Favorite Friendships in Musicals

You know how love shows up a LOT in musicals through ROMANCE? What about love that shows up through friendship? What are the memorable ones for me? Today, I thought I will talk about those.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

1. Elphaba and Glinda- seriously, what can this post be without Elphaba and Glinda? They are the first friendship I ever fell in love with in a musical. You never thought they would be best friends. They started out as basically enemies, than later became best friends. When they both fell in love with Fiyero, they did not let a boy get in the way of their friendship. They changed each others lives for the better. The fact that Wicked centers on their friendship is why Wicked is one of my top two favorite musicals. “For Good”, the most emotional song in the musical, really shows just how they changed each others lives for the better. It is a bittersweet moment for the two of them- it is the last moment they will see each other, but at least they can say what they meant to each other.

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2. Enjolras and the Students- I just love their brotherly love for each other. You just can’t help but love them. Then you love their hope and passion for their cause. I just love how they take in Gavroche. I really love how they keep their passion strong- even at the end when they know they are going to die.

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3. Newsies- I am going straight to the Newsies because the Newsies parallel Enjolras and the students. Just like the students, the Newsies have a cause they truly believe in and have hope in it plus have a brotherly love for it. The result is different: only difference in the Newsies is that they win. On a side note: I love the intimate bond found between Jack and Crutchie: I just love how they are best friends and that Jack is so protective of Crutchie. Jack is the one who cares more about his brothers than the strike, but it is Crutchie he cares about the most.

 

4. Rent Batch- This is another friendship I love. I love how they live how they do their best to live their lives in love and in the moment. They may not get along at times, but they do make up for it. They are this family.

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5. Lumiere and Cogsworth- I don’t what it is about these two, but there is something interesting about this friendship. I mean we are talking about a talking candle and a talking clock throughout most of Beauty and the Beast. I find something fascinating about this friendship- don’t you find something fascinating about this particular friendship?

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6. Marius and Eponine- I know this is a unpopular opinion, but I do enjoy their friendship. Look, Eponine has a dark and tragic life: at least Marius is in her life. People believe Marius is a jerk to Eponine. I do not believe that at all. Marius and Eponine are seen as close friends in the musical- I know that doesn’t exist in the book- I like how that is changed in the musical. It makes the love triangle stronger and “A Little Fall of Rain” more emotional. Marius is kind to Eponine, and that is why she falls in love with him. I know it doesn’t seem that way when Marius asks Eponine to find Cosette for him and those other errands.

I believe at the barricade, Marius asks Eponine to deliver the letter to try to protect her from the uprising. He does not want her to get hurt or worse KILLED. That is why he was worried when she came back. That is why he asked, “why she came back”. When she collapsed in his arms, he realized she was shot, and that her wound was fatal. He was devastated. He could have left her in that moment, but he didn’t. He stayed with her- that shows he is kind and sweet. By being with her in that moment, it shows an incredible act of COMPASSION. He offers her comfort and peace while she was dying. It shows that he truly did care about her.

This line after she died shows that he knew how dark her life was- “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”.

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Top Ten Rent Songs

Next musical on this series, I will be making a list of my top ten songs from Rent. Rent is one of those musicals I learned to love through the songs. This may not be exactly accurate, but will still be ten Rent songs I love.

Possible Spoilers:

1. Seasons of Love- this is my favorite song from Rent. It shows you just how precious and short life is. It shows you just how many minutes there are in a year, and how you should live life. It teaches you that you should measure your life in year. I just love the song’s message.

2. Finale B- just like Les Mis, Rent is a sad musical, but it ends perfectly making you feel inspired. In the scene previously, it appears as if Mimi was dying, but she actually survived. She has this near-death experience and choose to survive. This song really represents the overall message of the show- to live in the moment- No Day But Today

3. I Should Tell You- I don’t know what it is, but Mimi and Roger are my favorite couple in Rent. They may be a flawed couple, but they are a very realistic couple. This is the song where they finally are able to confess  their feelings for each other

4. One Song Glory- this happens very early on in the musical. I love the overall melody of the piece. It is quite an emotional song to be honest; even though it doesn’t sound like. You have previously found out that Roger has HIV, and in this song, you find that he wants to write one great song before he dies.

5.  Another Day- this song has an interesting melody to it. At the beginning, there is kind of rocky edge of it when Roger is trying to refuse to go out with Mimi. Then when Mimi sings, it sings to the overall “No Day But Today” melody- so the song has a mixture of melodies going on. That “No Day But Today” melody happens in more than one song.

6. Will I- a very simple melody, but an extreme emotional reaction- it can actually reduce you to tears. It is only basically three lines song over and over again can causes that reaction: that is just how powerful that song is.

7. Without You- the 2nd act is more emotional then the 1st act. It seems as if Roger wants to split with Mimi. Plus, Angel is about to die from AIDS- he had HIV in the first act. So this is a highly emotional song. Collins never once leaves Angel in this song- they make the most of their relationship. On the other hand- Roger and Mimi constantly fight and split up; but always seem to love each other- the brokenness of their relationship at times is kind of why I am confused at why Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent

8. Goodbye Love- an extremely high stake song. Angel has died and now all of these friends are fighting. I still love this song- they just feel like they are getting split up. A lot happens in this song.

9. La Vie Boheme- what is nice about this song is at least it isn’t quite as emotional as many of the others. It helps lighten up the mood a bit. At least Roger has finally left his apartment. That is really why I love this song- lightens up the mood. After all, Rent is a sad musical- sad musicals did those kind of breaks or they get just way too overwhelming.

10. What You Own- I love how this is a man/man duet. Many musical theatre duets are between a man/woman due to romance songs. This is a duet found between Roger and Mark. They both have huge epiphany moments during this song. Mark has finally figured out the film he really wants to create, and Roger realizes the big song he wants to write. Roger just realized how much he really needs Mimi in his life just by seeing in Santa Fe- he decides to write his song about Mimi and his feelings for her.

Who is Mimi?

I will do the best I can to analyze Mimi. I just feel like I barely know her. I already analyzed Roger, but Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple in Rent despite how flawed that couple is.

Major Spoilers:

Mimi is a drug-addict and is HIV-Positive. You first meet her when she comes into Roger’s apartment wanting someone to light her candle. These two are neighbors. The two are automatically attracted to her. Mimi wants to enter into a relationship with Roger and all throughout act I, she keeps on trying even if Roger keeps on pushing her away. There is something sweet about Mimi. She is always trying to live in the moment. She works as a dancer at a club. She is very vulnerable, which is especially shown throughout act II. Even though she is a drug addict, there is more to her than that. She nearly died at the end, but at least she lived. I wish I knew Mimi a bit better, but I don’t.

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Who is Roger?

Possible Spoilers:

Roger is a HIV- Positive musician who is roommates who Mark. His main goal is to write one great song before he dies. When you first meet him, he is basically dealing with depression. His latest girlfriend committed suicide after she discovered she had HIV-Positive, which is how Roger discovered he had it. So he is basically cooped up in his apartment. He does not want to leave his room even though Mark keeps on convincing him.

However, it is his neighbor, Mimi, that gets him out of his shell. She stops by to light his candle. He immediately is attracted to her and finally finds some sort of joy. During the entire “Light My Candle”, he discovers she is a drug addict. He is afraid of entering into one because of what previously happened. Mimi keeps on trying to convince him to start a relationship with her, but he always refuses. Eventually Roger leaves the house and tells Mark about Mimi. Soon enough, Roger invites Mimi out. At the life cafe, the two of them discover that they are both HIV-Positive and Roger finally confesses his feelings for Mimi.

He keeps on entering and leaving a relationship a Mimi. I never can seem to understand that. They keep on fighting it seems. It seems to be a very realistic relationship. I am still trying to figure out some of Roger’s actions at times. He is still one of my favorite characters from Rent.

What I find interesting is that his great song is about Mimi. But it happens at a very inconvenient time. Mimi seems to be dying and getting weaker, but Roger sings it to her. She survives during this scary time. This was one of the hardest analysis’ I did during this series’ because I feel like I barely know Roger. I love Roger, but I feel like I barely know him.

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What do I Love about Roger and Mimi

In Rent, there are three couples and that is unique. Other musicals tend to have only one so having three is part of what makes Rent unique. Mimi and Roger are the main couple from Rent. They have always been my favorite couple from Rent and have a hard time knowing why. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they are the main couple.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

These two first find a connection in “Light My Candle”. Roger and Mimi both have HIV and Mimi is a drug addict. Roger is currently dealing with depression after his latest girlfriend, April, committed suicide after finding out she has HIV. So Roger just does not want to get involved into a relationship. It is towards the end of act I where Roger finally decides to commit to a relationship. Mimi is what help brings light back into his life and she did help him come out of the house. Roger finally asked Mimi out. Then at the end of “La Vie Bohme”, Roger finds out that Mimi has HIV and finally decides to commit to a relationship with Mimi. “I Should Tell You” is the first time you realize the two are in love. That song allows you to love them as a couple.

These two do fight a lot, but yet still love each other. Their relationship in a way is like a “normal” relationship because in real life couples love each other, but sometimes don’t get along at times. It can be hard for them to stay in a relationship due to them both having HIV because at the time period it was basically a death sentence if you get the disease. When Roger leaves for Santa Fe, he just realizes how much he needs Mimi in his life. His song that he wanted to write before he dies is about his love for Mimi. But when he sings it is at a very inconvenient time. Mimi is dying (I think) during “Your Eyes”, but it is about Roger’s love for Mimi. Mimi almost died in Rent, but she does live. Roger’s love for Mimi gives her a second chance at life.

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Rent has some of the most controversial couples, but they still are unique. I still don’t fully know why I love Roger and Mimi the most out of all three, but at least I have a better idea.

Couples of Rent

As some of you know, I saw Rent over the weekend. I thought for today I talk about each of the couples that are present in Rent. There is Mimi and Roger, Maureen and Joanne, and Collins and Angel.

Major Spoiler Alert:

First up is Mimi and Roger, the main couple. There are some problems in this relationship, but they are still my favorite couple from Rent. Roger and Mimi are the only heterosexual couple in the show. They are both HIV positive and Roger is reluctant on entering a relationship with her even after falling in love with Mimi. I don’t blame him because at the beginning of the show, he is dealing with depression after his former girlfriend, April, killed herself after finding out she has HIV, which is how Roger found out that he has HIV. In addition, he is a recovering drug addict. He doesn’t want to even leave the house and hopes to write one last song before he dies.

Mimi enters during “Light My Candle” and the two find this connection. In this song, we discover that Mimi is a drug addict. Roger is still unwilling to enter into a relationship with her and that is discovered in “Another Day” when he pushes her away. Mimi was how Roger got of his depression and after “Will I” he leaves the house for the first time. He finally asks her out on a date to the life cafe after Maureen’s protest. Even during “La Vie Boheme”, he still ignores her all night long, but he is trying, but still finds it difficult. But after the number, he discovers that Mimi is HIV positive as well. Throughout “I Should Tell You”, you can feel their love for each other and they finally enter into a relationship.

But the problems still continue in act II. It must be hard because they are both HIV positive. When Roger leaves for Santa Fe, he realizes that Mimi was the song all along. He actually writes a song talking about his love for Mimi. But he sings it at an inconvenient time. He sings to her as it seems as if she is going to die, but she lives. Yes they fight throughout Rent, but they do love each other. Despite the relationship struggles, I still find them to be my favorite couple in Rent. Just don’t know why, but I just love them.

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Then there is Angel and Collins, a gay couple and another one where both characters have HIV. This is the couple where no problems exist. They connect after Angel finds Collins in the street after he has been attacked by people. They instantly find a connection and because they know they both have HIV, they live life to the fullest and don’t fight once. So they make the most of their relationship.

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I find the most problematic relationship to be the one between Maureen and Joanne. Mark used to date Maureen, but Maureen eventually started dating Joanne. They are the two of the characters who do not have HIV. Maureen is bisexual and she is very crazy, but still sweet. She always seems to flirt on other boys, which annoys Joanne. They seem to fight a lot more often than Roger and Mimi.

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Who is your favorite couple from Rent? If you don’t love or like Rent, who is your favorite musical couple?

Measured in Love

I have been waiting 2,628,000 minutes to see Rent. It was so worth the wait and exceeded my expectations. So today I will be reviewing Rent and waiting five years was worth it and I needed it yesterday.

So what is Rent about? Rent is about a group of friends and their life in a year in the midst of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. You have filmmaker and narrator Mark, HIV positive and musician Roger, HIV positive and dancer Mimi, HIV positive Collins, HIV positive and compassionate Angel, crazy and performance artist Maureen, lawyer Joanne and landlord Benny. There are three couples in this musical, who are Roger and Mimi, Collins and Angel and Maureen and Joanne. They discover throughout the musical that you should measure your lives in love and live in the moment. There is so much fear, uncertainty, but also a lot of love because the relationship between this friends is like a family.

In this cast, I had Kaleb Wells as Roger, Sammy Ferber as Mark, Aaron Harrington as Collins, Marcus John as Benny, Jasmine Easler as Joanne, Aaron Alcaraz as Angel, Skyler Volpe as Mimi and Lyndie Moe as Maureen. I did not have a single understudy last night.

Possible Spoilers:

I found the entire cast to be amazing including the ensemble. Kaleb Wells played a wonderful Roger. Throughout “One Song Glory”, I could feel the heartbreaking nature of the song and this was the first time I got emotional during the song. I could see his unwillingness to enter into a relationship with Mimi despite the fact that he loves her. “Your Eyes” is a song that I always get emotional during, but still he portrayed that song incredibly.

Sammy Ferber really brought out the narrator side of Mark. I started to believe in him when he began the show. It makes sense that Mark is the narrator because he is a filmmaker. He is Roger’s best friend

Skyler Volpe played a good Mimi. She made a good match to Kaleb Well’s Roger. Throughout “Light My Candle”, I could tell they felt an attachment to each other. “I Should Tell” made me emotional and usually during love duets, I usually don’t get that emotional, but that song did. Throughout Roger and Mimi’s relationship, you can easily see their fighting and the anger throughout those as well. Roger and Mimi are my favorite couple even though they fight a lot, but you see Mimi so badly wanting to enter a relationship with Roger and who wants to live in the moment.  “Without You” is another one of those emotional moments and I did feel the emotion as well.

Aaron Alacaraz played a very sweet and energetic Angel. “Today For You” was the most energetic moment of his performance. He was a nice match to Aaron Harrington’s Collins. They are the only couple where there is no fighting. Because they both know they each have HIV, they live in the moment. Collins looks after Angel when Angel is dying of AIDS so they have a lovely relationship with each and their portrayals of the characters really shows.

Lyndie Moe was incredible as Maureen. I always knew Maureen was quite crazy. Lyndie Moe was able to bring out her crazy side but also brought out her sweet side because Maureen is both but mainly crazy. Her “Over the Moon” performance was quite hilarious and crazy, which is perfect for Maureen. I feel like Maureen and Joanne fight the most when it comes to their relationship especially because Maureen is always flirting with other guys.

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Jasmine Easler really made you feel how annoyed she can get when it comes to Maureen. Throughout “Tango Maureen”, Joanne and Mark talk about how Maureen can drive them nuts.

This entire group of friends is wonderful. During “Goodbye Love”, you could really feel it. They spent a lot of the song being angry with each other. This all happened soon after Angel died. But they eventually come to the conclusion that the best life to live is one filled with love.

Marcus John played Benny, one of my least favorite characters. I wish I could say some things about him, but I can’t seem to. Benny is their landlord and marries for money even though he eventually warms up and begins to rejoin the group of friends.

As for the small ensemble, they were wonderful. Each of the life support meetings got me emotional especially during “Will I”, which is quite a powerful song got me emotional and the song is only three lines repeated over and over with some overlap. Even the opening song, “Rent”, got me somewhat emotional. The two soloists in “Seasons of Love” were incredible. Rent is such a meaningful musical to me and glad I finally got to see it live. The finale of the show is one of the best ways to end a musical.

As for my seats, I had such a wonderful set. You could see the entire set and that was perfect and we were near the center of the Mezzanine. I loved the set. I have seen the final Broadway cast film, but never noticed there was an actual moon in the set. You can easily tell it starts on Christmas Eve because eventually this thing of junk lights up with Christmas light and later you can see it beginning to snow.  It looks like the East Village. You can actually see Mark’s video that he made during the second act.

I knew coming in I would be an emotional wreck, but wasn’t expecting to be as emotional as I got. Rent is a sad musical, but at the same time inspiring because it teaches you about the preciousness of life and why it is important to live in love and in the moment. At the time period that Rent takes place, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty because if you end up with HIV, it was basically a death sentence and they all measure their lives in love. No Day But Today.