Sometimes, especially when my life seems to be peculiarly grey and sad, I ask myself such a question: ‘Why can’t my life be a musical?!’. People love musicals, such shows give them lots of good, clear and irreplaceable entertainment. But we should think about one thing: is living in the musical world really such a great and pleasant adventure? There are some rules which we can encounter in almost each musical performance.
Rule number one: In the musical everything is possible. This is one of the most important rules. We should remember that in musicals almost everything is probable. You don’t believe? Do you want to see cats which are dancing and singing? Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’. Do you think that Death cannot fall in love with a woman? Sylvester Levay’s ‘Elisabeth’ will change your mind. Are you convinced that vampires don’t exist? Jim Steinman and Michael Kunze who have created ‘Dance of the Vampires’ have a different opinion.
Elisabeth (Maya Hakvoort) and Death (Máté Kamarás) in 'Elisabeth'
Rule number two: There should be at least one enamoured couple. People love to read about huge emotions so they like stories with the romantic plots. Love doesn’t have to be fortunate and executed, sometimes it’s even better to show love which cannot have a happy ending because it is more pathetic. They’re many examples of unhappy lovers: Phantom and Christine from ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, Roger and Mimi from ‘Rent’ or Sara and Alfred from ‘Dance of the Vampires’. And how many great songs tell about the hopeless love!
Rule number three: Musical can be about everything. Each topic is good for a musical. There were stories about hippies (‘Hair’), animals (‘Cats’), Harry Potter (‘Harry Potter the Musical’), historical figures (‘Elisabeth’) or even about Jesus (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’). It’s really hard to be original while creating a new musical.
Rule number four: All music genres fit to the musical. They’re no limitations when it’s about musical style. Musicals' creators have already experimented with all possible genres. In ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ there is almost classical music, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is one of the most famous rock-operas, ‘Mamma Mia’ is based on the most popular ABBA’s songs and in ‘Boyband’ we can find the greatest productions of famous boysbands.
Rule number five: When there’s a crowd on the stage you can be almost sure that it will start to sing and dance. Musicals’ authors love splendour and brilliance. One crowd scene is something indispensable in every musical. Experts in ‘crowd-subjects’ are the authors of Bollywood movies which are some kind of musicals too. In such productions often tens of people (who generally appear from nowhere) follow main characters singing incomprehensible songs about love.
Rule number six: The ending should be very touching. Musicals should arouse emotions and the ending has to be pathetic. It doesn’t matter if moves us unexpected death (‘Hair’), solitude that afflicts one of the characters (‘The Phantom of the Opera’) or wedding (‘Mamma Mia’). The final effect is quite the same: we feel strong emotions that often are unobtainable in daily life.
These were some typical features which are present in most of musicals. People can like them or not, but it’s a fact that they’re very popular. As we can see, characters from such productions are not always as happy and carefree as we think that they are. But wouldn’t it be nice, just once in life, to go through the street, stop, start to dance and see that all the wayfarers are dancing with us? I think that it might a bit scary but also great experience.
And what do you think about the musicals? Do you like them or not? Which shows are your favorite ones?