I adore musicals. A lot. Like a lot, a lot. It was once a dream of mine to be on Broadway. (That was right after my I’m-going-to-be-Rockette phase.) I can sing, not well, but well enough that people don’t run in the opposite direction and I did dance for 17 years, so I’m pretty much just waiting for the Queen’s Theater to call and ask me to play Eponine.
I’ve been to see a good number of musicals between the traveling productions that come here and two trips to New York and one to England. Oh, and the community shows that I’ve seen/been in. This number does NOT include movie musicals. While I adore those too, it’s not the same. Seriously not the same.
So what are my favorites?
1. Les Miserables – absolute number one most favorite musical I have ever seen, will ever see. This probably has to do with a number of things including the fact that the music is amazing, the story is heartbreaking, and that I saw it in the Queen’s Theater. It was a perfect experience and I can barely listen to bits and pieces of the production without tearing up. (I’m serious. I caught the last bit of the 25th Anniversary production on PBS the other day and cried when Enjolras (played by the amazing Ramin Karimloo) took his bow.)
2. The Lion King– it’s so different (and so much better!) from the original Disney version. I only saw the traveling production, but I thought it was fantastic. From the music to the costumes to the animals, it’s an amazing experience from beginning to end. I get goosebumps just thinking about the opening number.
3. Wicked – I also saw this in London, but I’ve been in love with the soundtrack for quite some time. Of course, no one can match Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, but the West End cast I saw was pretty terrific. This is such an interesting show; lots of green of course, but also lots of black and white. I really enjoyed the chorus here and though they really bring a great element to the show. This is one of the few shows that makes me want to jump out of my seat on several occasions.
4. RENT – this was the first musical I ever loved. Or I should say the first musical I ever loved without seeing the actual show. I’ve still never actually seen the show. It’s only on this list because I can pretty much sing it from beginning to end. I’ve seen enough YouTube clips to know how things are supposed to look, plus I own the movie which has enough similarities (including most of the original cast) to help me imagine how awesome the show must be in real life. But I’m not sure I could ever watch it without Adam Pascal.
Those are my favorites. There are others, Anything Goes, A Chorus Line, and Phantom of the Opera come to mind, but these are the ones that love. The ones that I own the soundtracks, sing along to all the time, and, occasionally, reenact.
Do you love musicals? What are your favorites?