Saturday, August 11, 2007


Most people who know me know that I am a HUGE theatre person. I've been acting since I was five, and love every minute of it. Whether I'm on stage acting, backstage stage managing, or simply helping with makeup, I have a blast!! So, I thought I'd list some of my all-time favorite Broadway musicals.

1.Phantom of The Opera (Le Fantôme de l’Opéra) This is by far my favorite. What's not to like? It has an amazing story line, and the, it's absolutely gorgeous. Even if you can't see the show, go listen to the soundtrack on Myspace or something. It's amazing. Here's the story plot: **note: This is a spoiler, so if you don't want to read it, skip to the row of stars**


It is 1911 and the contents of the Paris Opera House are being auctioned off. Present are the auctioneer, porters and bidders. Raoul, now seventy years old and in a wheelchair, buys a poster and a music box. As the auctioneer displays the Opera House chandelier, he explains that it is connected with the legend of The Phantom of the Opera. With a flash of light, the audience is flung back in time, when the Paris Opera was at its height.

Act 1

We are thrust in the middle of a rehearsal for the opera Hannibal. Monsieur Lefèvre, the retiring manager of the Opera, is showing the new managers, Monsieurs Firmin and André, the great stage. As the prima donna, Carlotta, is singing, a backdrop falls to the floor, nearly killing her. The cry is raised, "It's The Phantom of the Opera!" Upset, Carlotta refuses to sing.

Meg Giry, daughter of the ballet mistress, Madame Giry, suggests her friend, Christine Daaé, take Carlotta's place. Christine has been taking lessons from a mysterious new teacher.

At her triumph in the Opera, is Raoul, a nobleman and patron of the Opera. Raoul recognizes Christine as a childhood friend. He comes backstage after the performance to escort her to dinner, but Christine tells him she cannot go, because her teacher, "The Angel of Music," is very strict.

When Raoul leaves Christine's room, the Phantom appears. Christine is lured into the bowels of the Opera House, where the Phantom will continue her lessons.

He leads her to his underground lair, where she sees a frightening vision of herself in a wedding gown. She faints, only to be awakened several hours later by the Phantom's music on the organ. Creeping up behind him, she rips off his mask. Horrified, he takes her back to the surface.

The Phantom has sent notes to both the managers of the Opera, as well as Raoul, Madame Giry and Carlotta, which give instructions that Christine will have the lead in the new opera, Il Muto. The manager's refuse to give in to the Phantom's demands.

Il Muto proceeds as planned, with Carlotta in the lead, and Christine in a secondary role. As promised, disaster strikes - the stage hand, Joseph Buquet, is killed, and Carlotta's voice is stolen.

In the confusion, Raoul and Christine escape to the roof of the Opera House. There, with all of Paris around them, they pledge their love to one another. They cannot see the Phantom overhearing their vows of love. Enraged at Christine's betrayal, the Phantom causes the final disaster of the night - the mighty chandelier comes crashing to the stage floor.

Act 2

The second act opens at a grand Masquerade Ball, held on the steps of the Paris Opera. No one has heard from the Phantom in six months. Christine and Raoul are engaged, but are keeping it a secret; Christine keeps her engagement ring on a chain around her neck.

Suddenly, the Phantom appears, disguised as The Red Death, and delivers to the managers a score from his opera, Don Juan Triumphant.

At first, the managers refuse to perform the strange, disturbing opera. Then, with the help of Raoul, they devise a plan to trap the Phantom, using Christine as bait. Plans for Don Juan Triumphant, and the trap, are made.

Christine visits the grave of her father. There on the grave stands the Phantom, beckoning her to join him. Raoul appears and takes her away.

At last, the opening night of Don Juan Triumphant arrives. The theater is surrounded by guards and police, eager to catch the Phantom. As the opera comes to its end, the Phantom takes the place of Piangi, the lead singer. He confronts Christine on stage during the performance, and escapes with her once more to his labyrinth below the Opera House.

In a last confrontation, the Phantom gives Christine a choice: stay with him forever, or he will kill Raoul. Her decision brings to an end the story of The Phantom of the Opera.


2:Cats Cats is a wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and other poems by T. S. Eliot. I'm not going to go into the story line, but you need to see this one. The music is some of my favorite (my favorite of all is "Mr. Mistoffelees") and is definetely written in T.S. Eliot style. :)

3: Grease Grease is a total dance musical set in a 1959 high school. There are a few scenes and moral messages that are definitely not for younger kids, but it's still an excellent show. Random Fact: according to one of my military brat friends, Grease is not allowed to be performed in Japan in high schools because the government thinks it will send out a rebellious message to the teens.

4: Les Miserables Les Mis is a musical composed in 1980 by French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg on a libretto by Alain Boublil. Through-sung, it is perhaps the most famous of all French musicals and one of the most famous and most performed musicals worldwide. It's a story of grace,love, passion and survival in the midst of the French revolution. Les Mis tells the stories of paroled convict Jean Valjean who, failing attempts to find work as an honest man with his yellow parole note, tears up his shackles and conceals his identity in order to live his life again; the police inspector Javert, who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother of Cosette, who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter; Marius, a French student who falls in love with Valjean's adopted daughter Cosette; Eponine, the young daughter of the Thénardiers who falls in love with Marius; the Thénardiers, who own an Inn and exploit their customers; and Enjolras and the other students, who are working toward freeing the oppressed lower class of France.

5:Lion King How could I leave this one out? The broadway version is about 10000000 times better than the disney version. There is way more music, and the story plot is entirely more awesome.

And Finally:
6: Hairspray I have yet to see the new movie. The show, however, is amazing! It's so much fun, and will definitely have you wanting to get up on stage dancing at the platter party and singing along to "You Can't Stop The Beat." It's such an inspirational story, too. Note: This is also not entirely appropriate, so watch what audience you take to this.

By no means is this all my favorite musicals, but these are the top 6. :)


samuel said...
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