Musicals – why do we like them?
We don’t sing in every day life so why do we like them, and why do we refuse to admit we like musicals until we’re pushed to confess we actually love them?
I thought I would share my top 5 musicals ever, and why I love them. I’ve set some rules around how I’m judging them too –
- They have to have been on the stage AND screen for me to consider it a proper musical. Sadly this cuts out The Greatest Showman. I know it’s a fantastic musical but it came from Hollywood and I don’t like Hollywood very much, because they’re old fashioned and don’t employ disabled people other than a person of short stature, who are also usually white men. I love Peter Dinklage and Sam Humphrey but there are more diverse people that could be just as good as them if not better that aren’t always white men. I know I’m a white male saying that but I don’t think white men can be seen as diverse casting just because of a wheelchair or shorter than the average person.
- The screen version has to be a proper movie and not just a filming of the live theatre show. That’s Hamilton out, and it’s the best stage musical ever. I haven’t been to see it on stage but I want to. I know it’s available as a film of the stage production, but that’s not a proper film in my opinion. It’s fantastic and everyone should watch it, but it is not a proper film. It’s a live stream recording, but it is amazing. I think everyone should watch it because it’s full of incredible poetry and I love it.
Those are my rules. You can disagree with them. It’s up to you. If you don’t like my rules you don’t have to read on but it would be a waste of time not to keep reading because you’ve got this far and I only said about three things, and only two about the subject that I’m actually talking about. Here goes then, my top 5 musicals of all time –
- In at NUMBER 5 is Rent. It’s a magnificent musical by Jonathan Larson and it tackles issues of homelessness, friendship, and general life. It was wonderful on stage and screen, heartbreaking at points and so magical at others. It gets quite sexy but also stunningly beautiful. It’s a bit of a marathon, but worth the time because it’s so entertaining and joyful.
- In at NUMBER 4 is Avenue Q. It’s fantastically funny, emotional, and extraordinary. It’s a musical by Jeff Whitty with puppets, but it’s not for children!! The musical is done with such cheese, but top standard cheese like melted brie. It’s more than hilarious. It’s about finding yourself and finding out that helping others feels good for everyone. I love the morals in it. It was created about 10 to 15 years ago, but it makes comments on every aspect of life and it is stunningly funny.
- In at NUMBER 3 is Aladdin. Disney are the masters of making musicals and this musical, in all its forms, is fantastic. It’s a story of entrapment and changing the culture that we live in, which is so uplifting. It’s romantic but it’s amazing and it has some of the best songs ever made by Disney. ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Whole New World’ are up there with the best songs in the history of musical theatre and film.
- In at NUMBER 2 is Tommy by the Who. the horrific concept album makes a psychedelic musical. Hard hitting and bruising, this is musical about rebellion and depression. It’s a rock opera of a boy growing up, deaf, dumb, and blind, who was abused, and his journey into adulthood. This incredible story of Tommy is amazing.
- In at NUMBER 1 is The Lion King. This stunning musical by Tim Rice and Elton John needs no explanation. It’s wonderful, funny, and entertaining. Admittedly the story is obviously based on Hamlet by Shakespeare. Some people might disagree with that, but the pink pink lion time is definitely Hamlet. I can’t believe kids watch it because it’s brutal in parts. The songs are amazing, I love them. They’re so powerful and emotional. It’s my favourite musical of all time, on stage and screen.