Favo[u]rite stage musicals

My search for a thread (here and in the music forum) came up empty. Here are my top five picks:

Sweeney Todd

Guys & Dolls


My Fair Lady - For many years this was a no-brainer; it was the first Broadway show I ever saw (with Julie Andrews). I’m not quite as sure anymore, but nothing has quite stepped up to take its place.

She Loves Me - The most underappreciated show in Broadway history.

By the way, I am taking a class where we are doing a close analysis of the score for West Side Story. It may well have the best musical score and choreography in Broadway history, but I find both the book and the lyrics less than great.

I assume you meant to put Les Miserables at the top :blush: , plus Blood Brothers shortly after

The book?

Romeo and Juliet less than great. LOL.

In NY at least the libretto is generally referred to as the book.


I was surprised by how much I liked Les Miz, but it doesn’t make my top 5 (or 10).

Blood Brothers never had much of an impact in NYC; I never saw it in London either.

Please don’t ask me about Phantom.

Ah, a common language separated by a great ocean. :slight_smile:

I like the thread question.

West Side Story is on one of my favourites but if you could call The Phantom of the Opera a musical, that would be it.

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None. Can’t stand them!



Rocky Horror


Les Mis!

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Danced on the stage with the cast back in 1969.

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Hamilton and Book Of Mormon.

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I need to see Hamilton a couple more times before I replace My Fair Lady. That remains an expensive proposition.

Hamilton is currently on the Disney Channel

TV productions don’t count. :smiley:

(From someone who lives within walking distance of Broadway.)

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That’s what Disney+ is for.

Our lady of perpetual succour
Les Mis
J C Superstar
La cage aux folles

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The only ones I can think of is Phantom of the opera - because although it is billed as a musical, to my mind it is an opera rather than a musical as it has none of the silly sudden breaking into song and prancing having beed straight acting before, the returning to normal acting before the same happens again: something I cannot stand, and put me off the genre entirely. And Cats - well, because it is a play featuring cats instead of humans, of course. I did watch the film version of Les Mis, primarily because a son of mine went to school with the lead actress: it was OK - but perhaps because I liked the story anyway.

Respectfully, Phantom is not an opera.

Yes, the lead singer requires to have classical training for certain songs, but she does not sing in the style of opera. No one in the cast does. Sarah Brightman never was, never could have been, an opera singer, even though she had some classical training.
The music is not operatic. It is disguised pop/rock using some classical instruments.

I don’t think that Lloyd Weber ever pretended this was an opera. He would have been laughed at. At best, one could say it’s a pastiche of opera.

Opera is a wonderful musical genre, with sometimes blurred borders. West Side story being a good example. A musical, very firmly, yet created by a classical composer and conductor.
If you’re interested in hearing a “real” opera, and therefore hear the difference, I could suggest anything by Puccini. They are very approchable operas.

I do not consider Phantom to be musically anywhere near the class of, say, Puccini’s or Verdi’s masterpieces (these being the composers of my favourite operas), and did not say or imply so. As I think was obvious in my post, it is the style of the work that to me makes me think of it as an opera, and not what I think of as a musical. As for the singers, I think their training or ability is totally irrelevant: even the best classical operas may be performed by singers of lesser quality and ability, just not in major stage productions.

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