If it weren’t for music we would undoubtedly have a very dull existence. The way it affects emotion, moods, and conveys ideas make it one of the most powerful and intimate artistic mediums in the world. We identify with the music we like and through it feel a connection with the people who wrote it. Although we all have our personal tastes there are some pieces and genres that are almost objectively above the rest. These are the men behind those pieces. These are 25 of the most celebrated composers in history.

25. Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven started going deaf at the turn of the century and it became sadly apparent that he could not always hear what he played. After 1819, all conversations with him had to be written down.

24. Antonio Vivaldi

Like Mozart, Vivaldi died in poverty, in an unmarked grave. Both composers were similar in how they achieved greatness in their composition and popularity, yet failed to secure financial greatness.

23. Aaron Copland

Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he was widely known as “the dean of American composers”.

22. Franz Joseph Haydn

Anyone who can write 108 symphonies makes this list.

21. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Interesting fact: he hated writing The Nutcracker, undoubtedly his most famous work.

20. Carl Nielson

Undoubtedly Denmark’s most famous composer he went against his roots and added foreign, romantic flavors to his music.

19. Gustav Mahler

Sometimes called “the symphonist of death”, he only wrote 9 complete symphonies, all of which are centered around death and the afterlife.

18. Johannes Brahms

One of the finest musical craftsmen of all time, he wrote 4 symphonies which are among the most recorded repertoire ever.

17. Franz Liszt

Liszt was the greatest pianist of all time. He sightread Grieg’s Piano Concerto, playing it perfectly the first time.

16. Modest Mussorgsky

Well known for his smash hit,Night on Bald Mountain, which is the #3 most recorded orchestral piece in history.

15. Frederic Chopin

As a pianist, Chopin was ranked among the greatest artists of his epoch, such as Kalkbrenner, Liszt, Thalberg and Herz, but, in contrast to them, he disliked public performances and appeared rarely and rather unwillingly.

14. Leonard Bernstein

His incredibly popularWest Side Storycombines Jazz, Classical, Puerto Rican and Romantic elements. How could he not make the list?

13. Franz Schubert

Sometimes called the greatest songwriter of all time.

12. Dmitri Shostakovich

Shostakovich himself got into trouble with the goverment for his opera ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’ (he was made an “Enemy of the People”). They said it was ‘coarse, primitive and vulgar’ and it was banned for almost 30 years!

11. Richard Wagner

In spite of his supposedly less than amiable personality he managed to write the single most famous masterpiece in opera history: The Ring Cycle.

10. Gyorgy Ligeti

A Hungarian-born composer who stands out from the rest of the post-war European avant-garde.

9. Johann Sebastian Bach

He perfected every style of music which existed in his day.

8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The most gifted musical genius in history, the most famous genius in any field in history, and the perfecter of Classical music had to make the list.

7. John Williams

Williams places above Mozart on this list simply because he is more recent – relatable to modern times – and he wrote the single highest grossing film score ever: Star Wars.

6. Alexander Scriabin

This Russian was born with synesthesia, an extremely rare mental condition where a color is associated with music.

5. Steven Schwartz

His musicalWickedgrossed $56 million its first year on Broadway.

4. Igor Stravinsky

If you have an hour to spare, listen to The Rite of Spring, then you’ll understand. At its premier in 1913, people were so upset by its dissonant harmonies, obtuserhythms, and the fact that the story is of a young girl dancing herself to death, that the most infamous riot in France’s history was started.

3. Bela Bartok

Some say he was the first great ethnomusicologist, and he also pioneered many new string playing techniques.

2. Ennio Morricone

Although he did not ever have as big a hit as John Williams’ Star Wars, Morricone has been named the most successful movie soundtrack composer ever by several musicologists.

1. Andrew Lloyd Webber

The most successful and popular composer in history. His career on Broadway culminated in the 1986 premier of The Phantom of the Opera, which has gone on to become the most popular piece of entertainment of any kind in history, still touring throughout the world to this day. Throughout its 27 year lifespan, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed more than $5.6 billion and been seen by more than 130 million people.

Read more: http://list25.com/25-of-the-most-celebrated-composers-in-history/

In the last 14 years, the 21st century has already offered some incredible additions to the musical theater pantheon. These are the best new musicals, both on and off-Broadway.

43. American Idiot

American Idiot

View this image ›

Bryan Bedder / Getty

Book: Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael MayerMusic: Green DayLyrics: Billie Joe ArmstrongOriginal Broadway cast: John Gallagher Jr. as Johnny, Michael Esper as Will, Mary Faber as Heather, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, Christina Sajous as The Extraordinary Girl, Stark Sands as Tunny, Tony Vincent as St. JimmyPerformance dates: April 20, 2010-April 24, 2011

What it’s about: Johnny, Will, and Tunny are three disaffected youths living in Jingletown, USA. While Johnny and Tunny escape to the city, Will is forced to stay behind with his pregnant girlfriend Heather. The city offers new thrills, but Johnny falls into drug abuse and Tunny is recruited and enlists in the army.Why it’s essential: There were rock musicals before American Idiot, but few were as effective at capturing the raw energy that infuses the show. Although the music isn’t original, it’s transformed in its theatrical context. Like the album on which it’s based, American Idiot feels like a time capsule of Bush-era rage and ennui.

42. Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde

View this image ›

Paul Kolnik

Book: Heather HachMusic and lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell BenjaminOriginal Broadway cast: Laura Bell Bundy as Elle Woods, Richard H. Blake as Warner Huntington III, Christian Borle as Emmett Forrest, Orfeh as Paulette, Michael Rupert as Professor Callahan, Kate Shindle as Vivienne Kensington, Nikki Snelson as Brooke WyndamPerformance dates: April 29, 2007-Oct. 19, 2008

What it’s about: Based on the 2001 film of the same name, Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods, a sorority girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend Warner and ends up following him to Harvard Law School to win him back. She turns out to be adept at the law and ends up defending a woman falsely accused of murder.Why it’s essential: It may not be the deepest musical, but Legally Blonde — like Elle Woods — deserves credit for what it does well. The show is just fun, a pitch-perfect adaptation of the similarly delightful film, and it was the ideal showcase for the bubbly talents of Laura Bell Bundy.

41. Yank!

Yank!

View this image ›

Carol Rosegg

Book: David ZellnikMusic: Joseph ZellnikLyrics: David ZellnikOriginal off-Broadway cast: Nancy Anderson as Women, Jeffry Denman as Artie, Ivan Hernandez as Mitch, Bobby Steggert as Stu, Andrew Durand as Tennessee, Zak Edwards as Melanie, Todd Faulkner as Sarge, Denis Lambert as Lieutenant, Joseph Medeiros as Dream Stu, David Perlman as Rotelli, Christopher Ruth as Professor, Tally Sessions as CzechowskiPerformance dates: Feb. 24, 2010-April 4, 2010

What it’s about: A young man in San Francisco finds an old diary belonging to Stu, who writes about being drafted to fight in World War II back in 1943. Among his fears about combat, Stu has to confront his feelings for fellow soldier Mitch. Working as a photographer for Yank Magazine, Stu discovers a hidden gay world.Why it’s essential: Yank!, which was first performed as a workshop in 2005, was revived off-Broadway in 2010, a time at which DADT was very much part of the national conversation. The music and style evoke a classic 1940s musical, but the timeless themes and military context made it relevant for a modern-day audience.

40. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

View this image ›

Chad Batka

Book: Dave MalloyMusic and lyrics: Dave MalloyOriginal off-Broadway cast: Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Mary, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Hélène, Ian Lassiter as Dolokhov, Dave Malloy as Pierre, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha, Lucas Steele as AnatolePerformance dates: May 15, 2013-March 2, 2014

What it’s about: Based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace — or rather, one section of the epic Russian novel — Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 sees the titular Natasha romanced by Anatole in 19th century Moscow high society. Complicating matters, Pierre also has eyes for Natasha, much to his despair.Why it’s essential: A musical based on War and Peace is already a tough sell, but add to that the fact that Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is performed in a tent while the audience eats and drinks, making this an impressively immersive show. Thoroughly unique experiences like this one are few and far between.

39. Once

Once

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Enda WalshMusic and lyrics: Glen Hansard and Markéta IrglováOriginal Broadway cast: Steve Kazee as Guy, Cristin Milioti as Girl, David Abeles as Eamon, Will Connolly as Andrej, Elizabeth A. Davis as Réza, David Patrick Kelly as Da, Anne L. Nathan as Baruška, Lucas Papaelias as Švec, Andy Taylor as Bank ManagerPerformance dates: March 18, 2012-

What it’s about: A stage adaptation of the 2006 musical film, Once is about an unnamed man and woman who form a musical partnership and fall in love over a few days in Dublin. Sadly, Guy, an unsuccessful busker, and Girl, a Czech immigrant, are both involved with other lovers, and their brief affair goes unconsummated.Why it’s essential: Today’s Broadway loves musical adaptations of films, but Once stands out from the rest. It’s a hauntingly bittersweet show made all the more memorable by its intimate staging, including the stage doubling as a bar during intermission. Like the film, its power lies in being an untraditional love story.

38. Giant

Giant

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Sybille PearsonMusic and lyrics: Michael John LaChiusaOriginal off-Broadway cast: Kate Baldwin as Leslie, Brian d’Arcy James as Bick, P.J. Griffith as Jett, John Dossett as Bawley, Michelle Pawk as Luz, MacKenzie Mauzy as Lil Luz, Bobby Steggert as Jordy Jr., Jon Fletcher as Bobby Jr./Bobby Sr.Performance dates: Oct. 26, 2012-Dec. 16, 2012

What it’s about: Like the classic 1956 film, Giant is an expansive story based on Edna Ferber’s 1952 novel. It begins in 1922, with cattleman Bick marrying Leslie. Also in love with Leslie is Jett, a handyman who discovers oil on his own. The story covers decades of shifting relationships and changing ideals.Why it’s essential: Giant tests the limits of how long a musical can be, clocking in at an impressive three hours and 45 minutes. Originally presented in three acts, Giant may simply be too much for some, but the show’s length aptly reflects the expansiveness of the plot and of the Texas setting. It’s called Giant for a reason.

37. Adding Machine

Adding Machine

View this image ›

Mark L. Saperstein

Book: Jason Loewith and Joshua SchmidtMusic: Joshua SchmidtLyrics: Jason Loewith and Joshua SchmidtOriginal off-Broadway cast: Cyrilla Baer as Mrs. Zero, Joel Hatch as Mr. Zero, Amy Warren as Daisy Devore, Joe Farrell as Shrdlu, Jeff Still as Boss/Fixer/Charles, Adinah Alexander as Mrs. Two, Niffer Clarke as Mrs. One, Roger E. DeWitt as Mr. Two, Daniel Marcus as Mr. OnePerformance dates: Feb. 25, 2008-July 20, 2008

What it’s about: A musical adaptation of the 1923 Elmer Rice play, an Expressionist classic, Adding Machine is a bit hard to describe. Antihero Mr. Zero learns he has been replaced by an adding machine after 25 years of work, so he kills his boss in revenge. He is tried for murder and hanged — but that’s not the end.Why it’s essential: It’s fitting that an odd Expressionist play would become an odd Expressionist musical. Adding Machine represents the kind of unconventional theater that can find a comfortable home off-Broadway. And the theater community takes notice — the show won the Lucille Ortel Award for Outstanding Musical.

36. A Class Act

A Class Act

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Linda Kline and Lonny PriceMusic and lyrics: Edward KlebanOriginal Broadway cast: Lonny Price as Ed, Randy Graff as Sophie, Nancy Anderson as Mona, Jeff Blumenkrantz as Charley, Donna Bullock as Lucy, David Hibbard as Bobby, Patrick Quinn as Lehman, Sara Ramirez as FeliciaPerformance dates: March 11, 2001-June 10, 2001

What it’s about: The semi-autobiographical A Class Act reflects on the life and work of composer-lyricist Edward Kleban by those who knew him. The musical begins with a 1988 memorial service for Kleban, then moves backward in time, showing Kleban’s interactions with friends and colleagues through his music.Why it’s essential: Just as A Chorus Line — for which Kleban wrote the lyrics — offered invaluable insight into the lives of performers, A Class Act is an intimate and revelatory peek behind the curtain. It’s a fascinating study of how an artist’s personal life interferes with his work — and vice versa.

35. Memphis

Memphis

View this image ›

Paul Kolnik

Book: Joe DiPietroMusic: David BryanLyrics: Joe DiPietro and David BryanOriginal Broadway cast: Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun, Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell, J. Bernard Calloway as Delray, Derrick Baskin as Gator, James Monroe Iglehart as Bobby, Cass Morgan as Mama/Gladys, Michael McGrath as Mr. SimmonsPerformance dates: Oct. 19, 2009-Aug. 5, 2012

What it’s about: Memphis is inspired by the story of Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music in the ’50s. Here, Dewey is reimagined as Huey, who enters the world of underground black clubs in Memphis because he loves the music, and ends up falling for Felicia, against societal conventions.Why it’s important: While Memphis isn’t the first musical to cover similar subject matter, it still offers a different and important take on the relationship between racial segregation and rock ‘n’ roll. What makes the show especially effective is that the music, while recalling the era, is all original to the musical.

34. If/Then

If/Then

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Brian YorkeyMusic: Tom KittLyrics: Brian YorkeyOriginal Broadway cast: Idina Menzel as Elizabeth, LaChanze as Kate, Anthony Rapp as Lucas, James Snyder as Josh, Jenn Colella as Anne, Jerry Dixon as Stephen, Jason Tam as DavidPerformance dates: March 30, 2014-

What it’s about: Recently divorced Elizabeth imagines two different paths for herself based on a chance decision — does she go with Kate or Lucas? The show explores both timelines, in which Elizabeth is alternately Liz and Beth, and how her relationships with Kate, Lucas, and a soldier named Josh play out differently.Why it’s essential: Some have criticized If/Then for being messy, but the show’s intricate, complicated nature is the perfect representation of Elizabeth’s life. The dual lives format is a fantastical conceit that’s also grounded in reality, which makes for some heartbreaking moments in a musical that is ultimately life-affirming.

33. [title of show]

[title of show]

View this image ›

Carol Rosegg

Book: Hunter BellMusic and lyrics: Jeff BowenOriginal Broadway cast: Hunter Bell as Hunter, Susan Blackwell as Susan, Heidi Blickenstaff as Heidi, Jeff Bowen as JeffPerformance dates: July 17, 2008-Oct. 12, 2008

What it’s about: This is what happens when you scramble to write a musical. Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen based [title on show] on… well, writing [title of show]. It’s a musical about the creation of a musical, inspired by the conversations they had as they were struggling to write a new original work.Why it’s essential: Few shows capture the artistic process better than [title of show], which is the definition of a happy accident. Yes, it’s meta and post-modern, but it’s also just a wonderful musical in its own right. It’s an example of creative people getting together to make something new, and stumbling on genius.

32. Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick EliceMusic: Bob GaudioLyrics: Bob CreweOriginal Broadway cast: Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi, John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Tituss Burgess as Hal Miller, Steve Gouveia as Hank Majewski, Peter Gregus as Bob Crewe, Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman, Michael Longoria as JoeyPerformance dates: Nov. 6, 2005-

What it’s about: In documentary style, Jersey Boys tracks the rise and fall of 1960s rock band the Four Seasons, from their formation and subsequent fame to their eventual break-up. With music by the group, the show covers high points and low points, with band members directly addressing the audience at key moments.Why it’s essential: The jukebox musical gets a bad name, and sometimes that’s warranted — as audiences yearn for more originality on Broadway, it can be disheartening to see shows with recycled music. But Jersey Boys perfected the form. Its structure and stellar performances make it the clear standout of the genre.

31. The Color Purple

The Color Purple

View this image ›

Paul Kolnik

Book: Marsha NormanMusic and lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen BrayOriginal Broadway cast: LaChanze as Celie, Brandon Victor Dixon as Harpo, Felicia P. Fields as Sofia, Reneé Elise Goldsberry as Nettie, Kingsley Leggs as Mister, Krisha Marcano as Squeak, Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery, James Brown III as BobbyPerformance dates: Dec. 1, 2005-Feb. 24, 2008

What it’s about: Based on the novel of the same name by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows sisters Celie and Nettie over the course of four decades in rural Georgia at the first half of the 20th century. Forcefully separated and kept apart, Celie and Nettie struggle to reunite and survive their circumstances.Why it’s essential: As when the novel The Color Purple was released in 1982, the themes of the musical remain timeless. The shocking depictions of racism and sexism perpetuated against the subjugated sisters are harrowing but necessary, and the overall experience is aided by a gorgeous score that made LaChanze a star.

30. Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Doug WrightMusic: Scott FrankelLyrics: Michael KorieOriginal Broadway cast: Christine Ebersole as ”Little” Edie Beale/Edith Bouvier Beale, Mary Louise Wilson as Edith Bouvier Beale, Matt Cavenaugh as Joseph Patrick Kennedy/Jerry, Jr., Erin Davie as Young “Little” Edie Beale, Kelsey Fowler as Lee Bouvier, Sarah Hyland as Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier, John McMartin as J.V. “Major” Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale, Michael Potts as Brooks, Sr./Brooks, Jr., Bob Stillman as George Gould StrongPerformance dates: Nov. 2, 2006-July 29, 2007

What it’s about: The first act of Grey Gardens shows Little Edie and Big Edie when they were younger and rich, before their lives fell into disrepair. The second act is based on the classic documentary Grey Gardens, in which an older Little Edie and Big Edie live an isolated existence in a dilapidated mansion.Why it’s essential: Another musical based on a movie, Grey Gardens significantly expands on the 1975 documentary by offering an imagined glimpse at life for its protagonists before everything went to shit. It makes the more familiar second act all the more heart-rending, creating valuable context where once there was none.

29. Billy Elliot the Musical

Billy Elliot the Musical

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Lee HallMusic: Elton JohnLyrics: Lee HallOriginal Broadway cast: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish as Billy Elliot, Santino Fontana as Tony, Haydn Gwynne as Mrs. Wilkinson, Gregory Jbara as Dad, Carole Shelley as GrandmaPerformance dates: Nov. 13, 2008-Jan. 8, 2012

What it’s about: As in the 2000 film, Billy Elliot finds himself more drawn to ballet than to wrestling — against his father’s wishes. But Billy finds solace in dance and lessons from Mrs. Wilkinson, even as the world around him is in turmoil. The musical takes place during the U.K. coal miners’ strike that lasted from 1984 to 1985.Why it’s essential: Cute kids aren’t always what you want to see front and center in a musical, but the tremendous dancing by the young actors of Billy Elliot transcends any doubts even the most curmudgeonly audience members might have. And the show’s concerns about masculinity, which should be dated, are still contentious.

28. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Alex TimbersMusic and lyrics: Michael FriedmanOriginal Broadway cast: Benjamin Walker as Andrew Jackson, Kristine Nielsen as The Storyteller, James Barry as Male Soloist, Darren Goldstein as Calhoun, Greg Hildreth as Red Eagle, Jeff Hiller as John Quincy Adams, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe as Van Buren, Cameron Ocasio as Lyncoya, Bryce Pinkham as Clay, Maria Elena Ramirez as Rachel, Ben Steinfeld as MonroePerformance dates: Oct. 13, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011

What it’s about: Part rock musical, part history, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is about the founding of the Democratic Party in 1828. The show covers the eponymous U.S. president’s life and work, in particular the rise of populism, the Indian Removal Act, and Jackson’s relationship with his wife Rachel.Why it’s essential: Like other rock musicals, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is relentlessly energetic, which only underscores the serious issues it addresses. Despite the fact that its politics are firmly rooted in the 1800s, they’re relevant to a modern-day populace, a stirring reminder that the more things change…

27. Newsies

Newsies

View this image ›

Deen van Meer

Book: Harvey FiersteinMusic: Alan MenkenLyrics: Jack FeldmanOriginal Broadway cast: John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Lewis Grosso and Matthew Schechter as Les, Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin, Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, Kara Lindsay as KatherinePerformance dates: March 29, 2012-

What it’s about: Based on the 1992 Disney film — and the true events that inspired it — Newsies is about the titular young men, largely orphaned and homeless, who hock newspapers on the street. When the price of papers is raised 10 cents by the greedy Joseph Pulitzer, Jack inspires his fellow newsies to protest.Why it’s essential: Say what you will about the Disney musical — Newsies shows what Disney gets right. The inspiring story and infectious music is as delightful here as it was in the original film, appealing to young audience members and the young at heart, like any good Disney production should.

26. Curtains

Curtains

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Rupert HolmesMusic: John KanderLyrics: Fred EbbOriginal Broadway cast: Debra Monk as Carmen Bernstein, David Hyde Pierce as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, John Bolton as Daryl Grady, Jason Danieley as Aaron Fox, Edward Hibbert as Christopher Belling, Michael X. Martin as Johnny Harmon, Michael McCormick as Oscar Shapiro, Jill Paice as Niki Harris, Noah Racey as Bobby Pepper, Ernie Sabella as Sidney Bernstein, Megan Sikora as Bambi Bernét, Karen Ziemba as Georgia HendricksPerformance dates: March 22, 2007-June 29, 2008

What it’s about: In 1959 Boston, the untalented star of Robbin’ Hood of the Old West is murdered during the opening night curtain call. Enter Lieutenant Cioffi, who in addition to his detective skills is also a fan of musical theater. Cioffi has to solve the case and save the show, and he’s got a murderer on his tail.Why it’s essential: Curtains may not be up there with Chicago and Cabaret, Kander and Ebb’s most famous works, but it’s an engaging and hilarious mystery that perfectly satirizes a very specific genre, the backstage murder mystery. More than that, it’s also a love letter to classic musical theater.

25. The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Marsha NormanMusic and lyrics: Jason Robert BrownOriginal Broadway cast: Kelli O’Hara as Francesca, Steven Pasquale as Robert, Whitney Bashor as Marian, Hunter Foster as Bud, Caitlin Kinnunen as Carolyn, Derek Klena as Michael, Michael X. Martin as Charlie, Cass Morgan as MargePerformance dates: Feb. 20, 2014-May 18, 2014

What it’s about: In 1965, disaffected housewife Francesca contemplates her life in Iowa, far away from her home in Italy. With her husband and kids away at the State Fair, Francesca meets National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid, and the two embark on a passionate but short-lived affair that ends in heartbreak.Why it’s essential: The fact that The Bridges of Madison County didn’t earn a Tony nomination for Best Musical is a travesty, made all the more tragic because the show was forced to close early. It’s a beautiful, haunting show, with a rich score by Jason Robert Brown, and stunning performances by Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale.

24. Urinetown

Urinetown

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Greg KotisMusic: Mark HollmannLyrics: Mark Hollmann and Greg KotisOriginal Broadway cast: Hunter Foster as Bobby Strong, Jennifer Laura Thompson as Hope Cladwell, Nancy Opel as Penelope Pennywise, John Cullum as Caldwell B. Cladwell, Spencer Kayden as Little Sally, Jeff McCarthy as Officer Lockstock, Daniel Marcus as Officer Barrel, John Deyle as Senator Fipp, David Beach as Mr. McQueenPerformance dates: Sep. 20, 2001-Jan. 18, 2004

What it’s about: In the dark world of Urinetown, a 20-year drought has made private toilets a thing of the past. Now all bathrooms are public and controlled by a megacorporation, which forces people to pay for the privilege of peeing. Charismatic Bobby Strong leads his fellow citizens in a revolution — with mixed results.Why it’s essential: Part of what makes Urinetown such a funny show is how unexpected it is. The musical repeatedly subverts expectations to darkly comedic effect, parodying far more serious works like Les Misérables and reminding audiences that not all musical comedy has a happy ending.

23. The Producers

The Producers

View this image ›

Paul Kolnik

Book: Mel Brooks and Thomas MeehanMusic and lyrics: Mel BrooksOriginal Broadway cast: Matthew Broderick as Leo Bloom, Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, Cady Huffman as Ulla, Brad Oscar as Franz LiebkindPerformance dates: April 19, 2001-April 22, 2007

What it’s about: Adapted by Mel Brooks from his 1968 film, the titular producers are Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, who conspire to dupe investors by purposely making a Broadway flop. Their plan backfires when Springtime for Hitler, despite being an offensive disaster on paper, is celebrated as a hilarious comedy.Why it’s essential: Despite being based on a 30-year-old film, The Producers breathed new life into musical comedy. The book is sharp and relentlessly entertaining, but it’s also full of great musical numbers, “Springtime for Hitler” being the obvious standout. The Producers paved the way for more great shows like it.

22. Aida

Aida

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry HwangMusic: Elton JohnLyrics: Tim RiceOriginal Broadway cast: Heather Headley as Aida, Adam Pascal as Radames, Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris, Tyrees Allen as Amonasro, John Hickok as Zoser, Daniel Oreskes as Pharaoh, Damian Perkins as MerebPerformance dates: March 23, 2000-Sep. 5, 2004

What it’s about: In this musical based on the Giuseppe Verdi opera, Radames, who is next in line to become Pharaoh, falls for a captured Nubian slave named Aida, who is secretly a princess. Their forbidden love is complicated by Radames’ intended bride Amneris and Aida’s true identity, culminating in a tragic ending to their affair.Why it’s essential: It’s hard to imagine that Aida was once intended to be adapted as a Disney film — the elements are still there (Elton John and Tim Rice), but it’s a heavy, depressing love story. In addition to its undeniable power, Aida is significant for the way it blurs the lines between musical and opera.

21. Passing Strange

Passing Strange

View this image ›

Sundance Selects

Book: StewMusic: Stew and Heidi RodewaldLyrics: StewOriginal Broadway cast: De’Adre Aziza as Edwina/Marianna/Sudabey, Daniel Breaker as Youth, Eisa Davis as Mother, Colman Domingo as Franklin/Joop/Mr. Venus, Chad Goodridge as Terry/Christophe/Hugo, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Sherry/Renata/Desi, Stew as NarratorPerformance dates: Feb. 28, 2008-July 20, 2008

What it’s about: The unnamed Youth, a black man from South Central Los Angeles, rebels against his mother and his religious upbringing. He embarks on a journey to find “the real,” traveling across Europe and exploring different genres of music, including rock, jazz, gospel, and punk, in order to find himself.Why it’s essential: Like other great rock musicals, the thrill of Passing Strange is that its creator Stew had no theatrical background. The result is something truly original, informed not by other musicals but by Stew’s background as a rock ‘n’ roll performer. This is a rare reflection of a thoroughly unique new voice.

20. Fela!

Fela!

View this image ›

Tristram Kenton

Book: Jim Lewis and Bill T. JonesMusic and lyrics: Fela Anikulapo-KutiOriginal Broadway cast: Kevin Mambo and Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Saycon Sengbloh as Sandra, Lillias White as Funmilayo, Ismael Kouyaté as African Chanter/Geraldo Piño/Braiman/Orisha, Gelan Lambert as J.K. Braiman/Tap Dancer/EgungunPerformance dates: Nov. 23, 2009-Jan. 2, 2011

What it’s about: In the ’70s, Fela Kuti was an influential performer and composer in Nigeria. The musical is based on real events, when government soldiers were assigned to end Fela’s public performances at the Shrine nightclub. Fela becomes involved with opposition, balancing his quest for fame and his desire for civil rights.Why it’s essential: Calling Fela! a jukebox musical feels misleading — yes, the music here comes from the work of the show’s subject, Fela Kuti. But the appeal of Fela! is in its breathless, colorful performances — so intensely physical that two actors played the eponymous musician and alternated performances.

19. The Wild Party

The Wild Party

View this image ›

Carol Rosegg

Book: Michael John LaChiusa and George C. WolfeMusic and lyrics: Michael John LaChiusaOriginal Broadway cast: Yancey Arias as Black, Toni Collette as Queenie, Nathan Lee Graham as Phil D’Armano, Adam Grupper as Gold, Leah Hocking as Mae, Eartha Kitt as Dolores, Marc Kudisch as Jackie, Norm Lewis as Eddie Mackrel, Michael McElroy as Oscar D’Armano, Brooke Sunny Moriber as Nadine, Sally Murphy as Sally, Mandy Patinkin as Burrs, Tonya Pinkins as Kate, Jane Summerhays as Miss Madelaine True, Stuart Zagnit as GoldbergPerformance dates: April 13, 2000-June 11, 2000

What it’s about: Based on the 1928 narrative poem, The Wild Party is presented as a series of vaudeville sketches reflecting the setting, a swinging ’20s party hosted by Queenie and Burrs, whose relationship is collapsing. The eclectic cast of characters include a fading star, a black prizefighter, a morphine addict, and a gay couple.Why it’s essential: Timing for The Wild Party was a little odd — there’s another Wild Party musical, based on the same narrative poem, that emerged off-Broadway during the same season. Fans of both continue to debate which is better, but LaChiusa’s offers a richer cast of characters and steamy interactions.

18. Tick, Tick… Boom!

Tick, Tick... Boom!

View this image ›

Carol Rosegg

Book Jonathan Larson and David AuburnMusic and lyrics: Jonathan LarsonOriginal off-Broadway cast: Raúl Esparza as Jon, Jerry Dixon as Michael, Amy Spanger as SusanPerformance dates: May 23, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002

What it’s about: In this autobiographical musical first conceived as a one-man show, Jon approaches his 30th birthday with anxiety over his failure to succeed as a composer. Meanwhile, he struggles with commitment to his girlfriend Susan, who wants a more stable life, and Jon’s best friend Michael learns that he’s HIV-positive.Why it’s essential: While not the instant classic that Rent was, Jonathan Larson’s other major work is a far more personal look at the struggles that led him to write the iconic 1994 musical. The knowledge that Larson died before he could see the extent of his success adds another level of melancholy to Tick, Tick… Boom!

17. In the Heights

In the Heights

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Quiara Alegría HudesMusic and lyrics: Lin-Manuel MirandaOriginal Broadway cast: Seth Stewart as Graffiti Pete, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Usnavi, Eliseo Román as Piragua Guy, Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia, Janet Dacal as Carla, Andréa Burns as Daniela, Carlos Gomez as Kevin, Priscilla Lopez as Camila, Robin de Jesús as Sonny, Christopher Jackson as Benny, Karen Olivo as Vanessa, Mandy Gonzalez as NinaPerformance dates: March 9, 2008-Jan. 9, 2011

What it’s about: In the Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, Usnavi, the owner of a small bodega, narrates the events happening around him. The cast of characters include matriarch Abuela Claudia, Usnavi’s love interest Vanessa, recent Stanford drop-out Nina, and gringo Benny.Why it’s essential: Before In the Heights, musical theater hadn’t dived into the Dominican-American cultural experience. This is a story about people who don’t often see themselves represented on stage (or on film and TV, for that matter), and the music — rap and salsa — is long overdue for a Broadway presence.

16. Hairspray

Hairspray

View this image ›

Paul Kolnik

Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas MeehanMusic: Marc ShaimanLyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc ShaimanOriginal Broadway cast: Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Marissa Jaret Winokur as Tracy Turnblad, Laura Bell Bundy as Amber Von Tussle, Kerry Butler as Penny Pingleton, Mary Bond Davis as Motormouth Maybelle, Linda Hart as Velma Von Tussle, Dick Latessa as Wilbur Turnblad, Matthew Morrison as Link Larkin, Corey Reynolds as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Clarke Thorell as Corny Collins, Danelle Eugenia Wilson as Little InezPerformance dates: Aug. 15, 2002-Jan. 4, 2009

What it’s about: As in the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray is about Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show and win the heart of Link Larkin in 1962 Baltimore. When she does finally make it onto the show, she shakes things up by taking a stand for racial integration.Why it’s essential: John Waters on Broadway could have gone a lot of ways, but Hairspray is pretty darn wholesome — Pink Flamingos this is not. And yet, it’s just the right amount of edgy mixed with bubble-gum colors and tunes that evoke the best of ’60s pop music. Harvey Fierstein’s Edna remains one of his finest performances.

15. Here Lies Love

Here Lies Love

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: David ByrneMusic: David Byrne and Fatboy SlimLyrics: David ByrneOriginal off-Broadway cast: Melody Butiu as Estrella, Jose Llana as Marcos, Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda, Conrad Ricamora as Aquino, Kelvin Moon Loh as D. J.Performance dates: April 24, 2013-July 28, 2013 (but now running again)

What it’s about: What began as a concept album became a rock musical, detailing the life of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines — from her early life, raised by Estrella Cumpas, to her career as a singer and model, and finally to the moment she and her family were forced to leave the country.Why it’s essential: Some of the best theatrical experiences are the oddest on paper. The parts of Here Lies Love are strange: It began as a concept album, it’s about Imelda Marcos, Fatboy Slim is involved. But it all comes together to create a breathtaking, immersive production helmed by the incomparable Alex Timbers.

14. Fun Home

Fun Home

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Lisa KronMusic: Jeanine TesoriLyrics: Lisa KronOriginal off-Broadway cast: Beth Malone as Alison Bechdel, Michael Cerveris as Bruce Bechdel, Judy Kuhn as Helen Bechdel, Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Alexandra Socha as Medium Alison, Griffin Birney as Christian Bechdel, Noah Hinsdale as John Bechdel, Roberta Colindrez as Joan, Joel Perez as Roy/Pete/Bobby JeremyPerformance dates: Oct. 22, 2013-Jan. 12, 2014

What it’s about: Based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel, Fun Home explores Alison’s relationship with her father Bruce over the years. Presented in non-linear format, the show covers Alison’s discovery of her sexuality and coming out, as well as her father’s hidden sexuality and eventual suicide.Why it’s essential: Like the graphic novel on which it’s based, Fun Home is a heartbreaking musical. Even those who have criticized elements of the show acknowledge its impressive emotional core and the effect it has had on audiences. It was a highly personal story for Bechdel to share, and that intimacy remains.

13. The Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone

View this image ›

Joan Marcus

Book: Bob Martin and Don McKellarMusic and lyrics: Lisa Lambert and Greg MorrisonOriginal Broadway cast: Danny Burstein as Aldolpho, Georgia Engel as Mrs. Tottendale, Sutton Foster as Janet Van De Graaff, Edward Hibbert as Underling, Troy Britton Johnson as Robert Martin, Eddie Korbich as George, Jason Kravits as Gangster #1, Garth Kravits as Gangster #2, Beth Leavel as the Drowsy Chaperone, Kecia Lewis-Evans as Trix, Bob Martin as Man in Chair, Jennifer Smith as Kitty, Lenny Wolpe as FeldziegPerformance dates: May 1, 2006-Dec. 30, 2007

What it’s about: The Drowsy Chaperone is the name of the musical, but it’s also the musical within the musical. The Man in the Chair, a Broadway enthusiast, plays one of his favorite records, The Drowsy Chaperone, and relives the classic (fake) 1920s musical comedy, complete with a wedding and gangsters in disguise.Why it’s essential: There are plenty of other self-referential musicals out there, but there’s something truly special about The Drowsy Chaperone. The book is consistently clever, giving just enough insight into the agoraphobic Man in the Chair. The musical within the musical is both a perfect parody and delightful in its own right.

12. The Full Monty

The Full Monty

View this image ›

Alastair Muir

Book: Terrence McNallyMusic and lyrics: David YazbekOriginal Broadway cast: Patrick Wilson as Jerry Lukowski, John Ellison Conlee as Dave Bukatinsky, Jason Danieley as Malcolm MacGregor, Romain Frugé as Ethan Girard, Annie Golden as Georgie Bukatinsky, Marcus Neville as Harold Nichols, Emily Skinner as Vicki Nichols, André De Shields as Horse, Lisa Datz as Pam Lukowski, Kathleen Freeman as Jeanette BurmeisterPerformance dates: Oct. 26, 2000-Sep. 1, 2002

What it’s about: The Full Monty is inspired by the 1997 film but Americanized — here, unemployed steelworkers in Buffalo decide to make money by performing a strip act. Because they’re not as in shape as the Chippendales dancers their wives love, they decide to distinguish themselves by ending with full nudity.Why it’s essential: It’s hard to believe that a musical about out-of-work (and out-of-shape) steelworkers who decide to become strippers would be as stirring and poignant as The Full Monty is. That’s not to take away from the fun of the show, which is a given, but the

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/best-musicals-since-2000

Whether she’s using a 1946 version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to create Tom and Huck on a river raft or a book about the migratory birds of the East Coast to create a Duck Dynasty piece, Jodi Harvey-Brown tears books apart to create incredible sculptures depicting scenes from the very books she’s just destroyed.

After spontaneously creating her first sculpture from a tattered book she found in an old box of used books, the Pennsylvania artist had found her niche. While she normally shapes her own characters from the pages of the books, she occasionally uses the illustrations in the books as the characters in the scene she’s constructing, breathing new life into the original content of the books.

Harvey-Brown sells her fantastic, whimsical creations on Etsy and even takes custom orders, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, she’d be glad to help you out…

Treasure Island

Book Sculpture 24

Game of Thrones

Book Sculpture 31

The Wind in the Willows

Book Sculpture 3

Moby-Dick

Book Sculpture 1

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Book Sculpture 2

The Little Mermaid

Book Sculpture 5

Minas Tirith, from Lord of the Rings

Book Sculpture 7

The Old Man and the Sea

Book Sculpture 9

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Book Sculpture 10

Kidnapped

Book Sculpture 14

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Book Sculpture 18

Through the Looking Glass

Book Sculpture 19

To Kill A Mockingbird

Book Sculpture 20

Book Sculpture 21

Chroma The Great from The Phantom Tollbooth

Book Sculpture 23

Gifts from the Sea

Book Sculpture 25

The Millenium Falcon from Star Wars Heir to the Empire

Book Sculpture 26

The Lives of the Great Composers

Book Sculpture 27

Bambi, A Life in the Woods

Book Sculpture 28

The Wizard of Oz

Book Sculpture 29

Pride and Prejudice

Book Sculpture 30

Edgar Allan Poe

Book Sculpture 32

The Book of Jazz – From Then Till Now

Book Sculpture 33

Duck Dynasty

Book Sculpture 12

Scuba Diver

Book Sculpture 22

Vineyard

Book Sculpture 16

Parisian Bridge

Book Sculpture 17

Hot Air Balloon

Book Sculpture 8

Sailing Home

Book Sculpture 6

Yacht

Book Sculpture 11

(via My Modern Met, Jodi Harvey-Brown, DeviantART)

Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/artist-tears-up-books-to-create-amazing-sculptures-of-the-stories-in-the-books-she-just-ruined-30-pictures/

1.

The movie within the movie.
By Kilian Eng.

2.

By Rich Kelly.

3.

Nice.
By Laurent Durieux.

4.

By Jay Ryan.
Wes Anderson’s best film, IMHO.

5.

Very cool.
By Jock.

See all of the posters @ Mondo.
Via: Dangerous Minds.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/copyranter/austin-art-gallerys-cool-oscar-movie-posters

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

There’s a stereotype of the scene backstage at fashion shows: starving, underage models on a clandestine search for a mere blueberry to hold them over, hoping designers — who need them to fit into sample sizes — won’t notice. It’s not a flattering picture of the industry, which is why fashion industry leaders are actively trying to change it.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, an kind of de facto guild of the country’s top fashion designers, just announced that they’ve brokered a deal for models to secure healthy food for 50% off when they’re in New York for Fashion Week, which starts on February 7.

“Models have described the difficulty of finding food that is both nutritious and convenient during Fashion Week. Please keep this in mind for both backstage and fittings,” the CFDA wrote in a letter from its President, Diane Von Furstenberg and CEO, Steven Kolb. “To address this issue, we have partnered with Organic Avenue during Fashion Week and continuing through March 31, Organic Avenue will provide support and education to models in addition to a generously discounted rate of 50% on all cold-pressed juices and food. We hope that this will give models both guidance and the added nutrition they need during this demanding time!”

The deal won’t exactly have models scarfing down cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Organic Avenue’s limited menu includes offerings like Dandelion-Kale Salad and Crudite With Tahini. The chain, which has 9 locations in Manhattan, is also popular among fans of the juice cleanse. But at $9 to $12 for one small bottle of green juice, or $75 to $90 for a one day juice cleanse, it’s an expensive way to stay full, even with a half-off discount.

Particularly for the young models who will walk shows during New York. Though modeling can be wildly lucrative at the level of Gisele, young runway models have historically been lucky to get paid at all, with designers famously trying to compensate in clothes rather than cash. A recent documentary, Girl Model detailed the unglamorous lives of struggling young models, and a group of models have also started a group called the Model Alliance, a kind of union to protect up and coming models from being exploited or treated unfairly.

The CFDA letter also noted that designers need to check ID’s to make sure models are at least 16 years old and should also pay attention to child labor laws. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s also not new: the CFDA Health Initiative has been saying this since 2007.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/hillaryreinsberg/fashion-week-is-giving-models-food-for-half-off

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

Three Thai college students are looking to get high on New Year’s Eve. When the dealer, Jesus, shows up at the door and wants to party with them, things get out of hand when he refuses to leave and seems to know things about their past. David Asavanond deserves all the credit as he’s amazing as Jesus, flipping from trustworthy to insane at any moment.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

I honestly can’t say much of the story of this one without ruining anything. All you need to know is that you need to see it. The director, Pedro Almodovar, described it as “a horror story with no screams or frights”. It truly is a beautiful film in a haunting and shocking sort of way.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

Jess is a stressed out mom who decides to take the day off and join her friends out on the high seas. Their relaxing day comes to an end when a storm sends their yacht off course and into the Bermuda Triangle. Struggling to stay afloat, the group spots a seemingly abandoned cruise ship and takes refuge in it. Of course, it’s not really abandoned and soon after, the bodies start piling up. Very intriguing psychological horror and deserves repeat viewings to really see what’s happening.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

A loner guy meets a girl, falls in love with her, stalks her, and installs security cameras throughout her apartment. He proceeds to get to know her by “coincidentally” liking the same things as he sees her doing in the apartment. The voyeuristic aspect of Alone with Her makes this one incredibly creepy to sit through.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

Found footage film told through a series of home movies of a couple and their two young children. If you want any reasons to not have children, this movie should do it for you. Other than stupid character actions, which plague many horror movies anyway, Home Movie is up there with the best found footage movies.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

If you still want kids after Home Movie, The Children might do you in. Kids start to develop flu-like symptoms, but they eventually turn into something much more sinister. Kids always make creepy villains, but The Children is one of the best evil children movies out there.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

A surgeon’s 8-year old daughter is raped and murdered which leads the father to abducting the suspect and getting his own justice. This isn’t so much a torture film, but there are definitely some brutal scenes. Emotional movie about how far a vengeful dad is willing to go.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

A depressed hotel concierge makes it his mission to make everyone’s lives around him as miserable as possible. He focuses on one particularly young, bubbly tenant and he goes to twisted extremes to bring her down any way he can.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

Chemical bombs go off in Los Angeles and Brad quarantines himself inside his house while worrying about his wife working downtown. She later arrives, covered in ash, and Brad shuts her out, not wanting to risk his own life. Most of the story is these two dealing with the aftermath of the bombs and Brad’s decision, but it holds up over the 90 minute runtime.

10 Lesser Known Horror Movies: Part 2

As missiles level New York City, apartment residents manage to make it into the bomb shelter in time. The survivors are grateful to be alive, but soon realize they may die in that bunker and their savage nature takes hold. From the director of Frontiers (also see that), it’s a very bleak and claustrophobic apocalyptic tale.

Part 1: http://imgur.com/gallery/1ndv0

New-Part 3:http://imgur.com/gallery/aYtrL

Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/g9BuJ