Musicals I Love With Sad In It

This sounds like a crazy post. Well, the musicals I tend to be drawn to are complex and have both positive and negative emotions in it. Below I will write a list of the musicals that I love where sad has been involved and that only counts if it was in the songs, but not where it wasn’t that capable.

  1. Sound of Music
  2. Wicked
  3. Newsies
  4. South Pacific
  5. Phantom of the Opera
  6. Rent
  7. Les Mis
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Man of La Mancha

Why do I love feeling the negative emotions in these if they are going to hurt? Well, musical emotions come in two sets, which only applies to positive emotions. There are the positive emotions that are naturally part of the show and than there are the emotions that naturally apply to the experience. I feel like those with sad going on feel more real to me. Some of these musicals actually took some time until I realized sad was in some of them. But some, I knew on the very first round that sad is a piece of them.

Possible Spoilers:

Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the negative emotions. I can trace back how far the negative emotions have come through this musical. I remember not liking “No Good Deed” that much and that song seemed emotionless from 2006 all the way until 2016. I saw Wicked live in 2006, sometime in high school, 2013, and 2016. That one song seemed not interesting and seemed emotionless. It was in 2016, my fourth time, where the portrayal of “No Good Deed” finally made me appreciate it for once and where I finally began to pick up on its emotions.

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Well “I’m Not That Girl” began as this sad song and was a sad song during the first three rounds. Well, I don’t know when it was, but I want to say it was like 2014 or 2015, I realized the song was heartbreaking thanks to the help of “On My Own”. I realized that both songs were about unrequited love and due to “On My Own” being stronger, I realized “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaker.

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But where did I began to realize that heartbreak was part of the musical world? Well, I didn’t know about heartbreak until December of 2012. It was when I saw Les Mis for the first time through the movie. While watching the movie, I finally was able to pick up on heartbreak, but I thought the musical was too depressing. I wasn’t able to dig deeper because I didn’t know it was going to be tragic and I didn’t know musicals could be tragic.  Les Mis showed me a side of emotions I thought was literally impossible and it was during my second viewing of the movie where I began to see something special about Les Mis. Over time, I realized the musical wasn’t too depressing due to its underlying spirituality, which has themes of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. Ever since the realization of heartbreak, I was able to notice that it was much easier to spot negative emotions and darkness in other musicals.

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Just like Les Mis, Rent is a sad musical. It takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s/1990s. It has an incredible message of how precious life is, living in the moment, and measuring your life in love. You see these characters struggle through depression, drug addiction, relationships, HIV/AIDS. But they are like this family despite all their struggles.

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In the case of Sound of Music, I never noticed sad was in one of its songs for quite a long time. I grew up with the movie and never once picked up on that emotion. I remember it being in 2015 when I saw the stage show for the first time. It was during “Edelweiss” and I remember the emotion entering at a place that seemed unusual. It was at the moment where the Captain stopped singing and there was a pause before Maria and the children started singing and I noticed the emotion. I feel like realizing sad was in a song in the middle of that song is a spot where the emotions tends not to be a part of. But due to the emotional shift in “Edelweiss”, I learned to love the musical even more.

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The latest meaningful musical that had sad in the score belongs to Newsies. I remember watching it and it existed at the end of act one. I just witnessed this big fight break out as a result of the strike. After the fight, Jack witnessed Crutchie being arrested and that left him with a lot of inner conflict. In the first scene, which was “Santa Fe (Prologue), you realize that Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Due to what he witnessed, he sang “Santa Fe” and that became a sad song and I felt sad, but innocently during the production. Another moment with the negative emotions belonged in “Letter From the Refuge”. The thing with that song is that I don’t remember it while watching the production. I eventually rediscovered the song and was able to notice I do remember one of the lyrics. After a couple of listens, I realized that song is a heartbreaker.

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The negative emotions are highly important in the world of musicals. For all of these musicals, my emotional connection is quite strong. I care about these characters’ journeys, which is why I love feeling the negative emotions. I only love feeling the negative emotions in musicals that I love myself and typically tend to be a meaningful musical.

My Vision of Musicals

Everyone has a vision of what they want from a vision.  My vision of musicals was created while I was growing up. I grew up watching movie musicals like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Grease, Sound of Music, and Annie. I even grew up seeing musicals in the theatre and those musicals included things like Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Wicked. So below I will take about what I expect from a musical.

First things first is the songs. I want to be connected to the songs. The songs are key to any musical. I want to love the songs. The main emotions come through the songs. I want songs to be memorable and emotional. I want the songs to feel like they belong in the musical they are in. Growing up, there was one type of song that I commonly associated with musical and those are the songs that tend to start out slow and eventually slow up. I even look for love songs and sad songs.

Next thing belongs to the characters. No matter what they are going through, I want to care about their journeys. The characters make me love the songs even more. Just like the songs, I want the characters to be memorable. I want the characters to be complex and strong. I want the characters to feel real. I also look for relatability, but I can’t relate to the character, I look for something that makes them stand out.

Next thing belongs to the plot. Just like the characters, I want the plot to be complex, strong, and relatable. I tend to look for multiple storylines. I want there to be a certain amount of conflict. Conflict plays a key role in the emotions. Conflict affects whether or not the songs have just positive emotions or if the songs have a combination of positive and negative emotions.

When it comes to all three, I want to be emotionally connected. I want my emotional connection to strong enough to truly care about the different character’s emotions. When it comes to the negative emotions, I want those songs to have vulnerability, fragility, and beauty. I only can seem to love feeling the negative emotions if my emotional connection to the songs, characters, and story are strong enough.

Another part of my vision has to do with comedy. Growing up, I wanted a musical to be happy or a comedy itself. Now that I am older and know that tragic musicals exist, I look at the aspect of comedy very differently. I want some comic aspect in a musical.

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My vision also includes spectacle and dance. Just like songs, the spectacle and dance add to the experience. Dance in my opinion is an example of spectacle. Those two elements make an experience unique. Sometimes spectacle helps with believability because they can help you believe in settings such as the land of OZ, an enchanted castle, or the wilds of Africa. But not all musicals have spectacle and dance.

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Overall, what I am really looking for is the emotional connection. Recently I discovered that I can still fall in love with a musical without the dance or spectacle. When that happens, I want the emotional connection to be strong enough to make up for the loss of spectacle and dance. So the emotional connection is really the key to falling in love with a musical. So what I want really is a strong score, memorable and complex characters, and a complex and strong plot. However, spectacle and dance is still part of my vision when it comes to musicals.

Some of the best plots and songs tend to be quite powerful. I want the positive and negative emotions to be a part of the show. It sounds crazy that I want to feel the negative emotions in the songs, but it really works even though they can hurt. I tend to love the negative emotions the most when they are beyond the mild world.

What is your vision of a musical?

Favorite Female Musical Characters: Part One

I recently talked about my favorite male musical characters. Now its the time for my favorite female characters. As a matter of fact, my favorite musical character is female and I will identify which she is. So here is my list of favorite female characters.

  1. Elphaba- Favorite
  2. Glinda
  3. Eponine
  4. Young Cosette
  5. Fantine
  6. Annie
  7. Grizabella
  8. Christine
  9. Mimi
  10. Belle
  11. Katherine
  12. Maria- Sound of Music
  13. Anna- King and I
  14. Audrey

These are my favorite female characters I can speak of right now. The next post will go into some of these characters more into detail and explain why I love them. About the the last two, they are two characters I love, but are not from musicals I love.

Favorite Male Characters: Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote a list of my favorite male characters. Today, I will explain why I love them.

Possible Spoilers:

First up is Jean Valjean. He is the protagonist of Les Misérables. I love him because of his transformation. He is an ex-convict who has been imprisoned unjustly. He was sentenced for five years because he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister’s son. Because of trying to escape, he was imprisoned for nineteen years. When he was released, he was a hateful, harsh, and angry man. He realized that society was treat him poorly because he was an ex-convict. Through an act of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness by the bishop, Valjean was able to start his life fresh.

Years laters, he started to live by the example by the example. He was no longer angry, harsh, and hateful. He began to show compassion towards the poor. He decided to help the prostitute, Fantine, after he intervened to prevent her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. Valjean has this strong spirituality and is one of the reasons why Les Mis is inspirational.

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Another set of Les Mis male characters I love are Gavroche, Enjolras and the students. They are a group of revolutionaries who are planning to start a rebellion. They stand up for what they believe and they continue to stay passionate and hopeful. Even when they know they are going to lose, they still are passionate towards their cause. Of all the students, Enjolras is their leader and the most passionate about the cause.

A lot of their songs are passionate and hopeful, but in “Drink With Me”, they feel quite hopeless because they know are going to lose, but they always stay passionate. I love how they decide to take in Gavroche, a heroic boy. Gavroche is a Thenardier and the parents become his family.

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A group of characters that is similar to the students in Les Mis are the Newsies. Just like the students, they stand up for what they believe in. The Newsies are like this big one family with Jack Kelly as their leader. Of all the Newsies, my favorites are Jack and Crutchie. I love the bond they have for each other, which is clearly shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). You discover Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Jack is a well rounded character because he has a hobby of drawing and he eventually goes through inner conflict after seeing Crutchie being arrested after this big fight breaks out.

In Wicked, I love the character of Fiyero. But the problem is I cannot exactly pinpoint why I love him. I don’t know if has something to do with his songs or his costumes of something completely different. He starts out the story with no really caring much about anything. He is involved in a very complicated and ironic love triangle with Elphaba and Glinda. I honestly wish I know why I love this character.

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Another male character I love is the Beast. I love how complex of a character he is. I love how he eventually learned to love. At the beginning, the Beast started out as angry. I don’t blame especially after he had to live his life as beast the enchantress put a spell on him. He had to live his life as a beast and would stay that way if he didn’t learn to love. But when he met Belle, everything changed. Belle taught him the importance of love and she learned to see that is more to the Beast than the temper he always seems to have.

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What are some your favorite male musical characters?

What Makes a Musical Meaningful?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In your opinion, what makes a musical meaningful?

Young Musical Love

Romance is quite a beautiful part of musicals. No theme has been greater than that. But what is so special about the young love that is presented? As a matter of fact, most romances in musicals are young lovers. That makes sense because most musical characters are young.

I feel like with young musical characters, there is this kind of innocence built into them. There even is a wonderful sense of youth built into the romances as well. There even is a sense of maturity. At times, love has fragility and vulnerability built into the mix especially during unrequited love songs.

I feel like the love triangles fare very well with young musical characters. Whether that is the love triangle either in Wicked or Les Mis, it still works really well. The love triangles are incredibly complicated especially the Wicked one. No matter what, you can’t make all of the characters involved happy at all. I still don’t fully understand a love triangle, but it makes more sense than ever.

There is always the unrequited lover and that can be confusing. In the Wicked one, that is really challenging because the unrequited love shifts gears on you because it starts with Elphaba having unrequited love for Fiyero, but in act II it shifts to Glinda feeling unrequited love for Fiyero. Elphaba and Fiyero are my favorite musical couple because you wouldn’t expect them to get together at all. They may be young, but their song is so mature and quite mystical.

In the case of Les Mis, the unrequited love never shifts gears on you because it is always Eponine. This love triangle fares very well. There are two times where you see all three together and you end up feeling for all of them.

Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius is quite a special one because she constantly is showing true love towards him even if he won’t do the same for her. Eponine’s unrequited love is very heartbreaking and painful for her especially because Marius is the only good in her life and is the only person to show her kindness. That is why she loves Marius so much and why she keeps on loving him. She continues to love him until the very end of her story.

When it comes to Disney, young musical characters give the show a kind of magic, which is perfect for Disney. One such couple is Katherine and Jack, the newest Disney couple of my life. Below are pictures of young romances including my favorite couple. I feel like young musical romances are incredible because of their songs.

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Elphaba and Fiyero

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Cosette, Marius, Eponine

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Raoul, Christine

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Jack, Katherine

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Tony, Maria

What is special about young musical couples?

 

 

Importance of Family in Musicals

I have seen various different kinds of families found in musicals over the years. Some are biological while some are not. This post is only going to focus on loving families and not any kind of broken or dysfunctional families.

First up is the family from Sound of Music. I love this family even though the Captain is very strict and runs his house like he is Captain of the navy or something like that. Maria helps the children and the Captain so much. By teaching the children to sing, Maria makes the family feel whole again. It make the house full of music. To me, the two most core things about Sound of Music are music and family.

Major Spoilers:

Next up is the relationship between Valjean and Cosette. Yes, this family isn’t biological, but yet the two still make up a family. Valjean had to end up taking care of Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. Her mother, Fantine, was fired from Valjean’s factory after the foreman discovered that she had an illegitimate child. She soon had to turn to prostitution and she blames Valjean for why she was fired because after all it was his factory. Well, Javert was about to arrest Fantine because she attacked a man even though it was self-defense. Valjean intervened and prevented her from being arrested and demanded she be sent to a hospital. As Fantine was dying, Valjean promised to her that he would raise Cosette as his own.

So Valjean became father to Cosette in the most unexpected of ways. He learned that Cosette was quite a broken child because he learned she was being terribly abused by the Thenardiers. He rescued her from that life and became a loving father towards her. It can be tough raising Cosette because he is an ex-convict always on the run from Javert. He even is willing to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of Cosette’s and that is why he rescues Marius from the barricade due to his daughter loving him. It is hard for Valjean to let Cosette go because she is the main happiness in his life.

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There is another incredible family in Les Mis. I find the relationship between all of the students like this kind of family. They are like brothers and literally take in Gavroche. They become like Gavroche’s family. In this group of friends, Enjolras is the leader. This is a political group in Les Mis and they planning an uprising to stand up for what they believe in due to a weak government. They stay so passionate towards the cause and stay hopeful.

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Thinking of the students from Les Mis, they can remind me of the family found among all the Newsies. They are like this one big family with Jack Kelly being the leader. In a lot of ways, all they have in life is each other. Some of them are orphans while others are runaways or actually have a family. Davey and Les are the only ones in this batch of brothers in this group who actually have a family. When Pultizer raised the price of papers at the Newsies expense, they ended up going on strike to stand up for what they believe in.

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Another family I find in musicals is the relationship between the characters in Rent. Yes, another family that isn’t biological. The relationship found between Mark, Roger, Mimi, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, and Angel is an important one. They are literally this family in a lot of ways. They make the most of life even in the midst of fear due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which Mimi, Roger, Collins, and Angel are battling.

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Another family is found between Annie and Daddy Warbucks. He invites an orphan to stay at his house for a week for Christmas (Fourth of July in the movie). Annie ends up being the one selected. Later in the story, Daddy Warbucks eventually adopts Annie.

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While I brought up loving families that exist in the world of musicals, there is another important family that is part of the musical world. Well, it is my family as a matter of fact. I don’t just love musical due to the dance, spectacle, song, and emotion. It is also due to the fact that going to the theatre is something my family likes to do. Whether it is my entire family or only three of us or even a date with a parent, it is something I will always remember. It is an important piece of what my family likes to do. I saw Wicked with my dad and I saw Wicked (Broadway), Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and Les Mis (West End) with my mom.

I grew up seeing musicals with my family. Growing up with musicals is a huge part of why I love musicals. Through the musicals I grew up with, I was able to learn what a musical can be capable of which ranges from spectacle to dance to song to four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad to understanding the importance of emotional connection and comedy. All of that I discovered is still important in musicals today, but all of them expanded especially in the emotions thanks to discovering a fifth main emotion, which is heartbreak. Seeing musicals with my family will always be memories that I will cherish.