Musicals Thread (School)

Welcome! The purpose of this thread is to talk about all things related to the wonderful world of musical theatre. Each week (or so) I will post a thread with a topic/question for everyone to respond to. This is also a great place to mention any new musicals you’ve discovered and/or general recommendations for other musical fans. Heard/seen any good shows lately? Have any theatre news to share? Tell us about it!

This is my first week back in the classroom, and so I thought we could discuss musicals and school. Many of you have already shared your school drama experiences, but if you want to share more tales from the stage please do! I’d also like to know about your favorite musicals that take place in a school. They don’t have to be entirely about school to qualify. In fact, the musical I want to highlight this week isn’t all about school, but the school scenes are some of my favorite.

The musical I want to talk about is You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I discovered this musical way later than I should have, but I’ve been a big fan ever since I first listened to it. I love the cautious optimism that slowly grows as the musical moves forward. The moment when Charlie and the others sing about the small things that make them happy always makes my heart swell and never fails to cheer me up if I’m feeling blue. Anthony Rapp (from the 1999 revival recording), in my opinion, perfectly captures this moment and the role overall. However, when it comes to the more school-related scenes, nothing beats “The Book Report”. I absolutely love how each student has a different way of approaching this assignment (a book report on Peter Rabbit) because it reminds me of all the things that my students go through when I assign an essay. I’m sure some of them are counting each word to try and drag it out to the required length, while others struggle to stay on topic because they’d rather just be gushing about something else they love. And I know that some of them are just like Charlie, procrastinating and agonizing over every little detail until they, hopefully, come visit me in my office so I can help them focus on the task at hand. I do everything I can to make sure my students don’t spiral into a pit of despair while they’re working on something, and this song helps me remember how important that is.

And just because I love it too much not to share, here’s “Happiness” to give you a little lift if you should need it.

So, let’s talk about school! What are some of your favorite musicals that take place in a school? Have any fun school drama memories you want to share?