Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Best Musicals

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
2. Rent
3. Mary Poppins
4. Wicked
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?


Lisa said...

Stage musicals only? So that'd leave out things like Singing in the Rain, right?

Les Miserables
Footloose (the stage musical)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
A Chorus Line

I didn't think Mary Poppins on stage was all that, and I've never seen Rent or Wicked or Avenue Q.

And then there are musicals I haven't actually seen on stage, but I have the soundtracks and love them.

To Live Another Summer, To Pass Another Winter
JC Superstar

Great music.

Brenda Ferber said...

I could do a whole other post about favorite movie musicals. That's a good idea! I never saw Footloose on stage. Or Suessical. I loved A Chorus Line as a kid, but when I saw it last year, it seemed so dated and flat. Still love the music from that one, though. Cats bored me to tears. I may have been too young when I saw it.
Lisa, you would die laughing from Avenue Q and I know without a shadow of a doubt you would love Wicked. See them if you ever have a chance.

Anonymous said...

I have seen only 2 musicals and both were astonishing. Few months ago I saw Billy Elliot in London and this became one of the best experiences in my life - great story , talented cast . It left me breathless.

I have also seen Oliver , but a local production ( in Eastern Europe ) , not the one in the UK. I saw it 9 times in a row and what`s left for me now is to see the original in London as soon as I manage to get there again.

Brenda Ferber said...

Hi Skykid,
So glad you loved Billy Elliot. The more I think about it, the more I wish there was a word, "Dancical." Because then I would say it was the best dancical I've ever seen. I'm still thinking about those dance numbers now.
I love the music from Oliver. So powerful.
I hope you get to see lots more musicals.
Thanks for commenting.