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Your Favorite Broadway Shows/Musicals

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Double Down, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    The thread a couple weeks ago about Rent going dark in June after a 12-year run made me think about this subject. I love the theatre. Love it. Don't get to see it nearly as much as I'd like, but there is really nothing like a great musical and a late dinner in the city. (Any city, really.) And the movie versions do not compare. Sorry.

    Feel free to list as many as you like, as long as you also give us the WHY:

    1. Guys and Dolls: Remains my favorite, in part because the inspiration for the musical came from an (occasional) sports writer, Damon Runyon. At 19, I took the first girl I was foolish enough to fall madly in love with to a showing of it, and it was the best date I've ever been on. I still hum Luck Be A Lady about once a week.

    2. Avenue Q: One of the most creative shows I've ever seen. And the funniest. I have several friends that my wife refers to as my "Bad Idea Bears."

    3. Fiddler on The Roof: I say this, though, with a caveat. You have to get a good Tevye. My mom made my sister and I watch this when we were kids, and "Tradition" will always, always make me think of her.

    4. Rent: Yeah, it's idealistic and maybe a little naive. But that's what you are when you're young. And forget Roger and Mimi, if it doesn't get a little dusty in your theatre when Tom Collins sings the reprise of "I'll Cover You" for Angel then, I'm sorry, but we can't be friends.

    5. Chicago: I saw this about three weeks after 9/11, and the whole theatre was filled with nervous energy. The cast was so thankful that people felt brave enough to come back to the city and enjoy theatre, they performed their asses off. It was just awesome.

    HM: The Producers, a very funny show, one that my wife adores, but one I think is a touch overrated.
  2. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    "Sunday in the Park with George" is probably my all-time favourite. It's moving, thought provoking, funny. And the score is beyond brilliant.

    "West Side Story". Romeo and Juliette with some of the best music that Leonard Bernstein ever wrote.

    "Angels in America". One of the purest pieces of theatrical joy and heartbreak I've ever experienced.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I've seen Rent and The Producers, but I didn't enjoy them as much as Say Goodnight, Gracie -- the life of George Burns. I could have sat in that theater for hours, just listening to that old man tell Burns' life story.
  4. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I love a lot of musicals, always have since I grew up singing and for a time wanting to be in them. I'll watch a lot of them, but to me these three are the ones I'll always stop what I'm doing to watch.

    1. West Side Story. Further proof of the brilliance that was Bernstein. Just absolutely amazing songs, orchestration. I got to participate in a semi-staged version of this when I was in College, and it was an amazing thrill.

    2. Guys and Dolls. Saw it when I was a young, aspiring singer, and the songs just hooked me in. The title song, If I Were A Bell, Luck Be A Lady Tonight, Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat. Just outstanding.

    3. My Fair Lady. On The Street Where You Live is one of my favorite songs, as is Get Me To The Church On Time. But the whole show, with its line just makes me feel warm inside whenever I get a chance to hear/see it.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I'm partial to musicals, but I wish like hell I could have seen Angels when it first ran. Seven hours, stretched over two nights, confusing, fascinating, mesmerizing, brilliant. I heart Tony Kushner. He's also a huge fan of The Wire.
  6. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Putting operas aside, "My Fair Lady" is #1 (if you don't fall ass over teakettle for that show after seeing/hearing "The Rain In Spain", ya got no heart at all), but the top cluster is VERY tight.

    Will not dispute DD's top selection. That score was so strong, Loesser couldn't find room for "Standing on the Corner" in it, and held onto it until he needed it for Most Happy Fella.

    And I'll wait a while, before I mention a few that few of the moderns have heard of, all of which are drop-dead brilliant.
  7. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I saw Buddy: The Buddly Holly Story five times during various runs in Toronto and absolutely loved it. Great music, performances and energy and on a couple of nights the whole cast would come back for an encore and blast out some classic rock oldies.

    Also like Crazy For You and Mamma Mia.

    Worked as a stage hand on some community theatre productions of Oklahoma and Guys and Dolls and dug them too.
  8. maberger

    maberger Member

    i love that sondheim has begun to make the list.

    1. sweeney todd -- i must have seen that show two dozen times with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou; of course, that was when i wanted to get into the theater. sondheim's ability to write above the moon-june-balloon lyrics that limit lesser writers, and to do so while handling serious subject matter places him -- for me -- at the forefront of American musical-comedy writers. Witty, sophisticated, full of meaning on so many levels -- just look at the various productions and interpretations of this show (something you couldn't do with, say West Side Story) -- this show for me was the perfectly crafted production.

    2. a chorus line -- the other musical i must have seen two dozen times. i think there are some clinkers in the music (i must confess i've never quite been able to reconcile 'what i did for love' with an injured dancer), and i've always thought the love connection between cassie and the director (zack?) were a bit soap opera-ish, but as a story about the broadway life it hits the mark over and over. the finale is just about the greatest thing i've ever seen musical-wise, in terms of its energy and pizzazz and great musical moment; the entire audience was on its feet long before the music faded and the stage went to black.

    3. pippin -- bob fosse choreography about love and war, with ben vereen dancing the lead. if you didn't see this but saw 'all that jazz,' imagine nearly 2 hours of vereen like you see him in this movie's finale. i saw it with irene ryan as pippin's grandmother, and she brought the house down.

    4. guys and dolls -- there was an earlier revival, prior to nathan lane and peter gallagher, starring robert guillaume as nathan and ken page as nicely-nicely. Page killed 'Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat' every night -- forced into two or three encores a night. the encore was like watching the scene from 'the blues brothers' where james brown is preaching/singing. you couldn't help but smile each time, and you were exhausted from having so much fun.

    5. fiddler on the roof -- my people... i was always sorry i didnt see zero mostel when he brought it back, especially given the stories of how he just turned the whole thing into the zero variety hour. anyway, it was the first show i ever saw, when i was nine years old.

    what a great topic ..
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Saw the production of #4 to which you refer . . . tremendous.
  10. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    - Les Miserables: Saw it twice on Broadway. Loved it each time.

    - The Lion King: Wasn't impressed with it at all. Saw it during the big rush back in like 2001(?)

    - The Full Monty: Pretty entertaining show, but since I didn't see the movie, I didn't know about the end. Oh boy.
  11. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    While I enjoy an occasional trip to the theater and even acted in some shows in my younger days, I abhor musicals. I never got the random breaking into song thing (though, I will say, I'd like to see "The Lion King").

    I enjoy a good narrative and the music too often takes away from that for me.

    I'm also surprised at how many men have chimed in on this thread. I don't mean that in a negative or judgmental way. That's great that so many on here enjoy musical theater. I'm just surprised because I can't think of any guys who I know who like it enough to go see a musical without their significant other forcing them to go.
  12. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you need some gay friends.
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