One of the main things I wanted to do more of on my blog is to talk MORE about the musicals that barely get credit on this blog. This post will help with that. I love three musicals that take place in France: Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast. Of all three, it is Beauty and the Beast that does not get much mention on my blog.
Les Misérables, as so many people know, is such a meaningful musical to me. It takes place in France post French Revolution and follows a ton of characters (mainly Jean Valjean), which all leads to the June Rebellion of 1832. It is tragic and heartbreaking, but full of so much hope, courage, and passion. It is about Jean Valjean’s journey on becoming a better person- his transformation is incredible to watch. There is a love triangle and rebellion- two of the other major storylines. It starts in 1815 and ends in 1832- that is a 17 year span. I learned a lot from Les Mis, and showed me a side to musicals I never saw before. There are so many rarities in Les Mis, and part of what makes it so special. There is something in Les Mis that touches your heart and soul in such a way that words alone can’t describe.
Those songs continue to touch me in so many ways. Usually in a musical, I have a favorite song, but in Les Mis I can’t choose one. I even struggle with picking my top ten. These songs are extremely powerful, and can hit you like a pile of bricks. These songs do reduce me to tears, but because I am so emotionally connected to the material, I have nothing wrong with feeling that way. I love a number of Les Mis characters that I can’t choose my favorite Les Mis character.
The Phantom of the Opera takes places in the same century as Les Mis, but in the later part of the 1800s. The entire story is basically a love triangle found between Christine, Phantom, and Raoul. It is a hauntingly beautiful musical with so much beauty and mystery. I have always seen Christine as the main character, and have always loved her and Raoul as a couple, and would not have it any other way. It takes place in the Paris Opera house.
Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera are so obvious that they BOTH take place in France.
Of all three musicals, Beauty and the Beast does not make it that clear where it takes place. It is hard to notice that it takes place in France. However, there are clues that make you know it defiantly takes place in the country. In the prologue, it says “France” and even in the song, “Be Our Guest”, Lumiere has a line that says something like “this is France”. Look at characters’ names- Lumiere, Belle, and Gaston. Beauty and the Beast for sure takes place in France. However, what makes it so hard to remember that this musical takes place in France?
Well for one, the line in the prologue and “Be Our Guest” is only one line, which can easily be forgotten later on. It is still one of the three musicals I love that takes place in France. Like Phantom of the Opera, it is another romance that I love. Yes, Belle is prisoner in Beast’s castle, and yes, to some people it seems as if she is falling in love with an animal, but don’t forget the Beast is really a human. He is a human under a curse, which turned him into a Beast. So Belle did not fall in love with an animal. There is something enchanting and magical about Beauty and the Beast.
About the songs, they are a combination of showtunes, romance, and emotional songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is my favorite song from the musical. There is something about Disney love songs- there is this kind of magic in them- this kind of innocence as well. Belle and Beast fall in love slowly over time. Belle is against Beast at first, but as Beast begins to soften up, they slowly begin to have feelings for each other, and then fall in love. Both of these characters are amazing. I love the enchanted objects as well.