Musical comedies have been around for a very long time with some dating back to the nineteenth century. However, some have stood the test of time and have remained among the best musical comedies ever done. We take a look at the ten best of these.
A Christmas Carol (1843)
This is a novella that was first published in 1843 in England by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of Mr. Scrooge, an old miser who receives a visit from the ghost of her former business partner together with the ghosts of past, present and yet to come. Once the visit is over, the normal miser Ebenezer Scrooge becomes a much better and kinder man. The play was written in a period when the country was still exploring the Christmas traditions and its associated objects such as Christmas trees and carols.
Fools was a comic developed by Neil Simon and follows the story of Leon Steponovich, a teacher who takes on a task to educate Sophia, a doctor’s daughter. However, he soon learns that the village has a curse that ultimately makes all the villagers stupid. To further complicate things, Leon falls in love with Sophia. The play has also been adapted as a stage musical. Fools appeared on Broadway in the year 1981.
Our Town (1938)
This is a three act meta-theatrical play developed by Thornton Wilder. It revolves around the story of a fictional town in America by the name Grover’s Corners exploring the everyday lives of the town’s citizens. The play is in several instances set in the actual theater where it is supposed to be taking place. The main actor is known as the stage manager.
The Crucible (1953)
This is a four act tragic play that is definitely among the best plays of all time. The play revolves around pastor Parris from Salem, Massachusetts in 1682. The pastor summons a witchcraft expert to take a look at his daughter Abigail. The pay continues with accusations of witchcraft and love affairs within the area.
Alice in Wonderland (1966)
This was a television-based play that was directed by Jonathan Miller of the popular Beyond the Fringe. The play followed a small child surrounded by adults and wondering if that is how being grown up meant. Some of the scenes were shot at the Netley Hospital and featured several prominent British actors.
Twelve Angry Men (1954)
This film basically revolved around the jury deciding a homicide trial. It was initially a television play but was later adapted for film which went on to become highly successful. At the beginning of the trial, 11 jury members have a decision for guilty with only a single member deciding not guilty. The single member then sows a seed of reasonable doubt into the minds of the other members.
Noises off (1982)
This is a product of Michael Frayn who came up with the concept while watching a play The two of us from the wings. He thought it looked way funnier from behind than from the front and from there came noises off, a farce written from behind.
You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
This was a romantic comedy film that was directed by Frank Capra. The film tells the story of a man from a snobbish rich family who falls in love with a girl from a very good-natured family but who are quite eccentric. The film went on to receive various nominations and awards.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595)
Perhaps the oldest musical play on the list, a midsummer night’s dream is a comedy written by Shakespeare in 1595. It follows the story of the marriage between Theseus and Hippolyta, queen of Amazons. The play is set in a forest where fairies exercise control over the characters.
Almost, Maine (2004)
This is a composition of nine short plays developed in 2004 by John Cariani. The play explores the aspects of love and loss in the mythical town of Almost, Maine. The play ranks very high in box office records.