Dark World of Musicals

It can be quite challenging to describe the darkness the musicals face. Darkness makes a lot more sense in the tragedies then the comedies. I have seen comic and tragic elements in both the tragic and comic musicals along with those that are stuck in the middle.

What makes the darkness such an important part of musicals? Well, from my knowledge the strongest musicals have some kind of hurt or pain. It helps make a musical a lot more human and real. For the longest time, I knew that sad was a musical emotion, but from elementary to high school, I don’t remember how much of that emotion I actually understood. Based upon now, sad was quite limited, but really strong or weak at times.

Some of the darkness I found in musicals range from racism, death, unrequited love, broken dreams, surviver’s quilt, discrimination, child and animal abuse, and prostitution, etc. In fact a lot of the tragic elements found in comedies are very parallel to those found in tragedies. The hardest tragic element to understand is death itself especially in comedies. Some of the comedies with darkness are “South Pacific”, “Wicked”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Sound of Music”, “Pippin”, and “Lion King”. Even though tragic musicals do exist, I still associate musicals with comedies.

It is crazy that I still associate musicals with comedies. Well, based on my knowledge, most musicals are comedies and not the other way around. I have learned to fully appreciate the negative emotions through the tragic musicals themselves. In fact, I love not one, but two sad musicals. “Les Mis” and “Rent” are not too depressing because I learned to find the light in each of them. In fact, choosing to view all musicals through the light is one of the best decisions I ever made. By seeing sad musicals through the light, I am able to get more out of them.

I once called “Les Mis” too depressing, but I fully now understand the entire scope of that musical. I realized that the show is very inspirational and I choose to learn why. It is a musical with themes of compassion, hope, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, compassion, humanity, and redemption. It is the spirituality of the show that I relate and connect to. I still have no idea if I can relate to any of the characters. “Les Mis” taught me that musicals are way more then its genre. It is really the full experience that matters. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I never thought I would fall in love with a tragedy and I thought that genre didn’t belong in theatre especially those musicals. I also thought I would not fall in love with a death scene either.

As for “Rent”, I learned that the show is all about how to live life. These characters are scared for their life and don’t know if they are going to live till the next day. The characters live life to the fullest and treat every moment as if its their last. They teach you how precious life is. The message that this musical shows the the show is not too depressing.

It is very hard to understand why the negative emotions are worth feeling. That is due to the fact that they hurt, but it makes sense. When you connect or relate to a musical, you begin to care for the characters and that makes you want to go through the characters’ emotions. In a way, there is great joy and love when feeling sad or heartbroken or something like that. The show always works its magic on you but at the same time you are working the magic on the musical itself. When it comes to those heartbreaking songs, I rarely relate, but can connect. You sort of add joy to the heartbreaking songs because the emotions you are feeling belong to the characters and due to that, what emotions are really yours?

I prefer the more complex musicals then the simple ones. I want those negative emotions to be part of a musical, which sounds ironic. Why would you want to feel that way?  If I fall in love with a musical and its songs, then joy, love, and excitement guides you through every single emotion. I am still quite young, but at least I have clearer understanding of the darkness found in musicals. All musicals rely on each other and things have to be balanced. That’s way it makes sense for comedies to have tragic elements. It also makes sense that darkness does not appear in every single musical. It would be way too much for tragic elements to be part of every single musical.


Future of Musicals

Here is what I hope happens with musicals for the future. I want new musicals to become a part of my life. I want to discover new things that a musical can be capable of. I want the emotions to continue to get stronger in current musicals and newer ones. There are certain musicals which I hope I continue to love for many years to come. I want the comedies to remain strong no matter what happens. They had to learn to work with tragedies, which is very difficult, but somehow they managed to stay strong.

Luckily, there is a small amount of tragedies, but one of them truly changed my life for good. It tested me on everything I knew about musicals. That same musical did that because it showed me that the emotions have more to offer than what they had to offer before and allowed me to analyze musicals even deeper. I am talking about “Les Mis”, a tragic inspirational musical dealing with unrequited love, broken dreams, lots of death, humanity, sacrifice, love, compassion, hope, forgiveness, and redemption. All because of my obsession with the musical, I learned a lot from it. I learned how to analyze musicals at a deep level because I always wondered why the show is so uplifting. Because the show touches me at a deep level, it is important to understand why the show has that ability. It has to do with the power of the story and the songs. I do want more tragedies to become a part of my life, but I want most musicals to remain comic.

It is hard to believe that there was a time when every single musical was a comedy. However, musicals are better when most musicals are comic. It shows that musicals really are because it proves that comedies have a dark side. I have lots of hope for the future of musicals. I know the number of comedies will continue to grow and so will the number of tragedies. I cannot believe I thought I would hate tragedies, but learning to love “Les Mis” has showed me that there is more than a tragedy than sadness like I originally thought. All because of big changes, musicals have become more truthful, insightful, emotional, and deeper than ever before. In order for musicals to switch from all musicals being comic to most musicals being comic, the comedies had to reinterpreted and become reborn. I have seen big changes happening to new comedies and comedies that have already become a part of my life. I am able to find the negative emotions better than ever before and I quickly find a more dark nature. New kinds of spectacle have been used and different kinds of characters started to exist.

The transition is still happening because tragedies are a fresh part of my life. The main reason why I want most musicals to remain comic is due the fact that comedies have been part of my life since the beginning and whenever I think of what a musical should be, I think of the comedies. In my opinion, musicals should have spectacle, dance, and have positive and negative emotions, but overall I should be able to connect to the material. That is what really matters and the strongest emotions are joy, love, and excitement because they allow musicals to be the best they can be. It is amazing how musicals can change in the most unexpected ways and that is when musicals tend to improve the most. There are more emotions than ever before and they are felt at a more deeper level. Not all musicals have the ability to touch me deeply because sometimes I am only touched at the surface, which is okay to me. I want an amazing blend of musicals in order for a nice balance between happy and sad musicals, which is why I am glad pure fun musicals exist.

But than again, I do not fully know what the future of musicals will be like. I know that unexpected things will continue to exist. They are shocking at first, but you slowly get used to it. Sometimes it is as simple as a fresh kind of spectacle or a different kind of character. An example of that are the circus elements in “Pippin”, which is a kind of spectacle I never knew could exist. Sometimes it is more complicated than something that is simple. For example, “Les Mis” showed me a side of emotions that I never thought was possible. I had no idea my soul could have moved so deeply and that songs could make me tear up. I never thought a tragedy would have that kind of power or depth. I will just let the changes happen as long as most musicals remain comic.