Three Sections I Can Divide Musicals In

Well, I can easily separate meaningful musicals into three categories. Those are my childhood musicals, Fletcher musicals, and college musicals. These are all self-explanatory meaning you can easily describe all three. Let me put this into more perspective.

My childhood musicals were ALL musicals that entered my life before I started middle school. Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of OZ, Aladdin, Lion King, Grease, Sound of Music, and Annie fit under this category.

What about the Fletcher musicals? Well, I call these Fletcher musicals because they entered my life when I was still a student at Fletcher. I went to that school from 6th -12th grade. That school was a small K-12 school. Most of the musicals I saw in this time frame were movie musicals. These musicals were Wicked, Mamma Mia, Enchanted, and The High School Musical series. So this set of musicals were the smallest.

College Musicals- I went to two colleges. Central Piedmont Community College and Gardner Webb University were the ones I went to. There were a lot of musicals I fell in love. They were Rent, Godspell, Les Mis, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, Frozen, Man of La Mancha, White Christmas, Music Man, Pippin, Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Greatest Showman, and Fiddler on the Roof. This time frame was where my passion for musicals came from- thanks to Les Mis, which challenged everything. That is why there is a lot. What was amazing about CPCC is just how professional they feel: I literally called their production of “Les Mis” phenomenal. CPCC is where I started to get more into theatre: I ushered twice for Les Mis and once for Some Enchanted Evening.

Simple Musicals- What makes Them Simple

While yesterday, I talked about what makes musicals complex. I decided to do the complete opposite and describe what makes a musical simple. The idea of simple and complex musicals might be confusing to some people. So what exactly makes a musical simple?

Songs

The songs in these musicals tend to just consist of happy songs. They don’t really have negative emotions in their songs. But some actually do, but the sad song most likely will not be strong enough to get a strong emotional reaction. However, I have come across one simple musical that has a heartbreaking song in it, but that is rare in the simple musicals.

Plot

Well, you can’t really find subplots in them. The only subplot you most likely will find is a romantic subplot. They range from not having a plot or having a plot, but not much to it. That means it is very easy to follow the plot and not having many things happening throughout the entire musical.

Characters

The main character usually is not that complex. There are only a few words you can use to even describe the protagonist. It can be difficult to even find a complex character, and if there is—-most likely they might be the only complex character. I tend to lean towards complex plots and characters, but I still can love a simple musical. A lot of these characters usually tend be without their flaws and only have strengths.

Emotional Connection

Just like complex musicals, it still is possible that you will form an emotional connection. But, it can be easier to form an strong emotional connection in complex musicals because the characters feel more real and believable.

Examples of Simple Musicals

  1. Cats- that is the only musical where I have found a heartbreaking song (“Memory”)
  2. Mamma Mia
  3. Annie

Can you think of other simple musicals?

Childhood Musicals- The Importance

There are different phases when it comes to musicals, which it was for me. So far, it was the childhood musicals, middle school/ high school musicals, and the college musicals. Those combined are way I am the musical fan I am today.

Yes, the childhood musicals are the beginning of what I know them to be. After all, it is very hard to not to be exposed musicals after childhood. After all, several of children are exposed to Disney, which makes an amazing chance they will come across a musical at least once in my life time.

While Wicked truly was the beginning of my musical theatre journey, those childhood musicals still made a part in my love for musicals. Due to being born in 1994, I was around the classic Disney musicals: Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, and Aladdin were the ones I remember the most. It was their main love song that stuck with me the most- I fell in love with “Beauty and the Beast”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “A Whole New World” are a huge reason why I know I saw those musical movies. It was the childhood musicals that made me want to see Dance/Spectacle in musicals, and they started one of the core emotions: the one of excitement.

It wasn’t just Disney musicals I fell in love with in childhood. The ones I remember the most outside of Disney were Annie and Sound of Music. “Tomorrow” and “Edelweiss” are my favorite songs from those musicals. Now that I know of emotional connection in musicals, I now have realized why I loved them and why both of them are meaningful. I was connected to Annie’s optimism- I am also an optimistic person. So without knowing, I already formed an emotional connection with Annie. Just like Annie, I couldn’t figure what the meaning of Sound of Music, but after picking up on emotional connection, I know exactly why it is one of the meaningful musicals- it belonged to family and music. They also formed a role in the foundation of musicals.

I really don’t remember if love was also was an emotion I discovered in elementary school or middle school. While three love songs stuck with me in elementary school, I honestly don’t know if I picked up on love. So, that was a huge reason why I usually say excitement and joy began the first core emotions, and at the time had no idea there were five of them. Some of my childhood musicals had sad or heartbreaking songs, but I honestly had no idea.

There is something about childhood musicals that can’t be expressed in other musicals. After all, when I see them I feel like a child again, and then of course there is the nostalgia. I love all of them more than ever now- now that I am aware of the five core emotions. Those musicals really started the foundation of what I want in a musicals. So, they played a huge part in my journey before the love was sparked.

What do you think makes childhood musicals so special?

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.