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?

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Musical Couples from My Younger Years

A couple days ago, I wrote of musicals 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.

 

 

 

Musicals I fell in Love with Through the Movies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pops Symphony: Round Three

Last night, there was another Pops Symphony. This time the theme was Broadway. In case anyone was wondering what a Pops Symphony was, it was an outdoor symphony in the park where people bring dinner picnic style. In this post, I will talk about the different musicals we listened to, but will talk about them in the order of which I fell in love with them, but at times they might not necessarily be in order. I sometimes might mention my favorite song and character from each if possible.

First up is “Sound of Music”. This musical is one of the most meaningful and special musicals of my life. I say special due to just how long it is has been part of my life. It goes to elementary school. We listened to songs such as “Lonely Goatherd”, “My Favorite Things”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “So Long Farewell”, “Do Re Mi”, “Edelweiss”, “Maria”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and the title song, “Sound of Music”. Of all these songs, “Edelweiss is my favorite mainly because it was my first recital song. It is also one of the more emotional moments in the musicals.

I honestly don’t really have a favorite character in the musical. It seems to be Maria and the children in this. It is one of the very first musicals I loved. “Do Re Mi” was the first musical song I memorized all the words to. This musical touches my heart in such a special way and makes me feel like a kid again.

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Grease like Sound of Music is a movie musical that I saw in elementary school. But I do not remember which one I saw first. The songs that were played last night were “Hand Jive”, “Greased Lightening”, “Beauty School Dropout”, and “We Go Together”, My favorite character is Sandy and my favorite song is “We Go Together”. Grease is one of those that I nearly forgot that I loved, but I did eventually remember. I remember that “We Go Together” is my favorite song as a child due to the silly lyrics that the song has.

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Now, its time to go past elementary school. Now its time to go to middle school (aged 12) and visit New York and visit Broadway. Before Broadway, I saw musicals on stage, but Broadway was special because a) its Broadway and b) because its Wicked. The songs they did are “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “Wizard and I”, “Dancing Through Life”, “Popular”, and “Defying Gravity”. Elphaba is not only my favorite character from Wicked, but my favorite character in all of musicals. “Popular” is my favorite song from Wicked mainly because it was my favorite song as a 12 year old.

The meaning of Wicked is quite important. Wicked sparked my love for musicals. Wicked became my favorite musical when I saw it on Broadway. Wicked was key to me understanding the emotional side of musicals. That show was how I began to understand the more vulnerable emotions. With Wicked, the main emotions began to be excitement, love, joy, and sad.

Elphaba means so much to me and she meant so much me from middle school on up and I spent so much time getting to know her and she and I have a lot in common and the two of us have a lot of things not in common. She is smart, talkative, determined, courageous, complex, young, unique, caring, loving and believes in equality and staying true to herself.

Each time I have seen the musical, I have felt more and more vulnerable. I have seen Wicked four times and each time is better and the emotions deepened, but I always feel like a 12 year old. Wicked carries my vision of musicals. It has spectacle/dance, comic aspects, strong emotional bonds, and strong positive and negative emotions in the score.

Now skip high school and fast forward to December of 2012. One musical would enter my life and change my life forever. Les Misérables was the name of that musical. The songs that the symphony did last night was “At The End of The Day”, “Master of the House”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing” . Well, I still don’t have my favorite song or my favorite character at all.

Les Mis was the musical that turned my love of musicals into a passion. Prior to Les Mis, all musicals were happy. That was all I had seen. By seeing the movie, I realized some musicals are tragic. I even realized I was 100% blind to heartbreak. I feel like Les Mis was the first musical I cried during. But while watching that movie, I did not know how to respond to Les Mis being tragic.

My second viewing of the movie musical, which was 2013, was important. That was when I calmed down and saw something special about Les Mis. I began to realize it makes you feel uplifted and over time I realized it is a story of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. Through the transformation of ex-convict Jean Valjean, the story of tragic and loving Fantine, the romantic and kind Marius, the brave and loyal Eponine, the brave and heroic Gavroche, the passionate Enjolras, the strict and obsessive Javert and the abusive and greedy Thenardiers. you have a wonderful nature of characters.

One more thing to note is that Les Mis has brilliant crafted songs. The songs are well-crafted to match the characters and storylines. “On My Own” for instance shows just how strong Eponine is as a character and how deep her love for Marius goes. “Empty Chairs at Empty Chairs” for instance shows all the trauma and grief Marius faces at the barricades. “Red and Black” and “Do You Hear the People” sing are passionate, which shows the passion and hope the students have for the rebellion. So while Wicked sparked my love for musicals, Les Mis turned my love into a passion.

Literally, I feel in love with Phantom of the Opera around the same time my journey with Les Mis began. It was in 2013 when my mom mentioned Phantom of the Opera and I went to Pandora and requested the songs. The songs the Symphony did was “All I Ask of You”, “Music of the Night”, and the title song, “Phantom of the Opera”. Of all the songs in this musical, “Music of the Night” is my favorite of the songs. However, my favorite character happens to be Christine.

Phantom of the Opera is such a beautiful musical. It is a romantic musical as well. The entire musical is a love triangle. I am one of those Phantom fans who want Christine and Raoul together and who sees Christine as the main character. While I don’t like Phantom as the main character, I do feel strongly for him. I honestly don’t like how he responds to his current situation, but he had a horrible past and he has to put up with unrequited love, but he doesn’t respond well to either of those.

Singing in the Rain was another musical they did. The only did the title song, Singing in the Rain for this. This was fun because they had someone actually sing the number. Throughout the number, he did not just sing. He also sang. He danced in the moments in the movie where moments of dancing usually happen. I first saw this musical in 2014.

The crazy thing is I first heard some of the songs from this songs when I was still young. I had heard “Singing in the Rain” and “Moses Supposes” before, but had no idea those two songs were from a musical. I love Singing in the Rain due to just how fun and happy it is.

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I think I first saw this movie of the musical in 2014, the same year I saw Singing in the Rain. That musical would be My Fair Lady. The songs are “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “Show Me”, “On The Street Where You Live”, “Couldn’t It Have Been Loverly”, “Get Me to the Church on Time”, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”, and “With  a Little Bit of Luck”

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Music Man was an encore performance at the Symphony. They performed “Seventy Six Trombones”, my favorite song from the musical. I first heard the songs from the musicals I want to say maybe in 2012 because that was when I first got Pandora. But I did not get to see anything in context or actually see the plot being played out until 2015. It is an all positive emotion show just like how Singing in the Rain is.

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I am going to end with On The Town. I song called “I Can Cook” was sung. I picked it last because I had never seen the musical or even heard the songs before so it had to be last.

Just by looking at these musicals, it is a nice blend of musicals. It really shows what the musical world is. There is spectacle/dance, comic and tragic aspects, strong emotional connection and emotions of excitement, love, joy, sad, sand heartbreak. Those are the main aspects of the musicals.

Just by looking at this list, you can just see that most of these musicals are happy, which is true for the entire musical world based on my interpretation. Those just happen to be Singing in the Rain, Music Man, My Fair Lady  Sound of Music, and Wicked.  Those happy musicals are written in order of emotional nature and level of darkness, but they are all still happy even if some may have there darkness, seriousness or tragic moments. I think On The Town fits under these musicals, but 100% not sure.

Then Phantom of the Opera comes next: I definitely do not see it as happy and due to me seeing Christine as the protagonist, I don’t see Phantom of the Opera as a tragic musical. I see it at the edge of being one, but it most certainly is not in my opinion. Then, we get up to Les Misérables, which 100% is a tragedy, but is inspirational. That is a heartbreaker. So just by looking at these musical, you can see that the emotional world is quite wide ranging.

Musical fans, what is your journey of musicals?

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Musicals That Make Me Cry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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