No, this is not a unit you can enrol for in Monash, but man wouldn’t that be cool?

Disclaimer: I am in no way a Broadway connoisseur, so if you are one: pls don’t come at me with a pitchfork outside my house. I am but a humble slave to this amazing form of music with my also humble opinions about it. This is in some ways, ~contemporary~ Broadway for newbies. (because I was a newbie just several months ago hah)

Hypothetically speaking, if you were to look for a YouTube recording of these shows so that you can listen to the songs in the context of the actual scene, it would be a more immersive experience for you. But hypothetically, of course. I am in no way endorsing illegal recordings! (wink, wink)

Broadway album recordings are slightly different in the sense that there is a lot of talking in between the singing, because the show is told through songs, after all. Just think of it as a movie soundtrack, but x1000 more extra, but trust me—it’s the good kind of extra.

I’ll be talking about musicals that opened on Broadway in the last 2 years, and you can treat this as a sampler playlist!

Hamilton

hamilton

If you’re on the internet at all, there is no way you haven’t heard of this musical in passing. What is it really about, though? You guessed it: Alexander Hamilton. And, well, a few other founding fathers of America! But why the hype? Why is it regarded as ~revolutionary~? One hyphened word: hip-hop. Uhuh, hip-hop and rap on Broadway? Everyone thought it was crazy. But the legend that is Lin-Manuel Miranda, and music arranger Alex Lacaimore made it work. Another plus is that this production was commended for a racially diverse cast! If I haven’t convinced you yet, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote How Far I’ll Go from Moana, and even though this is where the similarities between Hamilton and Moana end, you know you loved Moana, so get on it!

songs to start you off:

1 My Shot– might be a little overwhelming at first, but it captures the very essence of this show!

2 Satisfied– the original is glorious as it is, but if you want a contemporary pop alternative, the mixtape version (feat. the queen that is Sia, Queen Latifah & Miguel) is your go-to transitional piece

3 Wait For It– my personal favourite; clapping is involved. Once you listen to it you will understand!

Dear Evan Hansen

DEH

Ahhh, this gem of a show. This show has a special place in my heart because of how relatable it is. DEH follows Evan Hansen, a teenager who struggles with social anxiety. After the sudden tragedy that is a classmate’s death, he tells a lie that somehow, brings about some positive consequences? It operates in a morally grey area, which makes the story all the more compelling. And haven’t we all been in a position where we tried so hard to fit in? And aren’t we all a little bit, if not, 99.9% made up of social awkwardness? (Also: it brought home 6 out of 9 of its nominations at the Tony’s a couple months ago soooo)

songs to start you off:

1 Waving Through a Window- THIS. THIS IS THE SONG!!1!11! just watch the video below. It raised goosebumps the first time I heard it and that was the moment I was sold on this show

2 Only Us- ah, romance and second chances

3 For Forever- really plays with your heartstrings, man

Once you’re done, listen to So Big/So Small, the song that garnered Rachel Bay Jones her Tony for Best Supporting Actress a couple of months ago!

Waitress

waitress

Based off of the 2007 movie, this story was revived on Broadway, with songs written and composed by the wonderful Sara Bareilles. This is about Jenna, a waitress who is stuck in an unwanted pregnancy and a loveless marriage to an abusive husband. Aaaand not long after she enters into an affair with her doctor (mmhmm) but the show ends on a heartwarming note, no worries!

songs to start you off:

1 When He Sees Me- you will wonder at Kimiko Glenn’s vocal range: such a big voice in such a tiny person! 11/10, highly recommend

2 Bad Idea- very catchy, also makes you question what are these two people doing????

3 She Used to Be Mine- Jessie Mueller’s voice is a gift to this world

Lo and behold, the sampler playlist!

Aaaaand now you are officially initiated into the club! Welcome to always pining about setting foot on New York soil, and finding out that ticket prices for Hamilton can rocket up to $849!


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