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Musicals.


Fiz
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Happy Anniversary for yesterday Fiz, and many more to come!

 

I've never seen Les Miz but I've got several friends who have seen it many times. I'm a bit funny about musicals - basically I'm a Fred & Ginger or Gene Kelly girl. I loved, for example, Top Hat when I saw it at the Lowry last year and I loved Singing in the Rain with Adam Cooper when I saw it in Leicester a few years ago (although I know the current production is new).

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Oh boy, you should have seen me when I went (although I didn't have eyeliner on!). Tip: do not go and see this musical anytime soon after losing someone close to you.

 

I'm not generally a huge fan of musicals, but the ones I've gone back to see have been: the NT production of My Fair Lady (3 times, I think - loved it, yet have never really been able to stomach the film); West Side Story (the revival from about 10 years ago); and - don't laugh - The Full Monty (I have a feeling that may have been 4 times in total). I know a lot of people turned their noses up at it and didn't go to see it because it changed the location from Sheffield to Pittsburgh and americanised the whole thing, but I found it really effective - and affecting - in the same way that the film was, even if it didn't have any hummable tunes.

 

The other one I'd have loved to have seen again was (can't remember the title at the moment) something Gershwin-y starring Janie Dee.

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Love Les Miserables! I really want to see it again because I saw it about 10 years ago. When I read the book last year I spent the whole time reading with the songs in my head...!

 

I really like musical theatre, though it's more of a treat than a regular thing like watching ballet. I can't emphasise enough how much everyone NEEDS to see Matilda!

 

Has anyone seen Billy Elliot on stage? I've been meaning to but haven't yet. Is it good?

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Yes, but to a lot of people, they don't - ballet is a girly thing. I think I've probably already mentioned a friend of mine who sent her only child, a daughter, to ballet classes at the age of about 3, but when I asked her if she would have done the same if the girl had been a boy, she was horrified and replied that of course not, she'd have sent him to rugby or something! Obviously I haven't managed to have enough influence on her yet :)

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It seems to be - and I admit this to being the bias of age - but the songs in the musicals of today are not of the same quality either musically nor the lyrics as the songs of the older productions such as South Pacific to West Side Story.

 

In those musicals the lyrics were often very clever such as Officer Krumpke in WSS or There is Nothing Like a Dame in SP - as two examples. Many of the songs in those older musicals were able to have a life and a sustainability outside the musical - such as One Enchanted Evening from SP or Maria from WSS.

 

A song such as One Enchanted Evening doesn't need to be connected to any story context - it can and does live outside the framework of the musical for which it was written. Same for Younger than Springtime or I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.

 

I don't find this as true of the newer musicals.

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It seems to be - and I admit this to being the bias of age - but the songs in the musicals of today are not of the same quality either musically nor the lyrics as the songs of the older productions such as South Pacific to West Side Story.

 

In those musicals the lyrics were often very clever such as Officer Krumpke in WSS or There is Nothing Like a Dame in SP - as two examples. Many of the songs in those older musicals were able to have a life and a sustainability outside the musical - such as One Enchanted Evening from SP or Maria from WSS.

 

A song such as One Enchanted Evening doesn't need to be connected to any story context - it can and does live outside the framework of the musical for which it was written. Same for Younger than Springtime or I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.

 

I don't find this as true of the newer musicals.

I rather agree. West Side Story is my all time favourite. I saw the show when it first came to London and was completely blown away by the music, the dancing and the sheer energy of the whole production. Never seen anything like it before, or probably since, although I do have a weakness for Phantom of the Opera which I have seen several times. I did not care for the film but the anniversary production from the Royal Albert Hall which was shown in cinemas was wonderful. I feel it might be my age but I cannot hear the words of a lot of the songs these days and it's nothing to do with my hearing and a lot to do with the way they are delivered and quite often over amplified
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West Side story makes me weep uncontrollably every time I watch it, as does The King and I.

 

I must have seen Les Mis on stage at least 5 times, it being our favourite musical as a family. I saw it when it first opened in the West End, when I was a teenager. I was also lucky enough to see Michael Crawford as the Phantom in its opening year in London - talk about emotional! He broke my heart!

 

We adore musicals chez Spanner. My first memory of theatre is seeing Jesus Christ Superstar at 5, as a treat for my brother's 10th birthday. John 19:31 still makes me blub now as it did at 5. I didn't understand the story but that music went straight to my heart with its sadness.

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Big musical fan. Les Mis is tops but I'm a huge "Blood Brothers" fan. Seen 4 times. Wonderful." Rocky Horror" another fav." Evita" did nothing for me though." Chigago" I enjoy but hate the "celebrity" focus.

 

Hugely funny but rude is "Avenue Q". Unlike many I could watch "We Will rock You" time and time again.

 

I have never seen Phantom but must admit to no desire to do so. I am off to the O2 to see "Jesus" but to be honest Tim Minchin is the draw there.

 

Would highly recommend "Dreamcoats and Petticoats". Its sheer fun. Not deep and meaningful just fun.

 

I love my musicals. Hope we will see your daughter in" Les Mis" Fiz.

 

Re Billy Elliot. Used to drive Martin mad when people said to him had Billy Elliot inspired him? He started dancing just prior to the film but one of his teachers did a BE inspired dance for a festival. Everyone assumed he'd taken up ballet because of the film. To this day we've never seen it on stage.lol

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Have only seen "We will Rock You" once but would definitlly go again. "Cats" was beautiful - wish they'd revive it. "Fame" was absolutely dire and I would not recommend it. "Return to the Forbidden Planet" was a ball - would go again. Thoroughly enjoyed "Godspell." "My Fair Lady" I remember as being spectacular but then I was only 8!.

 

"Les Mis" was a school production (non DD) but expertly done, and I cried - I knew nothing about the story and I will definitely go and see it on the West End - armed with copius amounts of tissues.

 

Wish List:

Les Mis

Lion King

Wicked

Rocky Horror Show

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I saw Return to the Forbidden Planet at the Liverpool Everyman in the mid-1980s when it was very new and have fond memories of it. It started a long tradition (although I don't remember it being done as a Christmas production) of "rock and roll" pantos at the Everyman. Oh happy days!!

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Oooh, I forgot "Wicked"! Dd's favourite musical. I think she and I must drive our poor neighbours mad singing Wicked in the kitchen and/or shower. :-)

 

My brother and family have tickets to see "Jesus" but the cast just doesn't appeal to me at all. I'll have to stick with the film. :-)

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I'm "worried" about the new Jesus. I love Tim Minchin which is why I'm going but Chris Moyles I could do without. Maybe he will be good. Not sure about Mel C I think she may make quite a good Mary Magdelene. The Jesus..... well wasn't impressed with the TV show but guess he will be ok. I booked in a moment of madness and am regretting it slightly. Also the venue may just be too huge. Anyway hoefully Minchin's Judas will be worth it.

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Ian Gillan and Ted Neeley - the debate goes on forever on YouTube - one minute I think Ian, the next Ted! I did find on YouTube a wonderful rendition of Gethsemene by the late Carl Anderson. A very different concept to Neely and Gillan but ohh it sent shivers down my spine - sadly this beautiful rendition has been removed from his web site and YouTube.

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