Friday, July 07, 2006


I hadn't made a list in a while, and you know how I love lists, dear reader, so thought I'd do a top ten (in no particular order) of my favourite musicals of all time:

Closer To Heaven - fabulous! Intelligent disco musical with drugs and queers!
Follies - beautifully tragic.
Company - exceptional. Elaine kicks ass! Here's to the ladies who lunch!
Moulin Rouge - my favourite Nicole Kidman movie. Wonderful!
The Sound Of Music - perhaps the best musical ever?
Carousel - makes me feel all warm inside. Nice to watch on a wet afternoon.
My Fair Lady - Scrubber becomes posh lady! Yay!
The Wizard Of Oz - Saint Judy's finest hour.
Cabaret - Saint Judy's daughter's finest hour.
Mack and Mabel - I won't send roses and Time heals everything make me cry.

Now, I think a top ten of least favourite/most hated musicals:

Yentl - blasphemy, I know.
Grease II - where was John Travolta?
Cats - cats neither speak nor sing.
Starlight Express - trains neither speak nor sing. Nor do they wear rollerskates.
The Lion King - anything to do with Elton John is shite.
Jesus Christ Superstar - dull.
Little Shop Of Horrors - silly.
White Christmas - Bing Crosby is a total wanker.
West Side Story - tuneless rubbish. Sounds like an orchestra tuning up the whole time.
Summer Holiday - anything with Cliff Richard is pure shite.

Which musicals do you like, dear reader? And which ones do you hate? Do you think successful films and television programmes should be turned into musicals on the stage and screen? I must admit, the thought of "Minder the musical" makes me feel quite ill.


Lex Ham Rand said...

Did you know Judy Garland was from Minnesota, born with the name "Frances Gumm" in Grand Rapids (way up north) Minnesota?

(see Wikipedia if you don't believe me)

Minge said...

I knew she was Miss Gumm - but didn't know she was from Minnesota! Thanks!

I feel a pilgrimage coming on.

Have you ever been to Grand Rapids?

Lex Ham Rand said...

Nope. Been near there. It's mighty rustic country up there. They do have a Judy Garland festival, though. I understand that it gets pretty fabulous up there around festival time, if you know what I mean...

a link to a Minnesota Monthly magazine article about the festival from 2004 that you might find entertaining!

Brian said...

Sweetie, you have NO IDEA the can of worms you just opened. I am the Musical Bitch Queen and while there are some things we can agree on, I must take issue with your list. I'm going to try to remain civil:

Closer To Heaven - Really? It's OK, I suppose.
Follies - No arguments
Company - One of my favorites.
Moulin Rouge - This is NOT a musical. It is a travesty.
The Sound Of Music - Always will have a soft spot in my heart.
Carousel - It's OK.
My Fair Lady - The second musical I fell in love with, after Oklahoma.
The Wizard Of Oz - Not sure it qualifies as a musical but OK.
Cabaret - I'm really not a Kander/Ebb fan.
Mack and Mabel - Yeah it's OK.

Yentl - Again, I'm not sure I consider this a musical but...Minge, Minge, Minge, you MUST love Yentl.
Grease II - Puh-leaze.
Cats - Totally with you here.
Starlight Express - Again, with you.
The Lion King - I don't mind Lion King although, you know, Elton only wrote handful of the songs. I'm sad to hear you don't like him. I'm excited to see Billy Elliot while I'm in London.
Jesus Christ Superstar - Perhaps my least favorite musical of all time. I'd have to think about it.
Little Shop Of Horrors - One of my FAVORITE musicals EVER. Alan Menken is a genius and for impugning this show, I shall have to punish you.
White Christmas - Not sure it's a musical; neutral about it.
West Side Story - I'm not ga ga over it but there are some things I like.
Summer Holiday - Eh.

You don't mention other greats. Les Miserables. Miss Saigon. Ragtime.

Me, I tend to fall in love with smaller, lesser known shows.

Minge said...

I think Les Mis could have been a great musical, but it just didn't come off. I've never been able to work out why. I'm not sure if I think it depended too much on the fabulousness of the revolving stage instead of the quality of the actors, songs, singers, story and stagemanship... I just don't know. The whole thing never seemed to gel or flow very well for me. I saw it the first time, years ago in London, after buying some really cheap matinee tickets at the last minute. I was really disappointed but thought this might be because it was the matinee and it was choc-full of understidies. So, about a year later, I saw it again. Still disappointed.

I just don't understand it. There are some great songs here. I adore On My Own, Bring Him Home, I Dreamed A Dream, Empty Chairs At Empty Tables... Wonderful stuff. I love the story. I've read the book several times, seen various adaptations on film, even been an extra in the school play!

Why don't I love Les Mis? Ok, I don't hate it, but I don't love it, either. I'm neutral - though I wish I wasn't.

I hate Miss Saigon. I saw that in the early nineties with a former colleague from my PO days. She thought it was shit, too. When the helicopter came in/down, we both said that if they need to rely on that for the wow factor instead of the singing, songs, actors or story, then something is very wrong. I hated Miss Saigon. It was vile and ridiculous. Perhaps if I went back to it, I might change my mind, but at the time, I was really upset. EVERY song was sung badly. Lots of people were off key. Bad, bad, bad.

I've never had the opportunity to see Ragtime. :(

Yentl just didn't work on all levels for me. If you could tell me that it's not a musical, but a film with songs, I would adore it. But it's not. And I don't. I saw it twice at the cinema and even bought it on DVD. I want to love it, but I don't. Although I love Babs, it seems to me that the film is all about her. It's not about Yentl, it's about La Streisand. Ick. I know, I know, I'm a gay and shouldn't have a bad word to say about Babs. I should have had the sense to keep this to myself.

Moulin Rouge is a travesty? I love the re-working of pop songs into something like this. It's fabulous.

Oh, Brian, I'm not a Kander/Ebb fan either. I hate Chicago, but Cabaret is top knotch musical fare! I just love it. I've only ever seen the movie, though. I play the songs all the time and can watch the film over and over and over.

Grease II is the worst thing since sliced bread.

Why are you sad to know I don't like Elton John? He's a vile little man. He married that poor woman to cover up his sexuality, that song about Diana was a disgrace. A second hand rose. He's a fat, talentless pig.

I saw Little Shop Of Horrors on the TV years ago when there was nothing else on. I was ill and there were only four channels at the time. It was so bad, I switched it off half way through and sat in bed, in silence, staring into space. An idiotic dentist and a talking plant are far from funny. And the songs? I can't remember any of them. Can you convince me, I wonder, to like this travesty of musical theatre?

Leonard Bernstein is (was) a vile little shit. What a shame Mr SOndheim wasted all that time with him.

Minge said...

You just know I'm going to Grand Rapids some day. And you know I understand how fabulous it could be. ;)

Blog Off said...

I haven't seen "Chicago" mentioned anywhere. Surely that's a great musical?

Minge said...

I hate Chicago. I'd also like to add that I think Catherine Zeta Jones is an old bag in need of a slap.

Blog Off said...

You're just a musical snob, then aren't you! lol

Minge said...

Why, are you going to punish me? Again?

Please, don't tell me you like Catherine Zeta Jones!?!?

coal2k said...

I can't believe you don't like West Side Story. It's one of my favourites :(

The Slipper and the Rose rocks, just for Richard Chamberlain in tights. What about Singing in the Rain? Kismet? Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Thoroughly Modern Millie (which, incidentally, is playing at the King's in Glasgow in October if you fancy going? I'm taking Kira!)

Minge said...

Oh, I adore Singin' In The Rain! Gene Kelly rocks my world! Never seen The Slipper And The Rose. Howard Keel freaks me out a little bit. I'd adore Showboat if he wasn't in it. It's unnerving, seeing someone that butch yet that camp, all at the same time.

When in October are you going, hen?

coal2k said...

Gene Kelly is a God. What mere mortal man could look good in plus fours and a tank top??

I haven't booked for TMM yet, but it's on from the 23rd to the 28th. Ideally, I think we'll go to the Saturday Matinee, though we could make it an evening.

Minge said...

I hope we can go! I'll speak to Phyllis at lunchtime and see if he wants to go. You can definitely count me in!

Thanks ever so much!

coal2k said...

Fabulous! Let me know and then we can get tickets booked :)

Minge said...

I'm so excited, I could vomit.

Brian said...

I'm trying to stay calm. I'm trying to stay calm.

You and I, Mingey darling, are going to have a very long talk while I'm in Edinburgh. A very long talk indeed.

Minge said...

Oh, what about?


Minge said...

You talk, Brian. I'll listen.

I love finding out what other people love and enjoy. And I've a very open mind. Sway me!

PJS said...

You HATE Chicago???

Are you basing this entirely on the movie, or have you seen other performances, heard various cast recordings?

I loved the sleek Broadway revival (still running), didn't get to see Ann Reinking's homage to original Roxie Gwen Verdon, but I did get to see Bebe Neuwirth's Velma twice.

It wounds me that you don't like CHICAGO. I am amazed, and know not what to say.

Minge said...

Yes - all this is based only on the movie.

Blame the bint from the valleys!