For a long time, I had something at work that I called “Musical Fridays” where, you guessed it, I would listen to musicals on the same day every week. It just so happened to be Fridays. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?!?!? Anyway, as someone who really really loves musicals, it was pretty much my favorite day of the week.
What I did originally was make a GIANT playlist filled with basically every Broadway soundtrack that Spotify had. It was gigantic and took months and months to work my way through (remember, I was only listening to it on Fridays!) Some were old favorites, some were new and I loved immediately, some were new and knew I would never listen to again because they weren’t my cup of tea… which is fine. Can’t love em all.
I wanted to share some of my favorite musicals today so that if you’ve never been a huge Broadway fan or you’ve never really given the genre a listen, these are guaranteed to be “good” ones to start out with. At the bottom of the post you’ll also find a little playlist with some of my favorites that you might like. And if you’re a die hard fan, then hopefully it contains some of your favorites, too!
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog
Ok so this one isn’t technically a Broadway musical, but it’s still a short and fun musical so it totally counts… right? This project came out of the writer’s strike in 2007-2008. It was made by Joss Whedon and stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day!
Year it came out: 2008
What it’s about: A wannabe super-villain falls for a nice do-gooder who falls for a flawed super-hero. Will the villain change for the girl or continue down the evil path of evil?
Songs to check out: My Freeze Ray; My Eyes; So They Say.
Dear Evan Hanson
This is a newer musical and I’ve actually only listened to it once all the way through, but I immediately loved the music and added it to my list to listen to again later. This show is getting a lot of buzz, and I can tell why just by listening! (And the guy playing main character was in the Pitch Perfect movies, so there’s that!)
Year it came out: 2016
What it’s about: The show follows Evan, a high school senior with lots of anxiety, as he gets himself into a tricky situation regarding another student’s death. (Yeah it sounds like a downer, but the music is great!)
Songs to check out: Waving Through A Window; For Forever; If I Could Tell Her
Phantom of the Opera
I mean, it’s a classic for a reason! It’s one of the longest running Broadway shows (if not THE longest) and the story just draws you in! I’ve seen it a few times, read the book, played the songs on the piano – I’m a bit obsessed.
Year it came out: 1986
What it’s about: The Phantom of the Opera, duh. An “opera ghost” takes an obsessive interest in a young singer with talent, but she falls in love with someone else. Drama ensues, a kidnapping or two, and people must decide how much they’ll give up for love.
Songs to check out: The Phantom of the Opera; The Music of the Night; Masquerade
Oh, you thought that I was done obsessing over Hamilton? Hahahahahahah wrong-o!
Year it came out: 2015
What it’s about: The story of the life, victories, and ultimate downfall of a very problematic founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Other characters include his wife Eliza, his mentor George Washington, his political nemesis Thomas Jefferson, and his lifelong frenemy Aaron Burr.
Songs to check out: Alexander Hamilton, Wait For It, Non-Stop
I grew up listening to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and I always wanted to see Jersey Boys! I finally went with my sister in November and it was even better than I’d hoped!
Year it came out: 2005
What it’s about: This follows the story behind Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – how they got their start, how they reacted to fame, and how the group met their end.
Songs to check out: Medley: Sherry; Stay/Let’s Hang On/Opus 17 [Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me/Bye Bye, Baby]; Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
Ugh this one is SO GOOD! The music! The story! It started as an opera in the late 1800’s, and Disney originally bought the rights to the story to make an animated movie, but that didn’t work out and thus it was turned into a Broadway show. If the male lead’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because he played Roger in Rent!
Year it came out: 2000
What it’s about: A Nubian princess, Aida, is kidnapped and forced to be a slave in Egypt. An Egyptian army captain is about to marry the Egyptian princess, but then he and Aida fall in love, and the princess finds out! Drama!!!!
Songs to check out: Not Me; A Step Too Far; Written In The Stars
Yes, I know that was quite the long list, but believe it or not, I could have kept going! Some other shows that I still love and you should still listen to are Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Music Man, In The Heights, and SO MANY MORE!!! Have you listened to any of these before? What one is your favorite?!?