What a fun evening. My sister Linda and I attended a special showing of The Greatest Showman film at the Route 66 Movie Theater in Webb City, Missouri. This was my 6th viewing of the movie, but tonight I got to do something that I’ve wanted to do since The Greatest Showman opened…I got to belt out the songs.
I’ve posted previously about the storyline and characters of The Greatest Showman, and I’ve written several times about how moving and inspiring the songs are, for this is a musical. Tonight I’m sharing about the incredibly powerful experience of watching a film and singing enthusiastically with 100 other people who love this movie as much as I do.
The Route 66 Movie Theater, located at 24 S. Main Street in Webb City, provided the perfect setting for a sing along. This charming one screen theater strives to provide a family friendly atmosphere and family friendly pricing on admission and concessions. They offer today’s newest releases at yesterday’s pricing, with most tickets selling for around $7.00.
Linda and I arrived early to nab seats located in the middle of the theater and fairly close to the screen. Walking in we spied a group of teens in costume. I knew we were in for an amazing evening!
As the theater filled, a young man dressed as the showman himself, PT Barnum, took the stage to warm up the audience and encourage us all to sing.
The lights dimmed, the obligatory previews played, and then the movie began, which immediately includes an opening song. Not familiar with the lyrics? Not a problem! As the words to the songs appear at the bottom of the screen, a red top hat bounces over the words. People weren’t shy. They all joined in, much to my delight.
And that young man dressed as Barnum remained on the stage during the opening song, perfectly mimicking Hugh Jackman’s dance moves. It was awesome and the audience responded with whoops and wild applause. At least one other time this talented performer acted out a scene as it played on the big screen. The rest of the time he roamed about the theater, singing and encouraging others in their efforts. At one point, he plopped down next to Linda and me for a few minutes, singing with us.
Six times I’ve watched The Greatest Showman, and I’ve loved it every time. Apparently there are many people who feel the same way. This musical has become one of the “leggiest” movies in history.
In the film industry, a movie has “legs” when its box office trajectory defies a normal pattern by running longer and with greater success than expected. Typically films perform strongest in their first and second weeks, and maybe for a couple of weeks beyond that, then attendance falls off as audiences switch to newer releases. A leggy movie doesn’t adhere to that pattern, continuing to find success long after its opening weekend, primarily because of word of mouth and repeat attendance.
In spite of a low opening weekend, at Christmas time last year, and less than favorable critic reviews, The Greatest Showman has done incredibly well, winning the appreciation of audiences around the globe, its soundtrack topping the music charts for weeks. This Is Me, the film’s core musical piece, won a Golden Globe for best song and was nominated for an Oscar.
I get it. This is a feel good movie, uplifting and boisterous, with important messages about living as the person you are created to be, and accepting others as they are. The Greatest Showman promotes family, love, friendship, community and acceptance. And the songs are so catchy, so fun, that you can’t help but want to sing them.
Which is why a sing along is the perfect way to enjoy this film. You know you want to join in and now you can…for two more evenings. Grab a ticket, bring a friend, prepare to sing your hearts out, at Route 66 Movie Theater. The show starts each evening at 6:30.
This is the greatest show! Truly.