A Band of Brothers Standing Up For What they Believe in

So far on this blog series, I talked about why I love Jack and Crutchie, two of the Newsies. I have never yet said why I love a group, but they do count on this series.

Possible Spoilers:

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Jack is the leader of the Manhattan Newsies and really cares about them. He has a close bond to Crutchie. Jack and Crutchie are my favorite of all the Newsies. Their relationship is part of why I love the Newsies in the first place.

The Newsies are like this one big family. They have such a brotherly love for each each other. All they have is each other and really look up to Jack. A lot of them are homeless or runaways and rely on selling newspapers to survive but Davey and Les are the only two who have a family of their own. So eventually they band together and go on strike after the price of papers went up.

They never give up even though eventually Jack struggles with his emotions and Crutchie, the most vulnerable, gets sent to the Refuge. It is their bond especially the Jack and Crutchie bond that makes me emotionally connected to these characters. Their inspiring story of standing up for what you believe in is a huge reason why I love Newsies.

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Favorite Musical Duets

I have mentioned musical duets before, but I don’t think I ever wrote a list of them together. For the most part, musical duets are love songs, but there are some that are not.

  1. For Good
  2. Something to Believe In
  3. A Little Fall of Rain
  4. As Long As You’re Mine
  5. What You Own
  6. Take Me or Leave Me
  7. No Matter What
  8. Come to Me
  9. Phantom of the Opera
  10. I Should Tell You
  11. I’ll Cover You
  12. One hand, One heart
  13. A Whole New World
  14. Till There Was You
  15. Suddenly Seymour
  16. Something Good
  17. Somewhere
  18. Younger Than Springtime
  19. Sixteen Going on Seventeen
  20. Santa Fe (Prologue)
  21. Heart Full of Love
  22. All I Ask of You
  23. Love Song

What are some of your favorite musical duets?

Experience of Loaves and Fishes

While some may know that I am a musical fanatic, there is another passion of mine that is equally important. I love to volunteer especially for those living in poverty. I grew up volunteering for that community. Later in high school when I did an dinner exercise at an outreach event, I realized that the vast majority of the world was living in poverty. Through that exercise, I learned that my main priority of volunteering was to help the poverty population. I also knew it was my calling to reach out to that community so in a way I developed a deep connection to the less fortunate.

Well today, I volunteered today with my dad at Loaves and Fishes, a food pantry for low-income families. It was founded by my church and originally was just a closet. Now it is like this mini grocery store where families of different sizes would come grocery shopping with one of the volunteers. Today was an especially busy day. I had to help by unfolding flat paper bags. I had to open up zip lock bags for someone to put chicken in. I had to help restock at times when donations came in and this time, Loaves and Fishes was given a big donation. We even had this big batch of families come in at once. Well after the family member shopped, us volunteers had to help load the cars and bring back the shopping cart. Usually in Loaves and Fishes, all I do usually is just help the families shop and load the cars and bring back the carts.

But due to number of clients coming in and a huge donation, it made all of us do even more than we typically end up dong. I have never seen volunteering as a sacrifice. Well I am helping those in need, I still have given something in return. You can see the gratitude they have for us reaching out. It gives me a feeling of reward and pleasure. In a lot of ways, volunteering is a huge part of my spiritual journey. My spiritual journey is very important to me due to being gifted with a strong spirit.

Musicals Representing You

As many know I am a massive musical fan. I do feel like the meaningful musicals of my life represent who I am. Trying to describe the reason why I believe that way is like untangling a ball of yarn or trying to find a needle in a haystack. The meaningful musicals in a way show what kinds of things you are literally drawn to. The emotional connection is what makes you drawn to the characters, songs, and plot lines.

Some of the meaningful musicals have aspects that I actually relate to. In Wicked for instance, I have a very personal relationship with Elphaba. I see a lot of myself in Elphaba. That is one why in which Wicked represents who I am. It even shows I am drawn to stories about a strong friendship. In this musical, I am also drawn to a love triangle, which is so fascinating and adds even more texture. This musical does show that I am drawn more to complex plots compared to simple plots. Wicked shows I am also drawn to spectacle and dance-natured musicals and shows I love fantasy worlds.

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Than there is Rent. That musical in a lot of ways does represent who I am. It shows how accepting I am. It shows I love a feeling of community and shows that I love life. It shows that I love having a close knit group of friends.

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Of course, there is Les Mis. It took me a while to know why I was emotionally drawn to it. The first time with the movie, I didn’t even know how to respond due to being shocked and confused due to realizing it was a tragedy while watching it. The second round, I knew there was something special about Les Mis. I really wanted to know why it makes me feel uplifted. One thing in this musical that describes me is that I have a deep connection to those living in poverty and Les Mis is clearly focused on that community.

Les Mis also shows that I tend to be drawn to complex plots. Just like Wicked, I am drawn to a love triangle as well. The love triangle in Les Mis adds an amazing texture and emotional nature to the show. I am even drawn to Valjean’s journey to redemption of becoming a better person and continuing to grow in spirit. Even the uprising is something I am drawn to especially due to the relationship found between all the different students and their passion.

The musical shows that I am drawn to things that are connected to spirituality. I have a strong spirit and Les Mis is home to this incredible underlying spirituality. The spirituality is what I am emotionally connected to and why I am not sick and tired of the musical by now. If the spirituality was never discovered, than the show would feel too depressing.

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I even love Beauty and the Beast and that one is meaningful as well. Each of the musicals I have said so far seem have a romantic aspect. When I saw the 2017 movie version of Beauty and the Beast,  I realized that I am a lot like Belle. I am a bit of a bookworm and am quite different. I don’t tend to judge beauty from the outside, but from the inside. Belle learns that through the Beast. It shows I am someone who loves Disney. I feel like romance in Disney shows some magic especially because of young couples.

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Even in the case of Annie, it shows I am an optimistic person. It even shows I am a caring person as well. Annie takes in a stray dog and adopts him and cares about Molly.

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Another meaningful musical is Newsies. This is another Disney musical. It shows I am someone who tends to love dance in a musical. I am emotionally drawn to all of the Newsies due to their relationship. It shows I tend to be drawn to plot about people standing up for what they believe in and that aspect is also shown through Wicked and Les Mis.

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One more meaningful musical of my life is Sound of Music. It shows I love the importance of family. It shows that I have a love for music.

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Of all the meaningful musicals, they share some things in common. They all provide me with an emotional connection. The emotional connection is key to many things in a musical. Loving the songs mean you have an emotional connection to the material. All of the meaningful musicals are joyful. Above are some of the meaningful musicals of my life.

Do you believe meaningful musicals represent who you are?

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Importance of Family in Musicals

I have seen various different kinds of families found in musicals over the years. Some are biological while some are not. This post is only going to focus on loving families and not any kind of broken or dysfunctional families.

First up is the family from Sound of Music. I love this family even though the Captain is very strict and runs his house like he is Captain of the navy or something like that. Maria helps the children and the Captain so much. By teaching the children to sing, Maria makes the family feel whole again. It make the house full of music. To me, the two most core things about Sound of Music are music and family.

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Major Spoilers:

Next up is the relationship between Valjean and Cosette. Yes, this family isn’t biological, but yet the two still make up a family. Valjean had to end up taking care of Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. Her mother, Fantine, was fired from Valjean’s factory after the foreman discovered that she had an illegitimate child. She soon had to turn to prostitution and she blames Valjean for why she was fired because after all it was his factory. Well, Javert was about to arrest Fantine because she attacked a man even though it was self-defense. Valjean intervened and prevented her from being arrested and demanded she be sent to a hospital. As Fantine was dying, Valjean promised to her that he would raise Cosette as his own.

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So Valjean became father to Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. He learned that Cosette was quite a broken child because he learned she was being terribly abused by the Thenardiers. He rescued her from that life and became a loving father towards her. It can be tough raising Cosette because he is an ex-convict always on the run from Javert. He even is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s and that is why he rescues Marius from the barricade due to his daughter loving him. It is hard for Valjean to let Cosette go because she is the main happiness in his life.

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There is another incredible family in Les Mis. I find the relationship between all of the students like this kind of family. They are like brothers and literally take in Gavroche. They become like Gavroche’s family. In this group of friends, Enjolras is the leader. This is a political group in Les Mis and they planning an uprising to stand up for what they believe in due to a weak government. They stay so passionate towards the cause and stay hopeful.

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Thinking of the students from Les Mis, they can remind me of the family found among all the Newsies. They are like this one big family with Jack Kelly being the leader. In a lot of ways, all they have in life is each other. Some of them are orphans while others are runaways or actually have a family. Davey and Les are the only ones in this batch of brothers in this group who actually have a family. When Pultizer raised the price of papers at the Newsies expense, they ended up going on strike to stand up for what they believe in.

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Another family I find in musicals is the relationship between the characters in Rent. Yes, another family that isn’t biological. The relationship found between Mark, Roger, Mimi, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, and Angel is an important one. They are literally this family in a lot of ways. They make the most of life even in the midst of fear due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which Mimi, Roger, Collins, and Angel are battling.

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Another family is found between Annie and Daddy Warbucks. He invites an orphan to stay at his house for a week for Christmas (Fourth of July in the movie). Annie ends up being the one selected. Later in the story, Daddy Warbucks eventually adopts Annie.

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While I brought up loving families that exist in the world of musicals, there is another important family that is part of the musical world. Well, it is my family as a matter of fact. I don’t just love musicals due to the dance, spectacle, song, and emotion. It is also due to the fact that going to the theatre is something my family likes to do. Whether it is my entire family or only three of us or even a date with a parent, it is something I will always remember. It is an important piece of what my family likes to do. I saw Wicked with my dad and I saw Wicked (Broadway), Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and Les Mis (West End) with my mom.

I grew up seeing musicals with my family. Growing up with musicals is a huge part of why I love musicals. Through the musicals I grew up with, I was able to learn what a musical can be capable of which ranges from spectacle to dance to song to four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad to understanding the importance of emotional connection and comedy. All of that I discovered is still important in musicals today, but all of them expanded especially in the emotions thanks to discovering a fifth main emotion, which is heartbreak. Seeing musicals with my family will always be memories that I will cherish.

Reflection of Newsies and Wicked

The musicals of 2016 are Wicked and Newsies.

This would be my fourth time seeing Wicked. Seeing Wicked this year was quite special because 2016 marked the tenth year that the musical has been part of my life. In addition, I had the wonderful opportunity to see the musical with my school. I look up to Elphaba because I admire her courage and strength. She is a smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, different girl who believes in equality and staying true to herself and those characteristics are part of who I am.

I knew Wicked would still be spectacular the moment I entered the auditorium. I saw this glowing green light shining through the entrance and I was transported to OZ. As long as I feel transported to OZ before the show begins, I know the show will be spectacular. The dragon and the map also help transport you to OZ. The spectacle ranges from a lavish set to colorful costumes to the dancing. The spectacle of Wicked truly helps bring the land of OZ to life and it is so believable.

At this showing of Wicked, I felt the most vulnerable. I saw an excellent Elphaba and Glinda and truly saw their dislike for each other during “What is This Feeling” and was able to see their friendship they had for each other. Glinda was absolutely hilarious especially during “Popular”, but at the same time was able to see the pain she feels in the second act.

The song, “I’m Not That Girl had an emotional shift this time around. It would be the first time seeing Wicked live that I would view the song as a heartbreaking song. Between the third time I saw the show and this time, I finally learned that “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaker and due to that realization, it made me explore the scene in a new light. Just like “On My Own” from Les Mis, “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love song.

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I was surprised that I got something out of “No Good Deed”. I always hated that song and never looked forward to that scene. I was able to finally appreciate the song and I even was able to pick up on the emotions and sense its wonderful energy. The song ended up being a song dealing with anger and frustration. Due to finally remembering and feeling the emotions of this song, it made me feel more vulnerable with Wicked.

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But “For Good” was the moment I truly know how incredible Elphaba and Glinda were. That scene was sung and acted so well that I was reduced to tears. The core of this musical is truly about the deep friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, which is why “For Good” needs to truly move your heart and soul.

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Newsies is a Disney, dance-filled musical and it was the first time I would see the show.  Newsies is the real-life story of the 1899 Newsboy strike. Pulitzer raised the Newsies distribution price to 60 cents per one hundred papers. Most of these Newsies are either orphans, runaways, or homeless and they have to live off of the money they make from the papers. They even are not able to sell back their papers. That is why raising the distribution price is unfair to the Newsies. As a result, the Newsies went on strike and later would rally the other New York Newsies.

The dancing of Newsies was mind-blowing. The cast was basically all boys. They were doing tap, ballet, and different forms of dance. They were jumping high up in the air, jumping over each other, doing flips, sliding under each other, and dancing on top of newspapers. The dance alone was worth the price of the ticket. That was just how mind-blowing the dancing was.

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I loved how the Newsies formed this one family. They all have this incredible bond. You first learn of the incredible bond found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. Their friendship is so close and deep and that is where my emotional connection truly was. Jack is the leader of the Newsies and Crutchie has a bum leg and has to get around with the aid of a crutch.

In addition, Jack Kelly is the protagonist and is also an incredible artist and is like father to the rest of the Newsies. He has this deep yearning to leave New York and head to Santa Fe, but he also truly loves his Newsies family.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrezDuring “Carrying the Banner”, you truly learn that all of the Newsies are like brothers to each other and that they are one big family. When the distribution prices were raised, the Newsies went on strike to stand up for their rights even though they were up against Pulitzer and Hearst. Newsies is truly about these underdogs who stand up to two of the most powerful men at the time. Even though the cast of Newsies is male-based, there is a major female character named Katherine. Katherine writes the news story about the strike and is the love interest of Jack Kelly .

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The set in Newsies was basically these three big towers which could change shape and is basically like a big jungle gym. My favorite song from Newsies was “Seize the Day” and the show was so good that I hope to eventually own the soundtrack. Newsies even made my favorite musical list, which are the musicals that are meaningful to me.

Both Wicked and Newsies had dance and were both happy musicals. They both shared the emotions of joy, love, excitement, and sad. In Wicked, the negative emotions had more of a vulnerable feel while in Newsies sad felt more innocent. This year, Newsies was the more inexperienced musical, which is why sad had this innocent feeling.

Love in the midst of Darkness

Love rocks. Where there is love, there is no darkness

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This is a lovely quote. One day at a school event, there was a station to make bookmarks. I picked a stamp and this quote was on that stamp. There is a lot of truth in that quote even though it doesn’t seem like that.

Love is the most powerful force of all. Even though there is always darkness, there is always less when there is love. Feeling love is important in life because it helps us thrive in dark times. Love makes us survive fearful and scary times in life. It still is hard to describe how there is no darkness when it comes to love. But I understand the importance of love. Everyone needs to feel love because we are social creatures and feel a need for intimacy. Love comes in many different forms and each one is so beautiful.

Love is even stronger than fear. God is love and he loves everyone unconditionally. We need to feel loved by God, our friends and family and others. If we feel unloved, than our lives could feel darker and even harder. That would makes us feel very alone.

Below is a blog post I wrote about the types of love in Les Mis. It is directly related to this post because Les Mis is covered with different kinds of love along with hope, compassion, and forgiveness.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/to-love-another-person-is-to-see-the-face-of-god/

What you think about the quote I talked about?