I was in band in high school. I played trumpet and french horn (two years ago, I guess it would have been the freedom horn). As a result, I developed an appreciation for musicals. There's something about actually playing the pieces that seems to stick with you - hence my affinity for "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night," the "New World Symphony," "Variations on a Korean Folk Song," "1812 Overture," "Messiah" and many more.
But we aren't here to talk about those pieces. We're talking about musicals. By far, I'd have to say the musical I've most enjoyed has been Phantom of the Opera. I saw it in Seattle on 5th Avenue, in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre, and in San Antonio, at the Majestic. Excellent show, and well worth the spectacle.
I've also had the good fortune of seeing "The Man Of La Mancha" on stage at the Olney Theatre in Maryland - which from what I've seen with my research, has been something of a rarity anymore. Though the film version is a bit cheesy (Peter O'Toole actually refers to himself as "Mig-well de Cerv-ant-ees"), it's a great story, and one that I would love the chance to see live again.
Les Mis is another phenomenal piece, which I saw in Dallas. The music on that one, and the scope of the show are astounding. If you ever get the chance, go see it.
I saw Cats in San Jose, and I must confess, I liked it. It's catchy, and good fun. Not only do I like it, but my kids have had their turns at Cats affinity.
On my "want to see" list, I have Chess, which I've heard good things about, Jeckyll and Hyde, and Miss Saigon. If anyone here has seen any of these, or any of the ones I posted above and would like to weigh in, please do so. I love input on this stuff...