What Makes Wicked’s Love Triangle my Favorite

I have talked about this topic more times than I should on my blog: love triangle. There is one in particular I love more than the others. It has evolved a lot over the years. My favorite love triangle of musical theatre is found in Wicked. It is found between Elphaba-Fiyero-Glinda. Why is that.

1) It is the first one I emotionally bonded with. This sounds like a crazy reason. It is so true. I first discovered the concept of love triangles in Wicked. I don’t remember if I first was aware of the love triangle during the 1st time I saw Wicked or the 2nd time I saw Wicked. I do know it was connected to one of the two. I don’t know if “I’m Not That Girl” started as emotionless or if it began as just a sad song- did I realize it was a sad song my 1st time or the 2nd- once again know it was connected to those two times.

Spoilers ahead:

2) Complexity- It is more complex than the Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera love triangle. In Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera- Marius and Cosette and Raoul and Christine are a couple while Phantom and Eponine are struggling with the heartbreak and pain of unrequited love- it stays that way.

What makes Wicked’s love triangle more complex? It begins like this: Fiyero and Glinda are a couple while Elphaba is dealing with the pain and heartbreak of unrequited love- you think that setup is endgame- you think that Elphaba will have unrequited love for the entire musical. Fast forward to the top of act II- Fiyero realizes something- he is in love with Elphaba- he decides to break up with Glinda leaving her dealing with the pain and heartbreak of unrequited love. So now, Elphaba and Fiyero are a couple and Glinda is dealing with the pain of unrequited love. So you have two girls getting hurt in one love triangle- it is not straight forward due to that. How do the two girls respond to the unrequited love? They decide not to steal Fiyero away- that to me shows their loyalty towards each other- they want to keep friendship alive. Why does this plot twist happen? Based upon the last time I saw Fiyero, I believe Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba without knowing, and did not realize it until act II- my actor, Ashley Parker Angel went ahead and in act I decided to have stronger chemistry with Elphaba and weaker chemistry with Glinda in act I foreshadowing the plot twist. Wicked’s love triangle is much more complex than the Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis group- all because of Fiyero’s role- he was the one who was responsible for the plot twist. Before my 4th time- I always left the theatre with “why”- I never grasped why the plot twist happened.

3) Elphaba- The fact that Elphaba is part of this love triangle is a HUGE reason why Wicked is home to my favorite love triangle. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical theatre character. I see a lot of myself in her, and there are parts of her I don’t see myself in. So there is a bonus. That might be takes almost a bit far, but that is true.

4) Elphaba X Fiyero x Glinda- This is connected to #3. I made it known that in Wicked I am emotionally connected to only three characters. They happen to be Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero: I only am fully focused on the friendship and the love triangle each time I see Wicked. Characters play a huge part in my love of a romantic sub-plot. The entire storyline is on Elphaba and Glinda- their friendship. All three characters are complex- yes, you might think only Elphaba and Glinda are complex. But there is more to Fiyero than you think.  The complexity of this love triangle is not just because the unrequited love shifts- it is also because all three characters are complex. In high school, I remember knowing that the love triangle was fascinating and adding an incredible texture to Wicked, but I did not understand why.

The 4th time I saw Wicked- the love triangle went through some drastic changes- after my 3rd time- before my 4th time- I came to a realization- “I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song- figured that out due to “On My Own” and memorizing the lyrics. Due to paying even closer attention to Fiyero, I was able to have a clearer idea why the plot twist happened. Due to knowing “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking coming in, I had to look at that song fresh as if I never heard that song before- I knew I wanted to think more about what I was feeling- I had to pay even closer attention to the Lion Cub Scene- 1) to look for clues pointing to the plot twist and 2) to understand how heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl” is.

Advertisements

What I Love about the Beast

The next character I will explain why I love the Beast.

Unknown-1

Possible Spoilers:

In Beauty and the Beast, the Beast in my opinion is so complex. For starters he is under a curse an enchantress put on him because the enchantress saw no love in his heart. The Beast after all is a prince. The enchantress says the curse will not be broken until he learns to love and if someone learns to love in return. But he only has until the last petal falls on an enchanted rose. As years went by, he slowly fell more and more into despair. The curse affects the people who work there as well and they become enchanted objects. That is just some backstory about the Beast.

The Beast originally imprisons Belle’s father. But Belle ended up taking her father’s place. The Beast obviously at the beginning has this anger problem. He eventually does open up to Belle. After he loses his temper after finding Belle in the West Wing, Belle escapes. But the Beast realizing what he has done rescues Belle from being eaten by Wolves. That is a big step for him because he ends up saving Belle so he starts to learn how to love and becomes less selfish, but he still has anger problem, but he slowly is learning to love.

A lot of my love for him comes from how he develops through the course of the story. The Beast learns how selfish he was and starts to learn his lesson because of Belle’s presence in the castle. Soon after the wolf attack, you start to see Beast finally learn to love. Belle teaches him that beauty comes from within. His feelings for Belle start to be noticed during “Something There” so we learn that he slowly has love for his heart and that the curse does have capacity to be broken. During “Beauty and the Beast”, it is discovered that the two love each other. Right after this scene, through this mirror she allows Belle to see her father. Belle is terrified by what the towns people are doing to her father so the Beast lets her go and that shows he has learned that love does come with sacrifice at times. This is where “Evermore” happens in the new 2017 movie.

imagesSo Belle finally has learned to love, but he doesn’t know if Belle has learned to love him as well. The audience obviously knows the two are in love, but Beast doesn’t know it. Belle does eventually come back after she learns they are getting ready to hunt the Beast and it is in that moment just how much she loves him. Beast seeing that Belle has returned starts attacking Gaston in order to make sure Belle is safe. Beast almost dies in the story but he doesn’t. In the end the spell has finally been broken and he no longer is a Beast and the enchanted objects are now human again. So really a lot of my love for the Beast has to do with his transformation from a selfish and angry man to a man filled with love in his heart and what it means to love. Love means sacrifice and it shows that through him finally letting Belle go and eventually protecting her.

Why Do I Want Complexity in A Musical?

Musicals can either be complex or simple. But I tend to lean towards the complex ones. But why is it important for complexity to be a part of a musical. Complexity is how you get conflict. It is where there is more to be discovered as time goes on. There tends to be sub-plots during the story as well. Complexity has this type of texture involved. Since complexity is where conflict tends to show up the best, it is also how you get the negative emotions. Complex musicals are fun to discover new things in. The sub-plots make you see so much more. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a musical is complex, but the sub-plots are one way to notice. If there are multiple sub-plots, the show is for sure complex. Complexity also comes from characters because there is a lot to them.

Why do you Want Complexity in a Musical?

Fiyero and Glinda vs Fiyero and Elphaba

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Today, I will talk about the love triangle in Wicked in a way that I have not done before. It is quite a complex love triangle. It starts out with Fiyero and Glinda as a couple, which has Elphaba end up with unrequited love for Fiyero. But eventually Fiyero breaks up with Glinda and ends up in a relationship with Elphaba, which makes Glinda end up with unrequited love for Fiyero. So I thought I would talk about the two couples. To be honest, I barely know Fiyero and Glinda as a couple.

I do not like Fiyero and Glinda as a couple that much. Fiyero arrives to Shiz and he is this rather cool guy who doesn’t care much about anything. Glinda wants to go out with him, so she ends up setting Boq up to take Nessa to the dance. So Glinda and Fiyero go out to the dance together so in this moment, they become a couple. Their chemistry is not that strong throughout act I. When act II comes along, Fiyero gets really mad at Glinda. That is because she is listening to the people spread rumors about Elphaba and Fiyero is like, why are you supporting them, isn’t that bothering you. Obviously what she is hearing is upsetting her. This is when their relationship fails. I honestly don’t know this couple that well.

Unknown

The couple I know the best belongs to Elphaba and Fiyero. Even though they are not a couple in act I, their first intimate moment is the lion cub scene. Even in that scene, they have better chemistry than Fiyero and Glinda. In that scene, clues point to the fact that Fiyero does have a crush on Elphaba, but he doesn’t seem that aware of it. It is in this scene when Elphaba realizes that she is falling in love with him. This scene is truly where the love triangle begins.

Unknown

It took hearing rumors spread about Elphaba to realize that he loves her. Their song, “As Long As Your’e Mine” shows that they are mature. They are courageous when it comes to each other. One moment is when Fiyero demands that they let her go and Elphaba tries spell after spell to try to save him, but she ended up turning him to the scarecrow.

images

This love triangle is the most complex one I have ever come across. It is a love triangle where two couples exist and where both girls get hurt. In act I, it is Elphaba who is dealing with unrequited love and it is act II where it is Glinda who is dealing with unrequited love. But the plot twist makes it a very unique love triangle.

What do you think about these couples? Which one do you prefer? Do you love this love triangle and why?

Why I love Simple and Complex Musical Characters

The past two days, I talked about what makes a character simple and what makes a character complex. I do love characters that are both simple and complex. Why do I exactly love both of those sets of characters.

Just like simple and complex plots balance things out, the same applies to the simple and complex characters. Some of the musical characters I love are Annie, Crutchie, Winthrop, Elphaba, Glinda, Fiyero, Young Cosette, Eponine, Enjolras, Fantine, Jean Valjean, Gavrcohe, Jack Kelly and Maria (Sound of Music). This list consists of both simple and complex musical characters. All of them just have something about them that makes me fall in love with them.

It can be hard to describe why I love simple and complex characters. Some of the characters I love are characters I can actually relate to and some I don’t. Annie is a simple character, but it is her optimism that makes me love her. In the complex characters, they tend to be more well-rounded and it can be enjoyable to get to know them.

You think you might know them, but then you realize there is more to them than what meets the eye. For instance, Jean Valjean is one of my favorite complex characters due to the spiritual journey he goes through and how he responds to his moral dilemmas. Up until the bishop scene, you would think he would stay a thief, but through an act of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, he starts his life fresh.

images-2

All of the characters I love are just incredible characters. It can be hard to describe what makes a good character. Naturally I would be more drawn to the more complex characters because they feel the most real and are the most fascinating to get to know.

Some of these complex characters have an incredible relatability like Elphaba for instance. Out of all musical characters, I relate to her the most. She is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, different and believes in equality and staying true to her self. I admire the strength and courage that she shows. Out of all the Wicked characters, she is the character I am the most familiar with and I understand her the most. I love her relationship to Glinda and her relationship to Fiyero. Even though she is misunderstood, she still has an incredible purpose in life.

unknown

As for the simple characters, I can relate to Annie due to her optimism. Just like Annie, Young Cosette also has hope. Young Cosette is so hopeful and despite being horribly abused by the Thenardiers, she gets through it through the fantasies she creates. She constantly has hope that she will eventually get rescued. She eventually gets rescued by Jean Valjean. In my opinion, Young Cosette is more complex than Annie is.

unknown-2

A good character is a character where you can find something special about them and sometimes you are surprised by how they respond to their current situation. Eponine for instance may have been raised to be a criminal and is terribly abused,  but it is surprising that she somehow doesn’t fully develop her parent’s wicked ways which might have something to do with Marius. Another unique thing about Eponine is that she does anything for Marius despite her love for him being unrequited and he gives her a purpose in life and gives her some kind of light in the midst of the darkness she is always surrounded by.

images-1.

Fantine is a character that isn’t tragic by a tragic flaw. Her downfall was caused by society. I love how despite how horrible and tragic Fantine’s life, she does everything for the sake of Cosette. Even though she does everything for the sake of her daughter, she has no idea that her daughter is currently being terribly abused. She never stops thinking of her little girl and she trusted Valjean to raise her daughter as his own and he does.

images

Than there are Jack Kelly and Crutchie from Newsies. The thing I love about Jack is how he is protective of Crutchie and truly cares about his brothers. He is a dreamer who is always dreaming of going to Santa Fe. I love exploring the inner conflict he eventually goes through. Crutchie is a wonderful character and despite having a bum leg, he does not think twice about it. He is just a character you can easily get to love.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrez

Sometimes I end up questioning complex characters and that is what can make them interesting. It is not just relatability that makes me fall in love with a character, but if its a character I cannot relate to,  I end up loving them due to how they respond. It also has something to do with their songs.

Still I honestly don’t have a good idea of why I love both simple and complex characters. I gave a few examples to explain why I love some of these characters, but it can be harder to describe why you love a character when you don’t even relate to them.

What Makes a Musical Character Complex?

Just like there are complex and simple musical plots, there are also simple and complex characters. But what exactly makes a character complex?

It was Wicked that made me start to understand the complexity and emotional side of musicals. Elphaba and Glinda were the first two characters I was able to call complex especially Elphaba.

I think a complex character has a lot to them. They tend to have some kind of inner conflict in their lives. There tends to be a lot to them and feel so well-rounded and feel well real to me. They are characters who tend to express negative emotions due to all of the conflict that is  happening in their lives.

Some memorable complex musical characters include Elphaba, Glinda,  Eponine, Javert, Jean Valjean, Fiyero (doesn’t seem complex, but now he does), Jack Kelly, Grizabella (yes I just included a cat) and yes there are more, but just can’t think of them at this moment.

Possible Spoilers:

Complex characters are the ones that are more fascinating. The complex characters are always in complex plots. Some of these characters don’t seem complex, but they are. Grizabella might seem simple in a way because she is a cat, but still she is complex. That is due to the fact that she is a heartbreaking and tragic character and has to deal with a lot of conflict struggling to be welcomed back into the Jellicle tribe when she came back.

Elphaba is complex in many ways. She has this incredible relatable nature and there is a lot to this character. I keep on being surprised that I keep on adding things to this character. She deals with a lot of conflict and has to face serious discrimination. She is smart, determined, unique, talkative, big-hearted and believes in equality and staying true to herself. The most important part of Elphaba is her relationship with Glinda.

Glinda is complex because at first she just seems pure comical, but in the second act, she goes through a lot of conflict because she has to hear rumors being spread about Elphaba. She even has to put up the fact that Fiyero has broken up with her and now she has unrequited love for Fiyero since he left her for Elphaba.

unknown

Fiyero is a character who doesn’t seem complex at all, but recently I began to realize the complexity of him. At first he is just this super rude and annoying Shiz student who doesn’t care about anything. His complexity comes from the love triangle. I keep on questioning him. Did he have a crush on Elphaba without realizing it? I saw signs of that possibility right before “I’m Not That Girl” and after the lion cub incident. Or did he know, but just didn’t tell anybody? Or was he only friends with Elphaba, but didn’t develop a crush or fall in love with her till later? I keep on questioning this because he eventually ends up with Elphaba. For me, I really think he had a crush on Elphaba in act I, but had no clue. He eventually realized it when he heard the rumors spread about Elphaba and could not believe Glinda was supporting all of this and so he decided to break up with her.

images

Jack Kelly is complex in my opinion. He is very well-rounded and in the musical, he has a hobby of drawing and is very talented at it. He is also the leader of the rest of the Newsies and is quite protective of his brothers especially Crutchie. He eventually goes through a lot of inner conflict after this big fight breaks out.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrez

Jean Valjean is quite a complex character. He is the main character of Les Mis. He has to live his life as an ex-convict. He faces many moral dilemmas. He does his best to live by the example the bishop taught him. There is just so much to him. It must be challenging being an ex-convict and having to raise Cosette. True, Valjean shelters and protects Cosette a lot, but I don’t blame him. He is an ex-convict trying not to be sent back to jail because he knows Javert wants to.

unknown

Than there’s Javert. He was a character I honestly didn’t want to get to know. I am not an antagonistic fan person. I eventually noticed the complexity of him. I didn’t even care about him or even his fate. Before seeing the show in the West End, Javert didn’t even matter. I saw three Javerts through the movie, 25th anniversary concert film, and the community college, but none of them made me care about Javert. In the West End, I feel like I finally saw Javert for the first time and I finally cared for him during the suicide scene. Javert only sees the world in black and white and is incapable of showing mercy, love, or forgiveness. His main focus it to recapture Valjean. He takes his job to the extreme and follows the law too strictly.

unknown

Eponine is another complex character in Les Mis. You first meet her in 1823 when she was just eight. Through the way the Thenardiers treat Cosette and through realizing they are pickpockets during “Castle on a Cloud” and “Master of the House”, you get an idea of the environment she is going to be growing up in.

Her real complexity shows when she becomes a teenager at age 17. Her life has gotten even worse because at first she was spoiled and appeared to be loved by her parents. But you soon realized that is not even true. She was raised to be a criminal and she is horribly abused, neglected, and lonely. But she is brave despite what she has deal with everyday. You got to understand Eponine’s life outside of Marius to understand why she loves him so much. He was the only source of light in her miserable life and that is a huge reason why she loves him. Yes, she had unrequited love for him, but she still shows true love and would do anything for him. Even though she knows Marius will never be hers, she continues to love him till the end of her story.

images-1

In your opinion, what makes a musical character complex?

Dependability of Musicals

This is a very hard post to write. In my opinion, I feel like all musicals rely on each other. It is hard to exactly explain why, but as a musical fanatic I can understand that. Musicals do a wonderful job of balancing each other in the best way possible. The past couple of days, I needed to say I love both simple and complex musicals.

When it comes to the simple musicals, they are the ones where the emotional nature truly begins. Some of them honestly don’t have the need to even have those negative emotions because the plot is truly wonderful without them. Shows like Singing in The Rain are pure fun and you need to view them in a very entertaining way. These simple musicals even show traces of sad and heartbreak. Cats for instance is a very simple musical but the character of Grizabella is a very heartbreaking character and her song, Memory, is heartbreaking. That is the only instance as far as I know where an entire song is heartbreaking in a very simple musical.

The complex musicals are the musicals where the negative emotions are just natural. These are shows like Wicked, Newsies, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis. They all have to deal with songs that are either sad or even worse heartbreaking. All of the musicals I just listed have heartbreak in their songs.

Wicked has the bittersweet “For Good”, the heartbreaking and insightful “I’m Not That Girl” and the frustrating and angry “No Good Deed” and it is one of the happy musicals. Wicked is one way I can explain why musicals depend on each other. Wicked was how I started to understand the emotional nature of musicals. Before Wicked, I feel like musicals were more about the dance and spectacle instead of the emotions. One of the biggest reasons why I started to understand the emotional side of musicals in Wicked was because I was 12 so I was at the right age to have a better understanding of the emotions and it was the first musical I saw on Broadway.

Well fast forward to the time of Les Mis. Growing up, all musicals were happy and comedic and there were the four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad. I didn’t even know what heartbreak meant for a musical. Les Mis comes along and tests me on the emotional knowledge that I had recently learned. It showed me that musicals have more emotional potential than I once believed. It was how I realized that there are heartbreaking songs in the world of musicals. For example, Les Mis has songs like On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, A Little Fall of Rain and Come to Me and all of those songs are heartbreakers.

Here is a perfect example of why musicals rely on each other. Look at I’m Not That Girl. It started out as being just a sad song, which stayed that way for seven years. I saw Wicked for the 3rd time in 2013 and that song still stayed just sad. Growing up, I spent more time on Wicked’s story of friendship over the youthful and complicated love triangle.

 I don’t remember when it was, but there was a time when I realized I’m Not That Girl and On My Own were both about unrequited love. At that time, I already knew On My Own was heartbreaking and through that connection, I was able to understand that I’m Not That Girl was heartbreaking. Even though both are unrequited love songs, they still vary in emotional strength, vulnerability and fragility.

In I’m Not That Girl, Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero literally moments before she sings that song, which is why that song cannot be fully heartbreaking. I cannot be 100% vulnerable in that song or you lose the innocence that Elphaba has at that moment. Another reason it isn’t fully heartbreaking is because Elphaba’s story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love.

As in the case of On My Own, the love that Eponine has for Marius is so much stronger and even more heartbreaking than Elphaba’s situation. You have to understand why Eponine loves Marius so much in order to understand On My Own. Eponine is a Thenardier and she was raised in an abusive situation and was unloved and neglected by her parents. She was raised to be a criminal. In this burst of light, Marius entered Eponine’s life and was the only person who ever showed her kindness, which is a big reason why her unrequited love is so heartbreaking and painful. Through the example shown by these songs, it is a nice example of why all musicals depend on each other.

I feel like with Les Mis in my life, it makes it much easier to find the negative emotions in new musicals. I can spot darkness and negative emotions much quicker. I even can find negative emotions in the most unexpected of places. When you start finding parallels between certain songs, you can find a way to understand the song like in the case of I’m Not That Girl and On My Own. The dependability comes from the fact that musicals need to help balance each other out, which is why there needs to be both simple and complex musicals and why not all musicals have to put up with negative emotions.

Why do you think musicals rely on each other?