Andi Velazquez Mejia ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
As Valentine’s Day approaches, many lovers (or non-lovers, because you are strong, independent individuals) may consider watching a romantic movie to celebrate the special day. However, if you’re more of an old-fashioned folk then this calls for a little reminiscing on a different and much older form of storytelling: theater. Instead of forcing the poor boyfriend to watch The Notebook, consider the romance shared between the couples found in some of the best musicals of all time.
Tony and Maria
Take Shakespeare’s most tragic romance, mix some Latin love, add iconic dances and music, heat the whole thing up with gang tensions, and serve a new classic called West Side Story. Forbidden love is arguably one of the most entertaining kinds of love, making Tony and Maria’s love story utterly compelling. The star-crossed lovers fall in love at their high school dance despite their affiliations with rival gangs. Although there’s a (spoiler alert) tragic ending, one cannot help but admire their perseverance as they struggle to find moments when they can meet each other and not be discovered.
Elphaba and Fiyero
One of the most important lessons taught regarding love is to love a person for their inner beauty. On that note, make sure to never judge a book by its cover; one could end up falling in love with the once hated book. In Wicked, Elphaba and Fiyero’s relationship develops dramatically from rivalry and misunderstanding to passionate and selfless love. The two overcome their prejudices and flawed perceptions of each other, which adds an unimaginable twist to the other side of the famous story of Oz.
Phantom and Christine
A little girl with an incredible voice named Christine grows up with the musical guidance of a mysterious character she refers to as “The Angel of Music.” When she becomes a woman, she discovers her teacher was a man who loved her, not a mystical creature. The Phantom, facially deformed and emotionally wounded, is simply another human being who wants compassion and love. The complex dynamic between the two characters unleashes a fascinating story in The Phantom of the Opera that exposes every human’s deep desire and need for love.
Belle and Beast
The musical genius of the Disney hit Beauty and the Beast could not remain in the confines of VHS and movie screens. It had to be adapted to the stage and become a Broadway musical. Therefore, audiences get to experience one more time, through another medium, the love story of Belle and her Beast. First impressions and a moody attitude certainly do not help the Beast win over Belle immediately, but after some quality time, romantic songs every child knows, and defeating the cocky bad guy the two lovebirds break an evil curse with the power of true love.
Cosette and Marius
Les Misérables takes place in 19th century France, where political turmoil and social inequality loom over the lives of thousands of innocent people. It comes as no surprise that the youth discovers love to make it through the hardship life poses. Cosette and Marius feel an attraction to each other at first sight and fall passionately in love. At a certain point in their lives, they were both lost, but as they state and mutually express through song, finding each other means they finally found themselves as well. The couple successfully makes it through the violent conflicts within Paris and happily marries with the blessing of Cosette’s father, Jean.
Sophie and Sky
One of the biggest tests for two lovers is making it through the hell experienced before their wedding day. Unfortunately for Sophie and Sky that really is a challenge given the musical chaos that ensues in Mamma Mia! Sophie, determined to find her biological father among three candidates, a task that apparently can only be achieved by singing a duet with every single one of them, loses sight of her relationship with the most meaningful man in her life. These lovers therefore conclude their story with a shocking but more down-to-earth ending: they decide they are not ready for marriage. Instead, they want to travel the world together until the day they finally agree they are ready to settle down. Way to teach the world about what real love stories look like!