Your challenge today (or this weekend, or within the next month) is to go and see some live theater ('re' if you're in England). It doesn't have to be $200 tickets to a Broadway show or even your local professional theater house. Find a local high school or college doing a spring play or musical and check them out at a much cheaper price. You may be surprised at the quality you can find in some of these productions and just might catch a glimpse of tomorrow's big star. And you'll be supporting the local arts programs too!
And now the confession.
Anyone who knows me probably knows that I claim to abhor musicals that are made into movies. This stems from a genuine disbelief that any of the gang members in West Side Story or street racers in Grease would spontaneously break into song and dance in the middle of their everyday lives. I can appreciate the music in these films, but the dancing is stretching reality a bit too far for my liking.
Too be fair, I love The Wizard of Oz and all of the old Disney movies which at their hearts are simply animated musicals. But these are set in fantasy lands that aren't real to begin with so I have an easier time meeting the filmmakers halfway.
So what's my confession? I recently had the chance to see the latest film version of Les Misérables starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway and I have to say that I was completely blown away. I went into the experience with somewhat of an open mind, but did not expect to be so totally impressed by the film, the musical performances (by Hathaway and Samantha Barks as Éponine in particular), and the telling of the story. I loved seeing the stage production when it came to town several years ago and was impressed by how much depth they could give in a live show, but this film gave me a much bigger appreciation for this story.
I can't say that I'm completely sold on all movie musicals from this day forward, but at least one has captured my attention and respect. Bravissimo!!