Blog 13 – Some of my favorite characters on Broadway now…or coming soon.
Simba, Jean Valjean and Dolly
As we are presenting the character profiles in NUMBERS N3RDS, I found myself thinking of other characters in musicals that have affected me deeply over the years.
From shows now on Broadway or soon to arrive, here are some of my favorites.
- Simba from LION KING – Let’s start with a lion….or, more accurately, a cub. Yes, he’s a kid. But no matter what our age, each of us feels the edge of newness. After all, for all of us, it’s our first time through life! Simba grabs me for his innocence and his hope. He struggles, of course. And he is no stranger to fear. But he wants to grow. He yearns to be something better, someone wiser and stronger. He is open to the future, reaching for it with all he’s got.
- Jean Valjean from LES MISERABLES – Here we have the quintessential hero. He struggles against great enemies. Javert, outside, and his own weakness within (stealing the silver, for example). And yet he perseveres. When I encounter characters like this, I find myself thinking: “I hope I would be up to this!” Jean Valjean is strong and faithful. An ideal that stirs my heart.
- Dolly Levi in HELLO DOLLY! – A different sort of character, of course. HELLO DOLLY! is in some ways a frothy bit of theatrical escape. And Dolly can strike us as delightful and entertaining, but not much more. But then things shift. A move of genius in the show is when Dolly faces her need to let go of the past – and of the hold that Ephram has on her – and move along. A very different lesson, but an important one nonetheless. Dolly reminds me that, in this world, nothing lasts forever. There are two signs of maturity: holding on and letting go. I hope I’ll have courage to do the first, and the wisdom to do the second.
Open to the future, committed to one’s quest, willing to let go. These are the take-always from some of my favorite Broadway characters.