Mark, my mum and my dad have all had things to say about my blurb on musicals, each pointing out important performances that I had overlooked.
Mark pointed out that I overlooked ‘West Side Story’, and he’s right. I absolutely should have included it.
My first exposure to ‘West Side Story’ was when I watched the movie as a kid. Sometime around the same time, we also started listening to the soundtrack at home. I had a particular liking for ‘Officer Krupke‘ and ‘America‘. I watched the film again as a teenager, around the time that we read ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for English at school, and suddenly had a whole new appreciation for the storyline. I finally got to see a live performance of ‘West Side Story’ when Mark got us tickets to a show in Milan during our honeymoon. The tickets were a surprise addition to an already fantastic trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed our evening at the Teatro alla Scala. [Aside: I also partially attribute the fact that we saw a musical sung in English whilst in Milan towards my thought process that Les Mis would be in English too, even though we were in Berlin. West Side set a precedent in my mind. Heh.]
We went to see West Side Story at the Teatro in Milano. There were subtitles build into the seat backs to help people understand what was being sung on stage. The elderly Italian gentleman seated on my left also contributed some audio assistance by singing along with the songs that he knew, and several of the ones he didn’t know too.
Then there’s ‘Buddy’, which my mum pointed out that I had overlooked. I remember really, really enjoying this musical. As in, getting up out of my seat to dance to “Great Balls of Fire” in the middle of the theater, despite being way-too-cool to engage in this type of activity normally because I was a teenager, enjoyment. We listened to Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Big Bopper’s songs on repeat in the car for months and months after the show. Apparently I also saw Buddy with Mark when we lived in Singapore. I believe him, but I can’t recall much if anything about the performance. Oops.
And finally ‘Mamma Mia’, which my dad noted as MIA. I saw this for the first time in late December 2001 with all the family during a trip to London. It was ace. Best part about the ‘Mamma Mia’ performance in my opinion was sitting next to my Nan, and watching/listening to her get transported away with the songs and the story until she couldn’t hold herself back any more and finally started dancing in her seat and singing softly along with the music.
For the record I have also seen:
Phantom of the Opera – I do not get what all the fuss is about with this musical. Meh.
Miss Saigon – It was enjoyable enough, but not anywhere near as good as, say, Les Mis.
A Chorus Line – One Singular Sensation is right. That’s really the only good song in the whole show.
Chicago – It was good. I liked both the theatrical production I saw in Singapore, and also the movie. I mean, the movie has Catherine Zeta Jones in it. What’s not to like?
I think that covers it.