Loving Fathers of Musical Theatre

Today is Father’s Day. In the world of fiction, there are a number of loving fathers. What if I talked about them today. As a way to celebrate about that. It is a perfect day to mention why they are loving. Plus, it doesn’t matter of they biological or adopted fathers. MAJOR SPOILERS

Loving Musical Theatre Fathers

Mufasa- Lion King

It is perfect to start with a Disney father due to growing up on Disney fathers. Mufasa is perfect in two ways- not only as father, but also as king. The musical starts with the birth of Simba, his son and prince to Pride Rock. However, this not suit well with Mufasa’s brother, Scar. However, Mufasa does teach Simba a number of life lessons (as in how to be king and how to hunt). Even teaches him how prior Kings will ALWAYS look after Simba no matter what, as perfectly expressed in “They Live in You”. You are strongly aware of how much Mufasa loves his Son, as he does get afraid when Simba does do things he isn’t supposed to do (like going to the Elephant Graveyard or getting caught in the Intense Stampede)

However, both of those acts were ways to try to kill Simba——–as Scar wants to kill him and his brother (due to strong envy as Scar wants to be to King). Tragically, during the Stampede, Scar does kill Mufasa and places the blame on Simba (due to only being a cub, Simba believes him, which haunts him into adulthood), and causes him to run away. Little does Simba know how poorly his Uncle will rule Pride Rock, and somehow along the way forgets his place and doesn’t believe Mufasa is still looking over him even in death (but at least, eventually he does remember and fights his Uncle for his rightful place as King)

Maurice- Beauty and the Beast

In the same world of Disney, Maurice is Belle’s father. He is the only person who doesn’t think his daughter is odd. You really saw their love for each other in the song, “No Matter What” when Belle asks her father, “do you think I’m odd”. Even when Belle takes her father’s place, you saw their love. Plus, at the moment when Belle sees her father in trouble——this is when the Beast finally lets Belle go (at this moment, Belle and Beast finally are in love).

Captain Von Trapp- Sound of Music

While he appears strict, he actually does love his children. He is just in a rough situation in his life when you originally meet him. Maria actually helps him come out of his shell- especially after she teaches them how to sing. She actually brought happiness back into the house- through music.

Daddy Warbucks- Annie

He is one of our adopted fathers on this list. Annie is an orphan, who is allowed to stay with him for a week over the Holidays. Daddy Warbucks, over time, learns to love Annie like a father. Luckily, he decided to adopt her—–due to how much better Annie’s life is with him as opposed to the orphanage Annie came from.

Jean Valjean- Les Mis

One of the best relationships of Les Mis is the one found between Valjean and Cosette. In the most unexpected of ways, Valjean become father to the orphan, Cosette. On her mother’s deathbed, Valjean promises to her that he will raise Cosette. Soon enough, he learns just how awful Cosette is——she was treated like a servant, but still had strong hopes she will be rescued.

Luckily Valjean came and rescued her- unaware of just how much Cosette will mean to him. I love the addition of “Suddenly” in the movie, as in perfectly explains their bond. Cosette is everything to him- this explains why she was overprotected and sheltered. Despite always be on the run, he will still do anything for her- he actually became a better person because of her.

My Favorite Musical Character- Overall and Child

Many musical theatre fans have several favorite musical characters. However, in many ways, one stands out above the rest, meaning that character is our all-time favorite. So, sometimes we have two overall favorites——in two ways—what if we narrowed it down to our favorite child and non-child character? Let me mention those today.

All-Time Favorite Child

That character would be Annie. A lot of is because Annie is my favorite childhood musical. I think I was drawn to the musical and the character so much is because of Annie’s optimism. That is a characteristic I had in childhood and still have to this day.

Overall Favorite Character

This is a character that has been in life since August 2006——hard to believe. To this day, Elphaba is my overall favorite musical character. I can relate to her in so many ways- that is part of why I love Wicked so much. What about Elphaba do I relate to? Well, the two of us are “different”, determined, smart, and believe in equality and staying true to ourselves. She was one of the first characters I came across who was different. Even though this doesn’t happen often, I sometimes have felt misunderstood——that feeling started in the college years. There are characteristics in Elphaba I look for in other female characters—–such as strength and courage.

Hope in Musical Theatre

One of the themes I found in the world of musicals is hope. As a matter of fact, a number of characters have some kind of hope and light in their lives even those with tragic lives.

Newsies

One of the groups where you see hope is found in the Newsies. They do have difficult lives- having to rely on selling papers, and many are homeless. But increasing the price will make things more difficult—–a huge reason why they went on strike when Pulitzer raised the prices. They have a strong hope for their cause- as seen in songs like “Seize the Day”.

Elphaba

Elphaba may have been born different, but she is such an incredible character. She is full of hope when she arrives at Shiz, as shown during “Wizard and I”.

Friends of the ABC

In many ways, this political group of students is very much like the Newsies. A strong brotherly bond and a cause they have high hope and passion for and one they don’t give up on till the end. Both groups even have a leader. Enjolras is the most passionate of everyone in this group.

Jean Valjean

He found hope in two ways. Initially, he found it through the Bishop, who taught him the ways of the Lord. The 2nd place was when he adopted Cosette. Cosette ended up being the best part of his life. Several of his actions ended up being a result of encountering the Bishop—-he ended up having a strong love for God.

Fantine

Can a character with such a tragic life have hope? Yes, it is true. Fantine may have a very tragic life, but she still had something to hold onto. Her light is through her daughter, Cosette. She had hope that her daughter would get a better life. She died in peace and happiness after Valjean promised that he will take care of her daughter.

Eponine

Just like Fantine, even Eponine lived such a dark life. Eponine only had one good thing in her life. After she met Marius, she finally came across someone who treated her kindly. This would lead to her strong love for him. She had to hold on or else she wouldn’t have any light in her life. She even had such a touching and moving death- she did sacrifice her life to save Marius, but at least she was in the arms of him when she died. Sadly, the happiest part of her life was at this moment—–dying in Marius’ arms.

Cosette/Marius

Yes, Les Mis is home to a love triangle. In many ways, Cosette and Marius bring a lot of hope to this tragedy. Cosette is supposed to represent light and hope, which was first seen when she was a child. The love Marius and Cosette have for each other keeps hope alive- there is a reason Marius had to survive the uprising.

Annie

Whenever I think of Annie, I think of her optimism. I think that is what drove me to loving the musical as a child.

Characters I Relate To

One of the most important things in storytelling is an emotional connection. There is a difference between relating to a character and emotionally connecting and not relating to a character and still forming an emotional connection. So, who are some of the characters?

Elphaba

As many know by now, Elphaba is my favorite musical character. Like Elphaba, I know what its like to feel different due to epilepsy, Autism, and learning disabilities. At times, I have felt misunderstood. I am also smart, determined, big-hearted, unique, impulsive, and believe in equality and staying true to myself. It was through Elphaba where I was able to finally start to understand both emotional connection and relating to characters.

Belle

Of all the classic Disney princesses, I relate to Belle the most. I am unique and a bookworm.

Anna

Now, of the contemporary Disney princesses, I relate to Anna the most. The two of us share a lot in common. We are both the youngest. We are both impulsive, outgoing, optimistic, and both want a stronger relationship with our older sister. Thinking of Frozen, I am excited for 2022 because Frozen is coming to Charlotte next year.

Annie

Annie remains my favorite childhood musical. I think I now know why Annie was my favorite musical before Wicked. I think a lot of it had to do with the character of Annie. I was an optimistic child and I was able to relate to her. At the time, I didn’t exactly understand emotional connection and relating to characters.

Conclusion

These are only a few examples of characters I relate to.

Three Sections I Can Divide Musicals In

Well, I can easily separate meaningful musicals into three categories. Those are my childhood musicals, Fletcher musicals, and college musicals. These are all self-explanatory meaning you can easily describe all three. Let me put this into more perspective.

My childhood musicals were ALL musicals that entered my life before I started middle school. Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wizard of OZ, Aladdin, Lion King, Grease, Sound of Music, and Annie fit under this category.

What about the Fletcher musicals? Well, I call these Fletcher musicals because they entered my life when I was still a student at Fletcher. I went to that school from 6th -12th grade. That school was a small K-12 school. Most of the musicals I saw in this time frame were movie musicals. These musicals were Wicked, Mamma Mia, Enchanted, and The High School Musical series. So this set of musicals were the smallest.

College Musicals- I went to two colleges. Central Piedmont Community College and Gardner Webb University were the ones I went to. There were a lot of musicals I fell in love. They were Rent, Godspell, Les Mis, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, Frozen, Man of La Mancha, White Christmas, Music Man, Pippin, Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Greatest Showman, and Fiddler on the Roof. This time frame was where my passion for musicals came from- thanks to Les Mis, which challenged everything. That is why there is a lot. What was amazing about CPCC is just how professional they feel: I literally called their production of “Les Mis” phenomenal. CPCC is where I started to get more into theatre: I ushered twice for Les Mis and once for Some Enchanted Evening.