And though I can’t imagine how….I hope you’re happy right now.

I wasn’t going to go see Wicked when it came to Ottawa last month. While it was a musical I definitely wanted to see, I had made up my mind that it should probably be seen on Broadway and that a touring production wasn’t going to cut it. Plus I had heard the original cast recording and was far from blown away by the music. I had decided to save my money.

Then some friends suggested they would like to go and my resolve melted away like a witch in water. And I couldn’t be happier. Even at more than $100 a ticket it was well worth the price of admission – and that’s saying a lot for a touring production. The story is one of the best I’ve seen in any musical, with two incredibly strong female leads and amazing character development. The staging and costumes were spectacular. The music was much better than I had given it credit for. And the actress playing the main character was in top form, belting out the high notes like a Broadway superstar (although I know someone who went another night and was less than blown away. Glad I saw the afternoon production).

Junkii didn’t join us, but I really think he would enjoy it – which might mean seeing it again, on Broadway, if we wind up in NYC before it finishes its run. But even without Junkii as an excuse, I would go see this play again; it was THAT good.

All this got me thinking – of the other stage musicals I’ve already seen, which ones would I pay to see again? Which ones are worth the money for multiple viewings?

  • In the Heights: I would see this over and over and over. It’s easily my favorite musical and, while the story is pretty thin, the music is phenomenal. Every song is a gem, and I will go see it at every opportunity. Sadly, despite being a Tony winner for best musical, it’s still a lesser-known play and productions are few and far between. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for another touring production.
  • Anything Goes: I’ve seen two amateur productions of this Cole Porter musical, and even with the crappy performances, the play and music still shine. I’d love to see a professional production of this show, with talented singers and dancers.
  • Wicked: Need I say more?
  • The Sound of Music: Just because I love the film version so much. I saw it on stage in Toronto a couple of years ago. I wouldn’t pay to see the same production again, but if there’s another revival…
  • Oliver!: The National Arts Centre production in Ottawa last year was tiny but excellent. Still, I’d like to see a full-scale Broadway production of this one.
  • Les Miserables: One of the first musicals I saw live, I would pay to relive the experience. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the upcoming film version is worthy.

I think that’s it. Other than these, I’d rather go see something I’ve never seen on stage before. Which means I’m not likely ever again to see Chicago, Mamma Mia, West Side Story, Lion King, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Phantom of the Opera – all great musicals (even if the touring production of West Side Story kinda sucked).

Now if I could just get back to NYC more regularly…


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