Bond between Wicked and Les Mis

Recently, two posters got hung above my bed. They happened to be posters of Wicked and Les Mis. I did have a Wicked poster above my bed once, but it wasn’t properly framed and was sliding out and my Les Mis poster was still covered up and waiting to be up on that wall. What exactly is the bond that these two musicals share? On that wall, we were talking about hanging up two more musical posters. Only meaningful musicals deserve to be up on that wall. Wicked and Les Mis are two very special musicals that have changed me for good.

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Les Mis and Wicked are my top two favorite musicals, but they really are tied. But how can two severely different musicals be tied? The stories found in how I fell in love with these musicals are incredible and the memories I made with them.

My journey with Wicked started at the Gershwin Theatre in New York with my mom and little did I know that Wicked would spark my love for musicals. Wicked carries my vision for musicals and I developed a very personal relationship with Elphaba and emotionally connected to Glinda and Fiyero as well. Elphaba is smart, determined, talkative, courageous, big-hearted, and believes in equality and staying true to herself.

Glinda is Elphaba’s best friend and Glinda and Elphaba both fall in love with Fiyero, which creates a very complex love triangle. The story centers around the friendship found between Glinda and Elphaba. Wicked has everything a musical could possibly have: spectacle, dance, comedy, strong emotional connection, and positive and negative emotions. I felt like nothing could possibly tie with Wicked because it has everything I want in a musical and because of my personal bond with Elphaba and she is a character I really could relate to.

How many times have I seen Wicked? There is Broadway and three times on tour. The one time I saw it with dad, he gave me the better seat when the tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me. Last year, I saw it with my school. Each time I see Wicked, I feel more and more emotionally connected and more vulnerable and become a bigger fan. The picture below comes from the time I saw it with my school.

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Enter Les Mis. Les Mis was a musical that would take me by surprise. It is a musical that I would fall in love with through the movie. I saw the movie December of 2012 and my first try, I did not know how to handle it because I did not know how to respond to it being a tragedy because I thought all musicals were happy. I did not know if I liked it or not. Even though I did not know if I liked it, I still started researching the musical and decided to give the movie a second chance.

When I saw the movie a second time, I knew there was something special about this tragic tale. Not only did Les MIs teach me that tragic musicals exist, it also taught me that heartbreak is a musical emotion.

I later realized it has this underlying spirituality due to it being a tale of hope, love, forgiveness, hope, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. Home to characters like ex-convict angered turned compassionate Jean Valjean, obsessed and strict Javert, prostitute and loving Fantine, innocent and youthful Cossette, revolutionary and romantic Marius, brave and loyal Eponine, passionate and heroic Enjolras, and the selfish and greedy Thenardiers. This musical is all about humanity if I could describe it in one word.

In 2013, I saw the stage production at community college and in 2015, I saw the stage production in London. I feel like it was special seeing Les Mis in London with my mom. In so many ways, it made my first trip to Broadway with my mom come full circle.

Les Mis holds most of my vision for musicals, but not all of it. Like Wicked, it has a strong emotional connection, a score with positive and negative connection, and comic moments, but the one thing it is missing is dance. How can these two musicals be tied with each other?

That is something that is hard to understand, but they are. In many ways I say Les Mis is better because I am obsessed with it and my emotional impact is greater, but than again, its emotional impact is supposed to be more intense than Wicked’s. Wicked is supposed to transport you to a magical place and I do approach the show from the point of view of a 12 year old even though I feel the emotions deeper than how a 12 year old would feel. Both have their strengths and that is why both are tied and both have their memories. Wicked after all was the first show I ever saw on Broadway and it sparked my love for musicals while Les Mis turned my love of musicals into a passion.

I know why I love both of these musicals, but it is hard to pinpoint why they are tied for best musical.

What would you top two favorite musicals be? Have you have seen a musical in a place as big as Broadway or the West End?

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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What Makes a Musical Meaningful?

Meaningful musicals are an important part of who I am. But what exactly makes a musical meaningful? To me, a musical becomes meaningful in so many ways. Sometimes a musical is meaningful due to a particular character or song or a musical that has taught you something very valuable. Below I will talk about some of my meaningful musicals and why they are meaningful.

Wicked is one of the meaningful musicals that has been part of my life for quite a while. It entered my life in summer of 2006 on Broadway when I went with my mom. Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the emotional side of musicals and the emotional connection side of musicals. I don’t have vivid memories of what it was like to see Wicked on Broadway, but the impact clearly shows. My relationship to Elphaba is very personal and she is my favorite musical character and she is one of the biggest reasons why Wicked is meaningful to me. I see a lot of myself in her because like her, I am smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, unique and I believe in equality and staying true to myself.

The other two characters I love in Wicked are Glinda and Fiyero. Both of them bring an uniqueness to Wicked. The musical centers around the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda. There is also the complicated love triangle between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero and no love triangle has been more complicated than this one.  Without Wicked, the emotional side of musicals would not have become what they are today.

Below is a picture of me when I saw the musical a fourth time. Wicked has changed a lot over the years and the show is still spectacular, but continues to improve over the years. The emotional side has changed because each time I see it I feel more and more vulnerable. “I’m Not That Girl” was interpreted as sad the first 3 times, but sometime between the third and fourth time, I was able to interpret that song as heartbreaking thanks to “On My Own”. “No Good Deed” was always a song I never looked forward to, but the portrayal I saw the fourth time, I finally found appreciation and finally picked up on its emotions. So, the emotions in Wicked have changed a lot over the years and so has my relationship with Elphaba.

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Another meaningful musical is Les Mis. Les Mis showed me a side of musicals I always thought was impossible. Growing up, I was well aware of love, excitement, joy, and sad. I thought I knew the emotional world of musicals. My journey with Les Mis started when I saw the movie in December of 2012. But Les Mis showed me that musical emotions are way more than I once believed. I was able to discover heartbreak for the first time and was able to find real beauty in that musical. I even believed tragedies were impossible in the world of musicals, but Les Mis is a tragedy. I got the chance to see the show in the West End two years ago over the summer and that was my dream.

As far as the characters go, I have a strong emotional connection. It is home to some of the best musical characters. It has the compassionate and ex-convict Jean Valjean, the obsessive and strict Javert, the heartbreaking and loving Fantine, the innocent and curious Cosette, the revolutionary and romantic Marius, the brave and loyal Eponine, the courageous and passionate Enjolras and students, the heroic Gavroche, the funny and despicable Thenardiers.

With Les Mis, I was able to explore musicals deeper than ever before. I realized it was easier to find negative emotions and darkness in other musicals. I learned to dig deeper because I was trying to find the answer as to why such a heartbreaking musical is very uplifting and inspirational. I was able to discover that it is a story of sacrifice, humanity, compassion, hope, love, forgiveness, and redemption. Les Mis made me look at musicals fresh and made me explore musical emotions in a very different way.

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Another meaningful musical of the more recent years is Rent. That musical taught me the importance of living the moment and the importance of measuring your life in love. It showed me just how precious life is. Like Les Mis, the musical is sad as well, but there is so much more to it than what initially meets the eye. The relationship found among the friends is like this one big family.

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Newsies is another recent meaningful musical and is also the newest meaningful musical of my life. I saw it in August and I was emotionally connected in the very first scene. I just fell in love with the close bond between Crutchie and Jack. I also fell in love with the relationship between all the Newsies. Their story is inspiring of how they stood up for what they believed in when Pulitizer raised the price of the distribution papers. They fought back and went up against him. It showed me the importance of courage and that “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.

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Annie and Sound of Music are two childhood meaningful musicals. They have been part of my life for longer than Wicked. I cannot fully explain why these two musicals are meaningful. They are meaningful in the sense that they have been a huge part of my musical journey. I loved both of those musicals in elementary school. Starting to see musicals at such a young has been beneficial to becoming the musical fanatic I am today.

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In your opinion, what makes a musical meaningful?