Posters and Paintings in my Room

In my room at college, I have posters of Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Pippin and two paintings with quotes from Les Mis. I love all four musicals and they all bring something unique to the musical world. In this post I will talk about why I love each of these musicals.

Wicked- this was the musical of the four that I have loved the longest. It has been part of my for eleven years and was the first musical I saw on Broadway. Everything about this musical feels Ozian. The dancing, the spectacle, the songs, character names all feel Ozian. Now I love the musical for the dance, spectacle, songs, characters, and story. The center core of Wicked is friendship, which is between Elphaba and Glinda and then on top of that there is the complex, mature, and strong love triangle where the two best friends are involved, who are both in love with Fiyero. These three characters are the characters I find the biggest emotional connection to.

I have such a strong emotional connection to Wicked. I began to understand the emotional nature through Wicked. So Wicked has changed me for the better and sparked my love for musicals.

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Phantom of the Opera- I first heard the songs in 2013, but did not see the musical until 2014. I find this musical to be both haunting and beautiful. The plot is basically a dark and mysterious and beautiful love triangle between the Phantom, Raoul, and Christine. Its songs are gorgeous and is spellbinding and when I saw it for the first time, I was choked up. Raoul and Christine make up such a beautiful couple, which is part of the reason why I love both of them. What makes the Phantom so interesting is that he is so mysterious and dark.

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Pippin- I first saw this musical two years ago. It was “Corner of the Sky” that got me interested in seeing the musical. This musical uses circus elements for the spectacle and that is one reason why it is unique. Like Wicked, it is a Stephen Swartz musical so it has an incredible score. Its antagonist, the Leading Player, is the narrator of the piece, which is interesting and she is such an intriguing characters because she is so crafty, manipulative, dark and at times playful. She is even more intriguing then the protagonist, Pippin, who is trying to find where he belongs.

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Les Mis- there is lots to say when it comes to this musical, which would turn my love of musicals into a passion. Les Mis taught me that tragic musicals exist and yes, I already discovered the emotion of sad before Les Mis, but this musical brought me to the emotion of heartbreak. It has an emotional nature that is so powerful that it is so hard to describe its capability level. This story feels so human so I find the center core of this musical to be about humanity. Its score is brilliant and well-crafted and reduces me to tears. Its characters are so complex and incredible, which range from the ex-convict and compassionate Jean Valjean, the obsessive and strict Javert, the loving and tragic Fantine, the innocent Cosette, the sweet, revolutionary and romantic Marius, the brave and loyal Eponine, the greedy and neglectful Thenardiers, and the passionate Enjolras . There are so many ways I love this musical.

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But what do all four of these have in common? For starters, the most obvious is that they have songs I love, which is the first step to loving a musical. Found within the story is a romance aspects-only one of them does not have a love triangle, which is Pippin. They all share the emotions of excitement, love, and joy. It is amazing how varied their plots and characters and songs are. One of them has a score that feel Ozian, one has a score that is so haunting and beautiful and the other one has a passionate, epic and powerful score.

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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 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.

Sympathy and Empathy in Musicals

The word sympathy reminds me of musicals. A musical has the advantage of song to make you feel for the characters. They want you to feel empathy for the characters, but sometimes all you can feel sympathy for them especially if you are feeling for a character you don’t like.

The emotions the actors are played to the audience makes the audience feel what the character is feeling. In my eyes, I feel like the characters personally know everyone in the audience and are comfortable with sharing their emotions to the audience even if they are not willing to share it to the other characters.

Some musical emotions are hard to feel and are tough. You don’t want the characters to go through what they are going through at times, but you still learn to care about them and they end up living in you. The negative emotions are the best example of feeling sympathy and eventually empathy for them. I don’t mind feeling the negative emotions especially if I fall in love with the sad and heartbreaking songs and fall in love with the character and plot because you feel like you are ingrained into the plot and when that happens, you end up having a positive experience.

What makes the songs make you feel for the characters? Well, for starters, songs are usually more powerful than words alone. Sometimes a musical’s use of crescendos makes a song feel strong and powerful, which is a very unique thing to see. The crescendo makes you see just how strong a character is and that can make you feel the emotions the song is trying to convey. There are key changes when it comes to a crescendo. Songs like “On My Own”, “One Day More”, “Defying Gravity” among others have a use of crescendos and crescendos help with emotions a lot. It lifts the song and makes a song even more powerful.

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I feel like the melody shows the nature of the emotions. A slow and quiet song is how you end up feeling love and the sad or heartbreaking songs fit under that category as well. “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love, but because the melody stays consistent throughout, it  shows that Elphaba’s love for Fiyero is not that strong at that point in the story. But with the case of “On My Own”, which is another unrequited love song, the melody which has this whole introduction shows just dark and empty Eponine’s life is and when that sudden key changes after “all I see is him and me forever and forever”, the melody has a sudden key change and slowly builds up over time sells how just strong and deep Eponine’s love for Marius is. So melody does play a part in the emotion of the song. The exciting songs have the pattern of starting and suddenly speeds up and that gives you the wow factor that an exciting is supposed to have.

What is your opinion about feeling sympathy and empathy in musicals? Do you like the use of crescendos in musicals? Why you think songs bring out the emotions in the characters better than words alone?

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Favorite Openings in Musicals

These are some of my favorite openings in musicals.

Wicked- I love this opening because the dragon on the set breathes fire and the monkeys start the show, which quickly transport you to OZ. The monkeys open up the curtain.

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Les Mis- what makes this a wonderful opening is its overture leading up to the action. When I saw Les Mis in the West End, all it took was hearing the first couple of notes to get invested in the story. The opening notes of Les Mis are what makes this opening wonderful

Newsies- the opening is wonderful due to a wonderful overture. The opening scene is what really makes it memorable. You are introduced to Jack Kelly, the main character and leader of the Newsies. You learn of his close bond to Crutchie, who has a bum leg. Jack’s relationship to Crtuchie is how you quickly get emotionally bonded to the plot

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Pippin- the opening of the reveal of Pippin is one of the best ever. At the beginning, there is an illusion of the leader player in the curtain and she just appears and acts as the narrator of the musical. So the moment the curtain drops, you automatically become wowed by all of the circus elements you are seeing.

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Phantom of the Opera- the opening for me begins after the auction scene at the beginning. The overture is so beautiful and I just couldn’t take my eyes of the chandelier for the entire overture. It happened three years ago and I was spellbound by the time the overture started.

What are your favorite openings in musicals?

My Wicked Journey

In today’s post, I decided to talk about my journey with the musical, Wicked. I have talked about the meaning behind the musical, but never talked about my journey with the musical in detail. There were be some holes in it because parts of my journey I don’t remember when they happened.

My journey with Wicked started in 2006. I was only 12 and my mom took me to New York City to see Wicked on Broadway. Little did I know that when I saw Wicked, it would have a huge impact on my life. I remember that my favorite song, “Popular”, was  the main thing I remember. I ended up buying the soundtrack after seeing it on Broadway. I don’t when it was, but Elphaba became such an important part of my life. The other two characters I fell in love with was Glinda and Fiyero. I remember that I always hated “No Good Deed” and “March of the Witch Hunters”. Also Wicked truly has my vision for musicals, which is a heartfelt story filled with spectacle, dance, positive and negative emotions in the score, comedy, romance and a strong emotional connection.

Honestly I don’t know it was, but I don’t know when I realized Wicked was home to a love triangle. But what I do know is that it had a relationship to the first and second time I saw Wicked. The second time I saw Wicked was in high school and I was more vulnerable then than the second time. I came in being aware of positive and negative emotions in the score. I feel like I already knew about the love triangle along with the main story of friendship and acceptance. I was more vulnerable in the second round.

Wicked actually was the musical that sparked my love for musicals. I began to understand what an emotional connection was, which clearly shows through my personal bond with Elphaba. As time went on in middle and high school, I realized just how much I related to Elphaba and that is a huge reason why I was able to begin to understand an emotional connection. I even began to understand that musicals have an emotional  center to them. The main songs where I definitely knew sad belonged to was “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good”

The third time I saw Wicked, I was more vulnerable than the second time. For the first time, I began to remember the song that is not in the soundtrack, which is “The Wicked Witch of the East”. I still have been overlooking both Nessa and Boq along with the Wizard and Madame Morrible.

In my mind, “I’m Not That Girl” was still just a sad song and nothing else. Little did I know there was more to that song. I went for a third time because I wanted my dad to get the opportunity to see it and yet he gave me the better seat because the tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me. Also I was aware that the love triangle was fascinating and provided a wonderful emotional nature, but I was still confused at Fiyero’s role in the love triangle as in why does the plot twist even happen.

A huge part of my Wicked journey had to do with Les Mis. In the first rounds, I was already aware of sad, but I had no idea that one musical emotion was an emotion I was 100% blind to. “I’m Not That Girl” was just a sad song in the three times despite feeling more vulnerable to the musical. Well, Les Mis made me discover heartbreak for the first time. I saw Wicked a third time a few months after I realized heartbreak existed in the musical emotion, but still wasn’t existent in Wicked.

Enter “On My Own”, it took an entire year for me to realize that “On My Own” was heartbreaking. Well, I was able to connect “On My Own” to “I’m Not That Girl” when I realized both were unrequited love songs. It  took “On My Own” and memorizing the lyrics for to realize “I’m Not That Girl” is a heartbreaking song. But one piece of the love triangle was still hard to understand so I was determined to understand Fiyero’s role in the love triangle when I experienced Wicked for the fourth time.

I saw Wicked for the fourth time on January 30th, 2016. By having the new knowledge that “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, I knew I would feel more vulnerable. In addition, I was seeing Wicked with Gardner Webb, an university that changed me for good. I had an understudy as Elphaba and she was brilliant and so was Glinda and Fiyero was incredible.

I was determined to pay closer attention to him and “I’m Not That Girl”. By closely examining the lion cub scene, I was able to pick up on the fact that Fiyero had a crush on Elphaba in his days at Shiz, but seems so unsure of it, but it made me understand why the love triangle’s plot twist even happened in act II. Also in the lion cub scene, it was the first time Elphaba realized that she was falling in love with him, which affects just how heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl” is because it doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking and is only moderately heartbreaking and the melody sells that. It took hearing rumors of Elphaba for him to realize he truly loves Elphaba and hates that Glinda is supporting everything they are saying even though she hates it. So he left her because he realized his true feeling for Elphaba.

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Well, the first three rounds I saw Wicked, I always hated “No Good Deed” and expecting not to remember or even appreciate the scene. Well, my Elphaba during the fourth time made me appreciate the song. I finally could pick up on its emotions, which is another reason why I felt the most vulnerable. I was to realize the incredible energy found in the song along with Elphaba’s anger and frustration after thinking she failed at saving Fiyero through her spells.

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So Wicked has had an incredible journey. It has deepened so much over the years in terms of emotions. The love triangle became more and more complex over the years and its emotion changed a lot based on the fact that “I’m Not That Girl” went from being a sad song to slowly building up to being a heartbreaking song. Yes, this journey has a few plot holes because I don’t remember when I discovered certain personality traits of Elphaba at what point in the journey. I still overlook some things. But without Wicked, the love never would have been sparked in the first place. All of these years made Wicked what it is and how I describe the different characters.

The link below is a review from the fourth time I saw Wicked

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/review-of-wicked/

What Wicked’s Love Triangle Once Was Viewed

The Wicked love triangle is a special one to me because it was the first one I ever connected with. The love triangle was very different from the time I was 12 to the time I was 19. In those days, I saw the stage show three times. This post will talk about how I used to view the love triangle once upon a time.

Possible Spoilers:

I don’t quite remember when I realized I knew Wicked was home a love triangle, but I do know it had a connection to the first two times I saw Wicked, which was in middle school and high school. I remember in high school knowing that Wicked’s love triangle was fascinating and emotional, but I don’t think I realized why I thought it was both of those things. Before college, I already was aware of the plot twist that happens in act II when the unrequited love shifts from Elphaba to Glinda.

I honestly don’t know how much I realized “I’m Not That Girl” was part of the love triangle, but I definitely did not call it an unrequited love song and I did view the song as sad. I feel like I knew that these two women loved the same man, but at the moment he was in love with Glinda, but not Elphaba.

I don’t know remember how I interpreted the song, but I definitely saw the song as being sad so it was one of the first sad songs that really stuck, which is part of why Wicked showed me the emotional side of musicals. I definitely knew “As Long As Your’e Mine” was part of the love triangle, which is a love duet between Elphaba and Glinda and I did not understand the irony behind that song.

By the third time, I was very aware of the nature of the love triangle. “I’m Not That Girl” in my opinion was just a sad song and nothing else. But I was still very confused at Fiyero’s role in the love triangle. I did not understand why the plot twist happens at all. Such as why did it take until act II for him to realize that he loves Elphaba or why he broke up with Glinda even though I love how this love triangle is set up in the end.  “I’m Not That Girl” was developed as far as it could go so it just stayed a sad song during the third time. From the first to third viewing, I only paid attention to the songs part of the love triangle and not the spoken scenes connected to the love triangle.

But everything I already knew did prepare me for the fourth viewing, which was last year.

Do you love the Wicked love triangle and if so why? Was there a time where you interpreted it very differently then you do now?