My Unpopular Musical Theatre Opinions?

Yesterday, I was thinking about a lot of musical theatre related stuff. I mean, I had musicals playing for hours on end throughout our little road trip. As I thought about these things, I realized that I’ve got quite a few “unpopular” opinions that are musical theatre related. So, I thought that I’d share a few (fifteen, to be exact) of those with you today!

*Just a quick disclaimer: I don’t mean to offend anyone with my opinions. They’re simply my opinions and I’d love to hear yours down in the comments!

1. Raoul is my favorite character in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. – This might be the biggest unpopular opinion on here and maybe the one that will get me the most glares. Actually… there might be one that rivals this one but… we’ll get to that when we get there. Personally, I don’t understand why people hate Raoul. I understand that some people might not like Raoul x Christine and would prefer the Phantom x Christine pairing (personally, I prefer Raoul x Christene but…). But is that why people hate Raoul? Because they don’t like him with Christene? I don’t really know. But as for me personally, I love Raoul as a character and he’s my favorite character in PHANTOM.

Raoul de Chagny

2. I’m not that big of a fan of Sondheim stuff. – That’s not to say that I don’t like any Sondheim. I mean, I’m a big fan of SWEENEY TODD and INTO THE WOODS but I’ve just never been able to get into WEST SIDE STORY (not for lack of trying) nor have I been able to get into a lot of his other shows. I don’t really know what it is but personally, I’m just generally unable to get into Sondheim musicals.

3. When it comes to Broadway v. West End, I will almost always side with Broadway. – First and foremost, I have to start off with saying that I’ve never seen a show in London so it’s not like I have something against the way things are done in London or that I dislike shows on the West End. The best example of what I’m trying to set forth is take, for example, a production that both the West End and Broadway have currently running. Like… PHANTOM, for example. I’ve seen the costumes from both the Broadway production and the West End production and I always think that the Broadway costumes are prettier. I don’t really know why, but I just like the Broadway costumes better. They’re similar, yes, but it’s the little details that I just either like or dislike. However, I will say that when it comes to wigs though, I’ll admit that I like the West End wigs a whole lot better than the Broadway wigs.

4. But when it comes to Broadway and West End v. Germany and Austria, I will (almost) always side with Germany and Austria. – Now, this one is still pertaining to costumes and wigs and stuff. And when it comes to costumes and wigs, I don’t think that the West End or Broadway can even come close to the wigs and costumes they’ve got in productions that are in Austria and / or Germany. Really, this is just all personal preference but man… if you look at the Oberhausen promo pics for PHANTOM and compare them to the Broadway and West End promo pics, you’ll notice that there are slight differences in the costumes. Very, very slight. I’ll leave some pictures from each production down below and you can tell me which costumes and / or wigs you prefer!

Wigs and costumes from Oberhausen, Germany production of PHANTOM – I just love these costumes and wigs!
Wigs and costumes from Broadway production of PHANTOM
Wigs and costumes from West End production of PHANTOM

And here’s this super adorable picture of the cast of PHANTOM Oberhausen! (photo cred: Toby Joch)

5. I’m not a big fan of the original cast of LES MISÉRABLES. – Whenever I’m talking to people about LES MIZ, Colm Wilkinson and Terrence Mann always seem to come up in the conversation. And personally, I don’t really care for Colm Wilkinson as Valjean nor Terrence Mann as Javert. It’s not that I think that they’re bad. I mean, I have the OBC on CD. But I also have the 2010 recording of LES MIZ on CD and ever since I bought that one, the OBC version’s just been sitting on my shelf. …If you get what I mean.

6. The OBC of PHANTOM is one of my favorite casts of the show. – On Instagram, I always see people talking about how much they hate the OBC of PHANTOM. Specifically Sarah Brightman. And I mean, I get that her voice might not be the most appealing to everyone but I personally really, really love her Christine. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she was the first Christine that I ever heard. I don’t know. But all I know is that I really love Sarah Brightman, Michael Crawford, and Steve Barton. I’m not saying that they’re my favorite cast but they are definitely high on my list.

Steve Barton as Raoul and Sarah Brightman as Christine

7. HAMILTON is just not “my thing”. – I’ve listened to some of the music from HAMILTON and I’ve just never been able to get into it. It’s just really not my thing. And while I do think that it’s great that HAMILTON is getting more people into musical theatre and getting people into history, I just personally am not interested in this musical. Really just not my thing. But hey, I’m not unwilling to congratulate HAMILTON for all of it’s success—it’s well-deserved.

8. I hate the plot of LOVE NEVER DIES. …But the music is pretty good. – As said before, Raoul is my favorite character from PHANTOM. And so I think that those of you who know the plot of LND will understand why I don’t like it. Well… one of the reasons. In LND, practically everything is messed up. The characters that you knew from PHANTOM are barely themselves anymore and might as well have been completely different people. However, I will admit that the music from LND is pretty good.

Raoul in LND

9. I think that CATS is a great musical and don’t understand why people were so upset about it getting a revival. – So, when it was first announced that CATS was going to get a Broadway revival, I saw pictures all over Instagram that were anti-CATS and even some that were petitioning against it getting a revival. Now, some of those pictures of flyers against CATS might have been just made up but I do know that a lot of people were upset that it was getting a revival. I won’t say that CATS is the best musical in the world, nor will I say that CATS is in my top ten favorite musicals. But I definitely enjoy it and think that it’s a good musical!

10. I don’t really get what everyone thinks is so great about Hadley Fraser’s portrayal of Raoul. – So this is the opinion that might rival my first one for the one that gets me the most angry comments. First, I think that I should say that I don’t think that Hadley is a bad singer. Nor do I think that he’s a bad actor. In fact, I really like his singing. But what I didn’t like was his interpretation of Raoul’s character. I don’t know… like in “Why Have You Brought Me Here / Raoul, I’ve Seen Him”, Hadley seemed to portray Raoul as being annoyed by Christine. And to me, it just didn’t feel Raoul-like… at all. Now, maybe this is just my interpretation of Hadley’s interpretation of Raoul. But I’m just not personally a big fan of Hadley’s portrayal of Raoul.

11. If SCHIKANEDER does get an English translation and a Broadway transfer, I hope that they cast someone other than Hugh Jackman as Emanuel Schikaneder. – As far as I know, this is just all speculation that Hugh Jackman might get cast as Emanuel Schikaneder if SCHIKANEDER gets a Broadway transfer. But man… I just really don’t like the idea of him playing Emanuel. This is not because I hate Hugh Jackman nor that I think that he’s incapable of being in SCHIKANEDER but rather because his voice is just not in the range of quite a few of Emanuel’s songs. Also, I’d just really like it if they brought someone over from Austria or Germany for the Broadway transfer (if that does happen). Personally, I really like the idea of Mark Seibert being able to make his Broadway debut. He sings really well in English and speaks it pretty clearly as well. But bottom line, I just would really like someone who can sing the part well. And I just don’t think Hugh Jackman’s right for it.

Mark Seibert as Emanuel Schikaneder from SCHIKANEDER

12. I wish that we had more circulation of musicals… even if that means closing shows. – As much as I hate when my favorite shows get taken down from Broadway, I think that closing shows would be worth it if we got more circulation of shows on Broadway. A lot of the time, I think that people just get obsessed with their favorite shows enduring forever. I mean, it’s great when shows have really long runs. But wouldn’t it be greater if people got more chances to see other shows too? And I don’t mean that these shows should be gone forever. No, of course not! But bottom line, I just really wish that there was more circulation of shows.

13. I think that STARLIGHT EXPRESS is an underrated musical and that it’s a musical you can’t judge just on the songs. – The songs are arguably one of the most important elements of a musical. But when it comes to shows like STARLIGHT EXPRESS, you really need to see it to appreciate it. Personally, I like most of the songs but really, there’s not much about the songs that set it apart. What does set STARLIGHT apart from other musicals? Its use of skates and its absolutely amazing production quality. I always think that a lot of people would appreciate STARLIGHT more if they didn’t just listen to the songs and judge it there.

Kevin Köhler as Rusty and Trina Hill as Pearl in STARLIGHT EXPRESS

14. I think that people’s aversion to cast changes is kinda ridiculous. – It can be really hard to deal with cast changes sometimes especially if you never got to see the cast that was on and it was a dream cast of yours. But at the same time, I don’t understand why people get so upset when it comes to cast changes. I’m always excited when it comes to cast changes! It’s a new opportunity to find a new favorite cast!

15. It’s unfair to call people “fake fans” of musical theatre just because they’re only familiar with the big-name musicals. – I’ve seen it happen a few times where people call people “fake musical fans” because they’re only familiar with the musicals that are really big. But you know, the thing is, I don’t think that it’s fair to call someone a fake fan. If they say that they’re a fan and they feel that they’re a fan… then they’re a fan!

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Whew! Got through that! What are some of your unpopular musical theatre opinions? I’d love to hear them! Also, feel free to respond to my unpopular opinions if you agree or disagree! Tschüss!

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13 thoughts on “My Unpopular Musical Theatre Opinions?

  1. I would have to agree about Hamilton. Some people are confused when I say I am not that big on Hamilton because it makes them believe I am not a musical fanatic, and clearly as you already know I am one.

    I as a matter of fact did once see Cats when I was in elementary school, but have no recollection of that, but I always loved the song memory and Grizabella. So there must have been so memory to remember that I always loved the song.

    Not surprised that you mentioned Raoul in this post. Christine is my favorite character in Phantom of the Opera and hate it when people think she shouldn’t be with Raoul, but it is a wonderful pairing.

    Now thinking of Raoul, let’s get on to Marius. He isn’t a bad character because I think he is amazing. He is hated for the same reason Raoul is hated for. I see Marius as a sweet, compassionate, romantic, and revolutionary man. He is not even a jerk at all and why should you hate on him just because he didn’t love Eponine and didn’t know he loved and why does that make him a jerk? Let’s not forget one crucial fact: Eponine did not tell him that she loved him until the end of her story.

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    1. I agree that Marius and Raoul are hated for the same reason. A lot of the time, when I ask people why they hate Raoul or Marius, they just say that it has something to do with the fact that they got the happy ending. Or, I suppose that in Marius’s case it’s more that he chose the “wrong” person. It’s not Marius’s fault that he didn’t love Éponine. And like you said, Marius didn’t know that Éponine loved him until the end of her life. What I find unfair about people’s hate towards Raoul and Marius is that it’s not something about them that they dislike but that they fell in love. And that just doesn’t seem right. At all.

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      1. How is falling in love even a crime? What I love about these two love triangles is they help bring texture to these two musicals. And whats so wrong with someone having unrequited love in the first place in a musical? Yes being in that situation hurts, but again enhances the emotion and in Les Mis’ case, due to love showing up in several forms, it makes sense why there is a love triangle

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      2. Definitely! Goodness’s sakes… it makes me feel so bad for Raoul and Marius. I mean, I’d understand if people disliked them for something about their character’s personalities or actions but when it’s just the fact that they’re in love, it’s just ridiculous!

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      3. Marius may have lived, but even he didn’t have a fully happy ending. All of his friends died at the barricade. Both Marius and Raoul are sweet people. True, love triangles are quite confusing, but are essential to both plots. As in Phantom of the Opera’s case, the entire plot is a love triangle so if Phantom and Christine ended up together, it would have messed up the entire musical since the entire plot is a love triangle.

        As in Les Mis, the love triangle is a sub-plot but strengthens the plot of Les Mis. It is completely fitting that Marius ended up with Cosette. Everything about Les Mis is perfect just the way it is

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      4. Yes! Marius and Raoul are two of the sweetest characters I’ve ever come across! If Phantom and Christine ended up together, I don’t know that people would be happy either. If that had happened, I think people would realize why the Phantom would be such a dangerous choice. I’m drawing a blank on whether or not Raoul says this in the English version but the German version of part of the final lair scene practically translates to “Say you love him and your life is over.” And I think that’s really, really true.
        If Marius had been in love with Éponine, so much would be wrong in Les Miz! The whole finale would be messed up! Rather, everything in 1832 would have been messed up!

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      5. Good point about 1832 in Les Mis. Because I am so fascinated in what happens between Cosette and Eponine, I really love what happens between them in 1832. If it was Marius and Eponine, it would have really weakened who Eponine is as a character and would totally affect Cosette as well and Valjean. Even Marius would not be the same kind of character either. Marius totally would have died on the barricade if the other was true. Marius had to have lived because honestly we don’t need one extra person to lose their life in Les Mis. I could go on and on about what would happen in 1832 if it was Marius and Eponine. All of this shows how so interconnected all of the characters too and why their lives always impact each other even if they all don’t end up meeting the other lead characters

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  2. Ahh! Someone who loves musicals and isn’t a huge fan of Hamilton! I was afraid I was the only one! xD

    I’m personally not the biggest fan of Raoul but it does depend on the actor’s rendition of him. I didn’t care much for him in the OLC or the 25th anniversary (I think Hadley’s portrayal was a bit too angry), but I saw a tour version and I loved the Raoul there, he had the right balance between childishness, anger, maturity, etc.

    I’m only judging from the Les Mis movie but I don’t care much for Hugh Jackman’s singing at all. So Mark Seibert all the way!

    I don’t mind the OLC/OBC version of Les Mis, but my go-to is always the 10th anniversary, so yeah, I don’t listen to the originals as much x)

    And I totally agree with #14 and #15, it’s something that bugs me too!

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    1. You’re definitely not alone on the “not a huge Hamilton fan” train!
      I agree that Hadley’s rendition of Raoul was a little angry. To me, a lot of the facial expressions he made just didn’t seem like Raoul to me. I think that Raoul really needs the right mixture of emotions to be done in a way that everyone can care about him.
      I’m also not a big fan of Hugh Jackman’s singing. Well… to be fair, I’ve only heard him sing in the Les Miz movie so I don’t really know.
      I also really enjoy the 10th anniversary of Les Miz! Definitely need to buy it on CD sometime–I’ve only got it on DVD

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    2. I am not big on Hamilton either. I have not actually listened to it much yet. Only heard a few songs and feel so meh about them. There is nothing special about them in my opinion. I don’t like rap or hip-hop at all. So so glad there are people out there who are musical fans, but would not rather not become a fan of Hamilton.

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      1. Yes! I don’t like rap or hip-hop either, even if it’s in a Broadway musical. And it’s a little weird because among my friends I’m supposed to be the ‘huge musical geek’ and they actually like Hamilton more than me xD

        Of course, I’m not denying the talent involved in the rapping and all that, but it’s honestly just not really my thing.

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      2. Hip-Hop and Rap just don’t make sense in a musical. True there are some rarities found amongst musicals, but this genre of music doesn’t make sense. True, I am a musical fanatic, but it doesn’t mean I need to love every single successful musical

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