It might seem like romance is the strongest since it is the most common theme. Even some others have a similar impact. But are any of those truly the strongest from of love found in a musical? Is there a type of love that only exists at certain musicals- but not ALL? You might be confused.
I have found myself not liking some musicals. So, I wouldn’t feel the forms of love that are in them one bit.
Then, finally you have the musicals you love. This is the strongest love- your LOVE for a musical. It is what makes you love feeling ALL the emotions no matter how easy or tough they are. They are the why, desire, and want for the characters’ lives. Your love is truly the main reason why you go to see the same musical again-unless you work at the theater itself. I think your LOVE for a show can so be overlooked.
Yes, it is true romance is more common than other types of love. However, it seems as if friendship love is just as beautiful. It also seems to be the 2nd most common form of love. Just like romance, the friendships do vary. Love is important- sometimes a friendship is the only type of love certain characters have in life. Some of these friendships are easy to see as family. Here are some of the friendships that exist in musicals- all of them are friendships I love. Aladdin and his friends are the newest ones to enter my life.
Jack Kelly and Crutchie
Friends of the ABC
Elphaba and Glinda
Marius and Eponine
Lumiere and Cogsworth
Aladdin, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim
Roger and Mark
I can easily see the Newsies, Friends of the ABC, and the Friends In Rent as family. That is especially true for the Newsies- many of them are homeless, have no family, and are runaways. They literally are family and do support each other and have Jack Kelly as their leader.
Love is important. It is something we all desire. We want to feel safe. We desire that affection. Love comes in many forms- that can show up through family, friends, or romance. Who wants to feel unloved? We want to know that someone cares. Some of these characters never felt love before they had a friend- because it was inexistent in the home or they lost their parents at a young age and had to start learning how to live on their own.
There was a time where I did not even know about love triangles in musicals. It was only couples- there was not a third wing. One musical would make me pick up on love triangles, and that musical was Wicked. It is between Elphaba x Fiyero x Glinda. It actually adds an incredible texture to the musical and actually , in my opinion, strengthens the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.
As with love triangles, there is always a couple and the third person has to put up with unrequited love. That is what tends to happen. In Wicked, Fiyero arrives and Elphaba can’t stand him. So it kinda of seems as if it will just be Fiyero x Glinda as a couple: we think they will stay together for the rest of the musical. A few months later- I think- something changes in him. He begins to soften up a bit and in class after a new teacher arrives with a scared lion cub in a cage, Elphaba is furious and accidentally casts a spell on the entire class, which for some strange reason does NOT affect Fiyero.
The Lion Cub Scene is very important on BOTH Elphaba and Fiyero. You actually realize that Elphaba has started to fall in love with Fiyero: now we officially have a love triangle. But there’s more- look closely at the way the two are interacting with each other: there is a strong connection and they are playfully sort of teasing each other- not as in being friends-as in a little bit more. It almost seems as if Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba. At this point, he still deep down doesn’t seem to be aware; Elphaba can’t pick up on this either. Ever since- he still can’t stop thinking about the Lion Cub incident- could Fiyero be falling in love with Elphaba?
Back to the Lion Cub Scene itself at the end- when Fiyero asks her, why the spell did not affect him, she was not able to answer. I actually do not think she was going to anyways because of Glinda’s relationship to Fiyero. She was trying to not steal him away from Glinda- she would not let a boy get in way. So- that is a strong trait in a friendship- loyalty. You really have gotten convinced that it will stay Glinda x Fiyero and that Elphaba will have the unrequited love from start to finish. Elphaba did get the entire unrequited love song, “I’m Not That Girl”- during that song, she found out just a few moments earlier that she had feelings for him and she still had innocence so that song can’t be vulnerable to the point of that innocence being lost- knowing the result of the love triangle can make feeling the emotions of unrequited love a bit harder to feel.
Well- so act II. Will things stay the same? Do we still have the same couple or will there we some switch? Fiyero listened to all of the rumors spread about Elphaba. While listening, he realized something: he actually loves Elphaba, not Glinda. So—–now we have an unrequited love shift going on. He is going to leave Glinda for Elphaba. Here is why you had to pay close attention to scenes such as the Lion Cub Scene- there were hints that maybe something was going on. Of course, Glinda was hurt, but like Elphaba—-she was NOT going to take Fiyero away: so these two best friends would never let a boy get in way of their friendship: it shows through how they both respond to the unrequited love. It is kinda of more difficult to feel the emotions for Glinda because she gets the shortened reprise of “I’m Not That Girl”.
Elphaba and Fiyero is a strong and wonderful couple. Their song, “As Long as Your’e Mine” is mystical and mature. These two showed their love for each other after the song. They ended up protecting one another- Fiyero literally told the guards to “Let the Green Girl Go”, which could possibly cause him to be tortured and Elphaba was constantly trying spell after spell to save him. They are probably my favorite couple- they are what I would call the unexpected couple. Saying they are a couple is literally a spoiler in itself.
It constantly can make you ask yourself questions. You think you have it all figured out, then you realize you still can find more. It has the dreaded WHY question- the WHY as in why the switch happened- at least, it is more clear now. I am glad that “I’m Not That Girl” became the song it became- it used to be just a sad song, but later reached heartbreaking: as a a matter of fact, that song was one of the first songs I realized was sad to begin with.
The love triangle in Wicked is my favorite because it is 1)the first one I emotionally bonded with and 2) the level of complexity it has- the complexity comes from three complex characters, the development of the love triangle, and how it connects to the main storyline.
It is clear that in storytelling, romance is common and the same is true for musicals. In about most musicals I have seen, love does show up-typical couples, tragic love stories, love triangle- it can vary in many ways. I do love romance in musicals, but why?
For one thing, it is a beautiful emotion. The songs I have found in romance are beautiful songs. They have been happy and been heartbreaking. It is the main song of a couple themselves that makes me know if their even is a romance. If a musical doesn’t have a negative emotion side to it, the romance at least gives it an emotional feel.
Complexity and texture- this may not be thought of it. It is true though. Romance does help add texture to a musical. An actual couple can be complex. If you go the world of love triangle- there is a new subplot forming, which creates texture. With the addition of that third wing, which would be the unrequited love, it makes the musical have more emotion, fragility, and vulnerability.
Love is one of the core emotions- it is universal and is beautiful. It is home to a number of emotions found in musical theatre. Romance actually, I believe, is the most common theme found in musicals.
Les Mis is filled with several characters. However- two of them are disliked when they shouldn’t. Marius and Cosette are unjustly hated mainly because 1) Cosette is not that complex and 2) complain that Marius is a jerk, loves Cosette instead of Eponine and believe that he did not treat her fairly. Well, that is insane- basically, what people are saying is that all they want is for Marius and Eponine to end up together. I do not agree at all.
Look- there are certain plots in some books that if you get rid of one tiny thing the entire story falls apart. That is the case for Les Mis. It had to be Marius and Cosette. How can you call Marius a jerk? Look- he is a good and kind person. Eponine saw him that way, and that was the reason she fell in love with him. She needed him in her life because the rest of her world was filled with darkness. Marius was her only light- and the only good thing. She had to make sure he stayed a part of it.
Marius knew she lived a tough and dark life. Look at these lyrics that Marius said “her life was cold and dark”- so he did know. You can’t call Marius a jerk in “A Little Fall of Rain” or the events leading up to it. While the letter he sent Eponine away with was to Cosette, he did not do it with selfish intentions. I think he was trying to protect Eponine- he did not want her to get hurt or killed from the uprising. I think he asked why she came back when he saw her was because he was worried. Then- it happened- she collapsed in his arms. Marius became aware that Eponine was dying after seeing her gunshot wound. He was devastated, but still made the decision to stay there with her- how can anyone not see the compassion there- he was there to comfort her. He actually gave Eponine the happiest moment of her life-the fact that he was there, and that was all that mattered to her.
“A Little Fall of Rain” does say a lot about Marius- it shows his level of compassion and how much he did care about Eponine. It was at the end when he said “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”. That is how I know he knew that Eponine had a sad and dark life. If he was not a kind and sweet person- where would all of that compassion have come from. He was close friends to Eponine. Little did he know that he would eventually become the only survivor from the barricade.
Let’s look at outside of Eponine. Marius was a revolutionary and wanted to do good. His closest friend in the students was Enjolras. He had a passion for the uprising. While he was struggling between his love for Cosette and his passion for the uprising, he ultimately decided to fight. He had this incredible amount of bravery. Marius did have to fight even after losing one person important to him- it is sad to think during “A Little Fall of Rain” that he soon will lose the rest of his friends.
Yes, people don’t like Marius with Cosette. Marius’ relationship with Cosette helps bring out hope into this tragedy: at the end, all they have left is each other. It had to be Cosette since her life improved (Eponine and Cosette are mirrors of each other) and she does represent hope and light. While it appears that all Marius cares about is Cosette, that is far from the truth. He still has the passion for the uprising and still has a good friendship with Eponine. People do not like how he treated Eponine when it comes to Cosette—-but I disagree. While Marius asked Eponine to find Cosette for him, etc, that does not mean he was treating Eponine unfairly. At the barricade with the letter- that was not selfish, but selfless (he was trying to protect her, in my opinion). Marius was unaware that Eponine loved him- he loved Eponine, but as a friend more anything: you have to remember she never told him until her death. She would do anything for Marius, and she did go as far as sacrificing her life for him.
In simple terms, he is an awkward, brave, compassionate, and kind revolutionary.
Like I said in the previous posts, we all were raised on some Disney- it can be the Pixar films, the musical theatre films, or the typical Disney films. In the musical theatre ones, there is always that romantic male lead and we do know that they will fall in love–but they do more than just fall in love. Who are some of these romantic male leads.
Not only are they are the romantic male lead- they are the actual protagonist (except for the Beast) of the musical itself.
The Beast is a prince in disguise who lives at an enchanted castle, which is home to enchanted objects like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip. He later takes Belle as prisoner when she takes her father’s place. A romance soon is going to happen Beast and Belle, which slowly develops.
Aladdin is the clever and caring street-rat who is looking for something more than life on the streets. It is Jasmine he falls in love with, Princess of Agrabah. A lot of people in his town see him as no more than a street-rat, but he is so much more.
Simba is the son of Mufasa and is destined to become King. It follows Simba from the days of him as a cub, but mostly after the death of his father- all the way to when he was a young adult. He and Nala were best friends as cubs and later the two of them fell in love- I think that is part of what makes their love incredible.
Jack Kelly is leader of the Newsies and best friends to Crutchie. The bond found between Jack and Crutchie is a special and intimate bond. He is a dreamer, who is an artist, and cares a lot about his brothers. He falls in love with Katherine, reporter of the strike.
Any other Disney romantic male leads you can think of?
As musical theatre fans ourselves, we all have unpopular opinions. What does that mean? Well, it has to do with us being in the minority of loving characters, friendships, and couples, etc…… You get the picture. I am going to talk about two of my unpopular musical couple opinions. SPOILERS
Before continuing, they happen to come from two extremely famous musicals- two of the longest running musicals and that are world-wide sensations.
Raoul and Christine
Seriously, why would anyone think that it should be Christine with Phantom? After all, the Phantom is abusive, revengeful, destructive and capable of murder (he literally wanted to kill Raoul if she didn’t choose him)- meaning it would be a very unhealthy relationship. Plus- she never loved Phantom- literally: she was scared of the Phantom.
Raoul would never hurt Christine. He is this sweet guy and they were childhood sweethearts. Soon, they found each other again in the events of Phantom of the Opera. They are the ones who are in love. Raoul would protect Christine from harm- this is an angelic, beautiful, and healthy relationship.
Marius and Cosette
Their romance in helps bring hope into the tragedy. Cosette is supposed to represent hope and light, which is why she needs to fall in love. The unrequited love in Les Mis, which happens to Eponine, is handled better. What Eponine does is help bring Marius and Cosette together and eventually sacrifice her life for Marius. Marius does love both Eponine and Cosette- in different ways: Eponine as a friend and Cosette romantically.
The switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette (Eponine’s life goes from good to bad and Cosette’s life goes from bad to good) always has intrigued me- another reason why it had to be Marius and Cosette. You strongly can see Marius’ love for Eponine during “A Little Fall of Rain”- yes, it is Eponine’s death, but based on the fact that he is devastated does say that he really did value their friendship. He and Eponine were close friends. Look at the beginning of act II: why do you think he sent her away- he was trying to protect Eponine from being hurt or killed- so for those saying, he did not treat Eponine fairly or saying he wasn’t compassionate; need to look again. Why do you think he asked Eponine why she came back-he was worried for her safety- so when she collapsed, he became aware she was shot and that her wound was fatal. He did not leave her to die alone- he stayed to hold and comfort her despite it being hard on him. Yes, this post is dealing with Marius and Cosette- but it still is important to understand Marius’ relationship to Eponine and Eponine’s love for Marius to further understand why I love Marius and Cosette as a couple.
Eponine needed the unrequited love- it worked for her storyline- it was a huge reason for her bravery and strength and she needed someone like Marius in her life. One of Marius’ lines was “her life was cold and dark”- see what I mean: he was the light- unfortunately the only good thing. Look- the way her story ended was perfect- the fact she died in Marius’ arms. The couple had to be Marius and Cosette. Would you have wanted the love triangle any other way or would you have loved Eponine at all if things were different?
Marius and Cosette are perfect for each other- Marius would not have survived the barricade if it wasn’t for Eponine and Valjean. Eponine sacrificed her life for him and Valjean carried him away from the barricade after seeing him injured. Cosette may not be as complex as several characters, but she is this innocent, charitable young woman who wants to know of her past. Marius is a lot more complex than he seems: the brave, sweet, compassionate, and awkward revolutionary.
You first strongly feel the love Marius and Cosette have for each other during “A Heart Full of Love”- even though it was obvious when they first bumped into each other that it was love at first sight, but “A Heart Full of Love” is when they truly got to meet each other for the first. Cosette helped Marius recover from his wounds from the barricade- I believe that does show the love Cosette has for Marius. They are usually said they truly have their happily ever left since they are two survivors- however, that is far from the truth. All Cosette and Marius have left is each other- if you actually think about it. Cosette never knew her mother and at the end lost her adopted father. Marius, on the other hand, faced loads of trauma at the barricade: he lost everyone that meant something to him: first Eponine and later Enjolras and the rest of his friends.
Yes, for Marius and Cosette- I basically brought up the entire love triangle- however it all connects as to why I love Marius and Cosette as a couple. You can’t get rid of one tiny detail in the musical or else it turns to shambles- that is one of the brilliant natures of the show.