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Lights, Camera, SCREAM!

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by Mateo Biggs

 

     Musicals have always been a staple part of many holidays, as theater was made to show anything and everything. One thing many people may not know, however, is that even Halloween has a place amongst theater. Of course, horror can sometimes be a loose general term for the macabre sights that linger on stage: twisted notions brought to life by cast and set. If you find yourself in the mood to be shown something both musically pleasing and dastardly messed up, then these Broadway hits might be perfect for you.

     Coming in first is a classic musical that is known to many: “Phantom of the Opera.” With lyrics from the mastermind Charles Hart and music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show is based on the 1910 French novel by Gaston Leroux and is a tale of twisted love and obsession, disfigurement and kidnappings to calm the ache of the heart. “Phantom of the Opera” is not generally suited for children, even if the music is always interesting to hear – after all, in 1988, it won seven Tony Awards. This ghoulish musical features hit numbers such as “The Music of the Night” and “Prima Donna.”

     Coming in second, “Little Shop of Horrors” is a ghastly musical about a carnivorous plant that craves only the taste of human blood and flesh. And, of course, the poor florist tasked with caring for said plant. Based upon the black comedy film of the same title, which was released back in the 1960s, “Little Shop of Horrors” is a Broadway musical born of music and lyrics by Alan Menken. It was even written into a book by Howard Ashman. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a classic by way of its story and its music, which is a perfect mixture of old 60s rock, doo-wap, and early motown. Sounds wholesome – just be wary of any large talking plants.

     ​Next up, we have “Beetlejuice” the musical — not to be confused with the 1988 film by the same name, although it is the basis of the stage show. With music and lyrics from Eddie Perfect and a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King, the musical is a hilarious, albeit disturbing, amalgamation that definitely keeps you intrigued, as Adam and Barbara attempt to get their “unalive” life together, and Lydia attempts to get her neglectful father to see her and her grief. This musical definitely is one to watch for those who are fans of the original film.

     ​Some honorable mentions include “Sweeney Todd”(1979) by Patrick Quentin and Stephen Sondheim and “Rocky Horror Picture Show”(1973) by Richard O’Brien. With these hauntingly good musicals out for your enjoyment, definitely give them a listen during your Halloween.