Anyway, it got me thinking about my favourite musicals. I'm just considering the stage stuff here. So while I love Some Like It Hot, Moulin Rouge and the film version of The Wizard of Oz (although I saw it on stage in Stratford and was very disappointed) I'm not going to count them. Maybe I'll do musical films another time? The film of West Side Story is so good that no stage version I've seen can compete.
And some date. Recently I watched Carousel for the first time, wanting to see how You'll Never Walk Alone fits in, and was disgusted by the inherent sexism. Sample dialogue: 'I loved my wife'; 'Then why did you beat her?' 'I didn't beat her, I just hit her' - well, that's alright then! While the story-line was appalling, the dancing in the big numbers such as June is Busting Out All Over is excellent.
Often one song or one scene can steal the show. The opening chords of Phantom of the Opera send shivers down my spine. The set and staging of The Lion King brought a lump to my throat when I saw it in the West End. Watching my friend in purple tights in The Producers made me howl with laughter (sorry, Matt), and the production of Showboat that I saw in Oamaru is probably the best amateur musical I've ever seen.
Other musicals can be made by the people you saw performing in them. A great Che makes a fabulous Evita; a bad Enjolras ruins Les Miserables. I have a soft spot for Jesus Christ Superstar as it was the first musical I ever performed in. I know everyone feels affection for shows in which they have performed (with the possible exception of Rush!), so I am going to include only shows that I've seen rather than been in.
5 Favourite Musicals:
- My Fair Lady - I think this is the first musical I ever saw. I loved it. I wanted to act and sing and dance and entertain. I came home and I really could have danced all night. It's sublime. And when I saw it at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2002, there was no less magic.
- Oh, What a Lovely War! - a musical with a message: the changing mood of this has stuck with me for ever, and proves that musicals don't just have to be light and fluffly
- Me and My Girl - musicals can be light and fluffy. This is such fun - a sensational spectacle
- Cats - musicals don't have to have a point. All singing, all dancing felines with T.S. Elliot's words and Andrew Lloyd Webber's music - cat-tastic!