Who is Glinda?

Wicked is unique in the fact that it has two protagonists: in the main fact it is two females. It is between an unlikely friendship formed between Elphaba and Glinda.

Major Spoilers:

Glinda opens up Wicked and the citizens ask her if it is was true if she and the Wicked Witch of the West really were friends?

Galinda is from the Upperlands. She came to Shiz hoping to be a sorcery student. She is popular and has been brought up a certain way. Reluctantly, she ends up roommates with Elphaba: it turns out they strongly dislike each other. You never expect the two of them to become friends. After making something out of Elphaba’s silly dance, the two of begin to form an unique bond. It is important to note that both girls are in love with Fiyero. Galinda is very much a girlie girl and in act I, she is very naive and innocent. She and Elphaba have become best friends. After Doctor Dillamond gets fired, she decides to change her name to Glinda since he never could say her “ga”.

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In Act II, Glinda becomes a public figure, but means having to hear untrue rumors being spread about her best friend. Hearing this rumors do hurt Glinda a great deal. Fiyero realizing he is in love with Elphaba breaks up with Glinda. So Glinda deals with a lot of hurt of act II: first untrue rumors and then she goes through unrequited love. Glinda deals with the unrequited love the same way Elphaba dealt with it: she choose not to steal Fiyero away. Glinda realized in “For Good” that Elphaba is the one friend that truly mattered. Glinda makes you laugh a lot while making you feel all the pain she feels so Glinda is a very real and complex comic character.

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Who is Elphaba?

In this series, I am now at Elphaba. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. She is one of the two main protagonists in Wicked. She is this excellent and complex young woman.

Despite being born different, she does not that stop her. However, complications come from that. It causes her father to hate her and he blames her for her sister’s disability and her mother’s death. So she has been treated like an outcast her whole life. She does not let that stop her. She goes to college with innocence and full of hope, but she finds out that even there she is still judged for being green. She got stuck with being roommates with Galinda (Glinda later) and they do not like each other.

Elphaba already has magical powers, but she has no idea how to control them. There have been incidents at school where her powers go out of control. The first is when they arrive: when Nessa is taken away and the spell in class. The first incident is when the headmistress sees her powers.

At a school dance, Elphaba arrives and does this silly dance type of thing. Galinda actually decides to join, and she actually creates something magical out of that. For once, Elphaba finally feels accepted. The two girls have bonded over a school dance. In the next scene, they realize that they could be potential friends. You learn how caring Elphaba is in more than one way: the moment when Doctor Dillamond sees the frightening message on the chalkboard and when Elphaba sees the scared Lion cub in the cage. You see that she really does have a big-heart- she does understand what it is like  to be different.

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On a side note- a love triangle happens between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. You notice this when Fiyero and Elphaba help free that lion cub. Elphaba and Fiyero have this playful conversation and it is this moment that Elphaba realizes her feelings for Fiyero. Based on the way that Elphaba responded to the unrequited shows just how loyal she is to her best friend: she chooses not to steal Fiyero away or pursue to keep friendship alive.

Elphaba takes a separate path when she realizes just how not so great the Wizard is. Throughout act I, she is such an innocent young girl. Now she has truly matured. She has always stayed true to herself, and that is very important to her. Equality is important to Elphaba as well and believes in equality for all including animals. She does not let the label of “Wicked” define her. Even though Fiyero didn’t love her in act I, she realized that he does her love her in act II. You show just how mature their love for each other is. You see their love for each throughout different scenes after “As Long As Your’e Mine”. Fiyero stops the guards from arresting Elphaba. Elphaba takes matters into her own hands and tries spell after spell after spell to save him and feels like she failed. Each time she does good, everyone calls it Wicked. When she saved Boq’s life when it accidentally started shrinking due to Nessa, she had no choice but to turn him to tin, Boq started hating Elphaba. In “No Good Deed”, she is hurt, frustrated, and angry, and she truly feels Wicked, but it doesn’t mean she is a bad person.

She does have one final moment with Glinda. The two are able to express their love for each other in “For Good”. They have impacted each other’s lives. Glinda has been Elphaba’s only friend. Glinda will always be a piece of Elphaba. Elphaba is this smart, determined, a bit impulsive, different, big-hearted, misunderstood, courageous, young woman who believes in equality and staying true to yourself. Just because people have called her  “wicked” does not make her one. I see a lot of myself in her, and that is a huge reason why she is my favorite musical character. Elphaba is also a big reason why I love Wicked so much.

 

 

How Context helps with Musical Song Emotion

It is important to pay attention to the context surrounding a musical song to understand and pick up on the emotion. Context can refer to the scene that happened right before the song because that scene can help set up the song.

Santa Fe- Newsies

At first glance, this song does not seem like it is sad, but it actually is. The context at the beginning of the show and the scene before helps in understanding the emotion of the scene. Right before Santa Fe, there is this big fight that breaks out. Jack witnesses all of this and he sees his brothers getting hurt and Crutchie being arrested. If you remember Santa Fe (Prologue), it tells you that he has such a personal bond to Crutchie.

So due to all that Jack has just witnessed, he is quite upset and that leads to Santa Fe. It is a sad song. Jack is upset that his brothers got hurt all because of the strike. He wants to give up and he does not want them to get hurt. He dreams of going to Santa Fe, but now he wants to go there more than ever due to what he just witnessed. He cares so much about his brothers that he cares more about them than the cause.

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I’m Not That Girl- Wicked

Obviously this is an unrequited love song. But the scene before helps you understand the level of heartbreak the song is. Previously, Fiyero and Elphaba are in the woods freeing a lion cub. In this scene, the two characters argue in a playful way. In my opinion, I think this is the moment where Elphaba realizes that she is falling in love with Fiyero. By that, it tells you that her love for Fiyero isn’t quite that deep or strong. She literally singing “I’m Not That Girl” after the Lion Cub scene. So that shows that the song is only moderately heartbreaking.

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Do you think context outside of the song helps with musical emotion?

How Costumes Play a Role In Creating Character

One aspect that helps you get to know the character is through their costumes. What exactly do I mean by this? To explain, I will give some examples below.

Below is Enjolras’ vest. During “One Day More” and during act II, he wears this vest. It helps us realize he is the leader of the students and the most passionate. It makes him stand out among everyone at the barricade.

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Below you will see Elphaba in her act II dress. In act I, her outfits show she is more innocent and not as mature. But in act II, her outfit looks much more mature and show how she has matured from act I to act II. I love how it looks so good with her skin. It just complements the green so well.

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Another example is from the outfits Eponine wears. She wears a lot of browns in her outfit. That is the color of the skirt in act I and the same color she wears in her act II costumes and in her act II costume, her pants, hat and coat are brown. The fact that she wears the same color shows that she is poor. Her outfits also are dirty, and this helps signify that she is living in poverty, and that is an important part of her character.

 

For Valjean, his costumes help show his character arc. From this dirty costume in the opening to what he is wearing at the barricade shows his transformation. In his first costume, he looks like a convict. Than when time passes, his costume changes. He no longer looks like a convict and you can start to see his costumes representing his journey to redemption.

 

 

Glinda’s outfits during her time at Shiz show that she is girlie girl. The outfit below shows her outfit during the dance that Fiyero arranges. It is very pretty and is pink. She wears more than one dress in the show. This outfit below helps show that Glinda is young and makes you know she is a girly girl during her time at Shiz.

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I don’t know what it is, but something about Jack’s outfit that makes you know he is the leader of the Newsies. I feel like it is a bit different than the other Newsies. But something about his outfit also makes you know he is a dreamer and a romantic.

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Do you think costumes help a role in developing character?

Placement of Songs in Musicals

I think the placement of songs can affect the emotion of a musical song. It also can help explain the sound of the song. I will use some examples to explain what I mean by this this.

“I Dreamed a Dream”

  • By having this song before “Lovely Ladies” in the stage show gives the song a small amount of hope.
  • However, by having the song after “Lovely Ladies” in the movie makes the song even more heartbreaking and you lose that sense of hope.

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“One Day More”

  • This song has to be the act I closer due to the sound of the song and what is being sung. It happens the day before the uprising. It is talking about that Javert plans to spy on the students during the uprising. It is talking about what the Thenardiers plan to due to those who died. It talks about Marius and Cosette will miss each other when they will be parted. So it has to happen before the uprising.

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Actually all of the Les Mis songs are carefully placed. That is part of how brilliant the musical is.

“As Long As Your’e Mine”

  • This song has a very mature melody. It has to be because at that point in the story, both Fiyero and Elphaba have matured so the song has to sound the way it does. It also has to be in act II due to the plot twist.

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“I’m Not That Girl”

  • The innocent feeling of the song is in there due to who Elphaba is when it is sung. By this point, Elphaba has not yet matured and is a bit innocent, which explains why the melody has that feeling in it. It has to be in act I or else the plot twist really wouldn’t be in the story.

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What you think about this? Do you think placement of the song is important?

Layers of Heartbreak in Musicals

Musicals are known for being emotional. One of my favorite emotions is heartbreak, which is an emotion I once was blind to. Les Mis was the musical that brought heartbreak to life. I love the several layers that come to it. That basically means that some heartbreaking songs hurt more than others. On this post, I will describe the layers and the best way I can do that is through two songs.

“I’m Not That Girl” and “On My Own” both share the same root, which is unrequited love. However, both have different levels of insight.

“I’m Not That Girl” is dealing with Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero. This song is only moderately heartbreaking. The song has innocence, vulnerability and fragility. Literally moments before, it is the first time the audience realizes that Elphaba is falling in love with Fiyero. Elphaba’s love for him isn’t that strong at this point, which why the melody is very consistent and the melody also shows Elphaba’s innocence at this point in the story. This song once was a sad song for a couple of years, but it was “On My Own” that helped me realize this song was heartbreaking. About the insight, Elphaba admits in the song that she doesn’t think she is good enough for Fiyero because she is green and she does reflect on her best friend realizing that she is in a relationship with him and that is part of why Elphaba accepts the fact that Fiyero does not love her.

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“On My Own” is the more heartbreaking of the two. For starter’s, Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love. By the time “On My Own” happens, the audience already knows that Eponine is in love with Marius. There are these little sung bits of dialogue that show that she loves him and in “In My Life” and “A Heart Full Of Love”, there are parts of the song that show she loves Marius. By observing her actions, it is already made clear that she loves Marius. Marius cannot seem to pick up on the fact that she loves him.

In this song, you realize just how strong and deep her love for Marius is. This song helps you understand her life outside of Marius. It shows that she is so alone in the world. She is unloved and lonely due to being so alone in life. Her only source of happiness is Marius and he is the only person who shows her kindness. “On My Own” helps highlight this. Throughout lyrics like “Without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to” and “a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known” reflects her life. She finally is able to accept the situation she finds herself in and this song shows that she can never stop loving him because he is the light of her life. It actually took about a year to realize “On My Own” was heartbreaking but not sad.

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Just by knowing that one of these songs is more heartbreaking than other shows how layered heartbreak can be.

Favorite Fiyero Actor

My favorite Fiyero actor is also from my 4th cast. It is interesting how my favorite Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero all come from the same cast. My favorite Fiyero is Ashley Parker Angel.

Possible Spoilers:

The 4th time, I honestly wanted to know why I love Fiyero and why the plot twist in the love triangle even happened.  So the 4th round was more Fiyero-focused than Elphaba and Glinda focused. Fiyero is a character that is quite hard to know. He may not seem complex, but in reality he really is. I played close attention to Fiyero. The way that Ashley Parker Angel played Fiyero in the Lion Cub Scene helped me understand the plot twist. In that scene, the actor played that scene as if he had a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t know it yet. So there are clues in act I that foreshadow that Fiyero will end up with Elphaba.

Ashley had wonderful chemistry with Mary Kate Morissey. While he did have great chemistry with my Elphaba, his chemistry was weaker with the Glinda and I think that is what is supposed to happen. Fiyero actually does have weaker chemistry with Glinda because it helps show that Fiyero and Glinda aren’t meant to be together. Even before Fiyero realized he is in love with Elphaba, he still has incredible chemistry with her, which first shows in the Lion Cub Scene.

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Fiyero is a character who seems to develop the most during spoken scenes. Because I decided to pay close attention to Fiyero, I looked closely at these scenes especially spoken moments. It also made me fall in love with Ashley Parker Angel’s Fiyero.

The fact that Mary Kate Morrisey as Elphaba, Amanda Jane Copper as Glinda, and Ashley Parker Angel as Fiyero were all part of the same cast really shows just how strong this trio is. It is a bit complicated between all of them. Elphaba and Glinda are supposed to have strong chemistry with each other and Fiyero is supposed to have wonderful chemistry with Elphaba, it complicates things a bit. It is just these three together are quite wonderful.