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Impressive special effects are a great part of musical theatre, so I thought I would list my top 8 best from various musicals.
1. Amanda Thripp in Matilda
This is one of the few non-musical scenes that I’ve ever seen get its own spectacular round of applause. The famous part of both the book and the film where the Trunchbull throws Amanda Thripp into the horizon by her pigtails is also pulled off spectacularly in the stage version, though I won’t reveal how for fear of spoiling it.
2. The chandelier in Phantom
Combined with the music of the moment, the effect at the beginning of Phantom of the Opera where the old dusty Chandelier rises to the stage to send the audience back in time is truly a sight to behold.
3. Elphaba flying in Wicked
Probably the most famous effect on this list, this looks just as amazing as it sounds – the fact that it occurs at the emotional high point of the show (as well as during what many people consider to be the best and most well-known song) probably also helps.
4. Boq’s transformation in Wicked
Due to its integration with the plot, this is definitely one of the less talked about moments of Wicked, but the part where Boq transforms into the Tin-Man is certainly a fantastic trick, especially considering it’s achieved so simply. I really don’t want to spoil it, but the answer is all over Google.
5. The transformation in Beauty and the Beast
The first of many Disney scenes on this list, I’m still unable to work out how on earth they achieved this effect, having seen the show at the age of about 5. Either way, it always looks incredible.
6. The magic carpet in Aladdin
Do I even need to say why this one is on the list? It’s another one that elicits cheers from audiences and for a good reason. The moment where the carpet rises up against a spectacular starry background is one of the most impressive moments in the show and that’s really saying a lot!
7. The helicopter in Miss Saigon
One of the most famous parts of a generally more music-based show, the helicopter in Miss Saigon isn’t really one of the effects that needs explaining, but it looks incredible on stage.
8. Costume changes in Legally Blonde
The last ones on this list is are probably lesser, but the two costume changes in the opening number of Legally Blonde sure do look amazing!