite movie musicals, I wanted to go. In addition- at the informance, I was given a voucher at the informance for the musical for discounted tickets- if I went to the informance, why skip the musical? I wanted to be more involved with Club Blume- I am still a very new member of the group. The voucher gave us two options- get tickets for the Mezzanine or tickets for the Balcony: of course I wanted Mezzanine. When I bought tickets, I had no choice of where in the Mezzanine- I just hoped I would get somewhere in the center.

When I arrived at Ovens Auditorium and got my ticket, I ended up getting Mezzanine Center in row C- good seats. As a part of Club Blume, I went to a pre-show party. It was basically snacks and drinks. It was a time to talk together before the show.

The playbill did not make it clear which Ralphie I got either Micheal Norman or Ian Shaw- that playbill did not say what days they play the part nor was there a slip of paper to say who I saw. Whoever I saw, I loved him as Ralphie.

A Christmas Story was actually narrated by an older Ralphie even though the playbill says Jean Shepherd. That is because Jean Shepherd was the reason behind why A Christmas Story was a movie at all. A Christmas Story in so many ways is autobiographical- I learned this at the informance. He told some of his stories on his radio show. He basically was narrating A Christmas Story as an older version of Ralphie- if you understand what I mean.

I loved all of the actors in this musical. From Randy, who was played by Jasper Davenport, Mother, who was played by Briana Gantsweg, and Old Man (who is Ralphie’s father), who was played by Paul Nobrega. I already said I loved Ralphie. They truly acted like a family.

As for the other actors, I loved them. It included a lot of kids- who were quite talented- I feel like just like understudies, child actors also get underestimated- they were so good. I loved all of them.

As for the songs- so enjoyable. Most of them were exciting, which can give you a great laugh. Some were on the more emotional side- not emotional as in sad- NOT all emotional songs are sad. I loved the different lighting and staging. A Christmas Story is my 5th and final musical of the year. The dogs also gave me a laugh.

Heartbreaking Songs

To continue on yesterday’s heartbreaking love songs, today I thought I would talk about ALL heartbreaking songs. I was 100% blind to heartbreak before my first year of college, but I did know about the emotion of sad. So at least I knew about sad- one of the emotions part of heartbreak. Heartbreak is basically a more devastating form of heartbreak. What are the other emotions associated with heartbreak? The ones I have found are anger, guilt, and loneliness among others. Heartbreak can hit you like a pile of breaks and can reduce you to tears. So now here is a list of the heartbreaking musical theatre songs.

  1. I’m Not That Girl 
  2. On My Own 
  3. I Dreamed a Dream 
  4. Come to Me 
  5. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables 
  6. Drink With Me 
  7. A Little Fall of Rain 
  8. Bring Him Home
  9. All I Ask Of You (Reprise)
  10. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again 
  11. If I Can’t Love Her 
  12. If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise) 
  13. Evermore 
  14. Endless Night 
  15. Letter From the Refuge
  16. This Nearly Was Mine 
  17. Somewhere
  18. Will I
  19. Your Eyes 
  20. Without You 
  21. Memory

These heartbreaking songs come from a number of musicals- Wicked, Newsies, Les Mis, Lion King, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, and Cats. Some of these songs are more devastating than others. Some of him hit me harder than others. Some hit me like a pile of bricks, and some don’t. Some of them make me tear up while others don’t.  Heartbreak is one of the most beautiful emotions in musical theatre and one of the strongest. 

Heartbreaking Love Songs

If a musical theatre song is both a love and sad song, it will ALWAYS be heartbreaking. That is always the truth- that’s for sure. These songs can be ironic or non-ironic. Those songs fall under unrequited love songs, breakup songs, or if the plot is a tragic love story. What are examples of these songs? Below I will list some of those songs. 

  1. I’m Not That Girl/ I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)
  2. On My Own 
  3. Somewhere 
  4. As Long As He Needs Me 
  5. This Nearly Was Mine 
  6. If I Can’t Love Her/ If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise) 
  7. Evermore
  8. All I Ask Of You (Reprise) 

I’m Not That Girl was the FIRST heartbreaking love song I was emotionally connected to, but was sad in the beginning. I never called I’m Not That Girl a sad love song- I never combined emotions together- I called it sad. On My Own, just like I’m Not That Girl, began as a sad song, but after a year I realized it was heartbreaking- On My Own was key to realizing I’m Not That Girl was heartbreaking. As a matter of fact, On My Own made me realize all sad love songs were heartbreaking. The heartbreaking love songs have a combination of emotions- they can be home to sad, anger, and loneliness: it depends on the song and the actor and actress who is playing the character. Some of those heartbreaking love songs are much more heartbreaking than others: for instance, On My Own is more heartbreaking than I’m Not That Girl. 

Spoilers: 

It sounds crazy how some of them are ironic- that means the love situation improves in the end or you don’t expect the character to sing it. I’m Not That Girl is the best example- after all the unrequited love shifts from Elphaba to Glinda, which is why the song is sung twice. In addition, the spell gets broken in Beauty and the Beast, which makes If I Can’t Love Her/ If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise), and Evermore ironic. The same situation happens with This Nearly Was Mine because Nellie goes back to Emelie in the end. 

Non ironic- that means the situation NEVER improves in the end. That would mean that character might have unrequited love the entire time. In Les Mis, Eponine has unrequited love for Marius till the end of her journey in Les Mis- she does have a tragic ending, but at the same time, her fate is touching and moving and is home to joy. Eponine’s fate is death, but she gets to die in the arms of Marius after getting shot- that is where the joy comes from. So On My Own is not ironic at all. So the heartbreaking love songs are both ironic and non-ironic. 

The heartbreaking love songs are some of the most beautiful songs in musical theatre. They are fragile, vulnerable, and some of them are home to innocence. It just depends on the character and how much they love the person they are in love with at that point in the story. 

Les Mis Survivors

Like many people know, Les Mis is tragedy. That means, characters do die in Les Mis. At the same time, there are those that do survive. Les Mis is the “everybody dies” musical- there are four characters left in Les Mis. 

Spoilers: 

Thenardiers- These two characters are the true villains of Les Mis. They are abusive, despicable, greedy, and unloving. They only care about themselves- they are pick-pockets. They are the parents of Gavroche and Eponine. They kicked Gavroche out at quite a young age and raised Eponine to be a thief and criminal. They do not love their children and do not care that those two died at the barricade. They are two of the ones to survive in the end. In the book, the are not funny- HOWEVER, in the musical, they serve as comic relief- I am so glad that they serve that purpose because it is much-needed. 


Cosette- She is Fantine’s daughter, who becomes Valjean’s adopted daughter. I love her much more than those Thenardiers. She used to live with the Thenardiers. As a child, she was horribly abused by them having to work as a servant. She had a strong spirit as a child- having hope she will be rescued, and she was rescued by Jean Valjean. She was overprotected and sheltered by Jean Valjean- I don’t blame that for happening since they were always on the run from Javert. She becomes part of a love triangle between Marius, Eponine, and herself. She is the symbol of light and hope in this tragic. She is a wonderful character- it is such a shame that she is hated by so many people- I love her. It might seem like she has her happily ever after, but she lost her adopted father. All she has left is Marius, the love of her life. 

Marius-Just like Cosette, disliked for the most absurd of reasons. Of all the survivors, he is my favorite character. He is brave, awkward, compassionate, kind, and sweet. He might seem shallow on the surface, but he is a complex character. People don’t understand why he is oblivious to Eponine’s love for him: don’t forgot she never told him she loved him. He had a lot going on: he is a revolutionary and fell in love for the first time. People say he never treated Eponine fairly- once again I disagree- all because of the errands he asks Eponine to do. I believe at the beginning of act II, he sent her to deliver that letter in order to protect her from the uprising in hopes to prevent her from getting hurt or worse killed.  Compassion- I do see the compassion in Marius the most in “A Little of Rain”- this is Eponine’s death scene- Marius is there for her and never leaves her side in this moment-that is COMPASSION right there. By fighting at the barricade- that makes him brave. People also think he gets his happily ever after- think again- he lost all of his friends at the barricades- Eponine, Enjolras, Gavroche, and all the students died at the barricade. There is something about Marius’ awkward nature that makes him more charming. Marius and Cosette’s love for each bring HOPE to this tragic tale- they are meant for each other. 

Favorite Characters in Musicals

There are lots of characters in musicals. There are those you don’t like at all, those you are very neutral on, those you like, and those you love. Today’s post, I will write a list of those I love. 

  1. Elphaba 
  2. Fiyero 
  3. Glinda 
  4. Jean Valjean 
  5. Fantine 
  6. Eponine 
  7. Marius 
  8. Enjolras 
  9. Gavroche 
  10. Friends of the ABC 
  11. Jack Kelly 
  12. Crutchie 
  13. Newsies 
  14. Katherine Plumber
  15. Roger 
  16. Mimi
  17. Maria
  18. Christine 
  19. Raoul 
  20. Annie
  21. Belle 
  22. Beast
  23. Harold Hill
  24. Anna (Frozen)
  25. Elsa 
  26. Maria (Sound of Music) 
  27. Von Trapp Kids