Everyone loves a bad boy. They are the bane of some lovers’ existences; they are also the fearless men who a just slightly off enough to make it attractive. Since the beginning of storytelling there were bad guys and good guys. The good guys wear white, the bad guys wear black, the good guys typically win, and bad guys are left wounded or sometimes even dead.
Still, without a good villain the story, any story, lacks that pizzazz that makes the tale pop. Our stories need good villains and bad guys if not for anything else, then to give our heroes someone to defeat. It is with this in mind that we bring to you some of our favorite bad guys from musicals.
1. Frank N. Furter
The first bad guy we love to hate on our list is a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. He not only holds virgins Brad and Janet in his home when they come for shelter from the storm, Frank N. Furter seduces them both into adulterous actions, creates a man he considers to be the perfect specimen of human with his own sexual desires in mind, and he kills Eddie.
Let’s face it, Frank N. Furter is a jerk, to the point where his own followers commit mutiny and over throw him. Yet, when he sings “Sweet Transvestite” or is chasing Rocky around the lab in his garters and platforms giggling like a child on Christmas morning, we can’t help but love this guy. Sure, we are relieved for everyone on the screen when Riff Raff executes him with a beam of antimatter, which annihilates Frank N. Furter. Yet, we miss know that the world of musicals won’t be nearly as much fun as it was with him in it.
2. Nathan Detroit
One of two bad guys on our list from Guys and Dolls today, Nathan Detroit is an underworld king on the streets of New York. He has a beautiful dancer, Adelaide, as his long-time girlfriend, and he has the respect of every hood on the streets. Still, things aren’t so great for Detroit, who has the cops following his every move while craps enthusiasts hound him to get one of his famous traveling games going.
Detroit is not only short the $1000 it would require to get the game going, his girlfriend won’t stop hounding him to get married. It seems he can’t seem to win. Then Detroit gets a brilliant idea to make a bet with his buddy from Chicago, Sky Masterson, who is rumored to never turn down a wager. Detroit bets Masterson $1000 that he couldn’t take a girl of Detroit’s choosing to Havana for dinner that evening.
Masterson is unable to refuse a bet and agrees. Just then, Missionary Sarah Brown comes by with her congregation and Detroit chooses her. It seems like for once Nathan is going to win. Little does he know how charming and shrewd Masterson is, and he should consider himself a winner just yet.
3. The Wicked Witch of the West
All bad guys are not just guys. There are some seriously evil women out there too and this green anti-beauty is as bad as they get. When poor little Dorothy was lifted with her house from the plain plains of Kansas she wasn’t aware that the storm would land the house on the Witch’s sister. Nor did the frightened child in blue gingham put those ruby slippers on her own feet. Glinda did that without even asking Dorothy what she wanted.
No matter what happened it just seemed that Dorothy was destined to be an enemy of the Wicked Witch, which is a position we would wish on our worst enemy. Between throwing fireballs at her friends and threatening to kill her dog. There is no doubt that the Witch is a villain that tops most villains.
Of course, Dorothy is no angel and asks for some of it when she and her three companions set out on a quest to get her broom. They do this for their own selfish reasons of wanting to get some vanity possessions like a brain, a heart, and some courage OR a questionable way to get back to Kansas. Still, the Witch had been taunting Dorothy and her clan since she first came to Oz and she kind of deserved everything she gets.
In fact, it’s hard to believe such a cunning bad gal would leave buckets of water lying around her home for sweet little girls to use against them. This lack in judgement was truly at the root of Dorothy destroying all of the Witch’s beautiful wickedness.
4. Harold Hill
In our next musical, the bad guy is also the good guy and the main character. This swindling salesman has spent his career riding the rails, stopping in little towns, and selling the locals on the idea that they need a boy’s band. His legacy is preceding him and other salesman are being driven out of town as soon as they arrive because of their experiences with this bad guy.
Of course, Hill finds another community of rubes in Iowa and takes advantage to sell his boys band by demonizing the new pool table at the billiards parlor. Hill preaches how the only thing that can save the young boys of this town from the corruption of a pool table is a band. He then promises he will help them by teaching their boys his new method of teaching music, which doesn’t require instruments.
Little do the folk of River City know that Harold Hill takes their money for instruments but doesn’t have any, nor can he read a sheet of music. The librarian is skeptical of him right from the beginning but she is not a favorable member of the community due to some overblown small town gossip. Yet, Marion’s fears of becoming a spinster outweigh her factual doubts about this swindler.
We still like Hill because he is charming and in the end, he falls in love with Marion and we are pleased to find that the boys get their instruments after all.
5. Sky Masterson
Masterson is our second bad guy we love to hate from the hit musical Guys and Dolls. He is the character we mentioned earlier that takes the bet from Nathan Detroit on whether or not he can get Sarah Brown from the local mission to join him for dinner in Havana. This was written at a time when Americans were allowed to travel freely to Cuba and it was a hot entertainment destination.
Brown declines Masterson’s invitation right from the beginning but he blackmails her into going when he learns that the head of the mission is threatening to shut her down if she doesn’t start producing some sinners for them to save. Masterson promises Brown that if she travels to Havana with him for the evening to have dinner he will fill her mission seats with sinners. She agrees and they have a wonderful evening and fall in love.
Unbeknownst to Masterson or Brown, Detroit uses the opportunity to hold his traveling craps game in the mission while they are gone. When Sarah finds out she grows angry at Sky, who insists truthfully that he had nothing to do with it. Eventually she forgives him and they all live happily ever after.
Folllow up with the 8 characters we love to hate!