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.

The Importance of Negative Musical Emotions With Joy

Since yesterday, I tried to explain what negative emotions would be without joy, I decided to talk about the complete opposite today. I feel like it is loaded trying to describe why all negative emotions have joy involved.

Joy is a huge reason why I love feeling the negative emotions in a musical. I feel like there are different sides of joy in a musicals. There is your excitement, love, and joy when experiencing a musical and there are the actual moments of joy found within a musical. When I fall in love with a musical song, I tend to fall in love with the emotions themselves and I have joy when I feel sad or heartbreaking songs or bittersweet songs if I love the song itself.

There isn’t a single musical out there with just negative emotions. That just wouldn’t work in the world of musicals. Whether it was South Pacific, Wicked, Man of La Mancha, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Rent, and Les Mis, they all still deal with positive emotions even if they all have to put up with negative emotions. Some of those musicals are happy musicals themselves, some get caught up in the middle, and some are sad themselves.

Look at Les Mis for instance. The negative emotions are constantly being thrown at you. It feels like you all you feel are negative emotions. But if you look closely you can see the positive emotions being aimed at you. Besides, the first emotion you feel tends to happen before the action begins. In Les Mis, the first emotion I feel is excitement. The negative emotions tend to start in the opening scene and there is joy there and that joy is due to me loving the musical. When the bishop scene enters, you feel compassion, hope, and forgiveness.

Possible Spoilers:

Les Mis even has joy and compassion shown at death scenes and the joy would be impossible to spot if you don’t know the characters. One important thing to note about most of the Les Mis deaths is that most of the characters don’t die alone. Valjean is by Fantine’s side when she dies, Eponine is in the arms of Marius when she dies, the students, Gavroche, and Enjolras are around each other when they die, and Valjean dies alongside Cosette and Marius.

But where is the compassion and joy found at these deaths. Well, if you don’t understand Fantine’s love for her daughter and how desperate she is, you may not find the joy in her death. Valjean shows compassion by being with her as she dies. He promises to Fantine  that he will raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. The fact that Valjean promises to Fantine that he will raise Cosette is why this death happens to be memorable.

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Look at the second death. Once again, joy and compassion is shown at that death. The second death happens on the barricades. Eponine has gotten shot and Marius finds her and holds her in his arms while she dies. You wouldn’t notice the joy in this scene if you don’t understand how much Eponine loves Marius and if you don’t pick up on how dark and miserable and lonely and empty her life is. She is in the arms of the man she loves at her death so she has joy there since she is with Marius. The compassion shown at this scene is that Marius decides to stay with Eponine even though he is quite upset and comforts her and stays brave for her up until her death. This death scene is memorable due to the fact that Eponine is dying in Marius’ arms and that “A Little Fall of Rain” is such a memorable and touching song.

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See what I mean. Even Les Mis, the saddest musical I ever seen, shows that even that musical has room for positive emotions. The trick with sad musicals is they can be hard to love. It can be hard to know whether or not you love their plot.

But with Les Mis, the musical just doesn’t work without the positive emotions. The positive emotions show up through deaths and that does sound surprising. I never would have imagined a musical song could be a death song or that they can be memorable. The positive emotions are just not just limited to the deaths, but also related to some of the actions of the other characters.

Look at songs such as “This Nearly Was Mine”, “Memory”, and “I’m Not That Girl”.  Every single one of them are heartbreaking songs, but I love them. Another bittersweet song is “For Good”, which is the most emotional song from Wicked.  “I’m Not That Girl” began as a sad song and eventually became heartbreaking thanks to “On My Own” and “Memory was a song that I had forgotten the emotion to and realized it was heartbreaking through “I Dreamed a Dream”.

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I love the negative emotions in the world of musicals. I love them the most when they are quite strong and quite truthful as well. The negative emotions don’t grow quite as quickly as the positive emotions. The negative emotions are covered with vulnerability, fragility, innocence at times, insight and truth, and on top of that, there is yourself. You become a character in the musical yourself and you learn to love the negative emotions. The one thing I don’t like about the negative emotions is that I don’t like that the character or characters have to feel the negative emotions or that they have to go through what they are going through

Joy in negative emotions means in a lot of ways means that you have a strong emotional connection to the material. Joy in negative emotions shows acceptance and understanding and a feeling of sympathy and empathy.  It shows you care and it shows that you want to go on the character’s journey. Sometimes you have to search deeper for the negative emotions. They grow at a very steady rate and never grow quickly. Sad and heartbreak are core emotions in the world of musicals and between those two, heartbreak is the newest one. I said that because heartbreak was unknown to me growing up.

Most musicals I have seen are happy musicals and I associate musicals with them all the time. I first discovered sad when I was in middle school, but now in college, I love the negative emotions even more thanks to falling in love with Les Mis and Rent.

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Being a true musical fan means learning how to have joy feeling the negative emotions. You want them to add to a musical experience and not take away from a musical experience. You want to provide you a positive experience and not the other way around. An amazing amount of musicals expresses the negative emotions in at least one song.

How do you view joy in negative emotions?

Musical Character Connection vs Entire Musical Connection

This does sound bizarre, but I do believe there is a difference between an emotional connection to a musical character and an emotional connection to the entire musical. That sounds really bizarre because you would think both mean the same thing, but in reality they really don’t. But sometimes your emotional connection a character is the same thing to an emotional connection to the entire musical .

Wicked is a musical I have an emotional connection to Elphaba and love Fiyero and Glinda as well. My emotional connection to Elphaba does connect to my emotional connection to the entire show. I don’t have emotional connections to Nessa, Boq, Madmae Morrible, and the Wizard. But I do have an emotional connection to the entire show thanks to my personal relationship with Elphaba and the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda and the love triangle between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero.

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Even my emotional connection in Newsies is the same thing as my emotional connection to the entire musical. I actually have two emotional connections in this show. I have an emotional connection in the intimate relationship found between the friendship between Jack and Crutchie. I even have an emotional connection to all of the Newsies. The story is about the Newsies after all, which is why my emotional connection to the Newsies is the same as my emotional connection to the entire show.

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Even in Beauty and the Beast, I only have emotional connections to Beast and Belle and characters like Lumiere and Cogsworth and Chip and Mrs. Potts. But I don’t have an emotional connection to Gaston. It is more important for me to be emotionally connected to Belle instead of Gaston. Having an emotional connection to Belle and Beast is important because the plot centers around them.

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But can you have an emotional connection to a character, but have zero emotional connection to the actual plot? Yes, that is very possible. I love Anna from King and I, but I am not fully emotionally connected to the entire plot and the show isn’t even meaningful to me. Even in Little Shop of Horrors, I only love Seymour and Audrey, but just don’t have an emotional connection to the plot.

The emotional connections are highly important. Usually the songs are what forms the emotional connection. I feel like you need an emotional connection to both the characters and the plot. True, there some characters I don’t have an emotional connection to in certain musicals. I don’t have an emotional connection to Madame Morrible, the Wizard or like any antagonist or villain, but a few expectations. Honestly, your emotional connection might also have to do with the portrayal of characters.

I don’t have an emotional connection to Javert exactly, but the last time I saw Les Mis live, I found some emotional connection to that character. I honestly have no emotional connection to the Thenardiers either. Despite that, I have an emotional connection to the entire show. I don’t relate to the characters that well in Les Mis, but I do have an emotional connection to Jean Valjean’s story, Fantine’s story, the love triangle found between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius and have an emotional connection to Enjolras, Gavroche and the students. You can’t have an emotional connection to a plot if you don’t have an emotional connection to characters.

The emotional connections are why every scene in a musical has joy in them even in heartbreaking or bittersweet moments. The songs form an emotional connection very easily. I feel like it is important to be emotionally connected to the protagonist’s story and if there are subplots, it is important to be emotionally connected to some of them because they help support the main plot. Having joy in every emotion is connected to the experience and connects to an emotional conation to the plot and characters and the fact that if you care enough about the characters and their journeys, you accept the emotions that you are feeling.

An amazing amount of musicals have some heartbreaking or sad moments. I understand that sad was a main emotion starting in middle school. I wasn’t 100% blind to the negative in those days, but I was 100% blind to heartbreak.

I know this sounds crazy. But there really is a difference between an emotional connection to characters and emotional connection to plot. However they are very interconnected and depend on each other.

Musicals Then and Now

Yesterday’s post, I talked about the musicals from my younger years. In today’s post, I plan to compare and contrast the world of musicals from the musical from my younger years to the musicals from now. When I mean “then”, I am talking about musicals from elementary to high school” and “now” refers to the musicals from 2012 to current.

Then: This world formed the foundation of musicals. All of them were happy and I believed all musicals were happy. There were four main emotions, which were excitement, love, joy, and sad. It consisted of musicals like Wicked, Annie, Sound of Music, Grease, Lion King, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. I described all musicals as happy and full of life.

Full of life only referred to the exciting numbers where dance and spectacle existed. In high school, the emotion of sad seemed to stop completely and I felt like it couldn’t be anything else. So in the world of these musicals, musicals were a world of spectacle, dance, comedy, excitement, love, joy, sad, and strong emotional connections.

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Now: The musicals of these days were in a way kind of similar to the musicals of my younger years. It was still a world of spectacle, dance, comedy, strong emotional connections and the same four main emotions. But things took a very unexpected and twisted turn.

I was soon to learn that not all musicals are happy and comic like I once thought I knew. Les Mis entered my life and that title means “the miserable”. Les Mis is a very heartbreaking musical. Heartbreak became a main emotion and I couldn’t interpret it in my younger years. I did not how to respond to the idea of a tragedy existing in the world of musicals.

But I soon realized that tragedies belong in the world of musicals. Just through the added nature of tragedies and the emotion of heartbreak, everything changed so drastically. But yet, still seems kind of similar.

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I was the kind of person who thought that I would always hate tragedies. That was me in high school so I was quite surprised that I love Les Mis. Tragic things happen to all of the Les Mis characters. Jean Valjean lived his life as an ex-convict, Cosette had a horrible childhood, Marius faced lots of trauma at the barricade, Fantine had to become a prostitute to provide for her child, the Thernardiers inn became bankrupt and Eponine faced horrible abuse by her parents and suffered from a strong unrequited love for Marius.

What Les Mis also showed me is that musical emotions have so much potential in them. I realized that musical emotions can be felt so deeply and with so much insight and truth. I soon learned that the negative emotions consist of a sense of fragility and vulnerability. Sometimes you have to dig into an emotion in order to truly understand the emotion of the song. That is true for both positive and negative. There are some inner positive emotions just like there are inner negative emotions.

I didn’t notice the details of sad before Les Mis entered my life. I realized there is more to tragedy than heartbreak. Les Mis is a very inspirational musical because it is ultimately a tale of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption.

Other musicals of these years were Newsies,  Rent, South Pacific, Phantom of the Opera, and Pippin. Rent like Les Mis is a tragic musical. I view musical emotions very differently now. I explore the emotions in a more open and more complex way. I come in knowing that there is a chance that heartbreak will happen.

All because of Les Mis, it is easier for me to detect darkness and negative emotions in new musicals. One way to describe how different musical emotions are is to use Wicked as matter of fact. The unrequited love song, “I’m Not That Girl” began as just a sad song and it eventually became a heartbreaker. “No Good Deed” once felt emotionless, but last year it became a song filled with anger and frustration.

Sad isn’t the only emotion that went through drastic change. The addition of heartbreak affected love and joy. I finally understood the serious side of love, which is its heartbreaking nature. Like I stated above, “I’m Not That Girl” became heartbreaking. It took the unrequited love song, “On My Own” for me to figure that out. “On My Own” is from Les Mis and is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and that is a more extreme and stronger song about unrequited love.

There are even other heartbreaking love songs, which were discovered in the more recent years. Songs like “Somewhere” and “This Nearly Was Mine” are heartbreaking love songs. The song “I Dreamed a Dream” made me realize “Memory” was heartbreaking. Crazy how just one musical emotion can drastically change the world of musicals. Heartbreak which once didn’t exist changed everything.

Major Spoilers:

As far as joy goes, I knew growing up that joy is existent in bittersweet moments. But there are bittersweet moments that are incredibly heartbreaking. One such instance is “A Little Fall of Rain”. It can be quite challenging to understand why there is joy in this heartbreaking moment especially because it is Eponine’s death scene. She just got fatally wounded after returning to the barricades. If you just don’t understand just how dark her life is and if you don’t understand her love for Marius, the joy in this would be nonexistent. She is dying, but she is dying in the arms of the man she loved, which is why this the happiest moment moment of her life.

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I told myself that a death scene could never be memorable, but Les Mis proved me wrong. Eponine’s death scene in my opinion is the best death scene of the entire musical because there is just something special about “A Little Fall of Rain”.

What’s crazy is I love Eponine and you would think the death scene of a favorite character wouldn’t be memorable. Yes, I am devastated and heartbroken, but I am happy as a matter of fact. I am happy that Eponine finally feels extremely happy for the first time.

Just like the earlier years, excitement is felt exactly the same way. It is the one emotion that hasn’t changed at all. New shows come in with spectacle and dance. Pippin is a musical full of circus elements and Newsies is full of mind-blowing. The same level of excitement is still present. It hasn’t changed one bit.

So the musicals of younger years are a world of dance, spectacle, comedy, strong emotional connections, excitement, love, joy, and sad. I described all musicals as as happy and full of life. Full of life only referred to the exciting numbers.

Now, musicals are a world of dance, spectacle, comic and tragic moments,  strong emotional connections, excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak.  Not only are there happy and comic musicals, there are also sad and tragic musicals with some getting caught in the middle. Those words are almost identical to the words I once used. Than again, the musicals of my younger fears formed a foundation of the musicals today. Now I call all musicals joyful, unique, emotional, and full of life. Full of life now refers to the entire show as in the story comes to life.

True Value of the Negative Musical Emotions

I already talked about on this blog about the importance of the negative emotions in the musical world. When I mean negative emotion, I am talking about the emotions found in the songs. Understanding the negative emotions is quite tricky and quite difficult to work with.

The negative emotions do hurt in the world of musicals. So what makes them an emotion worth feeling? The negative emotions may hurt, but in many ways, they are quite beneficial to a musical experience. It is easier to have an emotional connection to a character who expresses negative emotions due to amount of conflict that is part of their lives. There are some musical characters like Elphaba and Jack Kelly that you don’t experience negative emotions from them right away and already can have an emotional connection. There are some musical characters who mainly feel negative emotions throughout the entire show and you still have an emotional connection to them.

There are two ways to experience joy through the negative emotions. The first is you having an appreciation of feeling them in the first place. The second is found through any bittersweet moment. Those are moments like “For Good” and “A Little Fall of Rain”. The only way to understand joy in the bittersweet moments is to understand the characters who are part of those songs. “For Good” for instance is the moment where Elphaba and Glinda reunite with each other again, but its the last time they will see each other. I don’t view the song as a heartbreaking song even though it is a goodbye song. It is important to understand the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda because their friendship is core to Wicked.

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Another bittersweet moment is in Les Mis, which is “A Little Fall of Rain”. Now this song is heartbreaking, but still bittersweet. I know where the joy easily comes from in this song. This is the main moment of Eponine’s life where she is truly happy. Yes, it her death scene, but this is actually the happiest moment of her life. Its not because she is dying, but because she is dying the arms of Marius. If you don’t understand Eponine at all, it is nearly impossible to understand the joy of this song. She lived a very tragic life having to be raised by parents who don’t even care about her and raised her to be a criminal. She doesn’t have many good things happen in her life. In this scene, I am happy that Eponine finally is happy for once in her life. It is very important to understand how much Eponine loves Marius to understand the joy found in this scene.

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I love sad the most when it goes beyond the mild levels of that emotion. It starts at songs like “Santa Fe” from Newsies. But heartbreak is a very special degree of sad, which is an emotion which was once unidentifiable. Sad was an emotion that existed when I was younger and it did have some understanding, but I hardly remember what the emotion was like. I do remember it being in “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good”.

Heartbreak decided to exist in musicals in the most unexpected of ways. Good thing I already knew that sad was already existent and common in the musical world. It decided to enter my life through a heartbreaking musical. Growing up, I believed that all musicals were happy and comic because thats all I knew.

So I was quite surprised when I saw the Les Mis movie and that was when I realized heartbreak is a musical emotion. This was in December of 2012 and my journey began with Les Mis that same year, but did not become a true fan until early 2013. Its just when I realized Les Mis was a tragedy that I was thinking “is this a tragedy and I was like wait a minute, tragic musicals exist” and as a result watched the rest of the movie in shock and confusion and by the end “I was thinking did I just like a tragedy”, but still didn’t know if I liked it or not.

The true value of feeling the negative emotions comes from the fact that is shows that you care about musical characters. It shows a sense of sympathy and even sense of empathy and it shows that you have an emotional connection. Sad in the form of heartbreak is so wonderful. Heartbreak is stronger then an ordinary sad song. Heartbreak is a main emotion in the world of musicals. Whether that is in South Pacific, Wicked, Cats, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, or Rent, the negative emotions are worth it. The only time I honestly get nothing out of the negative emotions is when I see a musical that I don’t end up liking.

Heartbreak is an emotion that is full of fragility, honesty, insight and vulnerability. Due to heartbreak being existent, I quickly realized how much easier it was to pick up on the negative emotions in other musicals and even made it easier to pick up on inner conflict as well. The song “I’m Not That Girl” for instance changed from being a sad song to being a heartbreaking song and that is one of the best things that ever happened because it strengthened Wicked’s love triangle.

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I wouldn’t have realized “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking if that emotion never decided to make itself known and glad I was able to realize the song was heartbreaking thanks to the help of “On My Own”, a more heartbreaking and stronger unrequited love song. Since the emotions of “On My Own” are much more obvious, it helped me understand the emotions of “I’m Not That Girl”. Due to “I’m Not That Girl” and “On My Own” being two unrequited love songs and due to one being more heartbreaking than the other, it shows that even heartbreak can be layered. Both songs share some common emotions like heartbreak and loneliness. “I’m Not That Girl” doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking since Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero literally just moments before she sings that song, but it does have great insight built in to it. Both “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl” go beyond the unrequited love.

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Les Mis and Wicked are two musicals that I have a strong emotional connection to and feeling the negative emotions in each are worth it due to my love for each of them and my emotional connection to the material. Another realization came from “Memory”. I always knew about “Memory”, but it was one of those songs where I don’t know if I knew its emotion or not. I knew I always loved the song, but through “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Memory” decided to be a heartbreaking song. What makes a song heartbreaking is based off of how you interpret a song. The value of the negative emotions comes from the fact that you are showing that you care.

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If it wasn’t for Les Mis, the negative emotions wouldn’t have changed the way they did. The realization of heartbreak made the negative emotions even more worth feeling. It shows a sense of relationship and shows a sense of understanding. Les Mis was able to show me that heartbreak is an actual musical emotion. The negative emotions are tough to work with due to just how much they can actually hurt. There are other negative emotions besides the obvious sad and heartbreak.

The hardest negative emotion to work with is uncomfortable. That mainly happens in “Lovely Ladies”, but due to understanding the importance of the scene, I learned to tolerate it and feeling uncomfortable in that scene is highly important. In Les Mis, if you don’t understand Fantine, you will feel so lost in the plot. Anger is another negative emotion, which is an emotion that is part of conflict. Without the negative emotions, characters would feel less real. Theatre is a safe place to discover negative emotions. While the negative emotions do hurt, it is worth feeling them if you have a strong emotional connection and a love for the songs. If you fall in love with the songs, you do find yourself falling in love with the emotions.

The negative emotions have changed a lot over the years. Heartbreak was what drastically changed the emotion. It made me understand negative emotions in a more empathetic way and in a more beautiful way. Heartbreak shows strength. It is so difficult to describe the negative emotions since they vary so much in what they are capable of. They have an incredible amount of beauty, fragility, vulnerability, insight, honest, and strength. To be a true musical fan includes understanding the negative emotions.

In you opinion, what is the true value of the negative musical emotions?

Dependability of Musicals

This is a very hard post to write. In my opinion, I feel like all musicals rely on each other. It is hard to exactly explain why, but as a musical fanatic I can understand that. Musicals do a wonderful job of balancing each other in the best way possible. The past couple of days, I needed to say I love both simple and complex musicals.

When it comes to the simple musicals, they are the ones where the emotional nature truly begins. Some of them honestly don’t have the need to even have those negative emotions because the plot is truly wonderful without them. Shows like Singing in The Rain are pure fun and you need to view them in a very entertaining way. These simple musicals even show traces of sad and heartbreak. Cats for instance is a very simple musical but the character of Grizabella is a very heartbreaking character and her song, Memory, is heartbreaking. That is the only instance as far as I know where an entire song is heartbreaking in a very simple musical.

The complex musicals are the musicals where the negative emotions are just natural. These are shows like Wicked, Newsies, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis. They all have to deal with songs that are either sad or even worse heartbreaking. All of the musicals I just listed have heartbreak in their songs.

Wicked has the bittersweet “For Good”, the heartbreaking and insightful “I’m Not That Girl” and the frustrating and angry “No Good Deed” and it is one of the happy musicals. Wicked is one way I can explain why musicals depend on each other. Wicked was how I started to understand the emotional nature of musicals. Before Wicked, I feel like musicals were more about the dance and spectacle instead of the emotions. One of the biggest reasons why I started to understand the emotional side of musicals in Wicked was because I was 12 so I was at the right age to have a better understanding of the emotions and it was the first musical I saw on Broadway.

Well fast forward to the time of Les Mis. Growing up, all musicals were happy and comedic and there were the four main emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad. I didn’t even know what heartbreak meant for a musical. Les Mis comes along and tests me on the emotional knowledge that I had recently learned. It showed me that musicals have more emotional potential than I once believed. It was how I realized that there are heartbreaking songs in the world of musicals. For example, Les Mis has songs like On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, A Little Fall of Rain and Come to Me and all of those songs are heartbreakers.

Here is a perfect example of why musicals rely on each other. Look at I’m Not That Girl. It started out as being just a sad song, which stayed that way for seven years. I saw Wicked for the 3rd time in 2013 and that song still stayed just sad. Growing up, I spent more time on Wicked’s story of friendship over the youthful and complicated love triangle.

 I don’t remember when it was, but there was a time when I realized I’m Not That Girl and On My Own were both about unrequited love. At that time, I already knew On My Own was heartbreaking and through that connection, I was able to understand that I’m Not That Girl was heartbreaking. Even though both are unrequited love songs, they still vary in emotional strength, vulnerability and fragility.

In I’m Not That Girl, Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero literally moments before she sings that song, which is why that song cannot be fully heartbreaking. I cannot be 100% vulnerable in that song or you lose the innocence that Elphaba has at that moment. Another reason it isn’t fully heartbreaking is because Elphaba’s story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love.

As in the case of On My Own, the love that Eponine has for Marius is so much stronger and even more heartbreaking than Elphaba’s situation. You have to understand why Eponine loves Marius so much in order to understand On My Own. Eponine is a Thenardier and she was raised in an abusive situation and was unloved and neglected by her parents. She was raised to be a criminal. In this burst of light, Marius entered Eponine’s life and was the only person who ever showed her kindness, which is a big reason why her unrequited love is so heartbreaking and painful. Through the example shown by these songs, it is a nice example of why all musicals depend on each other.

I feel like with Les Mis in my life, it makes it much easier to find the negative emotions in new musicals. I can spot darkness and negative emotions much quicker. I even can find negative emotions in the most unexpected of places. When you start finding parallels between certain songs, you can find a way to understand the song like in the case of I’m Not That Girl and On My Own. The dependability comes from the fact that musicals need to help balance each other out, which is why there needs to be both simple and complex musicals and why not all musicals have to put up with negative emotions.

Why do you think musicals rely on each other?

Why I Love Simple Musicals

Since yesterday’s post was about the complex musicals, I decided to dedicate this blog post to the simple musicals. As much as I tend to prefer the complex musicals over the simple musicals, I still am able to love the simple musicals.

These are the ones that most likely are going to just be a collection of positive emotions. But some simple musicals do have the negative emotions and can be felt truthfully. These are the shows that are easier to get to know and have one main storyline. Sometimes a simple musical eventually becomes a complex musical. Due to the negative emotions not being in every single musical, it makes perfect sense why the positive emotions are much stronger. I am not saying that the negative emotions are less important or not that capable or that they they are unimportant.

My favorite simple musical is Annie. That was my favorite musical in elementary school. I think I loved Annie so much due to Annie’s spirit and optimism and of course, Sandy. While Sound of Music gained a new complexity two years with sad sneaking into Edelweiss midway through and song and in that moment, it reduced me to tears, I still see Sound of Music as a simple musical.

Another simple musical is Music Man and it is one of my favorite due to how happy it is. The same applies to Singing in the Rain and I love the fun of that musical. I find Cats to be a simple musical despite Memory being a heartbreaking song and I feel like Grizabella might be a complex character, but it is simple because I feel like the plot isn’t really that complex at all.

To me, the simple musicals are just as important as the complex musicals.  I feel like in the musical world, there needs to be a nice variety and balance among them all. That is why some musicals are not in need of the negative emotions and are not meant to be easy to find. I love the simple musicals for very different reasons than the reasons why I love the complex musicals.

What are some of your favorite simple musicals?