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Writing Playlist #5: Broadway Edition

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I’ve been waiting for this all year. Today is the Tony Awards, my favorite awards show, and Kevin Spacey is hosting! I’m looking forward to all the performances, especially Dear Evan Hansen, and seeing James Earl Jones, one of my favorite actors, receive a special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

I love the theatre. Musicals – the performing arts – have been a huge part of my life and have inspired me so much. So in honor of this special occasion, I’ve put together a playlist of Broadway songs that inspire my (and hopefully your) writing:

 

“A Brand New Day” – The Wiz

“Brotherhood of Men” – How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

“Dear Theodosia” – Hamilton

“Defying Gravity” – Wicked

“Find Your Grail” – Spamalot

“I Know Where I’ve Been” – Hairspray

“King of Pride Rock / Circle of Life (Reprise)” – The Lion King

“Mamma Mia” – Mamma Mia

“My New Philosophy” – You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

“Non-Stop” – Hamilton

“One Day More” – Les Misérables

“Raise Your Voice” – Sister Act

“Revolting Children” – Matilda the Musical

“Ring of Keys” – Fun Home

“The Wizard and I” – Wicked

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8 thoughts on “Writing Playlist #5: Broadway Edition

  1. Like you, I also find theatre quite special. I love musicals the most. I love how musicals combine acting, singing, and dancing to make an experience quite special. I grew up watching musicals. I discovered a good number of things and what I discovered laid down a foundation for musicals.

    Wicked was a key moment for my musical journey. It was the first show I ever saw on Broadway. I was 12 and with my mom. That musical was key to begin understanding the emotional side of musicals. I was the person who believed all musicals were happy only because that was all I knew. My vision of musicals consists of dance or spectacle, strong emotional connection, positive and negative emotions in the score, and some comic aspect.

    Well 2012 comes along and I see the movie of Les Mis. That was the most impactful musical of the more recent years. Through that musical, I realized not all musicals are happy. Prior to Les Mis, I was 100% blind to heartbreak, but I didn’t know it at the time. Les Mis introduced me to that emotion. I realized that I still can love a musical without the dance or spectacle aspect. Les Mis made me look at musicals differently.

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    • That’s amazing to hear! Somewhat similar beginnings as you, my love for musicals really took form when I was young – around the same time my passion for writing began to develop. I saw a musical production in my community and it felt like my whole world transformed after that, a shift of sorts.

      I had seen Wicked and The Lion King prior to those years but that was so long ago that I don’t remember the experience, just that I really loved those shows. I love Les Mis too but I’ve never had a chance to see it on stage. I’ve only seen the 10th anniversary concert on tv and a few film adaptations in French and English.

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      • In elementary school, it was the spectacle and dance I loved the most. At the time, I wasn’t fully aware of the emotional side of musicals.

        Then there’s the New York trip with mom. She took me to see Wicked. I was 12 at the time and I began to understand the emotional side of musical. My vision of musicals was shaped by all the musical I grew up with.

        Les Mis totally made me see musicals very differently. I grew up with happy musicals and already knew about excitement, love, joy, and sad. Les Mis told me that tragic musicals exist and tested everything I knew about musical emotions. I never realized I was 100% blind to heartbreak, but when Les Mis introduced me to the emotion of heartbreak, I realized there was more potential in musical emotions than I once believed.

        I saw Les Mis initially through the movie, saw it three times at my community college due to seeing it once with my family and twice as an usher, eventually found a way to watch the 25th anniversary concert, and two years ago saw it in London. You should see Les Mis live when you get the chance.

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  2. Musical theatre has been a huge inspiration for my writing as well– in fact the performing arts in general are a HUGE factor in my novel series. Although we’ll have to respectfully disagree about Dear Evan Hansen 😉 I can wholeheartedly get behind many of your playlist choices! 🙂 And yes, you absolutely must see Les Miserables if you get the chance (and even if it’s a local or regional theatre – one of the best shows I’ve ever seen was a local production of Les Mis here in Rhode Island – better than some Broadway shows I’ve seen!).

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    • The performing arts in novels would be a wonderful thing to see more often! And I get what you mean about Dear Evan Hansen from your blog post about last night. I thought Ben Platt’s performance was really good but still hesitant I’m if I’d really enjoy this show for the show’s sake or because I like who plays the title character. I feel more likely no :/

      Les Mis is for sure on my Broadway shows bucket list, along with Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King (again), Wicked (again), and Come From Away (whenever I’m emotionally ready for it). Those shows from the top of my head.

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