The Concept of “Found Family”

There are various families in the world of storytelling. The most obvious relates to biological and adopted families. But, there is this concept called “found family”——as in not what we think of when we think of families.

The Weasley Family

Yes, they are an actual family in the Harry Potter series, but in many ways they are a “found family” for our protagonist. Back home at the Dursleys, Harry Potter’s life is terrible—-they are abusive towards him. The Weasleys in many ways take him in as one of their own- Ron, their youngest son, is one of Harry Potter’s best friends. Harry Potter ends up spending some Christmas and Summer vacations at the Weasley family.

Hotel Deucalion and Unit 919

This was the “found family” for Morrigan Crow. Until she was rescued by Jupiter North, she was in an unloving family thanks to being born on an unlucky day. Jupiter takes her to Nevermoor, hoping she ends up being a part of the Wundrous Society. Morrigan ends up living at the Hotel Decualion, a fun hotel—–Jupiter, Fenestra, and Frank live there as well (part of the “found family” Morrigan ended up with)Unit 919 ended up being her “found family” with the Wundrous Society. But only two of them are able to truly accept her- Hawthorne and Cadence.

Newsies

Living on the streets, the Newsies form a close brotherly bond that feel like family. They stick together no matter what. Jack Kelly, their leader, cares a lot about his brothers especially Crutchie. They strongly believe in their cause (the strike) and don’t give up.

Friends of the ABC

They are so similar to the Newsies. Just like the Newsies, they have a close brotherly bond that feel like family. Even they have leader, whose name is Enjolras. They even have a cause (the uprising) they strongly believe in.

The Rent Crew

Even the friends in Rent feel like family. Matt and Roger are best friends, who live together. Yes, there are disagreements at times, but yet they still are close. Roger, Mimi, Maureen, Joanne, Collins, Angel, and Mark are close that they really feel like family——they live in the moment and in love.

Hope in Musical Theatre

One of the themes I found in the world of musicals is hope. As a matter of fact, a number of characters have some kind of hope and light in their lives even those with tragic lives.

Newsies

One of the groups where you see hope is found in the Newsies. They do have difficult lives- having to rely on selling papers, and many are homeless. But increasing the price will make things more difficult—–a huge reason why they went on strike when Pulitzer raised the prices. They have a strong hope for their cause- as seen in songs like “Seize the Day”.

Elphaba

Elphaba may have been born different, but she is such an incredible character. She is full of hope when she arrives at Shiz, as shown during “Wizard and I”.

Friends of the ABC

In many ways, this political group of students is very much like the Newsies. A strong brotherly bond and a cause they have high hope and passion for and one they don’t give up on till the end. Both groups even have a leader. Enjolras is the most passionate of everyone in this group.

Jean Valjean

He found hope in two ways. Initially, he found it through the Bishop, who taught him the ways of the Lord. The 2nd place was when he adopted Cosette. Cosette ended up being the best part of his life. Several of his actions ended up being a result of encountering the Bishop—-he ended up having a strong love for God.

Fantine

Can a character with such a tragic life have hope? Yes, it is true. Fantine may have a very tragic life, but she still had something to hold onto. Her light is through her daughter, Cosette. She had hope that her daughter would get a better life. She died in peace and happiness after Valjean promised that he will take care of her daughter.

Eponine

Just like Fantine, even Eponine lived such a dark life. Eponine only had one good thing in her life. After she met Marius, she finally came across someone who treated her kindly. This would lead to her strong love for him. She had to hold on or else she wouldn’t have any light in her life. She even had such a touching and moving death- she did sacrifice her life to save Marius, but at least she was in the arms of him when she died. Sadly, the happiest part of her life was at this moment—–dying in Marius’ arms.

Cosette/Marius

Yes, Les Mis is home to a love triangle. In many ways, Cosette and Marius bring a lot of hope to this tragedy. Cosette is supposed to represent light and hope, which was first seen when she was a child. The love Marius and Cosette have for each other keeps hope alive- there is a reason Marius had to survive the uprising.

Annie

Whenever I think of Annie, I think of her optimism. I think that is what drove me to loving the musical as a child.

Friends of the ABC and Newsies

Yesterday, I talked about two parallels found in musical theatre. Today, I decided to continue that series- this time with two groups. One is found in a Disney musical and the other is from a classic novel.

The Newsies

In the musical, the Newsies are a group of brothers who have a close bond that they feel like family. They are led by Jack Kelly, a dreamer and romantic, who cares deeply about his brothers especially Crutchie, his best friend. They have a cause (the strike) they strongly believe in and have high hopes for it. They may be underdogs, but are an amazing group of brothers.

Jack Kelly is someone who cares more about his brothers than the cause. He is willing to call it off the strike in order to protect them. After a big fight broke out, it left him with inner conflict—-seeing his brothers getting hurt and Crutchie arrested. This inner conflict in many ways makes Jack Kelly a complex character.

The Friends of the ABC

This political student group in Les Mis is so similar to the Newsies. Both have a strong brotherly bond and a strong passion and hope for their cause. Enjolras, their leader, is the most passionate about the uprising. While Enjolras cares a lot about his brothers, he has a stronger passion for the uprising. These guys stay passionate to the end——even when they know they will die. You even see a vulnerable side when it comes to them- as shown in “Drink with Me”.

Most of their songs are full of passion and hope, but “Drink with Me” shows their bond in an intimate way, but at a heartbreaking time. At this time, the students do feel hopeless and wonder if the ones they love will miss them. They even have realized that most likely they will most likely die. Marius is still devastated over the loss of Eponine- not knowing how much more trauma he will face.

My Favorite Added Songs in Musicals

This does happen in musical theatre. Added songs either happen when an animated movie becomes a stage show or when the stage show turns into a musical movie. Or, when a musical decides to add a song when it starts the tour or later in the Broadway run, it realizes it needed a new song. Most of them are Disney song, but some of them aren’t.

The Songs

True Love

This is actually my favorite added song in Frozen, but a major mistake the tour did. They decided to cut it out when the tour began. True Love is a heartbreaking song for Anna, which happens at a pivotal and emotional moment for her. This happens right after Hans betrays her- causing the song to be heartbreaking. Despite the song being cut, I still see it as a part of Frozen.

Letter from the Refuge

I love how this song was added to Newsies once it began its tour. Prior, Crutchie, one of my favorite Newsies didn’t have a solo song. The song is heartbreaking because it shows just how horrible The Refuge is, and how difficult it is for Crutchie considering how vulnerable he is. Despite his heartbreaking moment, at least you can still see his optimism for the strike during the song, and his bond to Jack Kelly since he is writing to him in the song. Only annoying thing is “I can’t own the song”.

Evermore

This song is the equivalent of “If I Can’t Love Her” in Beauty and the Beast”. As in, it is basically about the same thing- they also share the same emotion. Both are heartbreaking love songs at the moment he started to fall in love with Belle (not realizing Belle’s feelings for him).

A Change in Me

Another added song in Beauty and the Beast. This time, we are talking about one of Belle’s added songs. I really wish there was a way to own it, but there is no way to.

Speechless

This was an added song for Jasmine in the live action Aladdin. It actually made her a much stronger character.

Suddenly

In the stage show of Les Mis, one of the most difficult things to understand is the importance of Cosette in Valjean’s life. So, what the movie musical did was add in Suddenly, a song meant to capture that moment. This happens after Young Cosette was adopted by Valjean- both of them were unloved and broken.

One of my favorite moments in the movie musical.

What about you, any favorite added songs?

Unique Families in Storytelling

When we think of family, we think of either biological or adoptive ones. But, what about the other types of families? I am referring to groups of people that feel like family- otherwise known as “found family”- not what we tend to think of. What are some of those?

Rent Family

This is the group of friends found in Rent. Yes, they may be friends but they are close. Mark, Roger, Mimi, Joanne, Maureen, Collins, and Angel have an unique bond. They may have their struggles since part of them are struggling with HIV and then there are the struggles found within love relationships. However, as a family they live in the moment and in love.

The Newsies

A group of brothers that feel like family. Jack Kelly is their leader, who is best friends with Crutchie. They have a cause (the strike) they strongly believe in and don’t give up even though it eventually leaves Jack with some inner conflict. He is willing to call of the strike just to protect his brothers. He shares such an intimate and close bond to Crutchie.

Friends of the ABC

The students in Les Mis are so similar to The Newsies. Both are a group of brothers that feel like family and have a cause they strongly believe in and never give up. Just like the Newsies, they have a leader, who is Enjolras. You see a lot of hope and passion when it comes to them. You even see a time when they are at their most vulnerable- during “Drink with Me”. Unluckily, they lose their lives at the end, but at least they stood up for what they believed in.

Hotel Decualion and Unit 919

I am referring to the “found family” Morrigan Crow found. She found it at both the hotel she lives at and with her unit in the Wundrous Society. Jupiter North, Fenestra, and Frank also stay at the hotel. Hawthorne and Cadence are her closest friends in her Unit.