My fourteen-year-old is preparing to audition for ‘Grease’, and since she’s a nervous hummer/whistler/singer-under-her-breath, I’ve come to realize how incredibly catchy all the songs in that movie are.  (Also how creepy Kenickie is, though she has replaced the line “Did she put up a fight?” in ‘Summer Lovin’ with “Did she call the police?” which never fails to crack us both up.)  Still, the question of whether it’s the catchiest musical of all is a tough one, what with ‘The Major General Song’ and that one Kristy MacNicol pirate movie, leading to today’s understudy query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) had most of the libretto of ‘Rent’ stuck in my head for about a year-and-a-half, asking: What song-and-dance-style show is overall the catchiest musical of all?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I’m really not a musical guy, but one I at least remember well is Saturday Night Fever. Unless Michael Jackson music videos count as musical.

  2. Lemmy Caution (@_Lemmy_Caution) on

    Well, you said it had to be song and dance, so that knocks out a lot. Song and dance? Look no further than Top Hat!

    It’s got choreography from Hermes Pan and Astaire, great songs by Irving goddamn Berlin, and ostrich feathers!

    Really, I picked it for the Cheek to Cheek ostrich feathers.

    Catchy? Top Hat and Cheek to Cheek aren’t just catchy. They’re standards!

    Did I mention Edward Everett Horton…

  3. I’m gonna go with another one full of Berlin songs. It’s really the only “Christmas” movie I enjoy (maybe because it has a whopping 1 Christmas song in it!). But, White Christmas. The songs, the dancing, the costumes…it’s all great!

  4. Possibly because I love the show and was once the lead, I say Godspell.
    Speaking as a musician who has done many shows doing everything there is to do, I would say Annie or Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Sir ALW has a way of getting a song stuck in your head.

  5. I blame my wife for this: Mamma Mia. Abba songs are catchy to begin with. Line them all up in a row and finish with a full-cast rendition of Waterloo? That’s a recipe for magic.

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