I like lists. I find that kind of funny considering I hate them, too. There's something appealing to me to see a clear and focused objective. It has the illusion of being definite. Final.
The truth of the matter is that lists are anything but final or definitive. Countless individuals and organizations have created an infinite amount of Top 10 and Greatest of All Time lists of such varying topics as film, theater, books, coffee shops, art, tourist attractions, actors, directors, dancers, etc. The list (no pun intended) goes on and on. And even with established groups and titles like "American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Greatest Films," the lists still manage to not be 100% final. AFI's 100 Years... series just refreshed its 'definitive' list this year - adding, shifting, eliminating numerous films to/within/from its list. (I can't describe the heartache and anger I felt when CASABLANCA, my favorite movie, moved down the totem pole to number 3 from its previous perch at number 2 - switching spots with THE GODFATHER.)
Chris, over at Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals, has his own list of the 100 Best Musicals. It's one of my most frequently visited pages on the web. He's very clear about the purpose of his list and precedes it with a focused disclaimer of sorts essentially stating that the list is a gimmick, a cop-out, a lazy way of throwing out some quick information to satisfy the needs of his readers. And so it does. It provides us with a profile of Chris' taste in musicals, albeit with little to no explanation. But that's what reviews ans essays are for, in-depth thoughts, analysis, and opinions on specific subjects. Chris even knows that his last isn't definitive as is evidenced in his current contemplation of the musical "Hair."
Chris seems to follow the philosophy that his list is more of a living, breathing list - one that changes over time and grows with his growing taste. The same can be said of James Berardinelli's list of the Top 100 Movies. James takes this approach to a bit more comprehensive level. Every movie on James' list links to his review from his database of thousands of reviews, built up over 10+ years of online writing. In addition, he adds a brief capsule summarizing his thoughts on the film and the influence it's had on him, the film industry, and the impact it contributed to the art of film.
It was an almost 2 year project. Every week, Mr. Berardinelli revealed a new film on his list, starting with #100 and subsequently proceeding in a reverse chronological order for the next 100 weeks.
His list has changed multiple times over the years - adding new films to the list which he considers to be of the finest mold.
I wish to do the same with my own lists of musicals and movies. WISH. I am not a dedicated enough blogger to promise such a project. I also don't consider myself a fine writer. And my insecurities as a writer lead to me spending large amounts of time on even trivial posts. It's all very time consuming; and a lot of my time is spent on doing other things (just refer to the name of my blog). I really love the idea of having more hours in the day in order to support all my creative endeavors.
But I think if I start with a list similar to Chris' (much, much shorter length for now), it'll get my creative juices flowing and perhaps help to motivate my left hand to pick up a pencil and just write (or, more appropriately, my ten fingers to grace the keyboard and post). Not a definitive list int he least bit, but a living, breathing reference that will grow and modify with time. Not comprehensive (I know a lot, but not enough to consider myself an expert. At all.). Mainly, I'm posting some shows just for the hell of it. Hopefully as my knowledge expands, as my tastes grow, as my time stretches, I'll be able to provide a more in-depth perspective. Hopefully.
Some of my fav musicals of ever. No thought put into this. Compiled this list in 10 seconds. Maybe seven:
Guys and Dolls
My Fair Lady
Porgy and Bess
She Loves Me
Sunday in the Park with George
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (my numero uno)
West Side Story