Musical Theatre!

Hello all!

I was wondering if anyone here was interested in musical theatre and in which case, which ones do you like or not like and what is the reason?

I adore Rent. It is my favourite musical of all time. It has drive, energy, great songs and a great message.

My least favourite is the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Love Never Dies…I got the CD and listened to it, but the songs are dreadful…I know it is not the same as seeing it performed but…ouch!

I used to act in musicals. My favourite is still Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve also acted in Hot Mikado, Once Upon a Mattress (which is actually a rendition of The Princess and the Pea), Into the Woods, and The Wizard of Oz.

Oh my goodness…a Catholic who likes Jesus Christ Superstar?! LOL I never thought I’d see the day. I love it.

I love Rent too! A great balance of quality but catchy music, a serious and thought provoking message and plot, yet still good fun and somehow uplifting.

Love most anything by Sondheim. Kander and Ebb, Schwartz and Cy Coleman. I’m also starting to fall in love with some of the old silver screen musical film songs.

I do love Jesus Christ Superstar…it is just a brilliant musical and I love the character dynamics in it…

I love Gypsy. I love all the music, and I love the mix of happy life with tragic life. I think that I and many other mothers of theater children identify with Mama Rose. I dislike the Bette Midler film version, BTW. I prefer this musical live rather than in a movie. After all, much of the story takes place backstage or on stage, so the perfect venue is a stage. Lyrics are by the great Sondheim!

I also love Finian’s Rainbow, but it’s seldom produced these days. Too uncomfortable for a modern audience. But what a brilliant message against racism.

I tend to prefer the musicals in which the singing is part of the story rather than something that just happens out of the blue. E.g., I love *Fiddler on the Roof * because many of the songs are just part of everyday life for Tevye and his family. The Sabbath prayer isn’t just some song that the family suddenly starts singing (weird!)–it’s a prayer and it makes sense to be singing it at mealtime.

The music that cracks me up the most is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I could sit through this a million times, it’s soooooo funny! Not appropriate for young children, BTW–there are erection jokes, and also lots of stereotypes that young children may be confused by.

I also like Sweeney Todd, but not the movie. I prefer a “staged” bloodiness. Again, the wonderful Sondheim! He is so multi-talented!

One musical that I highly recommend is Hairspray. I thought it sounded stupid and trite, but I went because my husband’s synchronized skating team skated to this music (as have many other figure skaters and synchro teams), and I felt that it would be useful to know what the story is all about. I was completely taken by surprise–this show is one of the best anti-racism venues that I have ever seen. It’s just delightful. I want to see it again and again! Highly appropriate for children and teenagers. Wonderful music and the dancing–it makes you want to get up and join in! It’s really fantastic and if you have a chance to see it, go. I wish that it was more clear from the promotional material that this is a show that African Americans would love–I think that the promotional material makes it look like the show is about a fat girl. Not at all.

My daughter is a professional stage manager, and has been backstage for several of the Broadway musicals, including West Side Story (the current revival, with the Spanish and English) and Phantom of the Opera. Her ex-boyfriend (still a friend) worked with the Rent tour. I’ve asked her what her favorite musical is, and she can’t pin it down. She likes so many of them. She highly recommends the new musical on Broadway called Next to Normal. It’s about clinical depression. She said she started crying during the first song and really didn’t stop crying until the end.

I like “Rent,” also, and most every song, though I have always been a “Rocky Horror” fan. Great scott! :slight_smile:

Not a big fan of putting Green Day’s music onto Broadway (that’s just wrong), so that gets my vote for least favorite.

Sounds like Les Mis :wink:

I love Hairspray too. I was exactly like you, thought it would be teeny trite, and when I started to study it there was so much more to it, and to be able to convey a rather profound message in such energetic, upbeat songs is really clever.

I love Rose’s Turn from Gypsy…very difficult song to perform though! I gave it a go and had to admit defeat.

I think Cabaret was and still is amazing, if not for the full story of the characters involved, but the way it maps the rise of the Nazis from the point of view from people who were just unfortunate enough to get caught up in it. Quite dark on one level, if you look into it.

I find it unfortunate when song lyrics or a song is changed to suit a ‘modern’ audience, because they’re afraid that it will offend these days. If a book is written in the 1920s and uses language or arguments from the point of view of a 1920s person, that’s not changed in a reprint. I think it’s just as important to keep original lyrics and songs intact, even if it does run the risk of being close to the edge, because it’s a testament to the social and cultural backdrop the actual show was written against, and so only makes it more understandable. One song in Cabaret in particular made me think of that, because it is often changed, which I think is a shame because it completely spoils the message of the song.

LOL Forgot about Rocky Horror! Love that too…just too much fun to be had.

Hands down the best ever!

I love musicals! I’m spoiled here in St. Louis because we have a wonderful outdoor theater called the MUNY with a great summer season of musicals for a reasonable price. They tend to do mostly the classics but I love most of those so that is fine by me. Last season ended with Hair Spray which was amazing done on that huge stage. I actually saw it the first time at the movies with a group of friends. I knew the basic racism plot but one of my friends didn’t. Her gasp at one of the early songs when they sing about the Corny show being “white” was funny.

I keep saying that when my children are off the parent plan I’m getting season tickets to the Fox Theater where the Broadway tours play. I love, love Wicked that was there this summer. One of these days I’m going to see a show on Broadway :).


I adore Rocky Horror, Gypsie…all of those! So good to see people getting into this!

Anyone ever seen or listened to Assassins?

I love Assassins. It’s very different and a bit strange, but very good story telling. That’s another musical that’s often altered when performed.

I’ve noticed that, Michael! Isn’t it strange? But some things are clearly dependant on budget, stage, the cast and available resources for the crew. I don’t really have experience within that industry (closely related, but not quite), but I can assume that just like a movie set it all depends on budget, vision and so on.

I think so. And to be honest, in my opinion a really well written show should still work in a concert format, because the story should still be in the music/lyrics. I was thinking specificially with Assassins about language that is changed for fear of causing offence, much like Cabaret and Showboat. Similarly, a whole song is often omitted from Hair. I understand why they don’t want to offend people, but I supposed the impact the composer/lyricist intended by using a particular word is then lost if it is changed. A tricky scenario!

I basically associate most with Sondheim and Kander and Ebb because they write a lot of stuff for alto voices, which is what I am, so they produce a lot of songs that I can perform, unlike Lloyd-Webber :wink:

That is very true! Concerts should work just as well if the music is great!

And I think I know the song from Hair! Is it the sex one?

I do think that once something is written, it is done…people shouldn’t necessarily take offence of it as it has been made either for artistic expression or just plain old fun…like the Jerry Springer thing!

LOL Oh man! Did that spark trouble over here when the BBC aired a recording of Jerry Springer! I didn’t get it, I just thought ‘if you know it’s going to offend you, don’t watch it’.

It also made me laugh that people objected to it on religious grounds. I actually had no problem with the content…it was the unoriginal musical structure and musical theme development that offended me :wink:

And actually, I thought there was a pretty touching line in it that God sings…it struck a chord so to speak (no pun intended!). When he sings ‘Millions of voices making all the wrong choices, then turning round and blaming me’. I thought that was pretty deep for a comedy actually!

But not to fret, I can’t sing any of the songs from it anyway because all the female songs are too high :wink:

I love that song and I know what you mean…it isn’t very original. For originality, I turn some off-broadway stuff like for instance Repo! The Genetic Opera.

And yes, Jerry Springer did cause a lot of trouble over here! At least as far as I remember…I sort of ignored it until it came out and even then my other half said he didn’t want to watch it, which is fair enough. He’d get offended…

“I just want an apology…” :shrug:

I recently saw Next to Normal and Memphis on Broadway. Both were excellent, albeit very different shows. I loved the storyline in N2N, Memphis had great music and dancing.

My favorite musical is still Wicked… I just loved the BIG production feel of it, plus it helps that I am a big fan of the color green. :smiley:

Least favorite musical is Rock of Ages. The current lead on Broadway is a former American Idol runner up from a few seasons ago… Constine something… He has a unbelievable voice … he literally gave me goosebumps - but the story line was stupid beyond description and really raunchy.

I LOVE musicals!!! I try to see at least two or three every year…

Has anyone seen Billy Elliot? It’s currently playing here in Chicago. I toyed with going to see it but I’ve heard from several people that it was actually rather boring??

I absolutely love musical theatre (the local theater is like my second home). I’ve done tech work for shows like Once Upon a Mattress and Beauty and the Beast. I’ve also been in the ensemble of Fiddler on the Roof, and just recently, one of the daughters of the “Modern Major General” in The Pirates Of Penzance.

Shows I’ve seen and loved include Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, and Seussical the Musical. I really want to see Phantom of the Opera.

I think you’re talking about Constantine Maroulis, from American Idol.

We saw Billy Elliot in the West End of London a couple years back. The language is a little raw (and realistic, apparently) and there is a pro-homosexuality undercurrent. However, I found it a moving story, and we loved the dancing (our lives revolved around ballet for many years, as both of our girls danced in a small ballet company).

Les Mis is my all time favorite, and I always cry my eyes out by the end. The story, the music…everything just really gets to me.

I also love Phantom, and South Pacific (recently saw the Lincoln Center production on tour in San Francisco…wonderful!) Camelot is a longtime favorite.

It’s been a while since we’ve made it to New York, but we have a friend who used to dance with my girls who’s currently in Promises, Promises, and has been in Fosse, The Producers, Movin’ Out, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins (understudied and got to play Bert for several weeks.) There’s nothing quite like Broadway, and I can’t wait to get there again.

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