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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Question of the Weekend: Broadway, Much?

My wonderful HLP knows I liked musicals so he kindly bought me home a copy of the original Ethel Merman Gypsy cast recording--which is exactly the version I grew up singing and dancing to as a little kid. I spent much for the morning soft-footing it around the apartment, bellowing "Let me entertain you!" in appreciation.

It may be incongruous with my penchant for Victorian novels, feminism, and hippie music, but golden age musicals are my not-so-secret passion. Along with Gypsy and South Pacific, my faves are Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Peter Pan, Show Boat, She Loves Me, Oliver! The Most Happy Fella, Kiss Me, Kate, and the other Rogers & Hammerstein gems.

I'm less into more contemporary musicals--hate Andrew Lloyd Webber and have more limited appreciation for Les Mis and Rent.

Do you like musical theater, readers, and if so, how does your taste in them compare to mine?


  1. Totally right there with ya. South Pacific is my all-time favorite, followed very closely by Guys and Dolls. Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe all the way.

  2. What a timely post. I just got home from seeing Spring Awakening at the Kennedy Center!

    I love musicals of every era. West Side Story and Guys and Dolls are among my all-time favorites. And I love Stephen Sondheim, especially Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd. And yes, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Rodgers and Hart (although I don't think I've seen any R&H shows).

    I also like contemporary musicals more than you seem to. Les Mis can't fail to move me to tears. And, if I'm in a very, very specific mood, I even like Andrew Lloyd Webber. And now, having just seen Spring Awakening, I'm already wanting the soundtrack.

  3. "South Pacific" - I saw the movie when it came out. Twice. Decades later, a friend and I rented the movie and sat down to watch it together while her husband and children rolled their eyes. As it turned out, we could both recite most of the dialogue along with the actors.

    I had the Broadway version of "My Fair Lady" on record when I was a teenager. There was a skip on the record during "Why Can't the English..." and I still hear that skip in my head when I think about the song.

    Oh, this could get to be a very long reply. Love musicals. Love them.

  4. I'm a big theater geek. Enjoy musicals of all eras. Since I live out west I always watch the Tony's so that I know what will make it thru town in 2 years time. It's funny because I would listen to the music on CD, but I wouldn't always understand the plot & staging until much later. Sometimes the staging didn't match up at all with what I saw in my head.

    Faves include: Rent, West Side Story, Contact, Les Miserables, Damn Yankees.

    I could go on. I'm dying to get the new musical Next to Normal on CD. Also the bilingual West Side Story.

  5. I never really got into Gypay. South Pacific and West Side Story are definites, but you forgot My Fair Lady! That's my favorite. Also Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, The Sound of Music and Showboat from the older stuff. I reallly like the music from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Chicago too.

  6. Ooh great responses all. There were some big omissions in my original post: i also really like My Fair Lady and Damn Yankees, and I love Les Mis just slightly ironically.

    I also forgot about the Pajama Game! The version I saw with Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O'Hara really turned me on to that one.

  7. I'm with everyone on here! My heart is still breaking that Guys and Dolls (with Lauren Graham! aka Lorelei Gilmore!) closed early and I didn't get to see it! I'm also a big sucker for super-cheesy musical parodies, like Spamalot, Avenue Q, and Altar Boyz (about a Christian boy band; possibly the funniest show ever).

  8. Hands down Show Boat! A ground breaking musical that is never outdated to me.