The always lovely Paris uploaded her answers to the Musical Theatre Tag a few days ago and I just had to jump on board with the tag. I have been an avid theatre goer for a number of years, and I’m particularly partial to a musical. I even managed to squeeze in a trip to the theatre when I was in America.
Photo Source: Manhattan Guide
I go through stages where my love for theatre is on par with my love for makeup, if not exceeding it, and I think my friends get sick of it. I’m forever humming something from some soundtrack somewhere, and people would probably think there was something wrong with me if I didn’t. So without further ado, here are my answers to the Musical Theatre Tag.
What was the first musical you ever saw?
I went to see Oliver at The Haymarket in Leicester at the wee age of 5, but I don’t remember it other than sitting in the theatre and reading the programme. My first West End Show was Mamma Mia in February 2005, as my grandparents bought my family tickets for my mum’s 40th.
What was your favourite musical growing up?
Grease was probably my favourite movie musical if you exclude the Disney classics. There was one year whilst I was still in primary school where I became really obsessed with Grease because it was always on television, and my parents bought me the DVD and sheet music for all the songs for the piano (my piano skills were dire and I think I only learnt a couple of songs to a very poor standard).
Were you ever in a musical?
On holiday in 2004 I was in Grease (best moment ever), and I’ve been in school musicals. I think my best moment was when I was in Panto with Dani Harmer, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a musical.
What was the first musical you saw on Broadway?
I’ve not been to Broadway to see a show (I will be saddened by this until I get to see a show), but I did walk down the street many moons ago. I did get to see Amelie in Berkeley, California whilst I was away though which was wonderful.
What was the first musical you saw on West End?
As mentioned back in the very first question, Mamma Mia was my first show. I don’t really remember it, so when I saw the film it was like seeing a brand new musical.
If you could be any female character from a musical, who would you be and why?
This is a toughie, but I want to say Natalie from Next To Normal. She has such an intense background which really shapes her character. A close second is Tracy from Hairspray because she has a wonderful heart and her will to change the world is utterly admirable.
Which male character?
Possibly Finch from How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, because he’s so strong willed and knows exactly what he wants in life. I wish I could be exactly like him.
Recently, I’ve been loving The Last Five Years, and I can’t stop singing Still Hurting which is the opening song, and Goodbye Until Tomorrow which is the finale. I can’t say which version I prefer out of Sherie Rene Scott, Betsy Wolfe, and Anna Kendrick but I’ve been listening to them all on a cycle.
Alexia Khadime is definitely up there because she’s so lovely to stand and talk to. However, in terms of people to watch, I think that Kerry Ellis is mesmerising and when I heard her sing Memory, I balled. I finally got to watch Samantha Barks a few weeks ago, and she was everything I could’ve dreamed and more.
Jonathan Groff. Literally one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met but also one of the most talented. I know he doesn’t do theatre that much now, but if you get the chance to see him, you have to go. He was incredible in Deathtrap at the Noel Coward in London.
I’m a stage fan over film, but I have to say that they did a good job of The Last Five Years and Hairspray. Grease deserves an honourable mention here because I wasn’t a fan of the stage version but I love the film.
Dogfight, for sure. I saw it twice at the Southwark Playhouse and it was incredible. It’s yet to make it to Broadway or the West End, but it’s by far one of my favourites. Another show I’d like to mention here is The Commitments, which I had a blast at. I also got my seat upgraded and ended up on the aisle of the fifth row in the stalls, and ended up singing part of Mustang Sally into the microphone as held up by Killian Donnelly.
What do you think is the most overrated musical?
I hate to say it but Grease. Even though I do love it, I feel there are plenty just as good if not better musicals out there that don’t get half as much credit.What musical made you cry?
Les Mis, Billy Elliot (I got hit many a time when I saw this by a friend because I was sniffing so much), Dogfight, Cats, and The Book of Mormon, although this was from laughter. Let’s be honest, most musicals have made me cry at some point or another.
The Book of Mormon. I’ve seen it three times and as well as crying from sadness, I cry with laughter. Amelie was also really funny.
I have never hated any, but Grease in the West End wasn’t that enjoyable. I’m not a big Romeo & Juliet fan and I had the same opinion on West Side Story, as much as I love the songs, I just don’t like the way it’s acted (I’ve seen it both on stage and the film, and I feel like this about both).
I am desperate to see Miss Saigon, Newsies and Next To Normal. To be honest, I wouldn’t turn down tickets to anything, but these are the three that spring to mind straight away.
I think Wicked would work wonderfully as a film, and I know there are always rumours in the mill about this adaptation so I hope it happens soon. As much as I’d like Next To Normal to reach a wider audience, I feel like people wouldn’t understand it and it would get the wrong audience. I’m dying to see Matilda as a film, because I think it’s underrated, even with all of its awards. If there is one musical you need to see, it’s this one.
I’m so, so happy that they’ve turned Legally Blonde, Billy Elliot, and now Amelie into musicals, but I feel like they could use Slumdog Millionaire or The Help as a starting point for a musical. They could write some incredible scripts and songs for those two.
My all time favourite is The Book of Mormon. I think it’s hilarious and I could watch it over and over again. The soundtrack is so funny and well written, and the characters are amazingly developed. As long as you’re not easily offended, this should be on your list to see. And just to let you know – it’s not offensive to Mormons, it’s offensive to everybody. A close second is Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I blame Donny Osmond for this (my first love) as his portrayal in the film is incredible.