As I write this, a couple of days ago I made a Facebook post asking my friends to recommend their favorite musicals. I’m generally familiar with several famous musicals, but less than I would like to be. It’s a gap in my pop-cultural education and one I hope to rectify this summer by listening and really learning the soundtracks to several great American musicals.
The response to my post was beyond what I had expected! I knew I had a lot of friends that liked musicals, but I did not realize just how many people are deeply immersed in this art form. I’ve kept a list of the recommended shows and tallied up their total mentions, which I hope to share here eventually.
For some context, although I’m not an aficionado, I certainly have enjoyed and know some musicals quite well: The Sound of Music, The Lion King, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Dreamgirls, and Spamalot, to start. And of course the year 2016 brought Hamilton to a mass audience, and I credit that show and Lin-Manuel Miranda for igniting my interest in delving further into musical theater in general.
I’m looking forward to writing here about my journey through American musicals. My goal is to listen to and write about at least one new musical each week through the summer of 2017. After that, who knows?