30 Musicals in 30 Days: Least Favourite Musical

Post a song from your least favourite musical.

This is another tough one to choose. Obviously, there are lots of bad musicals out there. But is that what the challenge is asking for here? A bad musical? I feel indifferent about so many bad musicals, so I’m not sure. For that reason I’ve stuck with a musical that I think really may be my least favourite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart’s The Phantom of the Opera. So many people – and the marketing machine behind the show – will tell you what a romantic, tragic show The Phantom of the Opera is. I don’t buy it. When I saw it, I thought it was a rather empty piece of theatre. A friend of mine turned to me afterwards and said, “I’m left feeling rather unsatisfied by that theatrical meal.” And I had to agree with her. Yes, there is some lovely music. Yes, the design is absolutely gorgeous. Yes, Harold Prince’s staging rescues the show from being completely abysmal. Yes, it has run for decades. Does any of this make the characters more complex than they are – or rather, as complex as they should be? Does any of it make the lyrics any better? If this show were a gift, there would be lots of wrapping on the box. You would open up the box and sift trough layers of beautifully pressed tissue paper as you look for the gift itself. But if you managed to find the gift, then you would be disappointing. What’s inside simply doesn’t live up to the promise of the wrapping and the trimming.

The video I’ve chosen to represent this show is from the Tony Awards and includes a snippet of the title song and “The Music of the Night”.

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