Friday, March 28, 2008

To Do: 10 Must See Musicals

Okay, so I love musicals. It is pretty geeky and old fashioned of me...I just appreciate the concept of people bursting into song and dance in everyday situations.

We covered one of the best modern musicals earlier this week, Everyone Says I Love You. Here are some other favorites:

1. An American in Paris - The quintessential musical. Amazing music with an artsy edge. Leslie Caron is super darling. Gene Kelly is killer as a beatnik painter. Here's one favorite scene.

2. Guys and Dolls - Another musical with a bit of an edge, this time dealing with mobsters. I love the opening scene.

3. On the Town - There's no edge to this one...it's pure sweet sap! Here's a clip.

4. Top Hat - Most Fred and Ginger movies are pretty identical. Lots of elegant sets, a meet cute and plenty of dancing. Swing Time is another favorite. Here's a clip.

5. White Christmas - Bing and Rosemary are supposed to be the stars, but I like Danny and Vera the best. Pure Christmas cheese.

6. Meet me in St. Louis - Easily one of my all time favorites. Judy Garland is incredible and I love the story. Watch out...you'll cry. You might recognize this song.

7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - The plot of this one is more than bizarre. But the music is good. Howard Keel's baritone voice is incredible.

8. Singin' in the Rain - There's a reason why this film is so famous. It's a lot funnier that you'd expect. And then there's Gene Kelly again.

9. South Pacific - I actually like the Carnegie Hall version with Reba better than the movie. Rob heard the CD way too many times and it has recently mysteriously disappeared from the car.

10. The Philadelphia Story - This one isn't really a musical...but there is some singing involved. It's one of my absolute favorite Katherine Hepburn films. Here's one musical interlude. High Society is the same plot, but in color with Grace Kelley and Bing Crosby.

Did I skip your favorite?

30 comments:

Chelsea said...

Ha! I am a musical junkie too. That is unfortunately all I watched growing up and now I joke that it might have done some damage to my brain. I love all these. I also love Gigi and State Fair.

Greeneyes said...

I'm only too happy to come out of the closet on this one! How about The King and I? Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner are both just plain awesome. And your first commenter is right...State Fair is just sweet.

sarah said...

My all time favorite is Bye Bye Birdie...totally cheesy but I watch it every time I'm home sick!

Anonymous said...

I too am a big musical lover!! My mom and I would watch them all the time growing. A lot of the ones you picked are my faves too and Philadelphia Story happens to be my favorite all-time movie, ever.

I would add...Gentleman Prefer Blondes with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell (Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend!), Easter Parade with Judy Garland and Holiday Inn (the earlier version of White Christmas again with Bing Crosby but with Fred Astaire this time).

Mamalooper said...

I would add The Band Wagon starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse with Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. The commentary is by Liza Minnelli and Harvey Fierstein!

Amazing...

P.S. I was the geeky 12 year old watching musicals....

Amy said...

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A...Ok-La-Hooooo-MA!

Love it.

Cassie said...

I'm normally just a lurker and I love your blog, but you are talking about one of my most favorite subjects. I agree with most of your choices and some of those with the other commenters. A couple of my friends and I do a musical night every once in a while for me to enhance their musical knowledge. We always have so much fun.

Jessica said...

I'm now fully convinced that we could be the best of friends.

I would add to this list Three Little Words, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bye Bye Birdie, The Music Man, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. :)

Anonymous said...

Delurking to say I agree with everything that's been posted so far. Guys and Dolls is my all time favorite old school musical. Marlon Brando in his hottie prime AND singing? HAVE MERCY!

becky said...

Excellent selection! I concur.

If you love Meet Me in St. Louis (me too!), try Summer Stock. Judy Garland AND Gene Kelly mixed with a White Christmas-ish plot. GENIUS.

Anne said...

Mmm, musicals. I agree on Gigi and American in Paris, and Singing in the Rain is a musical to convert non-musical fans. I am also a Howard Keel fan so before I would recommend Seven Brides for Seven Brothers I would recommend Kiss Me Kate for having just so many good songs and hilarious musical numbers. Fred Astaire is great and Cyd Charisse is amazingly gorgeous in Silk Stockings, a musical version of Greta Garbo's Ninotchka about a Russian officer seduced by our hedonistic American ways (and Astaire). And High Society. I love me some Hepburn but High Society has such good songs and Sinatra at his least annoying (I don't love him in most of the musicals he does).

Liz said...

Thank you for this! I always say that I love musicals, but in fact I've only seen a handful. I'll have to check these out.

Just to add my favorites:

#1 My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison

#2 Evita (actually, I only know the soundtrack. I've never seen the movie, not even with Madonna)

Or how about rock operas... Jesus Christ Superstar or Hedwig and the Angry Inch? I've seen both live and they were awesome.

Kim said...

I would add Shall We Dance (another Fred and Ginger classic). It includes one of my favorite songs, "Isn't it a Lovely Day to Get Caught in the Rain" -- or something like that (not sure of the title, and of course, can't find it anywhere). It's next on my list of old movie musicals to buy...

Alicia said...

Gigi was my FAVORITE growing up - I just added it to my Netflix! And The Sound of Music was always a favorite as well

Anna said...

I love love LOVE musicals! And "An American in Paris" is definitely my favorite. I love all the ones you mentioned too, plus "Funny Face" with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn is way up there on my list. :)

And I love that musicals are making a comeback of sorts - I loved Moulin Rouge, Chicago, and Dreamgirls. They were a great blend of classic musicals and modern movie!

Now I'm going to have to go watch one of the musicals I own tonight. Hmmm... which one to pick?

Sara Christine said...

West Side Story! Only the greatest musical EVER!

...And "Born To Dance" starring Eleanor Powell and a very baby-faced Jimmy Stewart. Fantastic!

Kealoha said...

Two more favorites from when I was a kid: Mary Poppins & Sound of Music. Also on my list are Baz Lhurman's Moulin Rouge, Chicago and Cabaret....

Obdada said...

My FaiR LaDy
OkLaHoMa
PhantoM oF The OpeRa
DreaM GirLs
ManhaTTan ToWeR
BrigaDooN
to NaMe jusT a FeW verY OLdieS buT GooDies

Sun Rae said...

Great list! I've been listening to the Chicago soundtrack so I have to add that. And I HAVE to mention the coolest musical ever -

Jesus Christ Superstar!!

Oh yeah, and Grease and Dreamgirls and West Side Story. If I was 10 I would say Annie too.

erin wilson said...

Alright, since this is what I do for a living I am loving that you have such a great list. Here are some I also love:

Bye Bye Birdie
Funny Girl
Mame
Funny Lady
King and I
My Fair Lady
Hello Dolly

Yea! I love musicals!!!!

love.boxes said...

I adore all the ones you mentioned. I am also a big fan of Danny Kaye who is never better than when he's teamed up with Louis Armstrong in The Five Pennies.. the music is just incredible if you love Jazz.

Emily said...

Thanks Emily,

A few of those I have not seen! I will have to host a movie night and soon!

craftyarchitect said...

what about west side story? or flower drum song? Those are good ones. My great uncle did the watercolor paintings in the Flower Drum Song

Janssen said...

I am shocked and thrilled that you put Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on there. That music is to die for! It's one of my favorite movies ever!

I also love the Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderalla movie.

Caroline said...

I love musicals too..Meet Me in St. Louis..heartbreaking..and when Judy sings Have Yourself A Merry LIttle Christmas in that green velvet dress...it's pure perfection! AND I'm doing a great job of indoctrinating my daughter to love them too..so the tradition continues!! :)

Lobo said...

You left out West Side Story!? This one has it all in spades: great songs, timeless dancing, humour and edge. The National Ballet of Canada did a production of suites from West Side Story last year. Seeing the way they interpreted the jazz dancing into a ballet musical jazz hybrid was amazing.

Rebecca said...

Had to jump in with two not mentioned:

Carousel
Showboat

Jelly said...

I'm sorry to see that so many have missed Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn! You MUST check it out, it's REALLY great!

Anonymous said...

I love Calamity Jane, My fair lady, West Side Story, The Sound of Music...I just love musicals and all of the ones listed!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy Barbra Streisand's movie musicals such as: Hello Dolly, Yentl, Funny Girl etc.