Another unpopular opinion I love is the relationship between Marius and Cosette. I love the love triangle in Les Mis for a number of reasons. Recently starting in 2017, I was able to dig deeper into Marius and Cosette’s love for each other. This was all because of a standout Marius. My first four Marius’ were Eddie Redmayne, Erik D’Esterre, Nick Jonas, and Rob Houchen.
However, something happened in 2017 that took me by surprise. That was when the latest US Tour was launched. I had already gotten to know a LOT about Marius: he was brave, sweet, and kind. What if a Marius would take take you off guard? Joshua Grosso was my Marius in 2017- in that love triangle, he was my strongest actor. He still had the compassion, bravery, and kindness other Marius’ had. But this Marius brought something new- awkwardness, a characteristic that would make the character more charming and make the character almost a core favorite. He even was paired with the just the right Cosette (Jillian Butler). Those two made me explore Marius and Cosette at a deeper level. Little did I know I would see them again: that’s right Joshua and Jillian were my Marius and Cosette in 2019. Now I love Marius and Cosette more as a couple and as characters just because of these two actors. Actually: Joshua is my favorite Marius and Jillian is my favorite Cosette.
What Marius and Cosette do in Les Mis is important. Several people know Les Mis is tragic. The character, Cosette, represents hope and light. If Cosette did not fall in love with Marius, that light would not be there. That is exactly that Marius and Cosette do-they bring hope to such a heartbreaking story. Even those two characters have their tragedies despite being some of the only survivors.
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.