What makes Belle an Effective Opening Number

While the prologue of Beauty and the Beast starts the show, the show doesn’t truly start until the opening number. Both Arabian Nights and Belle are long numbers- but at the same time effective. Why is Belle an effective opening number?

Possible minor Spoilers:

When it comes to Disney musicals, long opening numbers may not make sense. However, there are times where they actually are quite effective. The entire song makes you get to know the entire village Belle lives in. Belle actually opens the song up, and she is the protagonist of the musical. The song also introduces you to Gaston, the villain of the musical. So, in just one number, you know exactly who your protagonist and antagonist are. You get to know exactly what the village thinks of Belle, and you get to know important parts of Belle. Those are things such as that she is a bookworm, and that the town think that she is odd- that to me shows that she is unique. Just like Arabian Nights, you get to know the setting so well in just one number.

Yes, Beauty and the Beast is a romance between Belle and Beast, and that it mostly takes in the castle- but this opening number is crucial. When it comes to a romance- usually one of the characters is more prominent meaning they fit the profile of main character better. That is the case for Belle- the story truly kicks off when she takes her father’s place. So, Belle is truly is the main character of Beauty and the Beast.

All Love Triangles

Major Spoilers:

Jud x Laurey x Curly- I believe this is one of the weak love triangles. It is only easy to tell that Laurey and Curly are in it. So Oklahoma does make it difficult to know there is even a love triangle in the main romance to begin with.

Ali Hakim x Ado Annie x Will Parker – Oklahoma has a 2nd love triangle, which is not as serious as the main one, but is still weak. Just like the first one, you can only pick up on Ado Annie and Will being in it.

Gaston x Belle x Beast- Now, things are much stronger. I never thought about Beauty and the Beast having a love triangle. I just thought it was only a romance between Belle and Beast.

Ellen x Chris x Kim- Now, we defiantly know there is a love triangle. When I first saw Miss Saigon, which was in Feb., I didn’t want Ellen in the picture. I didn’t want Kim and Chris’s relationship to become tragic- it all had to do with my actor and actress. At the end of the musical, I could tell that Chris always loved Kim- even more than Ellen. His reaction to Kim’s death told me that- that cry was heartbreaking.

Phantom x Christine x Raoul- I am one of those Christine and Raoul fans. I do feel for all three of the characters. However, I do not like how Phantom responds to his unrequited love- he does not accept or cope with it. Christine and Raoul are meant to be with other.

Eponine x Marius x Cosette- I also love this love triangle. I love Marius and Cosette. They are so adorable together and help bring hope to the tragedy. Cosette represents hope and light- so it makes sense why she ends up with Marius. These two are my favorite survivors= in particular Marius. Cosette and Eponine are mirrors= Cosette goes from bad to good and Eponine goes from good to bad.

Eponine is my favorite character in the love triangle. I love her strength, bravery, and loyalty to Marius. She may be a Thenardier, but she still has some kind of goodness inside of her. She risks her life several times all because of the deep and strong love for Marius. It may be unrequited, but he is all she has. He is the only person who has shown her kindness. He is the only good thing in her life. Even though she dies at the end, I love how Marius is there.

Look, some people will say the love triangle is silly, some people say Marius should have ended up with Eponine, and some say that Marius is a jerk- I disagree on all of that. Les Mis is so carefully planned out that if you get rid of ONE thing, the entire story falls apart. That is why it is not silly and that is why Marius needed to end up with Cosette. Marius is not a jerk- I have seen him as a brave, compassionate, sweet, kind, and awkward young man. If he wasn’t brave, he wouldn’t have been a revolutionary and gone to fight at the barricade. If he wasn’t kind, Eponine NEVER would have fallen in love with him. If he wasn’t compassionate, he never would have made the decision to stay with Eponine during her death scene=yes, he was devastated, but he stayed with her- that is compassion.

Glinda x Fiyero x Elphaba- Why do you think I put them last? They are my favorite love triangle. This love triangle is the one I emotionally bonded with first, and where I first discovered the concept. It also is the most complex one I discovered. All three characters are complex- yes, all three of complex even though some would say only Glinda and Elphaba are complex. Fiyero is complex as well- his development and his role in the love triangle are why he is a complex character. Unrequited love: well, both Elphaba and Glinda end up with in this love triangle, and they respond by not stealing him away from their best friend. So, the love triangle shows they will not let a boy get in the way of their friendship.

What are other musical theatre love triangles you can think of?

My favorite couples and pairings

I have talked a number of times on my blog about romance in musicals. I thought to do something a bit differently. What if I brought up a few couples in musicals and my favorite pairing I have seen? That shall be interesting.

Major Spoilers:

Nala and Simba: Nia Holloway and Jared Dixon

  • Love her Nala and his Simba. Wonderful pairing.

Katherine and Jack Kelly: Kaitlyn Frank and Joey Barreiro

  • While I only remember Joey Barreiro’s portrayal, I said they are my favorite pairing. I just can’t help but think about Joey. That is why I said these two are my favorite pairing- all because of Joey.
Joey Barreiro as Jack Kelly in the stage show of Newsies

Jasmine and Aladdin: Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud

  • Yes, my favorite pairing is from the live action Aladdin movie. That could soon change: if I see Aladdin in person in September.

Belle and Beast: Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

  • So, I have two favorite Disney pairings from live action Disney movies.
Dan Stevens as Beast and Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast live action

Kim and Chris: Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa

  • Well, they are the only Kim and Chris I saw.
Anthony Festa as Chris and Emily Bautista as Kim in The Last Night of the World

Christine and Raoul: Grace Morgan and Ben Jacoby

  • I may not remember anything about their Christine and Raoul. However, they currently are my favorite Christine and Raoul. I still remember my reaction during Phantom of the Opera: spellbound and choked up. That does say something. I remember getting attached to Christine in May of 2014.

Cosette and Marius: Jillian Butler and Joshua Grosso

  • I don’t really need to explain the two of them (I have said I believe, a lot about Joshua’s Marius). The reason why I remember Jillian’s Cosette so well is because of Joshua’s Marius. They are such an adorable couple- which I can’t explain.

Elphaba and Fiyero: Mary Kate Morrissey and Ashley Parker Angel

  • Of four casts, they are the only Elphaba and Fiyero I remember. It is crazy how just saying that Elphaba and Fiyero are a couple is a spoiler in itself.
Ashley Parker Angel as Fiyero leading up to "As Long as Your'e Mine"

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?

Who is the Beast?

The Beast is a character who has been cursed. He is a prince who has been cursed because an enchantress realized how selfish and that there is no love in his heart. The only way to break the curse is love another and to be loved in return- because who would love a beast? The entire castle ends up being cursed. That is basically the prologue of Beauty and the Beast.

Beast does at first imprison Belle’s father, but Belle takes his place. The Beast over time has fallen into despair because he felt like the curse could never be broken. Even Belle saw that there is no love in his heart. But she is now imprisoned in his castle and has been given on rule- “not to enter the West Wing”. Little did the Beast know the impact Belle would have on his life. Over and over again, the staff, who are now things like teacups and clocks and candles, have told him that maybe Belle is the one to break the curse, but he doesn’t believe them on bit.

Things start to change for the Beast when Belle enters the West Wing. This is when Beast loses his temper and that causes Belle to leave the castle. Beast realizes a big mistake he made, and decides to after her. Beast actually decides to save Belle in this moment and actually saves her from wolves from this moment so now his transformation is beginning. Beast and Belle have this constant argument in the castle ending with Belle telling the Beast that he “should learn to control his temper”. But at least he saved Belle and that did took an act of courage and that did show that he did care a bit about Belle. If he did not, he would not have gone after her.

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In “Something There”, both Belle and Beast start to fall in love. Beast finally has some kind of love in his heart. The love he has in his heart is for Belle. Belle is showing the Beast how to love in many ways. In that one scene, through the enchanted mirror when Belle is seeing her father being mistreated by her townspeople, Beast lets Belle go. So at least he has fallen in love with. So he went from a selfish and unloving prince to a courageous prince and his transformation happened because of Belle. He at least let Belle go even if it might mean staying a Beast forever. Gaston does make the townspeople believe the Beast is dangerous and it is in that moment that Belle realizes just how much she cares about the Beast and hurries back to warn him. Beast fights off Gaston to protect Belle and soon enough the spell is broken.

I love characters with drastic transformations, but not for the characters who are villains or antagonists. Beast proves that Beauty comes from within in. Beast was ashamed of his appearance and that no one would love him. Belle taught him love. After falling in love with her, he had the courage to let her go and the courage to protect her when she came back.

Who is Belle?

Belle is the main character of Beauty and the Beast.

She is an independent young girl who wants more to life than her town. She is seen as odd to everyone in her town. She is a bookworm and strongly loves her father. This is especially shown when she takes her father’s place at the Beast’s castle. This act takes a lot of courage, but it does show just how much she loves her father. She can tell just how cold and selfish the Beast’s heart is.

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Belle does teach the Beast important lessons later on. She does teach him the importance of love. She and Beast soon fall in love with love, but slowly over time. Even though she was originally imprisoned, the Beast eventually lets her go. You see her love for her father when she looks in Beast’s mirror and sees her father treated unfairly by the citizens in her town. So Belle overall is this strong, independent, brave young woman who shows that beauty comes from within and knows the power of love.

Courageous Characters Found in Musicals

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

-Seize the Day, Newsies

What does the word courage remind me of in the world of musicals? Well, in musicals, you come across many brave characters who show their bravery in many ways. I decided to make a list of various characters who do show courage. I will do my best to explain why they are brave in the first place.

Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Newsies- Even though they have to survive off of Pulitzer’s newspapers, they still stop buying papers. They end up going on strike to go up against Pulitzer to say this isn’t right. They stay passionate towards the cause. Going on strike was a brave thing to do because if they don’t buy papers, they will barely survive, but still go on strike to make a stand.

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Les Mis: 

Friends of the ABC- they are very similar to the Newsies. They have a cause as well and are planning an uprising to go up against the weak government. They stay passionate towards the end even when they know they are going to lose and know they will most likely die.

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Eponine- She risks her life several times. Even though she loves Marius, she does anything for him just to make sure he is happy and safe. At one point, she goes up against her father when he tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius is there and ends up screaming to protect the one she loves. Then at the barricade when Marius is about to get shot, she protects him by sacrificing for life so he could survive. She does not have a very good life, but yet risks her life several times for the sake of Marius.

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Jean Valjean- he is an ex-convict. He ends up turning himself in when an innocent man is “Valjean”. Than at the barricades, he goes there to protect the one that his adopted daughter, Cosette, loves. When Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean takes Marius to safety even the only way to is go through the sewers.

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Wicked: 

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Elphaba- she is brave in many ways. She goes up against the Wizard even when he is spreading “rumors” and “lies” about her. She always true to herself no matter what people say about her.

Beauty and the Beast

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Belle- she ends up saving her father when imprisoned by the Beast. She ends up taking his place as prisoner. Then towards the end when Gaston and the citizens want to kill the Beast, she goes back to warn the Beast and wants to make sure he comes out alive.

Beast- when he falls in love with Belle, he lets her go. Then when Belle returns, he protects her by fighting Gaston. So because these two would protect each other, it makes them such a beautiful couple.

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Can you think of other courageous characters I did not put on this list?

Courage