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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!