As you read this blog, you obviously know that I am a big fan of musicals. I was and am the cliché musical theater nerd endlessly debating original cast vs. revival albums. I am a sucker for a man who can belt. And I cry like nobodies business at a Soliloquy.
But movie and TV musicals are hard to get right, the suspension of disbelief is somehow just easier in the theater. So with that in mind here’s my take on this year’s musical nominees:
Despite being a big theater nerd, I never really got into Les Mis, my go to line about it is that I love drums, and am not a fan of recitative. And after seeing Tom Hooper’s, epic adaptation of it last night I can say that…I still wish there were more drums, but I really should have given this show more of a chance sooner. The cast of this film is amazing, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, and Samantha Banks are especially fantastic, (though I do think people are being really unfair on Russel Crowe). I love this movies, but I remain completely befuddled by the point of Cosette.
I gave up on Glee halfway through the third season. I was sick of the ridiculous preachiness, contrived plots, and overuse of auto-tune. Plus I had moved out of my apartment with cable so I was never just going to stumble upon it. Unless of course I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving and my mom wanted to watch the super hero episode. Not only did I get “Some Nights” stuck in my head for a solid month (oh wait no it’s still there), I decided to give the show another chance. I got the third season on DVD and watched it all in about three days. It is contrived and silly and overly sentimental and wonderful. Teenagers should not get engaged, birth mom’s should not try to steal their children back, and no one should “say sorry with a song,” but the cast of this show can belt. It shouldn’t be winning awards anymore (and let’s be real it won’t), but I’m glad to be watching it again.
I’ve written about this show before, and although it has some plot and pacing issues I have just continued to love it each more with each week, and each new character – a dirty hipster Jack White stand in? a virginal QB Tim Tebow wannabe? Yes please!
Yes I know it’s not a musical in the sense of the other shows on this list, in that no one just breaks out in song for no reason, but the music is the heart and soul of this show, and it’s so good.
Full disclosure: I have seen only the first and the last episodes of this show. I really meant to watch it, because I love musicals and the theater world and the backstage drama. From everything I’ve read what I missed in the middle was a bit of a mess, but the finale was good enough that I plan on catching up. Also I love any show that employs so many of my Broadway favorites. (Christian Borle! Wes Taylor!)