Musical theatre is one of the few truly American art forms, and we have a long list to be proud of. There have even been a number of musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama over the years, including Sunday In The Park With George, A Chorus Line and South Pacific. As works of literature, these shows outclassed the straight plays of their season and it did it while singing and dancing.
Of course, that's the cream of the crop. Sometimes the storytelling and singing and dancing is all too much to hack. Sometimes all those collaborators add up to too many cooks, or maybe there's one overly ambitious artist taking on the whole beast. Musicals can really go wrong. Nonetheless, musical theatre is a glorious genre, and some of the most creative minds in the world have understandably been drawn to it. Even when show doesn't work as a whole, the sum of its parts can be irresistible, particularly to fans, for whom the piece lives on via its cast album or bootleg recording. Speaking as one of these fans, I can tell you we may not always want you to know we're listening to these turkeys, but don't you dare try to take them away from us!
Click through to read my selections for the Essential Guilty Pleasure Musicals.
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