Hi! Hello! Greetings! Salutations!
Since we last spoke, or rather since I last tapped the keys of my laptop in attempt to converse with anyone who is reading, I’ve become more than slightly obsessed with musical theatre. Yes that’s right, I felt the thrilling call of Broadway and now I feel like I’m a brand new person, with so many more songs that are apt for everyday occurrences. Anyway, in this post I intend to share my favourites that I have listened to so far!
5) Dear Evan Hansen
If you haven’t heard of Dear Evan Hansen/ if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, then I guess the best thing for me to do would be to urge you to have a listen. The plot follows a teenage boy, the eponymous Evan Hansen, who suffers with severe social anxiety and how on one fateful day, following instructions from his therapist to write letters to himself, a letter gets into the wrong hands (the hands of a boy named Connor, who becomes an integral part of Evan’s narrative).
I won’t say much more because I do not wish to spoil such an audible delight that this musical is, but what I will say is that if you plan on listening to this incredible piece of theatre for its entirety then my advice is to lend it your most emotionally brave ear, because there will be times where tears will fall and you will not be able to stop them from doing so.
Favourite song(s) from Dear Evan Hansen: Either ‘Good for You’ or ‘Waving Through a Window’ -both make me feel many feelings!
4) Sunny Afternoon
A jukebox musical following the rise to fame of the Muzzwell Hillbillys many know of us as ‘The Kinks’. The Kinks are a big part of my life, especially so during my formative teenage years, and so it felt only right that this musical solely featuring songs by Sir Ray Davies should make it into my top five. The tracks don’t particularly articulate a plot as such, but rather they show the progression of the Kinks as a band as the musical itself progresses. Of the five musicals that I talk about in this post, this is the only one that I have actually been lucky enough to see live onstage when, on its tour, it stopped for a three day stint in my hometown of York*.
Favourite song(s) from Sunny Afternoon: coincidentally my favourite song by The Kinks, ‘Waterloo Sunset’
3) Come From Away
A musical of interwoven truths surrounding the events that shook the world on September 11th 2001 and how Gander airport in Newfoundland saved many souls on that awful day. This piece of theatre broke me to the core and then, bit by bit, made me whole again through recurring motifs, a magnificent Celtic score and of course, Jenn Colella.
Favourite song(s) from Come From Away: ‘Me and the Sky’ and ‘Phoning Home’
Okay. Wow. I really thought that this one would make it to number one for me as this will always be my true love and quite probably my first intense love of musical theatre. If you haven’t heard of Hamilton, or the great lord and saviour Lin-Manuel Miranda then I do have to automatically assume that you only just came out of the womb, in which case, congratulations! Anywho… this lyrical masterpiece has been awarded its many accolades such as Tony award for best musical, Pulitzer Prize for drama to name a few due its insane and innate brilliance. The story centres around one of America’s founding fathers (Alexander Hamilton) and how he ‘wrote his way out’ of the poverty he was born into in the Caribbean after his father left and his mother died, and how he rose to power as George Washington’s ‘right hand man’** to then go onto founding America’s financial system. With a few embellishments of historical inaccuracy, this musical really does educate those (like me) who haven’t much of a clue about American history and how it shaped the America of today (not that I’d know too much about present day USA, seeing as I’m a Brit…)
Favourite song(s) from Hamilton: This is EXTREMELY difficult because I feel that I love them ALL! However, I’ll pick 3: ‘Satisfied’, ‘My Shot’ and ‘Washington on Your Side’
“AND STILL THE BASTARD DIVORCED ME!” … If that’s not a line to make you instantaneously fall in love with the lyrics of William Finn then I worry for your heart and soul. I received a copy of the 2016 Broadway cast revival of Falsettos in the post last week that my dad had kindly purchased for me and within the space of about 9 days I have cried, laughed and danced a significantly large amount of times. I think it is safe to say that without doing any statistical analysis on the correlation between the amount of times I have listened to Falsettos and the amount of emotional fluctuations I have had, there is a strong positive correlation between the two variables. This story follows Marvin who has recently left his wife and child for his male lover, Whizzer, however they all try to make it work as Marvin wants a ‘tight-knit family’ so they all live together. It’s a story of love, acceptance, finding yourself and your family in hard times, and understanding what love is. And to make all that even more emotionally straining, it is set between 1979 and the early 80s… that’s right, the brink of the AIDS crisis. Aaaand, not only that, but it also includes some wholesome ‘Lesbians from Next Door’, to cheer you up when you get to the emotionally distressing parts. Not quite convinced yet? Okay, I guess I should probably mention that the first track in the musical is titled ‘Four Jews In A Room Bitching.’ Sold? Awesome.
Favourite song(s) from Falsettos: ‘Four Jews In A Room Bitching’, ‘The Baseball Game’, ‘Everyone Hates His Parents’ and finally ‘Unlikely Lovers’
*-There will be a post about the experience of seeing Sunny Afternoon live on the blog very soon!
**-This is where I tried to squeeze a handful of Hamilton references in without it seeming too obsessive- I hope I succeeded!
Okely dokely, hopefully that will have given you a rough idea as to why I have been absent for about 3 months… MUSICAL THEATRE HAS LITERALLY CONSUMED ME!!!!
I feel some honourable mentions in regards to good musicals should be stated and so here are some others that I believe are definitely worth checking out:
- The Book Of Mormon
- Groundhog Day: The Musical
- 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- A New Brain
- Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Thank you for reading, and hopefully I shall post for y’all again soon!