What do I mean by a classic musical? Whenever I think of the classics, I tend to think of those from the Golden Age of musicals. I am a fan of the classic musicals and that says a lot about my tastes in musicals. The fact that I love musicals from the Golden Age really says a lot.
The very first classic musical I ever loved was Sound of Music. It was a movie I saw when I was a kid. I have loved it ever since elementary school. It is my favorite of all the classics and the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in my opinion. I am drawn to its themes of music and family. It has this memorable score with songs like “My Favorite Things”, “Do Re Mi”, “Sound of Music”, “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss”. It is one of the most meaningful musicals of my life. It after all is a musical I have loved since elementary school and it still holds a special place in my heart.
Another Rodgers and Hammerstein I love is South Pacific. It is a romantic story and is about the relationship between Emelie and Nellie. It has memorable songs like “Some Enchanted Evening”, “There is Nothing Like a Dame”, “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Younger Than Springtime”. It does deal with interracial marriage and does deal with racism. In the song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, it shows that racism is taught and it isn’t something we are born with.
Other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals I have seen are Oklahoma, King and I, and Cinderella. Rodgers and Hammerstein are one of the most important teams in the Golden Age. I don’t fully love King and I, but do some Anna and songs like “Getting to Know You”, “Shall We Dance” and “I Whistle a Happy Tune”. I love some of the songs from Cinderella as well. As a matter of fact, Oklahoma is when the Golden Age of Musicals truly begins.
Another Golden Age musical I have seen is Music Man. I first discovered it through Pandora. Before I saw it live, I was already familiar with songs like “Seventy Six Trombones”, “Ya Got Trouble” and “Gary Indiana”. My school decided to put together a production of Music Man in Spring of 2015. That was my first semester of Gardner Webb. One big reason why I love Music Man is just how light-hearted and happy it is.
Another Golden Age musical I love is Singing in the Rain. I love songs like “Good Morning” and “Singing in the Rain”. Just like Music Man, the musical is very light-hearted and very happy. While I prefer musicals that have songs that have both positive and negative emotions, I don’t want all musicals to be in that nature. I love how simple both Singing in the Rain and Music Man are. Because they are in the light-hearted nature they are in, it helps balance out musicals.
It wouldn’t be right to talk about the classics unless I bring up West Side Story. I have conflicting feelings about this musical. I saw the movie and I found the movie good, but nowhere close to being a masterpiece. But I did like the songs just enough to get the songs. I felt like the dancing was off in a way. It is one of the most well-known musicals. It is a tragic tale based off of Romeo and Juliet. I don’t love West Side Story, but I don’t like it either. I feel like it is somewhere between loving it and liking it. I honestly want to see the stage show to seeing how the dancing fares. In my personal opinion, I feel like dancing works better live due to the nature dancing in musicals has.
I may just be a college student, but I do enjoy the classics. Loving and liking the classics in a way shows what kind of a musical fan I am. It shows I love musicals from a wide range of time periods. I didn’t know about the classics until about my college years. The only one I was aware of belong to Sound of Music because I grew up with the movie.
What are your thoughts about the classic musicals?