My name is Emma and I’m a Musical Theatre addict.
Musical Theatre isn’t just for #lockdown but it’s a pretty good place to start your journey. Come with me as we leap into the world of high kicks and reprises. I’m going to talk to you about 5 musicals that everyone needs in their life.
Maybe you’re already a Musical Theatre fan, waves hello in the Book Of Mormon style or maybe you think you’re a Musical Theatre fan but only familiar with ‘New World’ musicals (looking at my husband here) or maybe you’re brand new to the world of musicals and are wondering what sparkly adventures lay ahead of you!
The Wizard Of Oz
Starting with the ultimate and total best in my fair opinion. The Wizard Of Oz. Maybe I’m slightly biased here because I absolutely adore Judy Garland. I mean the love I have for that woman is unreal. But putting Judy aside, let’s just take a look at this beauty of a musical. It’s got flying monkeys, a talking Lion, Scarecrow and Tinman, 2 fabulous witches and the campest Wizard ever! Not to mention the first ever use of Technicolour in a film and an array of jolly songs to see you on your way. If you’ve never watched this then get to it immediately and if you’ve watched it already then why aren’t you watching it again already!
Cabaret is my next choice. It’s such a joy to watch, it literally fills my heart with delight every time I see it. Liza is just a goddess and her performance of Sally Bowles is outstanding. Maybe it’s the slinky moves from Bob Fosse, the infamous seedy Kit Kat Club or the haunting emcee Joel Gray, that makes me want to watch it again and again. The iconic chair dance from Mein Herr is one of my favourite scenes from a musical ever. The terrific score by John Kander and Fred Ebb includes showstoppers like ‘Cabaret’, ‘Money Makes the World Go Around’ and the powerful ‘Maybe This Time’. Don’t read any synopses or reviews of this musical. It all sounds far too dreary banging on about Nazis and it won’t lend itself favourably to you. But it really is a classic must-watch. Even if it is just for the 125,478th time to get that chairography from Mein Herr!
Singin’ In The Rain
My next choice is Singin’ In The Rain, the film. Now even if you haven’t seen the film, you will have seen the most famous scene from it. Ya man swinging around a lampost getting drenched which coincidentally isn’t even the best dance scene in the show, but more about that later. Singin’ In The Rain is a weird one because the plot isn’t that great, and the plot doesn’t even fit the film to be honest. The film is based on the transition period between silent films and ‘talkies’ and that the cast of The Jazz Singer is having trouble adapting to the new style when it’s remade into a musical. They find out that their leading lady, Lina has a god-awful voice and they look to replace her with Kathy who is a bright, new aspiring actress. See, it’s not exactly going to have you reaching for the remote. But, let’s look at the positives here. It features not one but TWO Hollywood Legends. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. And the totally underrated Donald O’Connor. The dance scenes are unreal, from the slapstick comedy moves of ‘Make Em Laugh’ to my personal favourite ‘Good Morning’, the choreography skills of Gene Kelly and Stanely Donen are a match made in heaven. Good songs, obvious but funny humour, fantastic camera work and choreography, which combined together, brings a classic musical that is an easy watch and leaves you feeling cheerful and upbeat. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore!
Moving onto number 4 with Carousel. One can simply not forget about Rogers and Hammerstein. Of course Carousel was my choice. I am a Liverpool supporter, but putting aside my love for the original song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, I’ve been a huge Carousel fan since I covered it for my drama GCSE. The plot starts very much ‘boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl get married and then it all goes a bit downhill’. Billy gets in with a bad crowd and ends up taking his own life. This bit is proper emosh, gets me every time. This is where it gets a bit kooky – Billy is unable to pass into heaven until he redeems himself, so he returns to earth for one day and gets a chance to see his daughter who is now 15. He tries to give her a star and she refuses. (See what I mean about kooky!?) Anyways, it goes on but I won’t spoil it. It’s a proper tear-jerker, like. But along with the crying, which there will be lots, there are some cracking songs. ‘June Is Busting Out All Over’, ‘If I loved You’ and of course, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It’s an uplifting and inspiring musical film you simply must see.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Finishing off with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s a good choice for many reasons. The amount of random celebs in it, the best performance from an actor in a musical ever (Tim Curry), the crazy plot, to learn the Timewarp choreo…the list goes on. When you watch this for the first time, you will be left in a state of confusion and amazement. Yes, it’s completely bonkers but it’s a cult classic for a reason. To put it briefly, it’s a camp, musical journey into the haunted castle of FrankNFurter. Everyone must watch this at least once, even to just join in at dinner parties when it pops up into conversation. Watch it once or join the cult following and go to a live performance armed with newspapers and rubber gloves. Don’t leave me saying, I told you so.
That’s all from me today folks, hope you enjoyed it and I hope everyone is staying safe during lockdown. See you on the next one,