Big Character Moments in Musicals

I have talked about musical characters a lot on this blog. But I don’t think at once I brought up what their big character moments are and that is where they develop the most. So in this post I will bring up characters and next to them say what their big moments are. Just to let you know, I might be missing some big moments from characters that I can’t think of right now.

Possible Major or Spoilers Ahead:

Elphaba:

Wizard and I- this is an important step for Elphaba. This happens very early on in the show. Elphaba shows in this song that she just wants to be accepted. She is quite hopeful in this scene and still innocent because she is still quite young-basically college age.

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2. Popular-yes, I put one of Glinda’s song with Elphaba’s big moments and I say it is because it is when the two girls become friends for the first time.

3. For Good- this is a big moment for her because that is when she understands just how important her friendship with Glinda is.

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4. Defying Gravity-this is when Elphaba truly matures.

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Glinda: 

  1. Popular-this is a new step for Glinda when she befriends Elphaba. This moment is important for both girls because it is when they become friends, which is the center of the show
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2. For Good-it is here as well because this is really when Glinda realizes the impact that Elphaba has had on her life

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Fiyero: 

  1. Lion Cub Scene-this may be a speaking scene, but it still is a big moment for Fiyero. Fiyero may not notice it this time, but this when the audience notices that he in fact has a crush on Elphaba. It is hard to describe why this is an important moment for Fiyero, but it is an important step for him.
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2. Thank Goodness-this is when Fiyero puts a big curve on the love triangle. While everyone was spreading rumors about Elphaba, he realizes something important. He has truly matured at this point and discovers that he in fact is in love with Elphaba and not Glinda.

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Eponine: 

  1. On My Own-this is the moment where she finally accepts the situation she is currently in. She talks about how empty her life is through lyrics like “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to” and “a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known. On top of all of that darkness, she also is dealing with unrequited love for Marius and here is when she can accept the fact that Marius will never love her, but it does bring up the fact that she will continue to stand by his side despite the the unrequited love.
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Jean Valjean: 

What Have I Done?- this is a gigantic step for Valjean. He has been released from prison after nineteen years just because he stole a loaf of bread for his family. Right before this scene, the bishop give him food and a place to sleep for the night, but Valjean still steals the bishop’s silver. But when the police took him back, the bishop laid and said that it was a gift. Through the bishop, Valjean has learned the ways of the Lord. Through this song, Valjean reflects on this past and the kindness of the bishop and realizes he has to change and become a better person.

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Meeting Cosette- this is so important because Cosette was the first person he ever loved after being released so she gives him a new purpose in life.

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  1. Who Am I?- another big moment for Valjean. An innocent man accused of being him is in court so Valjean has a tough decision to make. Does he save the innocent man or does he not? Valjean has decided to turn himself in despite the fact that he still is going to help Fantine.
  2. Bring Him Home-Valjean has arrived at the barricades to protect Marius, Cosette’s love. Here he is praying to save him.
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Boy, Valjean has a lot of big character moments due to how complex he is and how much he changes throughout the show.

Marius: 

  1. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables- this is Marius’ big song. He is suffering through survivor’s guilt after being the only survivor at the barricade. He has lost everyone from Eponine to Gavroche to Enjolras and the rest of his friends. I can’t exactly describe why this is a big character moment for Marius, but it is.
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Jack Kelly: 

  1. Santa Fe- this scene is when Jack starts to go through a lot of inner conflict, but it still is an important moment for him. He sees this huge fight break out due to the strike and sees Cruthcie being arrested. Because of what he witnessed, he is about ready to give up on the strike even though he does not want to give on the other Newsies especially because he is their leader. He has such a wonderful bond to Crutchie and that drives him a lot of inner conflict, which makes this song sad.
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2. Something to Believe In- yes, I think a big character moment for Jack is in a love song. But this is truly the moment where Jack is able to get through his inner conflict. It shows just how much Katherine believes in him. Leading up to this, she saw some of his drawings and thinks it would be a good idea if they put them in the paper. This song really helps Jack climb out of the inner conflict. That inner conflict made Jack a complex character.

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Newsies as a Whole: 

  1. The World Will Know- this is when the Newsies decides to unionize to head towards the strike so it is an important part to the story
  2. Seize the Day-this is truly when the strike begins. They understand the meaning of courage which is shown through the lyrics, “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”
  3. Once and For All- this is yet another big character moment for the characters. This is the last step of their strike. They start printing their own papers and this shows their cause and this is when it truly comes out. This song shows their determination and shows that Jack has not given up yet despite the fact that he recently has gone through a lot of inner conflict.
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Students of the ABC: 

  1. Do You Hear the People Sing- this is when they go to the streets to try to rally up citizens to help in their strike. It shows just how passionate and hopeful they are when it comes to the strike. It is their revolutionary anthem so it is important step  towards the uprising
  2. Drink With Me- this song is important to the cause. They understand that their uprising is a lost cause and feel hopeless. They know most likely they will die the next day. You can really understand their love for each other throughout this song. Marius is still upset over the loss of Eponine, but he sings about Cosette because it is his hope that he will be able to see her again since he loves her.
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Pippin:

  1. Corner of the Sky- this is when Pippin realizes what he truly wants in life. He wants to find out where he belongs so this song shows what his main goal of this story is. He just wants to find his “corner of the sky”, so he starts going on this kind of adventure after this.
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Roger:

  1. One Song Glory- here is where we find what Roger’s main goal is. He hopes to write one last song before he dies of HIV. Here we can understand how hurt he is at this point due to what happened in his last relationship. This hurt makes you understand why he is so reluctant to enter a relationship with Mimi
  2. I Should Tell You-this is the first time that Roger realizes that he needs Mimi in his life. It is when he finally decides to enter a relationship with her so this is a big step for him.
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So you see character big moments are important. I honestly wish I could add more. Do you agree with these characters moments. What are some big character moments you can think of?

Genius

2 thoughts on “Big Character Moments in Musicals

  1. Great list! Big character moments that are coming to mind at the moment are “Twisted Every Way” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Her Again” for Christine from The Phantom of the Opera, “Impossible/It’s Possible” for Cinderella from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and “Stars” for Javert.

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