Musicals are inane.
First, the concept that a song is expected to carry the plot reveals a fundamental weakness in the dramatic narrative. Songs are intended to evoke emotion; to burden them with plot requires either an incredibly deft hand (for what it’s worth, most concept albums are unable to do this) or it is the refuge of the untalented. That is to say, playwrights cannot write narrative except in three-minute bursts, yet neither are the librettists capable of writing memorable music, so what such teams do is force the songs to advance the plot. Genius!
Second, most musicals are far too long for the endurance of the audience. I have seen some people weep and laugh over the overdramatic junior-high mentality of musicals, but why drag this out for three hours? Most movies barely clock in at two. Most albums are little over one. Yet playwrights think that live performances and dancing will magically extend the audience’s patience?
Third, why do musicals have the emotional maturity of your below-average twelve year old? Seriously, they are riddled with unbelievable scenarios, overdramatism, characters who are as three-dimensional as paper, themes written in crayon, and an understanding of human nature that rivals horoscopes. Can the audience for plays really be that immature?
Fourth, why is the quality of the songs in musicals so low? If you go to a musical in order to listen to live musical performances and you care nothing for plot, theme, or quality, then you would at least expect to enjoy the songs themselves. Yet, the songs – the very blood of musicals – are often disposable and forgettable. This is the case for plays that have been performed for some time. This makes no sense! You’d think that plays that had endured would have the most memorable music, or that the music would be above average in some way or form. I haven’t found this to be case. Musicals seem to be an artistic wasteland, a no-man’s land of broken narrative and awful songs. Still audiences attend them, weep, laugh, and give standing ovations to maudlin overdramatic emotionalism.
Musicals are inane.