I’ve finally written a top 5 Musicals list!
And it was pretty difficult to choose just five shows!
In celebration of World Theatre Day, which was celebrated on Monday 27th March, I’ve written a list of my favourite musicals and why they have made such an impact on my life.
When I say they have made an impact in my life, I truly mean that. Each one of these shows means a great deal to me, because each in their own way they have changed my life and I don’t think I would be the person I am today if these musicals hadn’t come in my life when they did.
I’m only going to mention the musicals that I have actually seen ON STAGE rather than musicals that I love, but haven’t seen yet… that would be a whole other list that I simply couldn’t get down to just five!
Plus, I love writing all about theatre so this post really gives me a chance to geek out on what I love the most.
So here are my top five musicals:
Kinky Boots came into my life at the right moment when I needed it the most. I was in London doing my internship in theatre producing and I wasn’t enjoying it AT ALL. I won’t go into details, but basically I felt very unmotivated about going in, I was being given lots of dirty work and I wasn’t learning anything at all. Then one day, I just had enough and told them I was leaving and not coming back. This point, I was crying my eyes out in the middle of the Strand and having a full on breakdown over what I was going to do with my life. I rang my dad who calmed me down and just went to me: go and see a matinee show to cheer yourself up, I’ll give you the money for a ticket. So I went to see Kinky Boots and not only was it absolutely AMAZING, but it made me feel like I could do anything and nothing was going to stop me from getting back up after falling down, which is very much the storyline surrounding this show.
This show made an impact on me because, the specific day that I went to see this show; it managed to lift me out of a very dark place where I was feeling helpless and lost, to a place where I felt strong again and felt like I was eventually going to be okay. I remember that day so well and all that happened, so this show really means a lot to me.
4. We Will Rock You
The reason why this musical changed my life was because it was in fact, my first EVER West End show that I ever saw. I remember the day so clearly; I was 12 years old and I went on a school trip to see it. I’ve grown up with Queen’s music playing in my house, so Queen have always been my favourite band. And I remember walking out of the theatre completely mind-blown! At the time, live theatre was something I had never experienced before and it was something I had never witnessed, so it was a life changing moment for me because this musical was really the musical that started my love for Musical Theatre!
I ended up seeing this show ALOT! I was lucky enough to see it on a UK tour and three times in the West End while it was at the Dominion Theatre. I was even more fortunate enough to see the special 9th Anniversary show where Brian May and Roger Taylor made an appearance in the finale! We Will Rock You holds a lot of special memories for me.
The top three were really hard to choose from, but Wicked really did change my life. This was only my second ever West End show that I ever saw, but it was a mind-blowing experience for me. I’ve said many times before how much the Wizard of Oz means to me as a film and musical, so to see Wicked for the first time was extremely exciting for me! Kerry Ellis was my first ever Elphaba I saw and I remember my 13 year old self was absolutely blown away by her and I remember how much I used to dream about being the next Elphaba. Sadly, this hasn’t and never will become a reality but it made me so incredibly happy everytime I listened to the soundtrack and Wicked was really my first Musical Theatre love even before I saw the show. I love all the emerald green that covers the entire stage during the Emerald City scenes, the costumes, the characters, the music and of course, when Elphaba defy’s gravity on stage! First time I saw this; I cried my eyes out in disbelief over how amazing that scene was.
Since then, I have seen Wicked 5 times; 4 times in the West End and last year when I was so very lucky to see it on Broadway! Seeing it on Broadway was a total game changer for me and made me remember just how amazing this show is and what a masterpiece it is.
2. Les Miserables
I’ll forever love Les Miserables. I’ve seen this show three times and no matter how long the show goes on for, it’s still the most beautiful piece of work I’ve ever witnessed on stage. The music is probably one of the most uplifting, most beautiful soundtracks I’ve ever heard and no matter how many times you hear the songs, you can’t help but sing along to them and get them stuck in your head. Les Miserables changed my life because it was a musical that I grew to love the music for and when I was 16 years old, all I would ever talk about was how much I wanted to see that show on stage. My first ever boyfriend took me to see the show in London for Christmas and I remember feeling so grateful and happy that he did that for me and realised just how much I had wanted to see the show. Obviously, we are no longer together but I still appreciate that he did that for me and I’ll forever be thankful to him for taking me to see it.
I’ve seen this show 4 times and in 2012, I even filmed as an extra in the movie adaptation which was a really incredible experience filming alongside the stars of the film, including the gorgeous Eddie Redmayne!
1. Finding Neverland
This takes top spot! Finding Neverland was probably the best show that I have ever seen! Before, Les Miserables to me was my favourite ever show because it made me smile, cry and made such an impact on my life. However, Finding Neverland made me cry from start to finish; not because it was dreadful, but quite the opposite. When I go and see a show, if I cry, I know that show is good. Finding Neverland exceeded all my expectations and it surprised me just how emotional I got over it. The music is beautifully composed by Gary Barlow, the story reaches out to the child within all of us and because it was my first ever Broadway show I saw, it made the experience even more magical. This show changed my life because, for one it managed to knock Les Miserables off the top spot as my #1 favourite musical, but because I saw it last year where I had just completed my degree and I was feeling lost on what the next step was for me. Finding Neverland gave me the motivation I needed to go for every opportunity, to say yes to more things and to go for things; even if people doubted me. Very similar to how people felt over JM Barrie when he came up with the idea for Peter Pan.
Also, I got to meet one of my Broadway idols: Laura Michelle Kelly!