Recently, many of my performing arts friends have been passing around a list on Facebook, discussing their favorite (and least favorite) shows. It’s reminded me of shows I haven’t thought about in ages, given me some new ones to check out, and inspired a few laughs at some of the unexpected opinions.
There are multiple variations of the list focusing on musical theatre, plays, or strictly Shakespeare, so I thought it would be fun to devote a couple of posts here to my take on each.
First up, the musicals!
- MUSICAL I LOVE: The Wedding Singer
I loved the movie first and was delighted to discover there was a musical based on it. When I got to see the touring production, I was not disappointed; The Wedding Singer has plenty of the details I love from the movie, plus more songs and even more ’80s references.
- MUSICAL I HATE: The Last 5 Years
I know people who passionately love this musical, but it’s just not for me. The music is good, and the idea of telling the story through alternating timelines is really intriguing, but the characters absolutely infuriate me.
- MUSICAL I THINK IS OVERRATED: Rent
Like The Last 5 Years, most of my problems with Rent stem from the characters. None of them seem to be aware that being true to your art and responsible adulting are not mutually exclusive options.
- MUSICAL I THINK IS UNDERRATED (TIE): Next to Normal, Assassins
Next to Normal did win a Pulitzer Prize in 2010, so it isn’t critically underrated, but it’s not one that I hear a lot of people talk about just listening to or sharing with friends. I think the music is really good, and the story is beautifully raw.
Assassins is one that I recommend with caveats. The subject matter and strong language definitely make it an adult show, but the history nerd in me finds it fascinating.
- MUSICAL I COULD LISTEN TO ON REPEAT: Into the Woods
This is one of the CDs that lives in my car, and I often sing along with it to pass the time on road trips.
- MUSICAL I’D STILL WANT TO DO: Into the Woods
If you’ve followed this blog for very long, I’m guessing you’ve picked up on my affinity for fairy-tales, so it’s no surprise I’d still be interested in participating in this show if the opportunity came along. Especially since I already sing it in my car fairly often.
- MUSICAL THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSICALS: Little Shop of Horrors
I first saw Little Shop of Horrors in the 8th grade, when the local high school performed it, and it was awesome. It was catchy, it was funny, it was different, and it was really well done (a couple of the cast members went on to pursue careers in theatre). I knew then that I wanted to be a part of something like that when I got to high school.
- GUILTY PLEASURE: Wicked
Everybody knows Wicked nowadays, so much so that it’s become somewhat cliché to say you like it, which is why even though it is a pleasure to watch or listen to, it does feel like a bit of a guilty one…
- MUSICAL I SHOULD HAVE SEEN BY NOW BUT HAVEN’T: Oklahoma
Honestly, the only songs I can even name from Oklahoma are the title song and “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”
How about you? What are some of the musicals you love and loathe? Any you wish you could perform in? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Coming up next week in Part 2: Shakespeare!