I learned recently that there are people who don’t like musicals. If you are one of them, allow me to do some proselytising; without wanting to sound melodramatic, I fear for the state of your mortal soul. The musical combines every one of the performing arts, offers a platform for visual arts that can accommodate both spectacle and minimalism, and exploits all the dexterity and wit of what we might call the verbal arts — language, rhetoric and text. It is an art form that contains and promotes all other art forms. This means that creators, casts and crews need collective expertise in each discipline to pull it off. Don’t come at me with complaints like, “I just don’t find it believable when characters break into song and dance.” If your imagination can’t stretch that far, I doubt you have the capacity to gain real pleasure from any kind of art. And if your heart can’t shift from the heights of joy and laughter to the depths of sorrow and fear as characters pursue the arcs of their ...

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