30. Favorite musical of all time

Just because it hauled me in by my ears and kept me there, Phantom of the Opera. It has its flaws, yes, but it still made me love musical theatre, and when all else fails, give me a man in a mask and cloak who can sing, and I am putty in your hands.

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29. A musical with the best all around cast.

Taniec Wampirow was one of the first shows I saw with a solid cast with not a single weakness. I've seen many since then, but this one especially sticks out. If only the set/sound etc had been as reliable ;)

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28. A musical with the best costume design.

Oh, I couldn't choose. There are far too many. If it was sets, though, Kentaur's design for Vampirok Balja in Budapest :)

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27. Best revival of a musical.

UK Tour for the 25th Anniversary of Les Mis. I have never seen a more perfect rethinking of an already awesome show. It's not a revival persay, since it was still playing in London (actually, at one point, Les Mis was on in 3 theatres simultaneously in London), but it's the best I can think of - the props, sets, projections, even adjustments to lyrics and music, were all perfect. It went back to the spirit of the book more than any production I've ever seen.

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26. A musical that you know by heart.

I've been a musicals fan for 20 years and you want me to name just one? Well, the first was joseph. I can still name all the brothers, thanks to that song, I can do all the colours in order. Actually, that's quite sad...

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25. A musical with the best choreography.

Avenue Q without question. It's not an epic-dance related show, but the management of the puppets by the singers and performers was seamless, and that takes a lot of work and choreography.

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24. A musical that you’ve seen more than once.

Ah! A trick question! I tend to see my favourites a lot :) This includes Cats, Tanz der Vampire, Elisabeth, Joseph, Les Mis, Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, Phantom. In my defence, the majority of those were in multiple productions/countries. Tanz especially - 4 countries.

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23. A musical that you’ve been in.

As mentioned in my previous answer, Jesus Christ Superstar. I was in the chorus of my school production when I was 9-10. I took my copy of the libretto home with me and learned every single line until I knew the show off by heart :)

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22. A musical that had a huge impact on you.

Joseph. It was the first show I remember seeing (there was one before it, but I was too young to really follow the story of 42nd Street) and loving, and deciding I wanted to see more.

It's closely followed by Jesus Christ Superstar, since I was in a school production when I was 9. Fond memories of both :)

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21. Least favorite musical from your favorite composer.

I'm not familiar with all of Kunze/Levay's repertoire, but if we go to ALW for this one, Aspects of Love. I've never managed to get all the way through it.

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20. A musical that you think is overrated.

Wicked. I loved the Wicked Witch of the West as a villain. Turning her into a freedom fighter who was friends with Glinda at school strikes me as blah. The songs don't thrill me and the premise leaves me cold. And yet, so many people love it. Strange.

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19. Your favorite cast album of a musical.

Tanz der Vampire Original Cast recording. Steve Barton didn't get leads often enough, and this one especially is perfect for showing off his gorgeous, gorgeous voice.

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18. The musical that you’ve seen most recently.

Les Miserables UK Tour was the last major one, which was stunning. I didn't expect it to be quite as wonderful as it was: perfect cast, amazing sets, edited and improved direction. As close to a perfect musical as I've seen.

I also have my DVD stash as well, but I don't think they count.

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17. Favorite adapted musical.

Rebecca. It's the most filmic musical I have ever seen - it's very much based on Hitchcock's film of the book of the same name, and the scale, style, scope and design of the whole thing was just as powerful. I was left absolutely breathless after seeing the original Viennese cast performing in the original theatre. An absolutely electrifying show.

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16. A musical that disappointed you.

Actually, it was only a specific recent production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was bored to tears. It was badly directed. The cast were spotty at best. The props and sets weren't used efficiently, with blackouts for costume changes. Everything about it was amateurish, despite the fact it was playing in some of the biggest theatres in the UK. This was the first time I ever considered walking out of a show, I was so let down.

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15. A musical you would have loved to see on stage.

Takarazuka's The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I feel is far superior in plotting and arrangement than the Broadway version I've seen. That or Martin Guerre's original cast :)

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14. Favorite Musical Divo.

I don't especially have one. The last one I met, who was charm incarnate, was John Owen Jones, after seeing him as Jean Valjean, which was marvellous.

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13. Favorite Musical Diva.

Mostly because I follow her on twitter - Lea Salonga. Her voice is wonderful, and she's such a lovely, warm person from all I've seen of her.

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12. A musical that is your guilty pleasure.

Tanz der Vampire - it features Meatloaf/Bonny Tyler powerballads (Seriously, Total Eclipse of the Heart! WHAT!?!), as sung by a combination of Jewish, gay and aristocratic vampires in a show originally based on a film by/starring Polanski. There are so many reasons it should be awful. And yet, while the film is painfully bad, the show is one of the most wonderful, amazing, fun, ridiculous, delightful shows I have ever seen. Which is why I've seen it in 4 countries in 4 languages and loved every. single. minute. (Except perhaps in Berlin, when they sucked the soul out of it)

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10. Current musical obsession.

As a show, probably still Elisabeth, but for musicals in general, the Takarazuka Revue is where I've been hanging out for a while now. It has traditional stuff or modern, western and eastern, and every single role is played by an exceedingly well-trained and talented lady. What's not to love?

11. A musical that you hate.

Not hate, persay, but really, really don't understand the fuss about Wicked. I find the premise of taking one of the best film villains who tormented my childhood and turning her into a freedom fighter annoying and stupid. Especially setting it in school, because there are no words for how annoying I find the best-friends-in-high-school thing. I've only ever liked one version of Defying Gravity, and that was because of Willemijn Verkaik. Mostly, the show is a world of blah to me.

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March 2016

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