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After much debate internal, and many brainstorms, I have decided to follow up my introductory post (“Give Me Your Hands, If We Be Friends…”) by pursuing a path of minimal resistance: that of further exposition.
Several months ago, while serving as a fill-in host for The Sub-Beacon podcast, John Podhoretz was asked (by Jonathan Last, if I recall correctly) to provide a ranking of the five superlative Broadway musicals. As I mentioned in my first post, musical theatre is one of my main points of interest; in fact, it is a major element of my background. As such, I would like to offer my own list of musicals which have earned my hearty recommendation.
I will stipulate that this list is, by no means, intended to be exhaustive. Additionally, I do not presume that my list should be considered to be a ranking based on any objective metric(s), but merely as a window into my own personal preferences. I will resist the temptation to justify my choices at present; the comments section and future postings will provide ample opportunity for elaboration. Finally, I am not observing any numerical limitations, and I present my entries in no particular order.
-Sweeney Todd; the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979; music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler)
-Man of La Mancha (1965; music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, book by Dale Wasserman)
-1776 (1969; music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, book by Peter Stone)
-The Most Happy Fella (1956; book, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser)
-Shenandoah (1974; music by Gary Geld, lyrics by Peter Udell, book by Udell, Philip Rose and James Lee Barrett)
-On the Twentieth Century (1978; music by Cy Coleman, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
-Kean (1961; music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, book by Peter Stone)
Having bared a little bit of my soul, I now invite my fellow Ricochetti to comment with suggestions of musicals worthy of similar attention. I wish to gauge the tastes of my fellow members, and it is not unlikely that I will attempt to tailor future conversations based on responses that I receive.Published in