The What’s On Stage top 100 – and my top 10

When ‘What’s on Stage’ decided to publish their top 100 musicals of all time as voted for by the public I was very intrigued, for several reasons…

I wondered if I had heard of all of them, if I had seen many of them and of course whether I agreed with the list.

You can view their whole list here….The What’s On Stage Top 100 musicals of all time.

Well apart from one or two, I am proud to say I had at least HEARD of them all, but was bemused to find 28 of the musicals listed I have not seen in any form, film, televised stage show or live (and by film I mean a musical version that matches the stage show), hmm time to add those to my to-do list.

But I did redeem myself a little when I realise that 41 of the list I HAVE seen in the West End and a further 18 in regional theatres over the last ahem 25 years so I can consider myself a musical-theatre geek of sorts. Not bad as I was living abroad throughout the 90s.

Obviously opinions of the voters are all very individual and therefore although this list is great fun, it does depend on what the voters have seen (or not). Maybe I would consider one of my mystery 28 one of the greatest things I have ever seen, most probable as there are a few Sondheim shows I have never seen and I adore his music.  What about the musicals that never even made the list?

The Bakers WifeI would put ’42nd Street’ definitely in there (fantastic), ‘Martin Guerre’ (which I thought incredibly quirky) and ‘Me and My Girl’ (purely because it was the first West End Show that dragged me back not once but twice).

I think there were a few protest votes in the What’s On Stage Top 100 too, shows that have recently closed that fans can’t bear to let go. I wonder that if this list was published years ago the likes of ‘Hunting of the Snark’ and ‘Moby Dick’ would have made it, actually probably not – they were pretty dire.

It is a list of today, next year I would predict ‘Gypsy’ will make it, and 20years ago ‘Barnum’ would have definitely made it (I sadly didn’t see Crawford but Paul Nicholas was AMAZING). Charlie Girl, 70 Girls 70, Follies – Oh Jeez I am getting so nostalgic. blondel

And what about the ones I missed? My MOST played LPs (rememebr them) were Blondel, and Beyond the Rainbow, now if anyone can tell me where I can buy a CD of these or a download I would be eternally grateful. I somehow suspect we won’t be seeing them on the West End Stage again anytime soon.

The list is not all bad or wrong, there are some incredible musicals there, some I thought I had forgotten. Obviously the Biggies are going to run away with it and deservedly so. The top three, Les Miserables, Wicked, and Phantom are there for a reason, the shows are there to stay and they pull in the audiences year on year for a reason. Most others in the top ten were fairly predictable too.

My top ten? My children often ask me and I cannot answer as it changes with my mood, but this list inspired me to have a go. and here it is.

Here it is today…..

10. Children of Eden – Before they messed around with it and cut the good bits out. Cannot believe it only made number 100 – I guess it is the sign of the times.
9. Follies – ahhh those were the days
8. Ghost – Even I am surprised this one is there, I think it was because I wasn’t keen on seeing it  and I certainly wasn’t expecting very much and then I was blown away.
7. La cage aux Folles – A beautiful love story.
6. Wicked – Sometimes this is higher in the list – cd a little overplayed at the moment 🙂
5. Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Purely because it makes you come out grinning like a cheshire cat. Love it.
4. Miss Saigon – Cannot wait to see the new version, the old one had me hooked. Saw it several times.
3. Lion King – It’s when those hairs at the back of your neck prickle -fantastic
2. Into the Woods – Fantasy at it’s best, and Sondheim too, cannot go wrong
1. Les Miserables – Corny but true – I haven’t been for a while but I keep promising a blog to why Les Mis holds a special place in my heart. Fantastic.Les-Miserables

Oh there are so very many more…….

I am sure this list will change, I see Matilda for the first time next week and whoaaaa I cannot WAIT to see Imelda Staunton in Gypsy in Nov and…and…..

hmmmm, this is where I do become a little ashamed.

The What’s On Stage top 100 plays of all time

I’ve seen eight,
I walked out of one
and one of the plays I was in during my time in Amateur Dramatics (sad).

I would NOT expect you to agree with me, all tastes are different but I would like to hear what you think and what your top ten are, or five, or three or just your favourite of all time.


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