BY ANASTASIA MONTAVON, AUSTIN VAN PAY, BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM, SAMANTHA KOLB
Anastasia: “A Christmas Story: The Musical”
To be honest, I haven’t seen a whole lot of musicals, especially not live. “A Christmas Story: The Musical”is one of the few musicals I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. It was incredibly funny and was a surprisingly good adaption of the film. Out of all the films to make a musical, I would have never guessed “A Christmas Story”would make an excellent one. I don’t think I’ll ever see a better musical number than “A Major Award.”That one number alone was more wonderful than I ever could have hoped for.
Austin: “The Blues Brothers”
My favorite musical has to be “The Blues Brothers.”What makes it so great is, of course, the catchy and memorable blues music, but also the fantastic characters. These two characters were originally a hilarious musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live,”which makes the film even more special. Director John Landis expanded the hilarious duo in the perfect way. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi deliver hilarious and very memorable performances in the film, and there’s even plenty of guest appearances by other musicians and even directors. Overall, “The Blues Brothers”isn’t a traditional musical, but it’s one that’s a must-see for Aykroyd’s and Belushi’s great performances and the always awesome blues music.
Ben: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
My mom said she would disown me if I chose this as my favorite musical, so I suppose this means I should start accepting applications for new parents sometime soon.
Based on an old English tale, Sondheim’s musical adapts the story of a barber who slits his customers’ throats for his partner-in-crime, Mrs. Lovett, to bake into pies. Is it disturbing? I would say so. Sadistic? Most definitely. Entertaining? Only if you have a warped sense of humor like me. The musical has a creatively dark wit and songs with intense, crisp rhythms like “Pretty Women” and “Worst Pies in London”. A couple years ago, PBS aired a live performance of the musical from the Lincoln Center starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson, which I found to be a joy to watch. It was a wonder to me that Terfel didn’t destroy his vocal chords as he was singing “Epiphany”.
So the next time you eat a pie, I would double-check that those funny-looking lumps are actually apple pieces and not—well, you know.
Samantha: “Phantom of the Opera”
I first saw “Phantom”via the Joel Schumacher film on my laptop one rainy summer afternoon. I fell in love instantly, partly because I fangirl pretty hard over Gerard Butler. I was able to see it twice on the stage, both wonderful high school productions, and the story, music and costumes capture me every time. I love the bittersweet love story between aspiring opera star Christine and her Angel of Music, the Phantom who has watched over her and helped train her voice. It is a story of love and loss, and puts a spotlight on the “others”in society who don’t fit in because of their looks. And Andrew Lloyd Webber is an incredible composer, as I sing songs from the musical frequently. My dream is to see the show professionally on stage, and I don’t think I could ever grow tired of the beautifully sad story and the glorious music woven within it.