I was chatting to a friend recently when she told me how much she disliked musical theatre because "People just don't spontaneously break into song like that."
Obviously she has not spent enough time with me, because I'm always breaking into song.
And I would probably do it more often, if only I could carry a tune.
But wouldn't the world be a much better place if life more closely resembled musical theatre, or the musical movies we see in cinemas and on TV?
If you had to reveal dark secrets about yourself, wouldn't it be far more pleasant to dance and sing something like, "And my head I'd be a scratchin' while my thoughts are busy hatchin' if I only had a brain," like they did in the Wizard of Oz?
That would certainly take the sting out of any bad news.
It's all because musicals bring joy, and help express sentiments in ways that the spoken word simply cannot.
For example, if we moved to a new area of a new situation, wouldn't we all be overjoyed to be greeted with a big song and dance number with the words, "Consider yourself our mate, we don't want to have no fuss, for after some consideration we can state consider yourself one of us," as they did in Oliver?
And when it come to Oliver, haven't we all hummed the chorus to Food Glorious Food at some stage when we have been particularly hungry?
That is because musicals stay with us, and take root deep within our brains - bursting forth at opportune moments.
But is there any better expression of youthful hope mixed with wistfulness than, "Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true." from the Wizard of Oz.
Or how about keeping an optimistic approach when faced with troubles by focusing on, "I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling I'm happy again. I'm laughing at clouds, so dark up above, the sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love," from Singing in the Rain.
Then there are the lessons to be learnt from, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in a most delightful way," from Mary Poppins.
So no, musicals don't mirror real life. Musicals are life as it should be.
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