Coming off of yesterday’s post about what makes me love a friendship in a musical, there are love songs connected to friendship. Is there an ultimate song about friendship?
I believe there is, and I think it is “For Good”, the one found between Elphaba and Glinda. Wicked is NOT about Elphaba, but it is actually about Elphaba and Glinda. It is about their friendship. Their friendship is powerful and beautiful, and the two of them are best friends. “For Good” is the most emotional song in the musical- before this song, the two have realized that this is the last moment they will ever see each other and have realized how much they have changed each other. Glinda was Elphaba’s only friend and Elphaba was the only friend that truly mattered to Glinda.
Their bond is so strong that they do not let a boy in the way of their friendship- I believe that is why there is a love triangle in the first place: it strengthens their friendship and shows their loyalty to each other. They each deal with unrequited love for Fiyero, but do not pursue him or steal him away from each other. I think the unrequited shift is important in that way.
As “For Good” says- “I have been changed for good”. It truly is the ultimate song about friendship. It easily is a tearjerker especially if you get an brilliant Elphaba and a brilliant Glinda- my last Elphaba (Standby Mary Kate Morrissey) and Glinda (Amanda Jane Copper) were like that- they are my favorite Elphaba and Glinda.
As a continuation of yesterday’s post, I decided to make a list of musical theatre songs that are connected to friendship. Friendship is one of the types of love that seems to be overlooked. Even some of the friendships are underrated, in my opinion. Some of them may not seem like they are related to friendship, but in my eyes they are.
One of the composers I have seen more one musical belongs to Stephen Schwartz. He is a successful composer, and today I decided to write my thoughts on his musicals- as in the ones I love. They will be in a particular order- as in I will end on my favorite musical that he did. I loved all three of the musicals I am about to mention.
I loved Godspell ever since I started college. Godspell was my first musical I saw at Central Piedmont Community College. What I remember most about that production belonged to some of the costumes. As a matter of fact, I did see three of the actors in future productions at CPCC. I did love Godspell- my parents did know I will love Godspell.
I have loved Pippin since May 2015. I have wanted to see Pippin since I heard “Corner of the Sky”. I quickly fell in love with the song- that song told me a lot of what the musical was about. When I heard it won a Tony Award for Revival, I watched a preview, and wanted to see it even more. A spectacle- based, and a song I loved a lot. Too strong reasons for wanting to see Pippin. Pippin makes you fall in love with it very quickly- that is what “Magic to Do” allows you to do. The revival feels like you are in a circus. The Leading Player is an intriguing antagonist, and she does trick both the audience and Pippin
Of all Stephen Schwartz’ musicals, it is the easiest for me to explain why I love Wicked. It is a story of two strong and complex young women who form a special and beautiful bond. That is rare in a musical to see that kind of friendship. On top of that complex friendship- you also come across an extremely complex love triangle. This is a musical where the friendship is much stronger than romance. As Wicked says- “I have been changed for good”. That is what Wicked did for me.
The songs in his musicals are both energetic and emotional. That is the type of music I want in a musical. At the same time, I want all the songs to sound like they all belong in the same musical- does that make sense?
There are various types of relationships in musicals. It is mistaken that the main type of relationship is romance- but that is not TRUE. Something equally as strong as romance is friendship. In terms of romance- it can either exist in the form of a couple or the form of a love triangle. What is my favorite friendship and love triangle?
Coincidently, my FAVORITE friendship and love triangle is found in the same musical. Both of them are also complex. Which musical am I talking about. My favorite friendship and love triangle are BOTH in Wicked. Wicked’s storyline revolves around a powerful, strong, and beautiful friendship. Let me talk about both of them down below.
Glinda x Fiyero x Elphaba
The love triangle in Wicked revolves around Glinda, Fiyero, and Elphaba. It is not an easy one to understand. It does make you ask a lot of questions. In the beginning, Glinda and Fiyero are a couple leaving Elphaba with unrequited love- later Fiyero leaves Glinda for Elphaba. So, this love triangle has an unrequited love shift. It isn’t straightforward. You want to understand why the plot twist happens.
When you first meet Fiyero, he is a jerk. In that moment, you can tell that Elphaba can’t stand him. You don’t think that she will fall in love with him. It is that moment where it is Glinda and Fiyero. You are not expecting a love triangle to happen. Then in class, when Elphaba sees a scared lion cub in a cage, out of anger, she accidentally casts a spell on the class- but for whatever reason it didn’t affect Fiyero.
The Lion Cub Scene- now, this moment is essential to understanding the plot twist in the love triangle. Fiyero and Elphaba have ran away to help free the lion cub, and if you pay close attention, there are clues- look at the words they are saying and how they they are interacting with each other. It actually looks as if Fiyero does have a crush on Elphaba, but deep down doesn’t seem fully aware of it, and even Elphaba can’t pick up on the crush Fiyero has for her. When Fiyero finally asks, why the spell didn’t affect him, it is that moment when she realizes that she is falling in love with him. In this entire scene- you can tell that he has softened up. “I’m Not That Girl” is actually the first song of the love triangle. Even after this scene, Fiyero can’t stop thinking of this moment- once again another clue.
Another thing I noticed is that Fiyero does have stronger chemistry with Elphaba and a weaker chemistry with Glinda. He defiantly has a crush on Elphaba during his time at Shiz. I really don’t think he is fully aware of it. There still is always something to pick up on- when it comes to Fiyero. Elphaba makes the decision to not pursue Fiyero. In act II, it took hearing rumors spread about Elphaba for Fiyero to realize his true feelings for her. Now, Glinda has unrequited love for Elphaba- that is why there is reprise of “I’m Not That Girl”. She made the same decision Elphaba made- to not steal him away. Elphaba and Fiyero are a more strong and mature couple- they do protect each other- “As Long as Your’e Mine” does show how mature their love for each other. It is their actions after that shows a lot more- Fiyero protected Elphaba from being arrested and Elphaba tried spell after spell after spell to protect Fiyero from getting hurt.
That love triangle makes you question a lot of things. Why the plot twist? Did Fiyero previously have a crush for Elphaba? If so, was he aware of it, or not? Etc. There is a lot to be explored- Fiyero throws a huge curveball into the equation. That is part of what makes him complex- his role in the love triangle. Not only does the love triangle make you question things, I believe it develops in the same way the characters do. It doesn’t fully mature until the characters do- is it me or do others see that way? Wicked’s love triangle is the first one I emotionally bonded with.
Elphaba x Glinda
My favorite friendship is found between Elphaba and Glinda. Both of them are strong, powerful, and complex young women. Wicked is mostly about their friendship- it is beautifully expressed in the song, “For Good”.
When you first meet them, they are extremely reluctant roommates. They hate each other. You do not think they will bond or even become friends. It took a long time till they even became friends. It wasn’t until a school dance that they bonded- they did something for each other there. Elphaba got Glinda into the sorcery program. What the most beautiful thing was that Glinda made Elphaba’s silly dance into something beautiful and magical. For the first time, Elphaba felt accepted. They finally became friends when they went back to their dorm room that night.
Back to the love triangle. Yes, they both loved Fiyero- at some point, they did have unrequited love for him. They still wouldn’t let a boy get in the way of their friendship. There is a reason why Elphaba didn’t pursue Fiyero when Glinda was in relationship with him. She didn’t want to break up her friendship with Glinda. Glinda, when she later had unrequited love for Fiyero, didn’t steal him away from her best friend. That was how they both responded to their unrequited love. I think this love triangle helped strengthen their friendship.
“For Good”- this song explains everything. It is about how much they mean to each other and how they have changed each others lives for the better. It is a very emotional song and it is bittersweet. It is the last time they will ever see each other. It is the most emotional song in the musical. Elphaba had one friend, and Glinda had so many friends, but only one truly mattered. They made each other better people.
Surrounding yesterday’s post, I decided to write a post about the musical theatre friendships. They even can include songs before the characters become friends in the first place. SPOILER HEAVY.
What is this Feeling
Yes, in this song, Elphaba and Glinda literally hate each other in this number. You do not think they will become friends at all. This is where it all begins- as enemies.
This is Glinda’s solo. In “Dancing Through Life”, the song previously, Elphaba and Glinda finally bonded through each other. Elphaba literally went to the school dance, and did dance silly, and out of that, Glinda made something magical out of that. “Popular” is when Glinda and Elphaba finally have become friends in the first place.
One Short Day
This is when Glinda and Elphaba visit Emerald City for the day. They are finally best friends in this number. I still count this a best friend number- even though it mainly is a day out number- still Elphaba and Glinda are together in this number.
This song is truly about the importance of friendship. It is about what Elphaba and Glinda mean to each other and how they have changed each others lives for the better. It still is bittersweet because they know it is the last moment they will see each other.
Santa Fe (Prologue)
This song is a duet between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. It highlights the special and beautiful bond between both of them. They are best friend- out of all the Newsies, Crutchie is the most vulnerable. Jack looks out for him the most. I love the two of them the most out of all the Newsies.
Carrying the Banner: plus all of the group Newsies numbers
All of the group Newsies number highlight the brotherly love they have for each other. Carrying the Banner, in particular, shows that since it is the first number you see them together. The World Will Know is when they develop their union. Seize the Day is when they begin their strike. Those three are in act I. King of New York is when they are in the newspaper for the first time and Once and For All is when they print their own paper and makes it more public. All of them- shows their brotherly love for each other.
Red and Black
In many ways, the Friends of the ABC are like the Newsies. Yes, you first meet some of them in Look Down, but you first see them as a whole group in Red and Black. Red and Black is when they start planning the uprising- Enjolras is their leader. You begin to see their brotherly love and passion in this number.
Do You Hear the People Sing
Yes, back to Enjolras and the students. Now, you defiantly know their passion. It is strongly shown through this number.
Drink With Me
This shows a more vulnerable side to Enjolras and the students. By this point, they know they most likely will fail and will lose their lives. They wonder if those they love will miss them. It is their last intimate moment they have with each other- the result is all of them do die in the end except for Marius.
A Little Fall of Rain
I wanted to somehow express the friendship between Eponine and Marius. It is “A Little Fall of Rain” that come to mind. It takes place at the barricade. Eponine sacrificed her life for Marius. She is in the arms of Marius- that is why this scene is bittersweet. She may be dying, but at least she is in the arms of the young man she loves. This in so many ways is the happiest moment of her life. Marius is devastated during this scene, but I am glad he is there. All that mattered to Eponine in this moment is that he was with her.
I have talked about my favorite friendships in musicals and my favorite friendships in literature. I thought about doing a post where I combined all of those different friendships. Musicals in so many ways are like literature- they have character, plot, and setting: they just add dance and song to all of that to make something more powerful and emotional. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
Frodo and Sam
Would Frodo have made it without Sam? Frodo wanted to do the quest alone after the end of Fellowship, but Sam wouldn’t allow it. He stayed loyal to Frodo to the end. He was always there- whether that meant rescuing Frodo or carrying him. He was that loyal companion. The Ring easily corrupts and weakens the ring bearer, which gets heavier as you get closer to Mordor- that is why Frodo wouldn’t have made it without Sam.
Merry and Pippin
They are best friends, and at the same time troublemakers. You might be thinking what on earth are they doing on this quest? Why are they there if they always are causing the group trouble? You eventually find out- they have a reason. Of everyone in the books, it is the four hobbits- Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin that I am attached to the most.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione
Would Harry have defeated Voldemort without his two best friends, and would the series be the same if the trio never existed? Just like Sam, Ron and Hermione are loyal to Harry. In the last book, Harry wanted to look for those Horcouxes alone, but his two best friends wouldn’t allow it. In all of the books- they ended up having to go on some mission, which meant breaking a lot of school rules. He needed the two of them to defeat Voldemort. Those Horcoucxes are a lot like that one ring- the difference is there is no way of knowing where they are and they would be anything. Harry couldn’t have found them alone- it would be impossible.
Nicholas and Smike
One of the things I about the most about Nicholas Nickleby is all of the compassion he has. He especially showed it towards Smike. Smike is someone who wasn’t shown much compassion. At the school he was working, he did defend Smike, which later caused Smike to follow Nicholas after Nicholas quit that awful school. For the rest of the book, the two of them stayed together- Nicholas was there even at Smike’s death. These two are my favorite characters from Nicholas Nickleby.
Friends of the ABC
This is an overlapping literature and musical theatre friendship I love. That means it is in both versions of Les Misérables- the book and the musical. The difference between both versions is that in the book you get to know them as individuals, and in the musical, you only get to Enjolras as an individual and the rest as a group. The other difference is that in the musical, Marius is close to the students (which doesn’t exist in the book).
This group is a political group led by Enjolras, the most passionate member. They are like a group of brothers, and in so many ways a family. They are planning an uprising due to the weak government. They have high hopes for the cause they believe in. I do love how they take in Gavroche, who is Eponine’s brother.
Eponine and Marius
This friendship in Les Mis in only in the musical, not the book. Eponine is in love with Marius, the only person who showed her kindness and the only good thing in her life. However, Marius is unaware that she loves him. They are close friends and Marius is aware that her life isn’t easy. He does treat her fairly. I love that he is in her life- she needed that.
In “A Little Fall of Rain”, you can see how much he valued her friendship. Marius was worried about Eponine- that was why at the beginning of act II, he sent her away from the barricade because he was hoping it would protect her from getting hurt or worse killed from the uprising. However, she did return and got shot, which would turn out to be fatal. There was a reason why he asked: why she came back: he was worried about her safety, and when she collapsed, he released she was shot, and that she was dying. He was devastated, but despite how he felt, he decided to be there for her by holding and comforting during that moment. This scene in particular says a lot: it shows how compassionate Marius is, that he did value their friendship (after all, he was devastated), and he did realize that she did love him. It is a bittersweet scene: all that mattered to her was that he was there: more than the physical pain she was in: she was happy for once. The words he said after she died were “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”- those words were how I knew that Marius knew that she lived a tough life, but at least he was part of it.
The Newsies remind me so much of Enjolras and the students in Les Mis. They have a brotherly love for each other, and they are like family. They have a cause (the strike) they truly believe in, and never give up no matter what. Jack Kelly is their leader.
On a side note: I love the beautiful bond found between Jack and Crutchie. Cruthcie is the most vulnerable Newsie due to his bum leg, and Jack is his best friend. There is something amazing about their bond.
Lumiere and Cogsworth
Is it weird that I love a friendship between a talking candle and talking clock? There is just something about them that I find appealing in terms of their friendship.
Elphaba and Glinda
The ultimate friendship, as in my favorite friendship in musical theatre, is the one found between Elphaba and Glinda. It is a beautiful, powerful, and special bond found between two complex and strong young women- they did start out as enemies and later became best friends. They don’t let a boy get in the way of their friendship- they do both fall in love with Fiyero. Both of them do end up with unrequited love for him at some point: but they end up not stealing him away from each other. The song, “For Good”, is the most emotional song in Wicked and talks about how they have changed each others lives for the better and how they have made me each other better people.
Jud x Laurey x Curly- I believe this is one of the weak love triangles. It is only easy to tell that Laurey and Curly are in it. So Oklahoma does make it difficult to know there is even a love triangle in the main romance to begin with.
Ali Hakim x Ado Annie x Will Parker – Oklahoma has a 2nd love triangle, which is not as serious as the main one, but is still weak. Just like the first one, you can only pick up on Ado Annie and Will being in it.
Gaston x Belle x Beast- Now, things are much stronger. I never thought about Beauty and the Beast having a love triangle. I just thought it was only a romance between Belle and Beast.
Ellen x Chris x Kim- Now, we defiantly know there is a love triangle. When I first saw Miss Saigon, which was in Feb., I didn’t want Ellen in the picture. I didn’t want Kim and Chris’s relationship to become tragic- it all had to do with my actor and actress. At the end of the musical, I could tell that Chris always loved Kim- even more than Ellen. His reaction to Kim’s death told me that- that cry was heartbreaking.
Phantom x Christine x Raoul- I am one of those Christine and Raoul fans. I do feel for all three of the characters. However, I do not like how Phantom responds to his unrequited love- he does not accept or cope with it. Christine and Raoul are meant to be with other.
Eponine x Marius x Cosette- I also love this love triangle. I love Marius and Cosette. They are so adorable together and help bring hope to the tragedy. Cosette represents hope and light- so it makes sense why she ends up with Marius. These two are my favorite survivors= in particular Marius. Cosette and Eponine are mirrors= Cosette goes from bad to good and Eponine goes from good to bad.
Eponine is my favorite character in the love triangle. I love her strength, bravery, and loyalty to Marius. She may be a Thenardier, but she still has some kind of goodness inside of her. She risks her life several times all because of the deep and strong love for Marius. It may be unrequited, but he is all she has. He is the only person who has shown her kindness. He is the only good thing in her life. Even though she dies at the end, I love how Marius is there.
Look, some people will say the love triangle is silly, some people say Marius should have ended up with Eponine, and some say that Marius is a jerk- I disagree on all of that. Les Mis is so carefully planned out that if you get rid of ONE thing, the entire story falls apart. That is why it is not silly and that is why Marius needed to end up with Cosette. Marius is not a jerk- I have seen him as a brave, compassionate, sweet, kind, and awkward young man. If he wasn’t brave, he wouldn’t have been a revolutionary and gone to fight at the barricade. If he wasn’t kind, Eponine NEVER would have fallen in love with him. If he wasn’t compassionate, he never would have made the decision to stay with Eponine during her death scene=yes, he was devastated, but he stayed with her- that is compassion.
Glinda x Fiyero x Elphaba- Why do you think I put them last? They are my favorite love triangle. This love triangle is the one I emotionally bonded with first, and where I first discovered the concept. It also is the most complex one I discovered. All three characters are complex- yes, all three of complex even though some would say only Glinda and Elphaba are complex. Fiyero is complex as well- his development and his role in the love triangle are why he is a complex character. Unrequited love: well, both Elphaba and Glinda end up with in this love triangle, and they respond by not stealing him away from their best friend. So, the love triangle shows they will not let a boy get in the way of their friendship.
What are other musical theatre love triangles you can think of?