Why Do I Want The Positive and Negative Emotions in the Songs In a Musical?

Finally, I will be talking about the songs. Musical songs are incredible and capable of so much. One thing I definitely want in the songs are the positive and negative emotions.

The positive emotions naturally feel good. They also are the strongest. Excitement, love, and joy are the main positive emotions. They happen in two ways: through the musical itself and the experience. Excitement is that kind of emotion that likes to happen during dance numbers and tends to start the show due to the overture. They just naturally work in a musical. Love is a very common musical emotion because in just about every musical, there is always romance and it is a beautiful emotion. So love feels good and is a very beautiful emotion, which is also part of the negative emotions. These emotions in some situations are easier to notice than the negative emotions.

But what about the negative emotions in the songs? Those are much harder to describe why I want them. Those two main emotions are sad and heartbreak and love as well. They are going to hurt in a musical, but at the same time, they give a positive response. Musicals that happen to have sad or heartbreaking songs that are strong enough tend to be the complex musicals. In addition, those that have those songs that are strong enough tend to be the most realistic and it tends to show up in musicals. Love is part of the batch as well due to breakups and unrequited love situations. Heartbreaking and sad songs tend to be these beautiful songs. They can make you cry and can be so powerful that they can give you goosebumps. Of course, these emotions are going to hurt, but when you fall in love with those type of songs, you slowly fall in love with the songs and is connected tot he emotion connection you end up feeling. I began to understand the negative emotions starting in middle school and now as a college student, they truly matured and are more capable than ever before and are more wonderful to feel.  Still it is quite hard to describe why I love feeling the negative emotions in the first place.

Why do You Want the Positive and Negative emotions in the Songs in Musicals?

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Why Do I Want Romance in a Musical?

Romance, the theme in musicals that people either love or hate. Romance is the biggest theme found in the world of musicals. But why do I want it in a musical? A lot of times on my blog I have explained why, but will talk about it again.

Romance is an emotion that translates well to song. It creates these beautiful musical songs. There is a high chance that when you see a new musical that romance will show up. Romance actually can add texture to a musical and that happens whenever romance is shown through the nature of a love triangle. In musicals, characters tend to “fall in love at first sight”, but I don’t mind that because if you think about it, a musical only has two to three hours to tell the story. Due to romance being expected in a musical, it is a wonderful emotion to feel. The couples’ main song is the moment you realize the two have fallen in love. Love songs even range from the breakup and unrequited love songs, which are beautiful songs as well.

 

Why do You Want Romance in a Musical?

Review of Les Mis

Just yesterday, I saw Les Mis in Greenville with Gardner Webb. It was my 5th time seeing it live and my 2nd time with a professional cast. With this production of Les Mis, I saw the 25th anniversary production. I had an understudy in this performance for Eponine, which was coincidental since last time I saw Les Mis, I had an understudy for Jean Valjean. I sat in the balcony towards the middle, which were impressive seats even though at first I didn’t know how much I would see since we were so high up, but still being up that high allowed me to see the entire stage.

Possible Spoilers on both plot and staging.

Leading the cast was Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean. He was such an impressive Jean Valjean. His version of “Bring Him Home” was so beautiful and sounded like a prayer and was quiet enough for what the scene required. He was warm and gentle around Cosette. It is amazing how his voice still had enough power when he was quiet during “Bring Him Home”. Then once again, he was quiet enough during his death scene. That is saying something because I was sitting in the balcony and I could still hear him even in quieter moments. During the scene where he let Javert go, he was able to act it to show that he forgave Javert.

Josh Davis was Javert and I felt like he had the right voice for Javert, but something felt off. He did a wonderful job during “Stars”. I had a hard time having an emotional connection to Javert. It is very hard to find common ground with Javert. I just do not know what it was, but something was off so he was weaker compared to Jean Valjean so part of their dynamic was off. Even though something felt way off in Javert, this production showed that Javert does have heart, which was shown when he saw the body of Gavroche when he went back to the barricades.

Melissa Mitchell was Fantine. She played Fantine as a naive young woman as opposed to a very desperate one. She played her naivety in a way that showed she was quite naive when she first became a prostitute because she did not quite understand that job at all at first even though she was fighting for the life of her daughter. She was so quiet in her death scene, but was still able to project to the balcony. It is heartbreaking that she is still thinking about her daughter during her death, but acted like she was thankful that Jean Valjean will be raising her daughter.

Sophie Knapp was such a wonderful Young Cosette. She has such a beautiful voice, which was clearly shown during “Castle on a Cloud”. She was small enough to look like she was eight at the time. She acted a bit nervous and scared around Madame Thenardier. Her “Castle on a Cloud” shows that she has hope that she will be rescued. She was quite a broken child.

Allision Guann as Madame Thenardier and J. Anthony Crane as Thenardier combined were hilarious like they needed to be. Allision Guann was able to be mean enough around Cosette and acted like she actually love her daughter, Eponine at the time. The Thenardiers’ version of “Master of the House” was quite hilarious and during the Bargain, the funny thing was the audience knew they were lying, which made it funny. Even during “Beggars at the Feast”, they were hilarious.

On to the youthful love triangle between Eponine, Marius and Cosette. This was such an innocent and youthful love triangle. Talia Simone Robinson as Eponine was an understudy and she was able to embody Eponine. During all of the Paris bits, she was very playful and flirty around Marius, but she still was able to express her heartbreak that he will never love her. “On My Own” was heartbreaking and at the end, I could hear tears coming from her, but she decides to continue to love Marius despite the unrequited love. “On My Own” demonstrates Eponine’s miserable and empty life and shows her strength and heartbreak over the unrequited love.

Jillian Butler as Cosette had such a beautiful soprano voice during both “In My Life” and “A Heart Full of Love”. Joshua Grosso as Marius was quite awkward during act I especially during “A Heart Full of Love”. It made the couple so cute and wonderful during that scene. When Marius first bumps into Cosette in Paris with Eponine standing in the back wasn’t fully effective, but feeling for all three was the most effective during “Heart Full of Love”. So I loved seeing the awkwardness during “A Heart Full of Love” and it was shown in a way that is like I am in love, but I don’t know what to do with it. This two were such a cute couple and I learned to love the two characters more.

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About Marius and Eponine, their version of “A Little Fall of Rain” was so believable. I really believed that Eponine was shot due to some of her non-verbals and noticing that it took effort to move since she was getting weaker as the song continued and she was also quiet enough. Joshua Grosso wasn’t heartbroken during the entire performance because he was comforting towards her and brave towards her. But when he ends the song with “grow”, that voice was so heartbreaking. It took him some time till he could say the word since he was quite stunned that Eponine died.

Joshua’s version of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was heartbreaking. Even during “Drink with Me”, when he sings about Cosette, it makes sense because he just lost Eponine and knows that most likely all of his friends will die and knows that if he survives, that he will only have Cosette.

Wow, Matt Shingledecker as Enjolras was such a passionate Enjolras. He brought out the intensity and passion that the character needed. All of the students were able to express their hope towards the rebellion. They also were able to show their passion towards the cause. Julian Emile Lerner was such a wonderful Gavroche. Even though he was just a boy, he keeps an eye on Paris and acts as if he runs the city. Despite being young, he had passion towards the cause as well.

About the ensemble, they were just so impressive. Their version of “One Day More” was so powerful and epic. Even in epic scenes like the opening or the second “Look Down”, there was the epicness that the songs required.

Wow, about the staging, I saw different staging than the West End. Even though the revolve wasn’t there, I still loved this staging. There was more color in this set. The different set pieces moved so smoothly between scenes. Like during “Paris/Look Down”, as the song continued, different areas opened up to show the scope of Paris. The paintings in the back actually moved some throughout the show. Those paintings gave a piece of Hugo in the show. The staging during the sewers showed how massive the sewers are and Valjean carried Marius in different ways. The staging during “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” adds even more emotion than the actor alone could do. During “Turning”, the women put candles down and then Marius comes out to sing the song and the students come out and pick up the candles and eventually blowing them out, which was a heartbreaking thing to watch.

About the sound system, the orchestra was so incredible. I could tell from the prologue that I would love the orchestra and they kept it together throughout the entire show. The sound system was incredible especially at the barricade. You could hear gunshots hit the back of the theatre so it felt like you were at the barricade.

So I would rate this production a 5/5 even though there were some actors that could have needed improvement such as Javert. But all in all, I loved this cast a lot, love the staging so much. Still such a beautiful story. To be honest, a more advanced staging gave more complexity to Les Mis. It was so good that I was an emotional wreck and that I ended up speechless.

Tomorrow, I plan to compare all three productions I have seen.

Fiyero and Glinda vs Fiyero and Elphaba

Today, I will talk about the love triangle in Wicked in a way that I have not done before. It is quite a complex love triangle. It starts out with Fiyero and Glinda as a couple, which has Elphaba end up with unrequited love for Fiyero. But eventually Fiyero breaks up with Glinda and ends up in a relationship with Elphaba, which makes Glinda end up with unrequited love for Fiyero. So I thought I would talk about the two couples. To be honest, I barely know Fiyero and Glinda as a couple.

I do not like Fiyero and Glinda as a couple that much. Fiyero arrives to Shiz and he is this rather cool guy who doesn’t care much about anything. Glinda wants to go out with him, so she ends up setting Boq up to take Nessa to the dance. So Glinda and Fiyero go out to the dance together so in this moment, they become a couple. Their chemistry is not that strong throughout act I. When act II comes along, Fiyero gets really mad at Glinda. That is because she is listening to the people spread rumors about Elphaba and Fiyero is like, why are you supporting them, isn’t that bothering you. Obviously what she is hearing is upsetting her. This is when their relationship fails. I honestly don’t know this couple that well.

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The couple I know the best belongs to Elphaba and Fiyero. Even though they are not a couple in act I, their first intimate moment is the lion cub scene. Even in that scene, they have better chemistry than Fiyero and Glinda. In that scene, clues point to the fact that Fiyero does have a crush on Elphaba, but he doesn’t seem that aware of it. It is in this scene when Elphaba realizes that she is falling in love with him. This scene is truly where the love triangle begins.

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It took hearing rumors spread about Elphaba to realize that he loves her. Their song, “As Long As Your’e Mine” shows that they are mature. They are courageous when it comes to each other. One moment is when Fiyero demands that they let her go and Elphaba tries spell after spell to try to save, but she ended up turning him to the scarecrow.

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This love triangle is the most complex one I have ever come across. It is a love triangle where two couples exist and where both girls get hurt. In act I, it is Elphaba who is dealing with unrequited love and it is act II where it is Glinda who is dealing with unrequited love. But the plot twist makes it a very unique love triangle.

What do you think about these couples? Which one do you prefer? Do you love this love triangle and why?

Favorite Musical Duets

I have mentioned musical duets before, but I don’t think I ever wrote a list of them together. For the most part, musical duets are love songs, but there are some that are not.

  1. For Good
  2. Something to Believe In
  3. A Little Fall of Rain
  4. As Long As Your’e Mine
  5. What You Own
  6. Take Me or Leave Me
  7. No Matter What
  8. Come to Me
  9. Phantom of the Opera
  10. I Should Tell You
  11. I’ll Cover You
  12. One hand, One heart
  13. A Whole New World
  14. Till There Was You
  15. Suddenly Seymour
  16. Something Good
  17. Somewhere
  18. Younger Than Springtime
  19. Sixteen Going on Seventeen
  20. Santa Fe (Prologue)
  21. Heart Full of Love
  22. All I Ask of You
  23. Love Song

What are some of your favorite musical duets?

Favorite Contemporary Christian Songs

As some might know, they are aware that there is another genre of music other than musicals that I love as well. I am drawn to contemporary Christian music in a similar way that I am drawn to musicals. I feel like I can easily connect to God in Christian music. Some of my favorite Christian songs are hymns and some of them are unique to my church. So for this post, I will write a list of some of my favorite Christian music.

  1. On Eagle’s Wings
  2. Here I Am Lord
  3. Seek Ye First
  4. I am the Bread of Life
  5. Let Us Break Bread Together
  6. All Are Welcome (unique to my church)
  7. Call to Discipleship (unique to my church)
  8. Fierce
  9. Power to Redeem
  10. Great Are You Lord
  11. Shout to the Lord
  12. You Raise Me Up
  13. For The Beauty Of the Earth
  14. Above All
  15. Child of God
  16. One Thing Remains
  17. Anchor
  18. Come to the River
  19. Lord I Lift Your Name On High
  20. Sanctuary
  21. Servant Song
  22. Create in Me
  23. Prince of Peace
  24. You Are My All in All
  25. Dry Bones (Come Alive)

What are some of Your Favorite Christian Songs?