Favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical

Another famous composer in musical theatre is Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the moment, I only fell in love with two of his musicals, which are Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera. True, I saw Cats before, but I forgot what my opinion was, but I do love some of its songs. So, what is my favorite musical of his?

Phantom of the Opera

It was actually my mom who recommended this musical to me, and I fell in love with it initially by the songs. As a matter of fact, I even have some unpopular opinions in the musical. Why do I love Phantom of the Opera? It is such a hauntingly beautiful show. So mysterious and angelic. I actually love Christine and Raoul as characters and as a couple- they are so adorable and romantic together, as expressed in “All I Ask of You”. I want Phantom with the unrequited love- he may respond very very poorly to it, but it makes the love triangle very mysterious, and it is an unique fact about it.

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.

All I Ask of You Analysis

So far, I mentioned two love triangles in musicals- Les Mis and Wicked. Phantom of the Opera is another, but the difference is this musical is centered around a love triangle. At the same time, there is some unpopular opinion when it comes to the couple found in it. Unlike several fans of the musical, I love the Christine and Raoul pairing. “All I Ask of You” is the romantic duo the two of them sing, which is very gorgeous and angelic. It really does show their love for each other.

RAOUL
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I’m here, nothing can harm you
my words will warm and calm you
Let me be your freedom,
let daylight dry your tears.
I’m here with you, beside you,
to guard you and to guide you…

CHRISTINE
Say you love me every waking moment,
turn my head with talk of summertime…
Say you need me with you now and always…
Promise me that all you say is true
that’s all I ask of you

RAOUL
Let me be your shelter
let me be your light
You’re safe, No one will find you
your fears are far behind you…

CHRISTINE
All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night
and you, always beside me, to hold me and to hide me…

RAOUL
Then say you’ll share with me
one love, one lifetime
let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you…
anywhere you go, let me go too
Christine, that’s all I ask of you…

CHRISTINE
Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime…
say the word and I will follow you…

BOTH
Share each day with me,
each night, each morning…

CHRISTINE
Say you love me…

RAOUL
You know I do…

BOTH
Love me – that’s all I ask of you
Anywhere you go let me go too
Love me – that’s all I ask of you…

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera

Raoul and Christine are meant for each other. As expressed in “All I Ask of You”, Raoul clearly loves Christine. In the song, you can tell that Christine trusts Raoul that he will protect and comfort her. She has obviously been frightened by the Phantom, and in this moment, Raoul is quick to comfort Christine even though he still doesn’t believe the Phantom exists- after all, he is still new to the Paris Opera House.

The melody is so romantic showing how much the two of them love each other. Yes, Raoul doesn’t believe Christine at times, but he loves her. Christine says “all I want is freedom” and Raoul does say he will give her that and his love. The Phantom, on the other hand, is too dangerous and violent, and will not give her what she wants.

Marius and Raoul Analysis

This is actually my 1st Guest Post. I choose to do Celeste first because of how important she was and still is important to my blogging journey. Celeste actually was my first blogger who really became my first amazing faithful follower to my blog- as in liking, reading, and commenting on my posts. I believe she really was the first dedicated follower to my blog.The two of us formed an incredible relationship.

Yes, while Celeste no longer has a blog, I am glad she decided to stay on wordpress. One thing the two of us share in common with musical theatre is loving both Marius and Raoul. I wanted to see her thoughts on the characters.

Celeste’s Post: Possible Spoilers Ahead

Meg asked me to write a post about the characters Raoul and Marius from The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables, respectively. Like Meg, I love these two characters very much. Particularly in the case of Raoul, I would go so far as to say that he’s my favorite character in his musical. I guess that a major reason why I find myself being so outspoken about my love for Raoul and Marius is because I think that a majority people who are fans of their respective stories don’t like them very much.

I won’t get too much into all of the reasons that I’ve heard for people disliking these characters, but I think that one of the main ones I see come up time and again is that people don’t like the romantic pairings that they each end up in. In the case of Marius, people feel like he made a poor choice in choosing Cosette. In Raoul’s case, people don’t like that Christine chose him instead of the Phantom. 

While, personally, I like both the Marius x Cosette and Raoul x Christine pairings, I also think that both Marius and Raoul are outstanding characters outside of the romances they are tied to.

Particularly in the case of Marius, we see a character for whom romance is only one part of his storyline. He’s a character who, like everyone else in Les Misérables, suffers. He suffers rejection from his grandfather. He suffers the loss of his friends. While it ends up all right in the end, he also thinks for a time that he’s lost Cosette. Throughout it all, though, Marius is kind, loving, and courageous. Marius, in my opinion, is one of the characters that the audience is supposed to feel the most sympathetic towards throughout the whole musical. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is, for me anyways, one of the single most emotional songs/scenes in Les Misérables. He’s haunted by the memory of his friends and their deaths. He’s haunted by their dreams which have been left unrealized and unfulfilled. He has to grapple with the fact that he “live[s] and [they] are gone.” There have been times that I’ve watched or listened to Les Misérables and have cried almost all the way through. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is, however, amongst all that sadness and pain one of the saddest moments for me.

When it comes to Raoul, we have a character whose role is much more firmly tied to the romance of the musical. Raoul’s role in The Phantom of the Opera is mostly relegated to being Christine’s love interest. I suppose it makes sense, then, that people who don’t like the “Raoulstine” pairing aren’t big fans of Raoul. I, personally, find him an admirable and sweet character, and I think that that is manifested very clearly throughout his actions in the musical and I do love the Christine x Raoul love story. Raoul is someone whom, perhaps, some people find a little boring. Personally, I don’t find him boring. I think he’s very brave, sweet, and kind. Raoul isn’t, of course, a perfect character. He does have moments where he fails to truly listen to Christine and/or believe what she’s saying. Despite these failings, however, Raoul is quick to comfort Christine and to try to help her. “All I Ask of You” is a song that is really meant, initially, to comfort Christine. He starts off telling her that he’s there for her, and Christine finds reassurance in him being there. She wants him to assure her of his love for her, because she feels safe with him and trusts him deeply. Christine knows that Raoul is someone who wants to provide her with what she needs and wants, while the Phantom is not so willing to do this. Christine says in “All I Ask of You,” “All I want is freedom….” As we see in the ending sequence of the musical, the Phantom denies her requests for freedom until the very last moment where he lets her go. Raoul, in the meantime, was willing to die for Christine to be able to have the freedom he knew she so desperately wanted. In “Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer,” when the Phantom makes Christine choose between marrying him (the Phantom) or having Raoul die, Raoul sings, “Christine, say no! Don’t throw your life away for my sake. I fought so hard to free you…” Raoul’s life is on the line, and all he’s thinking about is Christine’s freedom. For all that Raoul may have failed to listen at other points in the musical, it’s clear that he was listening when Christine was telling him what she wanted: her freedom. The Phantom doesn’t truly understand this until the end of the musical, and perhaps not even then. While “All I Ask of You” is definitely one of the best Raoul moments in the musical, I personally think his strongest moment is in the final sequence because we see there the fulfillment of what was being sung about in “All I Ask of You.”

Both Raoul and Marius are, I believe, noble and kind characters. That, above anything else is what makes me love them so much. If anything, all of the hate that they receive almost makes me feel compelled to love them even more! I still think that if I were to make any changes to The Phantom of the Opera, I would probably give Raoul a solo song. This, I think, would probably make him more sympathetic to a lot of audience members who may still not like him, but might feel their hearts soften to him a little bit. I think that both Raoul and Marius are such sweet characters and I’m always happy to talk about how much I love them! 

This is actually a post I wrote about the two of them: back to me. Like Celeste, it has been made known that I love Marius and Raoul.

https://megsmagicalmusings.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/why-i-love-raoul-and-marius/

Underrated Romantic Characters

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?

Raoul

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.

Marius

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?