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BLOG : The Fight Against Cynicism and Musical Myth … Continued

By Harriet Wilson
Monday 07 November 2016

How often is it that you find yourself battling to defend the good name of Musical Theatre? In my latest blog, I did my best to dispel some all-to-common musical myths. But the fight between the Thespian and the Cynic continues so, in this blog, I am going to wage war on five more musical myths.

“Show-tunes all sound the same.”
Yes. Sometimes, I can't tell the difference between When I Grow Up (Matilda) and La Vie Bohème (Rent). Don't even get me started on the similarities between A Spoonful of Sugar (Mary Poppins) and 96000 (In the Heights). There is as much variety within show-tunes as there is within any other genre of music – more, perhaps.

“Disney musicals aren't proper musicals.”
The Lion King and Aladdin are both playing at the West End at the moment, and they have to be two of the most impressive musicals out there. In fact, I know several musical cynics for whom these shows are exceptions to their general ambivalence. If you go to see these shows with an open mind, you will probably love them. Which leads me to suggest that they are just as valid as any other musicals.

“You might as well just watch the film.”
I get a nervous twitch when I hear people say this. It's even worse when people write off musicals based on the film-versions. Whilst I enjoy a lot of film musicals (Rent, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods ...), the stage versions are incomparable. A film can never do justice to the magnificence of a stage production. So, watching the film really isn't the same.

“It's not worth seeing a show, unless it's in the West End.”
I object! I have seen some truly wonderful shows at regional theatres: original productions; touring shows; amateur productions … The West End may be the central hub of British theatre, but there are only so many shows you can fit into one place. There is so much theatre to experience – to get the full picture, you have to explore the West End and regional productions.

“Thespians are all crazy.”
Actually, this one may be fairly accurate.

Have you been bombarded with more mythical madness? Let me know what the cynics have been saying to you by tweeting @Harri_L_002.

Harriet Wilson

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