What Makes A Good Musical?

Last year I saw over 70 pieces of theatre, a mixture between Musicals, Plays and Operas. (Mostly Musicals) I got thinking about what actually makes a good Musical in my opinion? I have had quite a long time thinking about it as we are in lockdown.

A strong Book (The book is a name for a script in Musical Theatre) For me, everything comes from the script, this is the foundation and spine of a musical. Without a strong book the musical will be weaker. The story also has to be worth telling in Musical form. The Score is vital to help push the story along, there has to be a reason for that character to break into song.It is a real balancing act where to put the songs (Except for sung-through musicals like Les Mis etc…)

I have noticed that I always find myself enjoying a show more when I connect to a character or the story. I recently saw Dear Evan Hansen and that connects deeply with Parents and Teenagers but in different ways. Dear Evan Hansen is a brilliant example of a musical with a strong book and score. It very much feels like a play which studies a small group of characters in-depth. It doesn’t have an ensemble which is quite rare in a musical!

Something Original. I really love when I see a musical which isn’t like anything I’ve seen before. A musical which sticks out to me is The light In the Piazza. It has a stunningly operatic and sweeping score. It isn’t produced that often so I would highly recommend listening to the Cast Recording. It was written in 2003 which is fairly modern yet it has a very classical sound. Six is another. I thought it was so different and loads of fun because it is like a mixture of Musical Theatre, A Pop Concert and Stand up comedy. I have never seen anything like it.

These are just my opinions, what are your opinions? Comment below!

Thanks for reading, stay safe


3 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Musical?

  1. For me:

    1. The first thing is song
    2. Then it is the story/characters- I see these basically connected
    3. Emotional connection- if that doesn’t exist, then that musical is not good

    Liked by 1 person

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