I saw a really cool game on Facebook. It didn't have a title, but I'm calling it Pick 3. The rules were as follows: If you only had three horror movies to introduce somebody to to get them into the genre, which three would you pick? I had my choices, but I'll share those with you another time. Today, I want to play the game with movie musicals. Remember, you have to assume that this person has never watched a musical before in their entire life. So, which three would YOU pick? Please leave your choices in the comments section below.
1. Little Shop of Horrors
I'd start with a movie that both scared the hell out of me as a child and also blew my mind at the same time. My mom used to show me a lot of musicals when I was younger and I found all of them lame. The singing was annoying (I wouldn't appreciate a beautiful voice until much later), the dancing looked ridiculous, and the stories were terrible. But Little Shop of Horrors, I liked. I loved the idea of a Venus Flytrap that fed on human blood and grew to such epic proportions that it threatened the entire world. Sure, there was a love story involved, but it seemed to play on the tropes, rather than feed off of them. And the music had a rock quality to it, which I appreciated. So this would be my first pick to introduce to somebody new. Just totally throw away what a musical looks like and give them something different right off the bat. That's the way to start a newbie off. With something exciting!
2. Les Miserables
Okay, okay, I know, I know. The film version of Les Mis pales in comparison to the original stage production. But to a newbie, they won't really know the difference. And the film version does a good enough job of recreating the play, even if some of the singing is terrible. Especially Russell Crowe. Even so, I'd pick this as my second choice because it's such a sharp departure from Little Shop of Horrors. It's also a truly epic musical that has a great, literary history that will show the true, grand scale of what a musical can be. There's no dancing (Again, dancing can be a huge turn-off to a newbie), and the story is bold and sweeping. It's a great second pick to introduce someone to. What say you?
Yuck. Try this instead.
3. Singing in the Rain
And for my final show-stopper, I'd introduce to my little newbie, Singing in the Rain, which has about as much dancing as anybody could possibly want. Now, a big problem with how my mom introduced musicals to me was that she threw it at me all at once--music, dancing, romance, the whole kit and caboodle. But do you see what I've done here? I've broken musicals down to their elements. Start with something cool, throw in something epic, and then toss in something completely different that mixes dancing and singing, but in a really cool way. And you don't get much cooler than Gene Kelly. So that concludes my introduction to musicals. Hopefully, my newbie friend will explore the medium on their own now. What are YOUR three picks? Do you go with a history lesson, or do you try to break them in with something varied and unique? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.