Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Top Nine Favorite Musicals

To wrap up Celebrate Musicals Week, here is a list of my very favorite musicals. Unfortunately I didn't have time this week to write some of the posts I'd hoped I could (I did have a Hello, Dolly! review sort of started, but then I kind of gave up on it), but still this week has been fun and I'm glad I was able to participate! Thank you Miss Dashwood! : )

#1 Hello, Dolly!

     After much thought and consideration (well, not that much), I have concluded that this is most likely my favorite musical ever. The entire thing is just so fun, and the cast of the 1968 movie is practically perfect in every way. Barbra Streisand has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard, and she is just perfect as Dolly Levi! This musical has some of my favorite Broadway songs and some very fun (and impressive!) dance sequences, and the whole thing is just delightful.

Here is one of my favorite songs from the musical, "So Long Dearie" (earlier referred to by me, mistakenly, as "Should Have Said So Long"). I tried to find a video of the actual scene, but alas and alack, there were none to be found. The song is still hilarious, though, even without the scene, and if you've seen the movie you can just imagine what's going on.

#2 Meet Me In St. Louis

 This delightful old musical has been a favorite in my family for a long time! I can remember watching it when I was just a wee little thing. Starring the lovely and marvellously talented Judy Garland, this musical doesn't have as many songs as most and really, Judy Garland's character Esther Smith is the one who does the most singing, but it has some of the most memorable Broadway songs such as "Meet Me In St. Louis", "The Boy Next Door", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song". In my opinion this is probably one of Judy Garland's best performances (which is saying a lot since she's on of my favorite actresses) and I absolutely love the movie in general!

Esther and Tootie performing "Under the Bamboo Tree"

#3 The Phantom of the Opera

  While I'm not really a huge admirer of the actual story of The Phantom of the Opera, I absolutely love the music and so that's why I've put it this high on my list. The first encounter I had with it was two years ago when I first watched the movie (there's kind of a funny story behind that- we rented it and the disc didn't work, and then we rented another one, and that disc didn't work either. Then I finally got to watch it with two of my cousins while I was visiting at my Aunt's house, and I brought her copy home for my family to see. The story is actually even longer, but I won't go into all the details.) I know a lot of people think the movie is just awful, but I actually loved it the first time I watched it. I've always kind of liked dark, mysterious, sort-of-creepy stories, especially when there's singing involved, so from the first I loved it. Then I grew out of my temporary fascination and realized that the story is very similar to King Kong....well, that's not exactly how it went. I began to realize that the story isn't really what I love about it, but I still love the music and I enjoy watching the movie from time to time. My favorite songs from it are "All I Ask of You", "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", "The Point of No Return" (minus the few verses of suggestive lyrics- without those I think it's a beautiful song) and "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer", also called "Final Lair.

  Oh, and another thing I love about the movie are the costumes, Christine's dresses especially, which are absolutely gorgeous!

#4 The Sound of Music

  What can compete with The Sound of Music? It's such a classic! Julie Andrews is so young and pretty, Christopher Plummer is so young and handsome, the music is so delightful, and the whole thing always makes me smile. This is another one of the movies I feel like I've been watching all my life, which is probably true with most of these musicals. I love the story, the characters, the music, and just everything. My favorite songs from the musical are "The Sound of Music", "Something Good" (I LOVE that song!) and "I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen".

#5 Les Miserables

     This is another musical that I love mostly for the music. Before I saw the movie when it came out last winter, I had never seen a stage version or anything and I didn't really know anything about the musical at all, so I didn't really care for the movie at first. (Plus we went very late and by the end of the movie it was about 11:00 and I didn't care what happened I just wanted it to end so we could go home.) I'm still not a huge fan of the story and although I respect the movie now, I'm not very fond of it, but the music is absolutely gorgeous and so I think I can say it is one of my favorite musicals. My favorite songs from it are "I Dreamed a Dream" (of course!), "On My Own", "Stars", "A Little Fall of Rain", and "In My Life". Yes, I love them all! (Except for "Master of The House", that is. Yuck.)

#6 The Music Man

   I love this movie! I can't remember a time when I hadn't watched it. Shirley Jones is so pretty and there are so many wonderful dance sequences and songs, and the whole movie is vastly entertaining. I'm not familiar with the actor who plays Professor Harold Hill (although when I was really little I used to think he was Andy Griffith, but I think that might have only been because Opie was in it), but he did a marvellous job, whoever he is. I also really love Shirley Jones' dresses, especially the pink one in the picture below.
 My favorite song from this musical is "Till There Was You", but unfortunately I haven't seen it in such a long time that I'm having trouble remembering the other songs buy name! I'll just have to watch it again. : )

#7 Fiddler on the Roof

  This is another movie that is just plain classic. I'm ashamed to admit that I *hated* this movie the first time I watched it, but I must have been very young and very foolish for I find it vastly amusing now. Tevyre is hilarious and the music is classic and also very catchy. It's been a long time since I saw the second half so I don't really remember it much, but my favorite scene that I remember is definitely the wedding of Svietel and what's-his-name, which includes the epic bottle dance (so amazing!) Some of my favorite songs from the musical are "Sunrise, Sunset", "Matchmaker", and "If I Were a Rich Man".

The amazing bottle dance
#8 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

 This movie is very lighthearted and fun, and almost a little silly, but I happen to like silly movies once in a while and this musical is so charming I can't help but love it. The songs aren't the most memorable, but it has some pretty amusing dance scenes (the barn-raising is hilarious!), and Jane Powell is a very lovely actress with a very lovely voice so I think she added a lot to the movie. My favorite songs from the musical are "Love Never Goes Away", "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" (because it's just so funny and I have it stuck in my head all the time) and the one the girls sing about marrying in the spring, the title of which I can't recall at the moment.

The costumes are so pretty and colorful (if a bit historically inaccurate!)

#9 The Harvey Girls

Another classic Judy Garland musical! I watched this some time after Meet Me in St. Louis, and while I don't like it near as much, it's quite charming and deserves to be on this list. I don't like Ned Trent a bit, but Judy Garland's character Susan Bradley is simply adorable and I also really like all the other Harvey girls. It's also funny to see Hannah, the cook from Meet Me In St. Louis as the cook! There are also some very pretty costumes and a wonderful cast (except for Ned Trent- I can't stand the guy), including Angela Lansbury and the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz! My favorite songs are "It's a Great Big World", "The Achitson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", and "The Wild, Wild West".

Those are my favorite musicals! They are all charming, delightful movies (except for #5- it may be a lot of things, but I believe everyone can agree that it is not exactly what one would call delightful) and I recommend each one!
  Thank you again Miss Dashwood for hosting this musicals week, it has been a lot of fun! : )

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