Broadway brings stories from the script to the stage

Jazz Conde, Health and Lifestyle Editor

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Broadway takes you to a different world in New York City. It brings a variety of emotions to audiences, whether it’s a good laugh or a heartbroken cry, it rarely fails to touch the hearts of those who listen.

When people think of musicals what may pop into mind would be Grease or High School Musical, but there are hundreds more than just those movie musicals that many have seen.

There is Broadway. Broadway music comes in many different genres that could easily appeal to varieties of people around the world today. Broadway has everything, from traditional plays to hip-hop musicals. Featured here are just a few of the different stories Broadway has brought to life.

Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz

 

Wicked made its official debut in June of 2003 and has been running ever since. The musical is a prologue to the Wizard of Oz and is viewed from mainly the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. It is suppose to be the real truth behind what happened in Oz.

The Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, was born green after her mother drank a green elixir during her pregnancy. Because of her mother’s mistake, Elphaba would be faced with a life of being hated by those around her, even her father, for being green.

When Elphaba grows older, her father sends her and her sister Nessa Rose, who is paralyzed from the waist down, off to boarding school.

Upon arriving at boarding school, Elphaba meets Galinda and they immediately loathe one another, as they express in the song ‘What Is This Feeling?’ As the musical goes on they develop an inseparable bond.

Eventually, a boy by the name of Fiyero enters the musical and immediately takes a liking to Galinda— that is until he meets Elphaba. After the song ‘Popular,’ there is a love triangle between Galinda, Fiyero, and Elphaba, which ends with Fiyero and Elphaba being together.

At the beginning of the musical when Elphaba arrives to school, one of her teachers discover her magical powers. This teacher writes to the Wizard of this and he asks Elphaba to come to the Emerald City. She agrees and asks Galinda to go with her.

Finally Galinda and Elphaba make it to the Emerald City and they spend time touring before they have to meet the Wizard. At the end of the day, they meet the Wizard. In the song ‘Sentimental Man,’ the Wizard tries to present himself as a good man in order to make a good impression and get Elphaba on his side.

All is well until Elphaba learns that the Wizard is trying to turn the animals of Oz into slaves. Hearing of his plan causes Elphaba to run off and the Wizard then declares her Wicked as she has this information that would cause the people of Oz to know the truth about the Wizard.

Galinda follows behind Elphaba in attempt to convince her that if she just works with the Wizard, she would be accepted and she wouldn’t be in any trouble, even though she did nothing wrong in the first place.

Elphaba told Galinda that she couldn’t return as it was morally wrong, the two separated and finally become the Wicked Witch of the West and The Good Witch of the North. This all occurs during ‘Defying Gravity,’ where the musical reaches its peak and conflict occurs from there on after.

Rent

 

Rent succeeded quickly after its off-Broadway debut in 1996 and made its way onto Broadway the same year. The musical tells the story of six different friends living in poverty, who are all mainly some type of performing artist.

Throughout the musical, pieces of everyone’s stories are told and eventually put together. Benny is not as big of a character, but he is the main conflict between the other characters.

Benny used to room with Mark and Roger before getting married to a wealthy girl. He eventually ended up buying the apartment complex he lived in and promised his friends that they would be rent free. When the new year came along, he told his old friends that they had to pay the rent from the year before.

Mark is one of the more important characters of his friends. He is an aspiring film director, and throughout the musical he films a documentary of his friends and their lives living in poverty. He is the only main character in the musical that remains without a lover as his ex-girlfriend, Maureen, left him to be with a lesbian lawyer, Joanne.

Roger, Mark’s roommate and best friend, is a struggling musician. When the musical begins he is in a state of deep depression which began after his girlfriend, April, took her life when she found out they both had AIDS. He later meets Mimi who he will eventually end up falling in love with but is hesitant to move forward because of his loss.

Mimi Marquez is a young, Latina dancer living in the apartment below Mark and Roger. At only 19 years old, she already has AIDS. At the beginning of the musical, it seems as if she is just a young girl trying to find a fun night, but as her character progresses it is easy to see that she is looking for someone who cares.

Collins is a very close friend and former roommate of Mark and Roger. He is an anarchist professor with a love for men. Like a few of his other friends, he also has AIDS. He dreams of one day escaping the troubles New York brings him and his friends, hoping to move to Santa Fe and open up a restaurant.  

Angel is a young, gender-fluid drag queen, using both he/she pronouns throughout the musical. While in drag, she uses she/her pronouns and when not in drag, he uses he/him. Angel enters the musical at the beginning and up until the tragedy, she is what holds her group of friends together. She enters during the song ‘You Okay, Honey?’ where she meets her love interest, Collins. She is the last person in their group that has AIDS.

Maureen Johnson is a bisexual performing artist. She is Mark’s ex girlfriend and Joanne Jefferson’s current girlfriend. Throughout the musical, she is seen fighting for her performance space. Also, she is constantly getting herself in trouble because of her flirtatious personality.

Hamilton

 

Hamilton is a historical fiction musical of Alexander Hamilton’s journey from when he came to America. It has quickly become one of the most popular musicals to hit Broadway and has even become popular within history classrooms.

The first song ‘Alexander Hamilton,’ simply summarizes his whole life, and the musical goes on to tell his story from the moment he met Aaron Burr. Aaron Burr plays the biggest role, other than Hamilton, and a lot of the musical is told from his point of view.

At the start, Hamilton meets people who will be significant throughout the first act when the American Revolution takes place. He befriends Aaron Burr, Hercules Mulligan, John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, and George Washington.

The first act persists of trying to survive and win the American Revolution. It is also when he meets his wife, Eliza, and he ends up marrying her before he has to go back to continue the war.

Towards the end of war, Hamilton discovers that Eliza is pregnant and vows to survive the war in order to be able to meet his son.

Once the war is won, Hamilton returns home, only to be faced with the opportunity to help start the country. This transitions into act two.

Act two becomes a lot more hectic as America begins to grow within the musical. While dealing with the setup of a country, Hamilton also faces many problems in his personal life.

Talking politics, Thomas Jefferson quickly becomes Hamilton’s enemy and as time progresses, so will his once trusted friend, Aaron Burr. Outside of politics, Hamilton will find that he is his own worst enemy.  

On top of that, he has an affair with Maria Reynolds, a manipulation set up by her husband to blackmail Hamilton and receive money.

Another tragedy occurs when Hamilton loses his son. His son challenges George Eaker to a duel and is fatally wounded, passing away in the arms of his parents.

Some time after his son’s death, Eliza finds it within herself to forgive Hamilton. From then on, they are what holds each other together. In the end, Hamilton’s life is taken in a duel with Aaron Burr.

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