I’ve been following the Classic Remarks series on Pages Unbound for a few weeks now, and as a lover of classic novels have really enjoyed reading the posts. But as a devotee of musicals as well I couldn’t NOT participate this week! The only problem? How to pick just one!!
My favorite Broadway musical of all time is Wicked, which is automatically eliminated as not being based on a “classic” novel. In fact, I think we can all agree that we would prefer for the book to get, um, forgotten. And Hamilton is based on a decidedly modern biography. But I LOVE Les Misérables, one of THE greatest musicals of all time, Phantom of the Opera, also based on a … classic-ish … novel, and Into the Woods which is based on fairy tales. But my favorite based on a classic novel is …
Jekyll and Hyde
Jekyll and Hyde isn’t a particularly well-known musical, having had a modest run of only four years and starring briefly David Hasselhoff. Advice, DON’T watch the Hasselhoff DVD, settle for the Original Cast Recording and pictures. *shudders*
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella by Robert Lewis Stevenson, and is actually quite different from the version we’ve seen on every TV show in history. I recommend it if you like moderately spooky romantic adventures. (Romantic as in the era, not a romance novel) The musical in terms of plot of only loosely based on the novel, adding lots of characters and drama. But I think I like the musical plot better? It’s more interesting, and there’s romance.
But the real reason this show is so great is the MUSIC. It’s entertaining and full of great sounds, but it’s also soulful and moving. The lyrics connect you with the characters, and the actors have AMAZING voices. Linda Eder is one of the greats of modern Broadway, and Robert Cuccioli is so good it makes me want to faint. I’m leaving a video of one of my favorite songs for your sampling pleasure.
If you’re into Broadway and you’re not familiar with this musical, do yourself a favor and head over to Spotify or YouTube or iTunes or wherever you get your music and spend an hour listening. You won’t be disappointed.
If you like classic adventure novels, you could probably knock out The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in an afternoon. It’s no Dracula, but I think it’s a fun read anyway. 🙂
Thanks to Briana and Krysta at Pages Unbound for hosting. Krysta picked Les Mis, and who can blame her? Can’t wait to start participating weekly. 🙂
For more about musicals and books, I wrote a post with my top 5 here. Do you have a favorite musical based on a classic novel?