Musicals are highly underrated. For the longest time, musicals were the highlight of Hollywood. People could not get enough of the song and dance but now we start to see people shy away. Just the tune of a piano and the first step of a dance makes people cringe. Although many musicals are considered cheesy and follow the story of a boy and a girl who love each but just don’t know it yet, the musical will always stand the test of time. I want to highlight 5 musicals that tend to stray from the typical musical stereotype and focus more on a unique story. Listen up you musical haters!
- Moulin Rouge!
Yes this a boy meets girl and they fall in love kind of film, but let me explain why I put this here. The music itself is very entrancing. They cover songs that you’ll recognize such as Your Song by Elton John and Roxanne by The Police that have such a unique sound that you’ll listen to them over and over again. The intense visual effects throughout the movie will make you dizzy and yet pull you in deeper and deeper into the story. The colors are vibrant and the ending will pull at your heart strings. Give it a chance and I know once you do, you will want to go back for more!
This rock opera follows the lives of 8 friends, old and new, as they struggle with the basic aspects of life. Dealing with addictions, disease, and just being broke they all seek out for the greatest desire we all have in this life: love. This musical brings such strong statements to the fight against AIDS and the struggle with drug addictions that will make you cheer and cry for the characters throughout the film. It was groundbreaking and will bring joy and a new perspective to those who watch.
3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Johnny Depp singing? Yup, and it is one of his most complex and darkest roles. Depp plays Todd who returns to London in search of revenge on a judge who exiled him so he could steal his wife. Yes you read that right. In order to work his way up to the judge, Todd slices the throats of those he shaves and the bodies are taken into the care of Mrs. Lovett, played by Helena Bonham Carter, who then bakes the men into her meat pies. Revenge, murder, and cannibalism all rolled into one! The songs are just as dark as the story line but there are still characters to fall in love with and an ending you don’t see coming.
4. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
This 45 minute musical follows Neil Patrick Harris who plays Billy aka Dr. Horrible who is desperately trying to receive recognition from the infamous Evil League of Evil. He is foiled time and time again by Captain Hammer, Nathan Fillion, and is caught in the crossfires of love by the name of Penny, Felicity Day. The songs are catchy, the plot is simple, but the creativity is outstanding. It has a much more intimate feel as you are introduced by way of Dr. Horrible’s video blog and listen to his small triumphs and epic failures. This will become your new favorite if you don’t watch out.
5. Little Shop of Horrors
Ever run into a man eating plant before? Well my guess is you don’t want to. This dark and yet hilarious musical follows Seymour Krelborn, a clumsy florist who finds fame through a new plant who not only talks but also happens to feed on human flesh. This unfortunately forces Seymour to provide the flesh and he finds himself trapped between pleasing the plant Audrey II and fighting for the woman he loves. Complete with a chorus and narrator, the music enhances the dark story and gives life and light to the characters.
Although these musicals have common themes, they all provide a unique story and different experience than most jukebox musicals. Dark plots and different styles will provide the audience with a roller coaster of emotions. So before you turn away another musical, give these a shot. I promise that it is so much more than the song and dance.