It is February, otherwise known as the month of love. When it comes to musicals, LOVE is one of the biggest themes. However, one of the biggest mistakes is that people assume love is only in the form of ROMANCE, but that isn’t true. I have found LOVE in more then one form- it exists in friendship, in family, in country, in god, and of course in romance. Let me bring up some examples.
Wait, isn’t it barley existent? Well, love for country is clearly shown in Les Mis, especially at uprising. The Friends of the ABC have a strong passion for their cause, especially Enjolras, their leader. You clearly can see their love for France during “Do You Hear the People Sing”, the revolutionary anthem in Les Mis.
There is a LOT of friendship love in musicals- found in Les Mis, Wicked, Newsies, and Rent for instance. They are important to the characters in different ways. In so many ways, the The Friends of the ABC and the Newsies are very similar- a strong brotherly bond that feels like family and a cause they strongly believe in. Found in the Newsies, there is another intimate bond, which is between Jack Kelly and Crutchie, a friendship I strongly love, which is a reason why these two are my favorite Newsies.
When it comes to Elphaba and Glinda; and Eponine and Marius, at least those friendships exist. After all, look at Elphaba and Eponine’s life- they needed someone like Glinda and Marius in their life. Before those two entered their life, they had kinda of a bad life- look at Elphaba (treated like an outcast) and Eponine (extreme poverty and raised to be a thief and criminal and unloved). In many ways, those two girls are similar—-good thing they found Glinda and Marius.
As for the Rent friendship, they also were like family. True, there were some struggles due to part of having HIV/AIDS, but at least they were living their lives in love and in the moment. Those are a lot of uncertainty going on and fear, but at least they know how to live life. “NO DAY BUT TODAY”—-that is the motto of Rent.
Well, there are a lot of kinds of family love found in musical theatre. Love found between a parent has for a child and vice versa. Plus, there is also sibling love- that can count as friendship as well. Even adoption stories can count- at the moment, only one can count.
Elsa and Anna– Whenever I think of sibling love, this one comes straight to mind. Considering the fact that I am a sister myself, it would be of no surprise I would think of them. In some ways, Elsa and Anna reminds me of the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda. After all, the center core of Frozen is the sisterhood between Elsa and Anna. I relate a lot to Anna- I am the youngest, and outgoing, full of life, and impulsive.
Fantine and Cosette– Well, Fantine’s story is the hardest one to watch unfold in Les Mis, but still love seeing her unconditional love for Cosette. Everything she does is for the sake for Cosette- she just wants her daughter to have a better life than she did. Even on her deathbed, she was still thinking about Cosette.
Valjean and Cosette– This is probably one of the BEST adoption stories in musical theatre. On Fantine’s deathbed, Valjean promised her that he would raise Cosette, giving Fantine peace and comfort for once. Young Cosette was horribly abused and treated by The Thenardiers, but luckily rescued by Valjean.
Cosette played a huge part in Valjean’s life. In the most unexpected of ways, he had to become father. He truly learned to love through Cosette, and Cosette learned love through Valjean. True, he was overprotective, but he was the run from Javert. Cosette was truly the most important part of Valjean’s life—–look at when she was a teenager. Valjean literally would do anything for her- explaining why he went to the barricades to rescue Marius, the love of Cosette’s life.
Belle and Maurice
well, this is yet another Disney family love. You can clearly tell they love each other. Everyone in their town think their odd, but Belle and Maurice don’t see each other that way. As expressed in “No Matter What”. Belle would protect her dad, even if it means a major sacrifice- why do you think she asked to take for father’s place? Plus, Maurice was trying desperately to get his daughter rescued from the castle.
Wait, is there really love for God in musical theatre? Yes, there really is and shows up in more ways than you think. Les Mis is truly where I see this type of love shown. Compassion, hope, sacrifice, and redemption are just four of the spiritual themes found in Les Mis. There is a reason why the musical is inspiring.
Shown initially through the bishop- look after Valjean was released, no one would give a chance, meaning not giving a place to stay, or giving him a job, etc……As for the bishop, he kindly welcomed Valjean into his home, offered him a meal, and a place to stay. Plus showed him forgiveness and mercy. The bishop has an unconditional love for all people.
Valjean learned to love God——as shown through his actions following his encounter with the bishop. His compassion for Fantine, his adoption of Cosette, etc………..They were a result of being with the bishop.
Well, there is a reason why I saved romance for last. That is because it appears to be the MOST common and most associated with love in musicals. When it comes to romance, couples and unrequited love count- still love.
Disney– I grouped these couples together for a reason. I find something in common with Disney couples. Look at “A Whole New World”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, and “Something to Believe In”——they all have a kind of magic and innocence nature about them.
Regular Couples- These belong to non-Disney and non- love triangle couples. For example, Harold Hill and Marian
Love Triangles- MAJOR SPOILERS
Well, one of my favorite couples is technically a spoiler. At me think who are my favorite love triangle couples- Christine and Raoul; Cosette and Marius; and Elphaba and Fiyero.
It is only The Phantom of the Opera love triangle that takes up the entire plot. True, Christine and Raoul are an unpopular opinion. But I love them- they are a beautiful couple, as obviously expressed in “All I Ask of You”. As for Cosette and Marius, another unpopular opinion, they truly bring hope into the tragedy, and their romance is so adorable.
Wait——-Elphaba and Fyero are a spoiler. Yes, I can explain more
Phantom– of all characters I have seen who gone through it, he deals with it the worst. Doesn’t accept it or cope with it all. Explaining further why it had to Christine and Raoul
Eponine– of all the characters in Les Mis’ love triangle, she is my favorite. She shows so much bravery, strength, and loyalty in her unrequited love. She had to keep Marius in her life, who was the only one who showed her kindness. He was also the only good part of her life. She risked her life several times for him. She would do anything for him no matter the cost.
Elphaba/Glinda– wait, wait, why did I group two characters together? Here is where the Wicked love triangle can get confusing. Originally, Elphaba has unrequited love for Fiyero, but later on it switches to Glinda. In many ways, this love triangle strengthens their friendship because it shows their loyalty towards each other based on their responses to their unrequited love. Both of them decide not to steal Fiyero away from each other—-meaning they won’t let a boy get in the way of their friendship.
This is one type of love that probably may not be thought of. A love that doesn’t always exist. It only shows up in certain musicals. Look, here is the strongest type of love in musicals- your LOVE for a musical. This explains why you want to go on the characters’ journeys, why you put up with their emotions, and why the characters stay alive in you long after the curtain falls. It is pretty easy to explain why you want to feel the positive emotions, but not so much the negative. Your LOVE for a musical and YOUR emotional connection are truly the reasons why you don’t mind dealing with the characters’ emotions—-whether they are positive or negative.