Once of the industries that has suffered the most from the effects of COVID shutdowns is the world of fine arts — art, theater, dance, music, etc. Broadway went dark on March 12, 2020, and remained that way until a few weeks ago! That’s a year and a half, people! Far too long without the joy that comes from attending a newly anticipated show or revisiting one of your old favorites, whether that’s on the “Great White Way” itself, a national tour stop or a community theater production. Musicals and plays all around the world were affected.
It’s super exciting to see theater coming back stronger than ever. For me, musicals are one of my happy places. There’s a special goosebumps feeling that I get when the curtain rises — whether I’ve seen the show already or not. I got to see Wicked in Charlotte last week, and I was on cloud nine the whole time!!
Nobody asked for these, but in honor of Broadway’s return I thought I’d share a snapshot of some of my favorite musicals:
Who’s surprised? I’ve seen it three times and it just keeps getting better. SO clever and funny. The music is wonderful and the set design is so captivating you could find yourself distracted by it in the middle of a scene. The overall visual appeal is unmatched. Favorite song(s): The Wizard and I, Popular, Dancing Through Life, For Good
I mean, duh. Historical rap? No brainer. It’s clever, poignant, and very entertaining. I got to see it in Chicago, which was amazing, and watching the original cast in the recorded Disney+ version made me feel like I was watching it in person again. Favorite song(s) (this is TOUGH): What’d I Miss, One Last Time
Journalism! Justice! Dance! The choreography in this show is so dynamic and fun. Honestly, buy me a ticket to anything with music written by Alan Menken. Disney does musicals incredibly well. Favorite song(s) from the soundtrack: Once and For All, Watch What Happens, Seize the Day
Classic. Chicago has been around since 1975 and it’s still widely popular, because it’s showstopping, that’s why. The Bob Fosse choreography is iconic, as are the many highlights of the soundtrack, especially “Cell Block Tango.” Favorite song(s): Cell Block Tango, We Both Reached for the Gun
The Addams Family Musical
Not widely known, but hilarious. I got to see the original cast with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, and it was an absolute treat. If you love the Addams Family movies and the classic theme song, this will make you happy. Favorite song(s): When You’re an Addams, Full Disclosure
Fun and a good message. The soundtrack is incredible from start to finish, and it’s definitely my favorite jukebox musical. The movie version is great too! Favorite song(s): Without Love, Good Morning Baltimore, You Can’t Stop the Beat, (It’s) Hairspray
ABBA ❤ The music is so groovy and wonderful, and the storyline is intriguing yet lighthearted. A feel good story both onstage and on film! Favorite song(s): Thank You For the Music, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Super Trouper
Maybe one day I’ll do a follow up to this post: a deep dive into musicals that are adapted for the screen, and how well they measure up to the stage version. Until then, you can catch me singing along to showtunes 🙂