I’m still on a musical-theatre kick. I’ve been obsessing about the musical In the Heights – especially Carnavale del Barrio, which I posted as my earworm two weeks ago and which, until a few days ago, was still stuck in my head. But really the entire cast recording  is great, and I wish there was an opportunity for me to see the show. It’s no longer being performed.

With that in mind, I came to the office today prepared to share another song from the soundtrack. But when I arrived, I noticed that You must Love me, from Evita, was rattling around my brain instead. And since I committed to tell you what was in my head no matter how embarrassing, there it is.

At Least I Know Why
Junkii and I just sat through two Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals (the film versions) – Phantom of the Opera and Evita – and I can now officially say that I don’t like Weber’s music.

Two poorly made musicals that aren't worth your time.

Yes, he can write a catchy number or two. Don’t Cry for me Argentina is a good song. And I think there was a good song in Phantom, although I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. But rather than be content producing songs and tying them together with dialogue, he writes music for the dialogue (if you can call it that) and expects the actors to sing their words. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be any attempt by the lyricist to create any rhymes. It’s like Webber never told them he wanted any rhythm to the dialogue. Consequently, the music sounds like it’s poorly improvised. And that means it doesn’t make sense in terms of how it ties one song to the next. Junkii and i both found it terribly off-putting. or just plain terrible.

And beyond that, Webber re-use themes ad nauseum. It’s great to reprise a song or two within a musical, but I think Phantom had about three songs in total, and he just cycled through the melodies with different lyrics.  Over and over and over…

It certainly didn’t help that both films had a lot of other flaws. Most notably, Phantom featured dismal acting. Evita, on the other hand, had virtually no acting at all! It was just the soundtrack with a series of montage clips spliced over it. I swear, it was like watching the longest Madonna music video ever. And in the few instances where she WAS called on to act, she failed miserably.

Regardless of the quality of the film, at least I now know the music from both of these “masterpieces” and know to avoid them in the future. I’m trying to increase my knowledge of musical theatre, but I would be pretty upset if I had spent $200 for a ticket to a performance of either of these shows.

And yet, You Must Love Me remains in my head. Oh well, it’s not a bad ditty.


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