Friday, May 23, 2014

Some Thoughts on "The 43 Best Musicals Since 2000"

#1 - Next to Normal
It is hard to believe that we are 14 seasons into the 2000's!  And it is even more hard to believe just how many notable - and some even great - musicals there have been.  To be honest, I never really took as much stock in the enormity of it until Mike sent me a link to Buzz Feed, and this pretty comprehensive and insightful article by Louis Peitzman.

It is pointless to argue about some of the placements of the shows that make his ranking; it would be pretty nit-picky of me.  Suffice it to say that I'd agree within a place or two for most of his choices.  And you more regular readers know how pleased I am at his #1 choice!

To see the full list, click HERE.

I think I can give this list some serious consideration because Peitzman has really has considered pretty much everything in the wide-ranging gamut of musical theatre in this century.  And his nicely concise (I should take a lesson!) explanations take into account artistry, social context, boundary pushing, critical response, pop culture mores, and, perhaps, most importantly, entertainment value.  Bravo!

#42 - Legally Blonde
#14 - Fun Home 
Glad to see... that he: recognized the fun and exciting staging of Legally Blonde... and the wonder and importance of Fun Home... chose the LaChuisa Wild Party over the Lippa, which I have long felt the same way about... that the best musical of its season, Urinetown, made the list, while Thoroughly Modern Millie didn't... and that the best two Disney musicals since The Lion King also made the list: AIDA and Newsies.

That the really important musical theatre artists of the new millennium all made the list... twice: Robert Lopez, Laurence O'Keefe, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Jason Robert Brown, Alex Timbers, Jeanine Tesori, Michael John LaChuisa, and even Elton John.  And other important writers who have only one show so far: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day, and Duncan Sheik. And even nicer, that two legends, John Kander and Fred Ebb, made the list twice, too!

#43 - American Idiot
#28 - Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
#21 - Passing Strange
#11 - The Scottsboro Boys

Understand, even if I don't care for the show... his inclusion of Jersey Boys as a benchmark for the "jukebox musical"... and Passing Strange as an example of someone not "in musical theatre" trying it anyway, and ignoring the "rules"...I totally agree with their being on the list.

Disappointed that...he didn't include Hands on a Hardbody, which I still think history will reveal as a better, more important work, that it was received as, or Matilda, a very sharp, thoughtful musical really more for adults than kids, or Mamma Mia!, which should be included if for no other reason than it is a world-wide phenomenon.

#34 - If/Then
#25 - The Bridges of Madison County
Finally... I am glad to see someone else feels that the two most important musicals of this season are If/Then and The Bridges of Madison County, both of which made the list, while not one of the four Best Musical nominees made the list.

What do you think of this list?  Your comments are welcome!



  1. Great comments. I'd also suggest that Kinky Boots and Rock of Ages should have been included, and was sad to see Once near the end of the list (I'm not sure if they were in ranked order).

  2. Thanks for your input! I don't share your enthusiasm for either Kinky Boots or Rock of Ages, but I sure am glad both shows have their champions. As always, thanks for reading my blog.



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