I don't have much time for musicals since I'm a musical snob. The ones I like are all American: Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Sweeny Tod, Chicago, and Adam's Ceiling/Sky.
Went to a performance of Guys and Dolls in Salisbury last night. A superb show, great production. I am astounded by the virtuosity of the cast of actor-musicians, who sang, danced, acted and played with absolute precision and tremendous energy. Please note, they played the score from memory: there aren't many professional musicians who could do that in an orchestra pit, let alone on stage. The only thing was they were rather too loud.
I was struck by the directness and simplicity of the music. It's composed without artifice, never over composed, no music for its own sake, the words always dominate. Hence, it's unpretentious and all the more charming because of that.
Composer and musician