One of the things that I love about musicals are the characters. There are great characters in every form of storytelling: movies, books, stage, etc. But some of my favorite characters come from musicals and today, I thought that I would talk about some of the characters that I have just grown to love so much and why.
· Éponine Thenardier – LES MISÉRABLES
o Éponine was the first character from LES MISÉRABLES that I really fell in love with. From the moment that she sang “On My Own”, she was my favorite character. Her songs are so strong and powerful, she’s so complex, and she is one of the strongest characters in musical theatre that I can think of.
· Elisabeth (Sisi) – ELISABETH
o Sisi is a character that fans have varying opinions on because Luchini spends so much time trying to draw the audience’s sympathy away from her. But I think that for the most part, Sisi is a pretty beloved character amongst fans. While at times Sisi is portrayed as being selfish by Luchini, she goes through so much throughout the musical and she’s so independent (or at least wants to be). It’s so horrible to think that so much of her life goes wrong due to visions of Death (der Tod) and his constant presence in her life. Ultimately though, she’s one of my favorite characters ever because of her strong spirit and her strong longing to be free and to be her own person. I think that overall she’s an admirable character and one that I absolutely adore.
· Raoul de Chagny – THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
o Raoul is hated by many but I love him. He’s a sweet character and one that is genuinely caring and good. Raoul is one of those characters that never fails to make me smile and I feel so horrible that he is hated by so many people because it’s utterly unfair. I remember not being altogether sold on Raoul when I first saw PHANTOM, thinking that he was kind of useless and annoying but now? Now I can’t believe that I ever thought of him that way because he really is one of the sweetest characters ever.
· Elphaba – WICKED
o Elphaba is a really relatable character and she’s pretty funny too. Elphie is one of those characters that never fails to make me smile. She’s so determined to do what she knows is right and doesn’t care if it’s going to put herself in danger. Her strong sense of morality and goodness is one of the many thing that I absolutely adore about her.
· Marian – THE MUSIC MAN
o I don’t really know how to explain why I like Marian so much. But overall, I think that she’s such a good, caring character. I love to see how much she loves her brother Winthrop and I think that she has some of the most beautiful songs in the musical.
· Der Tod (Death) – ELISABETH
o Der Tod is the character that initially really intrigued me about ELISABETH. The idea of death as a character was just so interesting to me and im so grateful for his existence as a character because, without him, I’m not sure that I would have given ELISABETH a try. Which would be a pity because I love this musical so much. Der Tod s interesting because there are so many ways in which one might see his character and interpret his actions. Did he love Sisi? I think so. Did he kill Sophie because he wanted to make Sisi suffer or because he had to and it was her time? I think that he had to kill Sophie. That he didn’t have a choice. Did he draw Rudolf into sadness and grief because he was bitter towards Sisi? I think that was partially the case. I think that I will eventually make an entire post about the way in which I see Rudolf because there is so much to talk about here.
· Nancy – OLIVER!
o Strength, love, and kindness are found in Nancy. Nancy reminds me of Éponine in so many ways because she had an upbringing and a background that is not what most people would view moral but it was their way of survival. But both sacrifice their lives to protect people that they love: for Nancy it’s Oliver, for Éponine, it’s Marius. Another similarity between them is that both Nancy and Éponine decide to stick by the side of someone who does not love them back. For Nancy, that’s Bill Sykes, for Éponine, that’s Marius. And eventually, their willingness to stand by them gets them both killed. Of course there are major differences. Bill Sykes is kind of, maybe, sorta in love with Nancy, but he’s abusive and eventually kills her, and Marius is just oblivious to Éponine’s feelings towards him and does not return those feelings. I think that I would like to make a Nancy – Eponine parallel post sometime in the near future.
· Enjolras – LES MISÉRABLES
o Enjolras is a character that I have come to adore though I do admit that, as a person who studies history, there are things about him that are immensely concerning to me. But let’s ignore those things for now, shall we? Enjolras is the leader of the rebellion and is all about the raising up of the people of France. One of my favorite things about reading the book is that I learned that the name, Les Amis de l’ABC (The Friends of the ABC), is actually a pun. In French, when you say the letters A, B, and C sounds like the word abaissé (meaning “the abased”). So the name, Les Amis de l’ ABC, is actually a pun that means “The Friends of the Abased”. Anyways, Enjolras gets some of the best lines in the musical that I just love and I think that his determination to fight for his cause just makes him an even more admirable character.
· The Witch – INTO THE WOODS
o The witch from INTO THE WOODS is a character that is so interesting. She gets some very interesting songs and character development and I think that her storyline is one of the most interesting that we get to see from the musical. I think that her line, “I’m not good, I’m not bad, I’m just right” is so fitting for her character and that it just gives a little more depth to her.
· Cinderella – ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA
o Cinderella is one of those characters who is just so strong and has been a role model to me ever since I was a little kid. She has some really great songs and she is probably my favorite Rogers and Hammerstein characters ever. “In My Own Little Corner” is a song that is just so hopeful and beautiful and really just illustrates her character perfectly. I think that Cinderella is just really relatable to anyone who has ever had a dream.
Who are some of your favorite characters from musicals and why?