5 More Underrated Musicals

About six months ago, I did a post on my favourite underrated musicals and it had a good reception. Of course, I appreciate a lot of underrated musicals, so I decided to do a follow up post, drawing attention to a few more of my favourite underrated musicals.

Enjoy!

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Guys, this musical is my absolute favourites at the moment. I mean, its awesome. It has a massive choir, it has an intense plot, the music is so dark and atmospheric and the actors are incredibly talented.

But this show is just so underrated. It’s so underrated that for some reason it never made it to Broadway, which is a musical crime of the utmost severity.

But anyway, this musical is great. Its based on, and includes many songs from, Disney’s movie, but it incorporates several darker elements from Victor Hugo’s original novel. This does make it a pretty full-on musical to listen to, but honestly, all the Latin choruses and that high note at the end of “The Bells of Notre Dame” make it worth it.

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 Anastasia

Anastasia isn’t underrated in the sense that nobody’s ever heard of it, but I do think people underestimate how good it is. Anya herself is such a relatable and lovable character, and Dmitry is such a rogue, but also so charming–basically a fangirl’s daydream.

So why doesn’t this musical get the love it deserves?

To be honest, I don’t know why Anastasia had such a mediocre run on Broadway. I mean, it didn’t flop but it certainly wasn’t Hamilton. However, I feel that Anastasia is the sort of musical that won’t make a bang, but will be around for a long time to come.

Also, before we move on, can we just talk about Gleb? I feel that he’s the best addition to this new version of Anastasia, just because he’s such a human antagonist with such good inner conflict. He beats Rasputin by a long shot.

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The Scarlet Pimpernel

Look, this musical has problems. For one thing, no matter how many times I read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia it never seems to make sense. It really is nonsensical, and very little like the book.

However, the music, the actors and songs are really good. Douglas Sills and Terrence Mann are great as Percy and Chauvelin and the songs will remain stuck in your head for weeks. The lyrics are also suitably bloodthirsting for a story about the French Revolution (just listen to “Madame Guillotine”)

It’s got some good standout songs, such as “Into The Fire”, “Falcon in the Dive” and “The Riddle” and they’re all hugely satisfying to listen to. Also, if you’ve read the book, you can just imagine these songs going with the plot of the book and not worry about the convoluted, nonsensical plot of the musical.

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A Tale of Two Cities

After I’d finished my initial post, I couldn’t believe that I’d forgotten A Tale of Two Cities a.k.a. my favourite musical ever.

ATOTC is definitely underrated. I read a few of the critic reviews that were published back when it was first released and a lot of them said it was too much like Les Mis, too unoriginal, or something along those lines. I can understand that, but at the same time, it really isn’t anything like Les Mis–it just happens to be set in France during a Revolution.

Anyway, ATOTC is a great musical, even though it only has a few, rabid fans. We are loyal though, and we will defend its owner ferociously.

Of course, there are a few standout songs–namely all of Sydney Carton’s, plus “Without A Word”, “The Bluff”, “The Tale” and “Finale”.

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Come From Away

This is a new one, both to me and the general world. It’s basically about a small town in Newfoundland where all the planes coming from, or going to, America were diverted to after the 9/11 attacks.

It’s a fascinating piece of work, and its ongs have a good balance of narrative, humour and emotion.

If you’re a bit more sensitive though, there is a bit of adult content in this musical. It includes a fair bit of swearing (several mentions of the f-word, among others), a gay couple, and the occasional comment.

My favourite songs include, “Welcome to the Rock” and “Me and the Sky”.

 

 

11 thoughts on “5 More Underrated Musicals

  1. I 100% agree with you about The Hunchback of Notre Dame; it’s such a masterpiece! I’ve been listening to it a lot recently and I definitely agree, the choir is amazing. It’s just about my favorite thing about the whole recording. It’s just so beautiful!
    It really is a pity that Anastasia did not see more success on Broadway! I hope it continues to have success, though, internationally! I actually need to check back in on that German production I’d heard about a while ago… I’ve not heard much about it since.
    I’ve loved what I’ve heard of the Scarlet Pimpernel and i think it’s go some wonderful music! I still haven’t listened to the whole thing, though, and definitely need to get around to it eventually!
    And, of course, I love A Tale of Two Cities. It’s beautiful. It’s so, so beautiful. I listened to it about 3 times back-to-back on a road trip recently and I fell in love with it all over again. It’s really a pity that more people don’t know about this one; I feel sure that many would love it if they only knew of it and gave it a chance!
    I’ve not listened to Come From Away as of right now, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so maybe I’ll check it out sometime!
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, the choir is absolutely awesome! It would be thrilling to hear it in real life.
    I hear rumours in May last year that Anastasia was coming to Australia, but I’ve heard nothing since then. And yes, the German version looked so good! I hope they release an official recording.
    The music is definitely a strong point in the Scarlet Pimpernel, I like it a lot! You definitely should finish listening to it 😀
    Like I said, ATOTC is my favourite musical and, yeah, I think it would be way more popular if people actually *knew* about it. Maybe a new version or a “relaunch” would be good for getting it more in the public eye.
    I think you’d really enjoy Come from Away, let me know if you listen to it any time soon! Its coming to Australia in the next few months and I’d like to see it, but realistically won’t get time too, so I’ll just listen to the Broadway cast for now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay. I need to start intentionally listening to musicals. These posts of yours always make me hungry for them. 🙂

    I love “Madame Guillotine” from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Also “Falcon in the Dive” and “Into the Fire.” So stick-in-your-head-able, in a good way.

    I’ve also listened to a couple of ATOTC numbers, and I liked them, so I’ll need to revisit it for sure. (I remember how happy I was when I learned there WAS a musical of A Tale of Two Cities, because it’s my favorite Dickens aside from A Christmas Carol.)

    And these others all look really fascinating, too….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Only just this year I learned about Come From Away, when the local theater folk put on a medley production and played Welcome to the Rock. Adult content aside, I think I’d like to see that one. I love the idea of a play based on a true story and set in Newfoundland.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YES, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Anastasia and A Tale of Two Cities are some of the most phenomenal musicals! I love them so much. I have listened to “Madame Guillotine” from The Scarlet Pimpernell several times, but I never really got into that one as a whole. “Madame Guillotine” is morbidly catchy.
    I don’t think I have listened to anything from Come From Away, but it sounds interesting. I will check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

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