Heartbreaking Songs

To continue on yesterday’s heartbreaking love songs, today I thought I would talk about ALL heartbreaking songs. I was 100% blind to heartbreak before my first year of college, but I did know about the emotion of sad. So at least I knew about sad- one of the emotions part of heartbreak. Heartbreak is basically a more devastating form of heartbreak. What are the other emotions associated with heartbreak? The ones I have found are anger, guilt, and loneliness among others. Heartbreak can hit you like a pile of breaks and can reduce you to tears. So now here is a list of the heartbreaking musical theatre songs.

  1. I’m Not That Girl 
  2. On My Own 
  3. I Dreamed a Dream 
  4. Come to Me 
  5. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables 
  6. Drink With Me 
  7. A Little Fall of Rain 
  8. Bring Him Home
  9. All I Ask Of You (Reprise)
  10. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again 
  11. If I Can’t Love Her 
  12. If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise) 
  13. Evermore 
  14. Endless Night 
  15. Letter From the Refuge
  16. This Nearly Was Mine 
  17. Somewhere
  18. Will I
  19. Your Eyes 
  20. Without You 
  21. Memory

These heartbreaking songs come from a number of musicals- Wicked, Newsies, Les Mis, Lion King, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, and Cats. Some of these songs are more devastating than others. Some of him hit me harder than others. Some hit me like a pile of bricks, and some don’t. Some of them make me tear up while others don’t.  Heartbreak is one of the most beautiful emotions in musical theatre and one of the strongest. 

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Must-See Musicals

What are Musicals people should see their lifetimes. That depends on what they are looking for. I am a musical theatre fanatic, who does have an idea on what a musical is, which is mainly based on what I grew up with. However, I do not mind if musicals do not match those. So this is my list of must-see musicals.

  1. Lion King – If you loved the movie, check out the stage show. Even if you never saw the movie, check out the stage show. It is a family friendly musical. The way they create the animals is spectacular. You will get hooked into the musical from the opening number. That scene is breathtaking. It everything you think of when it comes to a musical- it has the spectacle, the dance, the comedy, the romance, positive and negative emotions in the score, and a strong emotion connection. It has characters you easily fall in love with. There are a number of characters to fall in love with: Rafiki, Mufasa, Zazu, Nala, and Simba.

2. Les Mis- This is the longest-running musical in the West End. If it lasts that long, then there has to be something special in it. If you want a musical with a ton of emotion, Les Mis is the musical to see. It is filled with emotion- from love to hope to compassion to heartbreak to guilt to hopeless to etc. If you want a truly “human” story, Les Mis is the one to visit. The story is epic, powerful, and passionate. It is tragic and inspirational in so many ways. All the characters all feel like they belong in Les Mis because they directly and indirectly impact each others lives. All I am saying is that if you want a filled with emotion, Les Mis is the way to go. In this musical, it is so difficult to choose your favorite song or character- that is how amazing the characters and songs are. 

3. Wicked- This is another popular musical. If you want another spectacle and dance filled musical like Lion King, Wicked is another musical like that. If you want a story with a strong female protagonist, Wicked is perfect- after all it is not filled with one female protagonist, but two. It is another powerful musicals- it is about a beautiful friendship formed between Elphaba and Glinda.  

4. Phantom of the Opera- If you want a musical filled with mystery and darkness, Phantom would be a good option. It is overall a love triangle. It has this haunting feeling to it, but at the time, it has this incredible beauty to it.   

5. Beauty and the Beast- while it hasn’t been touring for a while, it is still an incredible musical to check out. It is home to this independent, brave, and unique, and caring protagonist. It teaches you that beauty comes from within. It is a very magical musical in so many ways.  It is very magical in the fact that the castle that Belle becomes prisoner in is enchanted- she meets enchanted objects like Lumeire, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip. 

6. Newsies-while home to basically all males, it is based of a true story, the 1899 Newsboy Strike. It is home to mind-blowing dance, which is worth watching. It is incredible watching their bond- they are basically one big family. Yes, I said, basically all males, but love that the reporter is female. Like a number of Disney musicals, there is romance: Jack, the leader and main character of Newsies, falls in love with Katherine, the reporter of the strike. It is so worth it in many ways.  

7. Sound of Music- I mean, who would not love this musical when they see it? Songs that are easy to sing along to and so on. See what I mean? It is worth seeing. 

What are must-sees? I know some some of these haven’t been on tour or exist on the West End of Broadway as of now, but still worth seeing at some point. 

Parallels that Exist in Musicals

These sort of things exist in the musical world. They are called parallels. What are some examples?

Wicked/ Les Mis

–  Elphaba/ Eponine- both have broken family lives, taken advantage of, part of a love triangle and deal with unrequited love (however the result is different)

-“On My Own”/ “I’m Not That Girl”- while on the topic of Eponine and Elphaba, I want to say the parallel between these two songs. Both are unrequited love songs. “On My Own” helped me understand “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaking song.

– Fiyero/ Enjolras- this is weird. I don’t get it- for some reason, I think there might be a parallel between these two characters. Three of my Enjolras’ have played Fiyero either before or after they played Enjolras.

 

Les Mis/ Newsies

Newsies/ Friends of the ABC- they both share a similar brotherly love, and have a passion and hope for a cause they truly believe in

Jack Kelly/ Enjolras- they both are leaders of they group they are part of, but what they care about the most is different.

 

Wicked/ Frozen 

Elphaba/ Elsa- both girls are misunderstood, believed to be monsters, and have powers they don’t know how to control

Glinda/ Anna- they both are outgoing and funny

Friendship/ Sisterhood- I see the center core of each storyline being quite similar

“Let it Go”/ “Defying Gravity”- I feel like these songs are very similar in many ways

  • I wonder if these parallels are why I was drawn to Frozen as much as I was. After all Wicked sparked my love for musicals

 

Les Mis/ Cats 

“I Dreamed a Dream”/ “Memory”- both songs reflect on the past and how worse Fantine’s and Grizzabella’s life has gotten. Just like how “On My Own” helped “I’m Not That Girl”, “I Dreamed a Dream” made me realize “Memory” was a heartbreaking song.

 

What are other parallels? I think musicals do help you understand parts of other musicals at times.

Challenge of 7 musicals

musicaltheatrelivesinmesite recently did a challenge on wordpress that seemed interesting and quite challenging so I decided to give it a try. I don’t know how accurate this will show up, but will be my best- I know it will be mostly accurate.

Here were the rules:

“You must select your seven top shows, then explain why you chose them in 100 – 200 words for each show”.

I mean selecting my top seven shows is difficult. I know what my top two musicals were, but those two musicals share that top spot, but everyone is convinced I know what my favorite musical is, but too afraid to admit it. I decided to go up for the challenge. I had to really think about it.

  1. Les Mis- I had a rocky start with Les Mis. Now, I can’t imagine a time where I did not love the musical. I am obsessed with the musical. It is the West End’s longest running musical. It is a musical about hope, love, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption in the midst of tragedy and heartbreak. These characters feel so “human” and touch your heart and soul in such a way that you are emotionally moved by their stories. The storyline has this beautiful underlying spirituality. It has the spirituality journey Valjean goes on, it has the tragic story of Fantine, the love triangle of Eponine, Marius, and Cosette, and the rebellion- all of them move me. The score is epic, passionate, powerful, and highly emotionally moving. It is so powerful- I mean it is a show that gives you goosebumps and reduces you to tears. I mean- it is hard to describe the power of the show- you have to see it to understand what I mean. It challenged everything I once knew about musicals- it showed me tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. It turned a love of musicals into a passion.

2. Wicked- Tied with Les Mis. Wicked sparked my love for musicals. It was the only show I saw on Broadway since I live in NC. What makes Les Mis hard to push past it? It has its bonuses. Everything about Wicked feels OZian- its score, the name of characters, and costumes all feel like they are OZian- you feel transported. Wicked is all about friendship- that is the center core. Elphaba and Glinda’s story is powerful and beautiful. The love triangle between the girls and Fiyero adds a fascinating texture. Those three characters are the only characters I am emotionally connected to. Those two storylines are the main ones I focus on. Elphaba is the character that matter most because I relate to her so strongly. That is a bonus- relating to a character. Wicked has incredible dance and spectacle to watch. Wicked was when I finally understood what it meant to have an emotional connection in a musical and what it mean for a musical character and plot to be complex. In addition, I began to understand the emotional side of musicals as well. I have been changed for good because of Wicked.  

3. Annie-  Before the green girl entered my life, Annie was my favorite musical. I actually did have an emotional connection to the character of Annie, but I did not know. I was optimistic as a child. There is something special about loving a musical as a child and continuing that love to your 20s. In 2014, I finally saw the stage show. I felt like a child again watching it live. It is at the 3rd spot because at one point Annie was my favorite musical. So it has been with me for so long. I love it more than ever. It is a very special musical. After all, it has that childhood nostalgia attached to it. 

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4. Sound of Music- Just like Annie, Sound of Music is a childhood musical. I remember “Edelweiss” being my first piano recital song. It is such a family friendly musical. There is something about it. It is so fun to sing to, and once again it has that childhood nostalgia attached to it. 2015 was my first time seeing the stage show. I felt like a kid, and began to love it more. “Edelweiss” gained an emotional nature it never had before. It was fun being able to see it unfold on stage. From seeing the movie as a child to seeing the stage show as a 21 year old is quite wonderful. I did feel like a child watching the stage show. It was different on stage- additional songs for instance. I am a bigger fan of Sound of Music now than I was as a child. 

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5. Phantom of the Opera- I fell in love with it by music alone. It is a hauntingly beautiful musical. The story is basically a mysterious and dark and angelic and beautiful love triangle. There is so much suspense found in there. You easily can get caught up in the Phantom’s spell. When I saw it, I was spellbound from start to finish and got choked up. I love Christine and Raoul as a couple. Phantom is a character you feel for even if you may not like his actions. It is a gorgeous musical to look at- it is a purely beautiful musicals. The songs are both haunting and beautiful.

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6. Rent- It is hard to confess I love Rent. People do not understand why I love since it is so controversial in subject matter. However, that doesn’t stop me from loving it. It is the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. I love the community that Rent has. The community that the 7 friends have is wonderful. The message of living in the moment and measuring your life in love is why it is meaningful. I love that message so much. It has one of the best closings to a musical. I understand people might be put off by a musical dealing with HIV/AIDS, the LGBT community, and a drug addict- I get that, but you just can’t ignore the message it is selling. I love those songs it has. It is an emotional musical, and I do connect to the community.  

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7. Newsies- This is a very new musical in my life. I loved it since I saw the tour two years ago. I loved this inspiring story of how this Newsies stood up for what they believed in. The Newsies share this brotherly love for each other. I especially am in awe of the bond between Jack and Crutchie. An energetic, fun, and at times emotional score. The dancing in this musical is mind-blowing- it is amazing to watch- the tricks are incredible. I love the lines in “Seize the Day” that go “Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear”. Two weeks after I saw the tour, the moment I heard those lyrics, I knew Newsies was a meaningful musical. I love the fact that this is actually based of a true story. 

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I now challenge you do to do this challenge. Use only 7 musicals- it is crazy after all since two musicals are tied for the top spot.

 

 

What are the Contemporary Musicals I Love?

There are both classic and contemporary musicals. There are mixed feelings on contemporary musicals- do I love the contemporary musicals. I do love contemporary musicals- but I do not love all of them- that’s for sure. Today, I thought I would write a list of those that I know I love. These are based on the years they came out on Broadway. I am specifically talking about stage shows.

1. Wicked (2003)- So, this musical started everything. It started my love for musicals. It was when I realized what an emotional connection was. It was when I started to understand emotions- the core emotions of excitement, joy, love, and sad were all in Wicked. I already understood excitement and joy previously. I don’t know if I previously understood love previously. I do know I didn’t know musical songs could be sad previously. It was the beginning of understanding musicals as a whole. The center core of Elphaba and Glinda’s friendship is what makes it as powerful as it is. Then the texture added by the love triangle found between the girls and Fiyero makes it more delightful. Everything in Wicked feels well OZian- it all works. I fell in love with it in 2006.

2. Mamma Mia (2001)- I fell in love with it a decade ago. So this year was a milestone. It is a fun and delightful musical. It is pure joy and that is what it basically is. It helps balance out other musicals- the ones that combine joyful and sad songs together.

3. Newsies (2012)- This is a fairly new musical in my life. I have loved it since 2016- see what I mean by new? The mind-blowing dance, the inspiring story, the bond found between all the students in particular the intimate bond between Jack and Crutchie, and the fun, energetic and at times emotional score makes it such a delightful musical. Such a wonderful Disney musical to watch. Yes, the movie came out in 1992, but the stage show came out on Broadway in 2012 so it is a contemporary musical.

4. Frozen (2018)- Yes, I am stretching things. I fell in love with the movie 2013- I fell in love with the musical at that time. Yes, not sick and tired of “Let it Go”. I have listened to a couple of the new songs. I already know I am going to love the stage show- if I loved the movie- how can I not love the stage show? If I already had fallen in love with songs like “Monster” and “True Love”, I know I will love the stage show. Sometimes, you have that feeling before seeing the show. I know I have to wait for a tour- hopefully what I heard was true- I heard Fall 2019, Frozen is to embark on a tour across the US.

Most of the musicals I love are not contemporary- they come from the 1990s and before. I have seen some other contemporary musicals, but they were not ones I love. Most of the musicals I have seen are not contemporary: that is a big reason why this list is tiny.  Songs are key to loving musicals- they make me form emotional connection to characters and plot.

What are contemporary musicals you love?

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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What is Fascinating About the Actors and Actresses We get in Musicals

I think one of the most powerful things about musicals belong to the actors and actresses. They shape our views of the characters and our views of the musical itself. If we are seeing a show a second or third or even fourth time, we find something new. Our first actor or actress in a role gives us our first impression of a character. Every audience member sees the same actor very differently. I might absolutely love a particular actor or actress, but the audience member next to me might not. There is nothing wrong with that: we just are interpreting it differently.

The actors and actresses we end up with is based on many factors: when we see the musical, where we are seeing it, the country we live in, the musicals we want to see and the time plus whether or not we get an understudy. Must If you get an understudy, RESPECT them no matter what. Our first impression of a character is usually important. If we see a musical more than once, we end up combining actor’s portrayals: that is the case for Les Mis and Wicked characters. I have seen those musicals more than once. Wicked was seen four times on stage. Les Mis, I watched the film, the 25th concert, and three stage casts. So my first impression of the characters of Les Mis belonged to the film. There is usually a certain actor or actress that makes us fall in love with a character.

Here are some actors and actresses that have made a lasting impact on me: movies and stage

Lisa Karlin- She was my Leading Player. She was the standout when I saw Pippin. I loved the way she presented herself. Like in “Magic to Do”, she was very playful, but I could detect a small amount hint of “evil”, Then in songs like “Glory”, she got rid of the playfulness and showed her craftiness and darkness more. She was playful around Pippin to make it seem that he could trust her. She played her as very crafty, manipulative, dark, sneaky, and playful. She even can trick the audience into believing that she was leading Pippin on the right path.

Joey Barreiro- He was my first Jack. I have seen two fantastic Jacks after him. But still to this day, Joey is still my favorite Jack. I fell in love with Jack all because of Joey. He had this incredible dreamy, romantic, and innocent nature. He showed Jack’s inner conflict perfectly and was able to act as a leader.

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Samantha Barks- she was my first Eponine. She was the reason why I developed a beautiful bond with Eponine in the first place. She is such a very talented Eponine. She perfectly showed how alone Eponine is. She was very believable as that girl. If it was not for her, I do not know if I would have fallen in love with Eponine. To this day, still is my favorite Eponine.

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Mary Kate Morrissey- True, I fell in love with Elphaba before her, but she is the Elphaba I remember the most. I saw her as standby on tour in 2016. She embodied Elphaba perfectly. She was able to bring something new to the role. She understood the role perfectly. She made me appreciate a song I always hated, and for once felt emotions in “No Good Deed”. She even altered her voice: in act I, her voice sounded innocent, but in act II, her voice was mature.

Amanda Jane Copper- She was in the same cast as Mary Kate Morrissey. you NEVER can have a brilliant Elphaba without an excellent Glinda and vice versa. Amanda was an excellent Glinda, which meant “For Good” was perfectly. Her Glinda kept on making me laugh in all of Glinda’s funny lines and she perfectly expressed Glinda’s pain in act II.

Ashley Parker Angel- I loved what he did to the role. He acted the lion cub scene as if he had a crush on Elphaba, but deep down does not seem to know it. So act I had some foreshadowing going on. I wanted to get to the bottom of this love triangle plot twist. He already decided to make his chemistry weaker with Glinda then with Elphaba.

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Jeremy Secomb- I saw him in the West End. I struggle with Javert so much. Jeremy is the only Javert I have seen that I have felt sympathy for, and that is why he had a lasting impact on me.

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Joshua Grosso- I already made this clear. He became my favorite Marius. What happens when your favorite character in the Les Mis love triangle is Eponine, but your strongest actor is Marius? That is what happened in November of last year. He was charming and awkward. He treated falling in love with Cosette like “I’m in love, but what to do with it”. At the barricades, people might think he isn’t showing enough emotion during “A Little Fall of Rain”, but it works. He focused more on comforting Eponine. Wait till the end- he almost acted a bit stunned- he did not say a word until about 5-10 seconds- then said “grow” and the way he said it hurt. So he still was able to show his hurt. His “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was very heartbreaking. So he embodied Marius perfectly and changed my perception of him.

He made Marius nearly a core favorite Les Mis character. I saw something in his Marius that made him shine.

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I could have talked about all actors and actresses that have had a lasting impact on me, but the list could have taken too long.