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 wear.

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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?

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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 Glinda Actress

Next up in this series is my favorite actress who has played Glinda. My favorite Glinda is Amanda Jane Cooper. She was my Glinda at the same time I saw Mary Kate Morrissey as Elphaba. Amanda Jane Cooper was excellent as Glinda and you can see that shine throughout her performance.

Possible Spoilers:

She was hilarious in all of Glinda’s comical moments. She was able to show Glinda’s pain throughout act II. After all in act II, she has to listen to the public spreading rumors about her best friend, discovering that Fiyero does not love her, and having to say goodbye to Elphaba. So she is a character that has a lot of ups and downs in her life. Because both her and Mary Kate Morrissey were excellent, it makes “For Good” such a very powerful moment. That song made me cry last time I saw Wicked because both girls were excellent in their roles and I think had something to do with the fact that I was seeing it with my school, a school that has changed me for good.

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It is just a beautiful and powerful thing when you see Wicked and both Elphaba and Glinda are excellent. They both have to be so the friendship is truly shown because after all, the story revolves around their friendship. Because Mary Kate Morrissey and Amanda Jane Copper were both excellent in their roles, it makes their characters’ relationship so beautiful and powerful.

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.

Ranking Characters who Deal with Unrequited Love

For this post, I am going to take a small break from favorite couples. This time I will be grading characters based upon unrequited love situations. These unrequited love situations come from Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Wicked. Criteria has to do with response, acceptance and their unrequited love song if they have one.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Phantom- F

Acceptance: He never accepts the unrequited love at all, which is part of why he gets that F.

Response: He deals with it in both anger and revenge. He does not show true love towards Christine. After realizing that both Christine and Raoul love each other, he seeks revenge. He plans to kill Raoul so his response is very poor. In the end, he makes Christine choose between staying with him or killing Raoul. But does let Christine and Raoul go, but letting them leave does not excuse the rest of actions when he responds to unrequited love. So due with how extreme he poorly deals with unrequited love gives him a F.

Unrequited Love Song: All I Ask of You (reprise). Yes, you can feel bad for the Phantom in this song, but not enough to get him higher than a F ranking.

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Nessa- D

Acceptance: does not accept it either

Response: her response is a bit better than Phantom’s, but is still poor. She falls in love with Boq during “Dancing Through Life”, but doesn’t realize Boq’s feelings for Glinda. So it isn’t until act II when she figures that out. Responds by imprisoning all the Munchkins so Boq is not allowed to leave. But right after realizing his feelings for Glinda, she tries to use the Grimmarie to cast a spell on him to get to him to stay, but things go wrong. That scene happens when Elphaba is there. Her spell caused his heart to shrink so all Elphaba could do is turn him into tin. Her response is poor, but more on a D level.

Unrequited Love Song: doesn’t have one

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Boq- B

Acceptance: yes, he accepts that Glinda doesn’t love him

Response: the problem is it is hard to know how he responds. He appears to stay faithful towards Glinda. For whatever reason it is harder to tell how he responds compared to Nessa. But he responds in a better way. He just gets a B due to it being hard to figure out how he responds in the first place.

Unrequited Love Song: doesn’t have one

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Glinda- A-

Acceptance: yes she does, but unexpected

Response: she responds by not stealing him back. I don’t blame her since Elphaba is her best friend. That goes to show how far Elphaba and Glinda will go to keep friendship alive. Yes, she originally responds by telling the Wizard and others that to arrest Elphaba the best way is to use Elphaba’s sister, but to me that is not a factor into how she responds. She still doesn’t steal Fiyero away from Elphaba.

Unrequited Love Song: “I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)”, well this song is quite unexpected. It is so short so it is hard to feel for her situation. But it allows you to realize that she does accept the situation, but is hard to feel the unrequited love song since it only is four or so lines.

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Elphaba- A

Acceptance: yes she does rather quickly

Response: responds very similar to Glinda. She chooses to not pursue Fiyero since Glinda is in a relationship with him. So with Elphaba, it shows just how far the two girls will go to keep friendship. Due to that level of loyalty, it makes since that Elphaba gets an A in the first place.

Unrequited Love Song: “I’m Not That Girl”. Elphaba gets the full “I’m Not That Girl” so you feel Elphaba’s unrequited love stronger than Glinda’s. She even accepts the situation right after realizing she is falling in love with Fiyero. She even admits she is not good enough for Fiyero since she is green.

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Eponine- A+

Acceptance: yes she does

Response: she stays loyal towards Marius and loves him so strongly that she responds by true love. She makes sure that Marius stays safe and happy. So she helps him find Cosette. She risks her life several times to do everything she does for Marius. At one point, she screams to protect Marius when her father and his gang try to rob Valjean’s house. At the time, Marius and Cosette were with each other. Even though it is her family she goes against, she cannot bear to see Marius hurt.

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She decides to go the barricade to make sure Marius stays safe. She does another favor for him when Marius sends her away with a letter to Cosette, but Marius does it to protect her. But she goes back and when Marius is about to get shot, Eponine takes the bullet herself. So up until her death, she makes sure Marius is safe and happy. She is able to die in the arms of Marius. Despite being a Thenardier and living in extreme poverty and dealing with unrequited love, she shows true love towards Marius.

Unrequited Love Song: “On My Own”. Of all the unrequited love songs on this list, “On My Own” is the strongest. That goes to show how deep and strong Eponine love for Marius is. It gives you an idea of what her life is like outside of Marius. Through lyrics like “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to” and “a world thats full of happiness that I have never known”, you know her life is quite dark. It goes to show that she gets through the day by imagining that Marius loves her. She is constantly beaten at home and is forced to participate in her family’s schemes. It shows that she will always love Marius no matter what. Due to this song, it helped me realize “I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song.

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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.