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.

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.

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?

 

 

Serious Side of Musicals

The serious side of musicals refers to any of the dark moments and those moments are usually represented by elements of tragedy. These moments exist in the happy musicals, those that are not even happy, but just not sad, and well obviously they exist in the sad and tragic musicals. There are serious moments like unrequited love, death, prostitution, misery, discrimination, racism, gang violence and others.

I was well aware that sad was a musical emotion from before college. But I did not identify the sad moments as dark or serious. I hardly remember what sad was like in those days and did forget which shows they happened to be in. But it wasn’t forgotten in Wicked. I feel like in the college years, that emotion decided to start from the beginning and reached a degree that almost seemed impossible.

Possible Spoilers:

There are some serious moments that I keep on overlooking. These are moments I know happen in certain musicals, but keep on overlooking them. I always overlook parts of the serious side in Wicked even though I know it is in there. I never have overlooked the love triangle. It is the whole discrimination side of the story and the Wizard’s desire for power that keeps on being overlooked. That is partially due to the fact that I still view Wicked through the eyes of a middle schooler even though I also view it through the eyes of a college student. Another reason why I keep overlooking it is because the core of Wicked is the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba and not so much about the whole discrimination situation even though that is still quite important to the plot.

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But there are some musicals where the serious side just cannot be overlooked. Les Mis, Rent, and West Side Story are musicals that there is no way you can overlook the serious side. That is due to the fact that all three are sad musicals. West Side Story, in my opinion, is the mildest of all three and deals with gang rivalry which eventually leads to gang violence. West Side Story is Romeo and Juliet, but the main character’s names are Tony and Maria and a main difference is that one of the two main characters survive.

Rent deals with HIV/AIDS, which is the main serious moment the show focuses on, but there are other moments of seriousness. Roger for instance is dealing with depression  and Mimi is a heroin addict. It may have less deaths than West Side Story, but in my opinion, it is even sadder than WWS.maxresdefault

The saddest musical in my opinion so far is Les Mis. It deals with prostitution, poverty, unrequited love, a high death toll, injustice, abuse and other heartbreaking things. Without Les Mis, it still would be quite difficult to find other serious moments in other musicals.

All of the characters in some way experience something tragic in their lives. Cosette faces horrible abuse as a child and later at the end of the show, her father, Jean Valjean dies. Jean Valjean faces hard labor, injustice, and has to spend his life as an ex-convict. Fantine’s storyline is very heartbreaking because she was abandoned by her lover leaving her to be a single parent, has to leave her daughter in the hands of the Thenardiers, gets fired from her job and has to turn to prostitution to provide for her child, but little does she know that the Thenardiers are horribly abusing Cosette and later dies, but dies knowing her child will be safe and protected knowing that Jean Valjean will raise her daughter as his own.

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The Thenardiers don’t really seem to experience anything tragic, but their inn eventually goes bankrupt. Eponine, their daughter, does not have many good things happen in her life because she was raised to be a criminal and has to face horrible abuse by her parents and she feels unloved, neglected and lonely because she is left to fend for herself since her parents don’t even care or even love her. On top of all of this, she has to face unrequited love for Marius, but the really heartbreaking part about this situation is that Marius is the only light in her miserable life, but yet she can’t have him. She does not really get to experience happiness, but eventually she does after she gets shot at the barricade, which ends up being fatal, and ends up dying in Marius’ arms.

Enjolras, Gavroche and the students (excluding Marius) all lose their lives in the rebellion as well. Gavroche is the Thenardiers’ son, but the students take him in and they end up becoming like his family.

Javert is a tragic character who was born inside of a jail and does not seem to have much of a tragic life, but after realizing his beliefs and views of the world were wrong, misery comes crashing down on him in a matter of seconds after realizing that Valjean has changed. Javert always believed that “once a criminal always a criminal” and strictly follows the law, which eventually leads to his downfall eventually leading him to commit suicide. Marius, the survivor of the barricade, has to deal with survivor’s guilt and he literally lost all of his friends at the barricades including Eponine. All of these Les Mis characters in some shape or form experience something tragic in their lives. Some of them have very empty lives and some don’t, but still they all belong in Les Mis.

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One thing that South Pacific deals with is interracial marriage, which does touch on the idea of racism in a way. It does bring up the fact that racism is taught, which is expressed through the song “You’ve got to be carefully taught”. Both relationships, which are between Nellie and Emelie and Liat and Joe Cable both have their serious nature, but one of them turns out to be tragic. The relationship between Liat and Joe Cable, a sub-plot, is tragic because Joe Cable does leave Liat because he knows his family will not approve even though he loves Liat himself and while on a dangerous mission, Joe Cable gets killed. The relationship between Nellie and Emelie, the main relationship. almost didn’t happen in the end because Nellie left him after hearing about his interracial children, but in the end came back to him and Emelie got rescued from the dangerous mission he was on with Joe Cable.

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Even Phantom of the Opera expresses levels of darkness. It after all is a haunting musical but at the same time a romantic musical. The entire story is a love triangle between Christine, Raoul, and the Phantom. The Phantom’s story is one of unrequited love, but at the same time he is judged for his deformed face and does not have a very happy life, but rather a very heartbreaking one. The serious side mainly applies to the Phantom and he does not respond very well to his unrequited love due to acting in destructive ways and tries to get Raoul killed.

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The serious side of musicals is just as important as the comic side of musicals. You need to have the darkness because it does add incredible texture and balance to the world of musicals. You cannot have all musicals just having comic and happy moments. Having the serious moments adds more strength to a plot than what it appears. The negative emotions come from those serious moments.

While I still associate musicals with comedies,  I think the moments of seriousness and non-seriousness moments are very even and are well-balanced out. But yet there are still serious moments that are still overlooked even if I know they happen.There are other musicals that I know that have the serious moments that I did not include above, which include Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and even Newsies because they all have to put up with the negative emotions at some point.

What are your opinions about the serious moments of musicals?

Meaningful Musicals of 2012-2016

Today’s post will be dedicated to the meaningful musicals from 2012-2017. Those are the musical I refer to the college musicals. All of those musicals are still so fresh in my life. The meaningful musicals of that time period are Rent, Les Mis, Pippin, Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific and Newsies though there might be a few more.

I learned to love Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Rent around the same time period. My journey with Rent begin in Fall of 2012 and it became meaningful before knowing what the musical is about. My journey with Les Mis began in December of 2012 though I didn’t became a true fan until Spring of 2013. I fell in love with Phantom of the Opera in Winter of 2013. I can easily explain why Les Mis and Rent are meaningful, but cannot fully explain why Phantom of the Opera is on the meaningful list.

Les Mis is a musical that literally changed musicals forever. Coming into the movie, I was a bit unsure if I would like the movie or not. Even after the movie ended, I still did not know if I liked it or not. But something must have hit a chord in me since I automatically started researching the musical afterwards. The first time I watched it being quite confused and shocked since I didn’t know it was going to be a tragedy. I labeled the musical as too depressing and did not see the true beauty of the musical.

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I am so glad I saw that movie a second time. I was able to calm down and was able to realize that there is something special about Les Mis. I wanted to know why such a heartbreaking musical always uplifted me. I dug deeper until I found the answer. In spite of all the heartbreak, misery, and death, Les Mis is ultimately a tale of hope, compassion, love (existing in many forms), forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption. With Les Mis, I was able to explore musical emotions in a fresh light.

Before I had no clue that heartbreak was a musical emotion. I was able to finally understand what it meant for a song to be heartbreaking. I learned that tragedy is not pure sad like I once believed. I realized musical emotions had more potential than I once believed. Before Les MIs, I was a fan of musicals, but no where close to being a musical fanatic. I could go on and on about why Les Mis is meaningful.

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This sounds ironic, but Les Mis wasn’t the first sad musical I ever loved. It was Rent due to falling in love with it before seeing the Les Mis movie for the first time. But I didn’t know Rent was sad until months after I had already fallen in love with it.  Rent is such a meaningful musical due to its message. Because of Rent, I learned the importance of living in the moment and living your lives in love and reminded me of how precious life is. Yes, the musical is very mature and adult and controversial, but it does show that this is what happens in life sometimes. Like Les Mis, Rent is also sad, but at the same time inspiring. Both have incredible messages and both are way more than the sadness that they present. I will finally be seeing the stage show

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Pippin is another meaningful musical. I don’t know exactly why it is meaningful. Pippin had a kind of spectacle that I had never seen before. It made spectacle look fresh by turning the show into a circus. Pippin has a very universal message due to Pippin trying to discover his corner of the sky, which is where he belongs. But he kept on making wrong decisions, but never realized it until the end. I remember being so intrigued by the leading player’s protyral and though I didn’t like the character, I truly believed in her.  At one moment in “No Time At All” the audience was able to sing along.

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Newsies is the most recent musical that became meaningful to me. I experienced it for the first time in August of 2016. I was familiar with four of its songs and knew there was Tony Award winning choreography. Knowing that the choreography won a Tony Award, it made me look very forward to seeing the dance. My emotional connection with Newsies began in the very first scene and that is always a good sign. I automatically fell in love with Jack Kelly and Crutchie and I just love the close bond they have and it is quite intimate. I also love the relationship between all the Newsies and they are like this one big family.

The fact that this story is based off the actual Newsboy Strike is amazing to me. The fact that these Newsies stood up to Joseph Pulitizer after raising their price of papers is so inspiring. They went on strike to make a point and that took a lot of courage. One lyric that I have close to heart is from “Seize the Day”, which is “Courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face of fear”. This musical showed the importance of courage when facing your fears. The dancing was mind-blowing to be and to me was worth the price of the ticket alone.

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Phantom of the Opera is a musical I fell in love with in a similar way that I fell in love with Rent. Just like Rent, I fell in love with it by listening to the songs through Pandora. That means I feel in love with Phantom of the Opera before knowing the show is about. I don’t know why this musical is meaningful. This musical is hauntingly beautiful. I feel like even the kind of score Phantom of the Opera has is rare. All of this songs are slow-paced and usually there is some fast-paced song in a musical or one with a high level of energy. But Phantom of the Opera doesn’t display a single one.

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There is also South Pacific. It has become meaningful. I first saw the movie in 2014 when musical movies were learnt to my family when school was cancelled due to snow and South Pacific happened to be one of them. It has a very romantic feeling to it especially during “Some Enchanted Evening”. It focuses on two romances and one is tragic while the other is not, but easily could have been. The romance between Liat and Joe Cable doesn’t end too well and that plot is only a sub-plot. Than there is the main romance between Emelie and Nellie, which almost didn’t work out but in the end it does. Even I don’t know why this musical is meaningful.

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Love for the Spectacle and Dance of Musicals

One of the most unique things about musicals is their spectacle and dance. Some people think that spectacle and dance take away from the experience of the musical. But for me, just like songs, spectacle and dance only adds more to the experience. The dance and spectacle of a musical has always been part of my life.

Back in elementary school, I feel like it was the spectacle and dance that mattered to me the most in musical. Growing up, the kind of song I loved the most was the exciting numbers. There are many types of spectacle found in a musical like costumes, sets, circus, and dance. Spectacle and dance can help you believe in the show more. If you want the audience to believe that the show takes place in either an enchanted castle or in the wild of Africa or in OZ, you need the spectacle or else you wouldn’t believe in where it takes place.

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So far, the best spectacle-filled musical is Wicked. This musical is a fantasy and its spectacle is one of a kind. All of the dancing, the lavish costumes, and the set all make you believe you are transported to OZ. Even the nature of the songs and the character’s names makes you believe. The show begins when this dragon on the top of the set operate and smoke comes out and automatically you feel like you are in OZ. Before the show begins, the curtain is actually a map of OZ with the Emerald City shimmering the middle. The lavish costumes are so beautiful especially Glinda’s Bubble Dress, Glinda’s Pink Dress, Elphaba’s Act II Dress and many of the ensemble outfits like the Shiz uniforms or the green costumes in the Emerald City.

The newest type of spectacle found is circus. I saw Pippin for the first time two years ago with my mom. The show is literally a circus. There are flips over balls, trapeze work, and even aerobatics. It provides something unique to Pippin. It is a wonderful musical filled with incredible songs.maxresdefault

There is even spectacle in Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. I may not remember seeing them live, but they are known for having spectacle. Due to the castle being enchanted in Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King taking place in the wild of Africa, they need to have  spectacle. It also makes sense for both of them to have spectacle since they both are Disney musicals. The costumes in Pippin are quite lavish and very colorful and the circus tend is incredible.

I just saw Newsies in August and it has mind-blowing dance. These boys were jumping over each, sliding under each other, tap-dancing, ballet, flips, and dancing on newspapers.  The dance is part of why I love Newsies and why it became meaningful.

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There is also the spectacle found in Phantom of the Opera. So I do find the spectacle and dance very unique. Just like song, spectacle and dance adds an incredible texture to a musical. The dance and spectacle enhances the experience and provides me with a positive experience.

So the dance and spectacle provides something unique to a musical experience. What are your feelings about the spectacle and dance found in a musical?

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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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