Favorite Friendships in Musicals

You know how love shows up a LOT in musicals through ROMANCE? What about love that shows up through friendship? What are the memorable ones for me? Today, I thought I will talk about those.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

1. Elphaba and Glinda- seriously, what can this post be without Elphaba and Glinda? They are the first friendship I ever fell in love with in a musical. You never thought they would be best friends. They started out as basically enemies, than later became best friends. When they both fell in love with Fiyero, they did not let a boy get in the way of their friendship. They changed each others lives for the better. The fact that Wicked centers on their friendship is why Wicked is one of my top two favorite musicals. “For Good”, the most emotional song in the musical, really shows just how they changed each others lives for the better. It is a bittersweet moment for the two of them- it is the last moment they will see each other, but at least they can say what they meant to each other.

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2. Enjolras and the Students- I just love their brotherly love for each other. You just can’t help but love them. Then you love their hope and passion for their cause. I just love how they take in Gavroche. I really love how they keep their passion strong- even at the end when they know they are going to die.

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3. Newsies- I am going straight to the Newsies because the Newsies parallel Enjolras and the students. Just like the students, the Newsies have a cause they truly believe in and have hope in it plus have a brotherly love for it. The result is different: only difference in the Newsies is that they win. On a side note: I love the intimate bond found between Jack and Crutchie: I just love how they are best friends and that Jack is so protective of Crutchie. Jack is the one who cares more about his brothers than the strike, but it is Crutchie he cares about the most.

 

4. Rent Batch- This is another friendship I love. I love how they live how they do their best to live their lives in love and in the moment. They may not get along at times, but they do make up for it. They are this family.

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5. Lumiere and Cogsworth- I don’t what it is about these two, but there is something interesting about this friendship. I mean we are talking about a talking candle and a talking clock throughout most of Beauty and the Beast. I find something fascinating about this friendship- don’t you find something fascinating about this particular friendship?

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6. Marius and Eponine- I know this is a unpopular opinion, but I do enjoy their friendship. Look, Eponine has a dark and tragic life: at least Marius is in her life. People believe Marius is a jerk to Eponine. I do not believe that at all. Marius and Eponine are seen as close friends in the musical- I know that doesn’t exist in the book- I like how that is changed in the musical. It makes the love triangle stronger and “A Little Fall of Rain” more emotional. Marius is kind to Eponine, and that is why she falls in love with him. I know it doesn’t seem that way when Marius asks Eponine to find Cosette for him and those other errands.

I believe at the barricade, Marius asks Eponine to deliver the letter to try to protect her from the uprising. He does not want her to get hurt or worse KILLED. That is why he was worried when she came back. That is why he asked, “why she came back”. When she collapsed in his arms, he realized she was shot, and that her wound was fatal. He was devastated. He could have left her in that moment, but he didn’t. He stayed with her- that shows he is kind and sweet. By being with her in that moment, it shows an incredible act of COMPASSION. He offers her comfort and peace while she was dying. It shows that he truly did care about her.

This line after she died shows that he knew how dark her life was- “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”.

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Top Ten Rent Songs

Next musical on this series, I will be making a list of my top ten songs from Rent. Rent is one of those musicals I learned to love through the songs. This may not be exactly accurate, but will still be ten Rent songs I love.

Possible Spoilers:

1. Seasons of Love- this is my favorite song from Rent. It shows you just how precious and short life is. It shows you just how many minutes there are in a year, and how you should live life. It teaches you that you should measure your life in year. I just love the song’s message.

2. Finale B- just like Les Mis, Rent is a sad musical, but it ends perfectly making you feel inspired. In the scene previously, it appears as if Mimi was dying, but she actually survived. She has this near-death experience and choose to survive. This song really represents the overall message of the show- to live in the moment- No Day But Today

3. I Should Tell You- I don’t know what it is, but Mimi and Roger are my favorite couple in Rent. They may be a flawed couple, but they are a very realistic couple. This is the song where they finally are able to confess  their feelings for each other

4. One Song Glory- this happens very early on in the musical. I love the overall melody of the piece. It is quite an emotional song to be honest; even though it doesn’t sound like. You have previously found out that Roger has HIV, and in this song, you find that he wants to write one great song before he dies.

5.  Another Day- this song has an interesting melody to it. At the beginning, there is kind of rocky edge of it when Roger is trying to refuse to go out with Mimi. Then when Mimi sings, it sings to the overall “No Day But Today” melody- so the song has a mixture of melodies going on. That “No Day But Today” melody happens in more than one song.

6. Will I- a very simple melody, but an extreme emotional reaction- it can actually reduce you to tears. It is only basically three lines song over and over again can causes that reaction: that is just how powerful that song is.

7. Without You- the 2nd act is more emotional then the 1st act. It seems as if Roger wants to split with Mimi. Plus, Angel is about to die from AIDS- he had HIV in the first act. So this is a highly emotional song. Collins never once leaves Angel in this song- they make the most of their relationship. On the other hand- Roger and Mimi constantly fight and split up; but always seem to love each other- the brokenness of their relationship at times is kind of why I am confused at why Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent

8. Goodbye Love- an extremely high stake song. Angel has died and now all of these friends are fighting. I still love this song- they just feel like they are getting split up. A lot happens in this song.

9. La Vie Boheme- what is nice about this song is at least it isn’t quite as emotional as many of the others. It helps lighten up the mood a bit. At least Roger has finally left his apartment. That is really why I love this song- lightens up the mood. After all, Rent is a sad musical- sad musicals did those kind of breaks or they get just way too overwhelming.

10. What You Own- I love how this is a man/man duet. Many musical theatre duets are between a man/woman due to romance songs. This is a duet found between Roger and Mark. They both have huge epiphany moments during this song. Mark has finally figured out the film he really wants to create, and Roger realizes the big song he wants to write. Roger just realized how much he really needs Mimi in his life just by seeing in Santa Fe- he decides to write his song about Mimi and his feelings for her.

What I Love About Angel and Collins

Major Spoiler Alert:

Angel and Collins is the second couple from Rent that I talked about on this series. The first one was about my favorite couple in the show, Roger and Mimi. But Collins and Angel are also an incredible couple. This couple is so controversial in a way. Collins and Angel after all is a gay couple. Just like Mimi and Roger, Collins and Angel both have HIV. Collins and Angel knowing they are going to die from HIV, they make the most of their situation. Their main song, “I’ll Cover You”, expresses their love so strongly and shows that they are making the most of their situation. Angel and Collins teach the rest of the group how to live in the moment and to love. Then when Angel was dying, Collins took care of Angel and that scene really does show how much those two love each other.

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Couples of Rent

As some of you know, I saw Rent over the weekend. I thought for today I talk about each of the couples that are present in Rent. There is Mimi and Roger, Maureen and Joanne, and Collins and Angel.

Major Spoiler Alert:

First up is Mimi and Roger, the main couple. There are some problems in this relationship, but they are still my favorite couple from Rent. Roger and Mimi are the only heterosexual couple in the show. They are both HIV positive and Roger is reluctant on entering a relationship with her even after falling in love with Mimi. I don’t blame him because at the beginning of the show, he is dealing with depression after his former girlfriend, April, killed herself after finding out she has HIV, which is how Roger found out that he has HIV. In addition, he is a recovering drug addict. He doesn’t want to even leave the house and hopes to write one last song before he dies.

Mimi enters during “Light My Candle” and the two find this connection. In this song, we discover that Mimi is a drug addict. Roger is still unwilling to enter into a relationship with her and that is discovered in “Another Day” when he pushes her away. Mimi was how Roger got of his depression and after “Will I” he leaves the house for the first time. He finally asks her out on a date to the life cafe after Maureen’s protest. Even during “La Vie Boheme”, he still ignores her all night long, but he is trying, but still finds it difficult. But after the number, he discovers that Mimi is HIV positive as well. Throughout “I Should Tell You”, you can feel their love for each other and they finally enter into a relationship.

But the problems still continue in act II. It must be hard because they are both HIV positive. When Roger leaves for Santa Fe, he realizes that Mimi was the song all along. He actually writes a song talking about his love for Mimi. But he sings it at an inconvenient time. He sings to her as it seems as if she is going to die, but she lives. Yes they fight throughout Rent, but they do love each other. Despite the relationship struggles, I still find them to be my favorite couple in Rent. Just don’t know why, but I just love them.

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Then there is Angel and Collins, a gay couple and another one where both characters have HIV. This is the couple where no problems exist. They connect after Angel finds Collins in the street after he has been attacked by people. They instantly find a connection and because they know they both have HIV, they live life to the fullest and don’t fight once. So they make the most of their relationship.

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I find the most problematic relationship to be the one between Maureen and Joanne. Mark used to date Maureen, but Maureen eventually started dating Joanne. They are the two of the characters who do not have HIV. Maureen is bisexual and she is very crazy, but still sweet. She always seems to flirt on other boys, which annoys Joanne. They seem to fight a lot more often than Roger and Mimi.

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Who is your favorite couple from Rent? If you don’t love or like Rent, who is your favorite musical couple?

Measured in Love

I have been waiting 2,628,000 minutes to see Rent. It was so worth the wait and exceeded my expectations. So today I will be reviewing Rent and waiting five years was worth it and I needed it yesterday.

So what is Rent about? Rent is about a group of friends and their life in a year in the midst of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. You have filmmaker and narrator Mark, HIV positive and musician Roger, HIV positive and dancer Mimi, HIV positive Collins, HIV positive and compassionate Angel, crazy and performance artist Maureen, lawyer Joanne and landlord Benny. There are three couples in this musical, who are Roger and Mimi, Collins and Angel and Maureen and Joanne. They discover throughout the musical that you should measure your lives in love and live in the moment. There is so much fear, uncertainty, but also a lot of love because the relationship between this friends is like a family.

In this cast, I had Kaleb Wells as Roger, Sammy Ferber as Mark, Aaron Harrington as Collins, Marcus John as Benny, Jasmine Easler as Joanne, Aaron Alcaraz as Angel, Skyler Volpe as Mimi and Lyndie Moe as Maureen. I did not have a single understudy last night.

Possible Spoilers:

I found the entire cast to be amazing including the ensemble. Kaleb Wells played a wonderful Roger. Throughout “One Song Glory”, I could feel the heartbreaking nature of the song and this was the first time I got emotional during the song. I could see his unwillingness to enter into a relationship with Mimi despite the fact that he loves her. “Your Eyes” is a song that I always get emotional during, but still he portrayed that song incredibly.

Sammy Ferber really brought out the narrator side of Mark. I started to believe in him when he began the show. It makes sense that Mark is the narrator because he is a filmmaker. He is Roger’s best friend

Skyler Volpe played a good Mimi. She made a good match to Kaleb Well’s Roger. Throughout “Light My Candle”, I could tell they felt an attachment to each other. “I Should Tell” made me emotional and usually during love duets, I usually don’t get that emotional, but that song did. Throughout Roger and Mimi’s relationship, you can easily see their fighting and the anger throughout those as well. Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple even though they fight a lot, but you see Mimi so badly wanting to enter a relationship with Roger and who wants to live in the moment.  “Without You” is another one of those emotional moments and I did feel the emotion as well.

Aaron Alacaraz played a very sweet and energetic Angel. “Today For You” was the most energetic moment of his performance. He was a nice match to Aaron Harrington’s Collins. They are the only couple where there is no fighting. Because they both know they each have HIV, they live in the moment. Collins looks after Angel when Angel is dying of AIDS so they have a lovely relationship with each and their portrayals of the characters really shows.

Lyndie Moe was incredible as Maureen. I always knew Maureen was quite crazy. Lyndie Moe was able to bring out her crazy side but also brought out her sweet side because Maureen is both but mainly crazy. Her “Over the Moon” performance was quite hilarious and crazy, which is perfect for Maureen. I feel like Maureen and Joanne fight the most when it comes to their relationship especially because Maureen is always flirting with other guys.

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Jasmine Easler really made you feel how annoyed she can get when it comes to Maureen. Throughout “Tango Maureen”, Joanne and Mark talk about how Maureen can drive them nuts.

This entire group of friends is wonderful. During “Goodbye Love”, you could really feel it. They spent a lot of the song being angry with each other. This all happened soon after Angel died. But they eventually come to the conclusion that the best life to live is one filled with love.

Marcus John played Benny, one of my least favorite characters. I wish I could say some things about him, but I can’t seem to. Benny is their landlord and marries for money even though he eventually warms up and begins to rejoin the group of friends.

As for the small ensemble, they were wonderful. Each of the life support meetings got me emotional especially during “Will I”, which is quite a powerful song got me emotional and the song is only three lines repeated over and over with some overlap. Even the opening song, “Rent”, got me somewhat emotional. The two soloists in “Seasons of Love” were incredible. Rent is such a meaningful musical to me and glad I finally got to see it live. The finale of the show is one of the best ways to end a musical.

As for my seats, I had such a wonderful set. You could see the entire set and that was perfect and we were near the center of the Mezzanine. I loved the set. I have seen the final Broadway cast film, but never noticed there was an actual moon in the set. You can easily tell it starts on Christmas Eve because eventually this thing of junk lights up with Christmas light and later you can see it beginning to snow.  It looks like the East Village. You can actually see Mark’s video that he made during the second act.

I knew coming in I would be an emotional wreck, but wasn’t expecting to be as emotional as I got. Rent is a sad musical, but at the same time inspiring because it teaches you about the preciousness of life and why it is important to live in love and in the moment. At the time period that Rent takes place, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty because if you end up with HIV, it was basically a death sentence and they all measure their lives in love. No Day But Today.

Memorable Friendships in Musicals

I realized that I have blog posts mentioning memorable couples, families, and characters, but I have never mentioned memorable friendships I have come across. They have already been talked about, but never in the same place. Below is going to be a list of memorable friendships and I will explain why I love that friendship.

Possible Spoilers:

  1. Elphaba and Glinda- this friendship is the first friendship that comes to mind when I think of musicals. The musical after all talks about their friendship and they start out as rather reluctant roommates and they form a close bond. Even when they both fall in love with Fiyero, they don’t let a boy get in between them. Even when Glinda is in a relationship with Fiyero, Elphaba does not try to steal Fiyero away from her and Glinda does not try to steal Fiyero back when Fiyero enters into a relationship with Elphaba. The song, “For Good” shows just how deep their friendship is and how they have touched each others lives and changed each other for the better.

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2. Jack Kelly and Crutchie- these two characters are from Newsies. Their friendship and bond is shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). Jack is quite protective of Cructhie especially because Crutchie has a bum leg. He does not want Cructhie to end up in the Refuge because Jack knows through experience how horrible that place is and knows just how vulnerable Crutchie will be there. They are so close and they do sleep on the same rooftop. When Cruthcie gets arrested later on in act I after a big fight breaks out , it causes Jack a lot of inner conflict because he knows Cruthcie will be sent to the Refuge and knows his friend will be quite vulnerable there

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3. Newsies- I love the brotherly love they have for each other. They are like this one big family. Jack is the leader of them all. You first realize how amazing their bond is during “Carrying the Banner”. When Pulitizer raised the prices of the papers, they go on strike to stand up for what they believe in and they support each other.

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4. Friends of the ABC- similar to the Newsies, is the Friends of the ABC. They are from Les Mis. Enjolras is the leader of this group and just like the Newsies, they have a brotherly love for each other. This group is a political group and are planning an uprising in response to the weak government France has at the time. They are so passionate towards their cause and even when they know they are going to lose, they still stand up for what they believe in. The first scene you meet them as a whole is during “Red and Black” and each song they sing is full of passion and hope. But “Drink With Me” isn’t full of hope, but instead is full of sadness because they know at that point, they are most likely going to lose and most likely going to lose their lives.

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5. Rent friends- Mark, Roger, Mimi, Angel, Collins, Maureen, and Joanne form a very close bond throughout Rent. They are like family and even in the midst of fear, they live in the moment and in love. They do struggle at times, but they always remain close friends.

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What are some memorable close friendships? What is your favorite musical friendship?

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 Jonathan 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 musical. 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 about the 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?