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Musicals: Favorites and Least Favorites


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Well, I'm a HUGE fan of musicals. My Favorites would have to be

1. Singing in the rain

2. An American in Paris

3. The wizard of Oz

4. Gigi

5. Gold diggers of '33

6. The Bells are ringing

7. Anchors Away

8. 42nd Street

9. In babes Arms

10. The Harvey Girls

11.Meet me in St. Loui

That's all I can think of for now. I don't think I have a least Favorite...

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CanadaGirl,

 

Check out:

Footlight Parade

1776

How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

Chicago

Cabaret

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

The Court Jester

West Side Story

On the Town

 

And while In Babes' Arms sounds delectable, it's actually Babes in Arms.

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Great topic, JackBurley!

 

Anything directed by Vincente Minnelli - including "Meet Me In St. Louis," "Gigi"

and "Ziegfeld Follies" would have to be right up there at the top of the list...I may be in the minority but I think one of his best and most overlooked is his second to last film, "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" (Paramount, 1970). It's really stunning to look at (particularly the regression sequences in England) and La Streisand never sounded better. Another of his underappreciated gems is "The Pirate." Some of those scenes look like oil paintings come to life! Garland is breathtaking on Porter's "Mack, The Black."

 

"Funny Face" with Audrey, Fred and Kay Thompson is splendid on so many levels. Donen is up there with Minnelli as an inventive and ingenious director of musicals. The "Think Pink!" sequence is fantastic as is Audrey's "How Long Has This Been Going On?"

 

"Cabaret" is totally fabu, "Funny Girl," Cukor's '54 version of "A Star Is Born."

I always like the Julie Andrews musical "Star!" -- teriffic music and lavish production values compensate for the over padded storyline. I even like the constantly trashed '62 version of "Gypsy" with Roz Russell and Natalie Wood.

 

Never understood all this nonsense about contemporary audiences not being able to relate to musicals because of the traversing between reality and fantasy...Whatever happened to suspension of disbelief? Try using your imagination! Why does everything on screen have to be literal and realistic? I'd prefer to live in a world of Technicolor, trolleys and next door neighbors bursting into song whenever their emotions overwhelm them. Bring it on!

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I've posted my general list in the Musical forum, so I think I'll use this post to talk about something a little different.

 

If you like musical movies, you should check out some of the filmed Broadway performances. There are some really excellent ones. Some good ones I know are available for sale:

 

Sweeney Todd

Follies

Les Miserables

Jekyll and Hyde (thought I'm not crazy about the musical itself, it's well-filmed)

Into the Woods

Sunday in the park with George

 

Some filmed ones that I've seen, but I'm not sure if they're available for sale:

 

Passion

Light In the Piazza

Chess

Company

A Chorus Line

A Little Night Music

 

There are actually two versions of Sweeney Todd. The first is from the 1980s touring production, with George Hearn and Angela Landsbury. The second is a concert performance with George Hearn and Patti Lupone (Lupone is in the current Broadway revival as well). There are also two versions of Company. I don't think the actual performance one is available for sale, but the filming of the official cast recording is.

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Waldo, you're correct about the line between fantasy and reality. We seem to be so grounded in Reality nowaday. That's how they solved the problem with getting Chicago to screen. They decided to have the musical numbers take place in Roxie's head. And the audience found that acceptable. About the only place we can accept people suddenly start singing in reality is on the stage.

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Totally agree with just about everything!! I recently watched the underrated "Yolanda and the Thief " again on laser.I also have a really soft spot for " Star!" and my all-time favorite "The Pirate." I also love "The Belle of New York." I adore Astaire and Vera Ellen.

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Favorites

"42nd Street"

"Show Boat" ('36)

"The Wizard Of Oz"

"Singin' In The Rain"

"West Side Story"

"Cabaret"

"Tommy"

"Hair"

"Pennies From Heaven"

"Velvet Goldmine"

"Hedwig And The Angry Inch"

"Chicago"

Least Favorites

"Grease"

"Xanadu"

"The Wiz"

"The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas" (Sorry, Dolly...)

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