OK - I'm back. Did you see That'll Be The Day and Stardust? I suspect they were dreadful films and I would be appalled today at the sexism, for one thing, but the soundtracks - oh the soundtracks! I still have the double albums. Dear old Ronco...
Where was I? Oh yes, musicals. I'm still trying to pin down what makes a good one for me. Cracking songs, obviously (and this does not mean taking one tune and fiddling about with it for the rest of the show - you know who I'm talking to) but also a tightness about the structure, a progression in the songs, a sense of being in the hands of experts - one can rely on the next song being the right one for the job. And I like a crisp delineation between speaking and singing. I'm tremendously fond of Gilbert and Sullivan and always have been. As a child I used to go and see a local G&S society perform (and later joined them, but that's another story) and my memory of my experience goes something like:
blah blah blah SONG!!!! blah blah blah blah SONG!!!! blah blah blah SONG!!!! etc...
When I was older I appreciated the dialogue more, but as a child I just wanted those people on the stage to get on and SING!!!
And Les Mis? Well, it wasn't tight, there was no crisp dialogue/song delineation, I didn't feel entirely in the hands of experts and I'm not sure about the song progression, but by golly I enjoyed it! Tremendously stirring stuff. To the barricades, citizens!*
*sorry about the clip, but all of the current film ones are very poor and this was the least unbearable.
Thanks for popping in - do visit the comments salon before you you leave. Do you like the tricolours? Knitting allowed - just ask Mme Desfarge if you get stuck.
PS I've realised that I've overlooked the masterly Stephen Sondheim, whom I would categorise as "modern" but certainly not scorn. Sigh.