After more than a month of quarantine culture, most of us have some sense of what being on a desert island feels like. Even though most of these recordings are tattooed onto my memory, they are still the ones I play the most, and every time I listen to them, I hear new things. Some of them were the basis for my fantasy life when I was a child. Of all American musicals, this collaboration among Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim may well be both the greatest and most perfect attributes that are not always synonymous in art. It also provides peerless examples of song as psychodrama, gloriously evident in the fearsome, utterly un-self-conscious performance of Ethel Merman, as the mother of all stage mothers, in the original Broadway cast recording. The hip-hop version of the American Revolution, as delivered by the impossibly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda, has a musical momentum as propulsive as history itself. Rex Harrison, as the arrogant master of phonetics, Henry Higgins, and Julie Andrews, as his cockney flower girl pupil, redefine the nature of romantic star chemistry in the recording. You can still hear the fear and uncertainty as well as the robust passion in the characterful interpretations of the now classic songs from the original Broadway version of
SOLO, RE-RELEASES, AND OTHER RECORDINGS
New musicals are often based on source material, be it a film, a book, a play. Original musicals—meaning shows without any source material whatsoever—have always been the exception, not the rule. But the true original musical is far from unheard of on Broadway.
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Thankfully, these contemporary Off-Broadway hits do create cast recordings. Bonus Track: At the end of the cast recording, there is a song that is not featured in the show that is sung by Larson himself. Try not to get chills. Based on the novel of the same name by Jean Webster, this musical tells the story of an orphan with a mysterious benefactor. This is a more classical musical done right. This bluegrass and soulful score hits all the right notes and beautifully tells this tragic tale. Though this show is currently shelved, many hope it will make its way to Broadway soon. Bonus Track: Much of this score is upbeat, but this love ballad is one of the most entrancing songs in the show. This original musical tells the story of two gay students struggling to cope in Catholic school. Based off the movie by the same name, this musical played Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theater in
The 73rd annual Tony Awards are fast approaching, and maybe you're planning to buy tickets to see the nominees in person — or at least listen to the score! Here's our overview of the nominees for best musical, best revival of a musical, and a bonus. Please note that the lowest ticket prices we cite may not be available for immediately upcoming dates. Neither are the whopping 12 Tony nominations. Jeremy Pope, who plays Eddie Kendricks, has achieved the rarity of being nominated for both a play and a musical in the same year, having been nominated for leading actor in a play in Choir Boy as well. The cast recording is available to stream, as well as enjoy on vinyl or in CD or MP3 formats. From concept album, to off-Broadway, to Edmonton, to London, and finally to Broadway, Hadestown just scooped up the most Tony nominations this season 14!