Eighth Question-Series

What makes a love triangle complex and strong in a musical?

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Beginning of Wicked’s Love Triangle

One scene in particular in Wicked is fun to look at. The interesting part about this scene is that it isn’t a song. I love exploring the Lion Cub Scene- it actually is the beginning of the love triangle. It helps you understand the plot twist in act II. What I am going to say it based off the most recent Lion Cub scene- It is the one between Mary Kate Morrissey’s Elphaba and Ashley Parker Angel’s Fiyero.

Major or Minor Spoilers:

To put into context- previously in class, Elphaba saw a scared Lion Cub in a cage. As a result she got angry and accidentally put a spell on the class, which didn’t affect Fiyero. The two of them run them into the woods (I believe) to let the Lion Cub go. You have to closely examine the scene to understand Fiyero- it is one of his biggest moments in the show. Based upon the scene, he begins to soften up- prior he was a bit of a jerk. These two appear to playfully talk with each other- it seems as if Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but doesn’t seem aware of it- foreshadowing act II. Fiyero eventually asks Elphaba why the spell didn’t affect him.

Fiyero and Elphaba during the Lion Cub scene

In that moment when he asks her, Elphaba realizes something- she is starting to fall in him- that actually helps you understand how heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl” is. This scene is very helpful when it comes to Fiyero- he is very hard to understand as a character- he really starts to develop in his scene. I came to the conclusion based upon Ashley Parker Angel’s Fiyero that Fiyero did have a crush on Elphaba in his days at Shiz, but did not seems aware of it and based upon Mary Kate Morrissey’s Elphaba, she did not seem to realize that Fiyero had feelings for her. This scene helps explain a lot. Yes, it is the beginning of the love triangle, but it does help foreshadow the plot twist- the moment when the unrequited love shifts to Glinda.

How songs make You love a Couple in a Musical

Romance is the most common theme in musical. It shows up in many ways and serves many purposes. In some ways, it takes up the entire plot, in some it is a subplot that is a couple, and some it is a subplot that is a love triangle. You might think it is just a love triangle that is complex, but sometimes a couple alone that is complex. What makes you love a couple? One of the best ways to love a couple belongs to their song or songs (I said song or songs because some couples have multiple songs- after all, some plots are a romance). I will try my best to explain why songs can help make you fell in love with a couple.

If you don’t have the song, it is nearly impossible to realize there is a couple. In a romance, the first song does make you pick up on the fact that they are developing feeling feelings for each other (“Something There” for instance). Then after afterwards, there is usually a song, there is usually a song that tells you that they in love (“Beauty and the Beast” for example. The songs are key to helping you realize there is a couple in a realize, or else, you fight not pick up on romance.

A lot of times, if I love a couple’s main song, I end up loving the couple. I love songs such as “Heart Full of Love”, “All I Ask of You”, “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”, “Something to Believe In”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “As Long As Your’e Mine”, “Till There Was Mine”, “I Should Tell You”- etc. These songs were all key to helping me love these couples.

Major Spoilers:

In the love triangles- it is key to fall in love with the couples. Once you realize why the love triangles are set up the way they are, you learn to love them more. Songs such as “Heart Full of Love”, All I Ask of You”, and “As Long As Your’e” do make me love the couple. “As Long as Your’e Mine” is the most interesting song since it is ironic since Elphaba originally had unrequited love for Fiyero.

All of the romantic songs are beautiful songs. I find it interesting how romance comes mostly comes from young couples. So the songs make you realize that two characters have fallen in love- you easily could have missed that if you didn’t have the song.

The Hopeful and Heartbreaking Love Triangle

Here we are venturing into the Les Misérables love triangle. It is less complex than the Wicked love triangle. It is between Cosette x Marius x Eponine: in this one Marius and Cosette are the couple while Eponine has the unrequited love. It is one of the major storylines that I am emotionally connected to. Of everyone in the love triangle, Eponine is my favorite character.

MAJOR SPOILERS:

I will start by bringing up Eponine and Cosette’s childhood. At one point both Eponine and Cosette lived together. Eponine’s parents are the Thenardiers, who abuse Cosette and treat her like a servant. Eponine, on the other hand, is spoiled and appeared to be loved by her parents. Then Valjean arrives and rescues Cosette.

You already know the Thenardiers are abusive. In “Master of the House”, you learn that they also are pickpockets. You start to get a general idea of the environment Eponine is going to grow up in. You already know Cosette is going to have a better life. So the girls situations are reversed- while Cosette’s horrible childhood improves; Eponine’s life gets worse. That is one of the things that intrigues me- the switch that happens between the girls.

Eponine’s family ends up living in extreme poverty. Eponine’s parents have raised her to be a thief and criminal. You realize they do not care or love their daughter. They just use her for their advantage. She serves as watchdog for the law. She wasn’t shown kindness growing up- it never happens to her. That never happened- it eventually did happen- Marius was the only person who treated her with kindness. The kindness that Marius showed her made her fall in love with him. I am glad he was in her life- she needed Marius even though he didn’t love her romantically. Soon enough, Marius and Cosette bump into each other and fall in love with each other. Eponine is well aware that the two have fallen in love.

Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius is quite heartbreaking and painful. After all, he is the only good thing in her life. Despite that, she is the girl who would do anything for him. She risked her life several times for him no matter the cost. She ended up finding Cosette for him when he asked her to. She ended up protecting Marius and Cosette from her father and his gang. Her love for Marius is so strong that she ended up sacrificing her life for him. At least in the end, she died in the arms of Marius= at least she was with him. Her death scene was the happiest moment of her life.

I love Marius and Cosette as a couple. They are the ones who help bring hope to this tragedy. Marius had to survive the rebellion in order to keep hope alive. They are such an adorable couple in so many ways. Both of these characters are so sweet and kind. In the end, although they lost so many important people in their lives, at least they still have each other. Marius was the only survivor from the the barricade and Cosette lost her adopted father.

The love triangle offers a lot. I love all three characters. Yes, Eponine is my favorite character in the love triangle, but of all three Marius is my favorite survivor. I have never found the love triangle to be silly. Even though I understand that Marius and Eponine are not friends, but neighbors in the book, I love that their friendship is in the musical.

My Favorite Musical Theatre Love Triangle

Love triangles exist in musical theatre. There are three that come straight to mind when I think of them. They are the Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Wicked one. All three them add texture to those musicals. Which one of those is my favorite musical theatre love triangle?

MAJOR SPOILERS

Wicked’s love triangle is my favorite from that group. Wicked’s love triangle is the first love triangle I ever emotionally bonded with. It is actually the one where I discovered the concept of love triangle. It is between Glinda x Fiyero x Elphaba. A lot of my love for the Wicked love triangle does come from it being the first one I bonded with.

Then there’s the complex side to Wicked’s love triangle. In act I, Glinda and Fiyero are a couple with Elphaba dealing with unrequited love. Elphaba responds to her unrequited love by not pursuing Fiyero because it is her best friend who is in a relationship with him. You think the setup is going to stay this way.

Enter act II, Fiyero hears all of these rumors spread about Elphaba, and he knows they are not true. He all of a sudden realizes he is in love with Elphaba. Actually in his days at Shiz, I believe he had a crush on Elphaba without realizing it. It took until hearing those rumors to know his true feelings for Elphaba- so the unrequited love jumps from Elphaba to Glinda. Glinda, like Elphaba, does not try to steal Fiyero away. This love triangle does show the two girls’ loyalty towards each other. They do not let a boy get in the way of their relationship- the love triangle actually strengthens their friendship.

One of the interesting things about Wicked’s love triangle is that it develops in the same way the characters do. It fully matures when the characters do. It is at the end of act I when Elphaba truly matures and at the beginning of act II when Fiyero truly matures. “As Long as Your’e Mine” is a very mature and mystical song- it also is very ironic- you thought Elphaba would ALWAYS have unrequited love- but it does not happen. Elphaba and Fiyero truly shows bravery towards each other and wants to protect each other. What other love triangle has two characters ending up with unrequited love at some point? Saying that Elphaba and Fiyero are a couple is a spoiler in itself.

What do you think makes a strong love triangle?

Romance in Musicals

It is February, and I think it is appropriate to talk about the most common theme in musical theatre. Most likely when you see a musical, you will see romance: either you just see a couple or you come across a love triangle. It is not just love triangles that are complex- even a couple alone is complex. It is their love song that makes you realize they have fallen in love- but that is not always the case. MAJOR OR MINOR SPOILERS.

Disney Couples

I feel like there is something quite magical about Disney couples. Songs like “Something to Believe In”, “A Whole New World”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” have something special about them. I love all of the couples associated with them. These couples belong to Katherine and Jack, Jasmine and Aladdin, Belle and Beast, and Nala and Simba. If you think about it, Belle and Beast are home to a love triangle- after all, Gaston wants to marry Belle for the entire musical. Belle and Beast is a couple that falls in love over time- first Belle despises Beast- then they develop feelings for each other during “Something There”- and then you finally have “Beauty and the Beast”. There is a heartbreaking song in the midst of all of this- “If I Can’t Love Her” in this stage show- or its “Evermore” if you watch the 2017 movie.

Love Triangles (Les Mis, Phantom, Wicked)

MAJOR SPOILERS:

Les Mis: Cosette x Marius x Eponine

The couple is Cosette and Marius and the unrequited love belongs to Eponine. Cosette and Eponine have literally switched places in life- Cosette had a horrible childhood while Eponine had a better childhood- then Eponine’s life gets even worse, and Cosette’s life improves when Valjean rescues her from the Thenardiers, who are Eponine’s parents. When Cosette leaves, Eponine is mistreated by her parents, and is raised to be a thief and criminal. When Marius enters her life, he treats her with kindness- that is why she fell in love with him- the sad truth is he is the only person who treats her with kindness- as a matter of fact, he is the only good thing in her life.

Then the love triangle happens- Marius bumps into Cosette, and the two of them automatically fell in love with each other. Eponine notices that they both love each other. She will do anything for Marius- she does end up finding Cosette for him. She risks her life several times for Marius. She ends up protecting Marius from her father when he was about to rob Valjean’s house (Marius was there at the time). This was why she went to the barricade, and why she sacrificed her life for him. I love how in this love triangle, you end up feeling for all three of them at once- first when Marius and Cosette bump into each other and second at “Heart Full of Love”- it starts out as a duet- then when Eponine joins in- you get so confused- you end up feeling heartbroken for Eponine, but incredible for Marius and Cosette- that is why you are confused. Marius and Cosette are such an adorable couple- those are my favorite survivors of Les Mis- Marius in particular.

Phantom of the Opera: Raoul x Christine x Phantom

Unlike Les Mis, the entire story is a love triangle. Raoul and Christine are the couple while Phantom gets the unrequited love. Raoul and Christine are an adorable couple. Raoul would do anything to protect Christine from the Phantom. Phantom does not accept, cope, or deal with his unrequited love well. His response is extremely negative- he responds in anger and revenge- he plans to murder Raoul- at the end of the show- he makes Christine choose between choosing him or killing Raoul (not the best response).

Wicked: Elphaba x Fiyero x Glinda

Wicked is the most complex out of all three of these love triangles. In act I, Glinda and Fiyero are a couple while Elphaba is dealing with unrequited love. She does not pursue Fiyero because of her best friend. In act II, the unrequited love jumps to Glinda- now Elphaba and Fiyero are a couple- that becomes the final result. So this love triangle has a plot twist- the other two love triangles has only one character dealing with unrequited love- Wicked on the other hand has two characters- both Elphaba and Glinda do not pursue Fiyero to keep their friendship alive. They do not let a boy get in the way of their friendship. I believe it shows their loyalty towards each other and helps strengthen their friendship. What I love about this love triangle is that it develops in the same way the characters do- it does not truly mature until the characters do. Wicked’s love triangle is my FAVORITE love triangle.

Elphaba wasn’t planning on falling in love with Fiyero. She could not stand Fiyero at first. He was a jerk at first- his overall arc is one of the things I love watching. He went from this jerk to softening up to becoming this mature and courageous young man. Elphaba truly matured during “Defying Gravity”. See what I mean- the love triangle did not truly mature until the characters did.

Why does the plot twist happen- I never knew why the first three times I saw the musical. I decided to get some answers the 4th time. I believe Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba at Shiz in act I, but deep down didn’t realize it. I believe he realized he was in love with Elphaba at the beginning of act II. He decided to have a stronger chemistry with Elphaba and a weaker chemistry with Glinda in the first act foreshadowing the plot twist. This was all based off of Ashley Parker Angel’s portrayal I saw the 4th time. At least- some things are clearer this time around.

Rent Couples

Mimi and Roger

  • Mimi and Roger is one of the couples that is NOT part of a love triangle that is complex. So you see, there couples that are complex that don’t need to be a love triangle. Mimi and Roger are one of those couples. Mimi and Roger are my favorite Rent couple, and I still struggle to understand that. They have have HIV, and have other struggles. They find an attachment in “Light My Candle”- BUT Roger is unwilling to be in a relationship because of some complications that happened in his most recent relationship. It is during “I Should Tell You” is finally when Roger commits to a relationship. They are a couple who fights at times, but still love each other. Mimi and Roger are the main couple in Rent. I find them to be a realistic couple.

Maureen and Joanne

  • This couple is the most problematic relationship in Rent. They fight the most. Joanne always gets so annoyed with Maureen. They are a Lesbian couple- that is something that is unique about this couple. Maureen is very crazy- it is very easy to notice it about her.

Collins and Angel

  • Just like Mimi and Roger, they have HIV. They are a gay couple as well. They make the most out of their relationship, which is especially clear during “I’ll Cover You”. They never have problems- unlike the other two couples. Knowing about their situation (with the HIV)- they live everyday as if its their last.

Music Man

Harold Hill and Marian

  • What I love about this couple being in Music Man is that it gives this musical an emotional feel. After all, it is a very light-hearted musical. So the main emotional feel belongs to the romance. Marian helps protect Harold Hill from being caught when she finds out he is a conman. I don’t think she was planning on falling with him.

Conclusion

If I go on talking about Romance in musicals- it would go on forever. Most of the characters who fell in love are young- as in their 20s and teens. Romance is a combo of innocence, magic, vulnerability, and fragility. The emotions vary as well- love, joy, heartbreak, sad, anger, and revenge- wonder why the negative emotions take up most of them in terms of the ones I can name. Romance does not have to take up JUST the couples- it also has to do with tragic love stories, unrequited love, and breakups.

Is There More than A Love Triangle In Wicked?

It is very obvious in Wicked that a love triangle is in it, which is very ironic and complicated, but is there more in Wicked than just a love triangle? This musical focuses so much on Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Possible Spoilers:

You first know there is romance in Wicked during Dancing Through Life. Boq asks Glinda to the school dance. We learn that Boq actually loves Glinda, but Glinda asks Boq to take Nessa to the dance since Glinda wants to ask Fiyero. So right now Boq loves Glinda and Glinda supposedly is starting to love Fiyero. But at the dance things get even more challenging. We now learn that Nessa loves Boq. So now Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda loves Fiyero. So right now we have a bit of a love rectangle.

Elphaba starts getting involved in the picture starting with the lion cub incident. In class, a professor is starting to do an experiment on a scared lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba casts a spell on the class and it doesn’t affect Fiyero. The two run off to free the lion cub. In this scene, Elphaba realizes she loves Fiyero for the first time. It would be easy at this point to see the musical is only home to a love triangle. Elphaba feels like she isn’t good enough for Fiyero because she is green and she knows that her best friend loves him. There are hints in the lion cub scene and after “I’m Not That Girl” that maybe Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but not realizing it.

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Things get even more complicated in act II. During “Thank Goodness”, Fiyero hears rumors about Elphaba and in this moment, he realizes that he loves Elphaba. So he ends up breaking up with Glinda and searches for Elphaba. Now the unrequited love has shifted from Elphaba to Glinda, which really challenges things.

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The whole love situation in Wicked is way more than a love triangle. Even though it is more than a love triangle, a love triangle still exists. That is due to both Glinda and Elphaba being in love with Fiyero. So the whole situation is that Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda and Elphaba love Fiyero. So four characters in Wicked go through unrequited love, but isn’t well noticed by Boq or Nessa. The unrequited love seems mainly focused on Elphaba in act I and she is able to move on from Fiyero and later Fiyero and Elphaba end up a couple. Elphaba’s story revolves around friendship and not unrequited love.

This whole love pentagon thing in Wicked only adds to the complexity. The only unrequited love song is “I’m Not That Girl”, which why it is easy to overlook the love pentagon and only see a love triangle. That song is sung twice: The first being the full song and sung by Elphaba and the second time it is sung by Glinda and as a reprise. Due to Nessa and Boq only being secondary characters, you might not understand their importance to the story and you might easily overlook them. After all, the story is truly about the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.

So do you feel like Wicked’s romance is more than love triangle?