Humans pride ourselves on being able to speak, the thing that separates us from the animals (sorry parrots), but we don’t give ourselves enough credit for being able to sing. “The noblest art is that of making others happy,” goes the final caption in The Greatest Showman – a quote by Phineas T. Barnum, played in the film by Hugh Jackman – and nothing says ‘happiness’ like a blast of song and dance, characters unable to contain themselves and launching into musical shorthand. As Barnum says (or sings) in the opening lines of this musical biography:...
By Preston Wilder
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