“I am changing!”: Magical musical costume changes

I heart magic costume changes. So, let’s reflect on some of the best ones, shall we?

Let’s start with the aptly titled “I am Changing” from Dreamgirls. This video features a very solid Joyce Licorish as Effie White in a recent regional staging of the show, singing “that other big hit” from the groundbreaking 1981 musical. Skip to 3:18 for the magic costume change.

NEW EDITION (3/13/11): While everyone’s talking about the revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Harry Potter, let’s take a look at the ’95 revival, which starred a pre-Karen Walker Megan Mullally and a post-Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick. In this number, “Paris Original,” see if you can figure out how Mullally makes her seemingly impossible costume change 3 minutes in (stupidly, you have to watch the video in another window):

I always have to work in Legally Blonde The Musical somehow. But this time, it’s appropriate for the topic. OMIGOD! Watch at 4:55 for the magical transformation. Laura Bell Bundy for the win, y’all.

In the musical Hairspray, Tracy (Tony award-winning Marissa Jaret Winokur) convinces her dowdy mom Edna (the irreplaceable Harvey Fierstein) that the ’60s are here, and a makeover is in order. Magic costume changes commence!

Vanessa Williams was merely a decent Witch in the 2002 Broadway revival of Into the Woods. However, her transformation was, indeed, magical (skip to 3:00):

Finally, while not from a musical, the most amazing costume change video I’ve ever seen is this:

What are your favorite magical musical costume changes?

(“Change” will be a very big theme this week — hopefully! Fingers crossed…)

5 thoughts on ““I am changing!”: Magical musical costume changes

  1. Well, when Leah Michele would change while standing on that chair in Spring Awakening, I always marveled that she kept her balance. I think of her whenever I’m stepping in and out of clothing, one leg at a time.

  2. I don’t know if this counts but in the final scene of “Curtains” David Hyde Pierce’s Lt. Frank Cioffi, who had been wearing his detective’s suit and trenchcoat, comes back onstage in a completely different costume as part of the musical within a musical. It’s totally unexpected and hilarious. If you want to see it, The New York Times ran a picture with Ben Brantley’s review. (Which is kind of a spoiler, IMHO.)

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