Tony's Take

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN review

This is the Greatest Show!

Welcome to The Greatest Show, an original musical that follows the story behind the creation of one of the most beloved and lasting entertainment spectacles of all time.  P.T. Barnum grew-up the son of a tailor, visiting rich homes and dreaming of a life far-greater than his; falling in-love with one of his father’s patron’s daughters.  Fast forward years later, Barnum and his wife are enjoying life, no matter how hard the times may be.  But Barnum has other ideas, a brainchild that he is focused on turning-into a reality.  Thus, the creation of P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in New York City.  Inside, the walls are filled with individuals of incredible and unique abilities and gifts.  As Barnum’s fame grows, so does his desire for more.  All of this while trying to balance his at-home life and raise his two little girls, but how much is too much?

Hugh Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, the legendary creator and groundbreaking designer.  This marks Jackman’s first musical since “Les Miserables” and he is commanding as ever; his charisma carries Barnum wonderfully, as does his voice.  Michelle Williams plays Barnum’s wife, Charity Barnum.  Zac Efron commands the screen as Phillip Carlyle, a wealthy playwright who is positioned-by Barnum.  Zendaya plays a young trapeze artist, Anne Wheeler.  Rebecca Ferguson plays a famous singer from the England, Jenny Lind.  Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely plays P.T. and Charity’s daughters, Caroline and Helen.  Keala Settle steals the show as Lettie Lutz, the bearded lady.  Sam Humphrey plays Tom Thumb, Barnum’s little person attraction.  Yahya Abdu-Mateen II plays Anne’s sister, W.D. Wheeler.  Elli Rubin and Skylar Dunn play young Barnum and Charity.

What better way to tell the story of “The Greatest Showman” than with a grand spectacle, a music extravaganza!  Hugh Jackman is tremendous in the film, clearly having the time of his life and his joy purely translates on the screen.  “The Greatest Showman” also lets Zac Efron return to his roots and the result speaks for itself!  The rest of the cast ties-the film together and they all have their moment in the spotlight.  Anchoring the film is its impressive soundtrack, as song-after-song not only tells the story but endears the audience to the characters as well!  Songs including: “The Greatest Show”, “The Other Side”, “This is Me”, “A Million Dreams” and “From Now On” will be stuck in your head for days!  “The Greatest Showman” never tries to be anything more than what it intends, a rare, joyous, original musical that tells an incredibly-true story.  “The Greatest Showman” has a run time of 105 minutes, not wasting a single second as it sings song-after-song seamlessly and joyously!  In a holiday season filled with so many great films, it’s tough to see where this will find its box office; which is such a shame.  The film is such a beautiful family-friendly film about chasing your dreams and realizing how lucky you are with what you have.  I hope the strong word-of-mouth brings “The Greatest Showman” into the public eye so that all can witness the spectacularly-entertaining musical!

“The Greatest Showman” is an original musical that chronicles the incredible true story of P.T. Barnum and how he created his legacy.  The film features a few excellent performances, a bunch of fun, foot-tapping songs, and is extremely entertaining!  If you are looking for a movie this holiday season that is for the whole family, look no further than “The Greatest Showman”!    

 4/5

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is rated PG for thematic elements including a brawl, in theaters DECEMBER 20TH!

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