Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. This post will bring up loving fathers- my father and musical theatre fathers.

I love my dad. We have had created many wonderful adventures together, and some have been shared with my mom and sister. Just like I love my dad, he loves me. At Kanuga Parish Weekends, the two of us have been the hiking leaders. We once had a date to the theater to see Wicked- that was my 3rd time, and I wanted to go to give my dad a chance to see it, but he still gave me the better seat. There was a time my family went to Kanuga for Thanksgiving, and he helped me make a hiking stick. He was among the 72 pilgrims on the Bristol Pilgrimage- that is a lot of pilgrims (which includes the choir). Memories are shared with my family with Kanuga and Bristol (as you can see), but also in Florida and Missouri and other states- family memories.

What about the musical theatre dads? Are there loving dads there? MAJOR SPOILERS

Valjean- whenever I think of dads in musical theatre, my mind hops to Jean Valjean. He had to became a dad in the most unexpected of ways. He adopted Cosette out of compassion to her mother (it was promise he made to Fantine). He promised he made to Fantine on her deathbed that he would take care of Cosette. Cosette was horribly abused- she needed someone like Valjean in her life. Valjean kept his promise to Fantine- he raised her even though that would not be easy- he was an ex-convict.

Jean Valjean and Young Cosette in the film of Les Misérables (2012)
Jean Valjean and Young Cosette

Mufasa- another incredible father. He is father to Simba. Not only is he an incredible father, but an incredible King, but that time was short-lived thanks to his jealous brother, Scar, who killed him. Mufasa taught Simba life lessons that were important and how to be a good king.

Maurice- everyone in the town calls him crazy, but Belle never saw her father this way. Maurice loved his daughter a lot. He wanted to protect her- he didn’t want to lose her. Yes, I can understand why people of that town would call him crazy- after all raving about a beast and winter in summer-that is unlikely, but it is true what he saw. He wanted people to help him after Belle was taken prisoner. He was a little overprotective-yes, but he just wanted her safe.

Maurice and Belle in the stage show of Beauty and the Beast
Maurice and Belle

What other musical theatre fathers do you love?

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What exactly Makes me Love a Song in a Musical?

For any musical, the first step to loving it belongs to the songs. What exactly do I mean by that? The songs do not necessarily need to be singable. They need to be memorable. The songs do need to sound like they all belong in the same musical. It is very very very very very very difficult to explain what makes me love a song period. You do need to remember a song leaving the theatre- yes, but not necessarily singable. I used to think there ALWAYS needed to be a showtune song- a song like “Seize the Day” or “Do Re Mi”- but I learned that is not always the case. The song has to be a song you know you will keep on going back to- as in a song you want to listen to again and again and again without getting sick and tired of it- that is what I mean by memorable. Not all of the musical theatre songs I love are singable.

Examples of songs I love:

  1. Seize the Day
  2. On My Own
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Phantom of the Opera
  5. Seventy Six Trombones
  6. Corner of the Sky
  7. Some Enchanted Evening
  8. Tomorrow
  9. Endless Night
  10. The Impossible Dream
  11. Seasons of Love
  12. Edelweiss
  13. Somewhere
  14. Popular

As you can tell, this is a wide variety of songs. From the exciting songs to the heartbreaking songs to the love songs. Not all of these songs are showtunes. I picked one song from different musicals I either like or love or happen to be musicals that are in between like and love. You can just tell whether or not you love a musical song. In order to love a musical, you have to love the songs- then there is no way to get into the characters and plot that well.

Animals of the Musical Theatre World

I don’t think I touched on this. When you think of musical theatre, you think of “humans”. There are characters in the musicals theatre world who are not “human”. They are animals themselves or are humans disguised as an animal. I decided to touch on those animals today.

Simba

  • He is the main character of The Lion King. After Mufasa, he is meant to be King, but this makes his Uncle Scar jealous. The story kicks off when Scar murders Mufasa. Simba was led to believe that he killed his father by Scar. After all, Simba was only a cub. Another thing to say about Simba is that his best friend is Nala. Before this tragic event happened, Simba was excited to be king. However the death of Mufasa and being led to be believe that he killed his dad is traumatizing. He had to run away and does not want to return. He ends up living with Timon and Pumba. He did feel like his dad wasn’t watching over him, and did forget who he was. He did fall in love with Nala. Simba did eventually return to the Pride Lands to fight Scar to be King, and learned who really killed Mufasa.
Simba during the stage show when he becomes King
Simba

Nala

  • Like I just said, Nala and Simba are best friends. She has this incredible strength. When Scar asks her to be his Queen, she flees the Pride Lands to get help. This is when she encounters Simba, and that was when the two of them fall in love.
Simba and Nala during Can You Feel the Love Tonight during the stage show of Lion King
Nala and Simba

Mufasa

  • Mufasa is an excellent King and father. While the time was short-lived, he taught Simba incredible life lessons. Even in death, Mufasa still looked over Simba- in one scene- he told Simba- “Remember”. So, Mufasa never forget about his son.

Beast

  • Beast is one of those animals who is a human who was turned into an animal. That is because of a selfish mistake he made. At the time, he didn’t have love in his heart. He didn’t let an old woman into his castle- but he was warned not be deceived by appearances because beauty comes from within. He didn’t realize that the old woman was really an enchantress- she ended up turning the prince into a beast. It was a strong curse- as other humans in the castle were turned into enchanted objects. He had to fall in love with someone else and had to be love in return for the spell to be broken- or else he would stay a beast forever. Years passed, and there was no sign of the spell breaking. Then Belle came, and became a prisoner in his castle, and taught him love- she was the one to break the curse. Those two fell in love.
Beast and Belle during the song, Beauty and the Beast, in the live action movie, Beauty and the Beast
Beast

Sandy

  • This time, the character is played by an actual dog. It is Annie’s dog. She found him as a stray on the streets. She decided to own the dog. That is one of the things I love about the character of Annie- that she would own the dog- she has compassion for Sandy. It in so ways impresses me much more to see an actual animal acting in a musical than an actor/actress.

What are other animal characters you love in musicals?

Act I Closers

The ending of the first act in a musical is important. By that point, you usually know whether or not you love a musical. The emotion of the first act I closer does vary- some are heartbreaking, some are sad (but not heartbreaking), some are exciting, and some are empowering- it varies. Here are examples of act I closers:

Defying Gravity

One Day More

Hankua Matata

Climb Every Mountain

Santa Fe

If I Can’t Love Her

Wells Fargo Wagon

La Vie Bohéme

Let it Go

Morning Glow

I’d Give My Life For You

Crashing of the Chandelier

  • As you can tell, these act I closers do vary. You have songs that are either sad or heartbreaking like “Santa Fe”, “If I Can’t Love Her”, and “I’d Give My Life For You”. The empowering act I closers are songs such as “Let it Go”, “One Day More”, and “Defying Gravity”- those can also fit under exciting songs- which is where “Wells Fargo Wagon” and “La Vie Bohéme” fit under. So act I closers vary from musical to musical. Some musicals don’t have a song at all- such as Phantom of the Opera, which ends at the crashing of the chandelier. By the end of act I, you already know which characters and storylines you are are emotionally connected to. The act I ending is important- it is just as important as the finale of the musical.

Magic in Disney Love Songs

There is something special about Disney love songs. It is one of the patterns that exist in musicals. They are all share a similar quality. It doesn’t seem to matter who sings it- they share that same quality. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “A Whole New World”, and “Something to Believe In” all have that special quality. They have this kind of innocence and magic found in them. I was only listing songs from stage shows. My favorite classic Disney couple is Belle and Beast and my favorite contemporary Disney couple is Katherine and Jack. Whoever sings any of these songs- the magic remains.

"Beauty and the Beast" from the live action movie of Beauty and the Beast
“Beauty and the Beast”
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from the stage show of Lion King
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
"Something to Believe In" from Newsies
“Something to Believe In”
A Whole New World from Aladdin
A Whole New World

What do you think is special and magical about Disney love songs?

Childhood Musicals

We all have memories. When we become adults, we wish we were children again. That is because life as a child was easier. We sometimes want to be able to remember what that felt like- being a child. If we were raised on musicals- we will have childhood musicals. Childhood musicals have something special in them- they have this special quality that no other musical has. They come with this nostalgia- we feel like kids whenever we watch them. What are my childhood musicals?

Annie

Annie

Annie was my favorite musical in elementary school- I fell in love with by the 1982 movie. Now that I think of it, I believe I had an emotional connection to Annie. In elementary school- I did not know what “emotional connection” was. I was optimistic as a child- I think that was why I loved Annie, and why the song, “Tomorrow” is my favorite song from the musical. It stayed my favorite musical for a few years. In the year 2014 at the age of 20, I finally saw the stage show of Annie, and while watching it, I did feel like a child.

Sound of Music

"Sound of Music" from the film
“Sound of Music”

This was another musical that entered my life in elementary school. It was the musical film. My favorite song was “Edelweiss”. In 2015, finally watched the stage show. “Edelweiss” took me by surprise- an emotion entered the song that never was there- it turned it a bittersweet song due to sad entering the picture- I believe it was a combo of nostalgia, and a nonverbal that was made by Ben Davis (Captain Von Trapp). “Do Re Mi” was the first musical song I memorized all the lyrics to.

Beauty and the Beast- amongst other Disney musical films.

I mean, who would not grow up without Disney. I am a 90s girl after all. The main song that really stuck with me was “Beauty and the Beast”. It was the only song I remembered. Of all Disney classic couples- Belle and Beast are my favorite Disney couples. When I watched the live action movie in 2017- my love of the original came back to me- I did feel like a kid watching the live action movie.

"Beauty and the Beast" scene from the classic film
“Beauty and the Beast”

Wicked

I might be stretching things, but in my opinion, Wicked is my final childhood musical. Yes, I was 12 at the time- but it still counts. It was the year 2006 in the month August. I was with my mom. Little did I know that when I entered the Gershwin Theater that I would be changed “for good”. There is a reason why the song, “Popular”, is my favorite song from Wicked: it was my favorite song at age 12- nostalgia is why. Annie was my favorite musical until I saw Wicked. My journey with musicals truly began with this musical.

"For Good" scene from Wicked
“For Good”

What I expected from musicals growing up comes from my childhood musicals. Spectacle, dance, comedy, complexity, romance, positive and negative emotions in the score, and a strong emotional connection (bonus: relating to a character). Those elements still exist to this day- I still want those to exist- however, I have learned that some musicals are different than what is typically associated with musicals.

Favorite Musicals and Favorite Songs

All musical theatre fans have their favorite musicals. In each musical, there is usually a song that becomes their favorite. I decided to write a list of some of my favorite musicals and what my favorite song is.

  1. Wicked- Popular
  2. Les Mis- (Do I have to say more); this is an exception where I can’t pick
  3. Sound of Music- Edelweiss
  4. Phantom of the Opera- either Music of the Night or All I Ask of You
  5. Annie- Tomorrow
  6. Newsies- Seize the Day
  7. Beauty and the Beast- Beauty and the Beast
  8. Lion King- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
  9. Rent- Seasons of Love
  10. Music Man- Seventy Six Trombones
  11. South Pacific- Some Enchanted Evening
  12. Pippin- Corner of the Sky
  13. Mamma Mia- Dancing Queen
  14. Man of La Mancha- Impossible Dream
  15. Godspell- We Beseech Thee