Love in Musicals

Love is found in musicals. Is love only in romance? Does it exist in different ways? There is a common misconception in love that non-musical fanatics believe-it is believed that only love is romance. I will try to sort out that in this post. THERE WILL BE MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS POST.

Love for God

In Les Mis, you see love for God. This is first see through the bishop, and later through Valjean. The bishop welcomes Valjean into his house, gives him a place to stay, food to eat, and see as a brother (as in the bible). The bishop wants to help Valjean. He forgives Valjean when he steals his silver. He tells me to use the silver to became a better man. What the bishop does is an act of grace, mercy, and compassion. All of this is a love of God .

The love of God is later strengthened through Valjean. He looks up to the bishop. He starts to show compassion to others, which is especially shown through how he treats Fantine. He prevents her from being arrested and later promises to raise Cosette, Fantine’s daughter, as his own. That takes his love for God on a whole new level. I think his love for God is shown the strongest when he sings “Bring Him Home”. “Bring Him Home” happens at the barricade- Valjean is there to protect Marius because his adopted daughter loves him. The song is a prayer sent to God to prevent Marius from being killed. Even as Valjean is dying, it does show his love for God.

Love for Friends

This is easier to notice than love for God.

Elphaba and Glinda

  • When I think of friendship love, it is Elphaba and Glinda that comes to mind automatically. After all, in Wicked, the story revolves around their friendship. These two young girls originally started out hating each other and eventually became best friends and soon realized how much they changed each others lives for the better. They did form a very close and beautiful bond to each other- that is exactly what “For Good” shows.

Friends of the ABC

  • The Friends of the ABC is another love for friends that I love. I love their brotherly love for each other. It is strong that they are like family, and I do love how they take in Gavroche. They have a cause they truly believe in, and are so passionate about in that they will fight to the end no matter the cost. One of the things I love “Drink With Me” is how intimate and vulnerable it is- it really shows their brotherly love for other.

Eponine and Marius

  • There is a friendship in Les Mis that I like that is an unpopular opinion. It is the one found between Marius and Eponine- yes, I know it is only in the musical, and not the book. I don’t believe Marius never was a jerk to Eponine. He was the only person in her life who treated her kindly- that was why she fell in love with him, and why she held on in him. Marius was aware she had a difficult life. Just because Marius was unaware of Eponine’s love her him doesn’t make him a jerk. I believe in act II Marius sent her away with that letter to protect her from getting hurt or worse killed during the uprising. When she came back to the barricade, Marius was worried. When she collapsed in his arms, the moment he saw her wound, he realized she was dying. He was devastated, but he still stayed with her to the end- how does Marius being with her while she was dying make him a jerk? I believe that Marius was showing her compassion while she was dying- that scene was difficult on Marius, but at least he made her happy. The reason why I know he knew how difficult her life was had to do with what he said after she died- “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”

Newsies

  • The Newsies are a huge parallel to the Friends of the ABC. Just like them, share a brotherly love that makes them a family, have a cause they truly believe in and don’t give up till the end. I also love Jack’s intimate and special bond to Crutchie.

Lumiere and Cogworth

  • I don’t what it is, but there is something about Lumiere and Cogsworth that make them an interesting friendship. Is it because during most of the musical they are a talking candle and clock?

So, you see, love for friendships show up for a number of shows.

Love for Family

Fantine and Cosette

  • Fantine is the single mother of Cosette. Fantine’s storyline is the hardest to watch in Les Mis. She originally is working in Valjean’s factory. It soon is discovered that she has an illegitimate daughter- Cosette’s father abandoned both of them. Cosette is now living with an innkeeper and his wife (The Thenardiers). Her daughter was discovered through a letter, which was said that Cosette was deathly ill (little did she know the letter was a hoax). The other factory women pushed the foreman to fire her, and he did. She did not many options left to get money for Cosette. She had a strong love for Cosette- she had no choice, but to sell her hair, teeth, and to eventually become a prostitute. By living on the streets, she became deathly ill. She was doing everything out of love for Cosette and her only hope was that Cosette would have a better life. She eventually almost got arrested after defending herself- Valjean came to the rescue and sent to her the hospital. Even on her deathbed, she still was concerned about Cosette, and Valjean agreed to raise Cosette. This gave Fantine peace and comfort while she was dying.

Valjean and Cosette

  • Like I just said, Valjean became Cosette’s adopted father. Valjean did realize that Cosette was treated poorly by the people who were raising her. Cosette was the first person he loved since he was released from prison. He had to become a father in the most unexpected of ways. It was challenging to raise her due to being an ex-convict. I don’t blame him for how much he sheltered and protected Cosette. You can fully see his love for Cosette in act II. When he learned Marius, the one his adopted daughter loves, is one of the revolutionaries, he went to the barricades to make sure he survives.

Kim and Tam

  • Kim would protect Tam from any harm. She is a fighter for him. She wants him to a better life than the one in Vietnam. Tam’s father is Chris, and Chris is who Kim loves, and for a couple years Chris had no idea he fathered he has a sun. Chris did love Kim at one point. Miss Saigon is a tragic love story, and Kim is the main character. At the end, Kim sacrifices herself in order for Chris to take Tam back to America. That ending- Chris comes to a realization- he has always loved Kim, and more than Ellen; that was how I interpreted it in Feb.

Romance

Romance is believed to be the only type of love in musical theatre. But based on the other ones I mentioned, it is not. There is love for God, love for friends, and love for family- I can tell you there are others- just the three I mentioned tells you there are is there than romance. Romance is wide-ranged. The Disney couples to the complex couple to the love triangles (even those vary). All of the couples are different. Why is romance so common? For starters, it is an universal emotion. It also translates well to well, forms beautiful songs no matter what (whether a couple is singing it, if it is a breakup or unrequited love song, or if a couple is starting to develop feelings for each other). The main song is key to a couple- if the main song doesn’t impress me, the couple goes dull.

Advertisements

Favorite Musical Theatre Duets

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.

  1. As Long as Your’e Mine
  2. For Good
  3. Sixteen Going on Seventeen
  4. Something Good
  5. Heart Full of Love
  6. A Little Fall of Rain
  7. Come to Me
  8. Confrontation (Les Mis)
  9. Sun and Moon
  10. Last Night of the World
  11. Something to Believe In
  12. Santa Fe (Prologue)
  13. A Whole New World
  14. Light my Candle
  15. I Should Tell You
  16. What You Own
  17. I’ll Cover You
  18. Take Me or Leave Me
  19. No Matter What
  20. Phantom of the Opera
  21. All I Ask of You
  22. Till There Was You
  23. Twin Soliloquies: Wonder How it Feels
  24. Love Song
  25. Somewhere
  26. One Hand, One Heart
  27. Suddenly Seymour

“For Good” Analysis

Glinda and Elphaba during "For Good" at a production of Wicked

Major and Minor Spoilers:

“For Good” is one of my favorite duets. “For Good” is unique in for one way: 1) that it is sung by two women, and 2): that it is not dealing with romance, but instead about friendship. “For Good” is the most emotional song in Wicked. Yes, even more emotional than the heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl”. Friendship is center core in Wicked. The musical is truly about the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda. You never expect them to become the best of friends and change each others lives for the better. In the beginning, these two young women hated each other, and later became the best of friends. They do both fall in love with Fiyero, but they do not let a boy get in the way of their friendship, and that is why they do pursue him when each of them deal with unrequited love (yes, each of the girls at some point have unrequited love for Fiyero). I believe the love triangle in Wicked helps strengthen their friendship.

“For Good” helps show how much they meant to each other. It is so emotional. These two realize that they will never see each other again. Glinda is pretty much the only friend Elphaba has never had, and Elphaba is the only friend that truly mattered to Glinda. They helped make each other better people. My most recent Glinda (Amanda Jane Copper) and Elphaba (Mary Kate Morrissey) were so excellent that I was crying at “For Good”- in my opinion, you NEVER can have an excellent Elphaba without an excellent Glinda and you never can have an excellent Glinda without an excellent Elphaba. That sounds crazy, but “For Good” is the moment that is supposed to hit you the hardest. It is more emotional than “I’m Not That Girl”, and will always be.

What are your feelings on this song? Do you agree that it is the most emotional moment in the musical?

My Excitement About Frozen

Out of all musicals that have been coming out this year on Broadway, the one that excited me the most was Frozen. Yes, I am 24, but I love Disney musical. What is it about Frozen that appeal to me?

Well, I love songs from the move like “For the First Time in Forever”, “Let it Go” (yes not sick and tired of it)), “Love is an Open Door”, and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”. I have been listening to some of the new songs, and even those sound amazing. “Monster”, “What Do You Know About Love”, and “True Love” all sound amazing including all the other new songs I heard. What is fascinating about “Love is an Open Door” is that it is a love song, which has a hint of darkness found underneath it. I think the stage show of Frozen has a more emotional nature than the movie based on the new songs.

I have always loved the plot of Frozen. After all the fact that true love focuses on two sisters instead of two lovers makes it quite different. Disney in the past usually makes true love focus on two lovers. I always loved how it it is about Elsa and Anna’s relationship. I relate to Anna a lot: I have her outgoing personality, I am the youngest sibling and like Anna I do act before I think. I always loved how her relationship with Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf grows throughout the story.

I think it would be interesting to see how the musical could handle Elsa’s powers. If musicals know to handle spectacle, I know they can figure out her powers. I have seen magical powers on stage before. After all, I have seen Wicked and Elphaba has magical power. In so many ways, Frozen reminds me of Wicked. Glinda and Anna are both funny and outgoing. Both Elsa and Elphaba have powers they do not know how to control. The friendship Elphaba and Glinda have is similar to the sisterhood Anna and Elsa have. In so many ways, “Let it Go” reminds me directly of “Defying Gravity”. I think my love of Wicked is what drove me to Frozen so much.

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”.

images

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.

Love Musical Songs: Not Just Romance

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I decided to write a list of love musical songs. I did this kind of post on Sunday, but this time will have romantic song along with any sort of love. Once again, I will bring up unrequited love or breakup songs.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Santa Fe (Prologue)- this song highlights the intimate and special bond found between Jack and Crtuchie. It highlights their friendship really well and shows that they are best friends.

s9-zachary-sayle-crutchie-and-joey-barreiro-jack-kelly-adisney-photo-by-shane-gutierrez

Carrying the Banner (just any group number really)- Carrying the Banner really highlights the friendship and brotherly love all the Newsies have for each other. It is the first time you notice their bond. But than again any group number shows their relationship, but is the strongest when Jack is there since he is the leader of all the Newsies.

Unknown

Something to Believe In- this is the romantic duet between Jack and Katherine. There is just something beautiful song that just pulls you into and makes you love the two. They are perfect for one another. There is just something magical about Disney love songs.

unknown

For Good- this song is the most emotional song in Wicked. It really shows just how much Elphaba and Glinda mean to each other. It shows just how special their bond is. They are best friends who have changed each other for the better. The friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda is the very core of the musical.

unknown

As Long As Your’e Mine- this is the romantic song from the musical. Elphaba and Fiyero’s love for each other is unexpected. This song really shows just how much these two have matured. Elphaba had unrequited love for Fiyero at the beginning of act I and somehow ended up with Fiyero. In act II, Fiyero was able to notice that he does truly have romantic feelings for Elphaba.

images

I’m Not That Girl- This is an unrequited love song that Elphaba sings. She literally sings it right after finding out she is falling in love with Fiyero. She accepts her situation right away and I don’t blame her since Glinda is her best friend. Her love for Fiyero isn’t that strong at that point.

unknown

Suddenly- this is the original song from the movie of Les Misérables. It highlights Jean Valjean’s love for Cosette. This is the first time Jean Valjean has become a father. He never thought he would be a father. But when he had to become a father after her mother dies, he had no idea just how much impact Cosette will have in his life.

unknown-2

On My Own- this is the 2nd unrequited love song on this post. This is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius. Eponine’s continually shows true love towards Marius. She will risk her life several times to make sure Marius is safe and happy. On My Own highlights her life outside of Marius and just how strong her love for Marius is.

images-1

A Heart Full of Love- this song beautifully conveys the love triangle. It mostly is a duet between Marius and Cosette, but towards the end Eponine joins in making you want to feel for all three of them.

Drink With Me- I couldn’t decide what song best represents the students in Les Mis. They have this beautiful friendship. It reminds me of the friendship found between the Newsies. This in particular shows the vulnerable side of their relationship. They are just showing their love for each other in such a special way. By this point, they know they are going to fail and know they will most likely die and are wondering would their loved ones remember them. But there is something about this song that shows the vulnerable side of the students.

Unknown

A Little Fall of Rain- I wanted to somehow express the friendship found between Eponine and Marius. For whatever reason, Eponine’s death came to mind. It shows just how much Marius loves Eponine as a friend and shows that he does care about her. Eponine loves Marius unrequitedly and she recently took a bullet for him and that is why she is dying. But for whatever reason, this does highlight their friendship. Marius is extremely devastated in this scene, but still shows Eponine compassion by never leaving her side and stays brave for her. If Marius was never kind to her, Eponine’s life would be much darker and she never would have fallen in love with him. It is weird how I would pick this song in particular to represent their friendship, but for whatever reason it works.

1024x1024

All I Ask of You- this is such a gorgeous duet showing the love of Raoul and Christine perfectly. It shows how much they love each and how they are perfect for each other.

all-i-ask-of-you

All I Ask of You (Reprise)- Yes brought up another unrequited love song. This shows the unrequited love that Phantom has. It shows us how hurt he is, but he can’t seem to accept the situation. This song makes you feel sorry for him, but is not enough to forgive him for all the harm he has caused.

images

If I Can’t Love Her/Evermore- these two songs are very similar to each other. The Beast knows that if Belle doesn’t love her, he will be cursed to stay a beast forever. In If I Can’t Love Her, he has no idea if he will love Belle or not, but he has softened up but when he sings the song for a second time, he has already fallen in love with Belle but has no idea if Belle loves him. He has made the ultimate sacrifice by letting Belle go. Evermore is very similar to If I Can’t love her in many ways. It carries the same kind of heartbreak and proves that he does love Belle and will always keep him in his heart.

images

No Matter What- this highlights the love Belle and Maurice have for each other.

jillian-butterfield-as-belle-and-thomas-mothershed-as-maurice-in-disneys-beauty-and-the-beast-photo-by-matthew-murphy-1

Beauty and the Beast- this is the moment where you realize the two have fallen in love.

Unknown-1

Something There- this is when Beast and Belle start to notice they have feelings for each, but the two have no idea it will turn into them falling in love. But it is one of the first steps to the two fallen in love.

Unknown

Some Enchanted Evening- this is one of the most romantic numbers in musical theatre. Emelie is singing about his love for Nellie.

This Nearly Was Mine- at this point Nellie has broken in love with Emelie. So Emelie feels heartbroken. I feel like the emotions associated with breakup are similar to those found in unrequited love.

615KkQWSFML

Younger Than Springtime- as excepted, Rogers and Hammerstein musicals tend to have two romances. The second relationship in South Pacific is found between Liat and Joe Cable. The result ends up being tragic. But Younger Than Springtime highlights their love for each other. They accept each other, but little do they know it will eventually have tragic results.

Unknown

Something Good- this song is so beautiful and really shows the love the Captain and Maria have for each other.

Unknown

Sixteen Going on Seventeen- once again Rogers and Hammerstein go with the double couple route. This song is between Lisel and Rolf and shows their relationship.

Unknown-2

I Should Tell You- this is the moment where Roger is willing to be in a relationship with Mimi. He struggles with wanting to be in a relationship with Mimi due to what happened in his last relationship. But he finally wants to be in a relationship with Mimi. This song perfectly highlights their love for each other. While they may not be a perfect couple, they are a realistic couple. Both of these two have HIV, which makes their relationship difficult at times.

tn-1000_rent2

I’ll Cover You- just like Roger and Mimi, these two have HIV. But knowing they are both going to die, they make the most of their relationship.

collins1

Till There Was You- this song brings an emotional element into Music Man. Marian helps Harold Hill become a better person. They finally are able to express their love for each other in this song.

hqdefault

Can You Feel the Love Tonight- just like Something to Believe In and Beauty and the Beast, there is something magic about this love song that pulls you in.

tumblr_n0f8jodJA81rvj45mo2_r1_1280

A Whole New World- like already mentioned on this post, A Whole New World is another magical Disney love song.

images

Finale B- I had no clue how to express their friendship that well. But I feel like their friendship and bond can easily be shown during Finale B. Previously, Mimi had a near death experience and survived. But this song just highlights their bond in a beautiful way I believe.

maxresdefault

As Long As He Needs Me- this is an extremely heartbreaking song. Nancy is in love with Bill Sikes, which is not even close to a healthy relationship. Bill Sikes constantly abuses her, but she never leaves him. As long as Bill needs her, she will stay in a relationship with him. She continues to stand by his side no matter what. This song highlights her love for Bill even though it is too dangerous for her in stay in relationship with him.

images

Somewhere- yes, I don’t love West Side Story. But I do love Somewhere from the musical. As this musical continues the songs gets sadder and sadder. This is one of the most heartbreaking songs from the musical. After all, West Side Story is based off of Romeo and Juliet. This happens after Bernado and Riff are killed during a massive fight between both gangs. I just really love this song.

images

So here is wonderful list of what love is like in the musical world. Here showcases love for a friend, romantic love- including breakup and unrequited love song, and familial love. I wish I could have brought up other aspects of love, but couldn’t think of a song to represent it.

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. Sixteen Going on Seventeen
  19. Santa Fe (Prologue)
  20. Heart Full of Love
  21. All I Ask of You
  22. Love Song

What are some of your favorite musical duets?