Favorite Lyrics from Non-Survivors

Yesterday, I listed some of my lyrics from favorite characters who are survivors in their musicals. What if today I did the complete opposite? As in choosing lyrics from those who eventually get killed off- otherwise known as non-survivors.

The Lyrics

“To Dream the Impossible Dream”

“They Live in You”

“Bring Him Home”

“Drink with me to days gone by
Can it be you fear to die? Will the world remember you when you fall? Could it be your death means nothing at all?
Is your life just one more lie?”

“There is a Life about to Start when Tomorrow Comes”

“Rain will Make the Flowers Grow”

“To Love another Person is To See the Face of God”

Conclusion

Most of the lyrics I could think of belong to Les Mis characters. A BIG reason behind that is that MOST of the characters who die happen to come from that musical. Also, most of the musical theatre lyrics I know are from that musical.

Loving Moms in Stories

Considering today is mothers day, I decided to bring up the loving moms in the world of literature. That means books, operas, movies and musicals. What was interesting is that some of these overlap. This was so much harder then I thought.

Molly Weasley

Not only does she love her kids, but she also loves Harry like her own. In the Harry Potter series, she basically takes Harry in as her own.

Sarabi

She is Simba’s mother and does love him.

Fantine

She has an unconditional love for Cosette. She gets put into a difficult situation when her “lover” basically abandons her and her daughter. Now what? She had no choice, but to leave Cosette in the hands of the Thenardiers, but what she didn’t know is how poorly they will treat her daughter and that they will scam her out of money.

Yes, she finds work in Valjean’s factory, when her secret comes out, she gets fired. That all leads to her becoming a prostitute and leaving on the streets. Valjean eventually discovers this after intervening to protect her from going to jail. Valjean, out of compassion, agreed to care for her child. For once, Fantine found peace and comfort. Fantine’s hope was that Cosette would have a better life then she had.

Her demise wasn’t even her fault- it was more Society’s fault. At least Valjean helped her in the end.

Kim

Kim and Fantine are kinda of similar in their relationships to their children- that is a way they are somewhat parallel. I said that because Kim has an unconditional love towards Tam. You truly start to notice this through “I’d Give my Life for You”. She would rather give him a better life then the one she has at the moment. At the end of Miss Saigon, she sacrifices her life- that actually makes Chris realize that he still truly loves Kim. He agrees to take care of Tam, the son he never knew existed.

Unexpected Struggling Characters

What exactly do I mean by this? Yes, several of my favorite musical theatre characters struggle. There are some characters that do exist that barley manage to survive. There are characters that exist that almost didn’t survive. What if I talked about some of my favorite characters that almost didn’t make it? So SPOILERS ahead.

Marius

He is the first character that comes to mind. Marius was one of the revolutionaries. He almost didn’t survive not once, but twice. He was saved not once, but twice. First, he was saved by Eponine (she took a bullet for him) and second, he was rescued by Jean Valjean (he literally went to the barricades to rescue him because his adopted daughter loves him). Jean Valjean literally loves Cosette so much that he would risk his life to save the man she loves. Marius is actually the only survivor of the barricade, which causes him to have survivor’s guilt.

Mimi

Mimi is the most fragile and vulnerable character in Rent. During Finale and Your Eyes, it appears as if Mimi is extremely weak and dying. This is the hardest on Roger because he loves her. However, Mimi wakes up and turns out she actually is going to live.

Simba

Yes, this does sound a bit unusual. However, in a ton of ways it makes sense. It is obvious that his uncle Scar wants Simba killed. Simba barley escapes death during the stampede and then later when Simba fights his uncle to gain his right to be king, it does seem as if Simba might be killed again. However, Scar loses the fight and Simba gains his right to be King.

Elsa/Anna

Well, Elsa was almost killed by Hans, but was saved when Anna sacrificed herself to save her sister. But at the time, Anna was freezing to death (meaning turning into an ice statue). However, what she did to help her sister was an act of true love, which saved both Elsa and Anna.

What other characters do you know that almost died?

Black Actors I Saw- Principal Characters

Noticing that this month is Black National Month, I decided to bring up some of the black actors I saw. That is specifically referring to the ones I saw in person. Crazily enough, most of them have played the same part.

Nia Hallloway (Nala)

I saw her in in Lion King back in 2018. I loved her as Nala, and her talent really showed during “Shadowland”. I was able to see how strong of a character Nala is. Obviously, a lot of my ensemble was black.

Treston Henderson (Cructie)

He was my Crutchie during my 2nd visit with Newsies, which was Central Piedmont Community College. I loved that he was black. Based on the review, he impressed me during “Letter From the Refuge). It was seen the same year I saw Lion King.

Talia Simone Robinson (Eponine)

When I saw her as Eponine, she was the understudy. Due to that, I was able to appreciate her and enjoy her performance. Based on my review, she was playful and flirty around Marius, and the heartbreak she was feeling. It took a little of time till she embodied the character, and I believe her Eponine got stronger- in some ways it showed how strong of a character Eponine is. I actually remembered that it took effort to move during “A Little Fall of Rain”- so believable. I don’t know how I could have heard this, but at the end of “On My Own”- I could hear a tear. Talia was in my favorite three Eponine actresses for some time until Paige took over.

Paige Smallwood (Eponine)

She was with the US Tour eventually. While I still had five actors playing the same parts, it was interesting having a different Eponine. That was due to both Jillian and Joshua- stayed in the tour as Cosette and Marius since the beginning. So seeing a different actor was interesting- wondering if one actor could change the love triangle by possibly a little or a lot. This time, I wasn’t seeing an understudy, but treated Talia the same.

I was in tears during her “On My Own”. She was even believable during “A Little Fall of Rain”- based on nonverbal and her voice. In my opinion, she was stronger than then Talia, and that wasn’t because Paige was NOT an understudy. If I had done that, it wouldn’t have been fair.

Kayla Ferguson (Eponine)

She was my first stage Eponine. I barely remember her Eponine. She played the part at Central Piedmont Community College. I believe I called her a solid Eponine. I think her strongest moment was at “A Little Fall of Rain”.

Conclusion

Crazy how a lot of these actors played Eponine. Black actors deserve to be on stage. I hadn’t seen many black actor plays any of the lead characters.

First time You witness a death in Storytelling

One of the hardest topics found in any kind of storytelling (Opera, Musical, Book, and Ballet) belongs to death. The hardest time to experience that element is the first viewing. Depending on the character, how it is portrayed, and genre. So, how do I feel when it comes to that first moment?

Genre

Well, there is pretty much one genre where you can get excited when a character dies. That only happens in mystery- now the fun really begins because you get to start being the detective.

In pretty much all the other genres, you can get excited, angry and saddened by death. The genre where death is usually found belong to tragedies- however they still can happen in happy series and books. This does happen at times- you may not get angry at the author.

Character- Spoilers

Who gets killed does affect your emotion. Usually if it is an actual villain, I get pretty excited. Also depending on the character, a death scene can be unmemorable.

There are the obvious characters you love- that is usually when I get angry at the author. There has been one exception to this. I recently finished Shades of Magic series. Holland, White London’s Antari, does act as a secondary antagonist- so in the first two books, I didn’t even like him. But when Conjuring of Light came around, I slowly started to like him. So guess what I didn’t want to happen- I wanted him to live. Well, when he died, I didn’t get angry at the author- that was because I understood the purpose and meaning behind it: it was ultimately him who destroyed Osaron.

This sounds crazy to say- there have been some stories where I originally found deaths unmemorable. Meaning, I nearly forgot they happened. Due to that, I thought ALL deaths be that way. However, Les Mis decided to prove me wrong.

Death Scene- Spoilers

Yes, how a death is seen can affect your emotion as well. Some death scenes can be pretty intense and some less intense- does that make sense. For example, Mufasa’s death in Lion King is one of the most intense ones.

What were other memorable death scenes? Les Mis- Fantine, Eponine, Enjolras, Gavroche, The Students, and Jean Valjean. Nicholas Nickleby- Smike. Etc………There is something in common between all of these: they are not alone. Most of them actually are tragic characters: usually that is expected if a character is tragic. There have been a few exceptions: Mufasa isn’t a tragic character, but does get killed.

So it is important for a death to be memorable or else you will forget they happened. In addition, that could lead to possibly not liking a book.

Les Misérables

I am going talk more in detail here about the Les Mis deaths. Before this musical, I really believed ALL deaths were unmemorable and literally thought they couldn’t happen through song. Songs like “Come to Me”, “A Little Fall of Rain”, and “Finale”- those are ALL death songs.

Prior to “Come to Me”, Fantine has been abandoned by her lover forcing her to leave her daughter in the hands of the abusive Thenardiers, got fired from her job, and eventually turned to prostitution. She really did believe a letter she got from the Thenardiers was true, but in reality a hoax. Fantine had better hopes that her child would have a better life. She almost got sent to prison, but Valjean intervened. During “Come to Me”, Fantine was still thinking about Cosette and was still worried about her daughter’s future. Valjean, out of compassion, promised Fantine he would raise Cosette. That act of kindness made Fantine die in peace and comfort.

Even Eponine lived a tragic life. She did appear to be loved as a child, but as she got older, everything became worse. She became the neglected, unloved, and lonely teenager. No one showed her kindness- there was only one person who did. Due to the kindness Marius showed, she fell in love with him. She was also living in extreme poverty- her love for Marius was unrequited. In the end, she gave her life for Marius, the only good thing in her life. “A Little Fall of Rain” is such a touching and moving scene- Marius may have been devastated, but so glad he decided to be with her. “A Little Fall of Rain” truly does show that Marius did care about Eponine and shows how much compassion he is capable of.

Look- Gavroche, Enjolras, and the Students (excluding Marius) died for what they truly believed in. Even when Enjolras told them to leave to not waste lives, the students kept their ground and stayed. Their relationship was that strong, which was truly shown in the intimate and heartbreaking “Drink With Me”.

As with Valjean- Cosette and Marius arrived in time. Valjean was with his adopted daughter and son-in-law by his side.

I think there is some symbolism found in the Les Mis deaths. The only character who died alone is Javert- he killed himself. Out of all the characters who died, he didn’t know how to show forgiveness, love, or mercy. The vast majority of characters were not alone.

Conclusion

Yes, it is true we can get excited, angry, and saddened by deaths. Yes, we may not get angry at the author- that usually happens when we can learn the meaning and purpose of them to happen. Saddened is usually more likely to happen- of course all deaths are heartbreaking. But when it comes to villains, I am not exactly saddened, but pretty excited. That is only because villains are likely to be extremely disliked unless the antagonist isn’t a villain. We have to get excited at a mystery’s death- if we don’t, the fun doesn’t truly begin.

Crazy how just one musical changed how I perceive deaths. It is easier to find a memorable death. It is easier to find a touching and movie death. I usually am an emotional wreck when a Les Mis death happens. But when it comes to books- I never am in tears, but still feel heartbroken.