Musical Theatre With My Family! | Favorite Musical Edition

Hallo, leute! So, it’s a new week and I thought of doing new sort of “series” of posts weekly in which I interview my family about musical-related things. This should be interesting because we’re all different in our preferences of musicals and characters and such but at the same time, I feel like we have a lot of similarities! This week, we’re starting with the biggest thing: favorite musical. I’ve added their ages for some added perspective (if anything), and my personal thoughts on these things! Los geht’s!

DAD (44 yrs.)

I wasn’t really surprised by what my dad told me about his favorite musical. It’s OLIVER!. (He also said that it might be THE MUSIC MAN but after much thought, he settled on OLIVER!.) He told me that he loves it because of the songs, the characters, and all of the dancing and such.

OLIVER! is a musical that I grew up with when I first saw the movie version as a kid. As a kid, a lot of the darker, more violent stuff went right over my head and I didn’t even notice until I rewatched it years later. OLIVER! is also one of my favorite musicals and I’m always glad that my dad introduced me to it.

MOM (45 yrs.)

There were a few musicals that I thought my mom might pick for her answer. But I had a hunch that she would say STARLIGHT EXPRESS. And… I was right. STARLIGHT EXPRESS has been a big part of my mom’s life. If it weren’t for her going to see it as a teenager, she might’ve never decided to apply for the exchange program that led my mom to the US.

I also really, really like STARLIGHT EXPRESS but what I thought was really interesting about what my mom told me about why STARLIGHT is her favorite musical was that it seemed to be her favorite musical not because of the songs, really, but because of the impact it’s had on her life. That got me thinking that a person’s favorite musical might also be tied to the memories they associate with those musicals and I thought that was really interesting.

ME

I had a tough time answering this question myself because there are so many musicals that I would call my favorite depending on the circumstances and / or what I’m looking for in a musical. LES MIZ, WICKED, and ELISABETH are the musicals that I usually will tell people are my favorite musicals. And the funny thing? I like them all for different reasons.

LES MIZ is special to me because it really helped me to better understand musicals in general and because it’s got such a beautifully inspiring yet tragic story to it that I can’t help but hold close. Also, LES MIZ is appealing to me because, as a history geek who has a thing for revolutions, I learned about a rebellion that I’d never heard of. All thanks to LES MIZ.

Then, there’s WICKED. WICKED showed me that musicals can have happiness in them. They can make you laugh. They don’t always have to turn you into a sobbing mess. While WICKED does have its tragedy, it’s still a musical that has a more… upbeat, happy air to it than a lot of the musicals that I grew up with. Another reason that I love WICKED? A lot of the characters and the storyline is really relatable.

And now… we’ve got ELISABETH. Ah, ELISABETH. There’s so much that I could say about ELISABETH, but I’ll try to keep it under control. When it comes to ELISABETH, it’s got a wonderful, wonderful sort of uniqueness to it and I love its use of imagery and metaphor. The characters are wonderfully relatable and I feel like it’s a story that is so true to life in a way that I don’t think many musicals are. Also, ELISABETH really reconnected me with my love of the German culture and language. So… I’ve got a lot of reasons to be grateful for ELISABETH.

MY SISTER (13 yrs.)

When I asked my sister this, she thought about it for a while and then eventually said THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. She remembered when she, my dad, and I went to see PHANTOM in Seattle a few years back and said that was a moment that she never wants to forget.

Hearing my sister say that PHANTOM is her favorite musical made me smile. I also clearly remember when we’d gone ot see PHANTOM at the Paramount theatre in Seattle. It was the first time that I’d ever been on an outing with my sister in a really long time and I was just so happy to hear that she remembered it. I think that PHANTOM is one of the things that my sister and I really bonded over.

MY BROTHER (11 yrs.)

Of everyone in my family, my brother is the one who doesn’t like musicals very much. I don’t think he’s ever seen a musical live except for the one time I bought really cheap tickets to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST several years ago. When I asked him what musical he’d say is his favorite he asked me a few things. First, he asked: “To listen to or to watch?” Then, he asked: “To sing the songs or to just listen?” So, I told him that preferably it’d be something that included all of those things and he said that his favorite would probably have to be either INTO THE WOODS or FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

When I’d asked the question, I was 98% sure that he’d say FIDDLER ON THE ROOF though I knew that INTO THE WOODS might be high on the list as well. I remember while we (or rather my mom and I) were watching the Tony awards last year, my brother fell in love with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF so I bought the CD the next time I was at the used bookstore and found a copy of the CD there.

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And so, this has been my family’s favorite musicals! What are your favorite musicals? What about your family? Do you think that their tastes in musicals are similar to yours? Tschüss!

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48 thoughts on “Musical Theatre With My Family! | Favorite Musical Edition

  1. Interesting post. As you already know, I have a two way tie for best musical: Les Mis and Wicked. Rent is my dad’s favorite musical. My family and I all went to see musicals while I was growing up. My dad enjoys musicals, but my mom loves them. That is why it is quite special to go the theatre to see a musical with my mom

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    1. That’s awesome! My dad is more of the enthusiast than my mom but my dad’s a bit of a homebody so he likes to stay at home and have us just tell him about the experience! I thought it was fun to find out more about my family’s musical preferences because it wasn’t something that really crossed my mind

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      1. That did make for an interesting post. If I see Les Mis this year, most likely it would be either a date with mom or dad or with the two of them because my sister most likely would not be interested.

        Another musical that is coming to Charlotte next season is Lion King. If I happen to see that one, that one could easily be seen with my entire family

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      2. It’s been a little while since I’ve experienced a new musical live so if I get to see it, it’ll be pretty exciting! I’ve only heard good things about The Lion King, so I’m 98% sure I’ll really enjoy it! And besides, it’s Disney! What could go wrong?

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      3. I grew up on musicals like Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. I have lost touch with them at one point and nearly forget I even loved them. That is why I want to revisit them and see as if I never seen them before.

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      4. I’ve seen the Aladdin movie countless times but I’ve yet to see it live–I really want to, though! I’ve seen Beauty and the Beast live countless times because Belle was always my favorite Disney princess but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve actually gotten to see it live!

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      5. I did stop watching and listening to those three musicals, which is why I nearly forget them. Eventually I did realize that I did love them when I rematched the movies.

        Actually the songs I remember the most from those musicals were “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, “A Whole New World” and “Beauty and the Beast”. I need to revisit Beauty and the Beast and Lion King live again. I really need to catch Aladdin live for the first time.

        Last year when I visited Disney World, I felt like a 5 year old and I fell in love with Disney even more

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      6. Nice! I’m hoping to stop in NY after DC this June and if I do, the musicals I most want to see are Aladdin and The Lion King! The feelings I have associated with Disney over the years always makes me smile

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      7. I still keep on overlooking the serious side of Wicked especially because it makes me feel like a 12 year old whenever I see it live. It has the emotional maturity of the age I am now, but at the same time I still feel so much younger

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      8. Yeah, I agree! I’ll sit there in the theatre, remembering seeing Wicked for the first time when I was give-or-take eight or nine years old. I remember my little sister being horrified by the flying monkeys and I remember feeling so bad for Boq. So much has changed and yet, so much remains the same when I watch Wicked

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      9. Wicked’s emotions have reached a place that isn’t quite the same as it was when I first saw it. But some of the songs have the exact same feeling while others I feel more vulnerable around.

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      10. “Popular” for sure and that is the song I feel like a 12 year old the most since it was my favorite song when I first saw it. That is why “Popular” is still my favorite song from Wicked.

        Two songs that I am aware that have changed a lot belong to “No Good Deed” and “I’m Not That Girl”. “I’m Not That Girl” like you already know started out as this sad song and out of the blue became a heartbreaking songs. Than “No Good Deed” was a song I always hated and never got anything out of that scene and last year, the actress who played Elphaba was so effective in that scene that I finally was able to appreciate the song and finally recognize its emotions

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      11. Funnily enough, because I first heard “Dancing Through Life” in German, I’ve always had a preference for the German version, “Tanz Durch die Welt”, maybe because of the memories I’ve associates with listening to it in German. “Wonderful” is the song that’s most changed for me over the years besides “I’m Not that Girl”. I feel like I never really understood it as a kid but now it kind of talks to the cynic that lives deep inside of me somewhere

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      12. I understood “I’m Not That Girl” a bit. I was able to figure out it was a sad song, but guess I didn’t realize how sad it was and I didn’t know what it meant for a song to be heartbreaking. In high school, I knew for sure Wicked had a love triangle, but even than couldn’t figure it out. Its crazy that I couldn’t even realize heartbreak was a musical emotion in high school. Crazy how it would take a heartbreaking musical to make me pick up on heartbreak and understand it for the first time

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      13. “On My Own” seems like it was the song that made us both understand “I’m Not That Girl” better. Both unrequited love songs with similar emotions. By understanding the differences between these two girls when it comes to these songs helps explain why “On My Own” is more heartbreaking. “I’m Not That Girl” is not fully heartbreaking in my opinion but still heartbreaking while “On My Own” is fully heartbreaking which is why it is the stronger and more powerful of the two songs.

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      14. I agree. I feel like Éponine’s pain is just so much deeper than all of the pain that Elphie lays out in “I’m Not That Girl” because the love that Éponine had for Marius runs a lot deeper than Elphaba’s love for Fiyero at that point

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      15. I would have to agree. Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero just moments before so it doesn’t have the ability to be fully heartbreaking at that point. But in the case of Eponine, she has already known she has loved Marius for quite a while and she also loves him more than how much Elphaba loves Fiyero.

        Elphaba and Eponine, two of the best musical characters ever. One I actually relate to and the other one I don’t relate to at all

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      16. I even love Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero more than Boq and Nessa. Don’t forget Boq and Nessa are only secondary characters and not leading characters like Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero.

        Since the main plot revolves around Elphaba and Glinda, it makes sense why I always forget about those two. Than there is Fiyero since he in a way does fit into the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda since they both fall in love with him

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      17. I think the reason I’ve always remembered Boq is because I could always identify with his constant want to make people happy even if it meant sacrificing his own happiness. Of course, I’d never let it get to that point, but as a kid, I’d let people walk all over me sometimes. Now, of course, I’ve pretty much grown out of that. I think that the whole dynamic between Elphie, Fiyero, and Glinda is one of the most interesting parts of the show

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      18. I agree about those three characters. The dynamic still fascinates me to this day and fascinates me even more due to that discovery about “I’m Not That Girl”. No love triangle has been better than the one from Wicked

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      19. 95% of the time, I hate love triangles as plot devices. Three exceptions to that would be Wicked, Les Miz, and Phantom. And I think that it might have something to do with the fact that those love triangles have some sort of deeper level to them than just “Oh, you love so-and-so? Well, I do too.” Or “Ah! I can’t chiose which one I love more!”.

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      20. Those are the 3 main ones that come to mind. All 3 have made themselves clear that there is a love triangle. I prefer the ones in Wicked and Les Mis over the one in Phantom. Wicked out of all those I want to say is the most complicated and I love all three of those characters. In the case of Les Mis, that love triangle is laid out in quite a wonderful way especially when all three are together and even in all of Eponine’s bits

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      21. Personally, I don’t even really think that the Phantom love triangle is even much of a love triangle. But… that is an entirely separate matter.
        Wicked definitely has the most complex love triangle, I think because the way it turns out is a surprise

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      22. Its just that the love triangles in Les Mis and Wicked are laid out better. In Wicked, due to that plot twist is why I love it so much. While in Les Mis, it does a good job of making you feel for all three of the characters when you see them together.

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      23. Definitely. I think the thing about those two love triangles that is so unique is that in general, it’s easy to like all three characters. In most love triangles, that’s not exactly how that works out

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      24. The thing is I love all three characters in the Wicked, but in Les Mis, I only love Eponine, but do like Cosette and Marius as a couple and do appreciate those character. After reading the book, I love what the musical did to the love triangle because I found the love triangle to be very subtle in the book and what the musical did is strengthen it. It made me understand the relationship among Marius and Cosette better and made me fall in love with Marius more

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      25. That makes sense! I feel like the book really clarifies some things in Les Miz and makes it easier to understand. Maybe it’s because it’s a different lense through which one can look at the story and the characters? But I definitely did think “Ah… so that’s why…” while reading Les Miz

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      26. I find the book characters to be a bit different than the musical characters so I try to combine them in a way. That musical strengthened a lot of things about the storyline due to the fact that it is sung-through. The book really draws you in the spirituality of the book and kind of almost made me forget that I was reading a heartbreaking story but more of an inspirational one

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      27. In my opinion, one of the most different characters from book-to-musical is Enjolras. Enjolras in the book kind of concerns me (from a historical standpoint) whereas I really look up to musical Enjolras. But I agree with what you’re saying about trying to kind of merge the characters–I do that too!

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      28. Its hard for the musical to portray everything about these characters due to timing. So it makes sense why Marius and Cosette fell in love at first sight. Book Marius is more complex than musical Marius and do try to tie in his background into who musical Marius is. Les Mis is probably the most complex and most inspirational musical in existence and probably the most tragic and heartbreaking

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      29. Yeah, I agree. Les Miz is already a pretty long musical as it is–imagine if it tried to include every single detail from the book! Book Marius is definitely more complex than musical Marius and in the book, he’s definitely dealing with a lot more than he is in the musical

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      30. Marius isn’t the only character who is more complex in the book. I was able to learn to love the characters in the musical more once I read that book despite how different they may be. It is difficult tying the two together, but that is what helped me actually finish the book. Reading the book made me love who the characters are in the musical even more and even the musical itself. It is interesting how faithful the musical still is to the book despite how different some characters are. I can understand why some characters are slightly different

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      31. Definitely. I’ve been asked a few times which version of the characters I like better, the musical versions, or the book versions. And really, I don’t know. In my mind, they’re still the same characters, just that different parts of their personalities are showing more strongly in different versions

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      32. I would agree. Some people stop loving a character they love in the musical if they end up disliking them in the book. I love just how many characters you get to know in Les Mis.

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      33. Once again agree. They are not even simple characters. They are so complex and just human. They represent the very worst and very best of society even those in between. It is brilliant in the way it ties these characters together and the emotions are so intertwined together. It really does show humanity at a very deep way which moves me to the core of the Holy Spirit

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  2. This is such a fantastic idea! I love how you made your own opinion on your family’s favourites. I love your blog and am always exited to read the next one. Your posts really inspire my blog x

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