Without love, life is “like a week that’s only Mondays, only ice cream never sundaes, like a circle with no center, like a door marked do not enter.” Our friends from the Broadway show Hairsprayhave it right. Without love, life would be a lot less enjoyable. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite Broadway love stories and couples.
In the first half of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Belle sings that “far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise” are parts of her favorite story. Belle’s favorite fairytale essentials happen to foreshadow her romantic future. Belle’s strength to overcome the physical appearance of the Beast and see past the enchanted spell to fall in love is delightful every time I see it.
Some of the greatest love stories don’t always end up happily ever after. (Spoiler alert!) The Phantom of the Opera highlights some of the best Broadway love songs and ranks as a top Valentine’s date night show, but the story is filled with unrequited love. Don’t give up all hope for the Phantom. Maybe he will find the love he’s always hoped for in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel Love Never Dies, now playing in London.
Many love stories are just as extraordinary as the classics they’re based on. Like “Romeo and Juliet,” West Side Story’s star crossed-lovers Tony and Maria battle rivalries that have kept their families apart for ages. I can’t blame Maria for falling in love with Tony, and neither can Mary Poppins star Laura Michelle Kelly!
Sometimes the music is just as unforgettable as the relationship that grows onstage. Emile and Nellie in South Pacific are a classic Broadway couple and had an instant connection that “Some Enchanted Evening.”Bernadette Peters and Olivia Newton John agree with my choice that “Some Enchanted Evening” is one of the greatest Broadway love songs of all time. Read more to see who agrees with your favorite.
I could go on all day listing my favorite couples. Who is your favorite, and what makes you love their story?