What is it with musicals?
Beauty and the Beast has come to the big screen in live action form.
Hamilton’s got the world by storm.
LaLa Land was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Once on this Island returns to Broadway this November.
What is it with the return of the musical?
Lyrics move the story forward. And it’s the world of perfect rhyme.
What could be argued as forced rhyme in a pop or commercial song is considered acceptable in musical theatre because it uses perfect rhyme.
It’s light. It’s comical. It makes people happy.
The songs are singable. That doesn’t mean everyone is capable of singing them. But it does mean the melody is hum-able. It’s memorable. Composers write the melodies for each respective show to play throughout its performance, getting those fun earworms stuck in your head during and after the show.
For the most part, the shows usually have a happy ending.
Okay-so there’s some historical-based shows and maybe musical thrillers that may not end on a fairytale note. A couple of which happen to be on my list of favourite musicals. (Hamilton and Jekyll and Hyde, anyone?)
Social causes and concerns – The Colour Purple.
Diversity – Wicked.
Funny shows – The Book of Mormon.
Story sung on stage.
And it’s bigger than life.
Musical numbers aren’t your typical pop songs. They don’t have the usual verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus structure.
The libretto (script) for each musical relies on the lyrics in each song to drive the story forward.
Musical theatre can showcase any type of music. Composers take something familiar and bring that to musical theatre.
Hamilton contains rap, jazz, pop, and even some border-line classical/legit musical theatre.
Rent is a rock musical.
Chigaco and Cabaret feature jazz music.
Phantom of the Opera features operetta-style music.
While each of these musicals showcase different genres of music, they are all considered musical theatre. Musical theatre borrows elements from different genres.
Big, sweeping orchestral sounds.
The “I Want” number – that song early in the show that lets the lead character sing about what they want out of life.
So, if you want a break from your typical pop, rock, country, jazz, or alternative albums, find yourself some musical theatre.
It’s good for exposure to a new genre of music, good for your creativity – regardless if you are a writer, musician, composer, songwriter, actor, visual artist.
It’s good for appreciating story and storytelling.
It’s good for a healthy escape from reality.
Enjoy the glory of the story.
Sing it loud, sing it proud.