Making a Decision before Seeing a Musical

What do I mean by making a decision before seeing a musical? That basically means you choose to focus on one thing or you choose not to look up a certain element ahead of time and so on. Below I will give some example.

Wicked and my 4th time- before seeing it a 4th time, I decided to pay extremely close attention to Fiyero. By doing that, I was able to better understand the character and get a better understanding of the love triangle. He throws a gigantic curveball into it. By paying extra close attention to him especially in act I helped me understand why the plot twist even happened. By spending more time exploring the Lion Cub Scene, I came to a realization and that was realizing that he does have a crush on Elphaba but at the same time is not quite aware of it. My actor decided to already have stronger chemistry with Elphaba than Glinda. By spending more time with Fiyero, I was able to get a better grasp.

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Les Mis and my 5th- I decided ahead of time to treat this like it was a new show. That was because I had never seen the 25th anniversary before. Prior, I had already seen the West End show and loved the staging. But the 5th time, I was seeing the 25th so I had to treat it like it was new instead of comparing it to the West End production and saying that the West End staging is better. By doing that, I was able to look at the new production with fresh eyes. What the 25th production does is add a new level of complexity. I love both the 25th and the Original in different ways. Despite missing the revolve in the 25th, the production does make up for it in its own unique way. I love how the new production has a bit more color and love “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” more in the 25th.

Newsies- once I heard it was Tony Award winning choreography. I choose ahead of time not to look up the dance in order to get more out of it. I was mind-blown when I saw the dance. No wonder it won a Tony Award. These boys were flipping, jumping over each other, dancing on newspapers, sliding underneath each other, and so on. The talent I saw in these boys was incredible. I just couldn’t believe they could dance that well. The fact that they danced so well together actually helped show the relationship the Newsies have. All of those tricks were incredible. It just worked and I am glad I did not look up the dance ahead of time.

Choosing some of these things before seeing the show can have a huge impact on your experience.

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Musical Characters Who do not Seem Complex, but Are

Possible Spoilers:

Fiyero is an example of a musical theatre character who does not seem complex, but he actually is. A lot of his complexity comes from his role in the love triangle. The other part comes from his transformation as the story continues. He arrives to Shiz as a bit of a jerk, but does soften up in the Lion Cub scene and in act II, he becomes a courageous and mature young man.

About the love triangle, his  role in the love triangle is really complicated. He does start out as being in a relationship with Glinda so it seems like they are endgame, but you will find that is not true. Here’s the thing, in act II, he realizes he does not love Glinda, but instead Elphaba so that you leaves you with a question why  does this plot twist happen? So if you look at act I, there were hints that show he has a crush on Elphaba. Back to the Lion Cub Scene, it appears as if he has a crush on Elphaba, but he does not seem aware of it or neither does Elphaba. He can’t stop thinking of the Lion Cub scene. Than look at the chemistry: his chemistry is much weaker with Glinda and stronger with Elphaba.

He just is this character that is very hard to get to know. The curveball he throws into the love triangle makes you question and think about thing.

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Marius also is one of those characters. I know he seems simple on the surface, but there is so much more going on especially if you combine who he is from the book and who he is in the musical. You discover in the book that he has a political conflict with his grandfather and that political conflict makes him complex. Then in the musical, he is sweet, kind, compassionate, awkward, and brave. He cares about Eponine and is quite upset when she dies and since he stays with her when she is dying, that shows just how much compassion he is capable of. He eventually has to deal with survivor’s guilt after being the only survivor from the uprising.

So Marius has a lot going on: the political conflict, being a revolutionary, dealing with survivor’s guilt, falling in love for the first time and looking after Eponine. If you combine the book and the musical, you see a much more developed and complex character. My interpretation of Marius uses his relationship with the students and Eponine from the musical not the book.

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What are other characters you feel are much more complex than they seem to 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.

Favorite Elphaba Actress

In this blog series, I started by saying who my favorite Elphaba is: Mary Kate Morissey. When I saw her on tour January of 2016, she was the standby and just to let you know, this was the 4th time I saw Wicked. I started with Elphaba because she is my all-time favorite musical character.

Possible Spoilers:

Mary Kate embodied everything about Elphaba. She brought out Elphaba’s strength, smarts, and courage and all the other traits that make up who Elphaba is. She brought out everything I had already discovered about Elphaba while still showing a different side to Elphaba. She was quite excellent and had amazing chemistry with Amanda Jane Copper as Glinda and Ashely Parker Angel as Fiyero.

She did take me off guard at times and that was a good thing. The biggest example was during “No Good Deed”. I always hated the song and never got anything out of the song. The emotions never really stuck and I found no appreciation of the song. But what Mary Kate was able to do was finally make me find some kind of appreciation. I just saw this incredible energy and she made the emotions of that song finally stick. I never actually picked up on the song’s emotions but the fact that I felt anger and frustration during this number really took me off guard. So this was the first time the emotions actually stuck and were remembered and that was a big reason why I loved her Elphaba so much.

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Coming into this time, I knew that something would happen with “I’m Not That Girl”. In between the 3rd time and 4th time, I came to a realization that “I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song not just a sad song like I once believed. Her version of the song was full of vulnerability and fragility but at same time still was a bit innocent. I focused so much more on what I was feeling due to knowing it was heartbreaking this time around. Her version made me feel sad and lonely so glad this song changed in the way it did.

About “For Good”, she was so excellent and so was Amanda Jane Copper so this song made me cry. That really goes to show just how excellent Mary Kate was as Elphaba. Mary Kate is such a special Elphaba and Elphaba means so much to me. She may have been the standby, but she was my favorite Elphaba I ever saw.

She changed her voice as the show continued. In act I, her voice was very innocent and youthful, but when act II started up she changed Elphaba’s voice to be much more mature so that helps show Elphaba growing up.

Next in the series is my favorite Glinda.

New Blog Series: Favorite Couples

I decided to create a new blog series. Recently I have been talking about favorite musical theatre characters. Eventually I thought it would be amazing to talk about favorite couples. Romance after all is the biggest theme in the world of musicals and some are these couples are love triangles and some are just alone. So I decided to start with Elphaba and Fiyero.

Major Spoilers:

Elphaba and Fiyero are what I could call the “unexpected couple“. Those two are part of  a love triangle with Glinda. In act I, Glinda and Fiyero are a couple with Elphaba having unrequited love. When Elphaba first meets Fiyero, she thinks he is super rude so you really don’t think Elphaba will even fall in love with him. But than there’s the whole lion cub incident, which happens after Elphaba puts a spell on a class after seeing a sacred lion cub in a cage and it just didn’t affect Fiyero for some reason.

Than it goes straight into the lion cub scene. The two of them have amazing chemistry in this scene. They are joking along playfully. It appears as if Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but deep down doesn’t realize it, but those are clues for act II. Eventually Fiyero asks Elphaba why the spell did not affect him and in that moment Elphaba realized she was falling love with him.

“I’m Not That Girl” happens right after this scene and she accepts her unrequited love right away and chooses not to pursue him. I don’t blame her because her best friend, Glinda, is in a relationship with him. She even admits in the song that she doesn’t think she is good enough for Fiyero because she is green.

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On to Act II, some unexpected things happen to the love triangle. During “Thank Goodness”, Fiyero is hearing these rumors spread about Elphaba and cannot believe Glinda is supporting all of this. He realizes that he truly loves Elphaba and breaks up with Glinda and so the unrequited love shifts to Glinda. This is the only musical theatre love triangle with an unrequited love shift going on. Even Glinda admits in the reprise of “I’m Not That Girl” that she will not steal him back.

When Fiyero finds Elphaba, they sing this amazing love song. The love triangle does develop in the same way the characters do. Elphaba and Fiyero have finally matured at this point. “As Long As Your’e Mine’ really shows just how mature the two are due to the melody of the song, but still proves they are young. After the song, it does show much they love each other. After the catfight scene, Elphaba almost got arrested, but Fiyero comes by and says “Let the Green Girl Go” and was sent to the fields to be tortured, but Elphaba does spell after spell to try to save him. Those two actions show the courageous nature of these two characters.

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So this couple has been part of my life for 11 1/2 years basically. Some pieces of this couple took a while to realize. For instance, I had no idea Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba in Act I until 2016. I also had no clue “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking until sometime between 2013 and 2016 and it was “On My Own” and memorizing the lyrics that made me figure that out. So in 2016 when I saw the show a 4th time, I decided to pay closer attention to Fiyero and “I’m Not That Girl” to try to understand Fiyero’s decision in Act II and paying closer attention to the emotions I would be feeling during “I’m Not That Girl”. They truly are an unexpected couple in so many ways.

Fiyero’s Drastic Transformation

I already did two characters I love from Wicked: Elphaba and Glinda. Well, I am only emotionally attached to three characters from Wicked, who are Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. I will do my best I can at discovering why I love Fiyero because I have a hard time pinpointing why I love him.

Spoilers Ahead:

Just like Beast, part of why I love him is his transformation from when you first meet him to what he eventually becomes.  When you first met him, he is a bit of a jerk and doesn’t seem to care much about anything. At this point, he and Glinda start going out and they become a couple.

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He starts to soften up in the Lion Cub Scene. This particular scene makes no sense if you weren’t paying attention. This is also the scene where you realize this musical is home to love triangle. Elphaba realizes her feelings for Fiyero in this scene. If you were paying close attention to how Fiyero is interacting around her, you can tell that he does have a crush on Elphaba. But he has no idea he has a crush on her at all, but if you were, it is a sign of foreshadowing in act II. Even after this scene, he realizes he can’t stop thinking about the incident so another sign of him realizing he has a crush on her in act I.

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Fiyero goes through big changes from act I to act II. At the opening of Act II, Fiyero is hearing rumors spread about Elphaba and he can’t believe Glinda is supporting all of this. He thinks those rumors are insane and realizes he actually loves Elphaba. So a huge reason why I love him is the huge curveball he throws in the middle of the love triangle. Like I said, he was in a relationship with Glinda from act I to the beginning of act I so Elphaba has unrequited love for Fiyero, but now the unrequited love jumps to Glinda so this love triangle isn’t straight forward at all. He realization that he loves Elphaba helps mature him a lot.

He immediately goes looking for Elphaba. He does find her disguised as a Guard in the Wizard’s Palace. Those two go running off in the woods somewhere and bring up their love for each other. Just by listening to the melody, you can tell they are a mature couple. Fiyero actually sees Elphaba for who she is, which is part of why I love him. So he matured a lot from when you met him to “As Long As Your’e Mine”.

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So besides being mature, he is also courageous. This fight happens between Elphaba and Glinda. Eventually guards come and try to arrest Elphaba, but that doesn’t come far. You see, Fiyero comes to her rescue and demands that they “let the green girl go”. So in that moment, you see just much Fiyero loves her. He is willing to risk his life in order to protect Elphaba. Due to that, they sent him in the fields to torture him, but still he did what he had to do to protect Elphaba.

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Describing why I love Fiyero is so difficult. He goes through a ton of character development. He starts off as being this rather rude and annoying guy to a mature and courageous young man. He sees Elphaba for who she is. It is love for her that makes him a better person.

Fiyero is probably the biggest reason why Wicked’s love triangle is my favorite of all musical love triangles. It is just his realization of his feelings for Elphaba complicates things even further because you don’t see it coming at all because you expect Elphaba to have unrequited love the entire time.

But its not true, which makes “I’m Not That Girl” and “As Long As Your’e Mine” ironic.  I like to call Elphaba and Fiyero an unexpected couple since no one sees it coming. Another reason is because it was the first one I ever bonded with. I feel like the trio matures in the same way the love triangle does.

What I Love about Glinda

My very first character I talked about on this blog series is Elphaba. If you love Elphaba, it is very hard not to love Glinda. She starts the top of the show in a bubble and is basically in a way the narrator of the entire show. She does say that she did know Elphaba and goes on saying that they both went to the same college.

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Possible Spoilers:

Glinda is very popular at school. She is very outgoing and funny, which are two reasons why I love this character. She is a comical character, but also very real. She is a girlie girl and all she seems to wear throughout the entire show are dresses. She does eventually become Elphaba’s best friend and the musical revolves around their friendship. They both bonded at a school dance where Glinda made Elphaba’s silly dance quite magical and I love that moment in the show. It is where Glinda and Fiyero become a couple, but eventually they become part of a love triangle.

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In the entire “Popular” scene, you notice just how funny Glinda is. It is a fun scene to watch and you watch Glinda trying to give Elphaba a makeover.

Eventually Elphaba realizes her feelings for Fiyero. So Glinda, Elphaba, and Fiyero create  a very complex love triangle. Elphaba realizing her feelings for Fiyero doesn’t pursue him because she doesn’t want to risk losing her friendship with Glinda.

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Well, look what happens in act II. First Glinda hears rumors spread about Elphaba and she knows they are not true. She is trying to stay happy for the citizens of OZ, but feels quite sad so she trying to hide how hurt she is. She also has to put up with Fiyero breaking up with her and ending up with Elphaba. But just like Elphaba, she doesn’t try to steal him back.

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You eventually realize just how much Elphaba means in Glinda’s life. She realizes that Elphaba was the only friend that mattered. Their bond is so special that they don’t let a boy get in the way of their friendship. They realize they have to part ways, but are able to to express that they changed each other for good.

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Much of my love for Glinda comes from how funny she is and that she is so real in the fact that she feels a lot of pain in the second act with the unrequited love jumping to her and having to be annoyed by rumors spread about her best friends. Than she has to part ways with Elphaba. The fact that she is a comic character that has pain in her life makes her feel like a real person. I just love her bond with Elphaba so much. Because of the bond, I can’t seem to separate the two so Glinda is my second favorite female musical character.