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The Perfect Musical?

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gleek4114
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:16am
I was just thinking about this, and I know everyone's answers will be subjective to your specific taste,but in your mind is there such thing as the perfect musical? Theatre is always changing, but is there any show you would not touch or change? I was just curious because in my opinion there never will be a perfect musical. I would love to have your inputs! Thanks!
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bwayboy22
Featured Actor
joined:5/9/12
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:17am
for me its Gypsy, nothings better and nothing ever will be
Featured Actor
joined:12/31/69
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:27am
Most musicals have at least one glaring flaw, but for me SHE LOVES ME is utterly perfect. Knockout score and script, and a cast of likeable and realistic characters. It's been around for over fifty years now and hasn't lost one ounce of meaning or impact.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:42am
It's one thing to say nothing has been better than Gypsy. That's a defendable argument. But that nothing CAN surpass it is hyperbolic. It's like saying "Rock Around The Clock" is the greatest rock song, and nothing has nor will surpass it, in 1962. You don't know where the genre is going to go and what geniuses and innovations it will produce.
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broadwaydevil
Broadway Legend
joined:2/16/11
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:50am
I've always thought of Sweeney Todd as being the perfect musical.
Scratch and claw for every day you're worth! Make them drag you screaming from life, keep dreaming You'll live forever here on earth.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:04am
Gypsy is certainly a nice musical, but not without flaws. Little Lamb is up there as Most Annoying Song in the musical theater. Plus the music is completely centered around the Rose character and doesn't give Herbie much of anything to do.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
KathyNYC2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:16am
I knew Mr. Nowak would pick this and I have to agree - She Loves Me. Absolutely perfect.
Emmaloucbway
Broadway Star
joined:10/16/11
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:17am
I agree that She Loves Me is the perfect musical. I love everything about it.
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MillieDillmount
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/03
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:23am
I know I'm in the minority here, but to me the perfect musical is Bonnie & Clyde.
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Sally Durant Plummer
Featured Actor
joined:8/15/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:27am
As you can probably tell by my username, my perfect musical is FOLLIES, with my favorite Sondheim song "Losing My Mind". It has the right amounts of dry wit and sarcastic banter to even out the pathos and tragedy. And Dorothy Collins was the heart of the show as Sally. It has a brilliant score and book that always makes me cry after the Loveland sequence. It is the show that made me fall in love with Sondheim and it is why I believe that Dorothy Collins should be recognized as one of the musical theater queens. Her delivery on "Tomorrow? Oh dear God, it is tomorrow" was heartbreaking and beautiful. For me, it is utter perfection.
As for Gypsy, the show is essentially a star vehicle for the person playing Mme. Rose. As with Funny Girl secondary characters like Herbie had songs and more scenes during tryouts and previews but they were cut because the storyline had to be centered around the main character: Rose or Fanny Brice. And "Little Lamb" is not annoying to me as it is to other people. I think it's quite lovely and melodic, with deep heartfelt passion.
"I know what a show-stopping song is. I know what you get a Tony for. Neither of those songs were it. And Sheryl Lee Ralph didn't even get nominated. Even with the new material. You know as an artist when somebody's giving you material that will stop a show. Give me the material. I know how to stop a show." - Tonya Pinkins Blocked: mjohnson2
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:38am
I think in terms of perfect construction (on all levels), GUYS AND DOLLS and SHE LOVES ME take the prize. A perfect book, GYPSY. A perfect score...a great many, and I'm even tempted to name CAROUSEL as one, despite the clambake song, which serves its purpose far better than "Mr. Goldstone" in GYPSY does.

I think GUYS AND DOLLS gets sneered at by a lot of younger people, and I've been guilty of sneering, too. But the more you look at it, it's like a perfectly mechanized watch. Everything works, and unless you're Des McAnuff, it's really hard to f*ck it up, even if a role here and there is miscast slightly.

And "Little Lamb" is a very good song. If any song in that score could be called "annoying", it's the song the comes BEFORE "Little Lamb."
Updated On: 12/15/13 at 01:38 AM
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:46am
I do love it immensley, as my screen name and icon suggest.

It also has the distinction of being one of the first musicals to recieve a multi-disc recording, possibly only the second, after THE MOST HAPPY FELLA. They wouldn't cut one song, because there is not a stinker in the bunch.
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:50am
MOST HAPPY FELLA's OBCR actually is the ENITRE show (save for one extended passage of dialogue, I believe) on what was originally 3 LPs. I think it's Goddard Lieberson's masterpiece as a record producer.

Isn't it so much nice discussing this than Carrie Underwood? Speaking of that (and Lieberson), THE SOUND OF MUSIC, GYPSY, and WEST SIDE STORY, which are among the earliest stereo cast albums Columbia produced, are also wonderful records of the shows. (Though none of those are perfect shows, IMO.)
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bwayboy22
Featured Actor
joined:5/9/12
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:52am
Nothing is flawless and im also not saying that nothing will ever be better than Gypsy, its just a figure of speech.
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 01:54am
I'll go with She Loves Me, too. I paid to see the London production 6 times- I've never done that with any other show!
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mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 04:49am
For me it is Anything Goes. While it isn't my all time favorite, most of my favorite shows are deeply flawed; I personally believe that everything works so well together in Anything Goes to create the perfect night of theatre.
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 06:04am
Two answers: One I didn't see and one I saw repeatedly.

I never saw "Merrily We Roll Along, but I wish I had.

On the other hand, I was one of THREE people who camped out for Carrie ticket on a cold February morning, and sat in the front row during first preview. It was one of the mosr exciting musicals ever.

But to answer your question, the perfect musical I ever saw was "Caroline, or Change."
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 07:19am
I think My Fair Lady and Hello, Dolly! are perfect in every way.
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TheGingerBreadMan
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/12
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 07:24am
Definitely alone here, but my perfect musical is RENT.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 09:34am
No musical is "perfect."
KathyNYC2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 09:44am
I honestly don't see one flaw in She Loves Me. Maybe I am biased.

There might be a flaw with a particular production but I don't see one in the show itself...
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 10:37am
...The ever elusive "perfect" musical doesn't exist. There are musicals, primarily the 'watershed' classics, that come pretty darn close. But every musical has its flaw. Every single one.
Sally Durant Plummer Profile Photo
Sally Durant Plummer
Featured Actor
joined:8/15/13
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 11:31am
If there is a flaw in FOLLIES I don't want to see it.
"I know what a show-stopping song is. I know what you get a Tony for. Neither of those songs were it. And Sheryl Lee Ralph didn't even get nominated. Even with the new material. You know as an artist when somebody's giving you material that will stop a show. Give me the material. I know how to stop a show." - Tonya Pinkins Blocked: mjohnson2
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 11:50am
So many musicals have great first acts but then the flaws become obvious in the second act (even CAROUSEL has a weak second act -- the Starkeeper, really?).

I remember hearing years ago a composer (can't remember which one) saying that when shows used to go out-of-town before Broadway they would concentrate on the first act and never got around to fixing problems in the second act.

Updated On: 12/15/13 at 11:50 AM
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Tom 2
Chorus Member
joined:12/28/06
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:30pm
The perfect musical, in my humble opinion is anything with Sally Murphy.
Tom McGovern Jr
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Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
The Perfect Musical?
Posted: 12/15/13 at 12:44pm
Ragtime. It's one of two musicals (the other being Hairspray) where I can say I love every single note of the score.

A close second would be The King and I followed by Fiddler On The Roof.

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