“Depressing” Musicals- Exist

Musical Theatre has an association with comedies, a genre I grew up with. That is why I assumed ALL musicals were happy and comic. I even knew musicals were on the emotional side of things. But there was a piece of musicals I was blind to- I had no idea tragic musicals existed or the emotion of heartbreak. Here is the question- do depressing musicals exist?

Yes, you have Miss Saigon, West Side Story, Les Mis, Rent, and Hadestown. What do all of those musicals have in common? All of them fall under heartbreaking musicals, but would you call them depressing? I don’t think so- Les Mis is about humanity and Rent is full of life meaning they go beyond their tragedies. I know how to call tragedies bittersweet. Even the heartbreaking musicals have moments of joy- comic relief, love, and hope are found in those musicals. You want to be emotionally moved watching a musical not emotionally disturbed.

The most recent tragic musical I got fascinated by is Hadestown due to it being based off of a Greek Myth. I love Greek Mythology, a genre that reminds me of fantasy. If it wasn’t for Les Mis, I may not have gotten into tragedies.

3 thoughts on ““Depressing” Musicals- Exist

  1. I honestly never thought Les Mis was depressing. It has a mostly happy ending, and there is so much hope for the future throughout the book, even if it is sad. Saying that, Miss Saigon, while I love the music, is so depressing! I could never enjoy it just because of how sad the ending is, lol.


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