All tagged Musical Theatre
Last week, I wrote a piece on Broadway musicals that were hits in the United States, but that just didn’t have the staying power in London. This week, I thought I would look at the musicals that were hits on Broadway, but ran even longer on the West End. Obviously, musicals like 1776 and Fiorello! were going to have a limited appeal with British audiences due to their inherently American themes, but just what shows did outrun their American productions when they crossed the ocean?
Social media has been passing around a rather caustic opinion piece by Stuart Heritage written for The Guardian. In this article, Heritage asserts that “Musicals are the lowest form of entertainment…” and that “I can’t bring myself to trust people who enjoy musicals. I seem to have pegged them all as cheats, as people who don’t understand subtext and nuance, who don’t want to do the work and constantly have to have everything spelled out for them.” It’s an asinine and arrogantly written article that draws from one musical example (the movie musical of Les Misérables) as the means by which to indict an entire art form. The genesis of his misguided manifesto is in regards to the recently announced BBC television adaptation of a non-musical Les Misérables. He celebrates how delighted he is that he will be privy to a Les Misérables without music. Heritage is certainly entitled to his opinion. If he doesn’t like musicals, he doesn’t like musicals. I don’t think any of us will miss sitting next to him at the Shubert or the Broadhurst. What I will assert is that his generalized and snarky article does notorious damage to an art form that is arguably the HIGHEST form of entertainment.
Broadway musicals are often full of happy characters who cannot wait to sing their heart out or tap a little routine for you. The generalities people attach to Broadway as a happy place of song and dance are often, just that, generalities. Those of us who truly love the art form know differently. Musicals are often filled with complex characters without altruistic motives. Today's blog entry celebrates those dastardly characters of musical theatre who help us see the other side of things: the dark side of the moon so to speak. How we revel in their malicious and sinister dealings.
With the month of March just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to discuss Broadway showtunes that follow a "march" rhythm. These are the songs that put a little pep into your step, getting you to lift those knees up high and to puff out your chest. Marches can be regal, and marches can be celebratory. They can be patriotic, perky, jaunty, and most of all, fun. Here are some of my favorite marches from Broadway musicals.