There are a lot of duets in musicals- but they are NOT just dealing with romance. This post will be a list of duets that are only sung by one male and one female- so some of my favorite duets will be left off. The list will not be in a specific order- as in ranking.
A Little Fall of Rain
Come to Me
No Matter What
Something to Believe In
I Should Tell You
Till There Was You
Sixteen Going on Seventeen
As Long as Your’e Mine
Light My Candle
Phantom of the Opera
A Whole New World
All I Ask of You
One Hand, One Heart
The Last Night of the World
Sun and Moon
A lot of male/female duets are romance numbers. At the same time, there are a couple that don’t belong to romance- some are them relate to family, friendship, and death.
There was a time when I had this negative view on death in a musical. I believed that death was ALWAYS going to be unmemorable. How can you fall in love with watching a death scene? I truly believed that if it was going to happen with a core favorite character- after all you are going to feel angry with the fact that they are going to be killed off. I even believed that there is no way it could happen during a song- that seemed like there has a high chance that could NEVER happen. That was only because growing up, I never once came across a death song.
After Les Mis entered: Major Spoilers
All of those thoughts I had would soon be tested. Les Mis was the musical that would go against everything. Les Mis has songs such as “Javert’s Suicide”, “A Little Fall of Rain”, and “Come to Me”- all songs that deal with a death or happen while a character is dying. So my thought on a song could NEVER happen during a death scene was disproven. Even my thought on a character’s death could NEVER be memorable was disproven as well. In Les Mis, characters’ deaths are memorable.
“Come to Me” is a memorable death scene. This is Fantine’s death scene. She has been fired and lost her hair, and became prostitute. She has been through some very awful things. She did what she did for the sake of her daughter, Cosette. Even while she was dying, she still was thinking about Cosette. She was still worried about what would happen to her. Valjean was with her while she was dying. “Come to Me” is memorable in the fact that Valjean promised that he would raise Cosette- so Fantine is able to die in peace. The fact that Fantine did not have to die alone- she was shown compassion by Valjean.
“A Little Fall of Rain” is also a memorable death. This time, Eponine is dying from a gunshot wound after sacrificing herself to protect Marius. During this scene, Marius is devastated, but ended up showing her compassion by holding and comforting her while she dies. Eponine is dying in the arms of Marius, the love of her life, who is also the only good thing in her life because he is the only person who showed her kindness. So I just gave you two examples of memorable deaths in just one musical. In “A Little Fall of Rain”, I am heartbroken for BOTH Eponine and Marius, but feel joy knowing that this is Eponine’s happiest moment of her life despite the fact that she is dying.
Tragic Love Stories:
Here is where things can be messy. If you fall in love with the couple, you don’t want it to end tragically, but it WILL. I know this first hand due to recently seeing Miss Saigon and falling in love with Kim and Chris as a couple. Even Kim’s death was memorable- like the other two I mentioned- she wasn’t alone. Chris was there- he actually realized he always loved her- I believe more than Ellen- that was how good Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa were as Kim and Chris. I can especially tell due to Anthony’s Chris’ cry at the very end- he realized just how much he loved Kim. Kim died to give her son, Tam, a better life- another reason why it is a memorable death.
Yes, deaths in a musical are devastating, but they can be memorable. The first time, you are shocked. You are like “but I loved that character, why did they have to die?”. You soon realize they are meant to die even each time, you hope that doesn’t happen, but you can’t change it- that death will always happen.
What exactly makes a good duet? The good duets are the ones you are drawn to. People assume ALL duets are romance numbers, but that is not true. Some are friendship, some are death scenes, protagonist vs antagonist scenes and some deal with other things. I decided to write an updated list of my favorite musical theatre duets- after seeing Miss Saigon. If you put duets together, you have a LOT of emotions to put up with.
It is quite fitting that for the series, I would go straight to a character from Les Mis. That is because Wicked and Les Mis are my top two favorite musicals. For today, I decided to talk about why I love Eponine. It actually took me almost an entire year to know why I love Eponine.
Eponine is the eldest child of the Thenardiers. She started out as being a spoiled child, but also appeared to be loved by her parents. But soon after Cosette was taken away, Eponine’s life becomes even worse. She becomes horribly abused and unloved by her parents and falls into extreme poverty. She eventually falls in love with Marius so deeply because of the kindness he shows her, but that love falls unrequited. So where does my love of Eponine fall into all of this?
She has to take part in her parent’s schemes because she was forced into them at times. But the interesting thing about Eponine is that she is not as despicable or as selfish as her parents. Her loyalty towards Marius shows just how different she is when it comes to her parents. She would rather be loyal towards Marius than towards her parents. That is an interesting part about Eponine. She shows how you can raise above her upbringing.
She is strong and brave and complex. A lot of my love for her comes from how she responds to her unrequited love for Marius. She will do anything for him even if it means losing him forever. She is the girl who helps him find Cosette. She risks everything for Marius. That shows her bravery and strength. Her love for Marius is quite strong. She continues to hold on because he is the light of her life. You might think her love for Marius is a weakness, but it actually is her greatest strength even though it leads to “A Little Fall of Rain”.
Her love for Marius does lead her to the barricade. At the barricade, in order to try to protect Eponine, he sends her away to deliver a letter to Cosette. As she sings “On My Own”, she accepts that Marius will never love her and you can feel the level of depth her love for Marius goes and the song is very powerful. She will continue to love him no matter what. Without Marius, her life would be much darker.
She eventually gets killed at the barricade after sacrificing her life for him. She gets to die happy due to being in the arms of Marius. Marius shows compassion to her by holding and comforting her while she dies. If you understand how dark her life was and how strong she loves Marius, it makes you understand why dying in the arms of Marius makes her happy for once.
So a lot of my love for Eponine comes from she responds to her love for Marius. You see her level of strength and bravery through her love for him. At least she gets to die in the arms of Marius due to how dark her life was. Her death does make Marius feel devastated, but despite that he still stays with her till the end.
“A Little Fall of Rain” is a heartbreaking, but bittersweet song from Les Mis. This is a duet between Marius and Eponine. In this post, I want to talk mainly about Marius, which sounds odd. Marius is judged unfairly by many fans and people assume Marius is a jerk because of his relationship to Eponine, but this scene proves it wrong, but yet many fans think he is a bigger jerk at this scene, but once again I disagree.
“A Little Fall of Rain” is Eponine’s death scene. When Eponine comes back to the barricade she is shot and this worries Marius. When he finds out she is dying, he is quite upset. Marius shows compassion to Eponine by comforting and holding her while she dies. This really shows just how much compassion Marius is capable of.
Marius actually gives Eponine the happiest moment of her life because Eponine deeply loves Marius. He is quite broken throughout this entire scene. He loved her as a friend and knows about how dark her life was because after she dies, he says to the students, “her name was Eponine. Her life was cold and dark. Yet she was unafraid”.
How is Marius being with her throughout the entire scene make him a jerk? He tries to stay brave for her throughout this scene. Marius being with Eponine and the song makes this death memorable for me despite my love for Eponine. He does value their friendship because of how devastated he is during this scene and after. He really is capable of loads of compassion and this scene in particular shows that. If he wasn’t capable of that amount of compassion, then he would have left her to die alone, but he doesn’t. He stays with her even though it is difficult on him. So I don’t see Marius as a jerk at all, which is true even before this scene.