On My Own Analysis

Like Wicked, Les Mis is home to a love triangle. In Les Mis, it is Eponine who is struggling with unrequited love. As a matter of fact, Marius is the only good thing in Eponine’s life. On My Own actually helped me understand I’m Not That Girl is a heartbreaking song- after all both are unrequited love songs even though one of them is ironic.

And now I’m all alone again
Nowhere to turn, no one to go to
Without a home without a friend
Without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near
I can make believe he’s here

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and I’m happy
With the company I’m keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head

Own my own
Pretending he’s beside me
All alone
I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and foreverĀ 

And I know it’s only in my mind
That I’m talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there’s a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river’s just a river
Without him
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I’m learning
All my life
I’ve only been pretending
Without me
His world would go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness
That I have never known

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

On My Own, Les Mis

There are moments where you can see insight that go beyond the unrequited love. Such as “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to”, and “a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known”. It is true- Eponine doesn’t have that good of a life. She is living in extreme poverty with abusive, criminal, and terrible parents. Marius is the only good thing in her life- why do you think she hangs on and continues to love him despite the love being unrequited? She does accept that Marius loves Cosette, and does anything for him.

The song alone shows just how strong her love for Marius is. The song gets stronger as it continues.

Come to Me Analysis

This is another SPOILER duet in musicals. As a matter of fact, this is the first death scene in Les Mis. You also need to understand Fantine to understand this song. Fantine has an unconditional love for her daughter, Cosette. Prior to “Come to Me”, Fantine has had a LOT of things happening to her- gotten fired, sold her locket, hair, turned to prostitution, and almost got sent to jail. Good thing Valjean intervened and helped her.

[Fantine]
Cosette, it’s turned so cold
Cosette, it’s past your bedtime
You’ve played the day away
And soon it will be night.

Come to me, Cosette, the light is fading
Don’t you see the evening star appearing?
Come to me, and rest against my shoulder
How fast the minutes fly away and every minute colder.

Hurry near, another day is dying
Don’t you hear, the winter wind is crying?
There’s a darkness which comes without a warning
But I will sing you lullabies and wake you in the morning.

[Valjean]
Oh, Fantine, our time is running out
But Fantine, I swear this on my life

[Fantine]
Look, M’sieur, where all the children play

[Valjean]
Be at peace, be at peace evermore.

[Fantine]
My Cosette…

[Valjean]
Shall live in my protection

[Fantine]
Take her now

[Valjean]
Your child will want for nothing

[Fantine]
Good M’sieur, you come from God in Heaven.

[Valjean]
And none shall ever harm Cosette
As long as I am living.

[Fantine]
Take my hand. The night grows ever colder.

[Valjean]
Then I will keep you warm.

[Fantine]
Take my child. I give her to your keeping.

[Valjean]
Take shelter from the storm

[Fantine]
For God’s sake, please stay till I am sleeping
And tell Cosette I love her
And I’ll see her when I wake…

Come to Me, Les Mis

All because of the mercy bishop gave Valjean, her learned how to show compassion to others. After hearing about what happened to Fantine, one of his former coworkers, he decided to show compassion to her. For starters, he decided to be her while he died. Second, he decided to raise Cosette as well= due to that, it gave Fantine peace and comfort for once. Valjean had to unexpectedly become a father- little did he know the impact Cosette would have on his life.

I’m Not That Girl Analysis

This song is one of Elphaba’s solos in Wicked and might mean SPOILERS if you proceed in this post. It is actually the first song in the love triangle. Yes, it may be heartbreaking, but it isn’t the most emotional song in Wicked. This sounds odd to say, but it is also an ironic song.

Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I’m not that girl

Don’t dream too far
Don’t lose sight of who you are
Don’t remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I’m not that girl

Every so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who’s winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with a gentle curl
That’s the girl he chose
And Heaven knows
I’m not that girl

Don’t wish, don’t start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl

There’s a girl I know
He loves her so
I’m not that girl

Stephen Schwartz, Wicked

Moments before Elphaba sings this unrequited love song, she just realizes her feelings for Fiyero. She actually confesses in the song that she doesn’t think she is good enough for him because is green through the lyrics, “I wasn’t born for the rose and pearl”. Actually, she decides to NOT steal him away from her best friend, Glinda. That is literally how strong their friendship is- meaning they will not let a boy get in the way. That really is how loyal the two best friends are.

But why do I say this song is IRONIC? Little does Elphaba know that Fiyero has feelings for her. The two actually have no idea that they will eventually end up with each other. That is why the song is ironic- as in she will not always have the unrequited love. There was some foreshadowing in act I that this will eventually happen, but will not be noticed if you weren’t paying close attention. Fiyero and Elphaba already have a stronger chemistry than Fiyero and Glinda. Even the Lion Cub scene has clues- look at how they are interacting- almost playfully flirting- plus Fiyero can’t stop thinking about that incident.

Non-Survivors of Musical Theatre

In musical theatre, there are characters who survive and characters who don’t. Most of the characters I love are actually survivors. It really does feel like a LOT of my favorite characters do die, but in reality, it really is small number compared to the ones that survive. I will still list the antagonists/villains that die.

Some of these characters come from shows that are extremely well-known.

MAJOR SPOILERS

  1. Don Quixote
  2. Jean Valjean
  3. Javert
  4. Fantine
  5. Eponine
  6. Enjolras
  7. Grantaire
  8. Joly
  9. Feuilly
  10. Combeferre
  11. Lesgles
  12. Courfeyrac
  13. Jean Prouvaire
  14. Gavroche
  15. Nancy
  16. Angel
  17. Tony
  18. Riff
  19. Bernardo
  20. Mufasa
  21. Scar
  22. Gaston
  23. Kim

It is hard to believe that MOST of those characters happen to come from Les Mis. I NEVER thought I would love a tragedy, but Les Mis taught me that I can. I always believed death scenes couldn’t be memorable or couldn’t happen through song, but Les Mis decided to prove me wrong. That one musical challenged a lot on what I previously knew about the world of musical theatre.

Yes, it really does look like a lot of death, but in reality it really isn’t. Most characters I have come across never get killed off.

Placement and Staging of Musical Songs

One of the best parts found in musical are the emotions found in the songs. They are felt strongest in the songs- the songs are the first step that makes me fall in love with a musical. I think there is something about placement and the staging of the songs that can affect the emotion. I will explain below.

Placement

The perfect example of placement is found in Les Mis. “I Dreamed a Dream” is Fantine’s solo, and I have seen this particular song found in two different times of her story. Due to seeing the movie and the stage show, I know how placement can affect the songs. In the stage show, “I Dreamed a Dream” is sung before “Lovely Ladies”. With that placement, you will feel the heartbreak, but at the same time feel this kind of hope. By this moment, all that has happened to Fantine is that she got fired. So there is a little amount of hope.

Well, look what the movie decided to do: they decided to place “I Dreamed a Dream after “Lovely Ladies”. Out of all the Les Mis scenes-“Lovely Ladies” is the hardest scene to watch. By that point, Fantine has been fired, sold her locket, her hair, and turned to prostitution. That allows “I Dreamed a Dream” to be more heartbreaking. The most devastating version I saw of this song was found in the film. With that change, it allows the actress to go more in depth about the emotional nature of the song.

No matter who I get as Fantine- it is always “I Dreamed a Dream” where I really start becoming an emotional wreck.

Staging

This is another Les Mis example. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is about survivor’s guilt and belongs to Marius. I have seen various ways of this song staged. I think the best example given to this song belongs to the 25th anniversary production. There is just something about the candles that brings out more emotion. Literally, for the entire number, Marius is holding a lighted candle. Eventually all the students come out with a lighted candle as well, but eventually those get blown out leaving Marius all alone in the dark. I actually saw this type of staging done with two actors- Erik D’Esterre and Joshua Grosso.

While I may not exactly remember the portrayals of the Les Mis characters during the community college production, there is some staging I remember. Such as the candle example- I almost feel as if CPCC took some of their inspiration from the 25th anniversary production.