(Author’s note: This is purely from a personal point of view, not a review of certain musicals enlisted below.)
Musicals have played a great deal in my life. It is where I found a new world, a new perspective that I haven’t seen before. It has given me a place of comfort and encouragement. To some, especially from where I grew up, it’s unusual for someone to love musical as much as I do. There are only a few that I know who have a passion in musical or plays in general. I remember when I was still young, maybe 8 or 9 years old, our cousin Ate Marijo had picked me and my other cousin Guen to play the role of young Anastasia and Dimitri for the rehearsals only of a local production of Anastasia. I was so excited, although we didn’t end up doing the part, but it had given me an idea of what a musical play is. Fast forward to now, my eagerness to watch a live Broadway musical grew bigger but my wallet. #TrueStory
So to start it off, here are the Broadway Musicals I’d like to watch live.
Dear Evan Hansen is a story of a high school boy who suffered social anxiety and depression. Although I haven’t seen any bootlegs of the show, I’ve read comments of people on Tumblr about the play and their appreciation with Ben Platt whom I love, if you don’t know who he is, he’s Benjamin from the movie Pitch Perfect. I guess I could say, I relate to the story a lot as well as other people that have gone through these stages in their lives. To see a play that talks about the issue of anxiety and depression is a great deal as not everyone is open with their feelings, well I’m guilty with that one, which I suffered too much of it back in college. I didn’t talk to anyone about it and my only confidant that time was myself, although I have friends, but I didn’t want to bother them with my problems. So this play means so much not just to me, but to those who had gone through those hard times in life. It’s hard not to watch this show, I mean it just won 6 Tony including Best Musical and Ben Platt for Best Actor. At a very young age of 23, I’m so jealous of him but proud at the same time, from being the sidekick in Pitch Perfect to be coming one of Broadway’s sought after artists. I hope one day I could watch the show with Ben Platt of course, he’s just amazing, isn’t he?
Youtube user: The Late Night with Seth Meyers
Kinky Boots with Billy Porter and Stark Sands, the original casts, is one of those shows that interest me the most. A story of an unlikely duo who worked together to save a family business of shoe making. The musicalis based from the 2005 movie with the same name that was inspired from a true story of Steve Pateman who was struggling to save the family-run shoe factory. I have seen some videos on Youtube and got excited with it. I even sing Land of Lola whenever I’m in the bathroom, because that’s my stage baby! You’d be happy to know that the songs in this musical are written by no other than, the “Girls just want to have fun” singer, Cindy Lauper. What I like about the show is that it talks about friendship, family and acceptance. The songs were amazing and one particular song that I have loved is Raise You Up / Just Be. It’s a song about having someone in your life that you can depend on and will pull you up when you’re down, then Just Be tells you to be who you are and that you are beautiful. After finding out that Brendon Urie is going to play Charlie Price, I can’t contain my excitement and if you don’t know him, shame on you! Just kidding, he’s the lead vocalist of Panic! At the Disco. Unfortunately I can’t watch him perform live because, Philippines…New York…visa…plane tickets and all other things. But one can only hope. Although there is a Philippine production of the show in Manila, starring Nyoy Volante, but it is as expensive as watching musicals in Broadway, if you account the ticket, the plane tickets, accommodation and other expenses. Maybe in due time, if I have saved enough money. #Abundance please!
Youtube user: SOPHIA BP
The Disney Broadway production of Newsies made me feel…. useless. Why you ask? I mean, how..how can they do all those dancing without even breaking their legs, no pun intended. But seriously, those dudes are amazing. I saw their performance on the Tony Awards and I was just at awe of what I was watching, Ryan Steel, if you’re reading this, you’re a God! But enough of that, the play is about a group of Newsies that fought against Mr. Pulitzer, what made this play interesting is, it is based on a true story. Jack, stood tall to fight against oppression from the big boss that deprived them with basic rights. The Broadway musical is based from the 1992 movie, Newsies, with Christian Bale (BATMAN) as Jack Kelly. The songs from the musical were fantastic. One song, Carrying the Banner, is basically the theme of the Newsies. There is this song in particular that’s just hardcore, Seize the Day, which they have performed during the Tony Awards, and by God those men can do ballet. Last year, Disney made Newsies: The Broadway Musical, it’s like a movie but taken from a live performance and there’s this song called Letter from the Refuge performed by Andrew Keenan-Bolger, and to tell you honestly, I sobbed like a little bitch. It’s full of hope, pain and the last part, boy..tears..Niagara falls! I have a seen a bootleg of the original casts, and Jeremy Jordan, if you’re a fan of Supergirl then you know him, was impeccable and so as the rest of the casts, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, et al.
Youtube user: SOPHIA BP
Of course, a bucket list of musicals is not complete without a classic, The Phantom of the Opera. Although, it is a West End musical, it didn’t take long before they made a Broadway production of the show. This is the first classical play I have seen. I remember when I was 10 or 11 years old, when my Aunt Mirasol made us watch the movie version. For someone who was at that age, my interests were playing outside or even cartoons. But as soon as the famous Phantom of the Opera song came along, it gave me chills. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. Masquerade is one of my favorites from the musical and All I ask of You. To include Phantom of the Opera from this post isn’t enough, it deserves its own post. Fast forward 2011, I downloaded the 25th Anniversary Special Performance at Royal Albert Hall, and Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo were perfect! Sierra’s performance of Think of Me and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, is by far one of the best I have ever heard. Her vocal range is impeccable and humanly impossible. Ramin is probably the sexiest Phantom I have ever seen. His voice is deep, haunting, mesmerizing and if I may add, sexy. Even my sister cried when she watched it. This musical will always have a special place in my heart. This is the first play I have seen that opened doors to a whole new world. Thank you Sir Andrew Llyod Webber.
Youtube user: 1947dave
And last but not the least, without a doubt, by a landslide…
This might be the most unusual musical I have ever seen in my entire life. This is probably the musical that can cure depression. It’s super funny to the point that all you can hear are laughter. Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park, together with Robert Lopez; Avenue Q, created this amazing musical. Of course I have only seen bootlegs of this show, but what’s amazing with the show is it touches everyone with its message. You may think that the show would only focus on Mormons, but it’s a whole lot bigger. Sure the title and even some parts are basically the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but it points to something bigger. It’s about your faith and how you can achieve greatness when you believe. Sometimes in life we feel down and even questioned Him, which what happened with Elder Price, but he pulled himself together and restored his faith in God. The show is beautiful and sure a lot of funny moments, but if you take out the “Mormons” from the context, it’s different. To be honest, because of this show, it made me love Mormons, but I’m not converting or anything, just an appreciation with their faith. Anyhow, Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, Nikki M. James and Rory O’Malley; the original Broadway company, were fantastic. Of course with the other company casts, Nic Rouleau and Ben Platt; and Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner. It’s amazing how a show can bring people from different religions or entities together. One of my favorite songs from the show is I Believe, which if you’re a Mormon, then this is one is for you. Trust me, if you think the show insulting, it insults every human being there is, not just to a particular sector. Each company has its own ways of portraying the characters, Andrew’s portrayal of Elder Price is different from that of Nic Rouleau and Gavin Creel. I really hope one day I can watch the show especially with Nic Rouleau doing it. You’d be surprise how much you will get addicted to the musical after you have watched it and this has easily become one of my favorite musicals of all time. Seriously, this has to be in your bucket list.
Youtube user: Kevin Price
Youtube user: Kevin Price
Well, that’s it for now. Please be aware that these are just some of the shows I am hoping on watching someday. If your favorites aren’t here, don’t fret my friends, I still have a lot of time to discover. Maybe I’ll make another list that will include the classics with the likes of The Sound of Music, Marry Poppins, Les Miserables and et al, since it would take a long read to put every musical out there. But these are just the few ones, believe me I can talk about musicals all through an entire day or week. So if there’s anything you want me to watch, that may be a new show or the classics, please do comment, I’d be happy to try them.