Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top 10 Musicals

[Dear God, please let the forthcoming American Idiot musical be AWESOME. Danke.]

I am excluding animated films here, as so many of them are musicals. Also, the Muppets.  Also, for those who know me, a note on Rent. Ah, Rent. I suppose my expectations were always going to be too high for it, but I do think Chris Columbus made a number of mistakes adapting Rent for the screen. I could launch into an entire essay, but for now I'll say that the filmed version of the final cast, while not being my favorite troop, is still better than the movie version.

1. Cabaret
2. Moulin Rouge
3. Fiddler on the Roof
4. Singin' in the Rain
5. West Side Story

6. The Wizard of Oz
7. Nashville - I tend to think of this as a drama, rather than a musical, but there are a LOT of songs in it, and it is a really great movie.
8. Evita
9. Little Shop of Horrors
10. Chicago

11. Pennies from Heaven - so this was apparently a flop when it opened, but it is really great. Plus it has Christopher Walken dancing in it!

12. Rocky Horror
13. My Fair Lady
14. The Music Man
15. Sweeney Todd - such a great adaptation, even if they did shorten part of A Little Priest. My favorite Depp/Burton collaboration and a really great horror on top of a great musical.
16. Les Girls - I cannot describe how much I love Kay Kendall in this. (BTW - Rotten Tomatoes dubs this the Rashomon of MGM musicals, which I find HILARIOUS.)
17. An American in Paris
18. 1776
19. Hair
20. Gold Diggers of 1933

Honorable mentions: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Velvet Goldmine, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Grease, Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma, Camelot, Across the Universe, and the Blues Brothers, which I haven't seen since I was very young and don't remember a lot of.

[Haven't seen: Gypsy, Carousel, The Band Wagon, Show Boat ('36), Annie Get Your Gun, Hustle & Flow, Gigi, The Merry Widow, Damn Yankees, Yankee Doodle Dandy, South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon, Sweet Charity, Ziegfield Follies, the Great Ziegfeld, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Pal Joey, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sister Act, Stormy Weather, Cabin in the Sky, Saturday Night Fever, Guys & Dolls, New York New York, State Fair, Kismet, Easter Parade, Cry Baby, Victor Victoria, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Purple Rain, Jesus Christ Superstar, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Dick Tracy, Dancer in the Dark, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Saddest Music in the World, All that Jazz, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, The Rose, Coal Miner's Daughter (I never think of singer biopics as musicals, but...). And I've actually only ever seen bits from the film of Godspell. I honestly can't remember if I've seen all of 42nd street, or just parts. Any of the "Road to" movies. Hey, did you know there's a musical called Hello, Frisco, Hello? I'll have to check it out.]


Anonymous said...

I saw American Idiot on Broadway and the entire time I couldn't stop thinking how I would much rather be seeing Green Day in concert. I got best American Idiot tickets. Aside from some very talented cover bands, I don't get the appeal of seeing music you like performed by people other than the actual band.

Jessica said...

Well, personally I really love the arrangements and the harmonies in American Idiot, done by Tom Kitt (who Green Day then brought in to do the string arrangements on 21st Century Breakdown, which I adore). I also like hearing some of the songs broken out by different characters - like when Heather sings Dearly Beloved in Jesus of Suburbia, or when Whatsername sings Letterbomb. That said, an actual Green Day concert is easily more raucous and thrilling. But it's nice to have a punk rock opera addition to the broadway canon.