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Favourite musicals

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Post  operafantomet Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:31 am

I was sure we had a topic like this already, but I guess not...

1. Phantom of the Opera (ALW version)
I don't even want to explain why. Y'all know what I love, like and dislike in it. Favourite scenes: PONR and the Overture

2. Which Witch
The one that got me hooked on musicals in the first place. Written in the style of the "British mega musicals of the 80's", and more of an opera musical really. Noble girl falls in love with catholic bishop in the 1530s, very "Thornbirds", but with a more disasterous end. Alas big book problems a la Chess, but lots and lots of lovely music and an interesting basic. Maria Kesselman was alternate for the lead when the show opened in London in 1992, and she was gorgeous. The production, however, was slaughtered to pieces and the musical didn't recover until the late 90's. I've seen basically every production of it, and still adore it. But the book... the book... Favourite scenes: "How do you feel?" and "The Executioner"

3. Chess
As mentioned in the Chess thread, serious book problems and also an odd choice of making a musical of. I mean, chess?? Really? But with an oh-so-gorgeous score. Outstanding solo songs, and excellent chorus parts. And Time Rice's lyrics is a joy. Like Anatoly's comment about his opponent in "Quartet":
I'm not getting rich, my only interest is in something which gives me the chance of working with the best
I can only say I hope your dream comes true. Till that far-off day I hope you cope with helping number two."

Gotta love it. And I should add that the whole chess theme made a lot more sense to me when I saw the Stockholm production and they clearly showed that the main characters are played like chess pieces by Molokov. Favourite scenes: Anthem and "One Night in Bangkok". And Quartet.

4. Evita
I love the mixture of sting, elegance and sarcasm in this one. Again Tim Rice's lyrics in top shape, but I also think it's one of ALW's best scores. And excellent staging, both in the original production and in the latino-inspired London revival. I'm fascinated that they managed to write a genuinely interesting musical of a recent first lady in a latin country. Somehow it doesn't sound like the obvious musical hit, but it works. It works so well! Favourite scenes: "I'd be surprisingly good for you/Hello and goodbye" and "You must love me".

5. Sweeney Todd
Another unlikely subject for a musical - a revengeful killer barber and his suspicious pie-making companion... But bring it on! It's so well solved, so dark, so edgy, so thrilling, so fun! A less hummable Sondheim score, but the songs are memorable and atmospheric. Favourite scenes: can't pick one. Sorry.

6. Kristina från Duvemåla
Possibly a guilty pleasure... because it's way too long and massive, still I love it to pieces. Again some outstanding solo songs towards the backdrop of gorgeous ensemble pieces. It tells the story of Swedish immigrants, from the time they leave Sweden and until some years after they've settled in America. Favourite scenes: the whole sequence from "Down to the sacred wave" and until "You had to be there".

7. Les Miserables
This one has climbed higher up on my list than before, basically because of the music and because I've seen two good productions recently. I still have problems with the whole Javert character (though, ironically, it's one character I think is most fun to watch) and his motivations, but the music is really addictive. Favourite scenes: "At the end of the day" and Javert's suicide

8. Mary Poppins
I claimed in my review from Denmark that it wasn't on my top 10 list. Turns out I lied... Or rather, it has grown on me, rapidly. It's a rich and lovely piece, and a bit darker than other glittering musicals from the last decade. I'm also impressed by how well they've fused old and new music, it's a coherent score despite four different composers being involved (or rather, two teams). Favourite scenes: "Temper, temper" and "Brimestone and treacle"... and "Rooftop duet"

9. A Little Night Music
This is an odd and jolly little thing, possibly one of Sondheim's most approachable musicals. I like how elder characters are in focus and how it's an ensemble piece. I also like how intricate the melodies and compositions are - yet it's one of Sondheim's most "hummable" scores. Never seen it live, but it's high on my list! I've seen the Hal Prince movie version (which I enjoyed though it halters a bit) and the original Bergman movie it's based on. I hope it'll be produced in Norway soon! Favourite scenes: "Remember?" and "Send in the clowns"

10. Jesus Christ Superstar
Admittedly this one climbed up on my list after having seen the 2009 Oslo production several times. It might first and foremost be that production I'm a fan of, but I'm adding it anyhow. And whaddayaknow, another Tim Rice work! Favourite scenes: "Gethsemane" and "Pilate and Christ"

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Post  phantomphan1992 Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:39 pm

1. Phantom of the Opera- It was this show which got me interested in musicals to begin with. And no matter how many shows I see, nothing has ever come close to comparing to this show.

2. Next to Normal- I haven't seen this show yet, but the music is wonderful, the story is touching, and the cast is amazing. I haven't been able to listen to anything else since August.

And this is where my list falls apart. Other favorites, no longer in order, include:

Les Miserables- Again, I haven't seen it, but I love the music and the story.

Rent- The entire second act had me in tears. Very inspirational story.

Legally Blonde- Fun, upbeat, and uplifting, with a lot of heart underneath its pink exterior.

Wicked- I love this show for a lot of the same reasons I love Legally Blonde. It's fun, but there's a relatable message. And there are two female leads, which doesn't happen terribly often.

Side Show- Never got to see this one, but I love the music. It's possibly one of the most underrated shows of all time.

Thoroughly Modern Millie- Another one I never saw, but, again, the music and story are fun.

Beauty and the Beast- Before I say anything else, I have to mention that the Disney movie is my favorite movie of all time. Listening to the music makes me instantly happy, and it still has the story that I love so much.

Mary Poppins- I like the musical more than I ever liked the movie (in fact, I'm not sure I've ever been able to watch the whole movie). Great music and, in my opinion, more interesting storyline than the movie. A very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

Happy Days- I'm glad I got these tickets from my aunt, because I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Fun music, great dance numbers, and some already very well-love characters make for a great show.

101 Dalmatians- Good music, fun sets and very creative costumes. It was relatively short (which makes sense, since it's obviously geared toward children), but I really liked it. It was funny, it was cute, and it was fun. And the cast members were all so incredibly gracious, especially the children.

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Post  SenorSwanky Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:37 pm

Les Mis
Sweeney Todd
Jesus Christ Superstar
Sound of Music (though this is one where I prefer the film to the stage version)

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Post  LadyCDaae Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:37 pm

My top ten, more or less in order (although much depends on my particular mood/whim of the moment):

1.) Phantom of the Opera: Um, duh.

2.) Sweeney Todd: I have a weakness for homicidal, love-crossed Victorians, I guess. The score is so wonderfully complex and beautiful (and friggin' difficult to sing, too!), and the story is a fabulous melodrama laced with a wicked dark humor.

3.) Oklahoma!: The show responsible for getting me interested in music theater. Rodgers and Hammerstein in top form.

4.) A Chorus Line: You don't need to be an opera ghost or a wicked witch to have a good story to tell. Michael Bennett's tribute to "gypsies" is a celebration of the complexity and uniqueness of everyday, regular folks. Playing Bebe in college was the highlight of my brief and undistinguished acting career.

5.) The Music Man: It's just so much fun--the catchy music, the wealth of memorable characters. Good old-fashioned musical comedy.

6.) Once On This Island: Star-crossed love with Caribbean flavor. Needs more love.

7.) Les Miserables: It can't have been easy to turn Victor Hugo's sprawling epic into a piece of workable theater, but it works. Oh dear God, does it ever work.

8.) Beauty and the Beast: I'm a bit biased here--the film is one of my all-time favorite movies. But Menken and Rice fleshed out the score nicely for the stage, and "Home" is still one of my favorite solos.

9.) Wicked: One of those shows that takes huge liberties with its source material, yet works very well on its own level. "Defying Gravity" is high on my list of "songs to blast on the speakers and sing at the top of my lungs while driving down the highway."

10.) Chicago: Only seen on film, but I love the snarky, dark satire of the music.

Honorable mention: In the Heights, which I haven't seen yet but the cast recording is the best I've come across in the past several years. Replace "Defying Gravity" above with "96,000."

Guilty Pleasures: Jekyll and Hyde and the Kopit/Yeston Phantom, which have high cheese levels but also lots of stuff that, in the right hands, is extremely effective.



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Post  ML6 Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:29 pm

1. The Phantom of the Opera
2. Elisabeth
3. Les Miserables
4. Into the Woods
5. Romeo et Juliette
6. Aida
7. Tanz der Vampire
8. Sweeney Todd
9. Le Roi Soleil
10. Der Glockerner von Notre Dame

Other notables: Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Sound of Music, Cinderella, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Joseph (sad), Sunset Boulevard, My Fair Lady, Camelot ... the list can go on, but those come to mind. I really enjoy the ones based off historical figures or literature books.

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Post  Soprano Rose Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:02 pm

The Phantom of the Opera (ALW)
Notre Dame de Paris
Les Miserables
Sweeney Todd
Miss Saigon

Soprano Rose

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Post  Miranda Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:26 am

In no particular order:

Phantom of the Opera This is the one that after seeing live got me into my passion for seeing more stage productions.

Sound of Music I was exposed to the film since childhood. I also prefer the film version to the stage production.

The Scarlet Pimpernel This is a show that you feel good when leaving. Some nice songs and quite a bit of humor in some scenes ("Creation of Men" or when the Percy character acts the fop).

Miss Saigon

Les Miserables

She Loves Me I like a lot of the music and was fortunate to see a production of it several times. I like the whole pen pal idea.

The Wedding Singer I like a lot of the music and found it to be a very entertaining show. For someone who grew up in the '80's, one can pick up on many of the "jokes" etc.

Legally Blonde I wasn't certain about this one but gave it a shot and thoroughly enjoyed it. Watched the movie after seeing the musical and liked the latter so much more.

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