Music itself is great. But when it is combined with touching story, special effects and splendid voices of actors it becomes a pure pleasure, so intense and engrossing that you feel you can touch it. Musicals provide us with this combination of songs and performance and the melodies of the best of them remain with us long after the final accords.
As I am a great fan of musicals, it is hard for me to define the best one. However, the first which comes to my head is “Chicago”, so I will start with it. This musical is starring Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Though they are professional actors, they perform all songs themselves and the musical did not suffer from their singing talents at all. The true gem of this story is “Cell Block Tango” scene where female prisoners sing alternately about their crimes. Black humor and sexy murderesses with red scarves symbolizing blood make this scene unforgettable. Among other beautiful songs of this musical is “All That Jazz”, “Funny Honey” and “The Hungarian Disappearing Act”.
Unlike “Chicago”, “Moulin Rouge” is quite a sentimental story where music and singing is used to express strong feelings of love and passion. Ewen McGregor and Nicole Kidman who play lovers in the musical perform all the numbers themselves. Buz Luhrmann, the creator of “Moulin Rouge” used the songs of popular bands and singers such as Whitney Houston, David Bowie, The Beatles, Queen, U2, Elton John, The Police and so on. The use of such musical mix presents a particular genre which is called “jukebox musical”. The best scene of this splendid performance is, undoubtedly, “El Tango de Roxanne” which is based on the original song “Roxanne” by The Police. All tension and passionate love of the main heroes is concentrated in this single scene.
The musical “Grease” was released in 1978 but it is still not forgotten due to a great number of hits it has produced. “You Are the One That I Want”, “Greased Lightning” and “Summer Nights” remained on the top of UK ratings for weeks. Catchy melodies and strong voice of Olivia Newton-John in duet with John Travolta make this musical one of the best performances of this type ever. Music is used to reveal the problems of young generation, present the real situation in the American high school and touch the taboo topics of the society.