My Favorite Musicals and Why I Love Them

Today will I be writing my second Mega post. Today, I will write about many of my favorite musicals and my reasons I love them. They will not be in order of where they rank. Some of these musicals will have a longer explanation and some will be quite short.

Spoiler Alert:

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There are several reasons why I love Les Mis and even that is hard to describe. There is something special in Les Mis that is not seen is many musicals. It has these brilliant songs, which are powerful, passionate, epic, revolutionary and highly powerful. It perfectly complements the characters and plot. It has this incredible story about how Jean Valjean, an ex-convcit, and his journey on becoming a better person when he is given a second chance at life.

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Valjean came out of person as this hardened and angry and hateful man and felt even more anger as he recognized the injustice he was going through due to how society treated him since he was an ex-convict. But when the bishop gave him a place to stay and food to eat, Valjean stole from him. However when he was caught and sent back to the bishop, the bishop forgive him and Valjean was taught the ways of the Lord. This act of mercy is what caused Valjean to turn his life around, but to do that he had to break parole, which led Javert to want to capture him to return him to jail.

 

 

He eventually becomes mayor and indirectly caused the firing of Fantine, a single mother struggling to provide for her child. This led Fantine to turn to prostituion, but when she was attacked by a fan, she attacked him and Javert wanted to send her to prison, but Valjean saw the whole thing and showed Fantine an incredible act of compassion by preventing her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to care for her child, Cosette. When Valjean picked her up from the abusive Thenardiers, Valjean realized she was quite a broken child and he ended up becoming a father in the most unexpected of ways and Cosette was the first person he loved in the most unexpected of ways.

 

On to the love triangle between Eponine, Cosette, and Marius. One of the most fascinating things about Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette. Cosette started out as this broken child who was horribly abused by the Thenardiers and forced her to be a servant. But Eponine was spoiled and appeared to be loved by the Thenardiers, but as the girls get older the tables are turned. Now Cosette has a father that loves her and her life improves. But with Eponine, her life has gotten worse due to living in poverty and being unloved by her parents. But look what happen when both fall in love with Marius.

Eponine ends up with unrequited love for him, but she would do anything for him to make him happy so she protects him no matter what and makes sure Cosette and Mariuss end up together. She protects Marius when the Thenardiers try to rob Valjean’s house. She is quite brave and risks her life several times for him. Her love for Marius is her greatest strength even though it leads to her death at the barricade. When Marius was about to get shot, she took the fatal shot herself, but died in the arms of  Marius.

 

On to the students now. The last important story is the one between the barricade boys. The Friends of the ABC is led by Enjolras, the most passionate of the group and Marius is this part of the group. They are planning an uprising to stand up against the weak government. They are quite hopeful and even when they know they are going to die, they stay passionate towards the cause. Marius is the only who loves due to Valjean because his adopted daughter loves Marius so he does everything for the sake of his daughter.

So you see the plot of Les Mis has a lot to it. I know I went on and on about why I love Les Mis. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and that heartbreak is a musical emotion. There is just so both to explore in Les MIs. The story is complex that if you take out an important detail, the musical just falls apart. So Les Mis is a tragic story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice and redemption.

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On to Wicked, which is tied for Les Mis for favorite musical. This musical focuses on the friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda. How far will they got to keep friendship alive when they both fall in love with Fiyero.

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Everything about Wicked feels OZian. The costumes are so magical and fun and feel like they belong in Wicked. The Shiz costumes all have the blue and white stripe but each looks different. The set looks OZian as well. The dancing in Wicked also feels like it belongs in OZ. The costumes are fun and sometimes emotional. I have less reasons that I love Wicked than Les Mis, but they are still tied. At the end of the musical, Glinda and Elphaba realize that they have changed each other for the better. Below is a picture of the set and an example of a Shiz costume.

 

Next musical I will talk about is Phantom of the Opera.

 

I love it due to how beautiful it is. It is also quite haunting. The overall story is a mysterious and dark love triangle which is also angelic and beautiful. I know why I love it, but is hard to think of reasons why I love it. You have one love which is beautiful and angelic and innocent, but you have another one which is dangerous and haunting, but saddens you. Phantom is quite an emotional character because he has such a tragic past and deals with unrequited love, but he is so filled of anger that he acts in revenge and terrorizes the opera house. But the love between Raoul and Christine is beautiful considering the fact that they used to be childhood sweethearts, but eventually fall in love. Raoul treats Christine better than the Phantom and Christine and Raoul deserve to be together.

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Annie is another favorite musical of mine. It is about an orphan girl named Annie who gets to stay at Daddy Warbuck’s house for a week over Christmas (Fourth of July in Movie). She is so optismtic and basically adopts a stray dog and names him Sandy. Eventually she gets adopted, but I have loved it since I was a little girl.

 

Sound of Music is another favorite musical of mine. Just like Annie, I have loved it since I was a child. It is about Maria and how she becomes a governess to seven children. She teaches them to sing. It is about family and music. It has very memorable tunes that many know. Its songs are so fun and sometimes emotional.

 

Next up is Newsies. It is such an inspiring story of how a group of Newsboys went on strike when Pulitzer raised the price of their papers. They are so passionate about the cause and they have this wonderful brotherly love that they are family. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares for all of his brothers especially to Cruthcie. Crutchie is the most vulnerable of the batch due to his bum leg. They dancing is mind-blowing and the songs are fun, exciting, and at times emotional.

 

Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical Disney musicals. It revolves around Belle. When you father is imprisoned by the Beast, who is under an enchanted curse, Belle agrees to take her father’s place. But Gaston wants marry Belle, but Belle has no interest in him. Belle in the castle meets several enchanted characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip. It is how Belle learns to see Beauty from within. The Beast eventually learns to love and the two slowly fall in love with each other.

 

Next up is Rent. Rent like Les Mis is sad but its story is inspring. It is about a group of starving artist and their life in a year. It is about how to live life to the fullest. It is about living the moment and measuring your lives in love. Its the message of Rent that makes me love it so much. But it is set during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This group of friends is like a family and deals with three couples, who are Mimi and Roger, Angel and Collins, and Maureen and Joanne. The main relationship is between Mimi and Roger. Mark is the narrator of the entire story. The songs are so emotional, but teaches a lot about life. It reminds us of how precious life is.

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Next up is Pippin. Pippin is about discovering where you belong. It is about Pippin and his journey on discording his “Corner of the Sky”. He gets help from the Leading Player, but without him knowing, the Leading Player is causing him to make several wrong decision and even the audience can’t detect it until the end of the musical. It is like watching a circus that has singing in it. Its song are fun and catchy and teaches you that we all have a “Corner of the Sky”. At one moment in the show, we are told to sing along to one of the songs, which is “No Time At All” because Pippin’s grandma tells us to.

 

The last musical I will talk about is Music Man. It is such a fun show that is very light-hearted. Its songs are fun and you always feel positive emotions with its song. It is about conman, Harlod Hill, who says he will create a boy’s band but in reality he will just buy them the instrument and leave, but Harold Hill eventually does create the boy’s band and he helps transform River City. He falls in love with Marian. Winthrop is another fun character who has a lisp, but Harlod Hill helps him. So he helps transform the entire town.

 

I know this is quite a long post, but it goes to show my love for musicals. It shows that I have wide range of favorite musicals. From the very happy ones to the very sad ones, they all bring me joy. The only emotions they all share are positive emotions. Below I will include pictures from when I saw these musicals.

 

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Musicals I Love That I Have Seen on Tour

Today, I will write a list of musicals that I ended up loving on tour, which means those I remember seeing.  I will include where I have seen them and why I loved them. There is something special about seeing a musical on tour and I rely on them the most since I live in North Carolina so I am thankful that touring productions exist. What is cool about touring productions is you can see them in different theaters and different cities, which affect the nature of the musical.

  1. Wicked (3x): Charlotte- I loved this one because of the beautiful storyline of friendship and the texture added by the love triangle between Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda. I saw it on tour in high school, at age 19, and at age 22. Ever since Broadway at age 12, each time I saw it my vulnerable level increased while the emotional level deepened. Everything about this musical feels OZian.

IMG_08812. Les Mis (1x): Greenville- this was my 5th time seeing the stage show. It had to live up to the West End production and it did in its own way. This was the 25th anniversary production so there was no revolve. I loved the different projections, which brought a bit more Victor Hugo into the piece.  The set moved very smoothly so the transitions worked very well. The cast was incredible and I had an understudy as Eponine. Like I expected, I cried throughout the show. I even ended up with goosebumps. I loved how they added the candles during “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” and I loved that staging of the song more in this version and even “Javert’s Suicide” was improved upon.

Nick Cartell was one of the best Jean Valjean, Melissa Mitchell played Fantine as naive and that still worked, Joshua Grosso might have become my favorite Marius, Jillian Butler has a beautiful soprano voice, which works perfectly for Costte, Allison Guann and Anthony Crane were just hilarious and even the ensemble was incredible.

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3. Rent(1x): Charlotte- I had to wait five years till I got to see this live. It had a wonderful cast and our seats were perfect. I ended up being an emotional wreck watching it. I love that Rent has this wonderful message about living your life in love and in the moment and that is one of the biggest reasons why the show is meaningful. Waiting five years was so worth it.

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4. Newsies(1x): Charlotte- I remember first hearing of Newsies through the songs. I only enjoyed them, but not enough to make me love. But when I heard the show had Tony award winning choreography, I knew I wanted to see Newsies. I remember during the show just being mind-blown by the dance in this show. They were literally dancing on newspapers at one point and dong moves such as flipping and other fancy moves and that is one of the biggest reasons why I love the musical. I love the bond shared between all the Newsies and the bond between Jack and Crutchie. The story was so inspiring and the dance made me love the songs even more. This musical is still quite new in my life because its only been one year since I fall in love with it.

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5.  Sound of Music (1x): Charlotte- I have loved the musical since I was in elementary school, but never go to see it live. I waited until 2015 to see it live. I love all of the music and my favorite is Edelweiss and I remember crying during that number. I remember just feeling like a kid again. Seeing it on tour was so special and was the best way to end that musical year, which consisted of seeing four musicals.

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6. Pippin(1x): Charlotte- seeing this musical almost didn’t happen. Mom bought the two of us tickets the week before and there was one day left with two seats together. The song, “Corner of the Sky”, was what made me decide that I just had to see Pippin. After seeing the trailer I wanted to see it even more due to the circus elements. It was wonderful and at point, were asked to sing along. The story is so universal because it is about finding out where you belong.

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7. Annie(1x): St. Louis- Just like Sound of Music, I have loved it since elementary school. I got to see it with my grandma in December of 2014. I felt like that kid again and the cast was so well-cast. Before Wicked became a part of my life, Annie was my favorite musical. The musical means so much to me and I ended up loving the musical even more after seeing it live.

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8. Phantom of the Opera(1x): Greenville- I first fell in love with the songs early 2013 due to Pandora. I wanted to see Phantom of the Opera ever since. I was spellbound from start to finish and I was choked up. I couldn’t even move until the famous chandelier scene. It was just so beautiful. I remember during the entire overture not being being able to take my eyes off the chandelier.

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What are you musicals you saw on tour that you loved?

Favorite Protagonist Musical Songs

Today, I thought it would fun to make a list of musical songs sung by protagonists. There might be some duets because some musicals have two protagonists.

  1. Tomorrow
  2. Where is Love
  3. What Have I Done
  4. Who am I
  5. Bring Him Home
  6. Wizard and I
  7. Popular
  8. I’m Not That Girl
  9. For Good
  10. Defying Gravity
  11. Santa Fe
  12. Impossible Dream
  13. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
  14. Sound of Music
  15. Seventy Six Trombones
  16. Home
  17. Corner of the Sky
  18. One Song Glory
  19. What You Own
  20. Your Eyes

What are some of your Favorite Protagonist Musical Song?

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Describing Musical Soundtracks

Today, I decided to describe some of my favorite musical soundtracks.

  1. Les Mis- revolutionary, passionate, epic, heart-renching
  2. Wicked- fun, exciting, Ozian
  3. Sound of Music- exciting, heartwarming
  4. Newsies- passionate, exciting, fun
  5. Beauty and the Beast- fun, exciting, magical, romantic, heartwarming
  6. South Pacific- exciting, romantic
  7. Pippin- exciting
  8. Man of La Mancha- hispanic-sounding
  9. Annie- exciting, optimistic
  10. Music Man- fun, exciting, light-hearted
  11. Phantom of the Opera- haunting, romantic, beautiful
  12. Rent- life
  13. Grease- exciting, fun

How would you describe some of your favorite musical soundtracks? Are the words I picked accurate?

Musical Couples from My Younger Years

A couple days ago, I wrote of musical couples  that I first came across in college. Now I want to write of the musical couples that I discovered in my elementary and middle school years. But some of them had to be reintroduced in my life throughout my time in college.

  1. Elphaba and Fiyero
  2. Belle and Beast
  3. Nala and Simba
  4. Jasmine and Aladdin
  5. Sandy and Danny
  6. Maria and Captain
  7. Lisel and Roulf

This list is so much smaller than my older years. My favorite couple in musicals is part of my younger years. My favorite couple is Elphaba and Fiyero.

Musical Characters From My Childhood

As some may know, I have been a musical fan for quite a long time. My journey began back in elementary school and continued into now. The enjoyment of musicals I had of musicals in elementary school developed into something so much bigger than that. But what exactly were some of the most memorable characters from my younger years? Well, those characters don’t just come from elementary school. They also spread into middle school, but stop in summer of 2006. Any Disney character from those days I did at one point did get forgotten about, but were eventually remembered.

  1. Annie
  2. Belle
  3. Aladdin
  4. Simba
  5. Fiyero
  6. Elphaba
  7. Glinda
  8. Maria (Sound of Music)
  9. Von Trapp Children (7 of them)
  10. Sandy

What are some of your favorite childhood favorite musical characters? Tomorrow’s post, I will talk about my favorite recent musical characters, those from 2012 to now.

Possible Top Ten Musical List (More Like Eleven Musicals)

This is a list of my top ten musicals, which actually consists of eleven musicals in a way since the top spot consists of not one, but two musicals. Another thing to note it they may not necessarily may not be in the right order.

First up is Wicked/Les Mis- why am I putting two musicals at the top? Both Wicked and Les Mis are not just musicals. Wicked is that musical that carries my vision of musicals nicely. It is home to spectacle and dance, comic moments, positive and negative emotions (home to all five main core emotions of excitement, love, joy, sad, and heartbreak) and has a strong emotional bond. My favorite characters are Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero,who create a very complicated love triangle and Glinda and Elphaba become best friends. I have a personal bond with Elphaba and she is my favorite musical character. Like me, she is smart, determined, talkative, big-hearted, unique, and believes in equality and staying true in herself. Wicked first entered my life in 2006 at age 12 when I first saw Wicked on Broadway and I am glad that the musical has changed me for the better. Wicked sparked my love for musicals.

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Les Mis on the other hand began its journey December of 2012 through the musical movie, but I did not see something special about Les Mis until I gave it a second chance the following year. In 2013, it was the same year I saw the stage show for the first time and developed an obsession for Les Mis. In 2013, I started to dream about seeing the show in London and two years later that dream became reality and in 2015, I also read the unabridged book.

What makes Les Mis so special that makes it tie with a musical? Les Mis carries my vision of musicals very closely, but the one thing that it is missing is dance or spectacle. Les Mis is so powerful and emotional and inspirational and despite heartbreaking comes with this incredible underlying spirituality. It has these wonderfully written characters and you learn to care about them. Because of how powerful and emotional Les Mis is, the lack of spectacle and dance is made up for.

Second belongs to Annie. The reason why Annie belongs in the second spot is because at one point, Annie was my favorite musical. Before I saw Wicked on Broadway, Annie was my favorite musical. I still feel like a kid whenever I watch the 1982 movie and when I saw the stage show three years ago, I felt like a kid as well. I always loved Annie due to her optimism and spirit. My favorite song from the show is “Tomorrow”.

Third for now belongs to Sound of Music. I have loved Sound of Music since elementary school. It is my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It has wonderful songs such as “Do Re Mi”, “My Favorite Things”, “Something Good”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss”. Both Annie and Sound of Music have been part of my life for about almost as long. They both have been loved since elementary school and they still have meaning behind them.

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Fourth belongs to Rent. It has already proven to be a meaningful musical. Its message is incredible. It is about a group of friends in their life in a year in the face of fear. Their message is to live your life in the moment and to measure your life in love. It has already proven to belong in my list of my top ten favorite musicals. I first fell in love with this musical five years ago in the Fall. This year in September, I will be seeing Rent with my parents and I am so excited.

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….The ones beneath may not be in the right order or may not always be in the top ten…

Fifth belongs to Newsies. I saw this musical just last August and this musical has already proven to be meaningful and does prove to be in the top ten somewhere. This musical is based of the real Newsboy strike of 1899. When Joseph Pulitizer raised the price of newspapers, the Newsies wouldn’t take it and went on strike and stood up for what they believed in. In the fictional story, the leader of this strike is Jack Kelly and he has a close bond to Crutchie and all the Newsies are like this one big family. Katherine Plubmer ends up writing the newspaper article for the strike and she and Jack Kelly fall in love

This musical is full of mind-blowing dance. The boys are basically doing flips, tap dancing, ballet, jumping high up in the air, dancing on newspapers and other fun tricks.

Sixth possibly could be Beauty and the Beast. I first saw Beauty and the Beast in elementary school, the animated movie and the stage show, but the only thing I remember was the song “Beauty and the Beast”. But seeing the 2017 live movie brought back my love for Beauty and the Beast again. My favorite characters are Beast and Belle. I love its songs such as “Something There”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Belle”, “Be Our Guest”, and the new movie’s “Evermore”. I love how Beauty and the Beast teaches you that beauty comes from within.

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Seventh or somewhere in my top ten would be Pippin. I first got interested in Pippin when my dad had me listen to “Corner of the Sky”. I automatically wanted to see the stage show. Then in 2015 in May, just one week before seeing the stage show, mom got me tickets and there was one day left with seats together. Seeing Pippin felt like I was at the circus. It was my first time seeing Pippin and I had an understudy for Pippin and the Leading Player and I remember being more intrigued by the Leading Player’s portrayal even though she was the antagonist.

At one moment in the show, Pippin’s grandma, which was during “No Time At All” asked us to sing along to the chorus and I loved how we got to interact  like that. In “Magic to Do”, I loved how it set up the show, which started with an illusion and I was in awe when the circus tent dropped.

Eighth spot I am just putting for now is Phantom of the Opera. At one point, this musical was tied with Les Mis and Wicked. It was only tied for about a year, which was from the time I saw it in Greenville up until July 30th, 2015. When I saw Les Mis at the Queens Theatre, it made Phantom of the Opera slide off that top spot. I realized just how much more I loved Les Mis’ plot and songs and characters. To be honest, I still really love Phantom of the Opera. True it belongs higher up on this list, but sometimes a musical belongs higher than another.

To describe this musical as a whole, I would describe it as a love triangle. In the musical, I view Christine as the protagonist and I view the Phantom as the antagonist and in my opinion, I don’t think Christine ever falls in love with the Phantom. I just love how hauntingly beautiful Phantom of the Opera is.

Hanging at ninth South Pacific is the second best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my opinion. It focuses on the idea of interracial marriage and racism and deals with two relationships mainly dealing with the one between Emelie and Nellie. It has memorable songs such as “There is Nothing like a Dame”, “Younger Than Springtime”, “Honey Bun”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair”, and “Some Enchanted Evening”.

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Tenth for now, which like some of the others may not in right spot is Music Man. I first discovered Music Man through Pandora maybe in 2012, but I did not see the stage show until 2015. I loved seeing the stage show at my school and I love Music Man due to how light-hearted and happy it is. I love songs such as “Ya Got Trouble”, “Goodnight My Someone” and “Seventy Six Trombones”.

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To be honest, this isn’t a fully accurate top ten musical list. I am true in Les Mis/Wicked being tied with #1 through. I also have a point with having Annie right beneath the two and then Sound of Music beneath them.