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>> Monday, April 20, 2009

Plot inspirations for musicals are a mix of everyday experiences, fantasy and imagination. Some are exaggerations of the truth, while some reflect the reality of life.

With the addiction to Adam Lambert Wicked, the door to watching musicals has reopened. Watching bootlegs have made me look beyond the entertainment value. I think about what the script really has to say, what experiences happened to be able to create such characters, how this and that kind of stage directions add to the emotion of the scene, what the lines symbolize, etc. etc.

While fairy tales end in a happy note, some stage plays sacrifice a happy ending to better understand what humans feel, go through, and how they deal with life's pressures. However, I find it depressing when the plot answers a problem through death or a deviation from the law.


In Spring Awakening, Moritz kills himself when he flunks in school and does not get any support from his parents.

In Bare, Jason succumbs to drugs when he loses his boyfriend (yes, boyfriend) and gets a batchmate pregnant. He eventually dies of overdose.

---Commercial break---

Spring Awakening >>>>>>>>>>> Bare.


What a hawt cast. Photo by nymag.com


Jonathan Groff (Melchior) loves American Idol. Ohhhhh.

---End commercial---

In Wicked, Elphaba gives in to being the Wicked Witch of the West because Madame Morrible said so.

Not all musicals conclude their plot with the lead character continuing alone and heart-broken. There are still musicals that end with a song of hope and happily-ever-after's.

Take for example, Billy Elliot. Billy wasn't born to be a boxer. He tried to become one, but his heart wasn't into it. He found his way to ballet, secretly taking lessons because his father did not approve of a womanly dance.

This is not an example of a deviation from the law because Billy did not break any rules. Boys were never prohibited to this kind of dance. Even if he did not get the support from his father, he continued to excel in his craft, eventually earning him the lead role in Swan Lake.

Another is Joseph from Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat. Joseph had a good career going for him in Egypt. When temptation crept in, he thought about his own values. The future seemed bleak for him as he was thrown into prison to rot. God knew better and He used prison to unleash Joseph's gift in predicting dreams.

Who would ever forget Elle Woods from Legally Blonde the Musical. The bend and snap sorority president first set her eyes in winning back Warner's heart. Then she learned that the battle is not with Warner, but with herself. She learned to study hard and proved that a blonde girl can be smart to win a case.

Everyone goes through trials. Life ain't easy for everyone, even for characters in stage plays. The real deal is how one chooses his actions in the face of difficulty.

Moritz could've asked for a scholarship and asked help from his best friend Melchior with his studies. Jason could've said no to Ivy when she was asking him to sleep with her. Elphaba could've continued to do good, even if it meant doing it alone and without any support from the citizens of Oz.

I'm not saying that the scripts are crappy or the playwrights could've done something else. They're perfect as it is and amazingly done on stage. I'm just thinking if the characters were real. How would they face their problems, provided if they had the freedom to choose for themselves?

As much as I love depressing and open-ended... endings, I still want to go back to the plots that act as guides on how to overcome challenges and show what the outcome will be. A musical with a happy ending is a ray of hope. It is telling me that in the end, everything will turn out to be well. With patience and the heart to excel, a happy ending is waiting at the end of the race.



P.S. I just listed the musicals that I've obsessed on (except for Bare which I included because I just finished watching it). There are more musicals for reference, but it'll take me forever to list down every plot and character.

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