The “Greatest” Showmen

Does anyone else find it weird that Pasek and Paul scored two straight movie musicals with basically the same plots?

A general synopsis of both The Greatest Showman and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile:

Ambitious but downtrodden showmen (Hugh and Javier, respectively) with dreams of stardom enlist societal outcasts — “circus freak shows”, if you will — to stage song and dance spectacle. This singing and dancing begins to give them the confidence to shed their lifelong protective shells . . . but when these public performances fail to garner the showmen their desired adulation, they selfishly abandon their newly adopted kin to pursue their “loftier” career goals . . . only to return later, after learning the errors of their ways, to make everything right as rain again.

Be it on stage in The Greatest Showman, or in the comfort of home in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, these bands of misfits foster for themselves a sense of familial acceptance, together, through the healing powers of musical theater bombast.

Cue a happily ever after for all!

A crucial difference between the two stories: Barnum’s cast consent to be in the spotlight, whereas Lyle expresses no interest.

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