There are a lot of musicals moving into London's West End right now – including "Shoes", "Million Dollar Quartet", "Betty Blue Eyes" and "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" - and rumbling in the background is the hoo-ha in New York over "Spiderman".
What is the enduring appeal of the musical? Is it more diverse than its critics imagine? And, are musicals a good thing for the theatrical landscape?
Jan Dalley talks to Jamie Lloyd, director of the Donmar's "Spelling Bee", and FT theatre critics Ian Shuttleworth and Sarah Hemming.