Welcome to Musical Cyberspace – a web page and blog devoted to the wonderful world of musical theatre. Musicals seem to be a part of everybody’s life at some point, whether it’s a yearly viewing of The Sound of Music at Christmas or a daily dose of Sondheim to get you going in the morning – and Musical Cyberspace is here to help call up the wonderful memories that these classic shows hold for you.
The perspective from which this site operates is that musical theatre is an art form that deserves intellectual contemplation. So many people love musical theatre, but struggle to discuss the merits of musicals in a way that moves beyond personal taste and considers technique and craftsmanship. Part of the mission of Musical Cyberspace, then, is to demystify some of the aspects of the context and craft of musical theatre in a way that allows people to discuss their favourite or least favourite musicals in a way that approaches a common language and a degree of objectivity. That said, it is possible to adore a bad show or to find no connection to a show that is meticulously crafted, and the aim here is for us to explore and embrace those contradictions together.
Does that mean that we don’t have any frivolous fun around here? Of course not.
Musical Cyberspace consists of several sections:
- “Reading Musicals,” which offers anyone who is interested in musicals a comprehensive introduction to the world of musical theatre. In this section of the site, we’ll take a look at what makes musicals tick and delve deep into some examples and case studies while we do.
- The Show Pages, which offer production details, synopses, lists of musical numbers and photographs – hopefully soon to be enriched by in depth analyses of shows and cast recordings, which hitherto have been posted in the Posts section.
- The Posts, which offer a daily bit of fun for our more casual readers. These used to be linked by a monthly theme, but these days there are presented in a series of weekly columns, as follows: Monday Meditation, Thoughtful Thursday, Forgotten Musicals Friday, The Saturday List and Musical Theatre Sunday School.
In Monday Meditations, I like to respond to books that I am reading or have read by people who have some kind of connection to the world of musical theatre. One such example has been Shirley MacLaine’s I’m Over All That and Other Confessions. Having read a few of MacLaine’s books, drawn initially to her work because of her involvement in musicals and returning to them thanks to her insight into matters that reach far beyond that world of Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Bob Fosse and Cole Porter, I found I’m Over All That to be very compelling reading, delving into a wide range of topics in bite size chunks that are perfect for dipping in and out when a moment to read arises. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much that I decided to use what I’d read as a stimulus for thinking about the world of musical theatre, in the hope, dear readers, that you would also respond to anything that resonates with you. And do yourself a favour: pick up a copy of MacLaine’s book. It’s engaging, thoughtful and is sure to make you think about some of the things that are important in your life.
It has been very compelling reading, delving into a wide range of topics in bite size chunks that are perfect for dipping in and out when a moment to read arises.
The posts all allow for responses to be made in the form of comments – feel free to add your voice to the discussions that arise from this site! I truly hope to create an environment where people can discuss this art form we all love so dearly, the greatest one of them all: MUSICAL THEATRE!