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Thread: Musicals!

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    Musicals!

    So, I was listening to a podcast a while back, and one of the hosts mentioned listening to the Hamilton cast album. I've never been into musicals, I think the only one I've seen was a Finnish production of Rocky Horror Show, during a school trip, so I was surprised to hear someone mentioning listening to a cast album. "Is that something people do?" I thought. "Is there even any point listening to an album if you haven't seen the play?" Anyway, as the weeks went by, I kept hearing and reading about people referencing and praising the Hamilton album, so finally I buckled and decided "y'know what? I need to listen to this thing." That was a couple weeks ago and it's been on replay on my Spotify ever since. It's amazing.

    I've always liked songs that tell stories. I like theatricality and drama in my songs, be it Amanda Palmer or Queen or R. Kelly. So I'm not sure how it took me this long to realize I might enjoy musicals. I've started going through other cast albums as well. Jesus Christ Superstar. Pretty good! Camelot. Eeeeeh, a couple good songs. Currently listening to Fiddler on the Roof and it is really good. Just killer song after killer song. Also watched the first 10 minutes of the recent Les Mis movie on Netflix the last night, but it was pretty boring.

    Any other musical fans here? Let's hear some recommendations!

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I grew up with Jesus Christ Superstar and still love it. Quite possibly my favourite version of the story, together with Last Temptation of Christ, and it's probably got some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's best tunes and Tim Rice's smartest lines. Fiddler on the Roof is also great - with those two, Norman Jewison definitely knew how to translate stage shows onto film. Another musical I loved as a kid and still do: Hair.

    More recently, I completely fell for Sondheim's Assassins, a show that's smart and utterly relevant in this day and age. Not sure if the songs themselves hold up all that well for people who prefer more melodious musicals, though. And last year we saw Gypsy in London, with Imelda Staunton. It's a surprisingly subversive, dark musical, though it helps if you watch it without knowing anything about it. At first it seems your usual Technicolor mid-century musical, but it turns out to be considerably more complex than that, and the format of the musical fits it perfectly. The film is also pretty good and has at least one pivotal scene that was actually more effective than in the stage version I saw, but it also tones down the more risky elements a bit.

    They're perhaps not technically musicals, but I can absolutely recommend John Carney's Once and Sing Street - and of course the granddaddy of Irish musical movies, The Commitments.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    It might be a little early in the thread but, in general I can't stand musicals. I can't stand the concept at all. And I only mention that because that's interesting. I know there are (and know personally) people who just love musicals. Just makes them giddy with joy. While I'm sitting there thinking "Oh god here comes the song. This was a nice play/movie until the song. Just skip the song. Why are these people singing anyway? Can't you convey your inner thoughts with acting and good writing? And why do the songs have to be terrible? With the least poetic and most obvious lyrics imaginable?" and so on. Plus I don't care about big production numbers at all either. That's almost a separate category as not all musicals have both.

    So, yeah, that intrigues me. What's also funny is that, while this feeling is pretty common in the western world, globally and historically speaking it's the clear minority - with pretty much every kind of theatre throughout the world being a musical of some sort, including the west until relatively recently.
    So there's that. I still can't fathom people really adoring the things though. Like Opera, they're mostly terrible, but people will let them off the hook for one good number. Two and it's a masterpiece. It's really funny.

    Anyway, with enough forewarning I can deal with them and the best ones I find are offbeat, funny and for kids up to a point (not Frozen though. Get that shit outa here) Like The Producers, Hairspray, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Oliver!. That kind of thing.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    There's a lot of rewrites of musical songs too that's worth looking into, and also generally the world of filk tunes. For some reason I like the Cthulu themed ones.

    There's also the big world of opera of course, but it's an aquired taste until the late 19th Century, Phantom of the Opera, Gilbert & Sullivan.

    Fiddler on the Roof is one on my favorites too.
    Rent is probably important to see.
    I don't know... My Fair Lady, Singing in the Rain, Moulin Rouge...

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Because I grew up with my mother playing them all the time via VHS on the TV, and Disney used to run movies on Sunday nights back when I was a kid:

    * Bedknobs and Broomsticks
    * Grease
    * Little Shop of Horrors
    * Marry Poppins
    * Rocky Horror Picture Show
    * Song of The South (a movie not fine nowadays in our PC world)
    * Sound of Music
    * Wizard of OZ

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Les Misérables: The Dream Cast in Concert

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Avenue Q

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    That video just isn't the same if it's not the WoW Machinema version.


  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    I see your Avenue Q and raise you - Meet The Feebles.



    Musical are like baseball. More fun to do than to watch.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I hated Rent. It's smug and hypocritical.

  11. #11
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Generally, I don't like musicals AT ALL, I'm also not a fan of theatre, opera or even ballet (been to all enough times to have a relatively sautéed opinion). However, there are just some exceptions where the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts that I end up loving it despite myself. I loved Prokofyev's Romeo & Juliet, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Moulin Rouge (which I only watched because I was on a date, but ended up loving it somehow).

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    "Is that something people do?" I thought. "Is there even any point listening to an album if you haven't seen the play?"
    Most of the time the music is better than the production.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 210x200x64
    1776...brilliant. And I hate most musicals as a general rule.

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I hated Rent. It's smug and hypocritical.
    Haha, yeah, it is. For some reason people consider it culturally important, so I suggested it more for henke's cultural education than because it's any good.

    What is good I forgot to mention: Chicago.

  15. #15
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Good suggestions, thanks, adding all these to my listening-list.

    Just found another good one, The Book of Mormon!



    Y'know, of course I've always liked musicals in some capacity. Disney movies, South Park, Baz Luhrman movies, etc. It's more that I never considered the notion that musical albums might be something that could stand on it's own and be worth listening to outside of the movies/plays they belong to. Sure I'd heard of The Book of Mormon when it came out, but I wrote it off as something I'd probably never get to experience because I didn't live in New York or London, and even then tickets to these things can be pretty pricey, I hear.
    Last edited by henke; 11th Dec 2016 at 10:08.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Oklahoma and South Pacific then West Side Story. I heard those 'on their own' many times as a child. Other than that I was brought up on Astaire and Kelly and the like and still have a great fondness for them. Loosely associated: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.

  17. #17
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland


    Watched the second half of the Fiddler on the Roof movie last night and it had me oscillating between weeping with joy and crying with sadness. God, that was amazing.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Fiddler on the Roof works tremendously well at different tones and moods. When they work, musicals can have a sense of exuberance, a certain intensity of feeling, that's hard to replicate in a more naturalistic genre.

    Do you like Joss Whedon? I do, and I greatly enjoyed his Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. On the DVD there's also a musical soundtrack for which they wrote a bunch of new songs, and some of them are fantastic.

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Speaking of which, I always liked this treatment.

  20. #20
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Do you like Joss Whedon? I do, and I greatly enjoyed his Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. On the DVD there's also a musical soundtrack for which they wrote a bunch of new songs, and some of them are fantastic.
    Listened to this today. Pretty great!

    Also listened to the Booth song from Assassins(it's the only Assassins track on Spotify). That one's good too!

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    What is good I forgot to mention: Chicago.
    I've only seen the movie version. Are the main characters all supposed to be so hateful? Is the audience really supposed to cheer for murderesses?

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Listened to this today. Pretty great!
    ... as a result of which I went to YouTube and listened to most of Dr Horrible, followed by select hits from Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" - which has left me with a major hankering for a Buffy rewatch, bad episodes, sixth season and all.

    Also listened to the Booth song from Assassins(it's the only Assassins track on Spotify). That one's good too!
    Glad you liked the song! The show is very much driven by its characters and ideas, and when I first saw it there was a scene that pretty much left me speechless - and that was in a good but by no means professional student performance. Well worth seeing, if you ever get the chance.

  23. #23
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Jesus Christ Superstar is great. The music is great on it's own. Saw a live show in Regents Park this summer. Great stuff, but the film is tops too. I've also seen Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis, both good, and Mama Mia, less good. I dig Grease but I'm not sure I'd see a show - the characters in the film are too iconic.

  24. #24
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by SD View Post
    Is the audience really supposed to cheer for murderesses?
    And all that jazz! *jazz hands*




    Nah, I just really like the music.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    The only two live-stage musicals I really like are The Phantom and Les Mis, and I've managed to go see both four times each, and I own the films of each. I guess I'm more of a film musical kinda guy; of which there are plenty that I love from the golden era of Hollywood musicals up to films like Moulin Rouge, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Phantom of the Paradise, Across the Universe, and Cannibal The Musical (bless you Matt and Trey).

    And, of course, Tommy:

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