Musicals are incredible works of art. The dancing, the singing, the acting, the lyrics - all work together to create an incredible experience for all involved.
Even ones that may seem more comedic have their very touching moments (yes, I’m looking directly at you, Something Rotten!)
The beauty of musicals is that no matter what you feel, there’s a song for that. There’s a show for that.
There is so much variety in musicals. We have shows that deal with discoveries as we age (Fun Home), shows that comment on the state of society (Wicked, Chicago), shows that discuss mental health (Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal). The themes and topics are endless.
And I have found that few things touch me more than musicals do.
I enjoy listening to a variety of genres and artists. But something about musicals moves me deeply.
It might be the heightened emotions that come with the music - the character becomes so emotional that they can no longer speak, they can only sing. The amount of passion and raw feeling can be heard in the song and speak to us.
It might be the story that they tell. The lyrics might resonate with us unlike any others - the lyrics tell our story, the lyrics and character remind us that we are not alone, we are human, and what we feel is something others feel as well.
It could be a combination of both.
So many stories are told through musicals. So many emotions are shared, so many hopes and dreams and vulnerabilities are exposed to the audience. The songs stay in our head, the lyrics stay in our heart.
For me, it’s gotten to the point where I have certain songs from musicals that I go to whenever I start feeling a certain emotion or have had a specific kind of day. I have the songs that I love to sing to in the car. I have the songs I have to skip every time because I know I’ll cry right away. There are songs I have to skip because they make me sick to my stomach to listen to (“Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” anyone?).
These songs can make me feel powerful. They can make me feel comforted, or like I’m not alone. These songs help me understand what it’s like to be a person navigating this world, this life. They help me feel emotions I didn’t know I had, help me release the ones I need to.
No matter what I feel, no matter what anyone feels, you can find a musical get you through.
There’s a show for that.
Photo Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times