“The ascendancy of the British musical ['Cats,' 'Phantom of the Opera,' 'Les Miserables' and 'Miss Saigon'] has been the most significant theater phenomenon in the world over the last twenty years, and has given the British theater far more than a financial boost. You can't argue with the success of these shows; and such is their near-universal popularity and the power of cultural relativism, that it must seem churlish to observe that the shows are simply not as good as, for instance, 'Oklahoma!,' 'South Pacific,' 'Carousel,' 'Pal Joey,' 'Guys and Dolls,' 'Gypsy,' 'West Side Story,' 'My Fair Lady,' 'Kiss Me Kate,' 'On the Town,' 'Annie Get Your Gun,' 'The Pyjama Game,' 'Brigadoon,' 'Paint Your Wagon,' 'The King and I' and 'Sweeney Todd.'
“'Les Miserables' and 'Miss Saigon' advance on their audiences laden with weighty subject matter, portentous thin-framed machines for giving you generalised rather than particularised feeling, unmitigated by irony. They give the impression, rather than the reality, of feeling, like Victorians scattering water on letters to look as if they'd been written in tears.”
-- Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright, in their book “Changing Stages: A View of British and American Theater in the Twentieth Century”