Threaded cautiously by the directing of Michael Gacy, the cinematography of Seamus McGarvey, the unbelievable choreography and an amazing cast led by the unfailing Hugh Jackman, the endearing Michelle Williams, and the fantastic talents of Zac Efron, Zendaya, Loren Allred, and Keala Settle, "The Greatest Showman," is much more than it's been given credit for. It is a story of diversity winning overall odds.

Musical Theater was once the greatest show in America

I was raised in musical theater from the day I was born. With a musical director, singer, and performer for a father, despite my torrid love for baseball and anything New York Yankees, I was destined for the stages of music and dance.

In the Golden Age of musicals, the 1950's, the movies of Rogers and Hammerstein's shows were the norm and were followed suit by many other musicals to make it to Broadway in the yesteryears. "Carousel," "Oklahoma," "Damn Yankees," and "The Music Man" were among the most popular musical films then. True musical diversity was hard to find until "West Side Story" broke through in the 1960's

What made these old movie musicals so popular were the unbelievable show-stopping, and full out dance numbers set to the best cast songs ever heard until the modern day show came along with the likes of the operetta-style Broadway musical in "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon". Thus beginning a new age on the White Way.

The diverse music and choreography of 'The Greatest Showman' leads to soul-searching

"The Greatest Showman" not only flooded my mind with childhood memories of the old, great show-stopping numbers one after the other, but it also reminded me of what my father instilled in me all his life, despite his personal failures. Both of this movie's incredible music and dancing made me cry at least five times as I watched what we all dream of in life unfold in front of me and my ten-year-old son and I remembered what the old man told me" To love everyone equally and find the good in everyone.

"This Is Me," outstandingly sung by Keala Settle and performed by the entire cast at this year's Academy Awards spoke of the common sense decency we should all be born with and have instilled in us. A decency that comes through the empowerment of being who you are and with the incredible strength which diversity can build on, to bring about change and progress towards a better world.

I'm not writing to tell you the story as many other reviewers do. You will need to see it for yourself. Almost anyone over 30 might remember the P.T. Barnum Circus ("Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus") coming through your city, or nearest city to your home every year. Some of us will never forget the Wallendas' trapeze family, and Gunther Gable the animal tamer with his long flowing wild blonde hair.

However, none of us were around to see the origination of the P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum Circus in New York City in 1871. The majority of us saw the sad ending it came to in 2017, among cries of animal cruelty, waning crowds and falling profits.

"The Greatest Show" opens the musical portion of "The Greatest Showman" and gives us an exciting preview of what is to come by setting our hearts thundering with an amazing score off the bat, by the successful songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, writers of "La La Land" and "Dear Evan Hansen."

From there we are taken upon the top of an old New York City roof scene where the dreamy Barnum and his encouraging daughters and wife foresee a beautiful future for them all in "A Million Dreams".

Next up was "Come Alive" in which we see the entire diverse team of humans come together one by one and grow into an amazing cast of talented and perfectly picked performers for the movie, as I'm sure they were for the circus in 1871.

"The Other Side" is lots of fun and shows off some formidable dancing and singing from both Jackman and Efron. For me, however, the next two songs of the movie did me in for good and took me on the ride I so wanted and needed on this day of memory, when my musical father passed on his seventy-sixth birthday, last March 8, 2017.

"Never Enough," lifted me out of and to the edge of my seat as the soaring angelic voice of Loren Allred flowed from the lips of a great actress in Rebecca Ferguson.

Allred's voice felt like a flowing river of a fine wine, quietly lapping at the side of a glass as the lyrics and music poured ever so gently into my ears and caressed my deepest feelings. I looked at my son with tears forming in my eyes as he looked back at me with a smile, then followed with a hug as if to say, "I get it, dad, I get it."

The aspiring dreams of so many in this world, no matter their individual dream, were summed up in this song for me. We must never give up in our endeavor to do what we are all meant to do on Earth. Especially, if it's to bring joy and emotion to others in such a tough place to survive.

Following what seemed like an impossible song to outdo, was the torrentially over-powering "This Is Me," that had the movie theater been empty, would have made me grab my cane and dance the best I still could.

Just when it seemed the music couldn't improve, Pasek and Paul decide to return to the darkroom in your heart, and unlock it for good, by pulling you entirely into the romance of the story and the meaning behind its message.

"Rewrite The Stars," should be chosen as every diverse, outcast, minority, and hated couple's wedding song. It may not have been Zendaya doing all the rope tricks and acrobatics, although she did work hard to do some of the upper strength conditioned moves on the ropes. However, the glorious choreography mixed with this powerful harmonizing duet shouted to the crowd to ignore the judgments of others, and give love and diversity a ride for all its worth when you find it, no matter who it's with.

"From Now On," the final number, wraps up the entire movie and story within the same era after a tragic event, and instills in all of us who can reach deep into the innocent, kindred hearts we were born with to keep spreading love, never give up on our talents, and share the world with joy. Entertainment will never stop letting us down, leading us away from trouble, and teaching us life-lessons.

Congratulations, to the entire team and cast of "The Greatest Showman," whom surely, and tirelessly produced one of the greatest movie musicals of all time for the present world and all our descendants to enjoy for generations to come. I am quite sure the movie also tickled memories and caused many of us to never forget the splendidness and joy the "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" brought so many millions of adults and children for 146 years.