The World of Classics of Musicals

What do I mean by a classic musical? Whenever I think of the classics, I tend to think of those from the Golden Age of musicals. I am a fan of the classic musicals and that says a lot about my tastes in musicals. The fact that I love musicals from the Golden Age really says a lot.

The very first classic musical I ever loved was Sound of Music. It was a movie I saw when I was a kid. I have loved it ever since elementary school. It is my favorite of all the classic and the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my opinion. I am drawn to its themes of music and family. It has this memorable score with songs like “My Favorite Things”, “Do Re Mi”, “Sound of Music”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss”. It is one of the most meaningful musicals of my life. It after all is a musical I have loved since elementary school and it still holds a special place in my heart.

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Another Rodgers and Hammerstein I love is South Pacific. It is a romantic story and is about the relationship between Emelie and Nellie. It has memorable songs like “Some Enchanted Evening”, “There is Nothing Like a Dame”, “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Younger Than Springtime”. It does deal with interracial marriage and does deal with racism. In the song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, it shows that racism is taught and it isn’t something we are born with.

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Other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have seen are Oklahoma, King and I, and Cinderella. Rodgers and Hammerstein are one of the most important teams in the Golden Age. I don’t fully love King and I, but do some Anna and songs like “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance” and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”. I love some of the songs from Cinderella as well. As a matter of fact, Oklahoma is when the Golden Age of Musicals truly begins.

Another Golden Age musical I have seen is Music Man. I first discovered it through Pandora. Before I saw it live, I was already familiar with songs like “Seventy Six Trombones”, “Ya Got Trouble” and “Gary Indiana”. My school decided to put together a production of Music Man in Spring of 2015. That was my first semester of Gardner Webb. One big reason why I love Music Man is just how light-hearted and happy it is.

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Another Golden Age musical I love is Singing in the Rain. I love songs like “Good Morning” and “Singing in the Rain”. Just like Music Man, the musical is very light-hearted and very happy. While I prefer musicals that have songs that have both positive and negative emotions, I don’t want all musicals to be in that nature. I love how simple both Singing in the Rain and Music Man are. Because they are in the light-hearted nature they are in, it helps balance out musicals.

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It wouldn’t be right to talk about the classics unless I bring up West Side Story. I have conflicting feelings about this musical. I saw the movie and I found the movie good, but nowhere close to being a masterpiece. But I did like the songs just enough to get the songs. I felt like the dancing was off in a way. It is one of the most well-known musicals. It is a tragic tale based off of Romeo and Juliet. I don’t love West Side Story, but I don’t love it either. I feel like it is somewhere between loving it and liking it. I honestly want to see the stage show to seeing how the dancing fares. In my personal opinion, I feel like dancing works better live due to the nature dancing in musicals has.

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I may just be a college student, but I do enjoy the classics. Loving and liking the classics in a way shows what kind of a musical fan I am. It shows I love musicals from a wide range of time periods. I didn’t know about the classics until about my college years. The only one I was aware of belong to Sound of Music because I grew up with the movie.

What are your thoughts about the classic musicals?

 

The Nature of the Happiest of Musicals

In today’s post, I will be talking about the happiest of musicals. Even though the best musicals tend to have those negative emotions in the songs, I don’t want all musicals to have those emotions. Some of my favorite musicals are just a collection of positive emotions. Musicals like Singing in the Rain, Mamma Mia and Music Man fit under this category. I love all three of them due to how happy they are.

This does sound a bit misleading because other musicals I love are partly due to the fact that the positive and negative emotions do exist. But the musicals I Just listed are still incredible musicals. I love the songs of all three of those musicals and even love the plots of them as well. You need a nice balance spread throughout all musicals, which is why you need musicals like Mamma Mia, Music Man, and Singing in the Rain in the mix. Those plots just don’t have the need to have those negative emotions. Just by bringing them up, it really shows in a way the wide range that musicals have when it comes to the emotions.

The negative emotions start to exist in happy musicals when the right amount of conflict and complexity enters the plot and the characters. That is when they are necessary, but all three of those musical’s plots don’t have enough complexity or conflict to fit the negative emotions in the plot. The only emotions that all musicals have in common are positive emotions. If the negative emotions were in every single musical,  they would become too overwhelming and everything would be completely off balance.

So I can love musicals that have just positive emotions. I associate musicals with the happy musicals/comedies because most of the musicals I have seen in any sort of way or heard of fit under that category.

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Hard to believe that tomorrow at my school, their performance of Little Shop of Horrors is opening. I am box office manger for Little Shop Of Horrors and that means I am in charge of seeing tickets. It is hard to believe that the last time my school did a musical was two years ago.

Two years ago, the musical that my school did was Music Man. Music Man is one of my favorite musicals. I just love how fun and light-hearted it is and it is extremely light-hearted. Music Man is one of those musicals that does not have a single source of darkness and does not even have the negative emotions in the score. As much as I prefer musicals that have negative emotions in their songs, I don’t want all musicals to have those emotions in their scores. Musicals like Music Man are there to help balance out musicals. Music Man is an incredible musical comedy with memorable songs and characters. When I saw Music Man two years ago, I already knew the songs, “Seventy Six Trombone”, “Ya Got Trouble”, “Gary, Indiana”, “Marian the Librarian”, and “Wells Fargo Wagon”. I love characters in that musical such as Harold Hill, Amaryliss (sorry if the spelling is off), Marian, and Winthrop.

Music Man was literally the best way to start the musical year of 2015. Out of all musicals I saw that year, Music Man was the most light-hearted. Out of the others, it was the only musical without any trace of darkness. Little did I know that when I saw Music Man that it would be the start of the best musical year of my life. I ended up seeing not one, but four musicals. The other three musicals of that year were Pippin, Sound of Music, and Les Mis. Even the order I saw those musicals makes perfect sense. The first two musicals, Pippin and Music Man, were the musicals with the least amount of experience. I already knew about five songs for Music Man and I know it was about some con man organizing a boy’s band and knew that it was in fact a comedy.

As in the case of Pippin, I never expected to see that musical. When mom got tickets, there was only one day left with two seats together. Pippin was the first musical of the year where darkness started to exist. I even had two understudies that night, which were for Pippin and the Leading Player. Pippin was what I would call the spectacle musical of the year. It showed a type of spectacle that I never saw in a musical before, which was circus. I remember being so fascinated by the Leading Player, who is the narrator and antagonist of Pippin. The actress played her in the opening number, “Magic to Do”, with a lot of playfulness, but I could pick up on a tad bit of evil. I love how “Magic to Do” gets you introduced to the circus elements. But during “Glory”, I could really start to tell just how dark the Leading Player is. The Leading Player is very craft and extremely manipulative and keeps on making Pippin make wrong decisions and he does not realize it until the very end of the show. Entering Pippin, I somehow knew it was a happy musical even though I only knew “Corner of the Sky” and what that song was about and also knew that the Leading Player was the antagonist.

In the case of the last two musicals, they are the musicals with the most experience. I had already experienced them in some shape or form.

Than the third musical of 2015 was the best musical of the entire year and was the biggest reason why 2015 was the best musical year  by far. I ended up seeing Les Mis in the West End, a dream I had since 2013. I am an obsessive Les Mis fan and it completly changed my view on musicals because it went above and beyond with the emotional world I once knew.

I saw such a passionate and powerful cast with Adam Bayjou as Valjean.I felt like seeing Les Mis in the West End with my mom was quite special. That was because back in 2006, mom and I saw Wicked on Broadway and things came full circle when the two of us saw Les Mis in the West End. What was interesting about seeing Wicked on Broadway and Les Mis in the West End was tied to the fact that they are my top two favorite musicals and that they are currently tied. As expected, this production had everything that Les Mis is known for. It had a large amount of emotions and the spirituality was so strong in this production. The revolve was so cool because it helped advance time and I especially loved it on the barricades.

But the last musical of that year, “Sound of Music”, was the most perfect way to end the 2015 musicals. It has been part of my life since elementary school and just like “Pippin”, I wasn’t expecting to actually see it. I had never seen this musical live before, but have seen the well-known movie. I came in knowing that the songs could possibly be in a different order or there might be some songs I never heard before. This musical has such meaning and played an important role in the musicals I grew up with. “Edelweiss”, my favorite song from the musical, was my first piano recital song. I loved this production and I was surprised at my reaction during “Edelweiss”. It was at the moment when the Captain stopped singing and there was this small window in between that moment and when the children joined them and sad decided to become a part of the song. I had never felt sad in “Edelweiss” before and it was there. Crazy how such a small amount of sadness can be so capable and strong enough to strengthen the entire musical.

The only emotions that all four musicals had to common was excitement, joy, and love. All of them only shared positive emotions. About half had those negative emotions and in one of them, I was quite surprised that I even felt it. “Pippin” had potential when it comes to the negative emotions, but the faint edge of sad showed meaning I don’t even remember if I even felt a negative emotions or not even though I felt a lot of darkness during that show. The only emotions that all musicals have in common are positive emotions, which shows that the positive musical emotions are so much stronger than the negative emotions. The positive emotions exist throughout the actual show itself and through the actual experience.

Memorable Older Musical Characters

The older characters in musicals are in my opinion are those in their 30s and up. When I wrote a list of memorable younger musical characters, it was so much easier to think of characters. Much of the characters I love are young, but there are incredible older characters as well. But it feels like most of the older characters are villains and antagonists and those are the kind of characters I typically never end up liking.

  1. Jean Valjean-best older character: Les Mis
  2. Javert-Les Mis
  3. Thenardiers- Les Mis
  4. Harold Hill- Music Man
  5. Marian- Music Man
  6. Leading Player- Pippin
  7. Miss Hannigin- Annie
  8. Miguel De Cervantes/ Don Quixote- Man of La Mancha
  9. Emelie- South Pacific
  10. Nellie- South Pacific
  11. Grizabella- Cats

I wish I could have included more older characters. These are the only memorable older characters I can think of at this moment.

Memorable Young Musical Characters

Most of my favorite musical characters are young. That is anything from child to young twenties. Listed below are some of the most memorable musical characters. I will group each musical together.

  1. Elphaba (my favorite musical character)- Wicked
  2. Glinda- Wicked
  3. Fiyero- Wicked
  4. Eponine-Les Mis
  5. Enjolras-Les Mis
  6. Marius-Les Mis
  7. Other students of the friends of the abc- Les Mis
  8. Gavroche-Les Mis
  9. Young Cosette-Les Mis
  10. Jack Kelly-Newsies
  11. Crutchie-Newsies
  12. Davey-Newsies
  13. Les- Newsies
  14. Rest of the other newsboys- Newsies
  15. Katherine- Newsies
  16. Annie (favorite child character)-Annie
  17. Other orphans- Annie
  18. Mimi- Rent
  19. Roger- Rent
  20. Mark-Rent
  21. Von Trapp Children- Sound of Music
  22. Pippin- Pippin
  23. Winthrop- Music Man
  24. Christine- Phantom of the Opera
  25. Raoul- Phantom of the Opera

I tend to prefer the more complex characters over the more simple characters in musicals. But there are some memorable characters on this list like Annie that are simple characters, but still are memorable. Sometimes, I have no idea why I love a certain character. Some characters on this list are characters I actually relate to. There is just something quite unique about the young musical characters. I do love how a lot of romance happens between young characters. It is hard to believe that characters like Annie, Von Trapp Children, Fiyero, Elphaba, and Glinda have been part of my life for quite a long time since those characters trace either back to elementary school or middle school.

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Memorable Couples of Musicals

Romance in a musical is the biggest theme ever. Below is a list of memorable musical couples that I have come across yet. Romance in my opinion translates well to song. The love songs are some of the most beautiful musical songs. Some have innonence built into them and some have a more mature melody. I will identify which musical couple is my favorite.

  1. Elphaba and Fiyero- favorite (Wicked)
  2. Jack and Katherine- Newsies
  3. Belle and Beast- Beauty and the Beast
  4. Nala and Simba- Lion King
  5. Jasmine and Aladdin- Aladdin
  6. Nellie and Emelie- South Pacific
  7. Mimi and Roger- Rent
  8. Christine and Raoul- Phantom of the Opera
  9. Cosette and Marius- Les Mis
  10. Marian and Harold Hill- Music Man
  11. Captain Von Trapp and Maria- Sound of Music

Favorite Child Musical Characters

This is a list of some of the most memorable child characters in the world of musicals. They are in no order of how much I love, but I will identify which child character I love the most.

  1. Annie-favorite
  2. Molly and other orphans
  3. Young Cosette
  4. Gavroche
  5. Gretl, Marta-basically the younger Von Trapp children
  6. Winthrop
  7. Theo
  8. Les

Annie is my favorite character of these children because back in elementary school, Annie was my favorite musical. I especially loved the song “Tomorrow”. At one point I almost forgot how much I loved Annie, but I did eventually remember. I love the way she treats Molly, the youngest of the girls at the orphanage. I just love how optimistic Annie is and how she treats Sandy, a stray dog she just randomly adopts on the streets.

What are some your favorite child musical characters