Opinion: Musical Highs and Lows

This is based on something that I have noticed my fellow bloggers doing through Facebook but I thought I would write about on here to explain the reasons behind my choices…

Musical I Love: Guys and Dolls – much of this choice is down to the fact that it is set in the era that I would have most liked to have lived in. But it also has some absolutely classic songs that I find myself singing (when alone of course!) not least ‘Guys & Dolls’, ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ as well as characters that are always a delight to revisit – exaggerated of course but guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Musical I think is underrated:Show Boat a difficult choice really but the recent revival of Showboat (which sadly closed early at the New London Theatre) really highlighted what a classic musical this is – not least the gorgeous score that gives so many spine tingling moments and a bittersweet story that is emotional to watch unfold.

Musical I Cherish: Ghost – it might be based on a film, but my goodness I always find the music so beautiful and well composed that Ghost is certainly a musical that I keep falling in love with. The original production that I saw was mesmerising in terms of effects, so despite being cynical before going in by the time I came out of the theatre I had a new perspective.

Musical I think is overrated: Billy Elliot – perhaps I need to watch this one again knowing just how popular this musical is with audiences. But for me as amazingly talented as the cast who perform in it are, I didn’t feel able to engage with it fully and the music wasn’t particularly memorable. But now its on a UK tour – perhaps I  need to see it again to try and change my mind?

Musical I dislike: Into the Woods – I’m all for mixing things up particularly when it comes to fairytales but I’m just not convinced it pays off in this case. When watching it, it feels as though it is trying too hard to be clever – ultimately it is frustrating and I didn’t enjoy the music either.

Musical I Sob through: Les Miserables – probably an obvious choice, but there is something about this musical that really touches the soul and the emotions from beginning to end with songs such as ‘On My Own’ and ‘One Day More’, this is a show that knows how to draw out every drop of feeling from you, while making you care about the characters stories.

Musical I could listen to on repeat: Top Hat – I love musicals that are set between the 1920’s and 1950’s – which is why I’m so pleased 42nd Street and An American in Paris are in the West End at the moment. But Top Hat was such a great show to have in the West End as well because it features so many classic songs, gorgeous classical dancing and wonderful costumes.

Musical with songs I skip: Gypsy – now obviously none of the songs on which a talented Imelda Staunton sings in the recent revival, but there are one too many repetitions of ‘Let Me Entertain You’ throughout and some songs just felt awkward. It is still a great musical however and worth a watch.

Guilty pleasure musical: Grease – this is a musical that I quite happily watch over and over again because it just has that feel-good factor about it – no matter how corny it gets. Always cheers me up and puts a smile on my face!

Musical most excited to see: Half a Sixpence – given all its rave reviews I’m looking forward to seeing this one on Thursday – finally! I’m also not familiar with the music and always looking for a new musical soundtrack to appreciate so this is a very exciting week for me!


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