Musicals – what’s so gay about them?

Most people around the world like at least one type of music, yet the weird thing is that then musicals are seen as something you either love or hate.

In reality most people fall somewhere in the middle where they like some types of musicals and not others. On the other hand, some hide their love of musicals due to a sense of shame since musicals are seen to be exclusively for women and gays – THEY’RE NOT! Musicals actually hold a special place in the hearts of many.

As all other art forms it tries to mimic real life in its own way. Nonetheless, since no one ever spontaneously (dares excluded) bursts out into song it manages to maintain its magic of surrealism even when the story gets down and dirty with the dark side of real life being heavily present.

Musicals have the power to transport us to a romantic version of our world whereby somehow all the best and worst traits of humanity are put on full display. However, since these are generally presented through catchy songs sometimes the undertones and meaning of the lyrics are lost.

Like most people, my first musical was The Sound of Music. Amongst the first scenes, one finds the song “Climb Every Mountain” where the reverend mother tells Julie Andrews to climb every mountain – or in other words “go for it and live your life, as someone who has stayed behind the walls of this convent for so long, trust me, GO.

Other than that, musicals are made up of more than just their music. They can also deliver on all the major points of both theatre and the big screen, such as this amazing piece of dialogue found in the musical Shrek:

Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Shrek: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave ’em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.

Most people tend to say is that they don’t like the peppy style of music generally found in musicals. These are clearly people who have only ever seen Mamma Mia before.

The more modern musicals have music from all forms of music genres. The excuse that musicals don’t have their type of music is not relevant anymore. From The Phantom of the Opera, to The Lion King, to Hamilton, and far beyond.

Regardless, to quote less Les Miserable, “Do you hear the people sing? Singing the songs of angry men?

There will always be those who just don’t like musicals, as they are free to do, but in turn those who like musicals can just say This is Me!


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