Monday, May 29, 2023

We met the white knights, the golden boys/girls, the heroes! And then we met their enemies, those that lurk in the dark, our villains! Now, it’s time for the final showdown, the last stand-off, the clash between good and evil! Here are the top rivalries on Broadway that you can see on stage!

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Hamilton)

The rivalry of these political figures is widely known and well-documented in both fact and fiction. The two lawyers, statesmen and commanders “keep meeting” constantly in the course of the show. They share a lot of mutual respect (“Burr, you’re a better lawyer than me”), but the meteoritic rise of Alexander Hamilton first as a right-hand man of gen. George Washington, on his appointment as Secretary of Treasury. Burr is aware of his capabilities and wants to be “in the room where it happens”. His envy towards Miranda’s joyful character turns him into the main antagonist of probably the biggest hit currently on Broadway.

The animosity between the two reaches its pivotal point when Alexander Hamilton endorses Thomas Jefferson, yet another of Hamilton’s prominent enemies, in the elections of 1800 (“Jefferson has beliefs, Burr has none!”).  This leads to the duel in Weehawken, early in the morning of July 11, 1804. Hamilton took a shot in the air. Burr wasn’t in a merciful mood, ending their rivalry for good. One two three four! Five six seven eight nine! Number… Ten! Paces! Fire!

Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart (Chicago)

Velma Kelly is a veteran cellmate, who dreams of becoming a vaudevillian. She has great plans along with her cellmate Mama Morton and lawyer/promoter Billy Flynn.

And what can go wrong for an established star like Velma? Enter Roxie Hart! Roxie is a young and fame-driven lady that will do anything to prolong her 15 minutes of fame. Her first move was to steal Velma’s tricks, and then to steal her lawyer, thus setting one of the hottest rivalries on Broadway.

Roxie acts rather ruthlessly when it comes to gaining her glory. She tries to put the blame on Amos, her husband, for a murder she committed early in the show. With the aid of Billy Flynn, a media circus lawyer, she turns her trial into a vaudeville. She even pretends to be pregnant to bring back media attention to her. However, Billy takes control over her trial at the end and gets her acquitted.

Yet, that’s not the end! In the final scene, we see a vaudevillian duet. Composed of Roxie and Velma. Promoted by Mary Sunshine. Is all this arranged by Billy?

Regina George and Cady Heron (Mean Girls)

Regina George is the Queen Bee, the master of the high school. She’s seen making even teachers cry. Along with her pride of Plastics she roams and dominates the lunch hall.

A typical apex and master of the food chain, as seen by the new girl around – Cady Heron. She was recently transferred from the savannahs of Africa. She has seen a snake eating a cow and desires friends with hands. The Plastics hand-pick her to join them, and they introduce her to all of their deeds, including The Burn Book.

However, there’s friction between Regina and Cady. The newcomer quickly falls in love with her Queen Bee’s ex-boyfriend – Aaron. Cady confesses to the other, which prompts Regina to get back to him. Cady retaliates with making Regina fat by Kälteen Bars. She is aided by her socially-awkward friends Janis and Damian. By the way, Janis shares some common past with Regina.

The war heats up, Regina drops The Burn Book, which brings chaos to the school hall. Damian spots a remark that can only be written by Cady, so he and Janis dump her. Meanwhile, Cady gets dumped by Aaron, too. All alone, she embarks on a mission to mend fences with everyone, including Regina, who got hit by a bus (don’t worry, villains like her are hard to kill). “Mean Girls” has probably the sweetest ending, along with one of the meanest rivalries on Broadway.

Viscount Raoul de Chagny and The Phantom of the Opera (The Phantom of the Opera)

One of Broadway’s golden boys falls in love with a young, lovely chorus girl. Young, beautiful, lost childhood friends, Christine and Raoul are amongst Broadway’s all-time favorite couples. What can go wrong?

Well, Christine is the love interest of a mutilated macabre persona that lives in the catacombs under the Paris Opera, where she performs. To add to all of this he is a savant in several fields that poses cutting-edge technology and a misanthropic character. If that’s not enough, he is absolutely ruthless and doesn’t mind walking through corpses to reach his goal. The Phantom of the Opera is here!

The valiant knight in shiny armor clashes with the ultimate villain to produce arguably the deadliest rivalry on Broadway. Raoul concocts several plots to stop The Phantom, while the latter just walks in them, and smashes the young nobleman in every encounter. In the end he has his blade on Raoul’s throat, but Christine steps in and saves her beloved by the sheer power of kindness.

Suspense, action, and thrill. These heated rivalries on Broadway are the main story arcs of their shows. They are what makes places them in high demand, they are what makes them well-loved by generations of fans and contribute to the shows’ stage longevity.

What makes those rivalries on Broadway so heated? Is it the love of a woman?

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