Last week was five musicals based on works of literature that I am/was really deeply attached to in some weird, significant way (probably circa high school). This week? Just five more that I’m halfway familiar with.
5. Seussical, derived from the works of Dr. Seuss (musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty)
I actually… kind of hate Seussical. Have I mentioned this before? I’m not sure if I have, but it’s true. I of course read Dr. Seuss stories when I was little, and I’ve seen the How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon a bunch of times, because when I was a child, I watched Christmas cartoons over and over during the holidays. I wouldn’t say I was ever a big Seuss person, though, and the musical is really not my thing. I don’t begrudge anyone their enjoyment of it, of course, but I’ve seen it twice and that’s two times too many. (Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that both times were the junior version, and junior versions are often disappointing overall.)
4. Big River, derived from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (musical by William Hauptman and Roger Miller)
I have no real problems with Big River. I was not a fan of Huckleberry Finn when I was in high school (though this could have been because most of the things I read in that particular English class were not things I enjoyed to read, largely because of the way the class was structured) and I don’t really feel compelled to ever read it again, but the musical is all right. Not something I listen to for fun, but pretty interesting to watch.
3. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (musical by Mark “Moose” Charlap, Jule Styne, Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green)
I have never seen this staged, but oh my gosh, I think I almost wore out my copy of the VHS tape of the Mary Martin production when I was a kid. I watched it over and over and over again. I loved this tape so much, and despite loving the tape, liking the Disney movie okay, and the book being technically for children, I didn’t read it until I was in high school. I’m sort of over the Peter Pan mythos as a whole now (okay, a lot over it, actually; I reread it for a class last term and sighed many times) but I do have fond memories of the production on tape from when I was little and didn’t know any better.
2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, and Herbert Kretzmer)
I never finished reading Les Mis, as I’ve said before. And I’m thinking that maybe someday I should; I’ve seen so much meta on tumblr lately that I’m starting to think that I’d actually kind of like Cosette if I knew her better, but without having read the book or anything, I don’t, really. The advantage of a book being 1000+ pages is that it has more time to get into the intricacies of things that a 2-3 hour musical cannot really get into properly. So, someday. Maybe. I have a few other 1000+ page books to get done first, but someday.
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (musical by Allan Knee, Mindi Dickstein, and Jason Howland)
It’s been made abundantly clear to you all how strongly I feel about Little Women, and this hasn’t waned as I’ve gotten older. Little Women is a beautiful book. The musical is pretty okay, too. It’s not anything overwhelmingly showstopping or particularly memorable, but it’s solid. It’s good. It didn’t change too much of the original story, and the songs are nice, and also “Some Things Are Meant to Be” has occasionally gotten me choked up before, so that’s a high compliment.
–your fangirl heroine.