Last weekend my husband and I took our three kids to see Billy Elliot, which is billed as "The Best Musical Ever." I loved Billy Elliot the movie, so I was really looking forward to the play. Before the show started, the director came on stage to tell the audience that the boy who was playing Billy that night was making his professional debut. So exciting! This kid, J.P. Viernes, only 13 years old, had more talent in his big toe than I have in my entire body. He commanded the stage like a seasoned pro. He sang. He acted. And he danced. Boy did he dance! After one number, the audience applauded for so long the play actually came to a stop. We almost gave him a standing ovation in the middle of the show.
But was it the Best Musical Ever? I don't think so. Though I laughed and cried and LOVED the dancing, I can't remember one song from it, not even one tune. And the story, though powerful, was told better in the movie version.
Which got me thinking about my favorite musicals of all time.
These are shows I would see again if given the opportunity. Shows I love to listen to on my iPod. Shows that made me laugh, cry, and walk out of the theater singing and smiling.
1. Les Miserables
3. Mary Poppins
5. Avenue Q
6. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
I wish I had a top ten list, but really, top six is all I can come up with. Perhaps that's a good thing. It means there are more shows for me to see and fall in love with in the future.
There is one more play I'd put on this list if I could, but it's not a musical. It's August, Osage County. Best non-musical play I've ever seen. Brilliant. See it if you have the chance.
So, what are your favorite musicals?