The Oddest Musical Theatre Parallel

True, there are many parallels in the world of musical theatre. I have found this in a number of characters, but I found one that I still can’t quite figure out. It is one of the ones found in Wicked and Les Mis, which is between Fiyero and Enjolras. MAJOR SPOILERS

Fiyero

He is more complex than he appears, and the male romantic lead in a love triangle. In Wicked, he goes through a drastic transformation. From being a bit of a jerk to softening up to becoming a mature and courageous young man. In some ways, he develops more in speaking scenes- the Lion Cub Scene for instance. He causes a massive plot twist in act II- as in making the unrequited love change from Elphaba to Glinda. Well, his chemistry was always stronger with Elphaba, and there were clues during act I that point to this change.

Enjolras

He is the leader of the Friends of the ABC in Les Mis. He is the most passionate about the uprising. He never gives up, no matter what, even at the end——that would result in his death. Enjolras, at one point, does give the students a chance to leave, but they don’t due to their strong bond and their passion.

Conclusion

Why on earth am I am paralleling these characters? The only similarity I can find is their courage, which you don’t spot until act II of Wicked (only because Fiyero doesn’t have courage until that moment). All I know is that actors tend to play both characters- based on the fact that three of my Enjolras actors did play Fiyero at some point.

Who is Fantine?

Fantine’s story is very hard to watch in Les Mis.

Major Spoilers:

She is a struggling single mother. She is mother to Cosette and Cosette’s biological father abandoned them leaving Fantine left to care for Cosette. So Fantine has an illegitimate daughter and during the time period, it is dangerous knowing you have a child in that situation. So Fantine is forced to leave her child in the hands of the Thenardiers, but little does she know the abuse Cosette will face. Fantine is very naive at times and she strongly loves her daughter and her love for her daughter drives all her actions. She eventually does find a job in Valjean’s factory, but gets fired after other workers and the foreman find out about Cosette.

So now Fantine is even more desperate than ever before. She does not have many options. She has to pay the Thenardiers or else they will kick Cosette out. She is so naive that she does not know that the Thenardiers are treating Cosette like a servant. With what little option she had, she sells her hair, her teeth, and herself to pay for Cosette. She sacrifices everything for the sake of her daughter and that is something I love about Fantine. Her circumstance led her to becoming a prostitute. Javert does not show her any mercy after she attacked a man in self-defense and just sees her as this prostitute. However, Jean Valjean comes to her rescue and seeing that she has a child and that she is deathly ill prevents her from being arrested. Even on her deathbed, Fantine still is thinking of her little girl and is still desperate about the care of Cosette. Valjean promises to Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own, and that gives her peace and comfort for once.

Her storyline is very tragic. She has to give up everything just to care for her daughter. She just loves her daughter very much. She may be naive, but she is very loving. She is faces injustice due to having an illegitimate daughter and due to becoming a prostitute. The hope that Fantine has is that her child will end up with a better life and she finds that through Jean Valjean. He promises to raise her daughter.

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Courageous Characters Found in Musicals

Courage cannot erase our fear. Courage is when we face our fear.

-Seize the Day, Newsies

What does the word courage remind me of in the world of musicals? Well, in musicals, you come across many brave characters who show their bravery in many ways. I decided to make a list of various characters who do show courage. I will do my best to explain why they are brave in the first place.

Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Newsies- Even though they have to survive off of Pulitzer’s newspapers, they still stop buying papers. They end up going on strike to go up against Pulitzer to say this isn’t right. They stay passionate towards the cause. Going on strike was a brave thing to do because if they don’t buy papers, they will barely survive, but still go on strike to make a stand.

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Les Mis: 

Friends of the ABC- they are very similar to the Newsies. They have a cause as well and are planning an uprising to go up against the weak government. They stay passionate towards the end even when they know they are going to lose and know they will most likely die.

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Eponine- She risks her life several times. Even though she loves Marius, she does anything for him just to make sure he is happy and safe. At one point, she goes up against her father when he tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius is there and ends up screaming to protect the one she loves. Then at the barricade when Marius is about to get shot, she protects him by sacrificing for life so he could survive. She does not have a very good life, but yet risks her life several times for the sake of Marius.

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Jean Valjean- he is an ex-convict. He ends up turning himself in when an innocent man is “Valjean”. Than at the barricades, he goes there to protect the one that his adopted daughter, Cosette, loves. When Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean takes Marius to safety even the only way to is go through the sewers.

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Wicked: 

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Elphaba- she is brave in many ways. She goes up against the Wizard even when he is spreading “rumors” and “lies” about her. She always stays true to herself no matter what people say about her.

Beauty and the Beast

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Belle- she ends up saving her father when imprisoned by the Beast. She ends up taking his place as prisoner. Then towards the end when Gaston and the citizens want to kill the Beast, she goes back to warn the Beast and wants to make sure he comes out alive.

Beast- when he falls in love with Belle, he lets her go. Then when Belle returns, he protects her by fighting Gaston. So because these two would protect each other, it makes them such a beautiful couple.

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Can you think of other courageous characters I did not put on this list?

Courage

The Unexpected Musical Couple

Spoilers will be ahead:

Of all musical couples, I like to refer to Elphaba and Fiyero as the unexpected couple. Why do I call them that? Well, in Wicked, you honestly don’t expect them to get together. In act I, both of them do have feelings for each other, but Fiyero is in a relationship with Glinda at the moment and Elphaba is coping with unrequited love so Wicked is home to a love triangle, but a very complicated and non-straightforward one.

Throughout act I, Fiyero seems to be a bit unsure of his feelings for Elphaba. From the point of view of an audience member, I interpreted that Fiyero does have a developing crush for Elphaba, but he doesn’t seem fully aware of it and continues to stay in a relationship with Glinda. It was during the Lion Cub scene where you start to notice the feelings that Elphaba and Fiyero have for each other, but Elphaba is defiantly more aware that she is falling in love with him. So she is coping with unrequited love for Fiyero at the moment not realizing that Fiyero defiantly has a crush on her.

So eventually, the two become a couple you wouldn’t expect especially because Elphaba is green and does not quite fit in and would expect her to continue to have unrequited love for him. It would take rumors being spread about Elphaba for Fiyero to realize that he truly loves Elphaba and that Glinda is not the girl for him and so he breaks up with her so it can be questioning especially if you weren’t paying close attention to Fiyero in the first act. This happens in act II and he has truly matured at this point.

It is clear during “As Long As Your’e Mine” that Elphaba and Fiyero are a mature couple and that shows how much they have matured throughout the course of the story. The song is very mystical and they are a perfect couple for each other. Fiyero does accept Elphaba for who she truly is.

Part of my love for Fiyero comes from how much I love this couple and that he accepts Elphaba for who she truly is even though she is green. The fact that Elphaba ends up with Fiyero in the end shows just how complex Wicked’s love triangle is.

Even after “As Long As Your’e Mine”, their love for each other shines. Fiyero protects Elphaba whenever she is danger and she tries to save him when he is in danger. The moment when the guards try to arrest Elphaba, Fiyero defends Elphaba because he loves her and he is sent to the fields to be tortured and because of Elphaba’s love, she tries spell after spell to try to save him. So their love for each other defiantly is full of courage and maturity. “As Long As You’re Mine” is a wonderful example of how much I love this couple.

On a side note: Elphaba and Fiyero started to became a favorite couple of mine starting in 2006 at the age of 12 when I saw Wicked on Broadway.

Is there a musical couple in musicals you did not except to love? What do you think of Elphaba and Fiyero as a couple? Do you find Wicked’s love triangle complex?

A Clearing in the Forest Review

Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year

If she is to ever to ascend the throne, Adriana must go-alone and unarmed-into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the Journey, just like all the royals who preceded her-even the ones who never returned.

Adriana leaves Ayrden on Sultan, the black stallion gifted to her by her brother just the day at her birthday celebration. With bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return, she soon encounters three paths: one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones. She chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she quickly finds that she will have to overcome nearly  impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship changes not only Adriana, but the very kingdom that she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?

Reading this fantasy book is an easy book to read. It was a nice read even though the journey could have been filled with even more challenges. The description of the plot made me hope the journey was more difficult than what I discovered. But as a matter of fact, the ending makes it appear as if this could easily become a series. So the ending left you off with a bit of a cliffhanger in a way.

                                                      Proclamation of Ayrden 

Be it known to all-

The Sovereigns of Ayrden

Shall not be deemed worthy to rule

By birthright alone.

Each royal descendant of Ayrden

Shall embark upon a Journey

During that descendant’s sixteenth year

Or forever give up any claim in the Throne.

Each descendant shall Journey forth

Alone and unarmed,

Carrying one day’s provision Only.

Upon a Sovereign’s death,

The Thorne shall pass to the eldest descendant

Who from his or her Journey hath returned.

If there be not such a one,

The deceased Sovereign’s eldest sibling.

Requisite Journey complete,

Shall assume the Throne.

This is an edict in perpetuity decreed by the

First King of Ayrden

Adriana, the main character, was given the gifts of fidelity, kindness, and courage to have with her when she left for her journey. She actually ended up heading on each of the different paths. On the first path, she came across her uncle, Kelak and he tied her up so she had to figure out how to escape. This took place in the land of Chehalem.

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The next path she took is the path of gold and she came across Corrigan and it took her a while until she realized he was a slave trader and had to leave before Corrigan noticed she was gone. The path where this situation took place was in the land of Shahar.

The last path, the path of gemstones, did not many challenges, but the land of Beryillos had a problem with the dragon, Zimley. So each of the different lands had something challenging Adriana had to face. I thought it was cool how while Zimley was still waiting to attack, they managed to stay protected by having their kingdom be an underground kingdom. One of the clothes that I loved that they wore were called chimangas.

Of all the different characters, my favorite character is Adriana. She shows a lot of courage on her journey especially when she was in Chehalem because she faced the most challenges there. On her journey she stayed strong even if she was going into the unknown. In the land of Beryillos, I loved the characters of Elissa and Theo and they were some of the few people on Adriana’s journey that were nice to her was well and even Redbud from Chehalem. But I just really loved Theo and Elissa. In Beryillos, Theo and Elissa were the ones she spent the most time with and she realized that over time she was falling in love with Theo.

I cannot believe I read two books over the summer already. First Oliver Twist and that was the hardest book I read over the summer due to it being classic. Next, A Clearing in the Forest was read and was the easiest book so far and it was a fantasy. The next book I will read, which I will start today, it called The Hundred Story Home and that is a nonfiction book.