Welcome back to Musical Mondays!
In case you’re new here, this column is a peek into the depths of the Musical Theatre archive, where I will showcase a few musicals that I think deserve a little more love. You can read my past posts by clicking here!
They’re the smaller, niche shows that not everyone will be familiar with – and that’s the point! They deserve just as much love as the big name shows, so every second Monday I’ll list a few, give you some comparisons, and a few examples of songs for you to check out.
Ghost Quartet is a song cycle by Dave Malloy. For anyone unfamiliar with Dave Malloy shows, they’re kind of… unlike literally anything else. This particular show follows the interweaving relationships of a group of people across seven centuries, and the importance of a broken camera. Sound weird? It kind of is. This show is a bizarre amalgamation of fairy tales, folk stories, theories, darkness, and music. It’s a true experience. Dave actually posted a full recording of the show online (which you can watch here!) and I’d recommend giving it a watch to understand the quirkiness and craziness that is Ghost Quartet. If there’s ever a production around, I recommend going to see it. I had the great fortune of catching a Melbourne performance of the show in 2019, and it was one of the most insane theatrical experiences of my life.
Standout track/s: Soldier & Rose; The Astronomer; Four Friends
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Dave Malloy, folky shows like Bright Star, Floyd Collins
Based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I Love You Because is set in modern-day New York City. The 6-person show’s original off-Broadway production starred Farah Alvin, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Colin Hanlon, David A. Austin, Courtney Balan, and Jordan Leeds. It has since seen an off-West End run, as well as an Australasian premiere in 2008. It takes the classical Austen plot and recontextualises it to present day, full of dating apps, flings, and poetry.
Standout track/s: The Perfect Romance; Even Though; What Do We Do It For?
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Ordinary Days; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Lizzie is a four woman musical telling the story of the legendary Lizzie Borden. For those who may be unaware of the case, Lizzie was the prime suspect in the murders of her father and stepmother, but was ultimately tried and acquitted. Her case has cemented itself pop culture mythology, with the musical yet another byproduct of the interest. The show is full of power ballads and anthems, a definite must for any angsty rock-loving feminists. It was set for an Off-Broadway run with Eden Espinosa and Ciara Renee last year, but that was postponed – hopefully it makes a return in the near future.
Standout track/s: This Is Not Love; Burn the Old Thing Up; Mercury Rising
You’ll like this if you enjoy: Six; American Idiot; Spring Awakening; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson