College Musicals

What do I mean by college musicals? These are the musicals I fell in love with during my years at college. Some of them come to mind a lot. A good chunk of them are meaningful. I am going to make a list of what musicals they are.

1. Les Mis- this is the most obvious. I fell in love with it in my first year of college and that was in 2012-2013. First saw the movie December 2012 and was confused and shocked due to it being a tragedy and did not what to think of it. So had to give it a second chance until I could fall in love with this musical. By summer, I was obsessed with it. In 2013, I saw my first stage production of it 3x due to being an usher. In 2015, I saw the musical in the West End with my mom with an understudy as Jean Valjean. In 2017, I saw the stage show a 5th time in Greenville with my university with an understudy as Eponine. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that I used to be 100% blind to heartbreak in musical. I learned that tragedies are so much more than I once thought.  There are so many wonderful reasons to love Les Mis. All because of Les Mis, I have a passion for musicals.

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2. Rent- I fell in love with it Fall 2012 through music alone. I don’t when it was, but I soon realized the plot. This musical like Les Mis is sad. It took five years till I saw the musical live. Prior, I saw the film of the final broadway cast doing the stage show. But last year really was my first time seeing the stage show. It teaches you how to live life. It teaches you to live in love even in the face of fear and to live in the moment. My favorite couple in Rent is Mimi and Roger. Last year, I was an emotional wreck watching it.

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3. Phantom of the Opera- this musical started to enter my life 2013. My mom told me about Phantom of the Opera, and I automatically requested the song on Pandora. I fell in love with the songs and I wanted to eventually see the stage show. That Christmas I got a ticket in my stocking and so did my mom. In 2014 in May, my mom and I went to Greenville to see Phantom of the Opera. I was spellbound the moment the show began, and in the first act, I did not move until the chandelier fell. I was choked up watching it.

4. Newsies- this is one of the newest musicals of my life. I first heard the songs I think summer 2016, but I only enjoyed them. I first saw the stage show August 2016. Before seeing it, I heard it was Tony Award winning choreography, so I decided to not watch the dance ahead of time. This was the only show I have seen that is all males (well there are a couple females, but not much). I was mind-blown at the dancing: they were flipping, dancing on newspapers, jumping over each other and so many other amazing tricks. The story is so inspiring. The fact that these Newsboys stood up against Pulitzer is incredible. The relationship found between the Newsies is beautiful: they are basically one big family, and the intimate relationship between Jack and Crutchie is special. After seeing it live, I learned to love the songs.  I love how Jack is so protective of his brothers especially of Crutchie. He cannot bear to see his brothers hurt, which eventually leads him to go through an inner conflict.

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5. Music Man- this was a musical I saw at my university my first semester. Music Man was a musical that started my best year of musicals. I just love how light-hearted it is. It is one of the most light-hearted musicals I ever saw. I love how this con-man (Harold Hill) transformed this town. The romance between Harold Hill and Marian helped bring an emotional element to this show since the musical focuses on positive emotions a lot. So the romance helps bring an emotional element that the show needs.

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6. Pippin- I don’t when it was, but my dad had me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. The moment I heard the song, I wanted to see Pippin. Then I wanted to see it more after seeing the trailer. It seemed like they were doing a circus version of the show and I wanted to see it even more. Then I heard it was a Stephen Swartz musical and I knew that Pippin would be amazing because after all, he wrote the music to Wicked. I got my chance in 2015 when I went with my mom and we were lucky because when mom got tickets, there was one day left with seats together. This show had the antagonist as narrator and I loved Lisa Karlin’s portrayal of her. In “Magic to Do”, she was very playful with a small hint of evil. But during “Glory”, her voice represented darkness. She was very playful around Pippin to manipulative him in making the wrong decision so Pippin makes a lot of mistakes throughout the musical. The Leading Player is very crafty, dark, playful, and manipulative and I gained all of this from Lisa Karlin’s portrayal. After just one act, I wanted the soundtrack even after not hearing the act II songs.

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7. South Pacific- when I was still a student at community college, there was school cancelled due to snow days. A friend of my parents leant my family and I about six or so musical movie. South Pacific ended up being one of them. The main story is a love story between Emelie and Nellie during World War. It is a very romantic tale. It is my 2nd best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: the first is Sound of Music. It songs are fun, romantic, and emotional. Like expected with Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, there is a 2nd love story, which is between Liat and Joe Cable. It does have an underlying story of racism.

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So here are some of my college musicals.

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What Makes me Want to See a Musical

Each time the season comes or you have a dream of seeing a musical or musicals, what makes you want to see that particular musical. This post will talk about why I wanted to see of the musicals I wanted to see. There will be repeats as to what made me want to see them in the first place.

1. The songs- if I knew one or a couple of songs before I have seen the show, they can have a part in why I want to see a musical. I don’t when it was about it was 2013 or 2012 or something like, my mom or dad made me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. Just by listening to that song alone, I automatically thought, I want to see Pippin. someday.

Songs continued- The same thing happened with Phantom of the Opera. When I fell in love with the songs, I automatically wanted to see Phantom of the Opera. The songs from both Music Man and Newsies also encouraged me to want to see them someday. I was enjoyed the Newsies before really falling in love, but I enjoyed them enough to want to see Newsies some day. Plus with Music Man, I was already starting to fall in love with some of the songs before deciding to see it at my school in February of 2015.

2. Recommendations- sometimes I choose to see a show based on recommendation. That is another reason where Phantom of the Opera comes into play. If my mom never would have recommended Phantom of the Opera to me, I never would have started listening to the songs in the first place.

3. Spectacle/dance- while “Corner of the Sky” was my main step towards wanting to seeing Pippin, spectacle and dance added one more factor to wanting to see Pippin. I did watch the trailer of Pippin and I realized the level of spectacle it would have and I wanted to see Pippin even more because spectacle/dance is one element I want in a musical. The week my parents got tickets to my entire family to see Newsies, my mom told me they show won “Tony Award Choreography” so I know the dance was something special and it made me want to see Newsies even more and I purposely did not look up anybody that showed the dance.

4. Love for a show- That is the exact reason why I love seen both Wicked and Les Mis more than once. When I saw Wicked on Broadway 11 and 1/2 years ago, I never would have imagined I would have seen it seen three other times. My 3rd time comes along and I learned it was touring again and knowing my dad never saw Wicked before, I went for him, so my dad and I had a date and even though he never saw it, I was still given the better seat. Then when I learned my school was taking students to see Wicked in Charlotte, I ended up signing up due to my love for Wicked. Right after I saw the stage show of Les Mis for the first place, I developed a dream for seeing Les Mis in the West End. So those two have seen more than once due to my love for those shows. Than when I knew Les Mis was touring starting last year, I wanted to see it yet again because I really wanted to see the 25th anniversary production and also wanted to be able to see the show on tour at some point.

5. Desire to see a show again- I already touched this on reason four, but in a way this is different. For instance, I want to see both Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. It is just I had seen both of these back in elementary school, but don’t remember seeing them. Beauty and the Beast reentered my life last year. So this desire of seeing shows is again is more like “I saw the show, but don’t remember seeing it so I want to see them again”

I know cast is some reason to want to see a musical, but it isn’t one of mine. That is mostly because I usually don’t know what the cast is until I arrive. I may not even know the names of anyone in the cast until I arrive or might know names of the cast, but may have never heard any of them sing before. Also you never know what cast you are going because of the possibility of an understudy. But the cast has no effect on whether or not I see a musical. I dreamed of seeing Les Mis in the West End in 2013 so there was no way of knowing who was going to playing the main leads or when cast changes or and so on. When I saw Newsies  or each time I saw Wicked, or Pippin or Annie or Phantom of the Opera, I did not even know any of the cast names until I actually went to the musical. While I may have discovered some of the names of Les Mis in the West End, Les Mis on tour, or Rent on tour, that still wasn’t a factor into why I love them: it was all because of other factors. I had seen videos of the Rent and Les Mis recent touring casts rehearsing,  but once again not a factor. With Rent, I wanted to see it since Fall of 2012 so last year I was finally able to get a chance and with Les Mis, it wasn’t the cast either. So cast never has been a factor in what leads me to see a musical.

What reasons draw you to want to see a musical?

Couple in River City

This blog series has been quite fun. Another couple I love is Harold Hill and Marian. These two are the couple from Music Man. What this couple does is add an emotional element to the show. Because Music Man is so light-hearted and mainly positive emotions, it needs to get its emotional element somehow. They get that emotional nature from the romance developed between Harold Hill and Marian. Harold Hill came to River City as a con man. For some reason, I feel like Marian in some way helps him change his ways. Throughout the show, Marian does protect Harold Hill from the police so they would not discover he is a con man. So that helps show the love she has for him. They do express their love through the gorgeous “Till There Was You”.

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My Favorite Musicals and Why I Love Them

Today will I be writing my second Mega post. Today, I will write about many of my favorite musicals and my reasons I love them. They will not be in order of where they rank. Some of these musicals will have a longer explanation and some will be quite short.

Spoiler Alert:

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There are several reasons why I love Les Mis and even that is hard to describe. There is something special in Les Mis that is not seen is many musicals. It has these brilliant songs, which are powerful, passionate, epic, revolutionary and highly emotional. It perfectly complements the characters and plot. It has this incredible story about how Jean Valjean, an ex-convcit, and his journey on becoming a better person when he is given a second chance at life.

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Valjean came out of person as this hardened and angry and hateful man and felt even more anger as he recognized the injustice he was going through due to how society treated him since he was an ex-convict. But when the bishop gave him a place to stay and food to eat, Valjean stole from him. However when he was caught and sent back to the bishop, the bishop forgive him and Valjean was taught the ways of the Lord. This act of mercy is what caused Valjean to turn his life around, but to do that he had to break parole, which led Javert to want to capture him to return him to jail.

He eventually becomes mayor and indirectly caused the firing of Fantine, a single mother struggling to provide for her child. This led Fantine to turn to prostituion, but when she was attacked by a man and she attacked him in self-defense and Javert wanted to send her to prison, but Valjean saw the whole thing and showed Fantine an incredible act of compassion by preventing her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to care for her child, Cosette. When Valjean picked her up from the abusive Thenardiers, Valjean realized she was quite a broken child and he ended up becoming a father in the most unexpected of ways and Cosette was the first person he loved in the most unexpected of ways.

On to the love triangle between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius. One of the most fascinating things about Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette. Cosette started out as this broken child who was horribly abused by the Thenardiers and forced her to be a servant. But Eponine was spoiled and appeared to be loved by the Thenardiers, but as the girls get older the tables are turned. Now Cosette has a father that loves her and her life improves. But with Eponine, her life has gotten worse due to living in poverty and being unloved by her parents. But look what happen when both fall in love with Marius.

Eponine ends up with unrequited love for him, but she would do anything for him to make him happy so she protects him no matter what and makes sure Cosette and Marius end up together. She protects Marius when the Thenardiers try to rob Valjean’s house. She is quite brave and risks her life several times for him. Her love for Marius is her greatest strength even though it leads to her death at the barricade. When Marius was about to get shot, she took the fatal shot herself, but died in the arms of  Marius.

On to the students now. The last important story is the one between the barricade boys. The Friends of the ABC is led by Enjolras, the most passionate of the group and Marius is this part of the group. They are planning an uprising to stand up against the weak government. They are quite hopeful and even when they know they are going to die, they stay passionate towards the cause. Marius is the only who loves due to Valjean because his adopted daughter loves Marius so he does everything for the sake of his daughter.

So you see the plot of Les Mis has a lot to it. I know I went on and on about why I love Les Mis. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. There is just so both to explore in Les MIs. The story is complex that if you take out an important detail, the musical just falls apart. So Les Mis is a tragic story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice and redemption.

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On to Wicked, which is tied for Les Mis for favorite musical. This musical focuses on the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda. How far will they got to keep friendship alive when they both fall in love with Fiyero.

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Everything about Wicked feels OZian. The costumes are so magical and fun and feel like they belong in Wicked. The Shiz costumes all have the blue and white stripe but each looks different. The set looks OZian as well. The dancing in Wicked also feels like it belongs in OZ. The costumes are fun and sometimes emotional. I have less reasons that I love Wicked than Les Mis, but they are still tied. At the end of the musical, Glinda and Elphaba realize that they have changed each other for the better. Below is a picture of the set and an example of a Shiz costume.

Next musical I will talk about is Phantom of the Opera.

I love it due to how beautiful it is. It is also quite haunting. The overall story is a mysterious and dark love triangle which is also angelic and beautiful. I know why I love it, but is hard to think of reasons why I love it. You have one love which is beautiful and angelic and innocent, but you have another one which is dangerous and haunting, but saddens you. Phantom is quite an emotional character because he has such a tragic past and deals with unrequited love, but he is so filled of anger that he acts in revenge and terrorizes the opera house. But the love between Raoul and Christine is beautiful considering the fact that they used to be childhood sweethearts, but eventually fall in love. Raoul treats Christine better than the Phantom and Christine and Raoul deserve to be together.

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Annie is another favorite musical of mine. It is about an orphan girl named Annie who gets to stay at Daddy Warbuck’s house for a week over Christmas (Fourth of July in Movie). She is so optismtic and basically adopts a stray dog and names him Sandy. Eventually she gets adopted, but I have loved it since I was a little girl.

Sound of Music is another favorite musical of mine. Just like Annie, I have loved it since I was a child. It is about Maria and how she becomes a governess to seven children. She teaches them to sing. It is about family and music. It has very memorable tunes that many know. Its songs are so fun and sometimes emotional.

Next up is Newsies. It is such an inspiring story of how a group of Newsboys went on strike when Pulitzer raised the price of their papers. They are so passionate about the cause and they have this wonderful brotherly love that they are family. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares for all of his brothers especially to Cruthcie. Crutchie is the most vulnerable of the batch due to his bum leg. They dancing is mind-blowing and the songs are fun, exciting, and at times emotional.

Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical Disney musicals. It revolves around Belle. When you father is imprisoned by the Beast, who is under an enchanted curse, Belle agrees to take her father’s place. But Gaston wants marry Belle, but Belle has no interest in him. Belle in the castle meets several enchanted characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip. It is how Belle learns to see Beauty from within. The Beast eventually learns to love and the two slowly fall in love with each other.

Next up is Rent. Rent like Les Mis is sad but its story is inspring. It is about a group of starving artist and their life in a year. It is about how to live life to the fullest. It is about living the moment and measuring your lives in love. Its the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. But it is set during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This group of friends is like a family and deals with three couples, who are Mimi and Roger, Angel and Collins, and Maureen and Joanne. The main relationship is between Mimi and Roger. Mark is the narrator of the entire story. The songs are so emotional, but teaches a lot about life. It reminds us of how precious life is.

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Next up is Pippin. Pippin is about discovering where you belong. It is about Pippin and his journey on discording his “Corner of the Sky”. He gets help from the Leading Player, but without him knowing, the Leading Player is causing him to make several wrong decision and even the audience can’t detect it until the end of the musical. It is like watching a circus that has singing in it. Its song are fun and catchy and teaches you that we all have a “Corner of the Sky”. At one moment in the show, we are told to sing along to one of the songs, which is “No Time At All” because Pippin’s grandma tells us to.

The last musical I will talk about is Music Man. It is such a fun show that is very light-hearted. Its songs are fun and you always feel positive emotions with its song. It is about conman, Harlod Hill, who says he will create a boy’s band but in reality he will just buy them the instrument and leave, but Harold Hill eventually does create the boy’s band and he helps transform River City. He falls in love with Marian. Winthrop is another fun character who has a lisp, but Harlod Hill helps him. So he helps transform the entire town.

I know this is quite a long post, but it goes to show my love for musicals. It shows that I have wide range of favorite musicals. From the very happy ones to the very sad ones, they all bring me joy. The only emotions they all share are positive emotions. Below I will include pictures from when I saw these musicals.

Favorite Protagonist Musical Songs

Today, I thought it would fun to make a list of musical songs sung by protagonists. There might be some duets because some musicals have two protagonists.

  1. Tomorrow
  2. Where is Love
  3. What Have I Done
  4. Who am I
  5. Bring Him Home
  6. Wizard and I
  7. Popular
  8. I’m Not That Girl
  9. For Good
  10. Defying Gravity
  11. Santa Fe
  12. Impossible Dream
  13. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
  14. Sound of Music
  15. Seventy Six Trombones
  16. Home
  17. Corner of the Sky
  18. One Song Glory
  19. What You Own
  20. Your Eyes

What are some of your Favorite Protagonist Musical Song?

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Describing Musical Soundtracks

Today, I decided to describe some of my favorite musical soundtracks.

  1. Les Mis- revolutionary, passionate, epic, heart-renching
  2. Wicked- fun, exciting, Ozian
  3. Sound of Music- exciting, heartwarming
  4. Newsies- passionate, exciting, fun
  5. Beauty and the Beast- fun, exciting, magical, romantic, heartwarming
  6. South Pacific- exciting, romantic
  7. Pippin- exciting
  8. Man of La Mancha- hispanic-sounding
  9. Annie- exciting, optimistic
  10. Music Man- fun, exciting, light-hearted
  11. Phantom of the Opera- haunting, romantic, beautiful
  12. Rent- life
  13. Grease- exciting, fun

How would you describe some of your favorite musical soundtracks? Are the words I picked accurate?

Possible Top Ten Musical List (More Like Eleven Musicals)

This is a list of my top ten musicals, which actually consists of eleven musicals in a way since the top spot consists of not one, but two musicals. Another thing to note it they may not necessarily may not be in the right order.

First up is Wicked/Les Mis- why am I putting two musicals at the top? Both Wicked and Les Mis are not just musicals. Wicked is that musical that carries my vision of musicals nicely. It is home to spectacle and dance, comic moments, positive and negative emotions (home to all five main core emotions of excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak) and has a strong emotional bond. My favorite characters are Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero,who create a very complicated love triangle and Glinda and Elphaba become best friends. I have a personal bond with Elphaba and she is my favorite musical character. Like me, she is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, unique, and believes in equality and staying true in herself. Wicked first entered my life in 2006 at age 12 when I first saw Wicked on Broadway and I am glad that the musical has changed me for the better. Wicked sparked my love for musicals.

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Les Mis on the other hand began its journey December of 2012 through the musical movie, but I did not see something special about Les Mis until I gave it a second chance the following year. In 2013, it was the same year I saw the stage show for the first time and developed an obsession for Les Mis. In 2013, I started to dream about seeing the show in London and two years later that dream became reality and in 2015, I also read the unabridged book.

What makes Les Mis so special that makes it tie with a musical? Les Mis carries my vision of musicals very closely, but the one thing that it is missing is dance or spectacle. Les Mis is so powerful and emotional and inspirational and despite heartbreaking comes with this incredible underlying spirituality. It has these wonderfully written characters and you learn to care about them. Because of how powerful and emotional Les Mis is, the lack of spectacle and dance is made up for.

Second belongs to Annie. The reason why Annie belongs in the second spot is because at one point, Annie was my favorite musical. Before I saw Wicked on Broadway, Annie was my favorite musical. I still feel like a kid whenever I watch the 1982 movie and when I saw the stage show three years ago, I felt like a kid as well. I always loved Annie due to her optimism and spirit. My favorite song from the show is “Tomorrow”.

Third for now belongs to Sound of Music. I have loved Sound of Music since elementary school. It is my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It has wonderful songs such as “Do Re Mi”, “My Favorite Things”, “Something Good”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss”. Both Annie and Sound of Music have been part of my life for about almost as long. They both have been loved since elementary school and they still have meaning behind them.

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Fourth belongs to Rent. It has already proven to be a meaningful musical. Its message is incredible. It is about a group of friends in their life in a year in the face of fear. Their message is to live your life in the moment and to measure your life in love. It has already proven to belong in my list of my top ten favorite musicals. I first fell in love with this musical five years ago in the Fall. This year in September, I will be seeing Rent with my parents and I am so excited.

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….The ones beneath may not be in the right order or may not always be in the top ten…

Fifth belongs to Newsies. I saw this musical just last August and this musical has already proven to be meaningful and does prove to be in the top ten somewhere. This musical is based of the real Newsboy strike of 1899. When Joseph Pulitizer raised the price of newspapers, the Newsies wouldn’t take it and went on strike and stood up for what they believed in. In the fictional story, the leader of this strike is Jack Kelly and he has a close bond to Crutchie and all the Newsies are like this one big family. Katherine Plubmer ends up writing the newspaper article for the strike and she and Jack Kelly fall in love

This musical is full of mind-blowing dance. The boys are basically doing flips, tap dancing, ballet, jumping high up in the air, dancing on newspapers and other fun tricks.

Sixth possibly could be Beauty and the Beast. I first saw Beauty and the Beast in elementary school, the animated movie and the stage show, but the only thing I remember was the song “Beauty and the Beast”. But seeing the 2017 live movie brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast again. My favorite characters are Beast and Belle. I love its songs such as “Something There”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, and the new movie’s “Evermore”. I love how Beauty and the Beast teaches you that beauty comes from within.

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Seventh or somewhere in my top ten would be Pippin. I first got interested in Pippin when my dad had me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. I automatically wanted to see the stage show. Then in 2015 in May, just one week before seeing the stage show, mom got me tickets and there was one day left with seats together. Seeing Pippin felt like I was at the circus. It was my first time seeing Pippin and I had an understudy for Pippin and the Leading Player and I remember being more intrigued by the Leading Player’s portrayal even though she was the antagonist.

At one moment in the show, Pippin’s grandma, which was during “No Time At All” asked us to sing along to the chorus and I loved how we got to interact  like that. In “Magic to Do”, I loved how it set up the show, which started with an illusion and I was in awe when the circus tent dropped.

Eighth spot I am just putting for now is Phantom of the Opera. At one point, this musical was tied with Les Mis and Wicked. It was only tied for about a year, which was from the time I saw it in Greenville up until July 30th, 2015. When I saw Les Mis at the Queens Theatre, it made Phantom of the Opera slide off that top spot. I realized just how much more I loved Les Mis’ plot and songs and characters. To be honest, I still really love Phantom of the Opera. True it belongs higher up on this list, but sometimes a musical belongs higher than another.

To describe this musical as a whole, I would describe it as a love triangle. In the musical, I view Christine as the protagonist and I view the Phantom as the antagonist and in my opinion, I don’t think Christine ever falls in love with the Phantom. I just love how hauntingly beautiful Phantom of the Opera is.

Hanging at ninth South Pacific is the second best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my opinion. It focuses on the idea of interracial marriage and racism and deals with two relationships mainly dealing with the one between Emelie and Nellie. It has memorable songs such as “There is Nothing like a Dame”, “Younger Than Springtime”, “Honey Bun”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, and “Some Enchanted Evening”.

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Tenth for now, which like some of the others may not in right spot is Music Man. I first discovered Music Man through Pandora maybe in 2012, but I did not see the stage show until 2015. I loved seeing the stage show at my school and I love Music Man due to how light-hearted and happy it is. I love songs such as “Ya Got Trouble”, “Goodnight My Someone” and “Seventy Six Trombones”.

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To be honest, this isn’t a fully accurate top ten musical list. I am true in Les Mis/Wicked being tied with #1 through. I also have a point with having Annie right beneath the two and then Sound of Music beneath them.