My Top 10 Musicals
I am sure we all have our own fantastic list of top 10 musicals, but here are my personal favourites at the moment. These are all highly rated shows, all of which I have seen or aspire to see and most of these shows are fairly well known. So, if you are lucky enough to have seen them all already please do add your own comments or personal top 10 and let me know if you have any suggestions on must watch shows. Some of these are Broadway (USA) and others are West End (UK), so unless you have got some money in the bank I’m not sure crossing countries to watch a show is possible.
Billy Elliot – Victoria Palace Theatre, the West End. With one of the most award-winning musicals, you will not be disappointed; pulling on your heartstrings, this story is about a boy defying the social boundaries presented to him to reach his goal, something I connect with. His determination is one of the reasons I love this show so much, his drive to achieve his dream is something I will always aspire to have. And with its brilliant choreography; performed by talented youngsters, and a very strong Geordie accent, there’s no reason why Billy Elliot should not be in this top 10.
Matilda – Cambridge Theatre, the West End. With the musical genius that is Tim Minchin, we see a beloved tale brought to life with this truly ‘gifted’ cast. This show delivers a magical and heart-felt adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous book, you just will not be able to get enough of. With characters such as Miss Honey and the infamous Miss Trunchbull, this show really speaks to my inner child, reminding me of younger days and the teachers I had at school, making it all the more worthy of a place here in the top 10.
Les Miserables – Queen’s Theatre, the West End. First opening in 1985, Les Mis has seen worldwide success, with its tear-jerking compositions that audiences continuously return for year after year. Now, just celebrating its 30th anniversary on October 8th, we saw some of its original cast members re-appear on stage for a special finale. Not only did they give a stellar performance, all the proceeds from the show went towards ‘Save The Children’s’ Syria Appeal. They have also set up a JustGiving page, with the aim of reaching their £5,000 target, in case you want to support their cause!
For an emotional journey back in time, this piece of theatre really pulls out all the stops. I always feel moved when watching this show, the characters and performers seem so real and forceful, their defiance and rebellious nature making it compelling to watch, drawing you in. It will surely float your boat, or should I say ‘fly your flag’.
The Book of Mormon – The Prince of Wales Theatre, the West End. From the creators of South Park comes one of the funniest shows to date, telling the tale of two young missionaries, ‘The Book of Mormon’, follows their journey across the sea. Not only does this show supply us with perfectly timed jokes, it also brings back memories for me. During an intense GSA performance of ‘All-American Prophet’ one of the performers made their way into the audience where my unsuspecting father was sitting right on the isle, she stopped and sang directly to him – he was overcome with laughter and could not stop talking about it all the way home! With its hilarious comedy and catchy songs, this show has earnt its place here in the top 10. Winning 9 Tony Awards, this is one show you do not want to miss out on.
Chicago – Currently on a tour of The UK, see the shows website for details. Inspired by the dance stylings of Bob Fosse, this jazzy show is filled to its stockings with sassy musical numbers that puts me in one hell of a mischievous mood. I’m dancing and singing the score for days after watching it, so trust me you will leave the theatre with your fingers snapping and a little jazz in your step!
Finding Neverland – Lunt Fontanne Theatre, Broadway. Similar to the hit film, Finding Neverland, delves into the life story of the Author J.M Barrie, and how Peter Pan came to be. Staying almost true to the storyline from the titled film, it retains its magical quality on stage. This show features songs that will bring out your childhood memories and for me it was so interesting to see Peter Pan come to life through Barrie, almost giving that childhood classic film a deeper more personal meaning. With its uplifting attitude, this show will excite the child in everyone.
Miss Saigon – Prince Edward Theatre, the West End. From the creative minds of Les Miserables, we see the musical wonder that is Miss Saigon. It is a really dramatic love story about a Vietnamese bar girl in Saigon and her American G.I. boyfriend. We watch their romance develop and their lives become entwined before they are torn apart as the Vietnam war takes its toll on the country with the ultimate fall of Saigon. This is an emotional musical like few others and one that moves me to tears regularly. It is a musical masterpiece that should not be missed.
Aladdin – New Amsterdam Theatre, Broadway. The producers who brought you ‘The Lion King’ have struck gold again, this time bringing you another Disney favourite, Aladdin. With its brightly coloured stage and costumes, this show delivers a fantastic performance, filled with magic and comedy. The genie is really the star of the show, with a great script and really strong vocals playing to a packed house. It is light and full of energy and kept my 11 and 14 year old siblings as well as my parents entertained. By the end, they had us standing with applause. This is one show you will wish you could see again.
Wicked – Apollo Victoria Theatre, the West End. If you do not already know the lyrics to the Wicked soundtrack, you are guaranteed to know them after you have seen this show. With more green than you can ever imagine, Glinda and Elphaba will take you on their timeless journey of friendship as they tell the backstory to the Wizard of Oz. After watching this the first time, I was ready to go again. Let there be no confusion here, this is one of the best musicals of our time, in my opinion.
The Lion King – Lyceum Theatre, the West End. After 16 years in the London theatre, Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ is still reeling in the audiences every night. With some of the most colourful costumes I have ever seen, this incredible show is well worth the watch. As a lover of the Disney film, I was not sure how they could take an animated film and turn it into a live action piece. But, I should not have doubted the talent of Julie Taymor, her directive skills took this show and turned it into a masterpiece and I am more than proud to have it in my top 10.
Follow Simba as he grows from a naive lion cub to the ultimate King of the Pridelands in this epic tale of triumph over adversity that shows us that character is built on life’s experiences and to become a great leader takes courage, compassion and determination to acquire justice, to overcome the odds. The show is packed with moral and life dilemmas that I found endearing and easy to relate to, with so much to offer to the young and the young at heart. So if you are anything like me, and love an inspirational storyline this is one you will not forget.