A genre of film or theatre that features way too much singing. Good ones, such as Les Miserables and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, feature a rich plot, decent acting, relevant songs, and Oompa Loompas. Bad ones, such as Cats, feature fat people in skin tight suits screaching about standing alone in the moonlight.

A modern update to the opera (or, more accurately, the operetta), with the only significant change being the use of contemporary and popular music instead of classical. Musicals are generally derided by the same people who dislike opera, and for generally the same reason: it's implausable that a group of people would suddenly break into four-part harmony at an emotional moment without having to ask each other what the lyrics are.

But as with most other plays and movies, you have to suspend your disbelief a little bit. These people presume that the songs are written to fill out the plot, when usually the opposite is true: the plot is there to provide an excuse for the music. It's a concert with a story to help make it interesting.

Mu"sic*al (?), a. [Cf. F. musical.]

Of or pertaining to music; having the qualities of music; or the power of producing music; devoted to music; melodious; harmonious; as, musical proportion; a musical voice; musical instruments; a musical sentence; musical persons.

Musical, ∨ Music, box, a box or case containing apparatus moved by clockwork so as to play certain tunes automatically. -- Musical fish Zool., any fish which utters sounds under water, as the drumfish, grunt, gizzard shad, etc. -- Musical glasses, glass goblets or bowls so tuned and arranged that when struck, or rubbed, they produce musical notes. CF. Harmonica, 1.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mu"sic*al, n.

1.

Music.

[Obs.]

To fetch home May with their musical. Spenser.

2.

A social entertainment of which music is the leading feature; a musical party.

[Colloq.]

<-- 3. A drama in which music and song are prominent features = musical drama, musical play -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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