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Listening to the best of Broadway

As the semester gradually descends into the madness of finals, it may help to listen to some good music straight from the Great White Way—I know it always helps me. The five musicals listed below cover a wide range of musical tastes, and everyone should be able to find at least one that they enjoy.

 

‘Assassins’ (2004 Revival)

“Assassins” is a collaboration of the musical theater impresario, Stephen Sondheim, and John Weidman. It places the successful—and failed—assassins of history in one anachronistic timeline at a carnival. The musical originally premiered in 1990 and has been revived several times since, with famous names including Neil Patrick Harris and Michael Cerveris. Musical highlights from this show include “Everybody’s Got the Right” and “Unworthy of Your Love.”

 

‘Carrie’ (Premiere Recording)

This musical is an adaptation of the namesake Stephen King novel. It initially ran on Broadway in 1988 and was labeled one of the biggest flops in Broadway history. However, after the writers substantially revised the score and book, a new version starring Christy Altomare among others premiered in 2012 and developed a well-deserved cult following. Musical highlights from this show include “The World According to Chris” and “Do Me A Favor.”

 

‘Gypsy’ (2015 London Cast Recording)

“Gypsy” was originally a Sondheim musical released in 1959. Since then, it has been recast several times with the latest production including stars such as Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver. This specific production won eight Laurence Olivier Awards—the West End’s version of the Tony Awards. Highlights from this specific cast recording are “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Rose’s Turn.”

 

‘Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812’

This musical is an adaptation of an abridged section of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” After a long workshop process, this show premiered at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre in 2016. Its music is unique among the others on this list because its lyrics do not rhyme; it is simply the source material text directly set to electropop music. Highlights from its cast recording include “Prologue” and “Letters.”

 

‘The Book of Mormon’

This is the only musical I’ve chosen which is still running on Broadway, and it is for good reason. “The Book of Mormon” was written by the creators of South Park and follows two Mormon missionaries who are sent to northern Uganda in an attempt to baptize the people there. Highlights of the cast recording include “You and Me (but Mostly Me)” and “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream.”

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