The Slipper and the Rose is a retelling of the classic fairy-tale Cinderella. It stars Richard Chamberlain and Gemma Craven. It’s a stunning film with 14 beautiful songs. At the Royal Command Performance of the The Slipper and the Rose, the Queen Mother commented to the songwriters, Richard M & Robert B Sherman, “The waltz you wrote for the ballroom scene is the most beautiful song I've ever heard."
This film is pretty cheesy but it’s a great film for lifting your spirits on a miserable grey day. The story is about the run up to a wedding which takes place in an Italian coastal town. The scenery is stunning. The story is weaved around 13 fantastic hits from the 1980s by the likes of Wham!, Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper and other favourites of the era.
How can you compile a list of top musicals and not include Grease? Set in 1958, Grease has never seemed old fashioned. The soundtrack is one of the best known and most popular soundtracks ever, known and enjoyed by every generation. I never get tired of watching the film or playing the music.
I love this story because it allows us a glimpse of life in Berlin in the few years leading us to the start of WW2. Sally Bowles, played by Liza Minnelli, is a nightclub singer. When I saw Cabaret for the first time, I was 16. I immediately went out and got my hair cut like Sally Bowles, even though it was a very unfashionable style and I bought the longest wispiest false eye lashes I could find. Great songs and costumes make this a complete package.
Oh what a joyous film. Starring Whoopi Goldberg and stuffed full of uplifting songs, this film is about a group of nuns who endeavour to save a downtown school from closure. It’s a story about bringing hope and happiness to a bunch of, disillusioned ghetto kids and is the perfect feel good film. I loved Sister Act 1 and was surprised to find I liked the sequel even more.
In 2007, when I first heard that the 1988 film, Hairspray had been re-made, I doubted very much that I would enjoy it as much as the original but wow, the re-make is even better. John Travolta is brilliant as the overweight, under-confident mother, Edna Turnblad. The film features a bunch of teenagers in 1962, Baltimore. The music is fun and memorable.
I saw Mamma Mia on the West End stage, not long after it was first launched so I knew that I would love the film too. How could anyone not love a film that includes 24 songs by the brilliant ABBA, stars Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Pierce Brosnan? We all thought it was going to be a show about ABBA in the beginning didn’t we? It turns out to be about a wedding on a Greek Island, great stuff.
I love this film so much – I never get tired of watching it. It stars Samuel L Jackson and Bernie Mac as two former backing singers who try to get back into the business after the death of their lead singer who made it big after going solo (Marcus Hooks played by John Legend.) This is a very funny film and is full of big songs made famous by soul legends, Isaac Hayes, William Bell and Eddie Floyd, to name just a few.
A truly brilliant film based on one of the greatest love stories, ever, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. West Side Story is set in New York City during the 1950s. It has everything: romance, conflict, violence, superb dancing and a wonderful soundtrack by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. I named my eldest daughter after the star of the film, Natalie Wood.
The long list of powerful songs that fill this film make this my absolute favourite, along with cameo appearances by huge stars of the music world: Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Joe Walsh, Chaka Khan and more. Jake Blues (just out of jail) and his brother Elwood, are on a “mission from God” to put together a band to raise money. They find themselves chased all over the county by police. Trouble follows them wherever they go. The world is full of Blues Brothers tribute acts and they always go down a storm, fantastic music.