Musicals Thread (Feeling the Love)

Welcome! The purpose of this thread is to talk about all things related to the wonderful world of musical theatre. Each week (or so) I will post a thread with a topic/question for everyone to respond to. This is also a great place to mention any new musicals you’ve discovered and/or general recommendations for other musical fans. Heard/seen any good shows lately? Have any theatre news to share? Tell us about it!

I’ve been in a bit of a writing rut lately, and so I haven’t gushed about any of my favorite musicals in a while. Today I want to change that by sharing some much-deserved love for a musical about love. Because I love it. Are you all picking up on the theme yet? (Hi, if you haven’t been here before, I’m not known for subtlety.) This week I want to talk about love stories and songs! If you were here last year you’re probably thinking, “Hey, didn’t we talk about this last Valentine’s Day?” Yes! Well, kind of. I asked you all to share your favorite romances in musicals last year (if you’re curious, check it out). This year I want to open the conversation up even more to those less than stellar romances. Let’s face it, not all musical romances are good (or healthy) or destined for that shiny happily ever after ending. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really great love songs along the way. So, it’s a little different. Not to mention, there are a lot of new faces in our cozy little thread this year, so I figure it’s okay to have some repeats now and then. (Also, let’s face it, I’m a sucker for love songs and just like to talk about my favorite musicals.)

Which brings me to Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812! First, yes, I have written about this musical before. It was probably my longest and most passionate post, so if you want to read about my experience seeing this show and why I’m such a big fan you should check out that thread. Today I want to focus on something that I didn’t really cover in my previous post: the romance! It’s kind of funny to think that I pretty much ignored this aspect of the musical in that post, but I think that has a lot do with the fact that The Great Comet has so many good qualities that I could talk about it for so long and not run out of new things to praise. The romance of The Great Comet is complicated and heartbreaking for Natasha. She has so much love to give, and she’s so passionate about pursuing love that she falls for the not-so noble Anatole. Which, if I’m being honest, I totally get because he is so freaking charming in this musical, but I’m getting off topic here because I actually want to talk about her love for Andrey, her betrothed.

At the start of the musical we learn that Andrey isn’t here (he’s fighting in the war) and Natasha is young and loves Andrey with all of her heart. But, as I just said, Andrey isn’t here. And Natasha is growing impatient and scared and lonely. And she’s young. Add to that the fact that Andrey’s family is mean and cold to Natasha. So, when Anatole (hot, very hot) pursues Natasha in Andrey’s absence…well, you can probably guess how that goes. But before Anatole appears Natasha shares her feelings for Andrey with the audience.

“No One Else” is without a doubt one of my favorite love songs. It doesn’t matter that I know how the story goes after this moment because I so fully believe in this love for these 4 minutes and 21 seconds that nothing else matters. Denée Benton puts so much passion into the song that I can quite literally feel my heart filling up with love. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more perfect representation of young love than her performance of this song. There is so much yearning in every note (especially when she sings about the moon). But why am I still talking about it when you could just listen?

If you read this (or really any of my over-the-top ramblings in the past), thank you. But now I want to hear about your favorite musical love songs! Do you like any love songs that just so happen to be about romances that aren’t so great? As always, feel free to discuss any and all things related to musicals!