Who is Elphaba?

In this series, I am now at Elphaba. Elphaba is my all-time favorite musical character. She is one of the two main protagonists in Wicked. She is this excellent and complex young woman.

Despite being born different, that does not stop her from being herself. However, complications come from that. It causes her father to hate her and he blames her for her sister’s disability and her mother’s death. So she has been treated like an outcast her whole life. She does not let that stop her. She goes to college with innocence and full of hope, but she finds out that even there she is still judged for being green. She got stuck with being roommates with Galinda (Glinda later) and they do not like each other.

Elphaba already has magical powers, but she has no idea how to control them. There have been incidents at school where her powers go out of control. The first is when they arrive: when Nessa is taken away and the second incident is when she sets a spell during class.

At a school dance, Elphaba arrives and does this silly dance type of thing. Galinda actually decides to join, and she actually creates something magical out of that. For once, Elphaba finally feels accepted. The two girls have bonded over a school dance. In the next scene, they realize that they could be potential friends. You learn how caring Elphaba is in more than one way: the moment when Doctor Dillamond sees the frightening message on the chalkboard and when Elphaba sees the scared Lion cub in the cage. You see that she really does have a big-heart- she does understand what it is like  to be different.

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On a side note- a love triangle happens between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. You notice this when Fiyero and Elphaba help free that lion cub. Elphaba and Fiyero have this playful conversation and it is this moment that Elphaba realizes her feelings for Fiyero. Based on the way that Elphaba responded to the unrequited love shows just how loyal she is to her best friend: she chooses not to steal Fiyero away or pursue him to keep friendship alive.

Elphaba takes a separate path when she realizes just how not so great the Wizard is. Throughout act I, she is such an innocent young girl. Now she has truly matured. She has always stayed true to herself, and that is very important to her. Equality is important to Elphaba as well and believes in equality for all including animals. She does not let the label of “Wicked” define her. Even though Fiyero didn’t love her in act I, she realized that he does love her her in act II. You show just how mature their love for each other is. You see their love for each throughout different scenes after “As Long As Your’e Mine”. Fiyero stops the guards from arresting Elphaba. Elphaba takes matters into her own hands and tries spell after spell after spell to save him and feels like she failed. Each time she does good, everyone calls it Wicked. When she saved Boq’s life when it accidentally started shrinking due to Nessa, she had no choice but to turn him to tin, Boq started hating Elphaba. In “No Good Deed”, she is hurt, frustrated, and angry, and she truly feels Wicked, but it doesn’t mean she is a bad person.

She does have one final moment with Glinda. The two are able to express their love for each other in “For Good”. They have impacted each other’s lives. Glinda has been Elphaba’s only friend. Glinda will always be a piece of Elphaba. Elphaba is this smart, determined, a bit impulsive, different, big-hearted, misunderstood, courageous, young woman who believes in equality and staying true to yourself. Just because people have called her  “wicked” does not make her one. I see a lot of myself in her, and that is a huge reason why she is my favorite musical character. Elphaba is also a big reason why I love Wicked so much.

Who is Jean Valjean?

Jean Valjean is the protagonist of the musical, Les Misérables. He is one of the most complex protagonists in musical theatre who goes on quite a journey from the beginning of the musical to the end.

Jean Valjean is an ex-convict who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family, which put him to prison for 5 years, but for trying to escape 14 more years. So for a minor crime, he was imprisoned for 19 years. He entered prison as a good man, but being in prison hardened him, and he left prison full of hate and anger. Jean Valjean is known for his physical strength.

Once he realized how unfairly society treats him, his soul fills up with even more anger and hates society even more. But he is given kindness by the bishop. Despite being given food and shelter, Valjean still steals from him. But the bishop forgives him and says all the silver was a gift.

So due to the mercy given by the bishop, Valjean realizes that he can change. He starts to treat people with compassion. He opens up a factory and shows compassion to the poor. So Valjean’s transformation begins to show. Valjean’s journey is a spiritual one. Valjean ends up helping Fantine, one of his former factory workers, Fantine, who has unjustly been fired from his factory. She had to turn to prostitution to provide for her daughter. Valjean prevents her from being arrested and sends her to the hospital. Valjean even turns himself in when an innocent man is believed to be “Valjean”. In an act of compassion, Valjean actually agrees to care for Fantine’s daughter, Cosette. So Valjean continues to act by the example set by the bishop.

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Cosette is the first person Valjean loved after being released. He feels like a true father to Cosette. Cosette was a broken child before. Valjean knows that caring for Cosette will be dangerous due to being an ex-convict, but he keeps to his word. Yes, he over-protects and shelters her, but I do not blame him in the danger of being sent back to prison. His love for Cosette makes him a kinder and better person. His love for Cosette is shown in different ways. He goes as far as rescuing Marius, who Cosette loves, from the barricades to show his love for his adopted daughter. This act of sacrifice shows that Valjean has some kind of courage. He may not tell Cosette about his past, but he is an incredible father. He saves Marius from being killed at the barricades.

He does shows the importance of forgiving our enemies. In one scene, he forgives Javert. In that scene, he was supposed to kill Javert, but instead lets Javert go and shows Javert forgiveness and mercy. This happened at the barricades.

In the end, even though Valjean dies, he dies with Cosette and Marius, his now son-in-law, by his side. Jean Valjean is an incredible character. He starts out as this harsh, angry, and hateful man and turns into this compassionate, loving, and caring man. Becoming a father to Cosette was such an important to his journey. One word for his journey: redemption. Valjean’s journey is a huge reason why I love Les Misérables.

Who is Annie?

Annie is another special musical character of my life. She is a musical character that has been part of my life since elementary school. To me, Annie represents optimism and that is a huge reason why I love her. As a child, I was optimistic, and I think that is why I was drawn to her. Annie is an orphan, and despite being in an orphanage run by an abusive headmaster, Annie never loses hope. Annie isn’t just optimistic. She is also caring and she shows that through how she cares about Molly, one of the youngest orphans. She is even compassionate, and that is shown when she runs into Sandy. Even though Sandy is a stray, she basically takes him in even though she is just a child. She sneaks out of the orphanage on multiple occasions, and that is how she met Sandy.

Soon enough, she is taken out of the orphanage to spend a week with Daddy Warbucks. She brings hope to the country as well when she meets President Roosevelt. Her famous song, “Tomorrow”, shows just how optimistic she is. At the end, she ends up being adopted by Daddy Warbucks. So Annie is just a caring, compassionate, and optimistic girl. She is a character I have loved for several years, and that is a big reason why she is very meaningful to me.

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Who is Jack Kelly?

Jack Kelly is the protagonist of Newsies. He is the leader of the Manhattan Newsies. He is protective of the Newsies especially Crutchie. Jack is a dreamer and a romantic. Jack dreams of going to Santa Fe. Jack knows how to draw and paint. Eventually Jack  goes through goes through inner conflict. Jack did not just lead the strike because in addition, he fell in love with Katherine.

The inner conflict happened after “Seize the Day”. The Newsies and people fights police and others. Jack watches all of this happening. He watches Crutchie being arrested, and going to go to the Refuge. He cares a lot more about his brothers much more than the strike. He soon did not give up on his strike in the end. Jack is a character who strongly cares about his brothers more than the cause.

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