Musicals I do Cry during

Musicals are assumed to be happy and comic. Non-musical fans don’t seem to know about the emotional side of musicals. There are emotional songs in musicals. There are heartbreaking, sad, bittersweet, and love songs in musicals. In addition, there are tragic musicals- tragic musicals are something that I didn’t know about until Les Mis entered my life. Emotional songs can lead you to cry- to even be an emotional wreck (as in multiple songs in the musicals). What are the musicals I have cried during? I decided to make a list of those here- it has changed since the last time I made a post about the same thing.

Sound of Music

  • In November 2015, I had never cried during a song in the musical. I was assuming there was no way Sound of Music could cause me to have the reaction. Enter Edelweiss- it is my favorite song from the musical; the moment Ben Davis, who played the Captain, stopped singing and before the children joined in, I picked up on a nonverbal that made sadness enter that picture. Sad was NEVER a part of Sound of Music in the songs- I was raised on Sound of Music- the movie. I started crying right when the children joined in. Ben Davis’ nonverbal was enough for me to get that reaction. I think it was a combo of the nostalgia, the bittersweetness of the song (which was new that day), and his nonverbal (a pause does hold a lot of power). Sound of Music was my 4th and final musical I saw in 2015, which was still the best year of musical.
"Edelweiss"
Edelweiss

Oliver

  • It was the first time I saw the movie. I didn’t cry for most of the movie. Then came “As Long As He Needs Me”- knowing how heartbreaking that song was- I was in tears listening to that song. Any song that has the words sad and love attached to it are always heartbreaking.
"As Long as He Needs Me" from the movie
As Long As He Needs Me

Wicked

  • Last time I saw Wicked, “For Good” hit me hard. That song is supposed to be more emotional than the heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl”. I saw an excellent Elphaba (standby Mary Kate Morrissey) and an excellent Glinda (Amanda Jane Copper). Their “For Good” left be in tears- their Elphaba and Glinda mixed with how meaningful Wicked is to me mixed with seeing it with Gardner Webb are huge reasons why “For Good” affected me the way it did. “For Good” represents the center core of Wicked- it is after all about the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda.
"For Good"

Miss Saigon

  • I did a fresh list of this because of Miss Saigon. It is the newest musical to make me cry. Coming in, I knew it would because of Les Mis. The music was written by the same people. If Les Mis affected me so strongly- Miss Saigon would hit me too. When a musical is a tragic love story-you automatically know two of the emotions: love and heartbreak; you can’t escape and you can’t escape the ending either. In a tragic love story, things aren’t going to end well- you don’t want that to happen if you become attached to the two lovers. As for Miss Saigon, I almost cried in “Movie in the Mind”, but the real tears started in “Sun and Moon”, which is when I became attached to Kim and Chris. “Sun and Moon” is when they have fallen in love- Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa made me want those two to stay together, and as a result, did not want it to end tragically. There were other moments I did cry- “Sun and Moon” was the one I remembered the most. They are still a very very new couple I fell in love with- I only saw Miss Saigon in Feb.
"Last Night of the World" during the Miss Saigon North American Tour
“Last Night of the World”

Rent

  • Talk about emotional wreck- Rent is one of those musicals. In 2017, I saw Rent in person for the first time. I knew there were songs, like “Will I?”, and “Your Eyes” that will emotionally affect me, but there were songs that never emotionally affected until I saw Rent. I was a bigger emotional wreck in person than I am with the final Broadway cast film. The power of live theatre- songs like “Rent”, for instance, had an emotional impact on me. I was crying in songs I always cry during- “One Song Glory” was more emotional than it typically is- and so on. I was an emotional wreck watching Rent. I would be an emotional wreck more than once in 2017.

Les Mis

  • Do I have to say more? A lot of Les Mis fans are emotional wrecks watching it. Before Les Mis, I knew about the emotional side of musicals. I knew about the complex side of musicals as well. There were four core emotions I discovered: excitement, love, joy, and sad. I thought I knew musicals- I thought the knew the entire emotional nature, but boy was I so wrong. Les Mis went “are you sure you know musicals, are you sure you know how intense emotions can get in them.” A new core emotion entered the picture: heartbreak. I have been a fan of Les Mis of six years-a love that began with the film (which I had to give a 2nd chance). I never knew emotions get affect me like that-Les Mis sure taught me a lot. It disproved a lot. I still am an emotional wreck- it can be songs alone, can be the stage show, can be the film, and can be the 25th anniversary concert- all cause me to an emotional wreck. Les Mis is the musical I am the biggest emotional wreck during.
"One Day More" during the US Tour of Les Mis
“One Day More”
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Contemporary and Classical Musical Theatre- Which one am I (Am I Both?)

One of the most frustrating questions I am asked as a musical theatre fanatic is if I prefer classical musicals over contemporary or vice versa- what happens if you are both. I decided to talk about the question here. I will talk about a number of the musicals I love and the ones I am interested in seeing.

Classical

  • These are musicals people tend to think of that come before the 21st century. I will talk about the ones that I love that come before then.

Music Man

  • I love Music Man for how light-hearted and happy it is. I love its song and plot.

Sound of Music

  • This was and still is a childhood meaningful musical. The songs are fun and very easy to sing along to. Its plot is very easy to fall in love with. Sound of Music is very easy to fall in love with.

South Pacific

  • One of the things that drew me to South Pacific is the fact that it is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Its songs are both fun and emotional. This musical is a romance, and like any Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, it focuses on two couples- one of which is more light-hearted and the other of which more serious.

Singing in the Rain

  • I love Singing in the Rain for some of the same reasons why I love Music Man. It has the light-hearted and fun nature. You want musicals like that to help balance out musicals out.

Oliver

  • This is another musical I quite enjoy. It has a collection of fun and emotional songs. I love it when songs in musicals (like South Pacific) are home to positive and negative emotions. Incredible plot- after all, this is based off Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Fiddler on the Roof

  • Like all of these musicals, I love the songs in Fiddler on the Roof.

Annie

  • This musical, like Sound of Music, is a meaningful childhood musical. I have always related to Annie. I think that is why I always loved Annie. Its catchy songs, and its incredible plot are reasons why I love Annie so much.

Les Mis

  • There are several reasons why I love Les Mis. I love how powerful, epic, powerful, and highly emotional it is. I love how so intricate its plot- literally if one thing is out, the entire plot is ruined. The characters are so interconnected that they directly and indirectly impact each others’ lives. Usually in a musical- I know my favorite song, but in Les Mis- there is no way I can pick. Les Mis is the reason why I am passionate about musicals. Les Mis always makes me an emotional wreck- either by songs alone, the film, or the stage show. It disproved many things I thought a musical was growing up.

Phantom of the Opera

  • I love the spellbinding and mysterious nature of Phantom of the Opera. Its’ love triangle is dark, suspenseful, angelic, and beautiful. This musical is hauntingly beautiful in so many ways. I was spellbound and choked up when I saw it.

Beauty and the Beast

  • It is quite an enchanting and magical musical. Its characters are extremely memorable- from Belle to Beast to the enchanted objects. Its songs are extremely energetic, but at the same time there are the more emotional songs at times.

Lion King

  • I love how the animals are created in Lion King. Also love the energetic and emotional nature of the songs in this musical. It has such a memorable plot.

Contemporary

  • Now we are in the more contemporary musicals. It sounds like I love a number of classical musicals- there are other classical musical I love (just gives you an idea). Now we are into the musicals of the 21st century

Mamma Mia

  • Just like Music Man and Singing in the Rain, it has the overall light-hearted nature. I love how fun the numbers are- that is the main reason why I love Mamma Mia.

Wicked

  • Of all the contemporary musicals, Wicked is my favorite. Wicked was responsible for sparking my love for musicals. I love that the two protagonists in Wicked are two strong females. The story is about Elphaba (AKA The Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda’s relationship. Everything- from songs, to costumes (everything) feels OZian. Wicked was the reason why I knew what an emotional connection was; what it meant for a musical theatre character and plot to be complex; and where I learned the emotional side of musicals. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. Wicked is home to my favorite musical theatre love triangle. The only characters I emotionally connected to in Wicked are Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Newsies

  • Newsies is one of the newest musicals of my life. I love the bond all of them share especially the intimate one found between Jack Kelly and Crutchie. I love seeing characters who stand up for what they believe in. The dancing I saw in Newsies was mind-blowing. The songs are energetic and emotional.

Frozen

  • While I still haven’t seen the stage show, I still love the musical. It all started with the film- I fell in love with the movie; the plot, the characters (except for some- the bad guys are the ones I did not like), and the songs from the film. When I first heard it was coming to stage, I was excited. I eventually began to listen to some of the new songs, and I fell in love with the new songs I listened to. I believe the stage show will be more emotional, which will mean it will be stronger and more believable, than the movie. I recently heard that Fall 2019, a US Tour be launched- cannot wait- hopefully in Charlotte’s 2019-2020: Frozen will be part of it.

Other Contemporary Musicals I Want to See

  • Anastasia- got interested after hearing some songs in 2018
  • Something Rotten- got interested after some songs as well (don’t remember what year

Conclusion

  • So, about am I a classical musical theatre fan or about a contemporary musical fan? I believe I am both. I know, I have seen more musicals that are pre-21st century. The musicals I see has to do with what musicals are on tour- and which ones I choose to see during the season. I am both- just doesn’t seem that way.

Heartbreaking Love Songs

If a musical theatre song is both a love and sad song, it will ALWAYS be heartbreaking. That is always the truth- that’s for sure. These songs can be ironic or non-ironic. Those songs fall under unrequited love songs, breakup songs, or if the plot is a tragic love story. What are examples of these songs? Below I will list some of those songs. 

  1. I’m Not That Girl/ I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)
  2. On My Own 
  3. Somewhere 
  4. As Long As He Needs Me 
  5. This Nearly Was Mine 
  6. If I Can’t Love Her/ If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise) 
  7. Evermore
  8. All I Ask Of You (Reprise) 

I’m Not That Girl was the FIRST heartbreaking love song I was emotionally connected to, but was sad in the beginning. I never called I’m Not That Girl a sad love song- I never combined emotions together- I called it sad. On My Own, just like I’m Not That Girl, began as a sad song, but after a year I realized it was heartbreaking- On My Own was key to realizing I’m Not That Girl was heartbreaking. As a matter of fact, On My Own made me realize all sad love songs were heartbreaking. The heartbreaking love songs have a combination of emotions- they can be home to sad, anger, and loneliness: it depends on the song and the actor and actress who is playing the character. Some of those heartbreaking love songs are much more heartbreaking than others: for instance, On My Own is more heartbreaking than I’m Not That Girl. 

Spoilers: 

It sounds crazy how some of them are ironic- that means the love situation improves in the end or you don’t expect the character to sing it. I’m Not That Girl is the best example- after all the unrequited love shifts from Elphaba to Glinda, which is why the song is sung twice. In addition, the spell gets broken in Beauty and the Beast, which makes If I Can’t Love Her/ If I Can’t Love Her (Reprise), and Evermore ironic. The same situation happens with This Nearly Was Mine because Nellie goes back to Emelie in the end. 

Non ironic- that means the situation NEVER improves in the end. That would mean that character might have unrequited love the entire time. In Les Mis, Eponine has unrequited love for Marius till the end of her journey in Les Mis- she does have a tragic ending, but at the same time, her fate is touching and moving and is home to joy. Eponine’s fate is death, but she gets to die in the arms of Marius after getting shot- that is where the joy comes from. So On My Own is not ironic at all. So the heartbreaking love songs are both ironic and non-ironic. 

The heartbreaking love songs are some of the most beautiful songs in musical theatre. They are fragile, vulnerable, and some of them are home to innocence. It just depends on the character and how much they love the person they are in love with at that point in the story. 

What makes a Musical Character “Believable” (Part 2)

I did a post a couple weeks back about what makes musical character believable. As time went on, I realized I left off a characteristic. So I am doing another post.

Below are the characteristics:

Complex– Musical characters have to be complex. These are the characters that have so many layers. There is a lot to be explored in them. They are the ones who usually face some kind of conflict in their lives. Complex characters range from Jack Kelly, Eponine, Elphaba, Jean Valjean, Beast, Glinda and Marius.

Negative Emotions– The characters who express the negative emotions are also “believable”. In real life, we deal with brought times and we do express negative emotions. It all goes back to the idea of complex. Conflict plays a huge impact on the negative emotions. The conflict has to be strong enough in order for the negative emotions to appear. Eponine, Phantom, Fantine, Marius, Jack Kelly, Beast, Nancy, Jean Valjean, and Crutchie all express negative emotions.

A character does not have to be tragic to express negative emotions: it just has to do with what happens in their lives. Marius, for instance, faces a lot of trauma at the barricade- he first has to watch Eponine die during “A Little Fall of Rain”, which leaves him devastated, and then he ends up being the only survivor so he is an example of a character who expresses negative emotions and who is not a tragic character.

Positive Emotions- Characters who express positive and negative emotions are even more realistic. I know there are characters like Eponine who expresses a lot of negative emotions but are able to experience the positive emotions. Eponine experiences happiness when she is able to die in the arms of Marius. Marius like I already said, experiences a lot of trauma at the barricade, but he does experience positive emotions such as his love for Cosette or the hope he did have for the rebellion.

Other characters like Jack and Crutchie, they very easily express positive and negative emotions. Prior to the big fight and “Santa Fe”, Jack expresses the positive emotions and does not express any negative emotion, but when he is upset that his boys are getting hurt and Crutchie gets arrested, he goes through a lot of “inner conflict” from “Santa Fe” all the way to “Something to Believe In”. Crutchie mainly expresses the negative emotions in “Letter from the Refuge”. So you have both tragic and non-tragic characters expressing the positive and negative emotions.

Flawed– This is the characteristic I forgot to include last time. Characters have to be flawed. Sometimes it can be hard to notice a character’s flaws. But it is so true. Flaws help a character become even more “believable”. Elphaba for instance can be a bit impulsive. Fiyero starts off as rather rude, but he soon learns to soften a bit and eventually matures. Beast has a hard time controlling his temper but soon learns how to control it.

All of these characteristics are part of humanity. We all have our flaws and we all express positive and negative emotions. Plus humans are very complex. There is much to humans. So when a character has all of these characteristics, they feel the most “real” and those characters are more enjoyable to get to know.

Do you agree?

Musicals I fell in Love with Through the Movies

Yesterday, I talked about musicals I fell in love with through the music. Today, I want to talk about musicals I fell in love with initially by the movies. Movies are the easiest way to access musicals and as a result, I fell in love with more musical first by the movies more than by songs alone.

Grease is one of the musicals I fell in love with through the movie. I remember when I was younger that the song, “We Go Together”, was my favorite song as a child due to its funny lyrics. I also love “Summer Nights” as well.

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First up belong is the 1982 version of Annie. It was my childhood favorite musical in elementary school. I loved Annie due to her optimism and my favorite song was always “tomorrow”. Later in 2014, I was finally able to see the stage show. Even today, Annie still makes me feel like a kid again.

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Similar to Annie, I fell in love with Sound of Music in childhood through the movie. I always loved songs like “My Favorite Things” and “Do Re Mi” and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”.

Just like Annie, I eventually saw the stage production. I saw the stage production of Sound of Music in 2015 and it still makes me feel like a kid and my love for it grew. This musical and Annie holds a special place in my heart due to loving them since childhood.

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Next up is Beauty and the Beast. To be honest, I did love the animated movie in childhood. I loved the song “Beauty and the Beast” for sure. But there came a point where I did kind of forget I once loved the movie. It was the 2017 live movie that brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast. I never once forget about the song, “Beauty and the Beast”, in this Disney classic. Besides “Beauty and the Beast”, I also love “Be Our Guest”, “Something There”, “Gaston”, and “Belle” among others.

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Mamma Mia was a musical I fell in love with in high school through the movie. It is so happy and so fun. Complete with ABBA songs, it is a wonderful movie to watch. My favorite among the ABBA songs is Dancing Queen.

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Another musical I fell in love with through the movie is Les Mis. I never would have imagined I would fallen in love with a musical like Les Mis. I was the person who believed all musicals were happy. Les Mis showed me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. This movie is a wonderful movie and to this day still reduces me to tears. It is a wonderful tale of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. My love for the movie eventually led to me seeing the stage show both at community college and in London. I could go on and on about the importance of Les Mis in my life.

Of all musical movies, it is one of the most meaningful. I love its songs such as “One Day More”, “On My Own”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing”.

Singing in the Rain is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. It is so happy and fun. Its incredible dance numbers are fun to watch. I love watching Singing in the Rain and i love just how light hearted it is. I love songs such as “Singing in the Rain”, “Make Em Laugh” and “Good Morning”.

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I fell in love with South Pacific through the movie. It was in Winter of 2014. School was cancelled for about four days due to snow and four musical movies were leant to my family to watch and South Pacific was one of them. Through numbers such as “There is Nothing Like A Dame”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, and “Younger Than Springtime”, South Pacific is a wonderful love story.

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Fiddler on the Roof was also leant to my family during the snowstorm in 2014. I love the movie of this musical. I love songs such as “Tradition” and “Matchmaker”. I fell in love with the musical through the movie as well.

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White Christmas is another musical I fell in love with through the movie. I loved everything the two two army people did for their general. I still don’t the names of any of the songs. It is just a wonderful holiday classic to watch every Christmas.

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In either Christmas break of 2015 or 2016, I finally got to watch the movie of Man of La Mancha. My dad was got me interested in Don Quixote. In summer of 2016, I read the novel. I love the tale of the tragicomic knight. My favorite song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream”. Its song sound hispanic and is quite well.

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I recently saw the movie musical of Oliver. It was such a well done movie. True, I first saw Oliver through the stage production, but due to not remembering seeing it, that doesn’t truly count. Well, the movie was very well done. I loved the movie of Oliver. Through the fun numbers like “Consider Yourself” and the more emotional numbers like “As Long As He Needs Me”, Oliver is a wonderful adaption of Dickens classic Novel.

Movie musicals are a wonderful way to access musicals. For me, I prefer seeing musicals live over watching musical movies, but what I love about musical movies is that I am able to fall in love with a new musical quicker. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the musicals I fell in love with through the stage production.

What are some movies you fell in love with first by the movies? Did they eventually lead to the stage production?

Musicals That Make Me Cry

One thing that makes musicals unique is that they are capable of reducing you to tears. I am not a typical crier so that kind of reaction in a musical is not common for me. I will talk about the musicals that actually have made me cry. The interesting thing about this list is that some of these musicals took quite a while till I had that kind of reaction or a few months or just one day.

Of course, I will talk about Les Mis. I want to say Les Mis is the first musical I ever cried during. I first saw it through the movie, but I honestly do not think I cried the first time. I did not know how to react to this tragic musical. But it was the second time when I realized there was something special in Les Mis. I believe I started crying during the second time and to this day I still do. I honestly do not know what it is about the songs that make me have that kind of reaction.

Les Mis is home to many heartbreaking scenes full of misery. Characters deal with things such as unrequited love, prostitution, abuse, survivor’s guilt and so on. Characters die throughout the musical. The songs are extremely powerful and touch your heart and soul in such a way that make you tear up and I still do not know what it is. This musical has songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream”, “A Little Fall of Rain”, “Come to Me”, “Drink With Me”,”On My Own” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”

Similar to Les Mis in a way is Rent.  It is also a sad musical and powerful. Rent does not make me cry as much as Les Mis, but it still has it moments. It takes place during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and four of the eight main characters have the illness. Songs such as “Will I?” , “Your Eyes”, and “Without You” are tear reducing moments.

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There is only one song in Wicked that made me cry the fourth time I saw it. That song would be “For Good”. That song is the most emotional song in the entire musical. The story revolves around the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda. My reaction during the fourth viewing goes to show just how brilliant my Elphaba and Glinda are and just how meaningful and vulnerable Wicked has become. To be honest, I do not know if this song made me tear up before the fourth viewing or not, but I did know just bittersweet and special the song is.

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Sound of Music was the most surprising when I cried. I first fell in love with the musical in elementary school. I remember always loving Edelweiss, my favorite song from the song. I saw it live two years ago. During Edelweiss, my emotional connection and vulnerability grew in a way I never saw coming. Sad entered the picture in the middle of the song and I cried from the halfway point till the end. So it took from elementary school all the way to 2015 to realize Edelweiss has some sadness in it.

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Last but not least is Oliver.  Just last week, I saw the movie musical of Oliver. I came in aware of just how heartbreaking “As Long As He Needs Me” is even though I had never seen Oliver before (well I have, but doesn’t count since I do not remember). I cried during that number. This is an example of tearing up during the first try.

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I honestly do not know what makes you cry during a musical. I know it has to be a combination of things. Your emotional connection plays a role in your reactions, but there are other musicals where I have a strong emotional connection, but do not drive me to tears. Sometimes it can be the staging of a number or it can actually be how an actor portrays a character. I honestly have no idea. Ever since Les Mis entered my life, how I view musical emotions is different. With Les Mis, I love it when a musical drives me to tearing up.

What musicals make you cry? Why do you think certain musicals make you cry?

Review of Musical Movie of Oliver

Yesterday, I finally got to watch the musical ,Oliver, through the movie adaption. By reading the book, watching the 2005 movie and finally the musical movie was quite interesting. It shows the same story, same character, but with slightly different adaptions and interpretations.

This movie was quite enjoyable as a matter of fact. Through songs such as “Where Is Love”, “As Long As He Needs Me”, “Consider Yourself”, “I’d Do Anything”, and “Food Glorious” and so on makes quite a classic musical. Each time I was exposed to this story, I always ended up being fond of Oliver.

Spoilers Ahead:

In the movie, Mark Lester played Oliver. He makes a wonderful Oliver. He brings out Oliver’s spirit and innocence from the book. Of all the Oliver Twist characters, Oliver is my favorite character and I am not saying that because he is the main character. Not many people treat him fairly. Mark Lester brings out Oliver’s anger as well such as when Noah Claypole insulted his mother and Oliver’s fear such as when Bill uses him in a burglary.

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Ron Moody played the villainous Fagin. Unlike the 2005 movie and the book, in my musical, Fagin is portrayed as being comical. Ron Moody brought out Fagin’s villainous nature without being too terrifying and brought out Fagin’s comical nature as well. Jack Wild played the Artful Dodger, who is the one who brought Oliver to Fagin in the first place. The Artful Dodger is a favorite of Fagin’s.

Of all versions of Nancy, I loved the interpretation of her in the musical the most. Shani Willis played Nancy. Nancy loves Bill Sikes even though he abuses her and will do anything for him, which is easily seen in the heartbreaking song, “As Long As He Needs Me”. But when Oliver enters the picture, Nancy grows fond of the boy. It seems in the musical adaption, Nancy cares about Oliver the most. Towards the end, she does a courageous act by getting Oliver away from Fagin and back to Mr. Brownlow even though that causes Bill Sikes to brutally beat her to death.

Her rendition of “As Long As He Needs Me” reduced me to tears.

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Oliver Reed played Bill Sikes. Oliver Reed made Bill Sikes more and more terrifying as the movie went on. I hate him even more than how much I dislike Fagin. Oliver Reed brought out the character’s abusive nature and his terrifying nature.

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Outside of memorable songs, there are also wonderful dance numbers as well. As a matter of fact, what got be interested in Oliver Twist in the first place was Les Misérables. Due to being obsessed with the musical, I learned that is was the Artful Dodger that made the lyricist think of Gavroche when he saw the musical. Due to that, I was led to wanting to read the book, which led to wanting to see a musical adaption.

What are your thoughts about the musical, Oliver?