Favorite Love Triangles in the Musical Theatre World

Romance does show up in two forms in musicals. Either they show up through an individual couple or happen by a love triangle. A love triangle forms when three people are involved—-so someone gets unrequited love, a heartbreaking situation to end up in. Some of those love triangles are weak whiles others are strong. So, what are some of my favorite love triangles?

MAJOR SPOILERS

Phantom-Christine-Raoul

This love triangle in found in the musical, Phantom of the Opera. It actually is the prime focus of the musical. Christine and Raoul are the couple while The Phantom has the unrequited love. The Phantom responds poorly to unrequited love- acts in revenge and doesn’t accept it. At least Raoul treats Christine better- they deserve to be together.

It is a mysterious and angelic love triangle. “All I Ask of You” is one of the most beautiful love songs in musical theatre.

Eponine-Marius-Cosette

This trio is found in Les Misérables, and one of my favorite subplots. Marius and Cosette are such an adorable couple and bring hope to the story—-by the way, Marius is actually my favorite survivor in Les Mis. Cosette is supposed to represent hope and light, and Marius is kind, compassionate, and loving. By the way, he is a good friend to Eponine and is worried about (I think that was why he sent her away from the barricade and why he asked why she came back).

Eponine is meant to have the unrequited love, and Marius is the light of her life. She has one of the BEST stories of unrequited love in musical theatre. The way she responds to it is incredible- she accepts it, and risks her life several times for Marius. That explains why she even goes to the barricades- to make sure he is safe- she doesn’t mind sacrificing her life her him. True, her death is heartbreaking in more ways than one- first she is dying and he is devastated, but at least she is happy due to being in the arms of Marius (“A Little Fall of Rain” is such a touching and moving scene).

Elphaba-Fiyero-Glinda

These three make up my favorite love triangle, which is found in Wicked. First, it is the first one I emotionally bonded to—meaning I first became aware of the concept due to it. Second- my favorite musical theatre character is a part of it. Third- the level of complexity it is. Of ALL love triangles in musical theatre I have come across, Wicked has the most complex one.

Explain the unrequited love situation——-not easy to do. Elphaba originally has unrequited love for Fiyero (“I’m Not That Girl”). But there were clues prior to the scene that maybe Fiyero has a crush on her- look carefully at the Lion Cub Scene and the scenes that follow “I’m Not That Girl”. This love triangle seems to develop in the same way the characters do- the love triangle truly matures when the characters do. In act II, there is an unrequited love switch- now Glinda is dealing with it (“I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)”).

In my opinion, the love triangle strengthens the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda. How far will they go to keep friendship alive. Look how they BOTH responded to unrequited love—–they didn’t try to steal Fiyero away. So they wouldn’t let a boy get in between them. So, it really tests their loyalty if you think about it.

Elphaba, Elsa, and Eponine

Of all musical theatre characters, Elphaba is my favorite. She even parallels two musical theatre characters- one from Disney and one from a classic. Those two characters happen to be Elsa and Eponine. MAJOR SPOILERS

Elsa and Elphaba

The most obvious thing in common between the girls is their magical powers. The problem with the powers is that they struggle to control them. Elphaba’s powers show up in anger while Elsa’s show up in fear. Both of them are seen as monsters, which makes both girls misunderstood. They also happen to be the eldest sibling in their family. “Let it Go” and “Defying Gravity” are very similar songs- empowering and staying true to yourself.

Eponine and Elphaba

Both of these girls are the eldest in their family, but the sad truth is they come from unloving families. Elphaba was unloved just because she was born “different” due to the color of her skin. In Eponine’s case, her parents didn’t love any of their children- not just Eponine, but the others as well. They also were taken advantage of- Elphaba by the Wizard and Eponine by her parents.

In many ways, for you think about it, Eponine’s family was worse. The Thenardiers were abusive, unloving, and pickpockets. Eponine grew up being taught the ways of a thief and criminal. Her entire family even fell into extreme poverty. No one showed her kindness at all- only one person did, who she met later in life.

Then, there is the love triangle aspect. Eponine and Elphaba both went through unrequited love, but would things improve for one of them? Back at Shiz, there were signs that Fiyero and Glinda weren’t meant for each other——–eventually Elphaba ended up with Fiyero (there were clues in act I- their strong chemistry starting at The Lion Cub Scene). But with Eponine, she would be stuck with unrequited love, but Marius was the only person who showed her kindness- why do you think she continued to love him-he was the only good part of her life. That does explain why she was happy dying in the arms of Marius.

Heartbreaking Love Songs- Not Ironic?

This will be the complete opposite of yesterday’s post. Yes, there are ironic heartbreaking love songs, but at the same time, there are the ones that aren’t even ironic at all. Some characters are part of tragic couples and there are also characters whose stories revolve around unrequited love- their songs are the non-ironic heartbreaking ones. POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Somewhere

I could have chosen any of the West Side Story songs. Maria and Tony are part of a tragic couple, who are based off of Romeo and Juliet. Their songs get sadder and sadder as the story continues. Somewhere is the closest to the finale.

All I Ask of You (Reprise)

The Phantom is one of our characters whose stories revolve around unrequited love. However, in his case, he doesn’t take it very well. Doesn’t exactly accept the situation.

As Long as He Needs Me

Even though Bill Sikes is abusive, Nancy still continues to love him. Yes, she developed a strong affection to Oliver, which can make things difficult at times. This song is very heartbreaking.

On My Own

Whenever I think of unrequited love in musicals, I think of Eponine. She has such a strong love for Marius. It actually is her greatest strength, and the only good thing in her life. It was his kindness that led her to fall in love with him. People might wonder why does she continue to love him- well, without him, she would have no light in her life.

Finale (Les Mis) Analysis

The Finale of Les Mis is one of the strongest finales in musical theatre. In my opinion, it is actually one of my favorite finales found in musical theatre. If you want to PROCEED, SPOILERS. It is the final death scene in Les Mis- it is actually when Valjean dies. The Finale is full of both heartbreak and hope. This song is a reprise of “Do You Hear the People Sing”, and this time, I believe it represents heaven. Through lyrics like “Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise” and Tomorrow Comes”, there is a lot of hope found in this song.

And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
We will walk behind the ploughshare;
We will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Tomorrow comes!

The picture below is something I painted, but it does show the finale from Les Mis.

Even though Valjean does die, he is still happy at the moment. That is because he got to see Cosette one last time. It is actually on the night of Cosette’s wedding, and the same night Marius discovered that Valjean saved him from the barricade. So, Marius was able to thank Valjean for saving his life. Valjean’s redemption is so strong at this moment- Fantine’s spirit escorts Valjean to heaven and is welcomed by the Bishop, who played a huge part in Valjean’s journey.

To Love Another Person is to see the Face of God

The lyrics above are the most famous lyrics from Les Mis. Look how many people showed love in Les Mis who did die. Valjean’s love for God and Cosette; Fantine’s love for Cosette, Eponine’s love for Marius despite it being unrequited; and The Friends of the ABC’s love for each other and the country. Even though Marius and Cosette lived, they have love for each other despite losing everyone that meant something to them.

A Heart Full of Love Analysis

When it comes to love triangles in musicals, the ones that automatically come to mind are the ones in Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Mis. A Heart Full of Love serves as the romantic duo in Les Mis- it is between Marius and Cosette, who are the two lovers.

(Marius)
A heart full of love
A heart full of song
I’m doing everything all wrong
Oh God, for shame
I do not even know your name
Dead Mad’moiselle
Won’t you say?
Will you tell?

(Cosette)
A heart full of love
No fear, no regret

(Marius)
My name is Marius Pontmercy

(Cosette)
And mine’s Cosette

(Marius)
Cosette, I don’t know what to say

(Cosette)
Then make no sound

(Marius)
I am lost

(Cosette)
I am found!

(Marius)
A heart full of light

(Cosette)
A night bright as day

(Marius)
And you must never go away
Cosette, Cosette

(Cosette)
This is a chain we’ll never break

(Marius)
Do I dream?

(Cosette)
I’m awake!

(Marius)
A heart full of love

(Eponine) He was never mine to lose

(Cosette)
A heart full of you

(Eponine) Why regret what could not be?

(Marius)
A single look and then I knew.

(Eponine) These are words he’ll never say

(Cosette)
I knew it too.

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Marius)
From today…

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Cosette)
Every day

(Eponine) Not for me…

(Cosette & Marius)
For it isn’t a dream

(Eponine) His heart full of love

(Cosette and Marius)
Not a dream

{Eponine) He will never

(Cosette and Marius)
After all!

(Eponine) Feel this way…

A Heart Full of Love, Les Mis

Yes, my love for Marius and Cosette is an unpopular opinion. Their relationship is so adorable and they help bring hope into Les Mis. That is why Marius had to survive the barricades. A Heart Full of Love may be the romantic duo, but it is clever towards the end when it becomes a trio. You already are feeling joy for Marius and Cosette, but at the same time you start to feel heartbroken for Eponine- that is what happens when the duet is turns into a trio. In the love triangle, my favorite character is Eponine, but I still love Marius and Cosette.