This is another prompt given by Classic Remarks. Yes, I skipped last week, but decided to do the one given for today. Who are some of your favorite classic couples? Here me out on this- I struggle with finding couples in books.
My Favorite Classic Couples:
Levin and Kitty- well, this couple is what me get through Anna Karenina. I really was enjoying the Levin and Kitty subplot even though I didn’t know why.
Marius and Cosette- yes, this is an unpopular opinion in both the musical and book. I have learned to love them a lot love over the years. So, why do I love this couple? For starters, I love both characters especially Marius.These two characters bring hope to this tragedy. People always say Cosette is boring, and that Marius is a jerk. That is so not true- Marius is flawed and deals with a lot. Marius is kind to Eponine, even she wouldn’t say that Marius is kind.
Marius is more complex then he appears. Look, Marius is kind, sweet, brave, and awkward. That awkwardness makes Marius even more charming- that is the newest characteristic I found in him. He now is almost a core favorite character. Yes, in the book and musical, some of his relationships are a little different. These two characters are so adorable, which really shows through Jillian Butler and Joshua Grosso. I got to see them twice ( 2017 and 2019), and Joshua treats falling in love with Cosette like “I don’t know what to do”, and in “A Little Fall of Rain”, he treats Eponine with a lot of compassion and waits till the end to show his heartbreak. There are reasons why those actors are my favorite Marius and Cosette pairing and individually.
Yes, in musicals there are characters we love and characters we dislike. However, some of the ones we love are unpopular opinions. Some of those characters are hard to understand why people dislike them. So, what are some underrated characters- mine belong to two romantic characters?
While, I still barley know him, I know that he is a sweet and kind person. He would protect Christine from any harm. He belongs with her, and they are such a sweet couple. They create a healthy relationship. I don’t understand why people want Christine and Phantom together- that would be a very unhealthy relationship plus Christine never loved the Phantom. She loved Raoul a lot more.
I have examined him a lot more over the years. He is this sweet, kind, compassionate, awkward, and brave revolutionary. He is close friends with Enjolras and Eponine, which is an added part to the musical. He only is more of an acquaintance with Eponine in the book and isn’t close to the Friends of the ABC- in the book, he is friends with Courfeyrac.
So, my interpretation of Marius is a combo of book and musical. By reading the book alone, I realized he is more complex then I thought he was. In the musical, some of Marius’ relationships are changed- ones that I love. He is actually best friends with Enjolras and friends with The Friends of the ABC. In addition, he is best friends with Eponine. The awkwardness is the newest thing I learned about Marius, which I discovered through Joshua Grosso. His relationship with Cosette is so adorable, and glad to see him and Jillian Butler twice- both times, he had an adorable relationship with Cosette. Joshua Grosso and Jillian Butler have become my favorite Marius and Cosette pairing and individually as the characters. Marius struggles between four things- the political conflict with his grandfather, his passion for the uprising, his love for Cosette and his friendship with Eponine.
In terms of Eponine, Marius is the only good thing in her life, and she sees him as kind. Marius’ compassion is strongly shown during “A Little Fall of Rain”- yes, he was devastated that she was dying from a gunshot wound, but decided to stay with Eponine to comfort her. Due to seeing Joshua with different Eponines’, I was able to almost look at things a bit differently- however still decided to focus more on comforting Eponine during that scene, but his response at the kind was a bit different- the heartbreak was shown two different ways. He was the only survivor from the uprising, and he strongly showed his heartbreak during “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”.
Do you agree with me about these two? In your, opinion, who else should be added to the underrated list?
Les Mis is a tragic musical, and by the end “everyone dies”. There are only four survivors- Cosette, Marius, and The Thenardiers. Which of them is my favorite survivor?
My Favorite Survivor
This is an unpopular opinion- I do love Marius. He isn’t just a romantic character, but a revolutionary as well. He isn’t a jerk either like a lot of people believe. Yes, he is part of the love triangle and falls in love with Cosette. He is close friends to Enjolras and Eponine.
While he doesn’t love Eponine in the romantic way, he is still a good friend to her. He is a brave and compassionate person. Marius is the only person in her life who treated her kindly, and is the only good thing. Just because he asked Eponine to do those errands doesn’t make him a jerk. Even Eponine would say he was a kind person.
Look, Marius is compassionate. You truly saw this in the 2nd act at the barricades. I believe he sent Eponine away with that letter to protect her from getting hurt from the uprising. However, Eponine does come back, and gets shot after shielding Marius from a bullet. I think he asked Eponine why she came back was because he was worried. After discovering she was dying, he was devastated. He could have left her to die alone, but doesn’t. He decides to stay with her to comfort and hold her while she dies- yes, he was heartbroken, but at least he shows compassion in that moment- how can some people not see that.
Combined- he is a brave, compassionate, awkward, and sweet person. He isn’t just a romantic interest and isn’t a jerk. If he wasn’t brave, he never would gone to the barricade and if he wasn’t compassionate, he wouldn’t have been devastated during Eponine’s death scene. He was worried about her- he was trying to protect her by sending her off with that letter. He is actually more complex then he appears.
This can happen in all sorts of literature. At first glance, some characters appear to be simple, but in reality they are complex. Today I will talk about musical characters that are like that.
Fiyero- Major Spoilers
In Wicked, it is most obvious that Elphaba and Glinda are complex. However, at first glance, Fiyero isn’t. Fiyero goes through a drastic transformation- from being a jerk to softening up to eventually becoming a courageous and mature young man.
When he arrives at Shiz, he really is a jerk. He does’t care much about anything- he has been expelled from a number of schools. When we first meet him, he accidentally knocks over Elphaba, which sends her school books flying. Elphaba honestly can’t stand him- you get the feeling that she will never fall in love with him. All he really cares about is having a good time- as shown in “Dancing Through Life”.
The Lion Cub Scene: it is important to play close attention to Fiyero. He actually has softened up a bit. Right now, Elphaba and Fiyero are in the woods getting ready to free a scared lion cub in a cage. You can tell there is a strong chemistry between Fiyero and Elphaba, which indicates that Fiyero actually has a crush on Elphaba. These two are literally like basically filtering with each other in a playful way. You also start to notice that Elphaba is falling in love with Fiyero- there is a reason why her spell didn’t affect him. The Lion Cub scene is truly when the love triangle begins. After this scene, Fiyero can’t seem to forget about this scene in particular.
There is a reason why I said pay close attention to Fiyero in the Lion Cub scene. At the end of act I, Elphaba still has unrequited love. You truly think that Fiyero and Glinda are endgame. Think again- in “Thank Goodness”, after hearing about the rumors about Elphaba, he all of a sudden realizes he is in love with Elphaba. This love triangle really does develop in the same way the characters do. So, an unrequited love shift happens- that is a huge reason why he is complex.
Through his love for Elphaba, he shows a lot of courage and maturity. He literally is willing to sacrifice his life for her, and the same is also true for Elphaba. These two don’t want the other hurt- that is why Fiyero demands “to let the green girl go”. Fiyero looks like he might possibly be tortured- at the same time, Elphaba is trying spell after spell to save him. They both are considered outcasts.
Just like Fiyero, Marius is the male romantic lead. He truly does seem like a simple character. He appears as if he is just this romantic revolutionary. However, that is far from the truth. Due to reading the book, I realized he is more complex than he seems. He has a political conflict with his grandfather, is a revolutionary, and fell in love for the first time. At the same time, he is good friends with Eponine.
It might seem as if he is a jerk, but that is not true. If he was a jerk, Eponine never would have fallen in love with him. I know it appears that way when he asks her to do these errands for him. However, Marius is the only person who treats her kindly. He does worry about her and does care- he knows of her tragic and dark life. Look, at the beginning of act II, I believe he sent Eponine away to try to protect her from getting hurt or killed during the uprising. That is why he asked Eponine: “why did you come back”. He was really worried- you notice this when he realizes she was dying. He was devastated, but yet shows compassion. He comforted her and held her in this moment- how can people not see the compassion shown in “A Little Fall of Rain”. If he truly didn’t care or have compassion, he would have left her to die alone and wouldn’t have been devastated.
What are his characteristics- awkward, kind, sweet, romantic, and brave. I actually believe that awkwardness makes him a more charming person. He may not be a tragic character, but terrible things do happen to him. He was the only survivor of the barricade. All he has left is Cosette, the love of his life. He had to deal with survivor’s guilt. The sad thing about Cosette and Marius is that at the end of the musical, the only thing they have left is each other. Together, these two bring hope to this tragedy.
Are are other musical characters you think are more complex than they appear?
Well, there are many many incredible things about the musical theatre world. One of the best things to do are exploring the characters. When I have seen a show more than once, there is a chance you might be taken off guard. Taken off guard means you find something in a character you are not expecting. I will give two examples below.
Before the US Tour, I saw productions at community college and in the West End. Yes, I was taken off guard in the West End production, but not quite as much as what happened during the US Tour. Coming into the US Tour, I was smart by making the decision to not compare my US Cast with My West End cast.
It existed in the love triangle found between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine. I usually expect Eponine to be the strongest actress or a Marius just as good, but something happened that made me really view the love triangle from a different perspective. Pretty much, what happens when your favorite character in the love triangle, but someone else was the strongest- that was the case. The actor, who played Marius, was the strongest in the love triangle.
For starters, I did get to see him in person twice- as well as his Cosette (Jillian Butler). Both times, Joshua Grosso was a standout and even better than the two Eponine actresses I saw. With Joshua Grosso, I found this unique awkwardness found in Marius that made the character more charming. He literally treated falling in love with Cosette like “I don’t even know what to say”- that did feel like this was his first time in love. For whatever reason, Jillian Butler was able to strongly connect to his Marius. Due to that, I was able to explore Marius and Cosette a deep further while at the same time not ignoring Eponine.
Another incredible example of being taken off guard did happen at “A Little Fall of Rain”. There are several ways to portray that particular scene- with Joshua, he focused more on comforting Eponine than the heartbreak he was feeling: he decided to show the heartbreak after she died- both times were effective. People might say he wasn’t showing enough emotion, but don’t forget he also is showing compassion during this scene. His chemistry with Jillian as well as the little things he did with his character almost made him a core favorite character.
Due to all of that, he became my favorite Marius.
Mary Kate Morrissey
She was a standby when I saw her as Elphaba. I knew coming into Wicked, I would be more vulnerable and emotional. That was because I was coming in knowing “I’m Not That Girl” was a heartbreaking love song. I thought that was when things would change. Turns out I was wrong. She was able to express the entire first act in a more innocent voice, and at “Defying Gravity”, she changed her voice to more mature. This is what really surprised me with emotions: “No Good Deed”. I really am not the biggest fan of that song, but she was able to find a way for me to find some appreciation of the song. For years, this particular song was emotionless, but this time around I finally felt emotion. I was feeling anger and frustration during that song. I always thought “No Good Deed” will always stay emotionless, but this time around it actually stuck.