Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ranking Musicals: 2000s


  Today I'll be ranking musicals from the 2000s. Last time I had the issue of little knowledge of 2010s shows. This time I have fourteen shows that I've narrowed to ten for time's sake. While I would love to list all of them, I'm just going to list some notable ones and some favorites of mine. Remember that the way I rank musicals may be the opposite of your choice, but that's just because it's my personal opinion. Many of these rankings don't mean much since I like most of these shows and I don't consider myself the best at ranking.

10. Tom Sawyer (2001)

This is a fun musical that starred Kristen Bell when she was pretty young. The youtube clip above is the best example I could find of this show, though not my favorite song from the show. If you aren't a huge fan of bluegrass-style music then it it might be a bit hard to get used to, but it's worth it. This musical had a short run but is still being performed by some groups. It's a classic story presented in a charming and fun way. I like it pretty well. My former theater performed this, and I enjoyed it.

9. The Pirate Queen (2007)

   This is one of those shows where I'm not certain of ranking. It's ranked at nine because I only know what I know of it by listening to the music and reading the synopsis. I kind of want to rank it higher, but... Oh well. I love the music, the performers (in anything), and the style. The Irish undertones are perfect and Hadley Fraser (featured in the above video) is one of my favorite performers. He nails all of his parts. (Pst. He was Raoul in the Phantom of the Opera). Other positives of this show? It was created by the same guy who did Les Miserables, so there you go. Also, the historical base and story line are amazing. It's the tale of an Irish woman fighting for her country's freedom while dealing with being a woman in that day and time... and the sacrifices she has to make.

8. Seussical (2000)

  Seussical is a super fun musical that takes ideas from many of Dr. Seuss's works with special consideration paid to Horton Hears a Who. The music is smart, witty, and fun. It's a great show for all ages and one that I love. After all, you can't get much better than the message of the story: A person's a person no matter how small.

7. Little Mermaid (2007)

  It seems that my taste seems to run in the short lived shows. Which is unfortunate for me. This Broadway adaption of the classic Disney film has some fabulous vocals. Sierra Bogess is wonderful as Ariel (she was *ahem* Christine in Phantom) and the rest of the cast were wonderful as well. Although the above video is just a short clip, I encourage you to look up some of the other songs. Norm Lewis pulls off some new King Triton songs with pizzazz, as does Prince Eric (and Ariel, of course). And if you really want to be impressed, look up this show's version of "Kiss the Girl." Titus Burgess has crazy pipes. If you're into this Disney classic and want to hear some amazing new numbers (Ex. Her Voice, One Step Closer, The World Above, She's In Love) definitely look this one up. Do it. As a note, I actually performed in this one, though it was the junior version so some of the songs were cut. Boo. But it was fun. So for your random pleasure, here is a photo of me as my character Carlotta the palace
headmistress. I seemed to be quite snoopy in this photo. ;)

6. Tarzan (2006)

  Another Disney musical, this one includes more exciting Phil Collins songs, including my favorite new addition: "Everything that I Am." This is Tarzan with extremely high energy. I was in this one and the physical side of things is a serious thing. As you can see from the above clip, a trailer of sorts, there is a lot of pretty amazing stuff going on in this show. Unfortunately, it was also a Broadway failure and shut down early. I still think it's a great show. Here is a photo of me as an ape as you try to look up more info on this show. 

5. Wicked (2003)

Yeah, the way I've ordered these is starting to look worse and worse but at least you guys get the general idea. Wicked is an intensely popular and modern classic with exciting numbers and wonderful performances by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as well as the supporting cast. I've never been into the changing evil characters into good guys thing, so maybe that's why this isn't my favorite, but it certainly has its importance. I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of this one, but it's basically Wizard of Oz if the witch wasn't truly evil and everything wasn't as it seems.

4. A Little Princess (2004)

  This is yet another show based on a classic novel. It's dramatic, beautiful, and a wonderful story. The video I shared is not from the recording's cast because this show was not actually on Broadway. If you look up the cast recording you can see that Sierra Bogess (again) is the voice of Sara Crewe. I had the opportunity to play Miss Minchin (the villain) in this show and the photo at the top of this article is from it. I really love this show. It's creative, fun to perform, and has lots of parts for an ensemble cast.

3. Little Women (2005)

This one and Princess I debated for a bit. They both have wonderful scores and soundtracks and stories, but as Little Women actually had a Broadway show, I decided on it for this spot. The music... ah. And Sutton Foster as Joe! This is based on a classic and beautiful novel. It is a tale of four sisters and the path life leads them on. Some of the songs in this show will make you laugh, cheer, or even cry. It's one of those shows.
2. Hairspray (2002) 

  The clip isn't actually from the stage musical but I just couldn't find a clip I liked! So this song is from the 2007 movie, which I liked. The show is actually based on a movie made in the 80s. Hairspray is a witty and somewhat strange story. It's equal parts hilarious and thought provoking. Well, maybe not equal parts. Beneath crazy dance numbers there is social commentary on body image, civil rights, and religion. (I would have rather they left the last one off, but oh well.) Anyway, this clever story about an overweight girl with dreams of being on a dance show and dating the cute boy is lots of fun. In the above clip our main characters are in a bit of trouble as Tracy is wanted by the law. If you want more understanding on it, watch it. 

1. Shrek the Musical (2008)

  Okay, so I don't know if this is my actual top choice for this decade but this is how it's turned out. Yes, there is a Shrek musical. Yes, it's actually really good. I don't care for the films but love this musical. It's a really weird conundrum. Powerful performances make this one a more recent favorite. Like any musical it has its bad moments but the amazing belt of Sutton Foster and the fantastic talent of the rest of the cast carry it forward. The video from above is actually a pre-Broadway show but two of the performers went on to Broadway, so it works. I had the opportunity to be in this show as well. I played the worried role of Mama Bear. Here's a photo. I love that this show includes so many storybook characters!

  So there you have it. My extremely messed up listing. Even if the orders get a little wobbly, you can be the judge of what musicals you like. Speaking of which...

What is your favorite of these musicals? Did I miss one that you love from this decade?

Note: I did not include a few musicals for reasons of not enough knowledge, such as Thoroughly Modern Millie, and others because they are quite similar to their films such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppin because I had to narrow it down to ten choices.


  1. Great list!

    I haven't seen or heard most of these (I have heard OF most or all, though, and I do know Wicked quite well), but some of these I have been wanting to listen to! Especially Little Women, that one looks so good. :)

    I think my favorite from this decade is probably Next to Normal. It's such a personal look at mental illness, along with great vocals and acting.

  2. I've heard songs from most of these although I'm not sure if I would rank them as highly as you have! Still, I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE The Little Mermaid and I'm sad that I didn't get to like, see it when it was debuting here. Also, I have seen WIcked twice and it is FABULOUS, and I have very much enjoyed songs from A Little Princess, Tarzan, and the Pirate Queen. :)