Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year, New Musicals! Top 5 New Musicals to Listen to as You Start 2015

As we say goodbye to 2014, there are various ways we measure the year. (Unintentional Rent reference there...) Frequently, we gage a year by what we just couldn't get enough of.

We say something like, "This was the year when I was obsessed with [name that musical/song/movie/actor, etc]." I think we can all safely say that 2012 was the year that, like it or not, we were obsessed with "Call Me Maybe," for at least some period of time.

So right about now might be the point at which you are completely tired of that song/musical of 2014 and are ready to scream if you hear it. It's time for something new!

Below, check out my top 5 list of new musicals to try, listed in chronological order. By "new," I'm referring to both shows that opened this past season, as well as a recent show that got pushed under the rug way too quickly.

And remember, you have the whole year to listen to them, so be careful how soon you put things on repeat. Don't pull a Sally and listen to the entire Ragtime album for the first time three times IN A ROW. That kind of behavior produces musical theatre comas. And epic-ness overdoses.

Top 5 New(ish) Musicals to Listen to in 2015

The Bridges of Madison County- 2014
If you're a die-hard theatre fan, there's a good chance you've already heard the Tony Award-winning album, which garnered composer Jason Robert Brown his second and third Tony Awards for Original Score and Original Orchestrations. Kelli O'Hara has the voice of an angel (and, by the way, needs a Tony). Steven Pasquale, aka, Laura Benanti's ex-husband, is brilliant as well. Jason Robert Brown fans will love this one.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder- 2013
This past season's Best Musical Tony Award-winner, Gentleman's Guide has a very old-fashioned sound to it. It's honestly refreshing to have a musical go back to old Cole Porter-like roots (though, of course no one can match the lyrical genius that is Porter), especially in light of the proliferation of rock musicals. So bravo, Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak!

Rocky- 2014
These musical resolutions are totally for me too, because I'll be honest, I didn't even realize the Rocky cast had made a cast recording until this week. On paper, it should be a pretty good show, despite the fact that it closed quickly. After all, the songs are written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who did Ragtime (you know I love me some Ragtime!) and 20th Century Fox's animated movie Anastasia. So join me, won't you? Let me know what you think, and I'm sure I'll share my opinions at some point.

Bullets Over Broadway- 2014
Another show from this past season, Bullets is that one that starred Zach Braff, one of the many Hollywood stars on Broadway, and folded within four months. It used a series of old songs with lyrics adapted somewhat to fit the show. I believe I'd call this one a genuine jukebox musical. I'll have to admit that I only listened to this album once, so I have some homework to do!

Bonnie & Clyde- 2011
Ok, so I'll just say that Bonnie & Clyde's Broadway run (33 previews, 36 performances) makes Rocky look like a smash hit, but seriously, it wasn't bad. Starring Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes, the music has some very catchy, upbeat songs. It's interesting for a Frank Wildhorn show, because I suppose if you slowed the songs down, they'd sound like all of his other stuff, but the way he adapted them to fit the genre is interesting.

Which musicals did you wear out in 2014? Which shows have you been meaning to listen to but just keep forgetting about?

Sally Henry // Twitter: @BwayGinger // Facebook:

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