9. A musical that you once loved but now you hate.

When I saw the original cast of We Will Rock You in London, I loved it. It had great energy and was fun and silly and charming. I recently saw the tour, and sadly, that charm has gone. I wouldn't say I hate it, persay, but I would say I won't be going to see it again, unless someone twists my arm very hard.

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8. A musical that you've thought you'd never liked but now you do.

Elisabeth. I'm still surprised by how much I love it, given how much the historical figure of Elisabeth irritates me. Mind you, I freely admit I'm a supernatural nerd, so Death is what lured me into it, and he's what kept me there. Plus, the music really is fricking awesome.

My favourite song from this one is Wenn Ich Tanzen Will, although depending on the production, Boote in der Nacht can make me sob like a baby. Franz Josef might have been a repressed muppet, but he was a repressed muppet who loved her.

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7. A musical from your favorite composer

While I am fond of Lloyd Webber, composer-wise, I have to say Sylvester Levay throws him into the dirt. Levay does some amazing work, and just because I've been listening to several of the songs on repeat for the last week, I'll go for Mozart!

I'm not a big fan of the show itself, because frankly it has far too many plots and provides Mozart with a whole fleet of counterpoints to Mozart, but not enough of a villain or a strong driving force behind it to make it flow. However, the basic premise of adult Mozart haunted by the legacy of his years as a child prodigy to the point that it's destroying him is fascinating. And the music. Oh, the music.

My especial favourite of the moment is Wie wird man seinen Schatten los?, and the reprise of the same, performed by the Ensemble in the finale is just as good.

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6. A musical that was cut too short.

Martin Guerre, the original cast. It wasn't a perfect show, and it didn't have the scale of Les Miserables or Miss Saigon, but I loved the intimacy of the story. Plus I've seen a video of the production, and it was a wonderful, simple, elegant staging. The plot could have used work, but it didn't need the butchering and re-writing that happened for the 1999 version. I am fond of some of the altered songs in the 1999 version, but give me the original recording any day.

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5. First musical obsession.

This one is easy: Phantom of the Opera. I saw it when the UK tour was in Edinburgh back in 1993 and was immediately thoroughly smitten. It wasn't just the musical, either. I promptly hunted down every possible Phantom film I could find, any books relating to the Phantom, random memorabilia. I love the story, I love the premise, I love a man in a mask who can sing and compose and do awesome magic. And strangely, the best production of Phantom I have seen was still a small 4-man cast production by a tiny, private theatre company in Warsaw, on a stage smaller than my livingroom. The cast totally made the show.

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4. Favorite song from a musical.

Oh, this is tricky. Overall, I think it'll probably be 'One Day More' from Les Miserables because it is just THAT epic. I love many songs, but that one I can listen to over and over and never get bored.

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3. A musical that makes you sad.

The title speaks for itself: Les Miserables. Every time I see this show, I cry somewhere new, depending on my mood. Usually, it's Little Fall of Rain, but occasionally, Fantine's Death. There are other places, but yes, while I love this show dearly and could watch it a thousand times, it makes me bawl like a baby.

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2. A musical that makes you happy.

It's a tiny show, with 4 people in the cast, a sheet and projector for set and scenery, and has only played in a few geek-infested venues around the world, but Tripod versus the Dragon wins this one. It has Dungeons and Dragons! In a musical! And a low-intelligence wannabe bard warrior! I saw it twice live and have listened to the CD too many times to count. More musicals should be as simple and fun as this one. Plus, hey. Tripod. Only my favourite comedy band ever :)

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1. The most underrated musical.

Elisabeth, outside of a certain circle. Name it to English-speaking fans, and I suspect the majority won't have ever heard of it. I've heard of musicals fans avoiding shows not in their native language, many of them English-speakers, and this is a big loss for any non-German/Hungarian/Finnish/Dutch/Japanese speaker, because it's a gorgeous, dark, deep, bitter and beautiful show. It's epic in a few countries, but not beyond there. Plus, no English translation, aside from a couple of songs. Even Rebecca got an English demo. I've seen it live 4 times in 2 countries, and am looking forward to seeing it more.

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March 2016

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