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Plays vs. Musicals - which do I prefer?

Above: Some of the theaters on 45th street, several of which are popular houses for plays.

As a massive fan of theater in general, people often ask me if I prefer seeing plays to seeing musicals, or the other way around. While some plays are better than others, and some musicals are better than others, it's hard to say that I prefer straight plays or musicals.

I am a musical person first. My first Broadway show was The Addams Family, and I grew up with the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as Gilbert and Sullivan. That said, I can also appreciate a good play.

The ratio of musicals to plays I've seen on Broadway greatly leans in favor of musicals. But I've seen several plays that I've enjoyed including The Parisian Woman, Lobby Hero, and The Play That Goes Wrong. One thing I certainly appreciate about plays is that they can cover almost any topic. For a musical, you need a story that you can write songs for. But for a play you can cover even the most mundane topics and make it interesting without the use of music.

I'll always be a musical person, especially because I sing and play piano on occasion, but I do appreciate plays for the added complexity and the ability of the actors in them.

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