So You Say You Hate Musicals

by Toledo Lucas County Public Library
So You Say You Hate Musicals

Hello blog readers! Allison F and Eric P here to talk to you about something that’s been weighing on us.

So, you say you hate musicals …

Do you really?

Is it the cheesy storylines? Or maybe it’s the way they keep making their characters sing and dance when people don’t really do that. Perhaps they give you a strange, uncomfortable feeling – as if you are embarrassed for the incredibly talented people singing and dancing their hearts out. They look like they’re having the time of their life, but deep down they feel awkward and self-conscious, right? Right?

We get it, musicals are kinda weird. But the thing is, we don’t actually believe you when you say you hate them.

We think maybe you just haven’t discovered the musical that’s right for you.

We think maybe you saw “Fiddler on the Roof” once when you were seven and swore you’d never watch one again. (At an impressionable age, Eric sat through a high school production of “Oklahoma!” in which the title song threatened never to end. It may still be going to this day.)

We think we can convince you otherwise.

So we dare you to keep reading. Let us try and prove to you that musicals are a magical force of fun and excitement just waiting to change your life. Or at least change your mind.

 

Eric says

If you like…

War and peace by Leo Tolstoy
Seekers and finders [music CD] / Gogol Bordello
You're the worst - Television Show, Season 2 on DVD / Bluebrush Productions

 

You’ll probably enjoy

Natasha, Pierre and the great comet of 1812 [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Dave Malloy

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

The musical where actors play their own guitars and accordions while navigating love and dysfunction during the Napoleonic wars.

Music CD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

Outlander. Season 1, volume 1 [DVD] / executive producer, Ronald D. Moore
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Synthesis by Evanescence - music album

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Phantom of the Opera - motion picture

The Phantom of the Opera

In which the female lead never once questions the disembodied voice that is teaching her to sing and willingly allows herself to be kidnapped and taken into the bowels of Paris’s underground before panicking and realizing something might not be quite right with the dude in the mask.

DVDMusic CD | eMusic

 

Eric says

If you like…

Lysis ; Symposium ; Gorgias / Plato ; with an English translation by W.R.M. Lamb
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - motion picture
The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [music CD] / David Bowie

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hedwig and the angry inch [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Music and lyrics by Stephen Trask ; book by John Cameron Mitchell ; directed by Michael Mayer

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The glammy rock opera about love, identity, and sex reassignment surgery in the shadow of the cold war.

Music CD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

Role models / John Waters
Save the last dance - motion picture
RuPaul's drag race (Season 7) - television show

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hairspray - motion picture

Hairspray

The upbeat and colorful tale of some plucky teens who just want to dance and aren’t gonna let a little thing like institutionalized racism get in their way.

DVD | Music CD

 

Eric says

If you like…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Marathon Man - motion picture
Wall of sound [music CD] : the very best of Phil Spector, 1961-1966
The Complete houseplant survival manual : essential know-how for keeping (not killing) more than 160 indoor plants / Barbara Pleasant ; photography by Rosemary Kautzky

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Little Shop of Horrors - motion picture

Little Shop of Horrors

In which carnivorous plants and malicious dentists sing catchy Brill Building pop numbers as the bodies pile up.

DVD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Stand by Me - motion picture
The Very Best of Backstreet Boys - music

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Newsies

Newsies

The story of scrappy turn of the century newspaper sales boys who team up with Teddy Roosevelt to take down the newspaper industry. Also, Christian Bale in a cowboy hat.

DVDeMusic

 

Eric says

If you like…

Ripper Street - TV Show
Symphonie fantastique [music CD] / Hector Berlioz
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Donner Party [DVD] / written and directed by Ric Burns ; produced by Lisa Ades and Ric Burns

 

You’ll probably enjoy….

Sweeney Todd - motion picture

Sweeney Todd

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a darkly Victorian tale of entrepreneurial cannibalism.

DVD | Music CD

 

Allison says

If you like…

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone / by J.K. Rowling
Hocus Pocus - motion picture
Charmed - TV Show
Kermit the Frog's "It's Not easy Being Green"
Image by Isotastic – flickr

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Wicked

Wicked

The tale of the “Wicked” Witch of the West who it turns out had a greater handle on things than anyone else and also really knew how to rock the all-black look.

Music CD | eMusic
Based on the novel “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire.

 

Eric says

If you like…

Lawrence of Arabia - motion picture
Northern Exposure - TV Show
Omar Sharif - 1963
Photo by Gene Weber – Wikimedia Commons

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

The Band’s Visit

The intimate and heartbreaking show about cosmopolitan Egyptian musicians unexpectedly stranded in a small Israeli desert town.

Music CD | eMusic
Book | eBook
Based on the film by Eran Kolirin.

 

Allison says

If you like…

Antiques Roadshow behind the scenes : an insider's guide to PBS's #1 weekly show / Marsha Bemko
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

 

The Fugitive - motion picture

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Les Miserables - motion picture

Les Miserables

In which everyone is truly miserable except for two young lovebirds whose self-absorption is so intense they are able to all but ignore the French Revolution. Plus, ghosts.

DVDMusic CD

 

…Did it work? Is your previous antipathy toward musicals dwindling like the box office returns of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?” Do you feel a newfound generosity toward the art form swelling in you like the crescendo of an 11 o’clock number?

Or perhaps your indifference remains unchanged. Maybe you still feel as antagonistic toward the stage musical experience as Leslie Odom Jr’s Aaron Burr felt toward Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton.”

But that’s okay. It just means we haven’t found the right one for you yet. We’ll be back with another blog post with more suggestions, and we’ll keep coming back until you’ve got jazz hands.

I mean, that high school performance of “Oklahoma!” is still going on somewhere, so anything’s possible.

Five-six-seven-eight!

 

Read more from Eric and Allison


 

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