On Craigslist in the Missed Connections section, men and women leave notes trying to find people they have shared a subway car or a park bench with who could be "the one" or maybe just the "the one" for a night. If their note never reaches their intended they may never see them again. Inspired by this love that should have been, we came up with 20 clueless Broadway musical characters who keep missing a connection — night, after night, after night. If any of them (Bobby? Eponine?) are reading Playbill.com right now, contact your book writer for the happy ending you deserve.
Eponine and Enjolras from Les Miserables
Karma's a b****. No musical theatre character knows this better than Eponine Thenardier, who was headed towards some bad vibes after the way she treated her parents' ward Cosette when they were young, but the thieves' daughter experienced much more heartache and struggle than she deserved. Marius, the love of her life, falls for Cosette and then Eponine dies while trying to deliver him a note from Cosette as the political rebellion begins. Maybe Marius' two best friends — who share a rebellious, passionate streak — would have been better off together, and we're not the first people to think Eponine and Enjolras could have been a match made in barracks heaven. A quick Google dig unearths fan fiction and YouTube mashups dedicated to what their relationship could have been if only they had both survived the revolution.
Mary Flynn and Charley Kringas from Merrily We Roll Along
What's that old saying? Oh yes, "Women and men can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way." Well not many musical theatre characters prove this theory as much as Mary Flynn, the novelist, who washes down her feelings for her "old friend" the edgy composer-turned-sellout producer Franklin Shepard with bottles of wine. Mary thinks she loves Frank for the person he once was, but what she didn't see — as an ambitious 20-something, newly-minted New Yorker — was what a user Frank always was. It's Charley, Frank's lyricist and her other "old friend," who has the deep-seeded integrity and loyalty she thought she saw in Frank. Charley, of course, ends up marrying a nice girl named Evelyn, but he seems to wish Mary had gone for him too when she sings about the threesome's changing friendship in the Act II ballad "Like it Was."
Amos Hart and Mary Sunshine from Chicago
Although Mary Sunshine is often revealed to be a man at the end of the show, the gullible, overly positive newspaper reporter would have been the perfect rebound for the cuckolded husband of the murderous Roxie Hart. She's safe, sweet and can see "a little bit of good in everyone," just like Amos always gives Roxie the benefit of the doubt. She would at least see Mister Cellophane, which is a big step up from his wife, but being the doormats they both are they wouldn't be able to get rid of Roxie that easily. She'd probably scam them into being silent producers of her and Velma Kelly's new act.
Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Frid from A Little Night Music
Countess Charlotte Malcolm has been putting up with her husband, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm's affairs with sassier women like Desiree Armfeldt for so many years that she just accepts misery as a normal part of life. The Countess needs to know what it feels like to be desired again. As evidenced in the dinner scene at the country house, there is obviously a sex kitten trapped in her corset just waiting to be let out, and Madame Armfeldt's butler is just the man to release it. Frid did hook up with fellow servant Petra during the weekend in the country, but if Charlotte had gotten to him first and given him the go ahead to rise up the ranks, they both may have benefited. Petra dreams of marrying out of her class, and Charlotte needs someone she can have control over for a bit to regain her confidence and trust. After a few romps in the hay with Frid her declaration that "love's a dirty business" could have a whole new meaning.
Joey Evans and Gladys Bumps from Pal Joey
Career nightclub creatures Joey Evans and Gladys Bumps are cut from the same pair of fishnets. They are ruthless rough-and-tumble hustlers who would be better off watching each other's backs then stabbing them. A woman as sweet and naive as his sometimes girlfriend Linda will never be able to get Joey to behave, and it turns out his cougar benefactor Vera Simpson can't buy his love for long. Joey needs a tough broad like Gladys who will call him out on his bulls**t as she does at the beginning of the musical. If she could just forgive each other for their rocky past the performing pair could start their own act complete with a rousing rendition of "You Musn't Kick it Around."
Mark and Val from A Chorus Line
There were probably plenty of showmances that stemmed from the emotionally raw audition the Chorus Line dancers experienced together, but our money's on Mark and Val being the first to connect offstage. Mark speaks openly about his fascination with the female body during his monologue and Val — after some surgery on her "tits and ass" — has a great one.
Liat and Luther Billis from South Pacific
Liat and the handsome Lieutenant Joseph Cable's storyline is full of lust — but not necessarily love. Cable has a fiance back home and never once stopped to think, during he and Liat's romantic night on Bali Hai, how misleading his actions would appear to Liat. Even though they slept together, the Lieutenant seems genuinely shocked at the idea of marrying Bloody Mary's daughter and is, at first, unwilling to overcome the prejudices he would face back home. Of course he changes his tune a bit, but it's too late. Seabee Luther Billis, on the other hand, is not as handsome, but he shows a sweet and sensitive underbelly beneath his clownish exterior. Plus he already has the love/hate son-in-law report with Bloody Mary down pat and he's obsessed with Bali Hai. If Liat and Luther were married, Luther and Bloody Mary could combine their competing souvenir businesses and outfit the whole island in grass skirts.
Raoul Vicomte de Chagny and Meg Giry from The Phantom of the Opera
This may upset die-hard fans of the long-running show but Christine Daaé has a dark side that her childhood friend-turned-lover Raoul makes clear he doesn't even want to try and get to know. He is always dismissing her complicated feelings of passion and fear for the Angel of Music instead of listening and trying to understand. Before Tinder, one of the best ways to meet a mate was through a friend, so maybe it would have been better for the rising ingenue to introduce her best friend Meg to Raoul. Raoul and Meg are simple people who may have gone on to live happily oblivious lives if they hadn't been dragged into Christine and the Phantom's drama.
Ellen Scott and John Thomas from Miss Saigon
While serving in Vietnam Chris Scott met Kim, the love of his life, after his good friend and fellow marine John Thomas encouraged him to hook up with a dancer at Dreamland. Since he already had promised himself to Kim, maybe he should have repaid the favor to John when he met Ellen. A man does not need two loves on opposite sides of the world. As the audience learns, that approach always comes back to haunt you. If John and Ellen had gotten together then Chris would have been free to bring Kim and their son Tam to America and this would have been a much different play. Instead of ending with Kim's death the foursome could have been enjoying a nice barbecue together back in the States at the curtain's close.
Bobby and Peter from Company
The scene between Bobby and Peter, when they discuss homosexuality tends to get a lot of laughs… but maybe they are on to something? Both of them have experimented (Peter more than Bobby) and are unhappy in their current situations. Bobby's problem with finding the right woman to settle down with might be that he doesn't actually want a woman at all. If not with Peter, he should explore that side of him a little more just to make sure he's been playing the right side of the field.