The Perfect Musical?

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theatahguy
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The Perfect Musical?#1
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:32am
What, in your opinion, is the "perfect" musical? or what comes closest and why? I've heard people say Gypsy or My Fair Lady, etc...but why? What do they have that West Side Story or Mame or Oklahoma or Night Music dont?

Was watching My Fair Lady tonight and got to thinking about it.

Opinions?
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re: The Perfect Musical?#2
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:36am
Xanna Don't
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re: The Perfect Musical?#2
Posted: 7/17/08 at 5:12am
you should:

1. define perfection

2. question why you should believe the people who said gypsy or my fair lady are or come close to being, the perfect musical

3. realise that one's person's Gypsy might be another's Glory Day.

4.realise that was an extreme comparision, but you get the idea

5. ask why you are trying to find the perfect musical anyway.

6. your perfect musical is the perfect musical. To you anyway, which really is all that matters.:)
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re: The Perfect Musical?#3
Posted: 7/17/08 at 12:06pm
Gypsy is the perfect musical. Enough said. There's no need to explain. It's there in the text for the whole world to see.
I can't understand why someone could think My Fair Lady is perfect, though. I do like My Fair Lady an awful lot, but to me, the music does not add anything to Pygmalion and the ending is a copout. Everyone knows Higgins and Eliza are not made for each other and that the relationship will not last. Why bother putting it in? Matinee ladies aren't as dumb as you think, Alan Lerner.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#4
Posted: 7/17/08 at 12:21pm
I totally agree: The ending of My Fair Lady is pretty lame. And even though I like this show I wouldn't call it the perfect musical.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#5
Posted: 7/17/08 at 12:32pm
I would heartily disagree about MY FAIR LADY -- certainly on my list of perfect musicals. The ending is far from a copout, and totally different than Shaw offered in PYGMALION. MY FAIR LADY is first and foremost a love story ... and if the director does not understand that (as Trevor Nunn didn't), than the ending is indeed confusing.

MY FAIR LADY certainly makes my short list of perfect musicals, as do GYPSY, GUYS AND DOLLS, THE KING AND I and SWEENEY TODD.
Updated On: 7/17/08 at 12:32 PM
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re: The Perfect Musical?#6
Posted: 7/17/08 at 12:35pm
I can agree with My Fair Lady even though I don't really like it much. Gypsy really is pretty flawless- no bad songs, no lags, no fits no fights no feuds and no egos....
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#7
Posted: 7/17/08 at 1:16pm
What you call 'the perfect musical' may not be 'the perfect musical' to me. There is no such thing as the ultimate, most cramazing (<-- for my fellow [tos]sers) musical on the face o' the planet.
"We're all just children in a vast kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks." - Tennessee Williams
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re: The Perfect Musical?#8
Posted: 7/17/08 at 1:22pm
my fair lady is the best.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#9
Posted: 7/17/08 at 2:09pm
Updated On: 7/17/08 at 02:09 PM
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re: The Perfect Musical?#10
Posted: 7/17/08 at 2:19pm
Rent is the perfect musical in my opinion. It has an engaging storyline, wonderful music, songs of all types (love songs, dance songs, complex ensemble songs, upbeat or slow, inspiring, sad, happy).

Can you post some more, please? You're SO cute!
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re: The Perfect Musical?#11
Posted: 7/17/08 at 2:53pm
Les Mis and Sweeney Todd are pretty darn perfect to me. I wouldn't change a thing on either of them.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#12
Posted: 7/17/08 at 3:17pm
*shakes head* Fine, I'll jump in on this...

Though, my knowledge of musicals may not be as vast as some of you (it's above average at least), I'll gladly share my opinion, based on what I think:

Alright, I think based on originality: [title of show]

Based on real-life, but in a funny musical kind of way featuring puppets: Avenue Q

Based on what's been said already: A fight between Rent, Gypsy and My Fair Lady
"We're all just children in a vast kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks." - Tennessee Williams
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re: The Perfect Musical?#13
Posted: 7/17/08 at 3:23pm
A Chorus Line.

The perfect meld of song, dance, story, and connection to roles.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#14
Posted: 7/17/08 at 3:47pm
She Loves Me - All you have to do is stage it and play it just the way it is presented on the page. One needn't pull out their hair coming up with a useless concept or coming up with ridiculous motivations. It is all right there in front of you.

"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
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re: The Perfect Musical?#15
Posted: 7/17/08 at 3:52pm
"Perfect" musicals do not exist.

There is at least one flaw in every musical.

even GYPSY.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#16
Posted: 7/17/08 at 3:58pm
Gypsy
Mame
A Chorus Line
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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re: The Perfect Musical?#17
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:11pm
"Gypsy" is utterly perfect musical drama.

"Guys and Dolls" is utterly perfect musical comedy.

Name one song in either show that isn't simply the best that it can be....
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
Updated On: 7/17/08 at 04:11 PM
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re: The Perfect Musical?#18
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:16pm
A Chorus Line.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#19
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:20pm
^ thank you.
"We're all just children in a vast kindergarten trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks." - Tennessee Williams
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re: The Perfect Musical?#20
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:27pm
What I find to be the perfect stage musicals, are not my choices for perfect screen musicals.

Perfect on stage -

My Fair Lady
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (original version)

Perfect on screen -

The Sound of Music
The Music Man

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re: The Perfect Musical?#21
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:33pm
The closest I'm willing to get is a triumvirate of 'West Side Story', 'Sweeney Todd', and 'Gypsy'. All three have flaws, but are probably the most well-formed musicals I've ever encountered.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#22
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:42pm
As always when this topic comes up, the first that comes to my mind is Little Shop of Horrors.
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re: The Perfect Musical?#23
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:50pm
Sunday in the Park with George (Thought it's followed closely by Gypsy, Sweeney, and South Pacific)
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re: The Perfect Musical?#24
Posted: 7/17/08 at 4:52pm
To me, a "perfect musical" has nothing extra. Every line, every song, every character has a purpose. Any subplot has a purpose, as well. Characters are sufficiently well developed, and true to their own personality. And the "purpose" can't be 'its funny', or 'there hasn't been a song in a while, so let's put one here', or anything like that. Many of the musicals that I'd consider perfect have been named already (She Loves Me, Guys and Dolls, and others), one I'd like to add is 1776.