Welcome To Theatre
Musical theater is a genre of dramatic theatrical performance that mixes singing, spoken word, acting, and dancing in a production. The story and characters of a musical theatre play are conveyed through music, words, emotion, and other elements of the production as a whole. The goal of any musical theater company is to produce a show that is both entertaining and educational for the audience. As such, there are many popular artists who have graced the stage with their own unique talents and songs.
One of the most popular musical theater performers of all time was Oprah Winfrey. She had many hits throughout her career, including “Who’s the Boss”, “When a Man Comes to Town”, “Dancing with the Stars” and more. One of her most memorable characters was Zsaazou, a popular singer and dancer who were married to a famous African warlord. Her role helped to bring attention to Africa and her role as a catalyst in the African Renaissance. Her popular musical theater musicals included “ogy for a queen” and “Haitian Nights”.
Other popular musical theater performers include Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Whoopi Gardiner, Dabney Coleman, Glen Campbell, Mike Myers, and Edith Bergerson. Robin Williams brought musicals like “ER”, “Cinderella”, and “A Fish called Wanda” to life on Broadway. He also was a key part of the blockbuster movie “A Fish called Wanda”. Whoopi Goldberg appeared in “Amelie” and “Jingle Bells”. Whoopi was also nominated for an Academy Award for her work in both “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Perfect Score”. Dabney Coleman brought a unique flavor to the musical theater with his memorable appearances in “When Harry Met Sally”.
Other popular plays and musicals that are often associated with the art form are “Aida”, “A Christmas Story”, and “The Lion King”. Both “A Christmas Story” and “The Lion King” have made great movies that are highly popular among children and adults alike. The latter has gone on to become one of the highest-grossing Christmas movies ever. In both of these plays, the lead character is a cub who must help out his friends in the everyday world. Along the way, the cub learns that he can do more than just help out his friends; he can help save the world. Both of these popular musicals are classic and will bring enjoyment to anyone who sees them.
Originating in London, “Hairspray” is one of the longest-running shows in the history of musicals. It has also been the set of many Academy Awards and has been made into a number of popular movies and TV series. Many of its characters are beloved by many people. Some of them are even considered celebrities. Many times, the lead character is an older woman who is shown shopping, drinking, and talking to a group of young men. She is always the center of attraction until she gets herself into a real mess.
“The Nutcracker” is another old favorite that many people have seen. It is a classic play about a young girl going through a lot of growing pains. It tells the story of an honest man who goes through many obstacles in order to be with his young love interest. Though the play has gone through many changes over the years, it still retains a place in many theaters around the world.
One of the most popular musicals ever is “The Lion King”. Though most of you probably saw your favorite scene when you were young, this play has actually been going on for over 50 years. It tells the story of a lion who falls in love with a lovely woman. He also endures many difficulties throughout the course of the play. Along the way, he also learns about his true nature and how to lead his life honestly. The Lion King is a great show that will keep you laughing for a while, and you may even shed a tear or two.
There are many more great musicals that you can see in theatres across the country. Be sure to take a look at some of your local plays before you go. I guarantee that you will be amazed by some of the choices that they have. No matter what type of play you are looking for, there is likely a musical that you can enjoy. So, plan a night out and see a play that you fell in love with as a child. You will never forget your first experience in a musical.
If you ask a person what comes to mind when they think about Broadway theatre, they are likely to say it goes hand in hand with images of New York City and its Theater District. New York is certainly the mecca of all things Broadway. However, many major cities and metro regions across the United States have ornate playhouses that host the hottest Broadway plays. It used to be that to see quality arts you had to be in New York City, but no more. Opera, ballet, musicals, productions, and the works are seen across the country, making it more accessible to fans of Broadway… and their husbands.
Yes, that’s right, their husbands. To be sure, not all husbands or men are fanatically against attending Broadway plays, in fact, we all enjoy it equally. It does seem, however, that stubborn men, and especially husbands, protest the most when it comes to accompanying their wives to a musical of any sort. At least, this is the stereotype or stigma that goes along with a ‘macho’ man. So, ladies, how can you convince, bribe, encourage, or drag your man to a play and help him actually enjoy himself? Here are a few tips:
Find Some Action: Choose a drama or action infused production or play. Les Miserables is a great play with some war scenes, fighting, explosions, and the works. With such intense action, he may not mind the musical aspect and in fact, he may find it adds to the experience. Ask him to think of it as the soundtrack to his favorite war movie. Surprise Him: Make all the arrangements and include arts, entertainment, and food and surprise him for the evening. Plan dinner or even a weekend getaway.
Make A Deal: Offer to do something he enjoys or give him some space to enjoy the things he loves in return for taking you out so that he sees this is a give-and-take deal.
Make It An Event: If he likes going to dinner and dancing, then get dressed up an have dinner, see the Broadway play, and go dancing. Combining the evening with things you both enjoy will draw out the fun for both of you.
The More The Merrier: Invite your couple friends to join you. Your man will be more comfortable around a group of guys he knows and your gal friends will be excited to get out too.
Give A Little: The best relationships are those with two-way streets – meaning if you’re asking him to give the arts a try, make an honest effort to enjoy things he does. Perhaps this means you don a football jersey and watch a game on Sunday, but who knows, you may get into the spirit of the game and enjoy yourself. Showing him that you are meeting him in the middle will make him want to do the same for you.
These tips are geared towards the arts but can really be applied to anything you want to get your spouse interested in. The best way to encourage someone to enjoy the arts is to do just that – encourage them with positive reinforcement and never negative or nagging words. Encourage and discover with them which plays, productions, or musicals they enjoy and what parts they love the most. Was it the music, the storyline, the special effects, set, props, and wardrobe – all of these are magnificent when you are experiencing them from the audience of one of America’s fabulous theatres.
“Have you seen Billy Elliott? 9 to 5? Dirty Dancing?” These questions raise a counter-question: “The movie or the musical?” There is no longer a strong line between the film and the stage. We’re seeing numerous stories crossing the line between the silver screen and the boards of Broadway. There has always been a unification between the arts: literary, visual, graphic, performing. Theatre and film have always incorporated all of these.
Musical movies have been around since Gordon McRae and Shirley Jones first expressed their love for each other in both Oklahoma! and Carousel. Musical films may have gotten a little darker with the advent of Chicago, Rent, and Sweeney Todd, but they still capture the interest of moviegoers. Why is there such a fascination with the silver tones of the silver screen? What makes a musical movie-worthy? Is it the book?
It’s not just the big screen that has developed the musical element. Shows have introduced musical episodes. Buffy, Scrubs, Daria, Xena has two musical episodes, and let’s not forget the numerous musical numbers to be found on the Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy, some of which are taken directly from Broadway itself.
Musicals have often taken their stories from books. That practice has continued through to more recent shows such as the widely popular show, Wicked, which is based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire. Books, however, have taken a backseat to movies as the basis for new musicals. 9 to 5 and Billy Elliott are on Broadway, Dirty Dancing is on tour, and Sister Act is onstage in London. All of these musicals started as movies. Now, granted, there are many movies that are also based upon books: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, My Sister’s Keeper, etc. Even Lord of the Rings enjoyed the time as an onstage musical.
The youthful world has captured the stage as well. Disney got a foothold in the Broadway scene when they introduced Beauty and the Beast. Now, they’re firmly established with The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Mary Poppins. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a holiday show that appears every December. Oh, and let’s not forget Shrek. Children’s Theatre has hit the big time.
Actors have also crossed over from stage to screen and back. Ana Gasteyer, Amy Spanger, John Stamos, Chandra Wilson, Kristin Chenoweth, Alison Janney, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and others dance around the line, appearing at the Emmys, the Oscars, and the Tonys.
Why is there such an influx of movies to the Broadway stage? Have writers simply lost the desire to come up with original ideas? I don’t think so. I think that it’s strongly affected by the economy. In an attempt to get more people to attend broadway theatre, shows have been streamlined into recognizable formats with names that people can relate to. They know Alison Janney, John Stamos, and Chandra Wilson. Parents are more willing to take their children to see shows based on movies that they grew up with and love. People are excited to see a musical based on a movie, even if it’s just to find out how closely it adheres to the original. It’s easier to adapt the movie to the stage than it is to adapt the book because a lot of the elements have already been provided.
I do think, however, that it is harder to translate the movie to the stage because there are certain expectations. People are very critical when a well-loved movie is changed for the stage. This is the same as books, but the visual element is removed. A character may not necessarily look the way you pictured them to look, but that was your own interpretation, so you are more willing to accept it. With a movie, you’ve seen the character and you’ve heard the lines delivered a certain way. You’re on the lookout for that same delivery. It’s like a drug; you expect the same high you feel when you watch the movie.
Still, I think that movie titles will always have a pull for those attending the theatre because of the known factor. It’s familiar. It’s safe. You may not get what you expected, but at least you had expectations, to begin with. Going to see a show that you’ve never heard of in another forum is taking a chance. Sometimes, it’s worth the risk, but most people are unwilling to do so at $80+ a seat.
As for me, I’m still waiting for Harry Potter: The Musical Series.