Posted in Musings on Musicals 🎵, Theatre

My Favourite Musicals | Musings on Musicals 🎵 #1

Hello! Welcome to the first in my Musings on Musicals, this is a new post series where I will be sharing my thoughts on everything musical theatre-related. It’s basically the content I was doing before I had my year hiatus but under a flashy new name that gives it it’s own special category. To kick this new series off, I wanted to share my absolute favourite shows. And, I mean these are my all-time favourites, not just current favourites.

Now, it would be impossible for me to actually put them into a list so I’ve instead picked my top nine and put them into tiers – everyone loves a good tier ranking system don’t they? So, tier one includes my top three absolute favourite musicals but I can’t put them in a 123 order so just know that I love all three of those equally. Tier Two is the my next three favourites which although I completely adore, just don’t quite make it to tier one and again, within their tier, they aren’t in any particular order and so on. I hope this makes sense, it did in my head!

Tier One

Hamilton – Some say it’s overrated, I say we don’t talk about it enough for my liking. I really do think Hamilton is the best musical ever written. It’s achingly smart and the impact it has made, not only on theatre, but in modern pop culture is an incredible feat.

Rent – This is the musical that catapulted me from musical fan to super-fan. I think I’ll write a whole post about it when I’m feeling sentimental but the first time I encountered Rent was when I watched the film and I cried at four different moments. Rent is a total marmite show, you either love it or hate it and I completely adore it.

Les Miserables – This is another show that really got me into musicals and, well, it’s just a classic, isn’t it? This is a show that all my family love and we used to play the songs on long car journeys. For me, this show is greater than just my love of theatre, it’s also a part of my childhood and reminds me of family memories.

Tier Two

Bare: A Pop Opera – It’s the style of the music – to me more rock than “pop” – and the heartbreaking story that I really love with this one. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever related to a song from a show so much as Nadia’s A Quiet Night At Home. I wish more people knew this show because it deserves so much more love.

Come From Away – I always think of Come From Away as a musical hug. I’ve seen it twice in the West End and can’t wait to see it again once theatres reopen. I can’t help but smile listening to this amazing true story and Me and the Sky is one of my favourite songs.

Jesus Christ Superstar – I’m slightly ashamed that this is the oldest musical on this list as it’s only from 1970 but I’m usually more of a contemporary musical gal. There’s something about this show that I love though. It’s thought-provoking with amazing songs and I couldn’t tell you the amount of times we’ve watched the Glenn Carter version in my house.

Tier Three

Once On This Island – This is a really recent favourite as I only listened to it this year but it has grown so much on me from multiple listens – I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t move up a tier in time. This show is just gorgeous.

In The Heights – Weirdly, when figuring out this list, I was a bit surprised I found myself putting In The Heights this high but I can’t not put it here because it really is one of my favourites. I can’t wait for film next year so that I can rewatch the story whenever I want and more people can discover In The Heights.

The Last 5 Years – Again, I didn’t really expect to put this here and I was actually between this and Bat Boy which I’ve bumped down a tier. It’s the lyrics that I love most of all with The Last 5 Years, especially in songs like Nobody Needs To Know.

Honourable Mentions

Whistle Down the Wind – Although Whistle Down the Wind isn’t an especially high-ranking favourite for me anymore, it was my first ever favourite musical so I think it needs an honourable mention. After seeing a production as a kid I fell in love with the show and it was the first musical I bought to play on my portable CD player.

Bat Boy – As I said earlier, this show nearly made it to tier three but I’ve moved it to honourable mentions instead. I love Bat Boy and it’s my favourite funny musical.

Dear Evan Hansen – It’s here because I felt weird not putting it somewhere, I love Dear Evan Hansen and You Will Be Found is a song that easily brings a tear to my eye.

What are your favourite musicals? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Blogtober

Blogtober Day 14: 40 Songs for Your Halloween Playlist

Nothing gets me in the mood for Halloween like some good spooky songs and if you’re still putting your favourite ghoulish hits together, these are just a few songs every Halloween 2020 playlist needs.

A Nightmare On My Street – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Bad Blood – Bastille

bad guy – Billie Eilish

Black Magic – Little Mix

Bad Moon Rising – Creedance Clearwater Revivial

Better the Devil You Know – Kylie Minogue

Can’t Fight the Moonlight – LeAnn Rimes

Cirque Dans La Rue – Plain White T’s

Disturbia – Rihanna

E.T. – Katy Perry

Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguilera

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.

Ghost – Ella Henderson

Haunted – Beyonce

Haunted – Taylor Swift

Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

Howl – Florence & The Machine

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

I Put a Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

I Want Candy – Row Wow Wow

Living Dead – Marina

Livin’ la Vida Loca – Ricky Martin

Love Potion No. 9 – The Searchers

Maneater – Daryl Hall & John Oates

Maneater – Nelly Furtado

Men In Black – Will Smith

Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons

She Wolf – Shakira

The Addams Family Theme

Things That Go Bump in the Night – allSTARS

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Time Warp – The Rocky Horror Show

Toxic – Britney Spears

What’s New, Scooby-Doo? – Octopus Montage

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

Youngblood – 5 Seconds of Summer

(You’re The) Devil In Disguise – Elvis Presley

Zombie – The Cranberries

Let me know if there are any songs I’ve missed in the comments!

Posted in Theatre

May 2019: Current Musical Theatre Jams

It’s time for May’s top tunes. These are the MT songs have I been enjoying this month…

Livin’ It Up on Top – Hadestown

Well it’s like he said, I’m an outdoor girl.
Livin’ it, livin’ it up.
Married to the king of the Underworld.
Livin’ it up on top.
Trying to enjoy myself.
Livin’ it, livin’ it up.
Six months out of every twelve.
Livin’ it up on top.

I’m keeping this to one song per musical so this is the only Hadestown track to appear in May’s top five. But, seriously I’ve listened to so much Hadestown this month, I’m one step away from booking flights to New York. Livin’ It Up on Top is probably the song I’ve listened to the most from the original live cast recording. It’s fun, jazzy, funny and it’s got Amber Gray in it. What’s not to love? I just can’t wait for the new cast album to come out next week, I need it now (even though I think this song is really different in the Broadway version!). Check out my blog post on the Hadestown Live Cast Recording to read more about my love for this show.

I Don’t Need Your Love – Six

So I sent that letter to my love,
Got married to the king,
Became the one who survived.
I’ve told you about my life, the final wife.
But, why should that story be the one I have to sing about,
Just to win? I’m out.
That’s not my story.
There’s s much more, remember that I was a writer.
I wrote book and psalms and meditations.
Fought for female education,
So all my women could independently study scripture.
I even got a woman to paint my picture.
Why can’t I tell that story?
‘Cause in history, I’m fixed as one of six.
And without him I disappear.
We all disappear.

Just like Hadestown, I could probably put any Six song on this list since I’ve been loving them all lately but I said one song per show so I’m going with I Don’t Need Your Love. Not only is this a sad and powerful break-up song for Catherine Parr and her one true love (not Henry, obvs), it’s also a ode to the idea that women are way more than what the men in their lives have made them. Cathy P was basically a proto-feminist and this song has probably one of my favourite verses of any song ever. It’s strong, sassy and shows just how amazing and inspiring Parr was and how much of a shame it is that she’s been reduced to just the “one who survived” in history. Thank God Six is changing that. Thank you to our current English history Lord and saviours, Marlowe and Moss.

Somewhere That’s Green – Little Shop of Horrors

I’m his December bride.
His father, he knows best.
Our kids watch Howdy Doody
As the sun sets in the west.
A picture out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Far from Skid Row,
I dream we’ll go
Somewhere that’s green.

I feel like I’ve been rediscovering Little Shop of Horrors lately. I completely forgot how funny this show is. I really need to rewatch the film. I’ve been listening to Somewhere That’s Green a lot because it’s one of those songs that combines comedy with sincerity in a genuinely quite moving way. Poor Audrey, she just dreams of the simple things in life and a sweet little guy… like Seymour.

We See the Light – Something Rotten

We see the light.
You’ve changed how we’re thinking,
‘Cause we were blind but you showed us the way.
We’re wrong, you’re right.
Salvation is yours if you do what is true to you
And you do it with Luh-uh-uh-uh-ove.

Goddam is this a jam. Portia loves Nigel, Nigel loves Portia but her preacher dad is stopping them from running off into the sunset together so they imagine what it would be like if their families (and her dad’s whole congregation!) approved of their love and damn is it a tune. There are several real jams in Something Rotten but this has to be my absolute fave.

The Wizard and I – Wicked

Unlimited. My future is unlimited.
And I’ve just had a vision almost like a prophecy.
I know, it sounds truly crazy
And true the vision’s hazy.
But, I swear someday there’ll be
A celebration throughout Oz
That’s all to do with me!

I saw Wicked for the first time in years back in April and of all the songs in the show, this is the one that I left the theatre thinking “I need to listen to that one again”. It’s such a big song for Elphaba but it comes so early in the show that it almost gets forgotten about once the show gets to Defying Gravity but it really is quite a show-stopping moment when this song gets belted out. I won’t be skipping this song when I listen to Wicked ever again!

So there you have it, my favourite musical theatre jams from May. Check out my top April jams as well and thanks for reading!