All Families of Fiction- Literature and Musical Theatre

Found in the world of fiction, one of the most common emotions is LOVE, which is a misunderstood emotion. It is noticed as romance, however what of the other kinds of love- friendship, family, the country, God, etc…… The strongest form actually belongs to your love of the story- that is what makes you keep going, and what makes the stories stay alive. Today, I will focus on only the families- BOTH unloving and loving.

The Unloving

Sarge’s Family

I had to start with one of my characters- a result of the author’s relationship with their characters. Their characters actually feel like their children, in several ways. After all, we caused what happened to them- both in backstory, who they became, and their fate. It might hurt at times, but sometimes there is no choice. Sarge is my antagonist of “Tale of The Cattail Forest”. Born into an unloving and abusive family. At age four, his mother left him leaving him alone with his abusive father (but on the flip side, he had a loving uncle, who is Marge’s father).

From age 4- 13, he was both verbally and physically abused——-that is why he became a bully in my book. He became confused, conflicted, with an anger problem and oblivious to compassion, love, and kindness. All he really needed was the right kind of affection. Despite his unloving father, little does he know that his uncle and younger cousin do love him. His easiest target actually was Marge due to envy, as she had to a loving father. Sarge found one place of comfort growing up—-a place called “The Bog” where his father couldn’t find him.

The Malfoy Family

How come they haven’t come to mind sooner? I grew up on Harry Potter, and kept on forgetting that Draco was born into the wrong family. Mostly due to his father, who was a death eater—–the 2nd most evil of all of them. His father treated him way worse than his mother. Explaining why he was one of Harry’s enemies in school

Morrigan Crow

This was one of the most RECENT literature characters who was born in the wrong family. Only because she was born on the wrong day. If you were born on Eventide, it is said you are cursed. As in believed to cause a number of bad things. Good thing she was noticed by Jupiter North, her patron, who took her to Nevermoor, and she found a proper family there

The Thenardier Family

Of ALL the unloving families, they come to mind pretty quickly as they are from Les Misérables- both a masterpiece book and a sensational musical. They actually are the parents of Eponine and Gavroche, two of my favorite characters from the story. The parents are both abusive and pickpockets. As a matter of fact, The Thenardiers had five children (Eponine, Azelma, Gavroche, and the unnamed younger brothers- you would only that if you read the book)

Eponine actually had a better childhood than her teenage years. She appeared to be loved as a child, but turned out not to be true. You got an idea of the environment she was going to living in after seeing the way her parents were treating Young Cosette and when you saw the way they were running their inn. From “Castle on the Cloud” and “Master of the House”

Eponine was literally raised to be a thief and criminal and was abused. The family even ended up living in extreme poverty. No one showed her kindness growing up. Good thing, a student revolutionary eventually did- that boy was Marius, who she fell in love with. Yes, it was unrequited, but her love for him was her greatest strength (as shown through “On My Own”). She would do anything for him no matter the cost, even if it means giving up her life—-“A Little Fall of Rain” is so touching and moving”

Gavroche, on the other hands, was kicked out at an early age and learned to live on the streets. One of my favorite scenes from the book was when he unknowingly took in his two little brothers. He also became like the mascot of the rebellion, and loved the way the students took him in. The Thenardiers didn’t care that BOTH Gavroche and Eponine were killed during the uprising. I think my love for Eponine might have come from my love for Elphaba.

Elphaba’s Family

Why do you think I ended on her? It is a known fact that of ALL musical theatre characters, my favorite is Elphaba. As a matter of fact, she and Eponine are kinda of similar- both have big-hearts, and are brave, strong, and complex. Plus, they are the eldest in the family, taken advantage of (in Elphaba’s case, the Wizard), go through unrequited love (will something change for one of them?), and were born in the wrong family

Elphaba was only born in the wrong family just because she was different. Only because she was born green. She was treated like an outcast in her own home. Nothing good happened in her life until Shiz. She actually met Glinda at Shiz University, who actually turned out to be the only friend in her life. Glinda was one of the few who saw who for she is- Fiyero was the other one. Wicked focuses on the powerful and strong bond between Elphaba and Glinda. Yes, they BOTH fall in love with Fiyero—-that love triangle actually strengthens their friendship—-a moment to test their loyalty. How fall will they go to keep their friendship alive- will they let a boy get in the way?

“For Good” is actually the most emotional song in the entire musical- yes, even more emotional than the heartbreaking “I’m Not That Girl”. That is because the FRIENDSHIP in Wicked is more important than the romance in the musical.

The Loving

Aurora and Jasmine

Yes, they are two sisters, but still considered family. The main characters of Greatest Discovery, one of my hardest WIPS to develop. They are fraternal twins, who became orphans after their parents died in a car crash on a snowy day. These girls were born to an Artsy and Disney-Loving Family, which helps explain their names. While their parents were alive, they helped make dolls with their parents a lot- that could mean designing the clothes or even sewing. Due to their names, both girls got a doll that resembled the princess they were named after- Aurora named her doll, Mali, and the doll’s dress was designed in a way to switch from pink to blue

Jasmine is the more protective and mature twin. After her parents died, she became more fiercely protective of Aurora. She is actually a lot more into designing costumes and even making them. She actually dreams of designing and making clothes for Broadway.

Aurora is the more innocent, curious, and stubborn twin. Mali really means a lot her, as it was the final doll her mother made before their parents’ death. Aurora is much more into the dolls and a lot more into dolls and princesses. She even struggles with the loss a lot more, so she really needed Jasmine in her life—–I mean, all they have left is each other. Despite the friendship they developed with the other four orphans- Rosie, Emily, Paige, and Mollie

The Weasleys

They have to be one of the BEST literature families that exist. True, they have 7 biological children, but they literally took Harry in. Harry Potter had to grow up with a family with treated him terribly, only because his biological parents were murdered. One of the Weasley sons is one of his two best friends- Ron actually became his first friend- Harry literally spends Christmas with the Weasleys

Belle and Maurice

They are one my favorite families in Disney. While the town they live in consider them both odd, at least they don’t see each other that way. The song, “No Matter What”, is a great way to illustrate their relationship. They both would protect each other from harm- if you think about the scene in the castle when Belle took her father’s place

Mufasa and Simba

At the beginning of Lion King, we are fully aware that Simba is the prince of Pride Rock. He was born to King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi. But the family relationship that is illustrated the strongest is one between Mufasa and Simba- we see Mufasa teaching Simba important life lessons and how to be King. This relationship is short-lived due to Scar killing Mufasa- a result of strong envy

Fantine and Cosette

Fantine is one of the BEST moms found in fiction- despite all the horrors she wants through (her story is the hardest to watch in Les Mis). At first, Fantine was truly happy and had a better life. That is until her lover left her- along with her Young daughter, Cosette. Desperate, she had no choice but to leave Cosette in the hands of the abusive Thenardiers (she thought they were good people, but far from the truth). She soon got a job in Valjean’s factory, but after the foreman found out about Cosette, got fired (unknowingly to Valjean)

She would anything for Cosette- she had hopes her daughter would have a better life than she had. In order to get money, she had to sell her hair, locket, and eventually had to become a prostitute just to provide for Cosette. Harassed by a customer, she attacked him in self-defense- at this point, she was deathly ill (however Javert wanted to send her to prison). But luckily, Valjean intervened and took her to hospital—-through an incredible act of compassion, on her deathbed, he promised that he would raise Cosette giving Fantine peace and comfort for once.

Valjean and Cosette

Adopted parents can count- they are still family. This is actually of the BEST parts about Les Mis. The moment Valjean rescues Cosette from the unloving and abusive moment, but still a bittersweet moment. That is only because while Cosette is given a better life, Eponine’s is about to get worse as she is stuck with the Thenardiers the rest of her life.

Valjean’s relationship with Cosette is so special. I love the addition of “Suddenly” in Les Mis- it really shows how important Cosette is to Valjean. In the most unexpected of ways, Valjean had to become a father, a result of promising to Fantine that he will raise her daughter. He ended up loving Cosette unconditionally- they both were broken and helped heal each other. Valjean actually cared more about Cosette’s happiness- that explains why he went to the barricades to protect Marius


Conclusion

If I was to include ALL families from fiction, that would take a while. At least, I gave you a general idea.

French Shows I Love

Just yesterday was Bastille Day, which is France’s Independence Day. France is actually an amazing location for fiction- it is where some of my favorite shows take place. So, what are my favorite French shows?

La Bohème

If it wasn’t for Rent, there is no way I would have seen this tragic opera. It centers on the two lovers, Rudolfo and Mimi during 19th century France. While they are the main couple, we have a 2nd couple- Marcello and Musetta, who help lighten up the tragedy ever once in a while. While Rudolfo and Mimi have a tragic relationship, at least we know they truly love each other. Or when the characters are having fun- due to their bohemian lifestyle. There is just something about Puccini that draws you in. La Bohème is my favorite opera

I first saw the musical as a live stream in Cinemas back in 2016. Than soon enough saw it in person in 2020.

Phantom of the Opera

This is actually my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Another show taking place in 19th century France—-this time late century. Centering on a haunting and angelic love triangle. It is found between the mysterious Phantom, and the adorable couple of Raoul and Christine. The musical is so beautiful, in many ways. The costumes are beautiful and so is the set. Spellbouding and can drive you to tears

I saw Phantom of the Opera at the beautiful Peace Center May of 2014. I was spellbound the moment the show started, and didn’t move until the chandelier fell

Les Mis

Where to start? Of all musicals, this was most expected due to a massive love—-another show taking place in 19th century France. This time, we are starting in 1815 and ending in 1832. To fall in love with Les Mis, I had to give the musical film a 2nd chance, and the rest is history.

There is SO much I love about this musical. The complex plot, the complex characters, and the epic, passionate, powerful, and highly emotional songs. It is so hard to even choose a favorite song from this musical. The musical that disproved a number of things about musicals- 1) tragic musicals exist, 2) death is memorable and can happen during song, 3) heartbreak is a musical emotion

Les Mis is about Jean Valjean’s journey on becoming a better person. He is an ex-convcit, who life was changed after encountering the compassionate bishop, who taught him the ways of the Lord. What the bishop taught him would drive the rest of his actions. 1) the compassion towards Fantine, 2)t the adoption of Cosette, 3) mercy and forgiveness towards Javert, etc……

In addition, it is also about the love triangle of Marius, Eponine, and Cosette——I actually love this love triangle, and all three characters (Marius actually is my favorite survivor and now is almost a core favorite character). It is also about the uprising that is formed through the Friends of the ABC. All of the storylines are so strongly connected, that if you get rid of one tiny thing, the entire story starts unraveling itself.

In total, I have seen the stage show six times- that is in 3 cities and 4 theaters. The cities were Charlotte, London, and Greenville. The theaters were Halton- CPCC (this gets 3x due to once with family and twice as usher), Queen’s, Peace Center, and Ovens Auditorium- Blumenthal. As a matter of fact, I had some pretty special Les Mis dates- like my mom and I in London or being with my University in Greenville.

Beauty and the Beast

I ended on Beauty and the Beast because it was the ONLY French show I love that I still haven’t seen live. All I have seen of it were the two films- animated and live action. Of all classic Disney princesses, I relate to Belle the most. I am both a bookworm and unique. A collection of exciting, romantic, and emotional songs. My favorite song is “Beauty and the Beast”—-such an enchanting and magical moment that it can easily drive you to tears.

A musical that truly shows that “beauty comes from within”. The Beast may look like a beast, but he is beautiful on the inside. Gaston may look handsome on the outside, but is. truly a beast on the inside

As a matter of fact, this is the first French show I fell in love with. But it took me way too long to figure out it took place in France. Don’t know why it took me longer than it should have- despite obvious clues. Character names and some words characters say- Lumiere literally singing “This is France” in the fun song, “Be Our Guest”, and the word “Bonjour” was sung in the opening number, “Belle”.

Conclusion

As different as all these shows may seem, they still share some things in common. Just like with any show, you need to have an emotional connection- the reason why you want to feel the emotions. Plus, I love the songs in all of them along with the plot and characters.

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 broken 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.

Love Triangles- Not What You Think

I almost feel like there are two types of love triangles. There are the obvious ones, and the technical ones. What, how can a love triangle technically be one, but not really? I know that sounds strange, but I almost feel like they in some ways are not “real love triangles”. What am I talking about?

Beast, Belle and Gaston

Well, at the beginning it is obvious Gaston wants to marries Belle, but does he actually love her? Well, Gaston doesn’t love her—-he only wants to marry her because she is the prettiest girl in town—he only is so in love with himself. So, how is this a real love triangle?

Belle and Beast are the only ones who love each other. It is a romance that grows over time. At first, they can’t stand each other especially if Beast is being selfish and has a terrible temper. But there comes a moment where Beast realizes his mistake (as in before the curse). At the scene where he scares Belle leading her to escape the castle. It is in “Something There” where you first realize they start to have some feelings for each other, and in “Beauty and the Beast”, you figure out they have fallen in love.

But there is no third wheel- only because Gaston doesn’t love Belle——so not a real love triangle. That is what I mean, the third wheel doesn’t play a part- they just are in the way. No unrequited love really exists.

Kristoff, Anna, and Hans

Well, look here. The same situation as Beauty and the Beast. Kristoff does fall in love with Anna- Anna for some reason can’t realize that she is falling in love with him. Somehow believing Hans is her True Love- just because he proposed to you doesn’t mean he loves you. When Anna returns to the castle, she learns Hans never loved her- he just wants to takes over Arendelle. Through the help of Olaf, Anna finally learns that she loves Kristoff.

Conclusion

This basically means someone in the love triangle is not really in love. So how are those actually “real love triangles”?

Disney Princess Musicals I Love

Most likely, everyone has encountered some musicals. That is thanks to Disney——after all, they are known for their musical movies. Part of which feature princesses- born in or soon married into royalty. So, what are the Disney Princess Musicals I love (as in stage)?

Frozen

True, I might only have seen the two animated films, but already love this musical. Favorite songs of the movie are “For the First Time in Forever” and “Let it Go”. The story of sisterhood between Elsa and Anna- one born with snow and ice powers and other without. Between the two, it is Anna I relate to the most.

June- that is when I will finally see the stage show.

Aladdin

True, our protagonist isn’t royalty, but who he loves is. Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine. Jasmine is strong and brave. Who can not fall in love with The Genie- such a lovable character and sings one of the most fun songs from the musical (“Friend Like Me”). Plus such a magical and incredible love song- “A Whole New World”

Beauty and the Beast

Can’t believe I still haven’t seen this in person. All I have seen belong to the animated and live action films. Such an incredible, enchanting, and magical romance; the message of beauty is found within…………Beauty and the Beast if filled with several characters to love—–like Belle, Beast, and some of the Enchanted Objects. I can relate to Belle, who is the classic princess I relate to the most. My favorite song from this musical is “Beauty and the Beast”—such an enchanting and magical number- even love what is happening during it- combined with the dance the Beast and Belle have.

What are your favorite stage Disney princess Musicals?