Because I really don't talk about musicals enough. Do I?
I love musicals. Most days, I sing them all day long. (When I'm not singing folk songs or murder ballads, that is. There's rarely a time when I'm not singing anything.) Musical theatre is one of my chief delights. I sing duets from Chess with my sister (and sometimes with myself, if she's not on hand), I re-enact scenes from Little Women while hanging clothes out on the line, I raid the music section at the library for musical songbooks, and I blare the Les Miserables soundtrack while I'm washing dishes. I'm what you might call a fanatic.
And if you didn't already know this, here's a news flash for you: really emotional musicals are my favorites. I like the fun, lighthearted, dance-y ones, but they're not what really get me. The ones that make you sigh and cry and hurt and laugh through your tears, and go, WOW -- those are the best.
|And sometimes they make you jump up and down with glee, like Richard Henry Lee is doing.|
Now, normally I'm a pretty practical person. As in, I try to avoid drama when I can. I don't give in to feelings much. I try to keep a level head. But when it comes to musicals (and movies and books in general, it seems), I'm gone. I want drama. Give me everything you've got. The pain, the sorrow, the high, the low. I want FEELS.
My top five favorite musicals give tribute to this affinity. Here they are...
#5 Little Women
Admittedly, I have never been the biggest fan of this story in general. I'm not sure why, it just never really grabbed me in any powerful way. BUT for some reason, the musical really does. I saw this put on by a local high school last spring, and thought it was so-so. Excepting the girl who played Jo (who was Ah-MAZING), I didn't think it was exceptionally great. Then I began to listen to the original recording, and it really grew on me. I love the songs, and I really like the way they've captured the spirit of the story. The musical version focuses a lot on Jo's 'coming-of-age', if you will, and her journey of going from girl to adult, which really resonates with me. Especially as I hope to become a writer as well. "I thought that somehow we would always have forever...." It's the bittersweetness of growing up, of change. It's happy and it's sad.
Jo really owns this musical. She has sooooooo many good songs, and such a strong character. I never thought I identified with Jo March very much, but the musical gives a fresh take on her that I like much better than any of the movies I've seen. In fact, to play Jo would be my absolute dream role. I would looooove to play Jo. :-)
And Marmee! Marmee has some really beautiful songs as well. Like this one. Sink me if you don't tear up.
I just really like the musical's rendition on the story. Which is unusual, because sometimes musicals get the original stories really screwed up. And I appreciate that most all of the songs help in advancing the plot and aren't just fluffy filler.
A musical about the Civil War from the 70's? Yes, ma'am!!! :-D I came across this one in a round-about way....I won't bore you with the backstory. (Although if you're really interested, you can read my initial frenzied excitement here.) One of the things I especially love about this story is the down-to-earth wholesomeness. It's about a family, a man who's caught in the middle of a conflict he would rather not be a part of, but who is driven to act on what he believes is right. It also has some really fun songs, and some sad ones. The ending is where the feels really hit. When the church congregation sings the last song, "Pass the Cross to Me", and the music swells in the final chorus....ohhhh!
And John Cullum is The Man. Just so you all know. Before there was Ramin Karimloo, there was John Cullum.
Ha. Somehow this one doesn't quite fit with the rest of these super emotional stories. ;-P Well, I admit, it's a little mediocre. It's a bit crude, in parts. But it's also historical! (I think -- I mean, I'm not sure how accurate it is.) It's fun, it's witty, it's rollicking. And it's so stinkin' hilarious.
It's very emotional, too, at times...
Gotta love the seventies. :-) And there's a healthy dose of The Feels...
1776 has it all. The silly ("The Egg") and the serious ("Molasses to Rum"), the lighthearted ("He Plays the Violin") and the weighty ("Is Anybody There?") All in all, it's super fun.
NOW we can start talking about some real feels!!!!
Oh my goodness. Where to start?
First of all, has anyone ever even heard of this musical? It's not very popular, I know. I'd only vaguely heard of it until this spring, when I went and saw a high school production. And OH MY HEAVENS. Wow. It was love at first sight. Um, sound. Well, both. The show is both beautiful to listen to AND to look at. It's got just the right mix of lighthearted and fun with tragic and emotional. (The musical has absolutely nothing to do with the 1997 movie, by the way.) I love musicals that have a wide variety of characters, all with different and unique stories, and I LOVE these characters. (My favorite is Harold Bride. :-)) And the story is chock-full of feels: you're either laughing or crying the whole time. (At least, emotional sixteen-year-old girls like me would be.)
Here's the worst one (which means the best one):
I am officially dead for the present. Oh, and speaking of dead....
#1 Les Miserables
You all knew it was coming.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE MUSICAL EVER EVER EVER EVEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!
Now that we have that important announcement out of the way, I will explain why I love it so much.
*looks around nervously*
Well....that could get deep. Maybe I should save that for another post. ;-D BUT let's just say, I believe this is the most beautiful musical phenomenon ever created. It's the most epic, the most tragic (hey, you can't argue with me there!), the most inspiring....it's just the best, people.
Also one the reasons it's so special to me is because I was in a production of the show last fall, which was pretty much the most exciting thing that ever happened.
That was me. :-)
Alright, I'd better wrap this up before I start getting too sentimental and ramble too much.
SO. Do you like emotional musicals too? What are some of your favorites? Would you like me to write a post about why I love Les Miz so much, or would you rather have a tooth pulled?