I’m a theatre person. I’ve said that so many times, but I always get hung up/questioned about a certain aspect of my theatre passion.
I don’t like musicals.
Sure, some musicals are cool and I like them (The Producers, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I guess Into the Woods). Some musicals have a couple of good songs and I can tolerate them (Les Miserables, Wicked, even Shrek the Musical). And the majority of musicals I just don’t like. Even if they have one song I like, it doesn’t save the entire musical (Dear Evan Hansen, as an example).
Overall, I prefer straight plays. I would rather go off Broadway to see Death of a Salesman than go on Broadway to see Hamilton.
“You can’t be a real theatre person if you don’t like musicals.” Okay…wrong. By that logic, you can’t be a singer if you don’t like opera. You can’t be a vet if you don’t like snakes. You can’t be a farmer if you don’t like goats. You can’t be a chef if you don’t like haggis.
You get it? Just because I don’t like a portion of theatre does not mean I am not a theatre person.
I started theatre as a kid, doing plays and a single musical. I found my real passion after doing ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie when I was 13 years old. I was able to go to the Shakespeare festival when I was 14, where I fell in love with plays even more after watching ‘Faustus’. I was accepted to an acting school at 15 after performing ‘Antigone’. Yeah, I did musicals in high school. Only two. Everything else was a play.
There’s a part 2 to my preference over plays. It has to do with my own talent. On my way to college, I adored acting. I can prat fall, clown, and move all kinds of ways if need be. When I was 14, I was in choir and my teacher told me I couldn’t sing. When I was 15, I was told that again. When I was 16 and 17, the musicals always cast show choir people rather than drama kids. So, I just accepted my fate of being a shit singer, and stuck my passion into plays.
And the last little part: I like shows grounded in some sort of reality. Random singing and dancing does not do that for me. I’d rather watch acting than singing and dancing.
In no way am I saying musicals shouldn’t exist or that they are below straight plays. It’s just not for me. Plays and musicals, one is not better than the other in the theatre world. I just prefer plays.
Wherever your preferences for your hobbies lie, you’re not wrong.