Welcome to my Rate-A-Musical page!
I lived in London for four years, so had tons of opportunities to see some great theatre. I'm partial to musicals and am quite opinionated, so here it is, my comprehensive guide to the best musicals around:
(Sorry no dates - there have been so many I can't remember!)
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - My favourite, absolute favourite. I've seen it five times already! I love it! It's so cheesy it's actually fun and the songs are great. I would see Joseph every day if I could. I even saw Andrew Lloyd Webber there once! Plus don't forget the moral of the story, hey it is based on the bible!
Fiddler On The Roof - I suppose this makes the top because of my amazing front row centre experience. But besides that, it's a great story with great songs and dancing. And because it's a serious story, you can really get drawn into it emotionally. Definitely worth a viewing, or two!
The Phantom Of The Opera - I saw this twice when I was a kid. Then I went when I was in London, to the original theatre, and the when the chandelier went up I had tears in my eyes. Maybe it was nostalgia. The show is great anyways, the music and effects excellent. I would go again, and again...
The Lion King - Yeah so I've seen this a couple of times too. After the first five minutes I had tears in my eyes, both times. It truly is a beautifully staged show. The costumes are amazing. And I actually liked the new songs (which are usually rubbish), especially 'He Lives In You'. Just beautiful.
The Simon and Garfunkel Story - Not a musical per say, just a couple guys and a band singing and talking about the greatest duo ever. It was epic, like the real deal was on stage!
The Book of Mormon - So offensive. So funny. Not at all what I thought! I learned a lot about Mormons and oh wow, so offensive! So good.
War Horse - This was a well stage production, very simple, but very compelling. The horse puppets were a-maz-ing, so beautiful, so realistic, just fantastic. They really made the show.
The Wizard of Oz - The Citadel did it right this time! This musical was fantastic! The costumes were good, acting up to par, singing great, set and staging interesting and colourful, so all in all it was a fun night. Of course, the whole show was upstaged by the dog and the munchkin kids, so cute!
Stomp - This show is a bit different (no talking) but I love it because it's just very 'musical'. It's fun and cool to see how they can make different music with ordinary stuff. And they really get the crowd involved.
Avenue Q - This was the musical about my life. Ok, so maybe it's about a bunch of puppets but with songs like 'It sucks to be me', 'There is life outside your apartment' and 'I wish I could go back to college' could be my life too. This show is so funny and totally relevant to my generation. Warning, it is be a bit crude (but did I mention oh so funny?!).
Wicked - Oz, from the wicked witch's side. Coming out of it I was like 'I want a black hat and a cape!'. It's different than the book though, which is quite dark and erotic, the musical is very family friendly. Go on, defy gravity!
The Sound Of Music - The mountain set was pretty cool and the kids were quite fun. The new songs are a bit crap though, but it was still quite enjoyable. (I also saw a smaller production without the moving mountain set, and it wasn't nearly as good - 2 stars for that one.)
Billy Elliot - I loved the movie and the musical is a bit different, but just as good. The kids were excellent and the dancing great to watch.
Mary Poppins - It was a bit different from the movie, more based on the book I guess. The story wasn't fabulous (two stars) but the kids were excellent, and the set, wow. The set was absolutely incredible. The house was so detailed and everything moved so smoothly. 'Step in time' was really fun.
Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna - This was the best Cirque show I've seen! The atmosphere and energy of watching it under the big top was pretty awesome.
Cirque du Soleil's Mystere - I saw this Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, and it was amazing!! The clowns were shockingly not annoying, the acrobats etc were awesome (so talented) and the staging was really good as well. There's just an atmosphere about a Cirque show, definitely not to be missed.
Cirque du Soleil's Iris - I saw this Cirque du Soleil show in L.A. at the Chinese Theatre, and it was pretty good. It was very visual and artsy as opposed to visual in an acrobatic way.
Singing In The Rain - I love the movie, and the musical is just as good. This is a great one because there's a lot of dancing, and it's funny, plus you've got to love it when it rains for real on stage!
Evangeline - A new musical based on a poem I really liked (so I knew the story), so it bothered me when it strayed from the story, and I'm not sure that's how I interpreted the story, but it was quite good - the songs were great so worth a view.
Riverdance - The show is the same as the dvds, but the atmosphere is pretty cool, especially for the big numbers where they are all in a line - that sounds cool.
Cirque du Soleil's Dralion - Once again the show was the same as one I'd seen on tv, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. It was neat to see it live, without camera angles distorting the view. I'd see another Cirque show in a heartbeat.
Les Miserable - It was a really good production, the music was great and the set neat, but I'd recently seen a high school put it on. Since the high school production (three stars) was the first time I'd ever seen Les Mis, I was pretty awestruck by it. For some reason the real thing didn't quite live up to the kids. Strange that.
Blue Man Group - Who knows what this is about. All I can say is it is really entertaining. And the finale is a-mazing!
We Will Rock You - I'm not a huge Queen fan but I do know the songs. This started out weird, but really picked up once I got into it. And Wembley is in it and I used to live there so that was kind of neat. They really integrate the songs into it seamlessly. And the encore song is fantastic.
Rent - I don't remember this one too well. So it must not have been super. But it wasn't bad or anything. It gets bumped up because the movie was decent and the songs were good.
Blood Brothers - This show is very English, but was interesting to watch since the end is actually the beginning. The Angel of Death was a nice touch but couldn't sing. And it was a bit weird watching adults play children. But fun.
Beauty And The Beast - A bit smaller than the full-on Broadway show would've been, but the Citadel did a good job with this Disney musical. The costumes were good, the singing was good, the story was good, and the set was ok. It was very sweet; Belle is my favourite princess so I quite enjoyed it.
Anne of Green Gables - Done by a local musical theatre group, I'd say they put on a pretty good show. Anne was fantastic (three stars) and the costumes and set were pretty good. A couple of the characters couldn't sing, but the songs were pretty fun. It was comical and overall enjoyable.
The Addams Family - Another community theatre show in which they did an excellent job. It was goofy in true Addams Family style, but not that memorable.
Annie - The set was a bit ho-hum, and the ending very twee, but the songs were fun. And more importantly, the girls were all amazing, quite fun and decent singers (in between the times they were belting it out with too much force). More Molly and Sandy would've been fun.
Nice Work If You Can Get It - Matthew Broderick was supposed to be in this musical but he was on vacation. Typical. It was an incredibly cheesy musical, but I pretty much had the balcony to myself and the dancing and Gershwin songs were fun.
Kinky Boots - Written by Cyndi Lauper so some fun songs, but it was predicable and I thought the first half was better, plus the British accents were horrible. Who knew it was actually about boots!
Newsies - I'd never seen the movie, and the musical was ok. It didn't help I was in the middle of a high school group. It was just ok.
Jane Eyre: The Musical - I wasn't sure how they'd put this to song, but it was alright. It was only partially staged so quite minimal and chair-y, but that didn't detract from the story. The "kids" we're great and the main pair true to character. Music was just...not exciting.
Lord Of The Rings - The story is terribly patched together, the acting rubbish and the songs pathetic (except the Prancing Pony one). But the set and the staging were really cool, especially the Balrog bit and the orcs. I guess there just wasn't enough baddies. And they combined Theoden and Denethor, how can you do that? And the elves were just weird, and too much Galadriel. But the staging, yeah that was amazing.
Jesus Christ, Superstar - Not at all what I expected. It was weird, the bit about Mary Magdalene creepy and the whole Herod thing unnecessary. Jesus reminded me of the LOTR musical elves (trust me, not good) and while Caiaphus' voice was cool, he couldn't keep it up, which in turn became annoying. I just didn't get into it, and felt uncomfortable about the whole thing. And people were weeping??
Miss Saigon - Madame Butterfly, but set in Vietnam. They got rid of the real helicopter, the CGI one just wasn't the same, and a total let down.
Dirty Dancing - This was exactly like the movie, but cheesier, and the set wasn't anything special. The last song was really good though.
Chicago - Too raunchy and blah for me. It needed some razzamatazz and more costume coverage.
Fame - To crappy to comment on.
Into the Woods - The first half was great, but the second half was terrible! What a let down. Good song though.