Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My 100 Favorite Stage Musicals of All-Time

When I was a kid, my father frequently played Broadway musical recordings around the house. I was even taken to some touring musicals while just in grammar school, such as The Wiz, A Chorus Line and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (really).

This must have engendered some sort of affinity for the Broadway art form, although rock 'n roll would be my sole music of choice for many years.

As I got older, I did elect to go to an occasional musical of my own volition, but had seen less than 10 as an adult before the year 2000.

Since then, I have become quite a Broadway aficionado and have seen more than 350 performances of at least 200 different musicals.

This list certainly isn't based on any exact science. It is meant to rank my fondness for each musical in terms of the source material, not any specific productions, but particularly spectacular renditions will have undoubtedly influenced my affinity for certain shows.

The ranking is merely of stage musicals--thus Singin' in the Rain, which was only done as a stage work long after the great 1952 movie isn't as high as the film itself would be--although a few shows, such as Grease, are now typically staged with the inclusion of songs written for the movie version.

I've only included musicals I've actually seen on stage, at least once, and there may be some slighting of musicals I last saw long ago. Although I've seen most major musicals, there are a few I haven't, so some omissions may be due to ineligibility, rather than distaste. (I toyed with listing some also rans, but elected not to bother.)

With that said, these are My 100 Favorite Stage Musicals of All-time, which could probably change somewhat on any given day, but seems about right. For now. (To whatever extent the distinction makes sense, "my favorite" does not always correspond to what I think is "the best." For example, I actually think #2, 3, 4, 5 and others are better musicals than #1, but it's my clear favorite.)

1.    The Producers
2.    Les MisĂ©rables
3.    West Side Story
4.    The Music Man
5.    My Fair Lady
6.    Sunday in the Park with George
7.    Fiddler on the Roof
8.    Rent
9.    Cabaret
10.  Avenue Q

11.    Hairspray
12.    Evita
13.    The Sound of Music
14.    Wicked
15.    The Lion King
16.    Sweeney Todd
17.    Spring Awakening
18.    Billy Elliot
19.    The Visit
20.    A Little Night Music   

21.    A Chorus Line
22.    Man of La Mancha
23.    Mamma Mia
24.    Jersey Boys
25.    Follies
26.    Fiorello
27.    Gypsy
28.    The Book of Mormon
29.    South Pacific
30.    Ragtime

31.    Guys and Dolls
32.    In the Heights
33.    Hello Dolly
34.    Carousel
35.    Company
36.    Camelot
37.    Oklahoma
38.    The Who’s Tommy
39.    Show Boat
40.    Mary Poppins

41.    Brigadoon
42.    Sunset Blvd.
43.    Chicago
44.    Parade
45.    The King and I
46.    City of Angels
47.    Pacific Overtures
48.    Miss Saigon
49.    The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
50.    Bat Boy

51.    Side Show
52.    Million Dollar Quartet
53.    Legally Blonde
54.    Beauty and the Beast
55.    La Cage Aux Folles
56.    Anything Goes
57.    Next to Normal
58.    Kinky Boots
59.    Cats
60.    Adding Machine

61.    A Christmas Story
62.    Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
63.    42nd Street
64.    Oliver
65.    Working
66.    The Rink
67.    Funny Girl
68.    Damn Yankees
69.    Annie
70.    Little Shop of Horrors

71.    Singin’ in the Rain
72.    Tick, Tick…Boom
73.    Thoroughly Modern Millie
74.    The Drowsy Chaperone
75.    Passion
76.    Man of No Importance
77.    Crazy for You
78.    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
79.    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
80.    A Most Happy Fella

81.    Caroline, or Change
82.    Dreamgirls
83.    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
84.    Grease
85.    Kiss Me Kate
86.    1776
87.    Bounce
88.    Urinetown
89.    Bye Bye Birdie
90.    Curtains

91.    Into the Woods
92.    Spamalot
93.    Daddy Long Legs
94.    Mame
95.    Merrily We Roll Along
96.    Dangerous Beauty
97.    Phantom of the Opera
98.    Movin’ Out
99.    Seussical
100.  Wonderful Town

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seth, have you seen The Fantastiks?

I'm going to assume you haven't b/c it's not on your list.
Once you do, it will be in your top ten.