When I was growing up, musicals were an important part of my movie education. I adored Mary Poppins, cried over Fiddler on the Roof, and spent many an afternoon daydreaming about a pair of ruby slippers. Then, during my teenage years, I discovered Singin’ in the Rain and fell in love. I watched that movie every single day for an entire week. There was just something so winsome and happy about it. Could life really be all that dreadful when people were bursting into song and dance numbers during a rainstorm?
When Moulin Rouge hit the silver screen in 2001, it reinvigorated a fading genre and ushered in a new age of movie musicals. Musicals over the past decade have been an eclectic mix of charming, timeless, quirky and irreverent, but each one draws its essence from the classic movie musicals of the mid-1900’s. The runaway success of a recent string of Disney musicals and hit TV shows like Glee and Smash means that the movie and TV musical has a new generation of eager viewers.