A friend was telling me she had recently seen Love Never Dies – the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. I haven’t seen this production and don’t know the music although I saw Phantom of the Opera. The purpose of this article is to list all of the musicals I have seen.
My parents took me and my brother to see Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar at the Capitol theatre in Sydney in 1973. This was a big event for me, and I knew the music well. The show starred Jon English as Judas and Marcia Hines as Mary. (Hear some of the music on Youtube)
A year or two later we saw the production of Godspell which was also based on the New Testament book of Matthew. Unlike the rock music Superstar, Godspell had pop, folk rock, gospel and vaudeville. The most well known song is Day by Day.
I travelled to England in 1980 and while I was in London I decided to see a show. I chose Sweeny Todd (the Demon Barber of Fleet Street). I enjoyed it and still have the souvenir program.
In 1985 and 1986 I saw the Sydney production of Cats three times! The first time I didn’t know the music but then I got the Australian cast album and got to know the music well. The second time was much more enjoyable and then I had another opportunity to go. Years later we took our daughters to see Cats under the big top at Moore Park in Sydney and they enjoyed it very much. The staging was different but we still enjoyed the show. I am going to see Cats again this year as Abbotsleigh school will be putting on a production in May.
We have seen Les Miserables (wonderful!) and Phantom of the Opera (not my favourite), both in Sydney.
As our children got older we took them to see Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. I particularly enjoyed Lion King because of the African percussion. The songs were well known as we have the Lion King video and CD, but there were some new songs.
In recent years we have enjoyed several Abbotsleigh school musicals which have always been on high standard – 42nd Street, Oklahoma, The Wiz and Spelling Bee. Katie played cello in the band for these last two shows. I had never heard of Spelling Bee but I got the original cast recording before we saw the school production so I could get to know the music. We enjoyed the production very much and fortunately we have a DVD recording of the show.
We also saw some musicals at Knox Grammar because Katie wanted to go and I thought it would be fun since Knox is my old school. Back then, the musicals staged when I was at school were Oliver, Li’l Abner and Fiddler on the Roof. In recent years saw Anything Goes, Footloose and Are You Lonesome Tonight. This year the production is Pippin.
I think these are all the musicals I have seen. I have other favourites which I haven’t seen on the stage but own the CDs or DVD – The King and I (Rogers and Hammerstein) , Miss Saigon and Wizard of Oz.