Hi everyone! I just finished my Harry Potter re-read and, alas, a new book did not magically appear before me. Rather than dwell on that, I decided to talk about another passion of mine: theatre. I have been involved in theatre since I was very young. I did musicals with a summer theatre group until I was in middle school. Once I got into high school, I immediately became involved in drama club and it was what made those four years stand out. I did a little bit of acting but then went to working the stage crew. Eventually, I became a student director. When I graduated, I debated doing a minor in theatre but decided against it. That, however, doesn’t mean that my passion for theatre has stopped. I decided to share with you some of my favorite musicals and maybe I’ll do a post about my favorite plays later.
“Hamilton: An American Musical” by Lin-Manuel Miranda: Call me basic but I absolutely adore this musical with all my heart and soul. It is so well-written and you feel as though you learn something new every time you listen to it. “Hamilton” really brought me back to Broadway after I was starting to fall out of love with it. It’s fun, inspirational, unique, and heart-warming. I never fail to get excited once it pops up on my playlist.
“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” by Dave Malloy: This is a good musical for you book lovers out there. It is based off of only 70 pages of War and Peace but it still captures so much emotion. With Josh Groban and Denee Benton as the titular characters, they help bring the story so much life along with the rest of the incredibly talented cast. The music is a great blend of modern pop music and classical music, dubbed “popera.” I highly recommend this energetic and engaging musical.
“RENT” by Jonathan Larson: Again, you can call me basic but this musical helped me fall in love with Broadway. It has such a diverse cast of characters and some of the most iconic songs known to theatre geeks. I could recognize the first note of “Seasons of Love” from 100 miles away. This musical also never fails to make me tear up when I watch it.
“Side Show” by Bill Russell and Henry Keiger: I saw this one about two years ago when my college put it on. I was required to go for my Art of Theatre class. I’ve always had a fascination for the “freak shows” of the past so I was interested. This particular musical is based on the lives of Violet and Daisy Hilton, who were conjoined at the hip. The musical didn’t initially do well when it was on Broadway as it is kind of controversial. Regardless, it is still a great musical that has only recently been revived. If you liked “The Greatest Showman,” then I recommend you check out “Side Show.”
“Dear Evan Hansen” by Pasek and Paul: As someone who has been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, I felt a pull towards this musical when I first heard “Waving Through a Window.” Though it deals with heavy subjects, this musical has a very uplifting message that anyone can relate to. Ben Platt is absolutely brilliant in his role as Evan Hansen. “Dear Evan Hansen” embraces the age of social media and the teens who rely on it in their lives.
“Heathers: The Musical” by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy: I have never been a fan of musicals that are adaptation but “Heathers” changed my mind. I ended up listening to the music before I even saw the iconic movie that the musical is based on. It is an incredibly quotable musical with attitude and depth that you wouldn’t expect. I now love the movie and the musical. If you love the 80s, then this one is for you.
“The Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber: This is yet another testament to some of my basic tastes but, you have to admit, “The Phantom of the Opera” has certainly held up over the years. I saw the movie for the first time and I was blown away by the drama of it all. I still want to read the original novel by Gaston Leroux one day. In the meanwhile, I will still struggle to hit Christine’s high notes in the titular song.