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Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009 

Of the musicals listed below, which is your Top Musical of 2000-2009?
AVENUE Q 28%  28%  [ 11 ]
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
URINETOWN 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTRY SPELLING BEE 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
GREY GARDENS 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
IN THE HEIGHTS 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
THE LAST FIVE YEARS 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
WICKED 23%  23%  [ 9 ]
HAIRSPRAY 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 40

Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009 
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
It just so happens to be Avenue Q, which apparently is the favorite here judging by the number of votes it has received. The score is a brilliant pastiche of Sesame Street, The Electric Company and its other PBS forebears, and the story would not be out of place on any of those shows (albeit most likely on a "For Special Audiences" episode - see Diff'rent Strokes ... did not intend a Gary Coleman ref, but there it is). I like the title number, and I also enjoy the West Side Story references in "Purpose" and "The More You Ruv Someone," which (to me) make it a cut above other parodies or what one would call "populist" musicals, because it actually references the genre it is trying to be a part of.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
The Top 10 list largely doesn't appeal to me, so I don't particularly care about any of the spots. However, I do have a bone to pick with both lists: if one is going to eliminate jukebox musicals, presumably for a lack of originality, then what are so many screen-to-stage transfers still doing in the list? Regardless of quality, one could easily drop Hairspray, Grey Gardens, The Light in the Piazza, Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Producers, Xanadu, Billy Elliot, Legally Blonde, Young Frankenstein, Jersey Boys (which, while a bio-musical, is still thoroughly a jukebox musical, and I don't know why it's still in the list), Sweet Smell of Success, The Wedding Singer, The Full Monty, The Color Purple, and High School Musical. And then I remembered this list isn't about "Top 10 Original Musicals," just "Top 10 Musicals," especially as there is a dearth of original musicals in today's theater world. Nonetheless, it's something that bugged me.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
I honestly don't care enough about the musicals of this decade to know any that should have appeared in the Top 10. I'm sorry, but nothing has really grabbed my attention, and what has, I found fun but lacking.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?
Even in terms of the musicals I liked during this decade, I didn't consider any of them memorable enough to buy (or otherwise obtain) the cast recording. None of them really stuck with me, except for Avenue Q, and having heard the cast recording once, the tunes just sound bloody irritating without the book. Without the book to anchor it, it's not just a pastiche of tunes from the kiddie shows that inspired it, it is tunes from the kiddie shows that inspired it, and I can only listen to that in small doses at best. Also, "The Internet is for Porn" is really played out thanks to YouTube.

5. If you could pitch a film version, television adaptation or revival for a musical from this decade, which would you choose? Who would you cast? Discuss.
Honestly, I'm more interested in what didn't come to fruition; for example, the creators of Avenue Q were reportedly turned down by the Jim Henson Company on a proposal for a project called Kermit, Prince of Denmark, which experience was partial inspiration for the development of this show. Now, whether you think that was going to be a masterpiece or a catastrophe, it still sounds like something worth seeing. That said, if I had to make a pitch, it would be for Q, for prime time TV, and the show would be a basic parody of the Sesame Street and Electric Company ethos, maybe even casting some of the Muppeteers and live actors from some of these projects (such as Sonia Manzano and Rita Moreno) to drive home the point further.

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Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:31 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why? Grey Gardens. It's a story that needs to be told and the score is top notch, considering it was Frankel and Korie's first major show.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why? In The Heights. It catches a great deal of hype and yet doesn't give us anything we haven't seen before.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why? The Producers. It took a mediocre movie and breathed new purified life into it; hell, it improved it!

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it? Avenue Q. I hate to repeat what others have said, but it's so true: I find new surprises upon each listen and it never stops being satisfying.

5. If you could pitch a film version, television adaptation or revival for a musical from this decade, which would you choose? Who would you cast? Discuss. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:29 pm
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Post Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
High-baritonne wrote:
It has more to do with the "lack" of a story. I feel Avenue Q is kind of like a Concept Musical, even though it has a story, because to me the themes come across as more important than the story! If this makes sense?

It does make sense, but I don't agree. The narrative thrust of Avenue Q is very clear and I wouldn't call the show a concept musical. It is pure musical comedy, albeit the kind that developed post-Oklahoma! where things were more closely integrated than they would have been in, say, Babes in Arms.

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
In the Heights is not rap. There is rapping in a grand total of 5 songs, and that doesn't really even count as rap. It's like The Witch's part in the Prologue in ITW.


Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:56 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
After having bought and listened to the cast recording of Curtains, I'm very surprised it haven't gotten more popularity.

It is a very intelligent musical comedy, with great lyrics and tunes, and seems like it belongs to that rare cathegory of great musicals with completely original plots. I think it is among the best three of the Kander/Ebb shows.

Have anyone before managed to write a good murder mystery musical? Hitherto I've assumed that those genres are incombinable.

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Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:57 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
Curtains isn't perfect, but it's definitely a good one. I'm not sure if it even remotely compares to Cabaret or Chicago, but it's a superb musical comedy. I'm glad you liked it Hans! :)

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Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
Disney-Bway27 wrote:
Curtains isn't perfect, but it's definitely a good one. I'm not sure if it even remotely compares to Cabaret or Chicago, but it's a superb musical comedy.


What flaws does it have? I only know it from the cast recording and the synopsis.

I don't think it is remotely similar to Cabaret or Chicago, but it is much better than most musical comedies (or musicals in general) from the last ten years, as far as I am able to evaluate.

It is so rare that modern musicals pay hommage to earlier traditions so intelligently without being overbearing. Even the show-within-the-show numbers of Curtains stand mostly well on their own. How often does that happen?

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Post Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Avenue Q, but The Producers and Spamalot give it a run for it's money.... (The Producers is) all around brilliant.

The Producers doesn't come close to Avenue Q, nor is it all round brilliant. The score has its fun moments, but it is just about instantly dismissable and some of it is incredibly workmanlike. The social-political context of the season in which it debuted on Broadway and media hysteria was what made many believe that The Producers was a great musical. I wish it hadn't swept the Tony Awards in its season. The show certainly did not deserve all of the awards that were bestowed upon it.

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Spamalot [is] so good at making one happy just listening to it.

It is a great listen. A really enjoyable cast album, with a bunch of really funny, feel-good songs.

ActingDude17 wrote:
I'm going to say Hairspray (is least deserving of a spot on the Top 10 list). None of the score is particularly original or unique.

An interesting choice and an interesting reasoning. Does it matter that the score isn't unique? How many scores actually are? The score is, on the other hand, quite engaging - far more than the same team's Catch Me If You Can, which really does seem derivative and uninteresting - and for the most part it has been done well within the boundaries within which it was conceived. The show is not without flaws, but at least it is coherent, which is more than can be said of something like Wicked.

ActingDude17 wrote:
I feel like the subject matter (of Hairspray) is handled much more efficiently in other shows.

For example? Off the top of my head, I can't think of another show that deals with the issue of racial integration in 1960s television.

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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
Avenue Q by a longshot -- the humor and satire are terrific fun, and the music is insanely catchy.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
I don't really know most of the other shows on the list that well. I'm tempted to nominate Wicked (which I've seen twice) for this one just because of how popular it is among teens who just got into musical theater, plus the fact that there's really nothing innovative about it at all besides the budget. But at least the musical doesn't anger me quite as much as Maguire's books with their constant disrespect towards the land of Oz as L. Frank Baum envisioned it.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
There are quite a few, actually, but then I don't know most of the shows that are actually *on* the list all that well -- other than Avenue Q and Wicked, the only show there I've seen or heard in full was Hairspray, which isn't really my style, though I don't outright dislike it. My list would have looked something like this (in no particular order):
Avenue Q
The Producers
Next to Normal
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Legally Blonde
Curtains
Jersey Boys
Spamalot
The Wild Party
(LaChiusa)
and maybe Wicked, just to make it 10.


4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?
The Vienna cast album of The Producers. Just because of how delightfully wrong it is to hear "Springtime for Hitler" sung in German. (I also have the Italian cast album. No Japanese recording exists, though, sadly.)
:lol:


5. If you could pitch a film version, television adaptation or revival for a musical from this decade, which would you choose? Who would you cast? Discuss.
A better version of The Producers than the film we got in 2005 would have been nice. I'd have tried to go for a filmed stage production rather than a Hollywood movie. Much as I like Nathan Lane, I think I might've gone for Jason Alexander as Bialystock instead, with Martin Short as Bloom (since I never really liked Matthew Broderick in anything). Gary Beach and Roger Bart can -- nay, must -- stay. And if not Cady Huffman, then at least someone who can actually belt when required as Ulla. Loved John Barrowman as the main SS Officer in the "Springtime for Hitler" scene of the film, though, so we could definitely keep him as well.

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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
It's a tight race between The Light in the Piazza, LaChiusa's The Wild Party, The Last Five Years, and The Full Monty. In each case, it's great storytelling fueled by incredible music.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
I suppose Wicked. I think it's great that it's so well-loved, it just didn't make a big impact on me.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
Definitely The Full Monty. Funny show, lovable characters, smart score. It's a well-constructed crowd-pleaser and I just loved every minute of it.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?
The Wild Party (LaChiusa). I still remember seeing the show the first time, being literally on the edge of my seat when Eartha Kitt was singing "Moving Uptown". That score just blows me away - so vibrant and powerful. And of course the cast is ridiculously talented across the board. I never get tired of those songs.

5. If you could pitch a film version, television adaptation or revival for a musical from this decade, which would you choose? Who would you cast? Discuss.
Wouldn't The Light in the Piazza make a lovely movie? Filmed on location, it could be breathtaking.

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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 2000 - 2009
I kind of get what you're saying, but can you talk about what characterises the "thinness" for you? I don't really have any problems with the story, because I think that the plot serves the themes really well and everything just is so well integrated in the final analysis.


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