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The Wrath

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What musicals have you seen and which are your favorites?

The only 2 I have actually seen on stage are Phantom of the Opera and Fiddler on the Roof. I've seen the movie version of Grease. In high school, I played about 6 different parts in The Music Man, I played Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and I was on stage crew for the Wizard of Oz.

My favorite music is, unquestionably, from Phantom of the Opera. The actual play is not particularly well-written, but I always thought the music was fantastic. I absolutely hate the Music Man. I like the Wizard of Oz...I mean, how can you not like it? Although, I still say the movie is better than the play. The movie is what everyone grew up watching, and there are too many things in the movie (Toto, the ruby slippers, etc.) that are not in the play. I also love the music from Grease, but I find the story somewhat lacking.

Overall, my favorite musical is definitely Fiddler on the Roof. I love the music and I like that it is actually set against the background of a turning point in world history. It's the only musical I know of that puts a real historical backdrop at the center of the storyline. Besides that, I've always been fascinated by Jewish culture and Russian history, so putting them both in a play that has great music is enough to make it my favorite musical. I tried out for the part of Tevye in high school and our director actually said that I did the best job at tryouts, but I didn't look the part because I wasn't big enough. Imagine my distress when I was told I would be playing a Bolshevik revolutionary instead.

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I've seen many musicals and lots of operas.

My all-time favorite is Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann". It succeeds as both "opera" and "musical."

Of modern-day musicals, I liked "Phantom of the Opera", "Sinigin' in the Rain", and "West Side Story" best.

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The only musicals I'm familiar with are Andrew Lloyd Webber's. Of those, I like "Joseph". From the little I have seen of "Jesus Christ Superstar", I think I'd like that too. I view them both as light-hearted comedies.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Here's my list. The ones in bold are the one's I recommend. The ones in italics are the ones I performed in. My recommendation is not intended to imply that the theme of the particular show is in any way consistent with Objectivist philsophy. It just means they are entertaining shows with excellent music.

Les Miserables - Sometimes this one's my favorite.

Phantom of the Opera

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Starlight Express

Cats (it's a complete waste of money and time; quite possibly the worst I've seen)


Into the Woods - Other times, this one's my favorite.

Guys & Dolls

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown



Pirates of Penzance (not sure if I spelled it right; technically, it's an operetta)


Rent (some of the music is good, but IMO, it's not worth wanting to slit your wrists afterwards)

The Secret Garden

Sunset Boulevard - I would've recommended this one bigtime when Glen Close was doing it, but without her it's not the same.

Those are the most noteworthy that I've seen. There are some others, but I don't really feel like racking my brain all night trying to think of them. :)

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  • 2 months later...

I just saw the movie version of "Joseph". Didn't like Donny Osmond, but overall they did a good job retaining the sense of fun from the stage version. Worth seeing if you like the musical and it has been a while, or if you don't know what it's all about.

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  • 1 year later...
...I like "Joseph". From the little I have seen of "Jesus Christ Superstar", I think I'd like that too. I view them both as light-hearted comedies.
I was wrong in predicting "Jesus Christ Superstar" would be a light-hearted comedy. Though there are some scenes typical of Tim Rice's "don't take this too seriously" approach (like the scene with Herod), the movie is more in the vein of a Shakespearean tragedy, with the inevitable logic of each character's flaws and virtues, moving them toward an inexorable end. The version I saw was the one made in 2000, and I loved it. Rice twists the biblical story ever so slightly, by giving Judas the focus and making him a complex character. Suddenly, Judas is no longer simply selling Jesus out, but is a conflicted character who loves Jesus intensely, and yet concludes that he must betray the man he loves. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys the Shakespearean-style tragedies.
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How come no one's mentioned "The Sound Of Music"?

I don't much care for Julie Andrews, but the woman has a beautiful voice.

Anyway, I've a big problem with musicals. I find the notion of people spontaneously breaking into song so ridiculous as to be laughable. Therefore I have a hard time taking them seriously. Except for cartoon musicals, like "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty And The Beast," or "Aladdin." Cartoons are already unreal, so a little more unreality, like spur of the moment perfect song, and dance, fits right in.

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I guess it's like modern opera. I'm not sure what makes some better than others -- whether the stylization works well is taken to an extreme, but not so convincing if it's not highly stylized. From the snippets I've seen of "Cop Rock", I thought it was artificial; but, the "Joseph" and "JC Superstar" work well, for me.

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