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So You Say You Hate Musicals

Posted about 1 year ago by Allison Fiscus

Hello blog readers! Allison F and Eric P here to talk to you about something that’s been weighing on us.

So, you say you hate musicals ...

Do you really?

Is it the cheesy storylines? Or maybe it’s the way they keep making their characters sing and dance when people don’t really do that. Perhaps they give you a strange, uncomfortable feeling – as if you are embarrassed for the incredibly talented people singing and dancing their hearts out. They look like they’re having the time of their life, but deep down they feel awkward and self-conscious, right? Right?

We get it, musicals are kinda weird. But the thing is, we don’t actually believe you when you say you hate them.

We think maybe you just haven’t discovered the musical that’s right for you.

We think maybe you saw "Fiddler on the Roof" once when you were seven and swore you’d never watch one again. (At an impressionable age, Eric sat through a high school production of "Oklahoma!" in which the title song threatened never to end. It may still be going to this day.)

We think we can convince you otherwise.

So we dare you to keep reading. Let us try and prove to you that musicals are a magical force of fun and excitement just waiting to change your life. Or at least change your mind.

Eric says

If you like…

War and peace : original version / Leo Tolstoy ; translated by Andrew Bromfield ; introduction by Nikolai Tolstoy
Seekers and finders [music CD] / Gogol Bordello
You're the worst - Television Show, Season 2 on DVD / Bluebrush Productions
"War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy
Book | eBook
Audio | eAudio
DVD
Gogol Bordello
Music CD | eMusic
"You're the Worst"
DVD

You’ll probably enjoy

Natasha, Pierre and the great comet of 1812 [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Dave Malloy

"Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

The musical where actors play their own guitars and accordions while navigating love and dysfunction during the Napoleonic wars.

Music CD | eMusic

Allison says

If you like…

Outlander. Season 1, volume 1 [DVD] / executive producer, Ronald D. Moore
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Synthesis by Evanescence - music album
"Outlander"
DVD | Music CD
"Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
Book | eBook
Audio | eAudio
DVD
Evanescence
Music CD | eMusic

You’ll probably enjoy…

Phantom of the Opera - motion picture

"The Phantom of the Opera"

In which the female lead never once questions the disembodied voice that is teaching her to sing and willingly allows herself to be kidnapped and taken into the bowels of Paris’s underground before panicking and realizing something might not be quite right with the dude in the mask.

DVD | Music CD | eMusic

Eric says

If you like…

Lysis ; Symposium ; Gorgias / Plato ; with an English translation by W.R.M. Lamb
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - motion picture
The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [music CD] / David Bowie
"Symposium" by Plato
Book | eBook
Audio | eAudio
"The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert"
DVD | Music CD
David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust
Music CD | eMusic

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hedwig and the angry inch [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Music and lyrics by Stephen Trask ; book by John Cameron Mitchell ; directed by Michael Mayer

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

The glammy rock opera about love, identity, and sex reassignment surgery in the shadow of the cold war.

Music CD | eMusic

Allison says

If you like…

Role models / John Waters
Save the last dance - motion picture
RuPaul's drag race (Season 7) - television show
"Role Models" by John Waters
Book | eAudio
"Save the Last Dance"
DVD | Music CD
"RuPaul's Drag Race"
DVD

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hairspray - motion picture

"Hairspray"

The upbeat and colorful tale of some plucky teens who just want to dance and aren’t gonna let a little thing like institutionalized racism get in their way.

DVD | Music CD

Eric says

If you like…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Marathon Man - motion picture
Wall of sound [music CD] : the very best of Phil Spector, 1961-1966
The Complete houseplant survival manual : essential know-how for keeping (not killing) more than 160 indoor plants / Barbara Pleasant ; photography by Rosemary Kautzky
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl
Book | eBook
Pocket Audio
eAudio | DVD
"Marathon Man"
DVD | eVideo
"Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector"
Music CD | eMusic
"The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual"
Book | eBook

You’ll probably enjoy…

Little Shop of Horrors - motion picture

"Little Shop of Horrors"

In which carnivorous plants and malicious dentists sing catchy Brill Building pop numbers as the bodies pile up.

DVD | eMusic

Allison says

If you like…

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Stand by Me - motion picture
The Very Best of Backstreet Boys - music
"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton
Book | eBook
Audio | eAudio
DVD
"Stand By Me"
DVD | eMusic
Based on the novella "The Body" by Stephen King
Literally any boy band of the early 2000s
Music CD | eMusic

You’ll probably enjoy…

Newsies

"Newsies"

The story of scrappy turn of the century newspaper sales boys who team up with Teddy Roosevelt to take down the newspaper industry. Also, Christian Bale in a cowboy hat.

DVD | eMusic

Eric says

If you like…

Ripper Street - TV Show
Symphonie fantastique [music CD] / Hector Berlioz
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Donner Party [DVD] / written and directed by Ric Burns ; produced by Lisa Ades and Ric Burns
"Ripper Street"
DVD | eMusic
Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”
Music CD | eMusic
"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair
Book | eBook
eAudio
"American Experience: The Donner Party"
DVD | eVideo

You'll probably enjoy....

Sweeney Todd - motion picture

"Sweeney Todd"

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a darkly Victorian tale of entrepreneurial cannibalism.

DVD | Music CD

Allison says

If you like…

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone / by J.K. Rowling
Hocus Pocus - motion picture
Charmed - TV Show
Kermit the Frog's "It's Not easy Being Green"
Image by Isotastic - flickr
"Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling
Book | eBook
Audio | eAudio
DVD | Music CD
"Hocus Pocus"
DVD
"Charmed"
DVD
Kermit the Frog's "It's Not easy Being Green" (aka "Bein' Green")
Music CD

You’ll probably enjoy…

Wicked

"Wicked"

The tale of the “Wicked” Witch of the West who it turns out had a greater handle on things than anyone else and also really knew how to rock the all-black look.

Music CD | eMusic
Based on the novel "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire.

Eric says

If you like…

Lawrence of Arabia - motion picture
Northern Exposure - TV Show
Omar Sharif - 1963
Photo by Gene Weber - Wikimedia Commons
"Lawrence of Arabia"
DVD | eMusic
"Northern Exposure"
DVD
Omar Sharif
"Doctor Zhivago"
DVD | eMusic

You’ll probably enjoy…

"The Band’s Visit"

The intimate and heartbreaking show about cosmopolitan Egyptian musicians unexpectedly stranded in a small Israeli desert town.

Music CD | eMusic
Book | eBook
Based on the film by Eran Kolirin.

Allison says

If you like…

Antiques Roadshow behind the scenes : an insider's guide to PBS's #1 weekly show / Marsha Bemko
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Fugitive - motion picture
"Antique's Roadshow"
Book | DVD
"The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas
Book | eBook
eAudio
"The Fugitive"
DVD | Music CD

You’ll probably enjoy…

Les Miserables - motion picture

"Les Miserables"

In which everyone is truly miserable except for two young lovebirds whose self-absorption is so intense they are able to all but ignore the French Revolution. Plus, ghosts.

DVD | Music CD

…Did it work? Is your previous antipathy toward musicals dwindling like the box office returns of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?” Do you feel a newfound generosity toward the art form swelling in you like the crescendo of an 11 o’clock number?

Or perhaps your indifference remains unchanged. Maybe you still feel as antagonistic toward the stage musical experience as Leslie Odom Jr’s Aaron Burr felt toward Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton."

But that’s okay. It just means we haven’t found the right one for you yet. We’ll be back with another blog post with more suggestions, and we’ll keep coming back until you’ve got jazz hands.

I mean, that high school performance of "Oklahoma!" is still going on somewhere, so anything’s possible.

Five-six-seven-eight!


Read more from Eric and Allison


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