September 09, 2004

Best musicals

In today's Register-Mail, there was a little feature posting some of the staff's picks for the top five best musicals. A response was invited, so here's mine:

  1. The Music Man

    Easily the best out there. Pretty much an archetype of the ensemble-cast musical genre. The plot is interesting without being convoluted, there are a lot of good characters, and the music is simply excellent.

  2. Evita

    This musical has less parts than it seems---there's really only three, four if you count Magaldi. Plus the chorus, of course. But the show manages to be epic in spite of its really small cast; and the music is really diverse (and, again, excellent). I also have to confess that I was floored by the movie version of this, which had great promise and then went ahead and exceeded it. Madonna can act! Antonio Banderas can sing! Who knew?

  3. Moulin Rouge

    It could never be effectively made into a stage musical, but this show is such a clever amalgamation of a classic plot with stunning visuals and a surprising array of music from pop culture. I fear that it won't stand the test of time, but for now it definitely belongs on the list.

  4. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

    Musical theatre's answer to the screwball comedy, any decent production of this show will have you in stitches by the end. The music isn't quite as good or as memorable as with the first three, but it's well-suited to the show. Its chief liability (one it shares with some other pretty good musicals like Joseph and Seven Brides) is that it has a good-sized cast but very few decent female roles, so it doesn't get put on very often.

  5. The Sound of Music

    I had a hard time picking one show to fill this last slot, but in the end I settled on Sound of Music. It gets a bad rap because it is overplayed, but it's overplayed because it really is good. It's just a bit too cheesy to make it to the top of the list, but the wide range of catchy, memorable songs let it buy its way into the top five.

"I mean, look at poor Ann Landers: That woman was always stressing out about fake letters making it into her column---and where is Ann Landers today? Dead! No doubt from the stress of worrying about fake letters making it into her column! Personally, I'd rather have margaritas carry me off." --Dan Savage

Posted by blahedo at 11:03pm on 9 Sep 2004
I'd be willing to bet that someone, somewhere, is trying to figure out how to get the rights to do Moulin Rouge onstage. I mean, they did Titanic for cryin' out loud. You know, come to think of it, one of my biggest problems with the movie was it's cinematography, so maybe a stage version wouldn't be all bad... Posted by Chelsea at 12:08pm on 11 Sep 2004
Odd. It was the cinematography and the very visuality of the show that made me like it so much. If they do ever make a stage show of it, it would have to be very, very different. Posted by blahedo at 7:14pm on 11 Sep 2004
That's not to say that it was a very big problem, but there were definately moments where it was so visually interesting that I really wanted more than the split-second glimpse I got. It just bothered me in some moments, is all. Posted by Chelsea at 8:31pm on 11 Sep 2004
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