Love stories of Broadway
Love! I don’t think that there’s a word that says more than this four-letter word, and it carries so much with it – joy, hate, sorrow, anger. It made a lot of people do so much, and often enough – the unthinkable. I believe that there is no bigger inspiration for art in general, as well as Broadway.
With Valentine’s day around the corner, we decided to give the biggest, most romantic, and most thrilling stories in the spotlight. Love, lies, jealousy, cheating, people resorting to murder, violence, murder, and even magic…you name it. It’s on Broadway.
Puppy love and a lot of lies.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is one of the best shows currently on Broadway. Although a modern play, it is evergreen in its roots – a story of hard times with a positive vibe. The main protagonist – Evan, has mental issues and his psychiatrist gives him the idea to write letters to himself. He prints one on the school printer, but it ends up in Connor Murphy (the other main character, and probably the main character with least stage time on Broadway). He sees that Evan mentions his sister – Zoe (Evan has a crush on her), but later commits suicide.
And this sets Evan’s monstrous lies in motion. He lies that he and Connor were very close to getting closer to Zoe. The Murphy family finds a touch of joy in their sorrow and an outlet in Evan. He, on the other hand, is raised in a somewhat dysfunctional family – his father left him as a child, his mother – Heidi, was “never around”, working in order to provide for their living. He gets in a relationship with Zoe and is all good.
Until Evan decides to confess the truth. He loses the Murphys, he loses Zoe, his school friends, and he does the only right thing – mends fences with his mother. And a year later he is still home, working in order to secure his semester at college. He meets Zoe in the orchard, reopened in Connor’s memory. In the end, they share a tender moment.
All turns well in the end. And who knows – can we call this an open ending?
Love and other sorts of magic.
Love can flourish everywhere, even in the desert land of Agrabah, where a princess and a street thief fell in love. What can get this affair more complicated? An evil vizier, and a genie.
Jasmine is the only child of the Sultan, the ruler of Agrabah. They have some issues due to Jasmine not wanting to marry any of the suitors, and the Sultan wants her to marry her good (after all, he is both a good ruler and a good father). Meanwhile, Jafar, the evil vizier, plots along with Iago (his parrot) to usurp the rule. He resorts to the magic of the “Cave of Wonders”, but needs a “diamond in the rough” to enter it. Enter – Aladdin. A “street rat” he roams the market along with his small gang to steal some food. He is assigned by Jafar to enter the cave after the vizier saves him. Funnily, Aladdin gets in trouble for interacting with Jasmine, while she is roaming disguised. Jafar saves Aladdin by the guards and assigns him to get into the cave. But when Aladdin recognizes the power he is wielding, he tricks Jafar and wishes to be a prince so he can court Jasmine.
Prince Ali marries princess Jasmine, but Jafar shows the true identity of the groom. What follows is a huge magical mess where Aladdin (once again) tricks Jafar to wish to be an all-powerful genie. His wish is granted, he becomes a mighty genie. Trapped in his lamp.
When the Sultan sees Aladdin’s true value and the love for his daughter he permits the marriage. Then the newly-wed couple goes for a magic trip with the magic carpet.
They say that love is the biggest magic ever, and we see that this is true. Yet, it is always good to have a genie on your side.
High school triangle
We can’t have a good enough high school mess with a great love story. The new girl Cady falls for the local Prince Charming Aaron. She even starts playing stupid so he can help her with math. Nothing thrilling, but Aaron is the ex-boyfriend of the Queen of Beasts – Regina. Who has taken Cady under her wing as a part of The Plastics. This is when Cady and Regina’s decline begins. What follows is that Cady overthrows her as the leader of the Plastics, and Regina drops the Burn book. This leads to a lot of mayhem in school and even gets Ms. Norbury in trouble.
Things get nasty. Cady is suspended for three weeks. And to add injury to insult Regina…gets hit by a bus (don’t worry, she survives it). Cady reevaluates the situation and takes the blame for the Burn book (despite the obvious fact that most of the insults are from the time before she was around). During her raise as the Queen Bee, she loses Damian, Janis, and even starts fighting with Aaron.
“Mean Girls” is actually a nice play that must get a happy ending. Aaron sneaks Cady in the Spring Fling, where they kiss. She faces Regina and they share an emotional conversation. Cady wins Spring Fling Queen, but destroys the crown because it is “fake and plastic”. In the end, everyone hugs makes up and sings.
The best place for a tragic love story? A cabaret in Paris.
The Ancient Greeks believed that tragedy is the only genre worthy to be played on stage. They believed that it is the only genre that can actually touch the soul. And they were right. Modern Broadway produces high-quality dramas and tragedies, worthy to rub shoulder with “Antigone”, “Prometheus Bound”, “Electra” and the rest. If I have to pick one, my definite choice is “Moulin Rouge!”.
The play is set in the “Moulin Rouge!” cabaret in the Montmartre district of Paris, known to be preferred by the bohemians and artists from all over the world. The owner of the cabaret – Harold Zidler plans how to save it from closing. He invites the rich Duke of Monroth and plans to introduce him to his “Sparkling Diamond” – Satine. However, by accident, she is introduced to the young Christian, and the fall in love immediately.
However, Satine believes that their love endangers the show, as tensions around the Duke arises. And he is well known to be a jealous and treacherous lover. Secretly, she suffers from tuberculosis and her condition worsens. Tension arises, even more, when the Duke and Christian discover that the play that they are preparing is a metaphor of their love triangle with Satine. Christian starts drinking excessively, while the Duke threatens Satine that he’ll have Christian killed if she continues to love him. Christian tries to save her just to hear that she doesn’t love him anymore just to save him from Duke Monroth. Seeing no meaning to his life without Satine, Christina decides to load the pistol they use to shoot him in the play with real bullets and end his life. Satine, however, saves him again by singing their secret song that shows him her love. During all this time, her illness has worsened heavily. After the play, they affirm their love for each other and she passes away…
As mentioned above – “Moulin Rouge!” is a heavy, emotional play that can touch every single aspect of your feelings. Worthy enough for the Ancient Greek classics.
A dystopian take of a myth
Speaking of Ancient Greece, we’ve all studied the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. We know that the mythical musician ventured to the realm of Hades (Ancient Greek equivalent of hell) just to save her. The fact that he fails doesn’t really matter.
“Hadestown” is a modern take on that myth. It is set in a dystopian world. The two main couples of characters have a lot of modern traits – Orpheus is the typical frivolous musician, thinking only of sing and song. Eurydice is the typical girlfriend of such a guy that at one point chooses security. Hades and Persephone are presented as a traditional rich couple that has been together for a while and has grown tired of each other.
Persephone (who is allowed to go on the surface only in the summer) celebrates along Orpheus and Eurydice. They drink together, and the two young loved ones share their love for each other. Persephone shares her misery for living in Hades’ factory. Winter comes, but Orpheus only writes music not caring much about how they will survive. This forces her to go to Hadestown. Orpheus is left heartbroken, swearing that he’ll find her.
Eurydice instantly regrets signing a contract with Hades. Orpheus arrives at Hadestown and confronts the ruler himself. Hades tries to chase the young man away with the help of the Faiths. Devastated, Orpheus sings for Eurydice. His song is overheard by Persephone, who bargains with Hades to give Orpheus a chance. Hades wants Orpheus to sing for him. Seeing that he’s in a lose/lose situation he offers Orpheus the following deal – Eurydice is his for the taking. He just has to lead her outside without looking at her. He fails just a few steps from the exit.
Hermes’ final song says it all – people will always hope for a better end of the story. In the end, Eurydice and Persephone raise their glasses for Orpheus and those that keep trying.
Love is a matter of life and death
What can happen if you’re a young and beautiful opera singer like Christine Daae? In the best case – you will catch the eye of a young, brave and noble man like Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny. Worst case – you’ll attract the attention of a malicious, malformed outcast with near savant abilities in all fields of art and science, that holds loath to all who live. And if one of them will court you, and be the perfect gentleman that he’s raised to be, the other will march through fire, blood, and corpses to get you.
We can’t compare Raoul and The Phantom. The one common thing they share is their love for Christine. Raoul is the typical knight in shiny armor – he rushes headstrong to confront The Phantom and to save his beloved. They fight everywhere and The Phantom doesn’t shy away from using his advanced/paranormal abilities to get the edge over Raoul.
The Phantom considers everything to be allowed in war and love. And love is war. He resorts to all of his tricks – speaking from the mirror, lures Christine to her father’s grave in the guise of the Angel of music, and when Raoul arrives he sets the place afire.
Raoul and The Phantom have a standoff in the Phantom’s lair, where the villain has taken Christine. He catches Raoul with his Punjabi lasso and gives Christine an ultimatum – should she stay with him, Raoul will be spared. She confesses that she’s not afraid of his physical appearance but rather of what’s in his soul. She proceeds to kiss him. As he finally receives kindness he spares the lives of the two young lovers. He walks to his throne, takes a sit, huddles and disappears.
Boston sings that love is “More than a Feeling”. It is something multidimensional – it can bring joy, tears, anger, even death. One thing is for sure – it will touch all of your feelings and senses. And that’s where the magic of Broadway comes – you can find it all in one place.