Memorable Friendships in Musicals

I realized that I have blog posts mentioning memorable couples, families, and characters, but I have never mentioned memorable friendships I have come across. They have already been talked about, but never in the same place. Below is going to be a list of memorable friendships and I will explain why I love that friendship.

Possible Spoilers:

  1. Elphaba and Glinda- this friendship is the first friendship that comes to mind when I think of musicals. The musical after all talks about their friendship and they start out as rather reluctant roommates and they form a close bond. Even when they both fall in love with Fiyero, they don’t let a boy get in between them. Even when Glinda is in a relationship with Fiyero, Elphaba does not try to steal Fiyero away from her and Glinda does not try to steal Fiyero back when Fiyero enters into a relationship with Elphaba. The song, “For Good” shows just how deep their friendship is and how they have touched each others lives and changed each other for the better.

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2. Jack Kelly and Crutchie- these two characters are from Newsies. Their friendship and bond is shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). Jack is quite protective of Cructhie especially because Crutchie has a bum leg. He does not want Cructhie to end up in the Refuge because Jack knows through experience how horrible that place is and knows just how vulnerable Crutchie will be there. They are so close and they do sleep on the same rooftop. When Cruthcie gets arrested later on in act I after a big fight breaks out , it causes Jack a lot of inner conflict because he knows Cruthcie will be sent to the Refuge and knows his friend will be quite vulnerable there

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3. Newsies- I love the brotherly love they have for each other. They are like this one big family. Jack is the leader of them all. You first realize how amazing their bond is during “Carrying the Banner”. When Pulitizer raised the prices of the papers, they go on strike to stand up for what they believe in and they support each other.

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4. Friends of the ABC- similar to the Newsies, is the Friends of the ABC. They are from Les Mis. Enjolras is the leader of this group and just like the Newsies, they have a brotherly love for each other. This group is a political group and are planning an uprising in response to the weak government France has at the time. They are so passionate towards their cause and even when they know they are going to lose, they still stand up for what they believe in. The first scene you meet them as a whole is during “Red and Black” and each song they sing is full of passion and hope. But “Drink With Me” isn’t full of hope, but instead is full of sadness because they know at that point, they are most likely going to lose and most likely going to lose their lives.

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5. Rent friends- Mark, Roger, Mimi, Angel, Collins, Maureen, and Joanne form a very close bond throughout Rent. They are like family and even in the midst of fear, they live in the moment and in love. They do struggle at times, but they always remain close friends.

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What are some memorable close friendships? What is your favorite musical friendship?

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1st Year Anniversary of Newsies

Newsies has reached a milestone in my journey with it. I have been in love with it for a year. I first saw it last August with my family and fell in love with it. It is the newest musical soundtrack that I own. My favorite song from Newsies is “Seize the Day”. This musical is a Disney musical. It is about the Newsboy Strike of 1899 when a group of Newsies went on strike after Pulitzer raised the price of their paper from 50 cents per one hundred papers to sixty cents per one hundred papers.

The relationship found among the Newsies is incredible. They support each other and they are this one family with Jack Kelly being the leader of them all. My favorite of all the Newsies are Jack and Crutchie and I love the close bond these two Newsies have for each other. Jack is quite protective of Crutchie especially because Crutchie has a bum leg and they are best friends. Katherine Plumber ends up being the reporter for the strike and she and Jack fall in love. Jack and Katherine are one of my favorite musical couples and I have fallen in love with that couple because of the magical and gorgeous and heartfelt “something to believe in”.

The songs are so incredible because they are fun and so catchy and at times the songs have a more vulnerable and emotional feel. The dancing in this show is mind-blowing so I am not surprised it won the Tony for best choreography and dancing is always something I am looking for in a musical. One of my favorite lyrics is “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”. The songs are dealing with positive and negative emotions and that type of score is something I look for in a musical.

Below are links to two posts I wrote about Newsies.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/the-world-will-know/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/seize-the-day/

Do you love Newsies? If so, why do you love it? If you have not seen Newsies, what is your favorite Disney musical?

Musical Families: Round Two

Once upon a time on this blog, I talked about musical families. I talked about only loving families. But on this post, my focus will be on all musical families. Some of these families are biological families and some of these families were created either by adoption or a group of friends formed a family.

Possible Spoilers

The first family I want to talk about is the Thenardier Family. The Thenardier family is defiantly not a loving family due to just how abusive and neglectful this family is. In the musical, it consists of Monseiur and Madame Thenardier, Gavroche and Eponine.

You first get to know them through Young Cosette. At the time, Cosette is eight and you notice that the Thenardiers are in fact quite abusive due to just how poorly they treat Young Cosette and that is shown through “Castle on a Cloud”. They even treat her like a servant and they have scammed Fantine out of money and use it to spoil their daughter, Eponine. Just through how they treat Cosette says a lot about the Thenardiers. I read in the book that if Cosette wasn’t there, they would have abused their own children. Following her parent’s lead, Eponine also poorly treats Cosette. Throughout “Master of the House”, you learn that the Thenardiers are in fact pickpockets. Through those two songs, you get an idea of the environment Eponine is going to be growing up in.

However, Jean Valjean eventually comes for Cosette. The sad truth about that is that while Cosette is rescued, Eponine is stuck with the Thenardiers for the rest of her life. They actually kicked Gavroche out of their house and that in a way shows just how unloving the Thenardiers are. When it comes to Eponine, they give her the same treatment that Cosette got. Right after Cosette got rescued, the Thenardiers’ inn goes bankrupt and the family falls into extreme poverty.

Not only do they horribly abuse Eponine, but they teach her the ways of being a criminal. She actually is involved in her father’s schemes by being a watchdog for the law. Eponine no longer is living in a loving family and she is all alone in the world. She lives in such a dark world and she is all alone and not a lot of good things happen in her life No one shows her an once of kindness in her life.

The only person who treated her kindly was Marius and that was why she fell in love with Marius and why she loves him so deeply. Even though Marius loves Cosette, all she cares about is to make sure he is happy even if it means losing him forever. If Marius never entered Eponine’s life, her life would be so much darker and there would be no light.

Despite the fact that the Thenardiers are so unloving, I believe this family is a memorable one. The Thenardiers are the comic relief in this musical and good thing they do because it is much needed. There is importance behind the fact that both Gavroche and Eponine are the children of the Thenardiers. The Thenardiers are defiantly some of the worst parents ever in literature. They are quite despicable, greedy, abusive, selfish, neglectful and unloving and do not even love or care about their children. Even when Garvroche and Eponine are killed during the uprising, they just do not care that their children died.

Another musical family is the Von Trapp family. Unlike the Thenardier family, this family is loving. The Captain may be strict with the children, but he is still loving towards them. When Maria becomes governess there, she brought happiness back to his house by teaching his seven children to sing. Eventually the Captain and Maria fell in love and they get married. This was one of the earliest families to enter my life since I have loved Sound of Music since elementary school.

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In Annie, a family is created as the show continues. Daddy Warbucks wants an orphan to stay in his home for a week over the holidays (Fourth of July in the movie and Christmas in the stage show). Daddy Warbucks wanted a boy to stay there, but he ended up with Annie. Through the course of her stay, Daddy Warbucks falls in love with Annie and eventually adopts her. Just like Sound of Music, this family has been part of my life for just as long.

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Another family found in Les Mis is the one between Young Cosette and Jean Valjean. As Fantine is dying, she is still desperate for the care of Cosette. Through an act of compassion, Jean Valjean agrees to raise Cosette as his own. After discovering Cosette in the woods, he almost immediately falls in love with her as his daughter. He realizes just how poorly Cosette’s life has been. Both Cosette and Jean Valjean are broken on the inside and through their love for each other, they are eventually healed. But there are challenges with raising Cosette. Since Valjean is an ex-convict, he is always on the run from Javert and he has to protect and shelter Cosette so often because whenever he is out, he is always in danger of being caught by Javert.

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Another Les Mis family belong to the Enjolras and the students. This is an example of friends who form a family. They have such a brotherly love for each other. Enjolras is the leader of the group and the most passionate about their cause. They plan a rebellion in the streets in response to an unstable government. They basically take in Gavroche and Gavroche ends up with family through them. Even though he is just a boy, he still helps out at the barricade.

Very similar to the students of Les Mis, the Newsies create a very similar family. Jack Kelly is the leader of the Newsies and has a special bond to Crutchie. A lot of them are orphans, runaways, or homeless, but all they have is each other. They are so close and stand up for what they believe in. Newsies is the newest family of the musicals I love.

Another friendship family is found among the characters in Rent. Many of them are starving artists and are poor. They live in the fact of fear due to the stigma surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mimi, Roger, Collins, and Angel are HIV positive. The other characters found in this family are Joeanne, Maureen, and Mark. These characters have a very close bond. They live their lives in love and despite relationship struggles at times, they still stay quite connected.

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One family that is quite important is my family. If it wasn’t for my parents, I may not be a musical fan at all. They took my sister and I to see musicals growing up both live and in the movie theatre. Seeing musicals starting in elementary school were essential to my musical journey. I saw musicals such as Cats, Beauty the Beast, Lion King, Annie, and Sound of Music back in elementary school. My mom took me to see Wicked when I was 12 in New York. Even today, my family takes me to the theatre to see musicals. I have special memories of my family and musicals.

Wicked was not the only theatre date I had with my mom. She also took me to see Pippin, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Mis and due to those being a mother/daughter date, it added to just how special all those trips were. I actually did see Wicked with my dad when I saw the musical for the third time and I remember my dad giving me the better seat even though he had never seen it. The tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me and dad switched places with me. I wouldn’t have been exposed to musicals in the first place if they didn’t take me in the beginning.

Below is a link to my first musical post I wrote about families. It has all the families I talked about except for the Thenardier family. That was because my first post belonged to the loving families

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/importance-of-family-in-musicals/

Favorite Male Musical Characters: Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote a list of my favorite male musical characters. Today, I will explain why I love them.

Possible Spoilers:

First up is Jean Valjean. He is the protagonist of Les Misérables. I love him because of his transformation. He is an ex-convict who has been imprisoned unjustly. He was sentenced for five years because he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister’s son. Because of trying to escape, he was imprisoned for nineteen years. When he was released, he was a hateful, harsh, and angry man. He realized that society was treat him poorly because he was an ex-convict. Through an act of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness by the bishop, Valjean was able to start his life fresh.

Years laters, he started to live by the example provided by the bishop. He was no longer angry, harsh, and hateful. He began to show compassion towards the poor. He decided to help the prostitute, Fantine, after he intervened to prevent her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. Valjean has this strong spirituality and is one of the reasons why Les Mis is inspirational.

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Another set of Les Mis male characters I love are Gavroche, Enjolras and the students. They are a group of revolutionaries who are planning to start a rebellion. They stand up for what they believe in and they continue to stay passionate and hopeful. Even when they know they are going to lose, they still are passionate towards their cause. Of all the students, Enjolras is their leader and the most passionate about the cause.

A lot of their songs are passionate and hopeful, but in “Drink With Me”, they feel quite hopeless because they know are going to lose, but they always stay passionate. I love how they decide to take in Gavroche, a heroic boy. Gavroche is a Thenardier and the students become his family.

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A group of characters that is similar to the students in Les Mis are the Newsies. Just like the students, they stand up for what they believe in. The Newsies are like this big one family with Jack Kelly as their leader. Of all the Newsies, my favorites are Jack and Crutchie. I love the bond they have for each other, which is clearly shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). You discover Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Jack is a well rounded character because he has a hobby of drawing and he eventually goes through inner conflict after seeing Crutchie being arrested after this big fight breaks out.

In Wicked, I love the character of Fiyero. But the problem is I cannot exactly pinpoint why I love him. I don’t know if has something to do with his songs or his costumes of something completely different. He starts out the story with not really caring much about anything. He is involved in a very complicated and ironic love triangle with Elphaba and Glinda. I honestly wish I know why I love this character.

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Another male character I love is the Beast. I love how complex of a character he is. I love how he eventually learned to love. At the beginning, the Beast started out as angry. I don’t blame him especially after he had to live his life as beast the enchantress put a spell on him. He had to live his life as a beast and would stay that way if he didn’t learn to love. But when he met Belle, everything changed. Belle taught him the importance of love and she learned to see that there is more to the Beast than the temper he always seems to have.

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What are some your favorite male musical characters?

Musical Characters Who Show Courage

What does brave mean? In the musical world, there are characters who show courage. They show it in many ways. Below I will talk about some musical characters who show courage. In a lot of ways, these are characters that you can admire and fall in love with.

Possible Spoilers:

Elphaba is a character who shows courage. She shows courage despite how much she keeps on being misunderstood. She does not let anyone define who she is. She stands up for what she believes in even though she risks being up against the Wizard. Elphaba knows the Wizard will use her for the wrong reasons so she defies him and decides to go on her own path. Even though this act causes the Wizard to believe she is wicked, she still stays passionate towards her cause.

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Enjolras, Gavroche, Marius and the students all show courage. They stay passionate towards what they believe in. They stand up against France’s weak government at the time. General Lamarque, the only left in the government who shows feelings for the poor, is dying. The students all decide to have an uprising. They are risking their lives for hope of a better France. They know they might die. After Eponine dies, they know they are outnumbered. But despite that, they stay stay passionate towards their cause. At the end all of the students died excluding Marius and even in death, they still were passionate towards their cause. Even Gavroche, who was just a boy, died on the barricades. The students were low on ammunition and he climbed over the barricade and died in the attempt.

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Eponine is another character from Les Mis who shows courage. She has to face terrible abuse from her parents and has to deal with extreme poverty. But when it comes to Marius, she is very protective of him. She loves him so much that she is willing to do anything for him. Even though the love for him is unrequited, she helps him find Cosette even if it risks losing Marius forever. She even shows courage when her father is about to rob Valjean’s house and out of love for Marius, she screams to alert Cosette, Marius, and Valjean. This act of courage causes her father to disown since his daughter just defied him and prevented him from robbing Valjean’s house.

Despite the heartbreak of Eponine’s love for Marius, she decides to join Marius on the barricade. In the stage version, Marius noticing that Eponine is there sends her away to deliver a letter to Cosette and he does that in order to protect her from the uprising. Eponine still returned to the barricade and that led to unfortunate circumstances. In the movie, seeing that Marius was about to get shot, she sacrificed her life for him. The wounds she received were fatal and she ended up dying in the arms of Marius. In fact, dying in Marius’ arms was the happiest time of her life. Marius was heartbroken over the fact that Eponine was dying, but he still stayed brave for her and still showed compassion in this moment.

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Jean Valjean showed courage as well. He showed courage after discovering that a man believed to be Valjean was going to be sent to jail. Valjean decided to intervene and prevented this man from being sent to prison. Valjean knows what it is like to be in prison and did want this man to face that same fate. He even showed courage after realizing that Cosette loves Marius. He learned that Marius is one of the student revolutionaries and went to the barricade to make sure Marius survives. When Marius falls unconscious, Valjean carried him to safety and the only way to escape was through the sewers.

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Crazy just how many characters from Les Mis showed courage. They risked their life in order to protect others. Both Eponine and Valjean risked their lives for Marius. Eponine did it out of love for Marius and Valjean did it out of love for Cosette. The students and Gavroche showed courage out of love for France. It seems that a lot of the characters in Les Mis show courage out of love for either a country or even someone else.

Even all the Newsies show courage. They decided to go on strike against Pultizer after he raised the price on papers. Even when they stopped work, they still stayed passionate towards their cause. This does led to a big fight, but even after that fight, they still stayed passionate about the strike, but does cause a lot of inner conflict in Jack.

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There is just something wonderful about musical characters who show courage. They can be admired. They teach you the importance of courage. In “Seize the Day” from Newsies, some of the lyrics are “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.  Courageous characters show the importance of standing up for what you believe in. All of the characters who show courage is one important characteristic to a well-written character. All of the characters I talked about are characters that I love.

Importance of Newsies

In my Social Change class, I have been learning about labor movements and labor unions and that made me think of Newsies. So this post will be dedicated to that musical.

Newsies is based off of the real life story of the Newsboy Strike of 1899. Part of why this plot is so strong is because it is based off a true story. As a bit of background, the Newsies are a group of orphans and runaways who tend to be homeless and they make a living by selling newspapers. They struggle to survive off of the small salary they make from selling newspapers. But if they don’t sell all of their papers, they cannot buy them back so they have to buy the unsold papers. Well to make matters even worse, one day Pulitizer raised the price of their papers from 50 cents per 100 papers to 60 cents per 100 papers, which makes their job even harder. So they decide to go on strike and stand up for their rights. That is a bit of background of the story of Newsies.

In the actual musical, Jack Kelly, the protagonist, is the leader of the Newsies. He always dreams of going to Santa Fe. He is kind of like the father to the Newsies in a kind of way and he cares about them. He is especially protective of Crutchie and is afraid that Crutchie will sent off to the Refuge and just knows how vulnerable his friend will be there. Cructhie has a bum leg and has to walk around with the aid of a crutch. I love the bond that these two characters have for each other. That is what I am emotionally connected to the most, but also feel emotionally connected to the brotherly love that all the Newsies have for each other.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrezThere is also Davey and Les, who join the Newsies later on. They actually have a family but become part of the Newsies family in order to support their family.

All of these Newsies form a union in order to strike against Pultizer. Another very important character is Katherine, Jack’s love interest and reporter for the strike.

These characters are very well-rounded especially Jack. Jack does go through some inner conflict after a big fight breaks out and he sees Crutchie being taken away and he knows that his friend will be sent to the Refuge. He is almost ready to give up on the strike, but Katerine and Davey help him through his inner struggle. The inner struggle of Jack is one of the biggest reasons why Jack is so well-rounded. Even Crutchie is well rounded especially after the touring production gave Crutchie a heartbreaking solo called “Letter from the Refuge”.

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Newsies overall is quite a memorable storyline. The fact that these Newsies actually stood up against Pultizer and won is hard to believe that this story actually happened. The dancing is quite mind-blowing and is one of the main reasons why I really love this musical. When I saw it last year, I knew I was going to strongly fall in love with the dance after hearing it had Tony-Award winning choreography. To me, I love dance so much in a musical because just like songs, it adds something quite valuable to a musical experience.

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What are your thoughts about Newsies?

The World Will Know-Newsies

Yesterday, I finally owned the original Broadway soundtrack of Newsies. Newsies is the newest musical of my life and is meaningful. It is a Disney musical about the newsboy strike of 1899. To understand the strike, it is important to understand the life of these Newsies. A lot of the newsies are either orphans, homeless, or runaways. They survive off of selling the newspapers. But they are not allowed to sell back their papers. Before the strike, the distribution price was fifty cents per one hundred papers. However Pulitzer raised the price of their papers to sixty cents per paper, which is unfair to the Newsies and makes their jobs harder. To stand up to Pulitzer, the Newsies decided to go on strike.

As far as the musical Newsies goes, the main character is Jack Kelly, who is kind of like a father to the other Newsies in the stage show. He has quite a special relationship to Crutchie, who is more vulnerable than the other Newsies. Crutchie has a bum leg and has to walk around with the aid of a crutch. Jack is kind of protective of Crutchie and does not him to be sent to the Refuge. Jack knows firsthand how bad the Refuge is and knows just how vulnerable Crutchie will be there. Jack Kelly even has a talent for art.

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Other Newsies you get you know are Davey and Les, who are Newsies who actually have families, but who join them to help support their family. The strike happens in the same manner as the real strike. Pulitzer does raise the praise of their papers and these fictional characters create a union and go on strike.

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Another memorable character is Katherine Plumber and she is not in the movie. She ends up writing the article for the strike and becomes a love interest for Jack. At the end of act two, Jack has this inner conflict because he just saw Crutchie being arrested and knows that he will be sent to the Refuge. Jack was about ready to just give up on the strike, but in the second act Katherine helps Jack rejoin his brothers in the strike. Some people think romance is just thrown into a musical and is only there to add time. But romance in musicals is a wonderful thing because it transitions well to song.

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I think one of the main things that makes the story so strong is that it is actually based off of a true story.This show is filled with mind-blowing dance, memorable characters and a wonderful score. The score does have both positive and negative emotions. Some memorable songs include “Something to Believe In”, “Carrying the Banner”, “The World Will Know”, “Santa Fe”, and of course the anthem of the musical, “Seize the Day”. In any musical, the songs truly help bring out the emotion and in Newsies, the songs bring out both positive and negative emotions and when a show has both sets of emotions, it makes a musical much more real and gives real strength to the plot. Even the dance adds something special to Newsies. One of my favorite lines in Newsies is “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.