Top Five Musicals

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

This week, it’s time to sing! It’s time to dance! It’s time to share our top five favorite musicals. Phantom of the Opera? Oklahoma? Evil Dead, The Musical? Who makes it on the list, and who doesn’t? Take a listen and find out!


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  1. Ian
    December 13, 2011 at 12:22 am — Reply

    Team America!

  2. LemmyCaution
    December 13, 2011 at 12:55 am — Reply

    I am not much into musicals in the theater, so all of mine are movie versions of musicals (pulling them from TV seems like a cop-out for me, but just me):

    1) Victor/Victoria
    2) My Fair Lady
    3) The Sound of Music
    4) Top Hat/The Gay Divorcee
    5) Holiday Inn

    Honorable Mention:
    The Muppet Movie

  3. Beren1
    December 13, 2011 at 7:57 am — Reply

    I love the chitty-chitty bang bang singing, for a sec I was thinking, and maybe hoping, you guys might actually start a multilayered rendition of it

  4. December 13, 2011 at 9:39 am — Reply

    I kind of like Paint Your Wagon. I’ve seen it several times, and it’s very funny. Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood…singing? Hell yeah, and the music isn’t terrible. The Simpsons is responsible for most of the scorn unfairly heaped upon this movie. Also rans include Rock N Rule, Grease, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and the original The Producers.

    5. Rocky Horror Picture Show – The music is great, but the movie itself is pretty awful…The Sequel is called Shock Treatment (1981). This movie tends to be very important to a certain kind of young person at a certain time in their life. I was one of those people.

    4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – I think this movie qualifies as a musical as the songs often help propel the story. I like it as a thing separate from the comic that stands on its own merits. One of the most visually interesting movies to come along in quite a while.

    3. The Nightmare Before Christmas – Wow! Just Wow! Great visuals, fantastic story told by amazingly designed characters, and songs that will lodge in your head for weeks.

    2. Singin’ in the Rain – A really fun movie, a classic. Debbie Reynolds is so adorable you can’t help but fall in love with her. The songs are really good, and Gene Kelly’s dancing is almost literally unbelievable. That man couldn’t have been human. Plus it’s a movie about movies which is just meta enough to pull me in.

    1. The Wizard of Oz – I can’t hear ‘Over the Rainbow’ from this movie without welling up a little. Maybe it’s because I’m from Kansas. This one is so great, and so much a part of our culture, that not a day goes by that someone doesn’t reference it, often without realizing it. Flying Monkey…Not in Kansas anymore…How ’bout a little fire…Munchkins…and your little dog too! The music from this one is awesome. If I Only Had a Brain, Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead, Follow the Yellow Brick Road, etc. etc.

  5. Cryoman
    December 13, 2011 at 9:41 am — Reply

    1. Phantom of the Opera
    2. Jesus Christ Superstar
    3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
    4. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
    5. Michael Jackson: Ghosts

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:07 am — Reply

      Oh, man I totally forgot Dr. Horrible! Great one!

  6. Cryoman
    December 13, 2011 at 9:43 am — Reply

    Phantom of the Opera
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
    Michael Jackson: Ghosts

  7. Jason
    December 13, 2011 at 10:57 am — Reply

    5. West Side Story. I enjoy musicals that are melancholy and West Side Story has some great music and some great scenes. But, I have to move it to the end of my list (teetering there until I think of a sixth musical I like better) because I am not enamored by half the songs. Luckily, I don’t hate any of them, so my finger isn’t poised on the Fast Foward button when I watch it.

    4. Phantom of the Opera (although, when I finally got to see this musical, I found I do not like overly elaborate sets. Also, when you listen to someone like Michael Crawford, it is difficult to find someone who could equal him).

    3. The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    2. Les Miserables.

    1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. I can’t get enough of the music and I can re-watch this anytime.

    Honorable Mention: Jekyll & Hyde. Here’s the thing: get the “Highlights from Jekyll & Hyde” and don’t listen to the entire album in one sitting (it will sound too much a like). As I understand it from the friend who gave me the cassette, the Highlights was made to try to get investors. You have Colm Wilkinson and Linda Eder playing four roles. The final product was changed and I don’t like the changes. Oh, and the DVD is a recording of one of the productions . . . starring David Hasselhoff. To be fair, he did a nice job. The music (from Highlights) is too beautiful to not give it a mention. Go to Amazon to see the track list and pop over to YouTube to give them a listen.

  8. Ricco
    December 13, 2011 at 11:26 am — Reply

    5. 3rd Rock from the Sun, the dream episode, “Life has been good to me”

    4. Once More With Feeling, “there was no pain, no fear not doubt, ’til they pull me out… from Heaven… I think I was in Heaven… so give me something to sing about… please!”

    3. The Nightmare Before Christmas, “What’s this? What’s this!?”

    2. Jesus Christ Superstar, fer shame Stephen/Matthew when Rodrigo said controversial you guys should have gone: musical + controversial = Jesus Christ Superstar ;-)

    1. South Park, bigger longer and uncut, the music is great, the movie is funny and it’s message is still relevant (specially in comic books/pop culture).
    Sheila Broflovski: “Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty woids! That’s what this war is all about!”
    People getting torn to pieces on panel? No problem. People swearing while fighting? Censored!

    P.S. Hate the Lion King, just a rip-off of Kimba the White Lion with a pinch of Hamlet to avoid a law suit…

    • Ricco
      December 13, 2011 at 11:40 am — Reply

      *Face-palm* Totally forgot to mention: “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” that was genius, no other way to describe it.

  9. Monte
    December 13, 2011 at 11:32 am — Reply

    5. Avenue Q – Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez had a brilliant idea to make Sesame Street for adults and then turn it into a stage production. Along with an incredible score, that insane stroke of brilliance made this musical classic. Songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “If you were gay” have become instant classics.

    4. Phantom of the Opera – Andrew Lloyd Weber: He’s a creepy dude, but you can feel every moment of his compositions. Brilliant score, but the more they remake it, the worse it gets. (Gerard Butler? Seriously???) “Music of the Night” will leave you breathless, and “Notes” is hilarious when taken in context.

    3. Music Man – A brilliant big town meets small town piece that will put a smile on your face. This is probably the only one on my list with a movie adaptation that I love just as much as the original. “76 Trombones” will play on repeat in your head forever.

    2. RENT – An updated version of a Puccini opera, Rent is the tale of starving artists in New Yorks East village dying from AIDS. Jonathan Larson composed this masterpiece in 1993 and died the night before its broadway debut. Despite this, this musical is one of the longest running broadway shows and has brought forth some incredible performers (Idinia Menzel, Adam Pascal, and Anthony Rapp to name a few). “La Vie Boheme” (an omage to the Puccini Opera) is the ultimate party song, “One Song Glory” is one of the best male ballads in the genre, and “What You Own” is a rock masterpiece with an incredible ending. It will take your breath away.

    1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – NOT THE JOHNNY DEPP VERSION! Sondheim’s finest score to date, he brings to life a cannabilistic 19th century london and makes you feel for the protagonist (feeling for a mass murduring barber? Quite a feat). Toby and Anthony have two of the most amazing songs in the 20th century, much less the musical genre. “Johanna” is a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece, and “Nothing’s Gonna Harm You” is the most incredibly sweet (and sad, when you know what’s happening) song you will ever hear. And if you want to hear an amazing ballad, look up “Johanna (quartet)” on youtube (with George Hearn). You will be amazed.

    Also Rans

    -Grease (great accomplishment, but just doesn’t do anything musically for me)
    -Mama Mia (pulling together some great Abba songs for a musical? hilarious and impressive)
    -Bugsy Malone (poorly executed, but charming concept)
    -The Producers (decent score and excellent story, but Nathan Hale and Matthew Broderick are not the best singers)
    -Cats (amazing, but doesn’t connect to me as well as some of the others do)
    -Wicked (Excellent take on an old story along with a decent score)

    • December 14, 2011 at 11:55 am — Reply

      I came just to make sure someone mentioned Avenue Q..well done, sir.

  10. GeorgeDubya
    December 13, 2011 at 11:45 am — Reply

    5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More With Feeling – This is the episode that brought me into the Whedonverse. I had never seen any episodes of Buffy, as I was under the impression that it would be like the ridiculous movie version, but the commercials for this episode intrigued me enough to get me to watch it on the first showing of it. Needless to say, I was hooked. (Note: This spot almost went to Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, but I realized that without OMWF, I might have never watched it.)

    4. Into the Woods – This musical started my obsession with Stephen Sondheim. The clever lyrics, the catchy tunes, and the twists on classic fairy tales had me hooked from the beginning. I was lucky enough to take part in a production of this in college, and to this day, I still find myself randomly singing tunes from it, even if Agony sounds weird when you’re singing both parts.

    3. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut – I can’t add much to what you guys said, but I’ll just say that this is one film I can watch multiple times and still find myself laughing.

    2. The Muppets Take Manhattan – Without a doubt, this is my favorite Muppet production (even though I did love The Muppets). As a kid, this was my favorite movie, and it has just the right mix of humor, poignancy, and whimsy for me.

    1. Company – Yeah, Stephen Sondheim gets two of my top five spots. I just love this musical. The variety in the songs, the portrayal of how completely different couples function, the absolutely amazing final song (seriously, “Being Alive” is my favorite song of all time) – this musical has it all. The complexity of Sondheim’s music and lyrics are at their peak in this work (in my opinion). There have been several great versions of it over the years (Dean Jones was the original Bobby), but my two favorites are the 2006 and 2011 versions. In 2006, the cast doubles as the pit, which makes for a very interesting experience. The 2011 version was only staged once I believe and includes such cast members as Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks, Jon Cryer, Martha Plimpton, and Patti Lupone. The 2006 version is available to watch via Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you go do so now.

    • GeorgeDubya
      December 13, 2011 at 11:49 am — Reply

      Close competitors include – Sweeney Todd, The Book of Mormon, Nightmare Before Christmas, Holiday Inn, and Once Upon a Mattress (the first musical I was a part of, so it has a special place in my heart. King Sextimus the Silent = best role ever)

      • LemmyCaution
        December 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm — Reply

        I picked Holiday Inn too, and I hope that anyone wanting to check it out for the first time doesn’t catch it cut up for television… they’ll miss the jaw-dropping “Abraham” number in blackface.

        I like that you picked Company. I love a good “Getting Married Today”…

  11. Michael
    December 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    No “Can’t Stop The Music”?!

    Only ONE mention of “Xanadu”?! And “Grease”?!?!

    And not one freakin’ Elvis movie.

    • LemmyCaution
      December 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm — Reply

      Based on the first movie you mentioned, perhaps you are just kidding around. But I do have reasons why the others you name might not have gotten much love…

      While I love ELO and I think Xanadu is a decent enough soundtrack, the movie is just too weak. Together, they aren’t strong enough to get a lot of nostalgic love.

      Grease is fine and I enjoy the movie, but the cinematography is kind of awful during a lot of the musical numbers. I remember how HUGE that movie was when it came out, so, yes, it’s a little odd not to see it mentioned. And it was sanitized for the screen. I can imagine someone picking it as a favorite on the stage, but I doubt there are many people on this site who would have been around in the 70’s to see it on Broadway.

      Elvis movies are middling affairs. None of them have a strong enough story line and Aaron isn’t much of an actor. So they come off like extended music videos, which is fine, but that’s probably why people aren’t so emotionally attached to them unless they are Graceland junkies.

      • Michael
        December 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm — Reply

        I have an odd love of CSTM. Besides, you get a quick shot of Valerie Perrine’s top. :) I’m only surprised Matthew didn’t mention it.

        Grease was sanitized for the screen? Do tell. I’m old enough I remember my parents taking me to see the movie and I know some of it flew over my head, but I didn’t hear anything about the stage show (before the movie I’d guess) being raunchier.

        As for Elvis, I am surprised nothing got a mention. IMHO, Frankie & Johnny and Clambake would be contenders for a mention, but that’s due to my own personal tastes.

  12. thedexter102
    December 14, 2011 at 11:44 am — Reply

    5. The Wizard of Oz: Not because it’s good (it’s not), but I played the wizard in my school production and for that reason I have a soft spot for it. Also inventing the road movie ain’t bad either.

    4. The Lion King: Great Disney musical, part Hamlet part Kimba the White Lion all awsome. Fantastic songs by Tim Rice and Elton John just amazing. I have fond childhood memorys of this movie.

    3. Oliver! : Fantasic retelling of of Dickens novel, heartbraking songs and when performed properly can sweep a frosty crowed to thier feet. Was also in a production of this but it wasn’t as fun, and anyone who says any is better is getting a digital slap. -_-

    2. Les Miserable: Oh man, if you havn’t seen this in a theatre, GO! I don’t care if it’s 30 bucks, it’s worth every penny. My mum took me to see this when I was about 12 and I don’t get to do stuff with her much any more so for that reason I remeber this show. And (bizzarly) this is the 3rd musical on this list that I’ve worked on, me and a buddy of mine are singing “Bring him Home” for an album of his. Oh, and the song at the end of Act 1 Steve is One Day More, still gives me chills to this day!

    1. Dr Horribles Sing Along Blog: Some of Whedons best writing, keeps tension, builds charecters and shatters convetions whielst being a tragic and moving ending. Plus NPH is pritty kick ass.

    • LemmyCaution
      December 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm — Reply

      Yeah, yeah, the Wizard of Oz is horrible. Whatevs. But I’d say the road movie was “invented” earlier than 1939. “It Happened One Night” comes to mind right away. I think “Stagecoach” came out earlier as well, but also in the same year.

  13. Scott (Oldcomicfan)
    December 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    My No. 5 is Showboat (the color 1950s version, not the early B&W version). It was the first musical I’d seen that had tunes so catchy that I remembered the lyrics and tunes after only seeing it once. Old Man River by P.G. Wodehouse. Need I say more?
    My No. 4 is the Producers (Nathan Lane & Mathew Broderick version). The original movie was one of Mel Brooks’ worst, the characters were ridiculous and unloveable, but the new version is actually funny and has more songs in it. Springtime for Hitler is a classic!
    My No. 3 is The Little Mermaid. Hilarious songs, great art, puts anything Disney did before to shame.
    My No. 2, by sheer virtue of all times I’ve seen it, is The Wizard of Oz. Does anybody else think that “If I Only Had a Brain” should be played whenever the president appears instead of “Hail to the Chief”?
    My No. 1 has to be My Fair Lady. The almost perfect musical, catchy numbers, great acting and the songs actually advance the story instead of interrupting it. All that and Audrey Hepburn, too! “The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in the Plain…”

    Honorable Mention: Sound of Music
    Jesus Christ Superstar – the second record album I literally wore out thru excessive playing. The first was “Snoopy and the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen.
    Annie – the only Broadway Muscial I’ve ever seen (off-broadway). A stunning production. Don’t watch the movie version though, it’s crap.

  14. slimeknight
    December 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm — Reply

    looney tunes “rabbit of seville”: looney tunes has a number of old opera song episodes that are great but this one is my favorite of all of them. Good music and really funny. 

    Nightmare Before Christmas: I watch this movie every year between halloween and christmas. 

    Scott Pilgrim: The music is fantastic and really adds to the movie. 

    Batman the Brave and the Bold “The Music Miester”: I love this episode and will start humming the music at anytime. 

    The Blues Brothers: One of my favorite movies and is full of fantastic blues songs.

    honarble mentions: 

    The Muppets: really good movie with catchy songs. 

    Disney movies during the 90’s I love all of them and they all have great music favorite of them would be Aladdin, and The lion king. 

    Family Guy musical episodes always good music and is funny

    Final Fantasy 6(3 on snes): the opera scene is fantastic in this game and i know it doesn’t count but I have to mention this.

  15. brainypirate
    December 15, 2011 at 12:29 am — Reply

    Hmmmm….. In alphy order, the 8 musicals I most relish:

    A Chorus Line (stage)
    A Little Night Music (stage)
    Cabaret (movie)
    Chicago (stage)
    Moulin Rouge!
    Singin’ in the Rain (movie)
    Sweeney Todd (stage)
    West Side Story (either)

    Sondheim has the best lyrics+music–I also thought about Company, Follies, Sunday in the Park…, Into the Woods, and Assassins.

    Rodgers & Hart and Cole Porter have the best songs–how many jazz standards have come from those three men alone??

    Fosse has the best choreography–I love the “Rich Man’s Frug” from _Sweet Charity_ and “Steam Heat” from _The Pajama Game_ and “Everything Old Is New Again” from _All That Jazz!_

    I saw Xanadu and Grease about 50 times each as a kid, and I still have a soft spot in my heart for them.

    Does Strictly Ballroom count as a musical, since no one sings?

    • Monte
      December 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm — Reply

      I agree, Sondheim can make a damned good score.

      And how could I forget A Little Night Music?

  16. December 15, 2011 at 3:07 am — Reply

    My favourite musicals are all musical comedies. I guess I just prefer punch lines with my song lines.

    5. “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” – Community. This barely counts. I love this episode more for the meta-jokes of only Abed seeing everything in stop motion, but Notable Numbers: “Sad, Quick Christmas Song”, “That’s What Christmas Is For” and Abed singing the main theme were just so so great. Christmas Pterodactyl!

    4. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Phenomenal. Almost every song is super-catchy and well done and perfectly cast. Notable Numbers: “Bad Horse Chorus”, “My Eyes”, “A Man’s Gotta Do”, “Everyone’s a Hero” and “Everything You Ever”.

    3. “My Musical” – Scrubs. The one episode of Scrubs that I watch over and over again. I loved how they integrated the musical premise so seamlessly into the show as a patient’s medical condition. And the best part is that the patient is played by none other than Stephanie D’Abruzzo. Notable Numbers: “Welcome to Sacred Heart”, “Everything Comes Down to Poo”, “Guy Love” and “What’s Going to Happen”.

    2. Every Single Episode – Flight of the Conchords. Oh Flight of the Conchords, how I miss you. One of, if not the best musical comedy TV series to have ever aired. I love the dry humour, absurd situations and casual racism toward Australians. In fact, two of my favourite episodes involved hilarious Australian stereotypes. Notable Numbers: “Business Time”, “The Humans are Dead”, “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)”, “I’m not Crying”, “Song for Sally”, “Bret You Got It Goin’ On”, “Albi the Racist Dragon”, “Mutha Uckas”, “Leggy Blonde”, “Sugalumps”, “You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute”, “Hurt Feelings”, and “Too Many Dicks (On the Dancefloor)”. *Phew* That’s almost all of them.

    1. A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel – As someone who loved the Harry Potter books, these fan musicals were like… *drum roll* music to my ears. The songs were catchy and the performances were extremely endearing, to the point that I they’re supplanted my own imaginary cast and the movie cast in rereading the book. This is a problem, since it’s hard to take either Malfoy or Snape seriously now that I imagine them prancing about like their musical counterparts. Notable Numbers: “Goin’ Back to Hogwarts”, “Granger Danger”, “Not Alone”, “Not Over Yet”, “Harry Freakin’ Potter”, “To Have a Home”, “Hermione Can’t Draw/Lupin Can’t Sing”, “Those Voices”, “Guys Like Potter”, “Stutter”, and”Days of Summer”.

    • JambaTheHutt
      December 17, 2011 at 11:42 am — Reply

      Of course Flight of The Conchords! Amazing, how the hell did I forget them?!? Good thing a movie is in the works!

    • jkp
      December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm — Reply

      Great call on Scrubs. Very cool episode.

  17. December 16, 2011 at 7:11 am — Reply

    5. The Wizard of Oz–A Classic. What can I add?
    4. Cannibal The Musical–As schpadoinkle a film if ever there were one.
    3. Once–No, not the Buffy episode.
    2. The Blues Brothers–Ackroyd and Belushi at the height of their powers.
    1. Topsy-Turvy–Barely counts as a musical because all the musical numbers are on stage in-universe. But I don’t care.

  18. JambaTheHutt
    December 17, 2011 at 11:38 am — Reply

    I spent the week on trying to organaize my top five and frankly I’m rather surprised!
    1. Jesus Christ Superstar- Like Rodrigo I totally dig everything about this musical. I catch myself humming many of the Judas tunes and have even turned a fellow metalhead into a JCS fan. I guess all the anger and questioning in the songs helped in some way.
    2.Pink Floyd: The Wall- The music of course is superb, but this is an interesting visual take on the work. The animation gave me nightmares as a kid, but it never stopped me from watching it over and over again. The Trial scene alone always blows me away.
    3.Cannibal:The Musical!- Dude, it’s outrageous and hilarious and gory and awesome. The trailer even tells you its the best of Friday the 13th Part 6 and Oklahoma! Not to mention it added a new word to my vocabulary “shpadoinkle”.
    4.Willy Wonka & The Choclate Factory- The old Gene Wilder version. Great tunes, great story and the WonkaBoat song doesn’t fit, freaks me out and I love it.
    5.Moulin Rogue- This one surprises even me. I don’t particuarlary care for Nicole Kidman, ever, but in this she really impresses me. Ewan McGregor is always great but I didn’t figure him a good singer. the variations of contemporary music into this gandiose scale and the visual spectecle that is Baz Lurhmans direction, although I was surprised to see it on my list, maybe I shouldn’t be.

    Just missing the list were:
    The Muppet Movie (1979), Popeye, and South Park; bigger Longer Uncut.

  19. ClubberLang6
    December 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm — Reply

    Here are my top 5 musicals.

    1. Phantom of the Opera
    2. Annie
    3. Moulin Rouge
    4. Sound of Music
    5. Greece

    Also, you can’t sleep on Cop Rock. That was a funny show.

    Also, here are my top 5 dark haired babes
    1. Zooey Deschanel
    2. Natalie Merchant
    3. Sarah McLachlan
    4. Angalina Jolie
    5. Audrey Hepburn

  20. ClubberLang6
    December 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm — Reply

    I have an idea for a top 5 show. How about the top 5 Yucksters (Comedians)? Here are my top 5.

    1. Bill Cosby
    2. Chris Rock
    3. Sinbad
    4. Rita Rudner
    5. Kathy Griffin

    • Monte
      December 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm — Reply

      I second that. Here’s mine:

      5. Aziz Ansari – Brilliant new talent, with a bunch of entertainment under his belt already.
      4. Robin Williams – Gotta dig the classics, man!
      3. Larry the Cable Guy – Okay, dick and fart jokes aside, the guy’s pretty hilarious.
      2. Bill Cosby – Saw him live a few months ago. Despite being slightly senile, he is still one of the funniest guys alive. True test of a comedian? THEIR COMEDY DOESN’T AGE.
      1. John Mulaney – Best comedian in the world in my opinion. Writer for SNL and stand up artist, listen to “The Salt and Pepper Diner” (the best meal ever) or “Chase through the Subway” and you will cry from laughing.

  21. Damascus
    December 19, 2011 at 12:30 am — Reply

    Some of the movies on my list will coincide with others, but I am a little surprised at a few things that nobody mentioned. I thought Matthew would have had Heavy Metal on his list for sure, granted I also thought he’d have Rent and Head on there as well and maybe even Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. I’ve decided, just now, that I’ll jumble my list a little to include only movies that haven’t already been mentioned.

    My Top Five are:
    5. Sister Act 2 – Scoff all you want, I’ve seen this movie probably a hundred times and I know every song in it by heart. In 1993 I was 10 years old and I rented this movie and had to have watched it three times in a row and maybe it’s just one of those movies that hit me at just the right age by I still enjoy it whenever it’s on.
    4. Newsies – Another movie from the early ’90s, this movie stars a young Christian Bale, Bill Pullman and Robert Duvall and it’s a musical set around the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. There’s some great music in this movie.
    3. Oliver and Company – I really like all the good Disney musical movies, but to choose one that’s a little before the big ’90s boom, Oliver and Company has some really great music to it and I just have to say, that if watching this movie is torture, then chain me to the wall.
    2. Mary Poppins – What can I say about Mary Poppins? It’s one of the few old Disney live-action movies that I can actually watch mostly any time. A lot of the older ones are really slow and tedious but the music in Mary Poppins is so brilliantly catchy and inventive that you can’t help but smile and sing along. Plus it gave us a new word for our vocabularies, much like Cannibal!: The Musical, that word being Supercalifragalisticaexpialadocious.
    1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, need I say more. This is just a great Christmas movie with some truly classic music that I know I still listen to every year at this time. Still, every time that it snows, in my head I hear the echo of three other voices saying “Snow, Snow, Snooowww…”

    My also-rans include: Across the Universe (all Beatles music!), Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Shop of Horrors, The Blues Brothers, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Dreamgirls (really quite good, Eddie Murphy was nominated, who saw that coming?), Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (!!!! It’s so amazing! Moreso if you’ve seen the original Reefer Madness), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Tarzan, Lion King, Aladdin, Little Mermaid (basically any of the really good Disney animated movies), Moonwalker, Dirty Dancing, and I guess lastly, School of Rock.

  22. jkp
    December 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm — Reply

    Okay, little late to the party, but I tend to listen at least 2 weeks in arrears.

    5. Once – “Oh my god. Can this movie really just keep getting better?” I said turning to my wife, eyes welling up, as I literally felt myself swelling with emotions half-way through the movie the first time we watched it. We’d rented it on a whim, knowing there was music in it, but not much beyond that. We had no idea we were in for one of the best movie experiences either of us has ever had. A story of two strangers whose lives had become stunted, coming together, taking a chance on each other, and creating something wonderful and cathartic. Having these two characters remained platonic friends throughout was an excellent touch. Only time I think I’ve ever actually cared about anyone winning an Oscar.

    4. Sunday in the Park with George – Let’s face it, any top 5 musicals list could be entirely populated by Sondheim and I don’t think anyone could reasonably object. Using the work of George Seurat as a jumping in point for a discussion about love, creativity, community, loneliness, art and family was/is brilliant. The power-house Broadway duo of Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters is just icing on the cake. Of course “Finishing the Hat”, with it’s ebbs and flow,s is a beautifully wrenching song that may be one of the best musical numbers ever written.

    The musical is only slightly marred by the final act which isn’t necessarily bad, but doesn’t have the heft, and feels very dated when compared to the first 2 acts. Of course making that last act feel dated may be intentional…

    3. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog – This one has been pretty thoroughly addressed already. Great music. Great acting. Utterly charming. It’s a great musical by any standard.

    It’s only fitting that Joss Whedon, one of the people largely responsible for popularizing musicals in pop culture today, would take the genre and push it into the 21st Century. What I think I admire most about Dr. Horrible was the way in which he produced and distributed it. Granted he’s got a leg up on most, but Whedon, Louis CK, and others are showing that you can do high quality entertainment and bring it straight to the people at a reasonable cost and succeed. Makes me very hopeful for the future of entertainment media.

    2. Cabaret – Sexuality, love, freedom, grief, art, abortion and Nazism. What do all these elements need to really make a kicking story? Great music, singing, amazing dance numbers, and Joel Gray of course! I have a hard time ranking this one as high as I have, but when you think about all the issues that this musical was tackling in the late 1960’s, and the way in which it handled them, it’s a pretty grand spectacle. What makes it really stand out, and demands a strong placement in this list, is that even 40+ years later the music, dancing, and message still feel just as relevant.

    1. Into the Woods – Stephen and Rodrigo did a great job covering just why this show works so well. I loved it the first time I saw it, and I have to say that it’s one of the works of art that continues to unfold for me as a I grow older. I don’t necessarily identify with the particulars of all the situations, but the emotions resonate more deeply with me now that I’m a father in my late 30’s. The song “Children Will Listen” is incredibly powerful, and one that I think every parent should be required to listen to and write about before being allowed to procreate.

    Also rans: Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime, some Family Guy stuff, Annie, The Sound of Music, Once on this Island, Avenue Q, My Fair Lady (fyi Marni Nixon was dubbed over Audrey Hepburn’s singing in the film), Grease, West Side Story, etc…

    • Monte
      May 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm — Reply

      Into the Woods is incredible, although I can’t say “Children Will Listen” is my favorite song… That goes to “Giants in the Sky”.

  23. Adrianna
    July 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm — Reply

    There are so many amazing musicals I’ve watched, but my top two are certainly Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Cats!

  24. thedexter102
    September 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    5) The Lion King (cause Hamlet in africa is always fun)

    4) Mulan (“Mr I’ll, make a man, out of you” and it’s a really classic story, childhood memorys abound)

    3) Les Mis (Nothing beats seeing it on stage in a big theatre and the songs are just perfect.)

    2) Quadrophenia ( I saw a satge adapation and my lord does it hit you in the face, emotional and angry it’ s a great staging of a legendary album. And yes 5:15 is an amazing song.)

    1) Blood Brothers (There are no words for this show, just google it. You won’t regret it.)

  25. Sam
    July 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm — Reply

    #5; Phantom of the Paradise
    It’s 70’s Phantom of the Opera, and I cannot say much more then listen to the song Faust. It is such an amazing song along this movie made the list and along with the rest of the great songs and fun story.

    #4; The Wickerman
    Its Musical/Horror/Crime Mystery/Thriller. The landlords daughter, Maypole, and so on

    #3; Jesus Christ Superstar
    Told from Judas’s point of view. Talking about the biggest issue of all the fact Jesus was stirring a rebellion not about was he divine but what his actions could have caused.

    #2; Reefer Madness: The Musical
    Watch Reefer Madness. Watch this film it is a joke on everything that made that film what it is.

    #1; Muppet’s: Christmas Carol
    To not have the Muppet’s be on this would be criminal. To not have a Christmas movie with music would be criminal. So why not the excellent Christmas Carol. Michael Caine plays well off the characters from Kermit too the Ghost of Christmas Present(who has the ultimate Christmas Song). The muppets are well done, the pacing is good(sad it lost 3 songs on the way to being made. 1 of those 3 is on the DVD & VHS copies)
    Also should I point out Gonzo is Charles Dickens

  26. Craig
    August 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    #5 Tommy
    #4 Pete’s Dragon (Original)
    #3 West Side Story
    #2 Blues Brothers
    #1 Purple Rain ! Why oh Why does this film never make it on the Musical list?!?!

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