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Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989 

Of the musicals listed below, which is your Top Musical of 1980-1989?
LES MISERABLES 26%  26%  [ 10 ]
INTO THE WOODS 21%  21%  [ 8 ]
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE 23%  23%  [ 9 ]
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
MISS SAIGON 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
NINE 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 13%  13%  [ 5 ]
DREAMGIRLS 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 39

Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989 
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
(found it!)

1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?

It's a close tie between La Cage and Miss Saigon. I'd have to go with Saigon. The score is haunting and I like the cinematic elements in it. I think the staging is clever ("You will not touch him" to "This is the Hour"). I prefer it over Les Mis.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?

Eh. I'm not crazy about Phantom of the Opera. It's okay in it's own right, it just moves a tad slow for 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 love Cats. Go ahead and ridicule me.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?

Miss Saigon. I love the orchestrations and Lea Salonga is at her best. But I also enjoy La Cage, Cats, and Little Shop of Horrors.

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.

La Cage would be fabulous. As would Saigon. Into the Woods might be fun (animated version, anyone? No Disney though.)


Last edited by Cptn. Wazoo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
Slimbone wrote:
Sure, I understand that many may be sick to death of it... but saying that Phantom is the least deserving of a spot in the top ten musicals of the 80s is just wrong. That's like saying Hulk Hogan is the least deserving professional wrestler of the 80s... who is clearly the most well known ever.


Nah... It's the other way around. Claiming POTO is the best musical of the eighties based on its popularity is like saying Hulk Hogan is the best actor of the period. Sort of.

Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?

Miss Saigon. I love the orchestrations [...]


You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but isn't that a bit like saying a book is your favourite because you like the font?

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:30 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
Well you have to credit Phantom with that its one (if not the only?) show from the 80ties thats still runs in both West End and Broadway, and runs in its original production. There isnt many shows around that could come up with such a record after such a long time. You can think whatever you like about the show but in my world that if nothing shows quality, or it wouldnt have last that long.

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:43 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
Profetikus wrote:
You can think whatever you like about the show but in my world that if nothing shows quality, or it wouldnt have last that long.


Oh, I like the show. I even got the 25th anniversary concert om both cd and dvd. But when listening to it (which I actually have done a lot lately) one is constantly disturbed by how much better one thinks the show would have been if it weren't so sloppily written, both bookwise, lyricwise and musicwise.

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:52 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
I got the same kind off feeling when I listend to the original recording off Love Never Dies. It has some strong points and songs but the majority off the show wasnt ready and should never have been realesed in that state.

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:16 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
Cats- without a second of doubt. For me, as a dancer, Cats is the ultimate musical where the dancing and acting through the choreography is the main focus. It may lack a typical storyline- but all the small stories between the characters, and the universe of the Cats as a whole, more than makes up for it in my book. Musicwise it also contains some of the, in my book, best musical moments to have ever been in a show. the thing however is that I may actually like the instrumental parts of the music more than the actual songs which can come off kinda annoying sometimes. "Jellicle songs for jellicle cats" and "The jellicle ball" are mt fave numbers of alltime though.

Voted for "Into the woods" on the poll- its just genious, funny and wellwritten.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
I may have to go with "Dream girls"- Im not saying its bad, it has quite a few catchy songs, but I do find the storyline and characters rather bland. At least it has never really struck a nerve with me.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
Not sure if it should have made the list, but maybe "Carrie" haha. I am one of the few weird people who realy likes the original production, and enjoys Debbie Allens choreography. Yes its camp and tacky- but I love it haha :D! the show is in many ways so camp that I like it- I know, I have horrible taste! Charlotte D'amboise might have a thing or two to do with it, as she is my fave performer.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?

It would again have to be Cats- its just really addictive music, and makes me feel happy and in a good mood :)
on the poll.. hmm possibly "Miss saigon". the Show itself is a little heavy for me, but the score is absolutely gorgeous and very powerfull! I may actually like listening to it more than watching the show itself.

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.
I just dont like musicals being made into movies- I have rarely seen it been done very well, and it just feels the odd. Musicals are meant to be seen live, not some recorded, perfected version.

For a revival haha... just guess which one I would choose. Of course Cats!! and it would be a West end revival. Not only would I love to see it- but seeing as I start my dance training in London this september, and will be graduating in 3 years, it would give me the opportunity to audition for it, and maybe make my biggest dream come true :D

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Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:03 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
ValtronW wrote:
Hans wrote:

Miss Saigon. I love the orchestrations [...]


You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but isn't that a bit like saying a book is your favourite because you like the font?


"Musical arrangements" would have been a better term. But then again, the score is usually richer on the cast albums, so maybe that was needless to say.

Eh, I was tired.

Muscialperformer92 wrote:

[b]3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?

Not sure if it should have made the list, but maybe "Carrie" haha. I am one of the few weird people who realy likes the original production


Some of the songs were gorgeous. Then again, Betty Buckley can make just about any song gorgeous. A shame they never came out with a cast album.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:44 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
you missed my pick.. "Mystery of Edwin Drood".

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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
This is perhaps the toughest choice for me out of all these decade polls. Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera are sentimental favorites of mine (LM much more than POTO), but I think Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and La Cage aux Folles are better shows all around. Though ITW is another of my sentimental favorites in addition to being what I think of as a great musical. In the end, though, I voted for Les Mis, without which I probably wouldn't be the musical fan I am today.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
Of the shows on the list that I've seen/heard in their entirety, I'd go with Miss Saigon. I enjoyed it when I saw it, but not as much as most of these others. Though one show on the list that I have to say I've never been able to get into is Nine -- I like a few songs from it (and love the Fellini film that it's based on), but every time I've tried to listen to a cast album, I ended up switching to something else after a few minutes. I did see the 2009 movie, but I'm not sure I can count that since about half the songs weren't in the stage version (and I found the movie a chore to get through, as well). It's odd, since I like the other Yeston/Kopit musicals I've heard; but Nine is one that's never clicked with me. I'm not nominating that show as being "undeserving," though, as I haven't seen/heard a full production.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
Hmm... Either The Mystery of Edwin Drood or Chess. I can't really decide between those two, as both were fantastic and deserve more appreciation.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?
There are so many. For Into the Woods, I love the original Broadway and London cast albums. For Les Mis, the 10th anniversary concert, the 2003 Japanese Green cast, and the 1996 Duisburg cast are my top picks. For Phantom of the Opera, the 1989 Vienna cast and the 1990 Swedish cast get my vote. I have a hard time choosing between those shows/recordings, however, as all have wonderful casts and are excellent representations of the shows overall.

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.
I've wanted to have a hand in live productions of Les Mis and Phantom for ages, and it would be nice to have a filmed version of an actual Les Mis stage production, as nice as the anniversary concerts were. A good film version of La Cage, or a filmed stage production, would also be fantastic.


As an aside, I think the main issue with Phantom of the Opera is that a lot of the show's potential for substance depends mostly on the cast rather than the book, music, or lyrics, possibly more so than for any other musical. Thus, if you're lucky enough to get performers (particularly as the Phantom and Christine) who have read Gaston Leroux's novel or understand something about the characters' psychology and can bring that out in their portrayals of the characters, the show can seem to be more substantive than what the libretto for the show spells out. The musical could and should have more to it, but I do think it makes a difference in how an audience perceives the show if the cast has done their homework beforehand. As it is, ALW's version isn't the best or the worst musical adaptation of Phantom out there, and is neither the most nor least faithful to its source material... What made it a phenomenon was that it had the best marketing team, and that's the way things often happen in show business.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:41 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
1. Which is your favourite musical from this decade? Why?
It's a hard choice, but I'd have to go with Les Miserables. While I think the scores of all Sondheim's shows that decade are superior, as a total theatrical experience Les Miz touches me very deeply. It hits on a lot of themes that I find meaningful, I truly do enjoy the score, and I love a good epic historical pageant.

2. Which musical on the Top 10 list is least deserving of a spot? Why?
I have a hard time with that word "deserving," since I think this is ultimately all about personal preference. I wouldn't have put Dreamgirls on the list myself, though.

3. Which musical from this decade that didn't make the list do you think should have appeared in the Top 10? Why?
A toss up between Chess and March of the Falsettos. Both are kind of messy, peculiar shows that tell very original stories and have a unique voice unlike any other musicals I can point to. And they both have fabulous scores.

4. Which cast recording of a show that premiered in this decade is your favourite? Why can't you stop listening to it?
No idea how to narrow this down. Les Miz, Chess, Big River, Merrily We Roll Along, and Into the Woods are among my favorites of the cast recordings from this decade, but Sunday in the Park with George would probably take the prize. It's just brilliant, don't know what else to say.

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.
Hmm, I wouldn't mind seeing a film version of Big River, that could be kind of fun. Maybe John Goodman would reprise his original stage role?

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Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
Les Miserables is definitely one of the best 1980s Broadway musicals but I’m surprised not to see a mention of Cats here since it was also inaugurated in the 80s and is still running.


Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:29 am
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Post Re: Top 10 Musicals Revisited: 1980 - 1989
Out of the Top 10, I voted La Cage aux Folles, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being identity reasons ("I Am What I Am" is almost like a rite of passage for young gay men in America who happen to like disco; God bless Gloria Gaynor for her cover). But for favorite musical of the decade period, I would definitely have to go with Chess, just... just because. For anyone who ever likes fixing their favorite show as a hobby, Chess provides no end of fun (and frustration!) in doing so.


Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:57 am
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