Tuesday, 9 February 2016

7 lovey-dovey musicals to watch with your Valentine

Anyone who knows me or who follows me on twitter or even who read my blog last year will know that I am not a huge Valentine's Day fan. I just don't see why we all have to be forced to show our love and appreciation to our partner when we should be doing that of our own accord every day of our lives. It's commercialised and sickly, awkward for those who are single and awkward for those in a relationship. And...yep I had better stop here before this whole post becomes a rant about that stupid day.

I am lucky this year though. Because I will be spending Valentine's Day with my one true love -- the theatre (I am super excited to be going to see the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Southampton on Sunday). So along those lines, I thought I would examine some of my favourite love stories within musicals. There are some wonderful ones and, in no particular order, these are the ones which I have seen recently and believe are the best of the bunch.

I couldn't actually imagine a better way to spend time with a loved one than viewing one of these (particularly if he goes all out and takes you to the theatre itself!)

This closed a couple of years ago but my goodness it is wonderful. A young couple, known simply as Guy and Girl, meet and begin to play music together. Through their combined love of music they of course fall for each other. But life is complicated and neither are completely free so don't ever admit it to the other. Music and love -- isn't that all you need in life?

Miss Saigon 
You will have to be quick with this work of art, because it leaves the Price Edward Theatre at the end of February. Definitely see it though, it is one of my absolute favourites. It is worth seeing for the helicopter alone, but the characters in it are fabulous as well. There are some wonderful songs between Chris and Kim which will melt your heart and the tragic ending will then rip it out.

Les Miserables
There's nothing but love in this musical. Which, considering the title, may surprise you if you haven't seen it. It's actually not that miserable at all. There are so many couples and so many forms of love that you will barely be able to keep up with all the storylines. I have to say though that Marius is one of my least favourite 'romantic heroes' in any book, film or piece of theatre I have ever experienced. I mean seriously? You glimpsed that girl once and you couldn't even see her face properly and then you just go on and on about her. It's not all about looks you know... There is a great many fab things about Les Mis though and the lovey-doveyness is one of the main reasons it has stuck around in the West End for three decades no less.

Bend it like Beckham
This may not be an obvious choice to add to my list. But when I saw this at the Phoenix last year, I just loved the love storyline in it. Jess is so stubborn to get what she wants and that includes her love interest. And I adore that -- she is a fab strong-willed character. Loved the film, love the musical even more.

This is a firm favourite for most people. For me, I think it's a little overrated. BUT the soundtrack is great and the friendship between Elphie and Glinda is wonderful. The love between friends is sometimes stronger and more valuable and special than any other type of love. And this progression from enemies, to friends, to enemies to everlasting friends is so beautiful.

From Here to Eternity
This is a straight up lovey dovey one, there's no getting away from it. It's cute, but, again, not altogether happy. Why can't things just work out? I guess it wouldn't be realistic if it did.

Sound of music
This is an absolute classic. The 1960s original was one of the first musicals I saw as a child on television and the most recent live version starring Kara Tointon was fantastic. I am a sucker for stories where the guy starts off as brooding and severe and then the female softens him up. I wonder why that is...hmmm....but this isn't just about the love between a man and a woman. It is also about the love between Maria and the children. And their acceptance of her is just as wonderful.

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