Five fantastic musicals to watch on a date
Musicals take life and exaggerate it. They create an alternative reality where imagination runs free, and it’s OK to high-kick down the street whilst serenading strangers.
Most musicals are well-suited to date night viewing, allowing plenty of scope for conversation, comment and merriment. If you’re unsure about which to suggest, here are some of the more interesting offerings from the genre.
Dancer in the Dark
In this strangely uplifting musical by Danish auteur, Lars Von Trier, Bjork plays a single mother determined to make a better life for herself and her child in the US.
Selma Ježková (Bjork) suffers from a hereditary disease that will inevitably make her blind. In order to prevent her son from suffering the same fate, she works at a factory to save money for a preventative operation.
As her sight worsens, and the drudgery of her daily life gets to her, Selma indulges in elaborate daydreams. These fantasies involve her everyday surroundings being transformed into musical set-pieces. So, for example, the clacking of industrial machinery forms a background rhythm to a song and dance around the factory floor. As a celebration of escapism, Dancer in the Dark comes highly recommended.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The antithesis to all the musicals that came before it, the Rocky Horror strives to shock, amuse and entertain in equal measure. The story centres on a young couple whose car breaks down near a rain-lashed castle in Transylvania. On asking to use the castle telephone, the couple are confronted by a host of elaborately costumed occupants and an alien transvestite. It all gets very strange, but there are some classic tunes along the way.
Some people find it a little unnerving when otherwise serious actors burst into song and start dancing around. Cabaret minimizes this potential weirdness by having most of the songs performed as part of a show in the Kit-Kat nightclub.
Take away the Nazi storm-troopers and lingerie, and you’re left with a study of the tumultuous relationship between a naive Englishman, Brian Roberts, and a bohemian American, Sally Bowles. The underlying sexual tension and varied emotions on display make it entertaining viewing for a date.
The Wizard of Oz
Despite being more than 75 years old, the Wizard of Oz still manages to hold its own. The special effects and wonders of Technicolor help add to the surreal appearance of Oz. Not to forget the characters, which include little munchkins, flying monkeys and a talking lion. Throw some splendidly catchy songs into the mix, and you have an almost perfectly formed musical.
The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers is a cult classic, thanks to its witty script, quality songs and solid acting by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The pair had already been performing in-character comedy sketches on Saturday Night Live, and this film is a culmination of the concept. Expect lots of car chases, and appearances from legends such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, James Brown and Cab Calloway.
Agree with our list? Did we miss your favourite musical? Let us know in the comments.
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