Tomorrow

Many people grew up with this musical: Annie. It is one of my childhood favorites. It used to my favorite musical. Let me explain why I love Annie.

Songs:

I love Annie’s songs. They are exciting to listen to. I always look forward to “Tomorrow”, the title song of the show.

Characters:

Annie- I love her optimism and she does care about others. Think about it: she basically adopted a stray dog on the streets and does in the orphanage look after Molly, who is one of the youngest. However, her strongest characteristic is the optimism, and I think that is why I loved Annie so much as a child.

Orphans- I do love the other orphans.

Daddy Warbucks- I love him. Over time, he develops a special bond with Annie when she stays with him.

Sandy: Yes, I love a dog in a musical

Plot:

It’s plot may be simple, but amazing. It is basically an orphan staying with a billionaire for a week. There is something special about those childhood musicals- something that cannot be created by others.

Favorite Song: Tomorrow

Favorite Protagonists of Musicals

One of the most crucial elements of a musical is the protagonist (the main character). It is their story that we want to follow along with the various subplots. Who are some of my favorite protagonists?

  1. Elphaba/Glinda
  2. Aladdin
  3. Belle
  4. Simba
  5. Elsa/Anna
  6. Jack Kelly
  7. Christine
  8. Jean Valjean
  9. Annie
  10. Oliver
  11. Harold Hill
  12. Maria- the Sound of Music one

Why do two have two protagonists listed. Frozen and Wicked just happen to have two main characters in them, and I wouldn’t choose one over the other to be the primary protagonist.

Musical Theatre- the Meaningful Ones

There is one thing that is true for ALL musical theatre fanatics. We know there are musicals in our lives that meaningful and others that are not. The ones that are meaningful end up in our favorites pile. They are the ones that tend to stay with us. What are some of those meaningful musicals in my life (I think you can predict some of them)?

Wicked:

  • I may have had meaningful musicals in my life BEFORE Wicked. However, where did my journey with musicals truly begin? When I first saw Wicked, I was only 12 in NYC on Broadway with my mom. All I can remember is that “Popular” was my favorite song at the time. Before Wicked, I do not think I even knew what an emotional connection was or the emotional and complex side of musicals was. I discovered all of THAT due to Wicked. Wicked made sad come to the forefront, and I do not even remember if love came to the forefront or not due to Wicked, but there is a good chance it might have. I am totally aware that it was Wicked that first made me pick up on the concept of love triangles. Wicked sparked my love for musicals- Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero became important parts of my life especially Elphaba.

The three pictures above were from three of the four times I saw Wicked. I saw it once with mom, once with mom and my sister, once with my dad, and once with my university. Each time I saw Wicked, the show got better and due to the emotions deepening I became more vulnerable to the musical; so my emotional connection remained.

Les Mis:

Well, a love may have been sparked by Wicked, but there was no passion. I THOUGHT I knew musicals. I once told myself I will never love a tragedy. I told myself there was only four core emotions: excitement, love, joy, and sad. I told myself ALL musicals were happy and comic that had a few sad moments here and there. I told myself there was no way a death scene would be memorable, and that a song could not happen during one. I even thought I knew just how intense emotions can get in musicals- well Les Mis would challenge everything.

My family was on vacation in Florida in 2012, and we went to see the Les Mis film. I honestly did NOT want to see the film. I was so unsure about it. I only knew it was a musical: not if it was a COMEDY or a TRAGEDY: so I was blind to it being tragic. So I was blind to HEARTBREAK as well. After the first death, I completely realized Les Mis was tragic. I honestly did not know how to respond- I was shocked and confused. I still left the movie theater with “Do You hear the People Sing” stuck in my head. I still was NOT the biggest fan of the musical. The strangest thing though was a few days or maybe at least a week or two weeks after, I started researching Les Mis (do not know why).

Well- there came a point in 2013 when I decided to give the film a 2nd chance. Good thing I knew it was tragic. I started to fall in love with Les Mis. I slowly begin to realize that the musical had something special about it and that it did make you feel uplifted. By summer 2013, I became obsessed with Les Mis. Les Mis is WHY I am a musical theatre fanatic (maybe not the most accurate word). This might sound strange, but I was not an emotional wreck in the beginning; that was a reaction that was built up over time. I never thought a musical could be just how intense (I think true Les Mis fans know what I am talking about) it could get. I have an emotional connection to almost every story in Les Mis- to Valjean’s to Fantine’s to the love triangle to the Uprising. Usually in a musical, I know what my favorite song is, but in Les Mis I can’t even narrow it down.

Sound of Music:

  • Childhood musicals are nothing like the ones that enter you life in college. They have this kind of nostalgia that no other musical can achieve. Sound of Music is one of those musicals. I have loved Sound of Music since I was a child. It had been meaningful for that long- even longer that Wicked.

Annie:

  • Annie has a similar kind of meaning that Sound of Music has. It is another childhood favorite. Before Wicked entered my life and became my favorite musical, Annie was my favorite musical. Each time I see the 1982 musical, I feel like a child again. I am like Annie in the fact that we are both optimistic- I never figured out why I loved the character until my college years.

Rent:

  • This is another sad musical that entered my life. A big thing that makes Rent meaningful is its message. While being sad, Rent is truly a celebration of life. It is about living your life in love even in the face of fear- that is what the Rent characters have to deal with: after all this musical takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s/1990s so getting it is quite scary so there is a good chance that if you get that disease there is a high chance you are not going to survive. So these characters, instead of living in fear, they choose to live in love and in the moment- only four of the major characters have the devastating disease, but it still affects their friends. It is truly the message of Rent that makes it meaningful- No Day But Today!!!!! Rent, like Les Mis, makes me an emotional wreck.

Newsies

Courage cannot erase our Fear. Courage is when we face our Fear

Seize the Day

I fell in love with Newsies August 2016 during the US Tour. At the time, Joey Barreiro, my favorite Jack Kelly, was leading the tour. At the time, I remember being mind-blown by the dance. I felt an emotional connection quickly- it started out between the intimate and special bond between Jack and Crutchie and soon after, my emotional connection grew between all of the Newsies. I knew I loved Newsies, but did not even realize that Newsies was already meaningful to me. However, a few weeks later after hearing “Seize the Day” and picking up on the lyrics “Courage cannot erase our Fear. Courage is when we face our Fear”, I knew for a fact that Newsies was meaningful. I really do not know what drives me to those lyrics in “Seize the Day” so much- what I do know is that “Seize the Day” is my favorite song from the musical. Newsies is not my only favorite and meaningful Disney musical.

What are some your meaningful musicals?

Have you Ever been said “Broaden your taste for musicals due to being obsessed with one”

As so many know, I am obsessed with Les Mis. To some people, it might seem as if I am not expanding my passion for musicals. However- that is not actually the case. My passion for Les Mis is responsible for my passion for musicals: if I did not, certain musicals would have not been in my life or been given a chance. Before Les Mis, I would not let tragedies in my life. Lets look at some of the things I learned some Les Mis, and later focus on some of the new musicals that entered my life after Les Mis entered my life. Look, Les Mis would not have been able to enter my life without Wicked.

What I Learned From Les Mis

Tragic musicals do exist- I was not raised on tragedies in musical theatre. I was around Disney musicals, Wicked, Mamma Mia, and musicals of that kind. How was I supposed to know that tragedies were a part of the musical world.

I can love tragedies- here me out on this: as a high school girl, I told myself I will NEVER love a tragedy. I thought they were pure sad. Les Mis entered my life in my first year of college (2013). I realized tragedies were not at all what I once thought they were. They are more than just tragedies- they have a hopeful side to them and are not too depressing.

Tragedies go beyond being sad- this goes back to what I just said. In 2013, I picked up on the fact that I felt uplifted by Les Mis. I wanted to know WHY. I soon was able to understand its underlying spirituality: hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption are why it goes beyond its tragic nature. A tragedy cannot be a tragedy without the catharsis.

A death scene can be memorable- once again, I did believe that a death would be unmemorable especially to a favorite character. I even thought a death scene could not happen through song. Les Mis proved both of those wrong- the various deaths are memorable even if it is a favorite character.

Heartbreak is a musical emotion- I was not blind to sad. I picked up on the emotion of sad in middle school. I thought sad could not push any further. Boy, was I so wrong. I discovered the emotion of heartbreak through song in Les Mis. Heartbreak is a more vulnerable, fragile, and deeper form of sad. Heartbreak opened a new window- knowing that emotion exists made it easier to pick up on negative emotions in other musicals.

  • These are just a few of the things I learned from Les Mis. Just because I talk about Les Mis a lot does not been I do not branch out. I still want to see new musicals. What are some musicals that entered my life after 2013?

Musicals that Entered my Life after 2013:

  1. Man of La Mancha
  2. Newsies
  3. Pippin
  4. Music Man
  5. South Pacific
  6. Fiddler on the Roof
  7. My Fair Lady

So, I do allow other musicals to enter my life. There are musicals that I want to give a chance- those are not in my life yet. What are some of those?

Musicals I Still Hope to See:

  • Anastasia
  • Hadestown
  • Something Rotten
  • Frozen- yes, I already love it (but still need to see the stage show)

I already love a wide range of musicals already: Mamma Mia, Music Man, Sound of Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, Wicked, Man of La Mancha, Frozen, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Newsies, Lion King, Pippin, Rent, South Pacific, Godspell, My Fair Lady: this is a combo of those I grew up with (as in childhood to the end of high school) to college.

This has been said to me a couple of times- Broaden my taste for musicals. Expand it more. Those things are said to me when I have an opportunity to see Les Mis again- usually when I am given a chance, I want to see the show again. Well, this year: I have an opportunity to see Les Mis a sixth time. Some people think I do not expand it that much only because I am obsessed with Les Mis.

How do you know you Have an Emotional Connection?

One of the hardest things to understand in a book, musical, play, or film is how do you know you have an emotional connection. The emotional connection is crucial: it is the want, desire, and reason for loving feeling the emotions: no matter what they are.

Look- the emotional connection is complicated to explain. There has to be a reason for loving what you are feeling. Long after the curtain falls, you usually keep the characters’ alive, but that only happens if the emotional connection exists. There are both positive and negative emotions: look, it is natural to have a want and desire to feel the positive emotion. So, why would you want to feel the negative emotions, which are the ones that hurt- that does come from emotional connection. It really is not easy to describe how you know you have an emotional connection.

One of the reasons comes from being able to relate. I relate to Belle, Anna from Frozen, and Elphaba- so it is very easy to emotionally connect to those three characters for instance. If you relate to characters, the emotional connection is going to exist: but you still need to get into the songs and plot as well.

What about the characters you don’t relate to? Any character I have emotionally bonded with are characters I love. Glinda, Fantine, The Friends of the ABC, The Newsies, Eponine, Aladdin, Jasmine, Simba, Nala, Annie, Roger, Mimi are examples of characters I do love—-some of them I still do not know why I love them and others I know the reason. What I tend to look for in a character is complexity and believability- there have been a few exceptions. Strength, courage, compassionate and romantic are just four of the characteristics I have found in characters I do love. I want characters to be flawed as well- I know that sounds crazy, but it adds to the complex and believability side.

If you go to a musical, and you reach an emotional song——and get emotional or end up in tears, that usually means you formed an emotional connection. If you go a musical, and end up on the edge of the seats—-that also can be sign of emotional connection. If you go to a musical and you are intrigued and want to know what is going happen next—–that usually means you have an emotional connection. If you go to a musical, and at the end you have fallen in love with the musical—–that defiantly means you formed an emotional connection.

Still, describing how you know you formed an emotional connection is not easy.

All Families in Musicals

I recently did create a post about my favorite LOVE songs in a musical. However, that was only referring to ROMANCE- the post here is talking about family love. It does not matter if it is a loving family or the dysfunctional family. MAJOR SPOILERS.

The Thenardier Family

  • This is one of the most dysfunctional families in musicals. Monsieur and Madame Thenardier are despicable, abusive, neglectful, and greedy. You first meet them when Cosette and Eponine are around 8. This family consists of Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, Gavroche, and Eponine. At first, it seems as if The Thenardiers love Eponine: later the truth comes out. They have raised her to be a thief and criminal and on top of that never shown her love or kindness. They do use her to their advantage. Gavroche was kicked out. Despite the Thenardiers not showing them kindness- there was someone who did: Enjolras and the students took Gavroche in and it was Marius who showed her kindness.

Fantine and Cosette

  • Fantine showed unconditional love towards her daughter. Everything she did- from cutting her hair to eventually becoming a prostitute was for- was to provide for daughter, Cosette. Even though in Les Mis, we never saw Fantine and Cosette together as a family- it still works for me. Her story, in my opinion, is the hardest one to watch. What makes her story even more heartbreaking is that the letters she received were hoaxes. She had no idea how poorly The Thenardiers were treating her daughter. She truly had a lot of hope for her daughter as in that her daughter would have a better life. She still truly cared about Cosette on her deathbed.

Jean Valjean and Cosette

  • Jean Valjean became father to Cosette in the most unexpected of way, as in it was never expected. He wanted to help Fantine- he first prevented her from going to jail, and instead to hospital. Even though he couldn’t save her life, he made a promise that would give her peace and comfort. He promised to raise Cosette, and little did he know the impact she would have on his life. Cosette was originally an abused, broken, and unloved girl- she was treated like a servant by The Thenardiers. When Jean Valjean took her away, she began to be raised fairly- even though he knew it would be tough. Jean Valjean truly loved Cosette, and that was why he took heroic efforts to save Marius (the one Cosette loves) from the barricades.

Enjolras and the Students

  • Can a group of friends be family? In my opinion, it can be. The Friends of the ABC is defiantly family. They have a brotherly love for each other. They truly believed in the cause- for the most part, they were hopeful it would be successful. Even in the end, they are still care about each other. Enjolras is their leader and the most passionate. He gave them once the opportunity to leave, but they still stayed. They cared about each other that much- no matter the result, they were going to fight

Newsies

  • The Newsies are extremely similar to The Friends of the ABC. Just like The Friends of the ABC, The Newsies have their leader. Enjolras is the leader of The Friends of the ABC, and Jack Kelly is the leader of The Newsies. Jack Kelly is a dreamer, romantic, and artist. One of the BEST things I love about Jack is how much he looks after his brothers, in particular to Crutchie, who is the most vulnerable of the Newsies. The Newsies have a strong brotherly love for each other that makes them feel like family. They have a cause they truly believe in, and don’t give up. I do have two top favorite Newsies: Jack Kelly and Crutchie.

Belle and Maurice

  • The whole town they live in calls the two of them crazy. Both Belle and Maurice don’t see each other that way. They both are protective of each other. When Beast captures Maurice, Belle steps up to takes up her father’s place. Quickly, Maurice wants someone to help him save Belle. In the castle when Belle saw that Maurice was in danger, she wants to leave to save him. The two of them strongly love each other- in the way a father and daughter should love each other.

Elphaba and Nessa’s Family

  • This is again another dysfunctional family. Elphaba was unloved and hated since she was born due to being born green. She was also blamed for why her sister, Nessa, was disabled, and why her mother died. That is far from the truth: Elphaba’s father made her mother eat milk flowers, in hopes that Elphaba’s sibling wouldn’t be born green. That caused Elphaba’s sister to be born with twisted legs and why their mother was dead. None of this was Elphaba’s fault. All because Nessa was “normal-colored”, she was spoiled by their father.

Annie and Daddy Warbucks

  • I have loved Annie since I was a child. This is a family that was developed as the musical continued. Originally, Warbucks wanted a boy, but for whatever reason let Annie stay with him. As the musical continued, Annie and Warbucks fell in love with each other more-as in father and daughter: even though Annie wanted to find her biological parents. Originally, the Warbucks wanted this projects to last just one week, but his love for Annie made him expand it. At the very end- after realizing that the family, who was pretending to be Annie’s parents, he officially became her father.

Mufasa and Simba

  • Mufasa was an incredible king, and at the same time, an incredible father. He taught his son incredible life lessons about being a good father and an incredible king, but it was short-lived.

Conclusion:

  • It is hard to believe just how many families exist in the world of musical theatre.

Besides the one I mentioned, what are other families you know about in musicals?

Some of my Favorite antagonist/villain songs in musical theatre

I wrote so many lists on this blog. Now, I wonder why in the world did I skip out on the villain/antagonist. I think it has to do with my dislike toward ALL of them- it is true: I really am the not the biggest fans of antagonists and villains despite the fact that without them there would be no story. Here is my list- just to let you know, it might be tiny due to my distaste to some of them. Some of the villain/antagonists I have some kind of connection to. MAJOR SPOILERS

  1. Stars
  2. Javert’s Suicide
  3. Master of the House
  4. Gaston
  5. Be Prepared
  6. Easy Street
  7. Music of the Night (Yes, I consider Phantom the antagonist of Phantom of the Opera)