Musical Characters From My Childhood

As some may know, I have been a musical fan for quite a long time. My journey began back in elementary school and continued into now. The enjoyment of musicals I had of musicals in elementary school developed into something so much bigger than that. But what exactly were some of the most memorable characters from my younger years? Well, those characters don’t just come from elementary school. They also spread into middle school, but stop in summer of 2006. Any Disney character from those days I did at one point did get forgotten about, but were eventually remembered that I once loved them.

  1. Annie
  2. Belle
  3. Aladdin
  4. Simba
  5. Fiyero
  6. Elphaba
  7. Glinda
  8. Maria (Sound of Music)
  9. Von Trapp Children (7 of them)
  10. Sandy

What are some of your favorite childhood favorite musical characters? Tomorrow’s post, I will talk about my favorite recent musical characters, those from 2012 to now.

Possible Top Ten Musical List (More Like Eleven Musicals)

This is a list of my top ten musicals, which actually consists of eleven musicals in a way since the top spot consists of not one, but two musicals. Another thing to note it they may not necessarily may not be in the right order.

First up is Wicked/Les Mis- why am I putting two musicals at the top? Both Wicked and Les Mis are not just musicals. Wicked is that musical that carries my vision of musicals nicely. It is home to spectacle and dance, comic moments, positive and negative emotions (home to all five main core emotions of excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak) and has a strong emotional bond. My favorite characters are Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero,who create a very complicated love triangle and Glinda and Elphaba become best friends. I have a personal bond with Elphaba and she is my favorite musical character. Like me, she is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, unique, and believes in equality and staying true in herself. Wicked first entered my life in 2006 at age 12 when I first saw Wicked on Broadway and I am glad that the musical has changed me for the better. Wicked sparked my love for musicals.

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Les Mis on the other hand began its journey December of 2012 through the musical movie, but I did not see something special about Les Mis until I gave it a second chance the following year. In 2013, it was the same year I saw the stage show for the first time and developed an obsession for Les Mis. In 2013, I started to dream about seeing the show in London and two years later that dream became reality and in 2015, I also read the unabridged book.

What makes Les Mis so special that makes it tie with a musical? Les Mis carries my vision of musicals very closely, but the one thing that it is missing is dance or spectacle. Les Mis is so powerful and emotional and inspirational and despite heartbreaking comes with this incredible underlying spirituality. It has these wonderfully written characters and you learn to care about them. Because of how powerful and emotional Les Mis is, the lack of spectacle and dance is made up for.

Second belongs to Annie. The reason why Annie belongs in the second spot is because at one point, Annie was my favorite musical. Before I saw Wicked on Broadway, Annie was my favorite musical. I still feel like a kid whenever I watch the 1982 movie and when I saw the stage show three years ago, I felt like a kid as well. I always loved Annie due to her optimism and spirit. My favorite song from the show is “Tomorrow”.

 

Third for now belongs to Sound of Music. I have loved Sound of Music since elementary school. It is my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It has wonderful songs such as “Do Re Mi”, “My Favorite Things”, “Something Good”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss”. Both Annie and Sound of Music have been part of my life for about almost as long. They both have been loved since elementary school and they still have meaning behind them.

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Fourth belongs to Rent. It has already proven to be a meaningful musical. Its message is incredible. It is about a group of friends in their life in a year in the face of fear. Their message is to live your life in the moment and to measure your life in love. It has already proven to belong in my list of my top ten favorite musicals. I first fell in love with this musical five years ago in the Fall. This year in September, I will be seeing Rent with my parents and I am so excited.

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….The ones beneath may not be in the right order or may not always be in the top ten…

Fifth belongs to Newsies. I saw this musical just last August and this musical has already proven to be meaningful and does prove to be in the top ten somewhere. This musical is based of the real Newsboy strike of 1899. When Joseph Pulitizer raised the price of newspapers, the Newsies wouldn’t take it and went on strike and stood up for what they believed in. In the fictional story, the leader of this strike is Jack Kelly and he has a close bond to Crutchie and all the Newsies are like this one big family. Katherine Plubmer ends up writing the newspaper article for the strike and she and Jack Kelly fall in love

This musical is full of mind-blowing dance. The boys are basically doing flips, tap dancing, ballet, jumping high up in the air, dancing on newspapers and other fun tricks.

 

Sixth possibly could be Beauty and the Beast. I first saw Beauty and the Beast in elementary school, the animated movie and the stage show, but the only thing I remember was the song “Beauty and the Beast”. But seeing the 2017 live movie brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast again. My favorite characters are Beast and Belle. I love its songs such as “Something There”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, and the new movie’s “Evermore”. I love how Beauty and the Beast teaches you that beauty comes from within.

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Seventh or somewhere in my top ten would be Pippin. I first got interested in Pippin when my dad had me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. I automatically wanted to see the stage show. Then in 2015 in May, just one week before seeing the stage show, mom got me tickets and there was one day left with seats together. Seeing Pippin felt like I was at the circus. It was my first time seeing Pippin and I had an understudy for Pippin and the Leading Player and I remember being more intrigued by the Leading Player’s portrayal even though she was the antagonist.

At one moment in the show, Pippin’s grandma, which was during “No Time At All” asked us to sing along to the chorus and I loved how we got to interact  like that. In “Magic to Do”, I loved how it set up the show, which started with an illusion and I was in awe when the circus tent dropped.

 

Eighth spot I am just putting for now is Phantom of the Opera. At one point, this musical was tied with Les Mis and Wicked. It was only tied for about a year, which was from the time I saw it in Greenville up until July 30th, 2015. When I saw Les Mis at the Queens Theatre, it made Phantom of the Opera slide off that top spot. I realized just how much more I loved Les Mis’ plot and songs and characters. To be honest, I still really love Phantom of the Opera. True it belongs higher up on this list, but sometimes a musical belongs higher than another.

To describe this musical as a whole, I would describe it as a love triangle. In the musical, I view Christine as the protagonist and I view the Phantom as the antagonist and in my opinion, I don’t think Christine ever falls in love with the Phantom. I just love how hauntingly beautiful Phantom of the Opera is.

 

Hanging at ninth South Pacific is the second best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my opinion. It focuses on the idea of interracial marriage and racism and deals with two relationships mainly dealing with the one between Emelie and Nellie. It has memorable songs such as “There is Nothing like a Dame”, “Younger Than Springtime”, “Honey Bun”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, and “Some Enchanted Evening”.

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Tenth for now, which like some of the others may not in right spot is Music Man. I first discovered Music Man through Pandora maybe in 2012, but I did not see the stage show until 2015. I loved seeing the stage show at my school and I love Music Man due to how light-hearted and happy it is. I love songs such as “Ya Got Trouble”, “Goodnight My Someone” and “Seventy Six Trombones”.

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To be honest, this isn’t a fully accurate top ten musical list. I am true in Les Mis/Wicked being tied with #1 through. I also have a point with having Annie right beneath the two and then Sound of Music beneath them.

 

 

 

Musicals I fell in Love with Through the Movies

Yesterday, I talked about musicals I fell in love with through the music. Today, I want to talk about musicals I fell in love with initially by the movies. Movies are the easiest way to access musicals and as a result, I fell in love with more musical first by the movies more than by songs alone.

Grease is one of the musicals I fell in love with through the movie. I remember when I was younger that the song, “We Go Together”, was my favorite song as a child due to its funny lyrics. I also love “Summer Nights” as well.

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First up belong is the 1982 version of Annie. It was my childhood favorite musical in elementary school. I loved Annie due to her optimism and my favorite song was always “tomorrow”. Later in 2014, I was finally able to see the stage show. Even today, Annie still makes me feel like a kid again.

 

Similar to Annie, I fell in love with Sound of Music in childhood through the movie. I always loved songs like “My Favorite Things” and “Do Re Mi” and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”. 

Just like Annie, I eventually saw the stage production. I saw the stage production of Sound of Music in 2015 and it still makes me feel like a kid and my love for it grew. This musical and Annie holds a special place in my heart due to loving them since childhood.

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Next up is Beauty and the Beast. To be honest, I did love the animated movie in childhood. I loved the song “Beauty and the Beast” for sure. But there came a point where I did kind of forget I once loved the movie. It was the 2017 live movie that brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast. I never once forget about the song, “Beauty and the Beast”, in this Disney classic. Besides “Beauty and the Beast”, I also love “Be Our Guest”, “Something There”, “Gaston”, and “Belle” among others.

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Mamma Mia was a musical I fell in love with in high school through the movie. It is so happy and so fun. Complete with ABBA songs, it is a wonderful movie to watch. My favorite among the ABBA songs is Dancing Queen.

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Another musical I fell in love with through the movie is Les Mis. I never would have imagined I would fallen in love with a musical like Les Mis. I was the person who believed all musicals were happy. Les Mis showed me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. This movie is a wonderful movie and to this day still reduces me to tears. It is a wonderful tale of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. My love for the movie eventually led to me seeing the stage show both at community college and in London. I could go on and on about the importance of Les Mis in my life.

Of all musical movies, it is one of the most meaningful. I love its songs such as “One Day More”, “On My Own”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing”.

Singing in the Rain is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. It is so happy and fun. Its incredible dance numbers are fun to watch. I love watching Singing in the Rain and i love just how light hearted it is. I love songs such as “Singing in the Rain”, “Make Em Laugh” and “Good Morning”.

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I fell in love with South Pacific through the movie. It was in Winter of 2014. School was cancelled for about four days due to snow and four musical movies were leant to my family to watch and South Pacific was one of them. Through numbers such as “There is Nothing Like A Dame”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, and “Younger Than Springtime”, South Pacific is a wonderful love story.

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Fiddler on the Roof was also leant to my family during the snowstorm in 2014. I love the movie of this musical. I love songs such as “Tradition” and “Matchmaker”. I fell in love with the musical through the movie as well.

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White Christmas is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. I loved everything the two two army people did for their general. I still don’t the names of any of the songs. It is just a wonderful holiday classic to watch every Christmas.

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In either Christmas break of 2015 or 2016, I finally got to watch the movie of Man of La Mancha. My dad was got me interested in Don Quixote. In summer of 2016, I read the novel. I love the tale of the tragicomic knight. My favorite song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream”. Its song sound hispanic and is quite well.

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I recently saw the movie musical of Oliver. It was such a well done movie. True, I first saw Oliver through the stage production, but due to not remembering seeing it, that doesn’t truly count. Well, the movie was very well done. I loved the movie of Oliver. Through the fun numbers like “Consider Yourself” and the more emotional numbers like “As Long As He Needs Me”, Oliver is a wonderful adaption of Dickens classic Novel.

Movie musicals are a wonderful way to access musicals. For me, I prefer seeing musicals live over watching musical movies, but what I love about musical movies is that I am able to fall in love with a new musical quicker. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the musicals I fell in love with through the stage production.

What are some movies you fell in love with first by the movies? Did they eventually lead to the stage production?

Heartbreaking Love Musical Songs

The musical emotions of love and heartbreak work nicely together. Both translate beautifully. There are musical songs that are heartbreaking love songs. Below I will talk about some heartbreaking love songs.

Possible Spoilers:

I’m Not That Girl- this song started out as sad. I was only in middle school when I first realized the song was sad. By high school, I definitely understood this song was part of a love triangle. I was 100% blind to heartbreak growing up. I honesty did not understand unrequited love in those days. The song, “On My Own”, is a huge reason why I discovered this song was heartbreaking and memorizing the lyrics helped as well. This song doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking because literally just moments before Elphaba sang this song, she just found out she loves Fiyero so in many ways this song is moderately heartbreaking.

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On My Own- this song is even more heartbreaking than I’m Not That Girl. While both are unrequited love songs, there are obvious differences due to how different Elphaba and Eponine are as characters. Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love so you know how it affects her unlike Elphaba. Marius is the only person who treats her kindly and that is why she loves him. This song shows just how strong Eponine is and this song is even more powerful and more heartbreaking than “I’m Not That Girl”

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This Nearly Was Mine- while this song is not dealing with unrequited love, there are still some similarities. This is sung in South Pacific by Emelie. Nellie has left him due to the race of his children’s mother. So this sung is dealing with a breakup, which has similar emotions in my opinion with unrequited love.

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Somewhere- this is the last love song in West Side Story. As the love songs go on in this musical, the songs just get sadder and sadder. This song happens right after the rumble takes place and that is when the first traces of tragedy show up. It is so close to the tragic end of this modern Romeo and Juliet tale.

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If I Can’t Love Her/Evermore-I put these two songs together because they are both sung by beast. They both are similar to each other in emotion. Beast has realized that he loves Belle, but doesn’t know if she will ever love him. He cannot be turned back into his human form until he loves someone and he is loved back.

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As Long As He Needs Me- I actually did see Oliver in middle school, but do not remember seeing it. The only knowledge I really have belong to the book and the 2005 movie. So it is interesting how I seem to know that this song is a heartbreaking love song, but the same could be said for “If I Can’t Love Her”. But by knowing who Nancy is in the book and that movie, I know this song is heartbreaking. Nancy loves Bill Sikes even though he is abusive towards her, but she will always love him as long as he needs her even though the situation is dangerous

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In many ways heartbreak and love really fit nicely together. Even though I heard “If I Can’t Love Her” before “I’m Not That Girl”, “I’m Not That Girl” was really the start to sad love songs. That was because Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the negative emotions and Wicked is the best way I can even remember what the negative emotions were like in my younger years.

However “On My Own” started telling me more about sad love songs. I began to understand that sad love songs are actually heartbreaking. If it wasn’t for “On My Own”, I still would be interpreting sad love songs the same way as  I used to call “I’m Not That Girl”. Calling a song heartbreaking is even more devastating than calling a song sad. Due to that, a heartbreaking love song has more fragility and vulnerability. I cannot think of a single sad love song that is not heartbreaking.

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Musicals I Love With Sad In It

This sounds like a crazy post. Well, the musicals I tend to be drawn to are complex and have both positive and negative emotions in it. Below I will write a list of the musicals that I love where sad has been involved and that only counts if it was in the songs, but not where it wasn’t that capable.

  1. Sound of Music
  2. Wicked
  3. Newsies
  4. South Pacific
  5. Phantom of the Opera
  6. Rent
  7. Les Mis
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Man of La Mancha

Why do I love feeling the negative emotions in these if they are going to hurt? Well, musical emotions come in two sets, which only applies to positive emotions. There are the positive emotions that are naturally part of the show and than there are the emotions that naturally apply to the experience. I feel like those with sad going on feel more real to me. Some of these musicals actually took some time until I realized sad was in some of them. But some, I knew on the very first round that sad is a piece of them.

Possible Spoilers:

Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the negative emotions. I can trace back how far the negative emotions have come through this musical. I remember not liking “No Good Deed” that much and that song seemed emotionless from 2006 all the way until 2016. I saw Wicked live in 2006, sometime in high school, 2013, and 2016. That one song seemed not interesting and seemed emotionless. It was in 2016, my fourth time, where the portrayal of “No Good Deed” finally made me appreciate it for once and where I finally began to pick up on its emotions.

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Well “I’m Not That Girl” began as this sad song and was a sad song during the first three rounds. Well, I don’t know when it was, but I want to say it was like 2014 or 2015, I realized the song was heartbreaking thanks to the help of “On My Own”. I realized that both songs were about unrequited love and due to “On My Own” being stronger, I realized “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaker.

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But where did I began to realize that heartbreak was part of the musical world? Well, I didn’t know about heartbreak until December of 2012. It was when I saw Les Mis for the first time through the movie. While watching the movie, I finally was able to pick up on heartbreak, but I thought the musical was too depressing. I wasn’t able to dig deeper because I didn’t know it was going to be tragic and I didn’t know musicals could be tragic.  Les Mis showed me a side of emotions I thought was literally impossible and it was during my second viewing of the movie where I began to see something special about Les Mis. Over time, I realized the musical wasn’t too depressing due to its underlying spirituality, which has themes of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. Ever since the realization of heartbreak, I was able to notice that it was much easier to spot negative emotions and darkness in other musicals.

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Just like Les Mis, Rent is a sad musical. It takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s/1990s. It has an incredible message of how precious life is, living in the moment, and measuring your life in love. You see these characters struggle through depression, drug addiction, relationships, HIV/AIDS. But they are like this family despite all their struggles.

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In the case of Sound of Music, I never noticed sad was in one of its songs for quite a long time. I grew up with the movie and never once picked up on that emotion. I remember it being in 2015 when I saw the stage show for the first time. It was during “Edelweiss” and I remember the emotion entering at a place that seemed unusual. It was at the moment where the Captain stopped singing and there was a pause before Maria and the children started singing and I noticed the emotion. I feel like realizing sad was in a song in the middle of that song is a spot where the emotions tends not to be a part of. But due to the emotional shift in “Edelweiss”, I learned to love the musical even more.

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The latest meaningful musical that had sad in the score belongs to Newsies. I remember watching it and it existed at the end of act one. I just witnessed this big fight break out as a result of the strike. After the fight, Jack witnessed Crutchie being arrested and that left him with a lot of inner conflict. In the first scene, which was “Santa Fe (Prologue), you realize that Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Due to what he witnessed, he sang “Santa Fe” and that became a sad song and I felt sad, but innocently during the production. Another moment with the negative emotions belonged in “Letter From the Refuge”. The thing with that song is that I don’t remember it while watching the production. I eventually rediscovered the song and was able to notice I do remember one of the lyrics. After a couple of listens, I realized that song is a heartbreaker.

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The negative emotions are highly important in the world of musicals. For all of these musicals, my emotional connection is quite strong. I care about these characters’ journeys, which is why I love feeling the negative emotions. I only love feeling the negative emotions in musicals that I love myself and typically tend to be a meaningful musical.

Favorite Female Musical Characters: Part Two

Yesterday, I wrote a list of some of my favorite female characters. Today’s post will be talking about these characters more in detail and why I love. them.

Possible Spoilers (Major or Minor):

First up is Elphaba, one of the main protagonists of Wicked. Of all musical characters, she is my favorite. I love her so much and I have loved her since middle school. The reason why I love Elphaba so much is because of how much I can relate to her. Like me, she is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, unique, and believes in equality and staying true to herself. She is strong, complex, and courageous and those are three main characteristics I look for in a musical character. I admire the courage that she shows and how she stands up for what she believes in.

The second best character is Glinda. Glinda is the other protagonist of Wicked. She is very outgoing and comical. Glinda is Elphaba’s best friend. These two girls both fall in love with Fiyero, which creates this really complex love triangle. You cannot really separate Elphaba and Glinda. Glinda is a comical character who eventually has to put with some very painful things especially in act II.

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The third best character is Eponine. I feel like Eponine should be my second best favorite female character, but I can’t seem to separate Elphaba and Glinda. Eponine is daughter of the Thenardiers. The Thenardiers are not the best of parents and after Cosette left, they started horribly abusing her and raised her to be a criminal. Eponine lives a very empty life filled with lots of darkness. What I find interesting about Eponine is how despite being a Thenardier, she still has some redeeming qualities about her and is not quite like her parents.

She only has one source of light in her miserable existence, who is Marius, the only person who ever showed her kindness. That is why she loves him and I believe it is part of why she grows up with some moral compass. Even though he doesn’t love her, she puts aside her happiness for the sake of his. She constantly shows true love towards him and she risks her life several times. Eponine is strong, complex, brave, loyal, and loving, which are wonderful characteristics to have. Eponine is the character I will be dressing up as at the Les Mis party I am going to this summer.

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Another female Les Mis character I love is Young Cosette. Young Cosette reminds me of Eponine in a way. She is living with the Thenardiers and like Eponine, she gets horribly abused. The Thenardiers force her to be a servant and things aren’t going too well for Young Cosette. She gets through the abuse through the fantasies she creates. Young Cosette is a character who has hopes that she will eventually get rescued. She eventually gets rescued by Jean Valjean after he promised her mother that he will raise Cosette as his own.

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Another Les Mis character is Fantine. Fantine is Cosette’s mother and loves her a lot. Everything Fantine does is for the sake of Cosette. Fantine’s storyline is the hardest one to watch and she eventually has to become a prostitute in order to provide for her daughter. The real heartbreaking part is that she has no clue that the Thenardiers are horribly abusing her daughter and that they are scamming her out of money. She doesn’t even know that the letter she received at the factory is a hoax. I love Fantine because she is such a wonderful mother whose actions are the sake of her daughter.

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Annie is a musical character I have loved since elementary school. She is a very simple character. I love that she is optimistic and love how she decides to adopt Sandy, a stray dog she finds on the street.

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Belle is another female character I love. She loves books and love the relationship she has with her father. When her father is taken captive by the Beast, she agrees to take his place to get him out. That was a very brave thing to do. She teaches the Beast how to love and teaches him that he is more than he believes. Belle is able to realize that beauty comes from within. Belle is a character I first witnessed in elementary school, but she recently reentered my life when I saw the live version of the storyline. I cannot believe I forgot that I loved Belle as a child.

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Favorite Female Musical Characters: Part One

I recently talked about my favorite male musical characters. Now its the time for my favorite female characters. As a matter of fact, my favorite musical character is female and I will identify which she is. So here is my list of favorite female characters.

  1. Elphaba- Favorite
  2. Glinda
  3. Eponine
  4. Young Cosette
  5. Fantine
  6. Annie
  7. Grizabella
  8. Female Von Trapp Children
  9. Christine
  10. Mimi
  11. Belle
  12. Katherine
  13. Maria- Sound of Music
  14. Anna- King and I
  15. Audrey

These are my favorite female characters I can speak of right now. The next post will go into some of these characters more into detail and explain why I love them. About the the last two, they are two characters I love, but are not from musicals I love.