Confusing Parts About a Musical

While I get older, the world of musicals gets quite complicated. In this post, I will talk about of the most confusing parts that exist in the world. I will even include the confusing parts that happened to me as the musical journey continued.

First thing is loving a character and having no clue why. That has happened and it would be nice to know why I love them in the first place. Fiyero is a character that has been part of my life since 2006. I have loved him for quite a while, but honestly cannot pinpoint exactly why I love him. When you first meet him, he doesn’t care much for school and he appears to be quite rude. He ends up part of a love triangle in Wicked complete with Elphaba and Glinda. I cannot believe I have loved him for so long, but cannot seem to analyze him so I feel there is still a lot to discover about him since sometimes I feel like I still don’t know him that well.

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There have been characters where I used to not be able to pinpoint why I loved them, but eventually discovered why I loved them and one of those characters is Eponine Thenardier. The second time I saw the movie musical of Les Mis, I noticed I loved the character of Eponine and that time I could not pinpoint why I fell in love with her. But over time as I got to know her more and more, I finally understood why I love Eponine. I love her due to her complexity, bravery, loyalty, and loving nature. Too bad I still cannot pinpoint why I love Fiyero because he has been part of my life much longer than Eponine has been part of my life.

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The second confusing part about the world of musicals is love triangles or anything around that nature. No matter what happens, you cannot satisfy every single character in a love triangle because one will always end up with unrequited love. Unrequited love probably is the most complicated part about a love triangle and it is complicated that two characters love the exact same person because in a love triangle it can consist of either two boys loving one girl or consisting of two girls and one boy. The ones I am referring to are the ones from “Phantom of the Opera”, “Les Mis”, and “Wicked”.

The love triangle that is the hardest to understand is the “Phantom of the Opera” love triangle even though it isn’t the most complex love triangle. The most complex love triangle belongs to “Wicked”, but I grasp that one better than “The Phantom of the Opera” love triangle due to how well I personally relate and connect to Elphaba.

The “Wicked” love triangle was my first exposure to them. I always knew “I’m Not That Girl” was a sad song. I was only in middle school when I first saw Wicked and in a lot of ways, I still feel like that 12 year old whenever I see the musical. By high school, I already understood the complexity and emotional side of musicals. I knew “Wicked” was home to a love triangle. In high school, I knew that love triangles provide an interesting emotional texture.

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However through the “Les Mis” love triangle”, I realized I didn’t fully understand love triangles. Through “On My Own”, I discovered that unrequited love is heartbreaking, which changed my perspective on love triangles. I cannot believe I am confessing this, but it took at least a year until I understood that “On My Own” was heartbreaking. “On My Own” was key to understanding that “I’m Not That Girl” was not just a sad song like I once believed, but heartbreaking. I think a big reason why “On My Own” helped me understand love triangles more is because no one in Wicked’s love triangle has a story that revolves around unrequited love.

But in “Les Mis”, one of the character’s stories revolves around unrequited love. “Les Mis” has Eponine. Eponine has to spend her entire storyline having to struggle with the fact that Marius is not going to love her back. The song, “On My Own”, is much stronger and more powerful than “I’m Not That Girl”. At the moment literally before “I’m Not That Girl”, Elphaba just found out moments before that she loved Fiyero so there isn’t room for the song to be fully heartbreaking. Love triangles are quite difficult to understand and can take quite a long time to understand. Of all love triangles, it is the “Les Mis” one that I have grasped the best, which was key to understanding the “Wicked” one even though the “Les Mis” one is less complex.

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But in Eponine’s case, “On My Own” is much stronger because Eponine’s love for Marius is stronger than Elphaba’s love for Fiyero. In Eponine’s situation, Eponine loves Marius so much because he is the only person in her life who shows her kindness. But after Marius fell in love with Cosette, Eponine shows true love towards him. By the time “On My Own” happens, you already know how much Eponine loves Marius. So it took a more serious and stronger form of unrequited love to understand unrequited love from a less extreme form of unrequited love. “Wicked” would be the less extreme example of unrequited love, but the crazy thing is that the “Wicked” love triangle is even more complex thanks to a plot twist that happens.

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This is a third confusing part about musicals, which happened to me in 2012. Growing up, I was the person who believed all musicals were happy because it was all I had known. I didn’t realize that what I believed was not true. In 2012, my parents took my sister and I to see the movie of Les Mis in December of 2012. After the first death, it hit me that Les Mis is a tragedy and I didn’t even know how to respond and I was so shocked and confused. I was thinking “wait a second, Les Mis is a tragedy” and “musicals are not supposed to be tragic”. By the end, I had no idea if I liked it or not, but must have been moved by it due to just researching it over time.

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So over time, I learned to see beyond the heartbreak in Les Mis. I decided to research why the ending makes me feel uplifted. I realized that the story is about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice and redemption. I soon learned that even though Les Mis is a tragedy, it fits nicely into the world of musicals because musicals are known to be emotional. Les Mis taught me that heartbreak is a musical emotions so it was helpful that I learned that sad was a common emotion through the happy musicals. Tragedies no longer are confusing to me in the world of musicals and seeing musical through the eyes of them made it easier to spot negative emotions in new musicals.

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The fourth confusing bit about musicals belong to the emotions. The musical emotions are so complicated because there are so many layers and each musical has a different emotional nature. Even your love for a musical shapes what the emotional nature is. If you don’t love a musical, it is a bit difficult to feel the emotional nature that naturally beings to a musical. There are five main musical emotions, which are excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak.

The negative emotions have been going through drastic changes lately. The negative emotions are the ones that do not grow as quickly as the positive emotions and they are weaker than the positive emotions. That is due to the fact that the negative emotions are not in every single musical and there also has to be appreciation of the songs that are home to the negative emotions where they are strong enough to create an impact. It is a bit hard to fully appreciate and even invest in them if you do not like either the show you saw them in or if you have a hard time falling in love with characters or the same thing in the plot as well. Due to heartbreak being in the mix, it makes the negative emotions really hard to describe.

From musicals like “Music Man” and “Singing in the Rain”  to musicals like “Les Mis”, that is a wide range of emotions. “Music Man” and “Singing in the Rain” are mainly home to positive emotions because those two shows don’t have enough complexity or conflict to be home to the negative emotions in the score.

But when would you say the negative emotions truly begin in musicals? I would say maybe a show like “Sound of Music”. Not everyone can strongly feel its complexity or even its negative emotions either. But two years ago when I saw “Sound of Music” live, I remember during “Edelweiss” feeling sad at one point, which happened at a very odd point in the song. It happened in between the time when the Captain stopped signing and when the children began. I teared up for the rest of it. So in a way, a show like “Sound of Music” is where I would say the negative emotions begin.

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So far, the strongest point of sad has been “Les Mis” and I don’t think that is ever going to change. “Les Mis” is quite a powerful musical and has taught me that I didn’t fully grasp the negative emotions up. All I realized growing up was that I was just beginning to understand musical emotions. At one point in my “Les Mis” journey, I was surprised that some musical songs happen while a character is dying like “A Little Fall of Rain” or “Come to Me”. Of all musicals, “Les Mis” seems like it is home to the most musical emotions.

So understanding musical emotions is very complicated. Each musical has a different emotional nature. The negative emotions are home to a wonderful blend of complexity, vulnerability, and fragility. The sad and heartbreaking songs tend to be some of the most beautiful musical songs in existence like “On My Own”, “This Nearly Was Mine”, “I Dreamed a Dram”,  “Your Eyes”, “Somewhere”, etc are all beautiful songs and it is very easy to appreciate loving feeling the negative emotions if you fall in love with the sad songs.

So far, of all the musicals I love, “Wicked”, “South Pacific”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Man of La Mancha”, “Sound of Music”, “Newsies”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Rent”, and “Les Mis” are all home to positive and negative emotions when it comes to the score. What is crazy about this list is that only one of those is not home to heartbreak, but only sad it seems. In a lot of ways, the negative emotions are more complicated than the positive emotions. The positive emotions are very easy to fall in love with, but the negative emotions are much harder to fall in love with because the negative emotions hurt and there are so many levels of the negative emotions in existence.

“Les Mis” showed me that the negative emotions have a lot of potential in them. Growing up, I have never been able to notice the tiny details of negative emotions and I never spent my time analyzing them. I feel like musical emotions will keep on getting more and more complex over the years due the fact that I will continue getting older with new life experiences and new shows will continue entering my life. But I love the complexity that show up in musicals because it shows I have a bigger understanding of what a musical is capable of. I know I talked a lot about musical emotions, but in a way, musical emotions are the most confusing part about a musical.

 

 

Letter to Cosette, Marius, and Eponine

Dear Cosette, Marius, and Eponine,

You three are part of one of my favorite sub-plots in Les Mis. Your youthful love triangle bring wonderful texture and emotion to the story. Many fans have called this love triangle silly, but in my opinion it most certainly is not.

Marius, I cannot believe I am telling you this, but many people have actually called you a jerk for the most absurd of reasons. They only say that because you were oblivious to Eponine’s love of you. Well, I honestly don’t believe that at all. You are such a sweet, kind, and compassionate person. You actually never appeared to be a jerk to Eponine and people have called you a jerk since you always rely on Eponine to help you end up with Cosette. Well, one reason why you never knew Eponine loved you is that she never told you. By the way, I am so glad you were kind and nice to Eponine. She deserves it because of how dark and empty her life is. You were very aware of how sad and miserable her life was.

Cosette, I love what you represent in the story. You are the light and hope in this tragic tale. You started out with a horrible life due to being abused by the Thenardiers when you were younger. But it slowly improved over time thanks to being rescued by Jean Valjean, your adopted father. By the way, your mother, Fantine, loved you very much and Valjean fulfilled his promise to Fantine by raising you as his own. I believe you and Marius make a wonderful couple despite what I have heard others say. People seem to forget your importance to Les Mis. I know you are one of the lesser developed characters, but you are still a wonderful character.

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Eponine, you are such a special person. I know your life started out well with you appearing to be loved by her parents. But when you and Cosette got older, the tables got turned and you ended up being abused by your parents. They even raised you to be a criminal. I cannot believe you hardly had any good things happen in your life. You were never around good people in your life. Your life became even worse than ever before. You did find some source of light through Marius, the only person who ever showed you kindness. That is why you love him and despite your love for him becoming unrequited, it is wonderful you would do anything for Marius. I know this sounds crazy, but for plot purposes, it is fascinating to me that your life and Cosette’s life literally swapped places. I honestly wish your life was better and that you had a better family life.

Through all three of you, the emotions are very conflicting as a matter of fact. Marius, when you and Cosette first bump into each other, I cannot help but feel for all three of you. The same pattern happens towards the end of “A Heart Full of Love” when that duet becomes a trio. So the love triangle is developed nicely. It is important to the plot of Les Mis because love is one of the key themes in Les Mis. It shows love in several forms, which is why it is fitting Les Mis is home to this youthful love triangle.

Musicals Representing You

As many know I am a massive musical fan. I do feel like the meaningful musicals of my life represent who I am. Trying to describe the reason why I believe that way is like untangling a ball of yarn or trying to find a needle in a haystack. The meaningful musicals in a way show what kinds of things you are literally drawn to. The emotional connection is what makes you drawn to the characters, songs, and plot lines.

Some of the meaningful musicals have aspects that I actually relate to. In Wicked for instance, I have a very personal relationship with Elphaba. I see a lot of myself in Elphaba. That is one why in which Wicked represents who I am. It even shows I am drawn to stories about a strong friendship. In this musical, I am also drawn to a love triangle, which is so fascinating and adds even more texture. This musical does show that I am drawn more to complex plots compared to simple plots. Wicked shows I am also drawn to spectacle and dance-natured musicals and shows I love fantasy worlds.

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Than there is Rent. That musical in a lot of ways does represent who I am. It shows how accepting I am. It shows I love a feeling of community and shows that I love life. It shows that I love having a close knit group of friends.

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Of course, there is Les Mis. It took me a while to know why I was emotionally drawn to it. The first time with the movie, I didn’t even know how to respond due to being shocked and confused due to realizing it was a tragedy while watching it. The second round, I knew there was something special about Les Mis. I really wanted to know why it makes me feel uplifted. One thing in this musical that describes me is that I have a deep connection to those living in poverty and Les Mis is clearly focused on that community.

Les Mis also shows that I tend to be drawn to complex plots. Just like Wicked, I am drawn to a love triangle as well. The love triangle in Les Mis adds an amazing texture and emotional nature to the show. I am even drawn to Valjean’s journey to redemption of becoming a better person and continuing to grow in spirit. Even the uprising is something I am drawn to especially due to the relationship found between all the different students and their passion.

The musical shows that I am drawn to things that are connected to spirituality. I have a strong spirit and Les Mis is home to this incredible underlying spirituality. The spirituality is what I am emotionally connected to and why I am not sick and tired of the musical by now. If the spirituality was never discovered, than the show would feel too depressing.

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I even love Beauty and the Beast and that one is meaningful as well. Each of the musicals I have said so far seem have a romantic aspect. When I saw the 2017 movie version of Beauty and the Beast,  I realized that I am a lot like Belle. I am a bit of a bookworm and am quite different. I don’t tend to judge beauty from the outside, but from the inside. Belle learns that through the Beast. It shows I am someone who loves Disney. I feel like romance in Disney shows some magic especially because of young couples.

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Even in the case of Annie, it shows I am an optimistic person. It even shows I am a caring person as well. Annie takes in a stray dog and adopts him and cares about Molly.

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Another meaningful musical is Newsies. This is another Disney musical. It shows I am someone who tends to love dance in a musical. I am emotionally drawn to all of the Newsies due to their relationship. It shows I tend to be drawn to plot about people standing up for what they believe in and that aspect is also shown through Wicked and Les Mis.

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One more meaningful musical of my life is Sound of Music. It shows I love the importance of family. It shows that I have a love for music.

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Of all the meaningful musicals, they share some things in common. They all provide me with an emotional connection. The emotional connection is key to many things in a musical. Loving the songs mean you have an emotional connection to the material. All of the meaningful musicals are joyful. Above are some of the meaningful musicals of my life.

Do you believe meaningful musicals represent who you are?

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The Importance of Negative Musical Emotions With Joy

Since yesterday, I tried to explain what negative emotions would be without joy, I decided to talk about the complete opposite today. I feel like it is loaded trying to describe why all negative emotions have joy involved.

Joy is a huge reason why I love feeling the negative emotions in a musical. I feel like there are different sides of joy in a musicals. There is your excitement, love, and joy when experiencing a musical and there are the actual moments of joy found within a musical. When I fall in love with a musical song, I tend to fall in love with the emotions themselves and I have joy when I feel sad or heartbreaking songs or bittersweet songs if I love the song itself.

There isn’t a single musical out there with just negative emotions. That just wouldn’t work in the world of musicals. Whether it was South Pacific, Wicked, Man of La Mancha, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Rent, and Les Mis, they all still deal with positive emotions even if they all have to put up with negative emotions. Some of those musicals are happy musicals themselves, some get caught up in the middle, and some are sad themselves.

Look at Les Mis for instance. The negative emotions are constantly being thrown at you. It feels like you all you feel are negative emotions. But if you look closely you can see the positive emotions being aimed at you. Besides, the first emotion you feel tends to happen before the action begins. In Les Mis, the first emotion I feel is excitement. The negative emotions tend to start in the opening scene and there is joy there and that joy is due to me loving the musical. When the bishop scene enters, you feel compassion, hope, and forgiveness.

Possible Spoilers:

Les Mis even has joy and compassion shown at death scenes and the joy would be impossible to spot if you don’t know the characters. One important thing to note about most of the Les Mis deaths is that most of the characters don’t die alone. Valjean is by Fantine’s side when she dies, Eponine is in the arms of Marius when she dies, the students, Gavroche, and Enjolras are around each other when they die, and Valjean dies alongside Cosette and Marius.

But where is the compassion and joy found at these deaths. Well, if you don’t understand Fantine’s love for her daughter and how desperate she is, you may not find the joy in her death. Valjean shows compassion by being with her as she dies. He promises to Fantine  that he will raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. The fact that Valjean promises to Fantine that he will raise Cosette is why this death happens to be memorable.

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Look at the second death. Once again, joy and compassion is shown at that death. The second death happens on the barricades. Eponine has gotten shot and Marius finds her and holds her in his arms while she dies. You wouldn’t notice the joy in this scene if you don’t understand how much Eponine loves Marius and if you don’t pick up on how dark and miserable and lonely and empty her life is. She is in the arms of the man she loves at her death so she has joy there since she is with Marius. The compassion shown at this scene is that Marius decides to stay with Eponine even though he is quite upset and comforts her and stays brave for her up until her death. This death scene is memorable due to the fact that Eponine is dying in Marius’ arms and that “A Little Fall of Rain” is such a memorable and touching song.

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See what I mean. Even Les Mis, the saddest musical I ever seen, shows that even that musical has room for positive emotions. The trick with sad musicals is they can be hard to love. It can be hard to know whether or not you love their plot.

But with Les Mis, the musical just doesn’t work without the positive emotions. The positive emotions show up through deaths and that does sound surprising. I never would have imagined a musical song could be a death song or that they can be memorable. The positive emotions are just not just limited to the deaths, but also related to some of the actions of the other characters.

Look at songs such as “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Memory”, and “I’m Not That Girl”.  Every single one of them are heartbreaking songs, but I love them. Another bittersweet song is “For Good”, which is the most emotional song from Wicked.  “I’m Not That Girl” began as a sad song and eventually became heartbreaking thanks to “On My Own” and “Memory was a song that I had forgotten the emotion to and realized it was heartbreaking through “I Dreamed a Dream”.

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I love the negative emotions in the world of musicals. I love them the most when they are quite strong and quite truthful as well. The negative emotions don’t grow quite as quickly as the positive emotions. The negative emotions are covered with vulnerability, fragility, innocence at times, insight and truth, and on top of that, there is yourself. You become a character in the musical yourself and you learn to love the negative emotions. The one thing I don’t like about the negative emotions is that I don’t like that the character or characters have to feel the negative emotions or that they have to go through what they are going through

Joy in negative emotions means in a lot of ways means that you have a strong emotional connection to the material. Joy in negative emotions shows acceptance and understanding and a feeling of sympathy and empathy.  It shows you care and it shows that you want to go on the character’s journey. Sometimes you have to search deeper for the negative emotions. They grow at a very steady rate and never grow quickly. Sad and heartbreak are core emotions in the world of musicals and between those two, heartbreak is the newest one. I said that because heartbreak was unknown to me growing up.

Most musicals I have seen are happy musicals and I associate musicals with them all the time. I first discovered sad when I was in middle school, but now in college, I love the negative emotions even more thanks to falling in love with Les Mis and Rent.

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Being a true musical fan means learning how to have joy feeling the negative emotions. You want them to add to a musical experience and not take away from a musical experience. You want to provide you a positive experience and not the other way around. An amazing amount of musicals expresses the negative emotions in at least one song.

How do you view joy in negative emotions?

Musical Character Connection vs Entire Musical Connection

This does sound bizarre, but I do believe there is a difference between an emotional connection to a musical character and an emotional connection to the entire musical. That sounds really bizarre because you would think both mean the same thing, but in reality they really don’t. But sometimes your emotional connection a character is the same thing to an emotional connection to the entire musical .

Wicked is a musical I have an emotional connection to Elphaba and love Fiyero and Glinda as well. My emotional connection to Elphaba does connect to my emotional connection to the entire show. I don’t have emotional connections to Nessa, Boq, Madmae Morrible, and the Wizard. But I do have an emotional connection to the entire show thanks to my personal relationship with Elphaba and the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda and the love triangle between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero.

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Even my emotional connection in Newsies is the same thing as my emotional connection to the entire musical. I actually have two emotional connections in this show. I have an emotional connection in the intimate relationship found between the friendship between Jack and Crutchie. I even have an emotional connection to all of the Newsies. The story is about the Newsies after all, which is why my emotional connection to the Newsies is the same as my emotional connection to the entire show.

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Even in Beauty and the Beast, I only have emotional connections to Beast and Belle and characters like Lumiere and Cogsworth and Chip and Mrs. Potts. But I don’t have an emotional connection to Gaston. It is more important for me to be emotionally connected to Belle instead of Gaston. Having an emotional connection to Belle and Beast is important because the plot centers around them.

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But can you have an emotional connection to a character, but have zero emotional connection to the actual plot? Yes, that is very possible. I love Anna from King and I, but I am not fully emotionally connected to the entire plot and the show isn’t even meaningful to me. Even in Little Shop of Horrors, I only love Seymour and Audrey, but just don’t have an emotional connection to the plot.

The emotional connections are highly important. Usually the songs are what forms the emotional connection. I feel like you need an emotional connection to both the characters and the plot. True, there some characters I don’t have an emotional connection to in certain musicals. I don’t have an emotional connection to Madame Morrible, the Wizard or like any antagonist or villain, but a few expectations. Honestly, your emotional connection might also have to do with the portrayal of characters.

I don’t have an emotional connection to Javert exactly, but the last time I saw Les Mis live, I found some emotional connection to that character. I honestly have no emotional connection to the Thenardiers either. Despite that, I have an emotional connection to the entire show. I don’t relate to the characters that well in Les Mis, but I do have an emotional connection to Jean Valjean’s story, Fantine’s story, the love triangle found between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius and have an emotional connection to Enjolras, Gavroche and the students. You can’t have an emotional connection to a plot if you don’t have an emotional connection to characters.

The emotional connections are why every scene in a musical has joy in them even in heartbreaking or bittersweet moments. The songs form an emotional connection very easily. I feel like it is important to be emotionally connected to the protagonist’s story and if there are subplots, it is important to be emotionally connected to some of them because they help support the main plot. Having joy in every emotion is connected to the experience and connects to an emotional conation to the plot and characters and the fact that if you care enough about the characters and their journeys, you accept the emotions that you are feeling.

An amazing amount of musicals have some heartbreaking or sad moments. I understand that sad was a main emotion starting in middle school. I wasn’t 100% blind to the negative in those days, but I was 100% blind to heartbreak.

I know this sounds crazy. But there really is a difference between an emotional connection to characters and emotional connection to plot. However they are very interconnected and depend on each other.

Musicals Then and Now

Yesterday’s post, I talked about the musicals from my younger years. In today’s post, I plan to compare and contrast the world of musicals from the musical from my younger years to the musicals from now. When I mean “then”, I am talking about musicals from elementary to high school” and “now” refers to the musicals from 2012 to current.

Then: This world formed the foundation of musicals. All of them were happy and I believed all musicals were happy. There were four main emotions, which were excitement, love, joy, and sad. It consisted of musicals like Wicked, Annie, Sound of Music, Grease, Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. I described all musicals as happy and full of life.

Full of life only referred to the exciting numbers where dance and spectacle existed. In high school, the emotion of sad seemed to stop completely and I felt like it couldn’t be anything else. So in the world of these musicals, musicals were a world of spectacle, dance, comedy, excitement, love, joy, sad, and strong emotional connections.

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Now: The musicals of these days were in a way kind of similar to the musicals of my younger years. It was still a world of spectacle, dance, comedy, strong emotional connections and the same four main emotions. But things took a very unexpected and twisted turn.

I was soon to learn that not all musicals are happy and comic like I once thought I knew. Les Mis entered my life and that title means “the miserable”. Les Mis is a very heartbreaking musical. Heartbreak became a main emotion and I couldn’t interpret it in my younger years. I did not how to respond to the idea of a tragedy existing in the world of musicals.

But I soon realized that tragedies belong in the world of musicals. Just through the added nature of tragedies and the emotion of heartbreak, everything changed so drastically. But yet, still seems kind of similar.

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I was the kind of person who thought that I would always hate tragedies. That was me in high school so I was quite surprised that I love Les Mis. Tragic things happen to all of the Les Mis characters. Jean Valjean lived his life as an ex-convict, Cosette had a horrible childhood, Marius faced lots of trauma at the barricade, Fantine had to become a prostitute to provide for her child, the Thernardiers inn became bankrupt and Eponine faced horrible abuse by her parents and suffered from a strong unrequited love for Marius.

What Les Mis also showed me is that musical emotions have so much potential in them. I realized that musical emotions can be felt so deeply and with so much insight and truth. I soon learned that the negative emotions consist of a sense of fragility and vulnerability. Sometimes you have to dig into an emotion in order to truly understand the emotion of the song. That is true for both positive and negative. There are some inner positive emotions just like there are inner negative emotions.

I didn’t notice the details of sad before Les Mis entered my life. I realized there is more to tragedy than heartbreak. Les Mis is a very inspirational musical because it is ultimately a tale of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption.

Other musicals of these years were Newsies,  Rent, South Pacific, Phantom of the Opera, and Pippin. Rent like Les Mis is a tragic musical. I view musical emotions very differently now. I explore the emotions in a more open and more complex way. I come in knowing that there is a chance that heartbreak will happen.

All because of Les Mis, it is easier for me to detect darkness and negative emotions in new musicals. One way to describe how different musical emotions are is to use Wicked as matter of fact. The unrequited love song, “I’m Not That Girl” began as just a sad song and it eventually became a heartbreaker. “No Good Deed” once felt emotionless, but last year it became a song filled with anger and frustration.

Sad isn’t the only emotion that went through drastic change. The addition of heartbreak affected love and joy. I finally understood the serious side of love, which is its heartbreaking nature. Like I stated above, “I’m Not That Girl” became heartbreaking. It took the unrequited love song, “On My Own” for me to figure that out. “On My Own” is from Les Mis and is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and that is a more extreme and stronger song about unrequited love.

There are even other heartbreaking love songs, which were discovered in the more recent years. Songs like “Somewhere” and “This Nearly Was Mine” are heartbreaking love songs. The song “I Dreamed a Dream” made me realize “Memory” was heartbreaking. Crazy how just one musical emotion can drastically change the world of musicals. Heartbreak which once didn’t exist changed everything.

Major Spoilers:

As far as joy goes, I knew growing up that joy is existent in bittersweet moments. But there are bittersweet moments that are incredibly heartbreaking. One such instance is “A Little Fall of Rain”. It can be quite challenging to understand why there is joy in this heartbreaking moment especially because it is Eponine’s death scene. She just got fatally wounded after returning to the barricades. If you just don’t understand just how dark her life is and if you don’t understand her love for Marius, the joy in this would be nonexistent. She is dying, but she is dying in the arms of the man she loved, which is why this the happiest moment moment of her life.

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I told myself that a death scene could never be memorable, but Les Mis proved me wrong. Eponine’s death scene in my opinion is the best death scene of the entire musical because there is just something special about “A Little Fall of Rain”.

What’s crazy is I love Eponine and you would think the death scene of a favorite character wouldn’t be memorable. Yes, I am devastated and heartbroken, but I am happy as a matter of fact. I am happy that Eponine finally feels extremely happy for the first time.

Just like the earlier years, excitement is felt exactly the same way. It is the one emotion that hasn’t changed at all. New shows come in with spectacle and dance. Pippin is a musical full of circus elements and Newsies is full of mind-blowing. The same level of excitement is still present. It hasn’t changed one bit.

So the musicals of younger years are a world of dance, spectacle, comedy, strong emotional connections, excitement, love, joy, and sad. I described all musicals as as happy and full of life. Full of life only referred to the exciting numbers.

Now, musicals are a world of dance, spectacle, comic and tragic moments,  strong emotional connections, excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak.  Not only are there happy and comic musicals, there are also sad and tragic musicals with some getting caught in the middle. Those words are almost identical to the words I once used. Than again, the musicals of my younger fears formed a foundation of the musicals today. Now I call all musicals joyful, unique, emotional, and full of life. Full of life now refers to the entire show as in the story comes to life.

Dependability of Musicals

This is a very hard post to write. In my opinion, I feel like all musicals rely on each other. It is hard to exactly explain why, but as a musical fanatic I can understand that. Musicals do a wonderful job of balancing each other in the best way possible. The past couple of days, I needed to say I love both simple and complex musicals.

When it comes to the simple musicals, they are the ones where the emotional nature truly begins. Some of them honestly don’t have the need to even have those negative emotions because the plot is truly wonderful without them. Shows like Singing in The Rain are pure fun and you need to view them in a very entertaining way. These simple musicals even show traces of sad and heartbreak. Cats for instance is a very simple musical but the character of Grizabella is a very heartbreaking character and her song, Memory, is heartbreaking. That is the only instance as far as I know where an entire song is heartbreaking in a very simple musical.

The complex musicals are the musicals where the negative emotions are just natural. These are shows like Wicked, Newsies, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis. They all have to deal with songs that are either sad or even worse heartbreaking. All of the musicals I just listed have heartbreak in their songs.

Wicked has the bittersweet “For Good”, the heartbreaking and insightful “I’m Not That Girl” and the frustrating and angry “No Good Deed” and it is one of the happy musicals. Wicked is one way I can explain why musicals depend on each other. Wicked was how I started to understand the emotional nature of musicals. Before Wicked, I feel like musicals were more about the dance and spectacle instead of the emotions. One of the biggest reasons why I started to understand the emotional side of musicals in Wicked was because I was 12 so I was at the right age to have a better understanding of the emotions and it was the first musical I saw on Broadway.

Well fast forward to the time of Les Mis. Growing up, all musicals were happy and comedic and there were the four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad. I didn’t even know what heartbreak meant for a musical. Les Mis comes along and tests me on the emotional knowledge that I had recently learned. It showed me that musicals have more emotional potential than I once believed. It was how I realized that there are heartbreaking songs in the world of musicals. For example, Les Mis has songs like On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, A Little Fall of Rain and Come to Me and all of those songs are heartbreakers.

Here is a perfect example of why musicals rely on each other. Look at I’m Not That Girl. It started out as being just a sad song, which stayed that way for seven years. I saw Wicked for the 3rd time in 2013 and that song still stayed just sad. Growing up, I spent more time on Wicked’s story of friendship over the youthful and complicated love triangle.

 I don’t remember when it was, but there was a time when I realized I’m Not That Girl and On My Own were both about unrequited love. At that time, I already knew On My Own was heartbreaking and through that connection, I was able to understand that I’m Not That Girl was heartbreaking. Even though both are unrequited love songs, they still vary in emotional strength, vulnerability and fragility.

In I’m Not That Girl, Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero literally moments before she sings that song, which is why that song cannot be fully heartbreaking. I cannot be 100% vulnerable in that song or you lose the innocence that Elphaba has at that moment. Another reason it isn’t fully heartbreaking is because Elphaba’s story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love.

As in the case of On My Own, the love that Eponine has for Marius is so much stronger and even more heartbreaking than Elphaba’s situation. You have to understand why Eponine loves Marius so much in order to understand On My Own. Eponine is a Thenardier and she was raised in an abusive situation and was unloved and neglected by her parents. She was raised to be a criminal. In this burst of light, Marius entered Eponine’s life and was the only person who ever showed her kindness, which is a big reason why her unrequited love is so heartbreaking and painful. Through the example shown by these songs, it is a nice example of why all musicals depend on each other.

I feel like with Les Mis in my life, it makes it much easier to find the negative emotions in new musicals. I can spot darkness and negative emotions much quicker. I even can find negative emotions in the most unexpected of places. When you start finding parallels between certain songs, you can find a way to understand the song like in the case of I’m Not That Girl and On My Own. The dependability comes from the fact that musicals need to help balance each other out, which is why there needs to be both simple and complex musicals and why not all musicals have to put up with negative emotions.

Why do you think musicals rely on each other?