Nine Times Musical Theater nods to polyamory — OnStage Blog

“Is it all er nuthin’ with you?”

When it comes time for teen Annie Carnes, just a girl who “can’t say no,” and Will Parker to decide the terms of their marriage by Oklahoma!, Will seems to insist on traditional monogamy, while Annie resists. “All Er Nuthin” is the song and the ultimatum. Just as Annie appears to be ready to accept, Will demonstrates some of the same types of behavior he objects to when it comes to Annie. Annie notices and points out the hypocrisy. Wherever they ultimately land, they both seem ready to accept who they are with, maybe even adapt as they should. Will isn’t thrilled with the number of “Persian goodbyes” Annie is getting from Ali Hakim, but doesn’t seem to consider it a breach of contract. They are who they are, and I think they’ll be fine, and the show seems too.

“But I’m still faithful to you, darling, in my own way.”

In the case of this song Kiss me, Kate, it’s right there in the title: “Always faithful to you in my fashion”. There are different “modes”, that is to say “ways”, of being faithful to one’s partner. In Lois’ case, she doesn’t say exactly how faithful she is to her boyfriend, Bill, in her song, just that she is. In between, she cites examples of men she has been or might be involved with. She always seems to get something out of these dates, like a nice coat or a hat. Maybe the way she’s loyal to Bill is that her gifts aren’t quite as fancy, but she always comes back to him anyway. Well, like with Teen Annie and Will in Oklahoma!Bill and Lois end up together, so they have to find some common ground, some acceptance of each other.

“Is it always where? Is it ever and?

As with everything, Stephen Sondheim, “Moments in the Woods”, from In the woods, is a more complicated animal than others of its kind. It takes place after Prince Charming, having spent “a moment” with the baker’s wife, gets up and leaves. She is confused, and the beginning of the song is mostly questioned: “Was it wrong? Am I crazy? Is that all? Does he miss me? For her, sanity seems to insist that it was the influence of magical, fairy woods that led her to do what she did. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t seem to feel guilty, doesn’t seem to think her husband needs to know or care. She acknowledges her responsibilities, including the most pressing in the story, but doesn’t seem to feel like her actions have taken anything away from them. She even rationalizes that different things have different functions, so there’s nothing wrong with having more than one: “Have a child for warmth and a baker for bread and a prince for whatever. that is.” She then reverts to the idea that it was something out of her control that didn’t represent her, but wonders why she shouldn’t be able to enjoy the occasional “moment”, in case it’s her only one. Ultimately, she falls back on the influence of the woodland excuse, vowing to cherish what she gave him but move on. She is then punished for her indiscretion. I told you this one was complicated.

“My heart is in a pickle: it is constantly fickle.”

It was the song that sent me on this wild goose and gander hunt: “When I’m Not Around the Girl I Love”, by Burton Lane and EY Harburg, from Finian’s Rainbow. The character who sings it is Og, an imp who turns into a human because he was separated from his gold. And what does he find as he becomes more and more human? More and more complicated feelings. Feelings he wants to confess to Sharon. But Sharon is not there. So, he decides, Susan will do. “Is this how it is to be mortal?” he asks. “Is every girl the only girl? I’m starting to like it!” He’s like a male Teen Annie, he’s “loyal to whoever is here.” who he sings his confession to, but rather the one he was originally looking for.

“I cannot be what I am not.”

“Take Me or Leave Me”, Maureen and Joanne’s aggressive breakup number in Jonathan Larson LEASE, isn’t exactly about Maureen being unable to stop falling in love after settling down with her primary partner, but about unwillingness to give up a life that makes her desirable. In fact, more relevant is what Joanne doesn’t want to do: let Maureen be who she is. Maureen is a performance artist, she craves an audience and their attention, whatever form that takes. Joanne doesn’t like that she gets so much attention, especially some guys, although Maureen insists that Joanne is the main focus of her own attention, and that should be enough. The song is also about Maureen being unable to take Joanne for who she is, mostly insofar as Joanne is included trying to control who Maureen is. Polyamory is about not trying to control, not trying to suppress your partner, and not taking personally how they express themselves to others.

“I am the mask you wear.” “It’s me they hear.”

No discussion of musical theater can be complete without mentioning The Phantom of the Opera, right? Of course, Christine leaves with Raoul at the end, and the public accepts it because, of course, her alternative killed and terrorized people, and besides, she was never in love with him, she was bewitched, in a trance. Okay, so why do all I hear is that she should’ve ended up with the Ghost? Someone recently told me that she felt like denying the reality of Christine’s feelings for the Ghost takes away her agency as a woman, even a young woman. She can love a “normal” man, but not another, a little weird? She makes the safe choice, and it’s not like she and Raoul aren’t related, but she was clearly really in love with both of them, and if you don’t believe me, watch the sequel. But, really, don’t watch the sequel, take my word for it.

Now, a key aspect of a successful polyamorous relationship is that all parties are okay with it, and Raoul and the Ghost want to kill each other, so Christine has to settle for just one. But in the title number, Christine and the Phantom sing the lines I quoted above, about being part of each other, being one. And the creative relationships can be quite intimate, whether it’s the composers and lyricists who write the songs (in this case Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe) or the vocal teachers and students who bring the songs to life. songs. And replay the scenario if ever Raoul never knocks on the door of Christine’s dressing room: Christine and the Phantom continue their lessons; the Phantom never has any reason to be jealous as no other suitor brings the story Raoul is making and piques Christine’s interest; eventually, the Phantom allows her to see him and his lair, as they become more and more intimately acquainted; the Phantom makes Christine the greatest singer in Paris and eventually in the world; perhaps he travels with her, heavily masked, disguised as an assistant or a servant. He is her voice, she is her mask: together, they engage with the world. Yes, Raoul ruins a very good love story, but he doesn’t have to. If he and the Ghost could have put Christine first, the three of them might have lived happily ever after.