Shakespeare Musicals

Ok, it seems that Shakespeare Musicals are now coming out of the woodwork.  Shall we make a list? Rockabye Hamlet The Two Gentlemen of Verona by Galt McDermott (cowriter of HAIR) The Boys From Syracuse (Comedy of Errors) Kiss Me Kate (Taming Of The Shrew)   What else?  I’m not terribly interested in just coming up with a Google list, I’m sure that already exists.  I’d like to hear people’s personal experiences with shows they’ve seen, or maybe even been a part of.  What’s good?  What’s ridiculous? Oh, and let’s not forget Gilligan’s Island…

6 thoughts on “Shakespeare Musicals

  1. After watching that, who would not his quietus make with a bare bodkin? Unforgettable.

  2. Oh, also saw an original musical of Comedy of Errors (not Boys from Syracuse) that was created at and for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival last year. Set in the old west…some hits and misses (songs based on actual text came off much better than those not).

  3. The funny thing about that Gilligan Hamlet–to me, at least–is that’s where I first heard Bizet’s Carmen Suite. I had no idea what it was, other than the music from that one episode of Gilligan’s Island, until we studied the opera in high school. In fact, I have to admit with some chagrin that I still think of it as the “Hamlet” music.

    It seems I’ve seen very few proper Shakespeare musicals, which is funny because I like both Shakespeare and musicals. I wonder if “Verona” is any better sung than it is spoken. There’s “Kiss Me, Kate,” which I genially abhor, and I guess the Verdi operas of Macbeth, Othello and Windsor, which I’ve seen on video. I’m a bit of a cretin when it comes to opera–the only stuff I really like is Wagner, Philip Glass and John Adams.

  4. I was only a little surprised that once it started playing, I could sing along with most of it. It really does stick in your childhood brain.

    Although I think for the first time I heard the word properly as “guard that old sovereignty?” Is that what he says? I never knew as a kid, something about the sea I figured.

  5. says:

    I've made a collection of songs under the heading of 'Romeo Rocks You!'. I wrote them for schools and youth theatre groups, mainly as a resource for teaching. Each song has a set of lyrics which uses Shakespeare's words and another set which uses modern-day translations of them. It's hoped that teachers could use them for general language study and study of shakespeare in particular.

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